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Do all of the top riders do drugs or dope?

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Do all the top riders dope/ take drugs?

  • Not sure

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Aug 6, 2009
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blackcat said:
flaw in your theory that Riis was pre doping. That defies belief. He just got on a different program, and pushed the limits.

Well 2 points really. I don't see why it would be unbelievable that Riis really was clean when he says he was. It makes little sense to me that he would admit to doping during the period where he achieved all his results, but not during the period where he achieved no meaningful results. I suppose it could be to create an illusion that there was anything such as a clean cyclists, but I'm not quite willing to believe that absolutely all pro's dope.
Secondly even if I'm wrong it's not a flaw in my theory, because then the difference isn't between clean and doped, it's between doped and more doped, which would mean the difference between actually clean and properly doped would be even larger.
 
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i did not vote and don’t intend to b/c the questions, as formulated, don’t allow reflecting my views.

But I made an interesting observation (after allowing the poll to run) - as of today, 10:20 GMT:

Do all the top riders dope/ take drugs?
Yes- 47
No - 26
Not sure -14

if neys and notsures are added together, it’s less of a margin of ‘cynics’ superiority than I personally expected (for this board anyway).

if the numerous prolific fan-posters contributing exclusively to non-clinic topics (i don’t mention names to avoid the controversy) are added to ‘non-cynics’ - it would seem the level of cynicism/skepticism here is not overwhelming.

yet...:confused:
 
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python said:
i did not vote and don’t intend to b/c the questions, as formulated, don’t allow reflecting my views.

But I made an interesting observation (after allowing the poll to run) - as of today, 10:20 GMT:

Do all the top riders dope/ take drugs?
Yes- 47
No - 26
Not sure -14

if neys and notsures are added together, it’s less of a margin of ‘cynics’ superiority than I personally expected (for this board anyway).

if the numerous prolific fan-posters contributing exclusively to non-clinic topics (i don’t mention names to avoid the controversy) are added to ‘non-cynics’ - it would seem the level of cynicism/skepticism here is not overwhelming.

yet...:confused:
Well first of all people might interpret the question differently. One key variable is how good a rider has to be to count as a "top rider". Personally I answere assuming that top rider means absolute top. The king of people who consistently compete for the top spots of Monuments, Grant Tours and WCs. Basically people like Boonen, Cancellara, Valverde, Cunego, Contador, Cavendish, Schelcks, Rebelin etc. The lower you're willing to go and still consider a rider "top" the more likely you are to find someone clean.

Also I'm not sure you should be adding the "not-sure" together with the noes. The question is very strongly worded. It is whether there is even one single top rider who is clean. Is thinking that it might be possible that somewhere there is perhaps one single rider in the lower end of the top who could perhaps be clean, really the message of hope?
 
BroDeal said:
Shortening the season would not hurt. The January to October schedule must be killing.

Once upon a time this sort of thing might have worked. Doping came into cycling and became mainstream because of the crazy racing schedules the riders faced. Maybe if early on in cycling's history shorter race distances and more rest time had developed then doping wouldn't have become so normal and ingrained and it would be easier to fight now.

But that chance has gone. It wouldn't work now. When races are made shorter they are just raced faster and faster, they don't get easier. If you cut the number of races then you also cut the number of potential pay-days and the competition for each just gets more intense. Squad sizes would decrease and there would be more competition for places and more doping amongst the guys fighting for those spots.

Doping is specifically bad for cycling because of the specific nature of our sport. If I watch a rugby game, I know the players are doped up, but it improves the game - the speed is high, the hits are massive, the competitiveness of teams through the full 80mins these days is incredible. Same with football, same with tennis, same with almost every sport. The players take huge risks with their health, but that's their choice. But cycling, especially the big stage races, is ruined by the present level of doping because the battle against the terrain is so intrinsic to the sport, and the terrain isn't getting any harder even though the riders get better. The Tour especially is boring, because even the big mountain stages have become battles over the last few km's of the last climb because the team workers are doped to the level of being able to set a steady tempo over all the mountains on the way. And because the possibility of bad days, of inability to recover from efforts, has almost been completely removed.

It's a scandal that riders have to put their health at risk, but if someone isn't prepared to take that risk then 100 others will be prepared to take it in their place. But if people turn the telly off because they start realising how dull the doping has made the racing - that's a real emergency for the sport.
 
Cerberus said:
...

Kohl also made a huge performance jump once he started using blood doping and that was post- bio-passport. Of cause he did get caught, but perhaps he could have gotten the same results just with Transfusions. ...
I agree with most of your assessment.

And remember that Kohl never got caught for blood doping, he got caught for CERA.

Only until he got on into the full program he capitalized on bigger results.
 
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Dr. Maserati said:
No - I am pretty sure B 12 vitamins are not banned, the 'Manzano' list I quoted was to show that when athletes start taking products there is a need to start taking other products and supplements.

Ok. Makes sense and very true. When I played basketball, I had a coach suggest we take this nutritional supplement to increase lean muscle mass, then another to aid the body's absorption of the original supplement, then another to increase production of enzyme x or amino acid y. Vicious cycle. Finally, my doctor had me stop all that and take a multi-vitamin as I was much too young to take so many supplements. Didn't think at the time, but my coach probably had me on a "program." :rolleyes:

Cerberus said:
Meh, I prefer Bierce.

I hear ya. He remains one of my favorites from undergrad.

Cerberus said:
It's not about judging the whole by the actions a few (mind you I counted and 50% the spots on the Tour Podium in the last 15 years have been occupied by people convicted of or having confessed to doping Scandals (counting Ulrich), and another 35% having been implicated in doping scandals. That is a rather novel definition of the word “few”). The point is that the advantage gained by doping might very well be so large that anyone who is clean just won't be able to compete. Studies have indicated that doping to 50% can boost performance by 10-15% (I can find some for you if you want).

Outside of laboratories and into the ranks of professional cyclists we have Bjarne Riis for a case. Pre-doping he finished number 100. Post doping he finished 5th, 13th, 3rd and 1st. If those gains are typical that mean that in order for the winner to be clean, none perhaps 50 or 100 or even larger number of the best cyclists have to succumb to the temptation. Hardly realistic. Of cause Riis won back when there was no limits to how much Epo you could take. Lance made a similar transformation though after the 50% limit had been instated and he maintained his dominance after the EPO test came out. Landis also made that transformation and he officially tested positive.

Kohl also made a huge performance jump once he started using blood doping and that was post- bio-passport. Of cause he did get caught, but perhaps he could have gotten the same results just with Transfusions. To me the logic is simple. If the gains of doping are large enough then the strongest riders have to be doping, or they wouldn't be the strongest. The evidence is overwhelming that the gains were that large (and larger) at least a few years ago, and frankly I'm far from convinced that things have changed. No one would think it was possible to achieve top results on a bicycle with internal gears. The power loss is just too great, but the power loss from staying clean might very well be greater than that.

Cynical? I'll coop to that, but wrong?

Interesting numbers. I would be interested to see how many or what percentage of winning classics specialists and other jersey contenders (points and KOM) have been linked to doping. Daunting task, so I'm not asking unless you have spare time :p.

I don't dispute the performance gains in doping, but I also don't think such a jump in GC standings or podium appearances is that indicative of doping. True, the examples you used doped, but the jump in their results might also be the result of moving from a supporting role to protected team leader. Take Carlos Sastre for example, when he first went pro he was domestique at ONCE with obvious climbing prowess. Each year he had better results. When he became a team leader, he was top 10. Same thing with Christian Vande Velde; he was twice the workhorse for Lance, then for Schleck the elder and Sastre, now he's a perennial GC contender.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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auscyclefan94 said:
Read thread. Some interesting comments. personally I think not but I have taught myself to not be surprised when a rider is found guilty.
Personally i find it hard to watch and follow a sport which is completely fraudulent and is not at all "pure".

Can people answer me (if they have answered "yes") how do you follow the sport of cycling if it is fraudulent?

Yes, you may like the sport but it's full of cheats. The logic in that always evades me.

Also, when reading the thread, I found interesting that people were talking about who they thought was "clean" not who they thought was "dirty". Unfortunately that is the change of attitude of people in this forum and general cycling followers.

If nearly all cyclist are using assistance, to differing degrees of pharm needs and sophistication, then I hardly see it as "fraudulent". It is merely a reshuffle of the deck.

If you define cheating as breaking the rules so as to gain an advantage over other competitors, with the caveat that nearly all are cheating, is it cheating?

Leveling the playing field, zero-ing back to the natural baseline order is what I see. I hold no contempt for racers in this dilemma who choose to zero-out.

On the topic of fixing the issue, I agree 100% with Dr. M, taking the anti-doping away from the gov body is key. Increase the first offense sanction for blood vector doping to 3 years, but reduce to 1 year for hormone manipulation. Education on risks, penalties, better training, nurtition, etc., all will go a long way to limit those looking for the shortcut. UCI have these programs? Nada.

With the bio-passport running, it will get easier to catch those with on the blood programs. Painfully slow, like mapping a newly discovered continent, for each athlete, it is the best tool in place.

Educating the athletes about how easily they will be caught with this mapped bio-blood profile, is a strong deterrent.

There will always be cheating. Cheating is lying. There will always be liars. It is human nature. To me, it is about providing the necessary deterrents, education, re-gauging the scope of certain races, setting penalties that more closely match seriousness of the transgression. Some is being done, mostly at a glacial pace, and some if fully ignored. Keeping in mind this is a business first, sport second, and tied to the Olympic movement, which is a huge mistake, IMHO, which complicated the entire matter by casting the shadow of the most corrupt, fraudulent, and unethical organization anywhere.

1. Break from IOC / or / Create new Cycle Racing Org.

2. Create independent third-party testing/adjudication body. Reset banned substance list, hearing/appeal review, science panel, simplified rules, simplified agreement with athletes. (lots of work here, as WADA is entrenched with the labs)

3. Adopt rational anti-doping measures with focus on bio-passport, deterrence through education and reset penalty structure.

3. Re-scope racing standards, creating more rational distance/duration rules.

With those moves, professional cycling could move forward with a re-birth, and put to plot the "old ways" and "dark times".
 
Feb 21, 2010
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R.0.t.O said:
Once upon a time this sort of thing might have worked. Doping came into cycling and became mainstream because of the crazy racing schedules the riders faced. Maybe if early on in cycling's history shorter race distances and more rest time had developed then doping wouldn't have become so normal and ingrained and it would be easier to fight now.

But that chance has gone. It wouldn't work now. When races are made shorter they are just raced faster and faster, they don't get easier. If you cut the number of races then you also cut the number of potential pay-days and the competition for each just gets more intense. Squad sizes would decrease and there would be more competition for places and more doping amongst the guys fighting for those spots.

Doping is specifically bad for cycling because of the specific nature of our sport. If I watch a rugby game, I know the players are doped up, but it improves the game - the speed is high, the hits are massive, the competitiveness of teams through the full 80mins these days is incredible. Same with football, same with tennis, same with almost every sport. The players take huge risks with their health, but that's their choice. But cycling, especially the big stage races, is ruined by the present level of doping because the battle against the terrain is so intrinsic to the sport, and the terrain isn't getting any harder even though the riders get better. The Tour especially is boring, because even the big mountain stages have become battles over the last few km's of the last climb because the team workers are doped to the level of being able to set a steady tempo over all the mountains on the way. And because the possibility of bad days, of inability to recover from efforts, has almost been completely removed.

It's a scandal that riders have to put their health at risk, but if someone isn't prepared to take that risk then 100 others will be prepared to take it in their place. But if people turn the telly off because they start realising how dull the doping has made the racing - that's a real emergency for the sport.

Good thoughts. Especially about the blunting or dulling of the racing, when it should be the most difficult, the doping has simply stymied the difficulty.

If anything, it cements the stars at the top, and perpetuates the polarization of view, rumors, and resentment among avid fans who want to see how the world best tackle the hardest races.

In rugby, the season is not anything like cycling, and the structure of the games are a wholly different standard, whereas cycling is so diverse in types, methods of running races. Standardized, physical sports like rugby, soccer, basketball, American football and baseball, all are better with enhanced athletes. Lax rules, stronger player unions, business-first mentality all packaged for TV consumption, drive their existence and success. Cycling is just too different to be formed into standardized packaging like those sports, thus need smarter, deliberate handling.

Consider this from a sponsor view. Why is it so hard to sell cycling? I mean, apart from the publicity of all the doping scandals in the recent past. If you've got to compete for funds with the standardized sports, what really can cycling do to be more competitive and increase the financial health, longevity of a new racing league?
 

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Dr. Maserati said:
Some very good, interesting and constructive debates here.

But it should be remembered that when a rider decides to go on the 'top programme' it is not limited to the use of oxygen delivery type products...... this was Jesus Manzano's laundry list.

Actovegin (extract of calves blood which supposedly improves oxygen carrying capacity)
Albumina H. (protein in blood plasma)
Androgel (testosterone)
Aranesp (Darbepoetin alfa = super EPO)
Celestote (corticosteroid)
Eprex (EPO)
Genotorm (growth hormone)
Hemoce (plasma)
Deca durabolin (anabolic steroid)
Humatrope (growth hormone)
IgF1 (insulin growth factor 1)
Neofertinon (hormone to stimulate ovulation and estrogen production)
Neorecormon (hormone that regulates red blood cell production)
Norditropin (growth hormone)
Nuvacten (corticosteroid)
Trigon (asthma drug)
Urbason (corticosteroid)
Ventolin (bronchial dilator)
Oxandrolona (anabolic agent)
Vitamin B12 (essential B vitamin)
Triamcinolona (corticosteroid)
Testoviron (testosterone)
Aspirina (analgesic, anti-inflammatory)
Oxyglobin (artificial haemoglobin intended for anaemic dogs)
Hemopure (artificial haemoglobin)
Ferlixit (iron)
Caffeine (stimulant)
Hemassist (artificial haemoglobin)
Prozac (antidepressant)

Damn, that's a frightening list. I've applied Androgel for about 3 months when it was first released about 10 years ago. I was a very unhealthy stressed out heavy drinker who occasionally trained and the difference that stuff made was pronounced. This was from an average dosage applied every morning. People who knew me asked if I was going to the gym. I already had a muscular neck along with the rest of my build, but just one look at the face and neck and you could see the difference if you knew me before taking the stuff.

Modafinil, is also incredibly "effective." Probably not used much because it may be easily detected.
 
Colm.Murphy said:
In rugby, the season is not anything like cycling, and the structure of the games are a wholly different standard, whereas cycling is so diverse in types, methods of running races. Standardized, physical sports like rugby, soccer, basketball, American football and baseball, all are better with enhanced athletes. Lax rules, stronger player unions, business-first mentality all packaged for TV consumption, drive their existence and success. Cycling is just too different to be formed into standardized packaging like those sports, thus need smarter, deliberate handling.

Consider this from a sponsor view. Why is it so hard to sell cycling? I mean, apart from the publicity of all the doping scandals in the recent past. If you've got to compete for funds with the standardized sports, what really can cycling do to be more competitive and increase the financial health, longevity of a new racing league?

I think the UCI would like an answer to that - standardizing and repackaging cycling has been top of their to-do-list for a while now and it hasn't worked very well. Rugby is a good comparison: the organising bodies there have been just inventing new competitions and new teams since professionalism - people just seem to go along with it, Italy are now apparently a Celtic nation for the purpose of club rugby, oh well let's go with it and see if it works... too many professional clubs in a country, oh well let's just bin a few... professional cycling has too much history and relies on that history too much for its appeal for any of that nonsense to ever wash. And too many stakeholders.

Doping comes into that as well: a lot of the current doping issues have arisen because of the civil war between the UCI and ASO (by doping issues, I really mean doping exposures) This is the other big problem with doping: everyone running, or attempting to run, the sport knows that there are huge skeletons in everybody's cupboards, so anyone can be held to blackmail at any time. It stops people arriving at compromises and proper solutions for the running of the sport.
 
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R.0.t.O said:
Doping comes into that as well: a lot of the current doping issues have arisen because of the civil war between the UCI and ASO (by doping issues, I really mean doping exposures) This is the other big problem with doping: everyone running, or attempting to run, the sport knows that there are huge skeletons in everybody's cupboards, so anyone can be held to blackmail at any time. It stops people arriving at compromises and proper solutions for the running of the sport.

Yes, exactly. Doping scandal as leverage and exploitation. The need is for a fresh start. Pining over the long-gone days, the "romance" of the road, all that hogwash, it was all delivered via enhancement. Acting like it is some fantasy to hold on to, please.

The UCI used to have the World Cup Series. This worked. The ProTour is a farce. They tried to make it in the model of F1, travelling the globe, but with the limited resources that cycling teams have, and wildly diverse (and difficult) race types, it is a total failure. Throw on top the doping scandal leverage and exploitation of the past, keeps the shadow firmly in place.

The gran frodo world offers more for the average cyclist. Training, race/riding, safety, fun, memories, this is what cycling is form a participatory standpoint. A step up from the charity rides and not the inane federation races.

Mountain biking does a relay at their World Championships (or used to) that was one of the most fascinating formats I had ever seen. One rider in each category (Male Pro, Female Pro, Male Junior, Female Junior) riding a lap of the cc course. What a cool event.

What do fans want? TT's, difficult climbing with drama, amazing scenery, TTT's, and very fast, exciting sprints. It does not need to take 3 weeks.

I think the issue is the 3 week tour.
 
Yes - and why? because they are ON TOP of the competition.
the real question for me is how much dope is involved in getting those results-
sometimes is forgotten that aside all the products can be consumed by the athlete, it's required to posses the necessary talent/skills to get the advantage/results of the dope. I'd also add to be consider is the kind of rider the dope is for- A classic rider wouldn't go for the full length of a medical program, like the one for a 3-week GT type of guy.
 
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Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.

I don't know if Aquinas is the best person to quote for a position of moral relativism, unless you are trying to imply that God is the only judge that matters.

Of course Spinoza then gets you into trouble, unless you are saying that for christians, God is the only judge that matters, but for the rest of the world whomever your own individual God is will be the judge. Either way you seem to imply that for humans there is no grounds for definitive absolutist moral and ethical decision making. Just be advised, that was not Aquinas's position. I think he would be pretty clear that cheaters go to hell. Try telling that to Ricco.

Taking a relativist position makes sense to me, especially when you look at the culture of cycling all these years. Loyalty to the Omerta..etc...etc. Certainly these guys are defining morality for themselves, and you do seem to be just fine with that. So why begrudge any of them then? I get it I just cant do it.

Maybe because of the cheating and use of drugs rampant in the sport I find it hard to encourage someone to get involved on a competitive level. Am I making moral judgements? According to Kant, no. I am taking a purely utilitarian position. Does this appeal to you?

Anyway, I think if people really took a Nitzschean or relativist moral position, than their motivation for being on this board, or voting on this poll is open to all kinds of nefarious interpretation.
 

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hfer07 said:
Yes - and why? because they are ON TOP of the competition.
the real question for me is how much dope is involved in getting those results-
sometimes is forgotten that aside all the products can be consumed by the athlete, it's required to posses the necessary talent/skills to get the advantage/results of the dope. I'd also add to be consider is the kind of rider the dope is for- A classic rider wouldn't go for the full length of a medical program, like the one for a 3-week GT type of guy.
I don't believe there are 'different kinds of dopers', per se.

Classic riders (purely examples) like Boonen and Hushovd will also contest the Green Jersey in the Tour, so they need to peak at 2 different points.

As an example - I posted Manzanos laundry list, he was never a GT or Classics contender.
All riders are under pressure to retain their places - whether it is as a GC contender, Classics contender or a domestique* - these are all professional athletes, it is their livelihood.

As an example - very few riders are capable of winning the Tour. Yet is every riders goal to be part of it.
Their is the opportunity to make decent pizemoney, perhaps an opportunity to win a stage. Certainly there is greater exposure,so your contract value should improve. You could get invited to 'criterium' races after the Tour and some appearance fee's.

(* I really don't like using the term 'domestique', as all these riders are amazing athletes operating at the very highest level.)
 
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ImmaculateKadence said:
Interesting numbers. I would be interested to see how many or what percentage of winning classics specialists and other jersey contenders (points and KOM) have been linked to doping. Daunting task, so I'm not asking unless you have spare time :p.
I'd like to know those numbers too, but not quote enough to actually collect them.

ImmaculateKadence said:
I don't dispute the performance gains in doping, but I also don't think such a jump in GC standings or podium appearances is that indicative of doping. True, the examples you used doped, but the jump in their results might also be the result of moving from a supporting role to protected team leader. Take Carlos Sastre for example, when he first went pro he was domestique at ONCE with obvious climbing prowess. Each year he had better results. When he became a team leader, he was top 10. Same thing with Christian Vande Velde; he was twice the workhorse for Lance, then for Schleck the elder and Sastre, now he's a perennial GC contender.
I have actually considered whether those kind of factors could account for it. What I did was to look at every Tour de France winner from WW2 until today. Every one of them showed early promise as a GT contender (meaning top 15 in their first couple of GTs) except for 5. One guy, whose name I've forgotten won in an Oscar Perrioro kind of way gaining lots of time in an early breakaway that people didn't think he'd be able to defend. He got results around number 50 before and after his win, but he doesn't really count for obvious reasons. the 4 remaining were Indurain, Riis, Armstrong and Landis. Riis and Landis we know doped during their win. Armstrong has, to put it mildly, been implicated, I'm not sure if Indurain has been implicated in any way, but he did ride in the EPO era. So pro-Epo no Tour winner made that kind of transformation, post-Epo 4 guys did, 2-3 of which we know for a fact doped during their win, and one who could easily have been doped.
 
Cerberus said:
... So pro-Epo no Tour winner made that kind of transformation, post-Epo 4 guys did, 2-3 of which we know for a fact doped during their win, and one who could easily have been doped.
This is a question I made in another thread. I wanted to know only 1 name in the Pre-EPO era that could contend in the GT and came with the autobus in previous years. That was in the Wiggans thread.

That kind of proves that big transformations are not typical of natural strength improvement.

Thanks for investigating this.:)
 
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carl spackler said:
I don't know if Aquinas is the best person to quote for a position of moral relativism, unless you are trying to imply that God is the only judge that matters.

Of course Spinoza then gets you into trouble, unless you are saying that for christians, God is the only judge that matters, but for the rest of the world whomever your own individual God is will be the judge. Either way you seem to imply that for humans there is no grounds for definitive absolutist moral and ethical decision making. Just be advised, that was not Aquinas's position. I think he would be pretty clear that cheaters go to hell. Try telling that to Ricco.

Taking a relativist position makes sense to me, especially when you look at the culture of cycling all these years. Loyalty to the Omerta..etc...etc. Certainly these guys are defining morality for themselves, and you do seem to be just fine with that. So why begrudge any of them then? I get it I just cant do it.

Maybe because of the cheating and use of drugs rampant in the sport I find it hard to encourage someone to get involved on a competitive level. Am I making moral judgements? According to Kant, no. I am taking a purely utilitarian position. Does this appeal to you?

Anyway, I think if people really took a Nitzschean or relativist moral position, than their motivation for being on this board, or voting on this poll is open to all kinds of nefarious interpretation.

Taking a relativist position, is the only way to observe and comment on this situation. As to not begrudging them, what is holding you back?

Encouraging a rider to follow his dreams, or anyone for any goal, always is saddled with caveats. In any profession, there are a myriad of trade-offs, risks, downsides, etc. If you follow Kant's thoughts, in a utilitarian approach, it is implicit to follow a reconciliation of any decision. As to a profession, you are making compromise in any direction.
 
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i don't know for sure if they all dope. it is nice to think that some are clean, but i don't think this is very realistic. enough of them do it that i feel pretty good saying all do, heuristically speaking of course.

anytime you get into absolutes like "all" it is hard to say yes, because there are always exceptions, and on an internet forum like this there's always 20 posters who will attack you for not being "exact". but, whatev's, yeah, i think pretty much all of them do.

there are a few riders in the pros that i suspect may be clean, or cleanish. i won't bother naming names because you've prolly never heard of them.:)

one problem is that everyone thinks their fave is the clean one and everyone else is a cheater. discussions quickly become heated and irrational and facts become irrelevant or stack up to wildly different inferential conclusions depending on which side you take. it's a rhetorical nightmare to even discuss.

and that's just us fans.

as for me, i've long ago realized that all my fave's are "cheaters". as one by one, all went down in flames, basso, ullrich, vino, floyd, heras, valverde, diluca, rasmussen and even older riders like museeuw, riis, et al. others have been caught up in implication or not caught up, somehow, even in the face of hard evidence.

it is a really sorry state of affairs. but somehow, i still love cycling, can't get enough of it.

seriously folks, i almost gave up on the sport when vino went down. that was a big blow for me. made me sick. but then i realized, wtf? what sport would i follow? nfl, nascar, soccer, basketball, rugby, baseball, formula 1? doping is highly epidemic in all of them. they are even testing at the highest levels of grandmaster chess now. chess!? :(

maybe curling is clean. that is, until the ioc starts testing for molson's lager.:)
 
spanky wanderlust said:
i don't know for sure if they all dope. it is nice to think that some are clean, but i don't think this is very realistic. enough of them do it that i feel pretty good saying all do, heuristically speaking of course.

anytime you get into absolutes like "all" it is hard to say yes, because there are always exceptions, and on an internet forum like this there's always 20 posters who will attack you for not being "exact". but, whatev's, yeah, i think pretty much all of them do.

there are a few riders in the pros that i suspect may be clean, or cleanish. i won't bother naming names because you've prolly never heard of them.:)

one problem is that everyone thinks their fave is the clean one and everyone else is a cheater. discussions quickly become heated and irrational and facts become irrelevant or stack up to wildly different inferential conclusions depending on which side you take. it's a rhetorical nightmare to even discuss.

and that's just us fans.

as for me, i've long ago realized that all my fave's are "cheaters". as one by one, all went down in flames, basso, ullrich, vino, floyd, heras, valverde, diluca, rasmussen and even older riders like museeuw, riis, et al. others have been caught up in implication or not caught up, somehow, even in the face of hard evidence.

it is a really sorry state of affairs. but somehow, i still love cycling, can't get enough of it.

seriously folks, i almost gave up on the sport when vino went down. that was a big blow for me. made me sick. but then i realized, wtf? what sport would i follow? nfl, nascar, soccer, basketball, rugby, baseball, formula 1? doping is highly epidemic in all of them. they are even testing at the highest levels of grandmaster chess now. chess!? :(

maybe curling is clean. that is, until the ioc starts testing for molson's lager.:)
curling requires beer consumption to be in compliance with the rules:D
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
I would be interested to see how many or what percentage of winning classics specialists and other jersey contenders (points and KOM) have been linked to doping.


TDF Points Winners Since 1990

1990 - Ludwig - East German system, Telekom
1991, 1993, 1994 - Abdou - clenbuterol 97
1992, 1995 - Jaja - Cahors trial - pot belge, refused to enter France to take part in new tests 99, ONCE
1996-01 - Zabel - positive anabolic test in 94, admitted doping in 07, Telekom
2002, 2004, 2006 - McEwen - refused Katusha anti-doping contract
2003 - Cooke - no allegations
2005, 2009 - Hushovd - no allegations, didn't like Basso joining Disco
2007 - Boonen - cocaine, QuickStep under Lefevere
2008 - Freire - no allegations


TDF Mountains Winners Since 1990

1990 - Claveyrolat - Kimmage talked about him in rough ride - something about amphetamines?
1991, 1992 - Chiappucci - Conconi, admitted doping to a prosecutor but retracted statement
1993 - Rominger - Ferrari, Mapei
1994-97, 1999, 2003-04 - Virenque - Festina affair 98
1998 - Rinero - no allegations
2000 - Botero - Operacion Puerto, Phonak, T-Mobile
2001, 2002 - Jaja - Cahors trial - pot belge, ONCE organised doping, refused to enter France to take part in new tests 99, ONCE
2005, 2006 - Chicken - Whitney Richards hemopure 2002, whereabouts 07, dynepo 07
2007 - Soler - no allegations
2008 - No winner
2009 - Pellizotti - Fanini alleged he trained with Ferrari


Rinero, Soler, Freire, Cooke and Hushovd are the only guys without an accusation/failed tests, as far as I know.


Anyway, the question this thread is based on is pretty flawed and extremely general. I'd find it hard to guess "top 20" or "top 50" like some people do.
 
Sep 19, 2009
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If you follow Kant's thoughts, in a utilitarian approach, it is implicit to follow a reconciliation of any decision. As to a profession, you are making compromise in any direction.

I think maybe you misunderstood me. Kant says that any act grounded in utility is not moral. We are only acting autonomously, and therefore morally, when we are acting for reasons that are not consequentialist. So therefore my argument about encouraging others etc...etc..(the utilitarian one) is immoral because it reduces people to little more than tools.

Kant clearly would say that dopers are immoral, but he would also say any condemnation of them on utilitarian grounds is also immoral. What happens if it no longer is harmful to me to criticize doping on utilitarian grounds? Does my support of doping then become justifiable. For many I believe this is their justification for doping and the support thereof. It is beneficial to me in my circumstances. But Kant says "What kind of world is that to live in where people and societies act purely out of hedonistic impulses?"

Kants categorical imperative says that an immoral action is immoral under any circumstances. To lie is wrong, always. To dope is wrong, always. And in this case I would say, to be a hypocrite is wrong, always.

Kant goes on to say that it is our duty that defines a moral act, not the utility of that act. I guess for cyclists that can mean that their highest duty is to the Omerta, or to their families, and that can give them some justification for their immoral act. Certainly duty to God, or duty to country, have been justification for the some of the most immoral acts of all time. But now were getting into communitarianism and away from Kant.

I think its sad that so many people have to do such horrible things to themselves for personal gain. Maybe you think I have my head in the sand, but I would like to believe that it is possible for some people to achieve success without cheating, otherwise truly I would find it immoral to support the sport. For what its worth my wife is a dyed in the wool relativist who thinks they are all cheating and loves to watch anyway, but has no interest debating the merits of doping, or the cleanliness of one particular rider.

Anyway Kant is definitely not relativist, but if you're looking for justification on relativist grounds Spinoza is definitely your man.

Sorry to be so pedantic, I'm a moral philosophy teacher.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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Cerberus said:
.....Outside of laboratories and into the ranks of professional cyclists we have Bjarne Riis for a case. Pre-doping he finished number 100. Post doping he finished 5th, 13th, 3rd and 1st. If those gains are typical that mean that in order for the winner to be clean, none [of?] perhaps 50 or 100 or even larger number of the best cyclists have to succumb to the temptation. Hardly realistic.....

Kohl also made a huge performance jump once he started using blood doping and that was post- bio-passport.....To me the logic is simple. If the gains of doping are large enough then the strongest riders have to be doping, or they wouldn't be the strongest. The evidence is overwhelming that the gains were that large (and larger) at least a few years ago, and frankly I'm far from convinced that things have changed.....

Escarabajo said:
I agree with most of your assessment.....Only until he got on into the full program he capitalized on bigger results.

The logic you present is quite convincing, but I'm still not quite convinced. I have a few nagging questions as follows:

If we assume the talent level of Kohl, Riis et al was 'pack fodder'
and the doping gains made by them is typical
and all the top riders are on a full program
then Kohl and Riis wouldn't have been able to catch up to the top riders.

So, the Kohl and Riis type examples are evidence that either:
1) there are substantial differences in the quality of program the most talented riders are on or
2) there are substantial differences in the way individuals respond to doping
All the arguments for why 'they're all doing it' presented in this thread, are weakened by one of the above.

The real question is, how many top talents are also top responders on a top program?

I would be very interested to hear whether people think Kohl and Riis et al were top talents who initially underperformed because they weren't on a full program, or pack fodder who achieved results above their level of talent because of dope.
 
2) seems the best way to go. LA is also in this category.

Riis admitted doping from 93 to 98 - those are the years when his lowest TDF position was 14th. Before 1993 it was 95th. Kohl also didn't do much before 08.

In reply to your question, I'd say look back at their junior, U23 results - whether they have shown promise..