Can a clean rider outperform doped riders in the current peloton?

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What races can a clean rider be able to win?

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Hmmm, I would like to stress that the poll isn't about which races it's possible to win as a clean rider, where all the stars align, but which races a clean rider can win by being the strongest/best. That is certainly how I read the OP, though I will admit that when I voted I just read the poll question. If I had to vote now and my interpretation of the OP is correct, I'd remove my votes for HC classics and 2.HC and 2.WT GC (Okay some of the Chinese HC stage races can be won clean I guess [as the strongest rider], but for the more properly ranked races, I don't think that is the case).
 
Feb 24, 2015
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The issue for me with this is the riders taking part.
If we look at the premise made earlier in the discussion that some lower level races are not lucrative enough to cause someone to dope, I throw that arguments out for two reason.
1. amateurs dope, no money involved so why would they, if they would why would low level pro's not dope at low level races
2. Low level races with lower ranked teams have riders that want to get noticed so will dope to try to gain an edge and get a better ride, with a better team, on more money.
So that argument doesn't stand up.

Secondly the argument that one day races could be clean, well I don't buy that due to the fact most of the entries are riders on top teams that probably got there via the answer no 2 above.

And as we know that a great number of pro-riders are on the gear (systematically through their teams or not) then by default most of the riders in a one day race are or have doped. So can't win clean.

I am afraid to say it but any race that has professional riders and prize money to my mind is out of bounds. Someone will turn up to take the money by any means.

I have ridden grande fondos around the world and seen top manufacturer teams push their female rider from the bottom to the top of each hill, to try to win the female prize, I have talked to riders on the mens elite side of these races about their own preparations and they have been very candid about it.
They were on the gear or they didn't get selected, and these are third string country specific factory teams.

If they are on the gear then how do you think others that have moved up the ranks have got past them, unless there is a secret section of super humans who have evolved among us that we don't know about.

Oh yeah sorry those are the people who appear in the documentaries with the ridiculous natural lung capacity and hearts that pump 9 litres per minute to everyone elses 6. Remember watching those, now if only I could remember the name of the guys they made those programs about.
 
Netserk said:
Hmmm, I would like to stress that the poll isn't about which races it's possible to win as a clean rider, where all the stars align, but which races a clean rider can win by being the strongest/best. That is certainly how I read the OP, though I will admit that when I voted I just read the poll question. If I had to vote now and my interpretation of the OP is correct, I'd remove my votes for HC classics and 2.HC and 2.WT GC (Okay some of the Chinese HC stage races can be won clean I guess [as the strongest rider], but for the more properly ranked races, I don't think that is the case).
Right. Hard to know how everyone will understand a question; the title question is what I mean. To put another way, at what level is doping so negligible that a clean rider can out perform those in the field who do dope?
 
More Strides than Rides said:
Right. Hard to know how everyone will understand a question; the title question is what I mean. To put another way, at what level is doping so negligible that a clean rider can out perform those in the field who do dope?
Agree. BUT, it's not always the best/strongest who wins. Therefore in a one-day race, with circumstances/luck going his way, an opportunistic non-doper has a chance.
 
Tonton said:
Agree. BUT, it's not always the best/strongest who wins. Therefore in a one-day race, with circumstances/luck going his way, an opportunistic non-doper has a chance.
Yeah, I get it. Thats why

Netserk said:
...I would like to stress that the poll isn't about which races it's possible to win as a clean rider, where all the stars align, but which races a clean rider can win by being the strongest/best.
.

...
I don't want to deal with pedantry.

Asking at what level a clean rider can out perform doped competitors in 2015 is the same as asking at what level have we seen/can we see a clean rider ride stronger than a doped field (or clean field with dopers in it), which is the same as asking at what level a clean rider can expect to win. (No one expects the exceptional circumstances you describe.)

I don't want to deal with pedantry, I want to assess the situation for clean riders.
 
More Strides than Rides said:
Yeah, I get it. Thats why

.

...
I don't want to deal with pedantry.

Asking at what level a clean rider can out perform doped competitors in 2015 is the same as asking at what level have we seen/can we see a clean rider ride stronger than a doped field (or clean field with dopers in it), which is the same as asking at what level a clean rider can expect to win. (No one expects the exceptional circumstances you describe.)

I don't want to deal with pedantry, I want to assess the situation for clean riders.
PED antry? :D In all seriousness :p, if the rider is really talented, he can win up to one-week races, like Charly Mottet did. GTs? No way. One day races, with good speed, good placement, a clean guy can win at pro level. Not dominate, but win a few.
 
Dec 11, 2013
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For the craic, the next post is an analysis of every 1.1, 1.HC, 2.HC,WT,2.UWT and 1.UWT for 2012 to 2014
If I've time I'll add in stages.

390 races with 212 different* winners arranged by total wins across all grades.

So who would you consider clean?



* data was cut and paste from Pro Cycling stats, into Excel and a pivot table created. Indentical surnames would be combined, surnames spelt incorrectly would be separated and there are some blanks.


Anyone know why some letters are replaced by '?'
 
Dec 11, 2013
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Count of RACE Column Labels
Row Labels 1.1 1.HC 2.HC WT 2.UWT 1.UWT Grand Total
D?mare 8 0 2 1 0 0 11
Martin 2 0 3 3 0 1 9
Kittel 4 3 0 0 0 0 7
Greipel 5 2 0 0 0 0 7
Gerrans 0 0 0 3 1 3 7
Degenkolb 3 1 0 1 0 1 6
Boonen 1 1 0 4 0 0 6
Valverde 4 0 0 0 0 2 6
Nibali 0 0 1 3 1 0 5
Cancellara 1 0 0 3 0 1 5
Sagan 1 1 0 2 0 1 5
Contador 0 1 0 1 3 0 5
Modolo 5 0 0 0 0 0 5
Froome 0 0 1 3 1 0 5
Quintana 0 1 2 1 1 0 5
Ulissi 3 2 0 0 0 0 5
Dehaes 5 0 0 0 0 0 5
Bouhanni 3 2 0 0 0 0 5
(blank) 5 0 0 0 0 0 5
Costa 1 0 0 2 1 0 4
Chavanel 1 0 2 0 0 1 4
Colbrelli 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Moreno 1 1 1 1 0 0 4
Rodr?guez 0 0 0 3 1 0 4
Moser 2 1 0 1 0 0 4
Simon 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Bos 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Chicchi 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Pozzato 3 0 0 1 0 0 4
Wiggins 0 0 0 4 0 0 4
Vachon 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Terpstra 1 1 0 0 0 1 3
Kristoff 0 1 0 0 0 2 3
Avermaet 2 0 1 0 0 0 3
Genechten 2 1 0 0 0 0 3
Viviani 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Ponzi 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Debusschere 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Coquard 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Gilbert 0 1 0 0 1 1 3
Albasini 1 1 0 1 0 0 3
Kwiatkowski 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Tuft 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Nordhaug 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
Bennett 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Weening 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
Betancur 1 0 0 0 1 0 2
Meersman 1 0 1 0 0 0 2
Dumoulin 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
?pilak 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Evans 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Visconti 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Felline 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Kreder 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Fenn 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Leukemans 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Fuglsang 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Andriato 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Gatto 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Sella 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Blythe 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
?tybar 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
Gougeard 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Vanmarcke 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Howard 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Wallays 1 1 0 0 0 0 2
Izagirre 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Janse van Rensburg 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Yates 1 0 1 0 0 0 2
Vantomme 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Santambrogio 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Piedra 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gallopin 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Taaram?e 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gasparotto 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Engoulvent 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Delfosse 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Reichenbach 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gaudin 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Cavendish 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gautier 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Tulik 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gavazzi 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Westra 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Bille 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Peraud 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Barbero 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Cammaerts 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Geschke 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Roth 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gesink 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Selig 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Ghyselinck 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Fedrigo 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Boasson Hagen 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Theuns 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Gon?alves 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Valgren 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Demoitie 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Voeckler 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Bonifazio 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Brutt 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Haddou 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Paterski 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Haedo 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Petacchi 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Hecke 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Caethoven 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Hesjedal 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Baarle 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Hinault 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Capecchi 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Hofland 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Sanchez 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Horner 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Scarponi 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Drujon 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Serpa 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Hurel 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Slagter 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Hutarovich 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Stroetinga 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Iglinskiy 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Teklehaimanot 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Intxausti 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Tsatevich 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Duarte 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Uran 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Jacobs 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Vanbilsen 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Bardet 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Finetto 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Jarc 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Bilbao 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Jules 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Delage 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Jungels 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Nizzolo 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Kadri 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Paolini 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Keirsbulck 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Pauriol 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Boom 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Perichon 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Kelderman 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Petit 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Kennaugh 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Poel 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Arashiro 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Porte 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Duque 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Pozzovivo 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Kreuziger 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Rebellin 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Borgersen 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Renshaw 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Durasek 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Rogers 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Ladagnous 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Caruso 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Lagutin 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
S?nchez 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Lampaert 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Saramotins 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Lasca 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Schulze 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Dyachenko 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
B?rta 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Lindeman 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Shalunov 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Lobato 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Siskevicius 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Luca 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
S?rensen 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Majka 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Stannard 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Malaguti 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Coppel 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Ballan 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Talansky 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Zandbeek 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Backer 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Zoidl 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Thomas 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Martens 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Berhane 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Asbroeck 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Chaves 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Matthews 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Bak 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Eeckhout 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Ciolek 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Mezgec 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Ferrari 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Emden 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Veilleux 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Br?ndle 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Bakelants 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Breschel 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Fonseca 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Mourey 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Wellens 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Mucelli 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Wetterhall 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Navarro 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Negri 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Malori 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Zilioli 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Mandri 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Conti 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Marcato 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Keisse 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Grand Total 227 40 39 56 14 14 390
 
skippythepinhead said:
Voeckler anyone? I always thought he'd win more. Maybe he's just not a good responder?
Voeckler is a great example.

Of modern science overcoming the most inefficient pedal stroke humanly attained.

Or, is that technique the ultimate example of marginal gains?

Dave.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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So the linked article is about a runner but if you read through the whole thing, it talks about long standing world track records set during what is widely considered the 'state sponsored PED era' and the coach thinks those can be broken with advanced training methods.

What strikes me is although those methods may be "clean" in the sense of not using banned substances, they are very expensive, use lots of technology, and only a comparatively few athletes will be able to access them. (in cycling's case the top teams or countries that have the resources to support young talent). So while I'd say all the athletes who progress to the highest level have lots of talent, many are left behind due to things that have less to do with talent and more to do with how much money and science is invested and less to do with 100% talent, hard work and mental fortitude.

Since the definition of "doping" is using banned substances as long as the highly developed and monitored - and thus expensive - nutrition plan doesn't include any of those substances it's considered "clean", but is it a level playing field?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/magazine/mary-cain-is-growing-up-fast.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most Emailed&pgtype=article
 
Feb 22, 2011
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D-Queued said:
Voeckler is a great example.

Of modern science overcoming the most inefficient pedal stroke humanly attained.

Or, is that technique the ultimate example of marginal gains?

Dave.
Seriously. I remember watching him in one TdF and thinking "who is that guy pedaling backwards?" Something is getting him to the finish line.
 
skippythepinhead said:
Seriously. I remember watching him in one TdF and thinking "who is that guy pedaling backwards?" Something is getting him to the finish line.
This is on his Wikipedia:
He started the Tour de France slowly, suffering from a knee injury and almost abandoning the grand tour, after also abandoning earlier preparation races. However he gathered strength and later won ...
Yup, he "gathered strength" alright
 
9000ft said:
So the linked article is about a runner but if you read through the whole thing, it talks about long standing world track records set during what is widely considered the 'state sponsored PED era' and the coach thinks those can be broken with advanced training methods.

What strikes me is although those methods may be "clean" in the sense of not using banned substances, they are very expensive, use lots of technology, and only a comparatively few athletes will be able to access them. (in cycling's case the top teams or countries that have the resources to support young talent). So while I'd say all the athletes who progress to the highest level have lots of talent, many are left behind due to things that have less to do with talent and more to do with how much money and science is invested and less to do with 100% talent, hard work and mental fortitude.

Since the definition of "doping" is using banned substances as long as the highly developed and monitored - and thus expensive - nutrition plan doesn't include any of those substances it's considered "clean", but is it a level playing field?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/magazine/mary-cain-is-growing-up-fast.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most Emailed&pgtype=article
For one, the article fails to mention that Salazar coached Mary Decker Slaney, and more importantly, that he coached her when she tested positive for testosterone.

Second, outside of the US, Cain has a way to go before being at a level to beat dopers. (I don't have an opinion yet on if I think she is doping)
 
Mar 19, 2014
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A clean sprinter today would probably have more chance of going to Mars riding side saddle on a Saturn 5 rocket than beating East German athlete Marita Koch's 400m world record set in the World Championship Final in Australia in 1985. Starting in lane 2, by the 200m mark she had made up the stagger on the women in all 6 lanes outside her, and entered the home straight with just one athlete(Russian - say no more) within 40m of her. In the 30 years since, despite the huge improvement in training regimes, diet, shoe technology, and track surfacing, no woman has got within 13 metres of that record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD4OUTXvtRU

Marita, an Olympic and World Champion broke 31 world records at distances from 60m through to 400m, was subsequently found to have been systematically doped by the East German state throughout her long career, yet never tested positive once in competition(you're in an exclusive club Lance).

Koch's 200m world record was finally broken by an athlete from the same era who Marita used to routinely beat by around 5m in major championship races over the distance - the athletes name? American 'superstar' Flo Jo - who miraculously improved out of all recognition very late in her career to break the 100m and 200m WR's, which still stand - Flo Jo retired almost immediately afterwards, and just prior to the introduction of out of season testing being introduced. Hmmmmmm.

Sadly, many utterly deluded Americans to this day will swear on a stack of bibles she was clean when she broke those records!

I had a photograph of Flo Jo 2 years before her WR breaking exploits and one at the time she broke those records. And took them into a top London hardcore gym where elite level women bodybuilders trained. Without letting them see Flo Jo's face, i asked them if the woman in the photo's could have changed her appearance naturally, just through hard training and good nutrition.

They were adamant her physical change had not been achieved naturally. I said "how can you be so sure?" Because "we have used just about every strength and muscle building PED on the market, and know the side effects/body changes associated with each group of these drugs - she is displaying some of these 'side effects' to the extent that we can actually tell you the specific type of PEDs' she has been using!"


Likewise, the Olympic Weightlifting world records set in the 1980's before any serious drug testing took place at major championships, were so off the charts the International weightlifting Federation changed all the bodyweight classes in the 1990's to effectively annul the records.

Yuri Zackharevich the Russian weightlifting superstar of the 1980's in the 110kg Class (set 38 WR's and never tested positive Lance), broke his own snatch world record twice in 1988 Olympics, with a final lift of 210kg. In the 27 years since, only two men in the unlimited Super Heavyweight class(both nearly 10 stone heavier than Yuri) have managed to beat Yuri's snatch record - the super heavyweight snatch WR now stands just 4Kg more at 214kg.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFtFQnNu0OI

The 1988 Olympic Weightlifting Championships produced some individual performances that were so far off the charts, it could be argued some were as equally ridiculous as Marita Koch's 400m world record.

For anyone to believe a clean lifter could get remotely near those 1988 performances is being naive in the extreme - by way of example: Bulgarian Angel Guenchev, won the Gold medal in the 67.5Kg Bodyweight Class with WR's in the Snatch, C&J and Total - his astonishing 202.5Kg C&J made him the heaviest man on the planet to lift three times bodyweight( at the time the other three men in the elite 3 times bodyweight club all weighed under 60Kg).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FIo4RaoAWc

In the 27 years since, only Laio Hui the Chinese superstar lifter(generally considered the best pound for pound lifter in the sport for decades) has come remotely close to matching Guenchev's records, when he broke the C&J WR in the 2010 World Championships with a lift of 198Kg, in the new 69Kg Bodyweight Class - only to subsequently have it annulled for failing a drugs test (he got a 3 year ban).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoUFDN1Nh5o ( starts around 9m 25s)

Laio Hui served his ban and returned to competition at the 2013 World Championships - where astonishingly, he again demolished the field, setting a new WR in the C&J of 198Kg - the best weight he had ever managed when testing positive for PED's).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRpwuOwoK8o

PED use in pro cycling during the last decade clearly was very widespread, but it was probably worse in eastern bloc women's Athletics and Olympic Weightlifting in the 1980's. Today, since very few Eastern European Nations, ex Soviet States, China or North Korea do any meaningful drug testing out of competition, the PED problem in Olympic weightlifting has not really improved that much - and is the principal reason why a Brit or American has never won a Olympic Weightlifting medal for over 40 years.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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skippythepinhead said:
This is really tough. I'm going to have to think about it for a while. I'm trying to think about the idea of "clean" in a vacuum. If there were a rider who made it into each of these events having never crossed the line to the dark side for training or races is the way I'm going to determine at which level I think they could win. I'm leaning toward "all but a GT" but I can even possibly envision a scenario where one really good, surprising day and 6-7 dopers abandoning/crashing out could just allow it to happen. I'll get back to you.
In light of today's report, I'm going to go with "probably not."
 
Feb 4, 2010
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More Strides than Rides said:
For one, the article fails to mention that Salazar coached Mary Decker Slaney, and more importantly, that he coached her when she tested positive for testosterone.

Second, outside of the US, Cain has a way to go before being at a level to beat dopers. (I don't have an opinion yet on if I think she is doping)
That's not the point I was trying to make. If one of the main arguments against doping is it's inherent unfairness - that "clean" riders of higher talent can and are beaten by less talented "dirty" riders, how much more "fair" is it that a few riders - maybe less talented riders have more successful careers due to very sophisticated - but totally legal training and nutrition plans than those who are not in the top teams or federations? I'm not saying I have an answer because racing is never "fair", and the playing field has never been level and PEDs are only one aspect of that.
 
Nov 14, 2013
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9000ft said:
....maybe less talented riders have more successful careers due to very sophisticated - but totally legal training and nutrition plans than those who are not in the top teams or federations?
The difference is you have some agreed rules about how to compete. If its not against the rules then whatever you do is "fair". Whatever you do outside the rules is "unfair".

That is why when dopers get caught from certain era's they feel like they haven't been cheating, all there peers are doing the same thing so therefore they are not cheating them. Its like a big game of hide and seek, as long as you don't get caught then you are playing by the rules.
 

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