Doping discussion going anywhere?

Jul 24, 2009
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Hello,
Just wondering whether all you non-cynics out there are making progress in your crusade to make the rest of the world believe that the fight against doping is a "witch hunt," or that we cynics should get a soul and start believing in the miracle of human performance.

Seems to me that such a crusade is futile. Why would anyone believe that riders today are cleaner than they were 3 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, or 20 years ago? Why would they be? They could get caught and lose their job, yes, but they wouldn't have that job in the first place if they hadn't thrust themselves into a profession that they knew to be pervaded by a culture of chemically-enhanced performance. There are plenty of unscrupulous chemists out there who are willing to get paid for their work on the latest way to increase athletic performance, and as long as there are, there will be unscrupulous riders who want to win by paying them, unscrupulous DSs who want their riders to win, unscrupulous sponsors that want to maximize their profit by having their team's riders win, and extremely unscrupulous fans who want to see their heroes win, no matter what.

The only factors weighing AGAINST doping, therefore, are a sort of abstract sense of fairness (which cannot fundamentally alter the behavior of people who are choosing between fairness and their livelihood) and the amorphous risk of health complications down the road (since no one, as far as I know, has ever keeled over a la Tom Simpson from today's, or even yesterday's, drugs). The money and glory far outweigh those two factors for everyone involved.

So why do you non-cynics scream about who is doped and who isn't, and when they were doped or weren't? It doesn't matter. In fact, cycling has done a really great job bringing to light the fact that doping is, and probably always will be, pervasive. What about other sports, where the money is even bigger and the fans even more maniacal? Soccer? Formula 1? American football? Who knows how pervasive doping in these sports truly is? Surely no one yet, because no one involved wants to know, just like no one wanted to know what was happening in Major League Baseball in 1998.

People want to see superhuman feats from humans. Drugs make it possible. Cycling, in my opinion, is the best sport in the world to watch, because it is absolutely clear that most, if not all, of the great feats of cycling performance in my lifetime have been the result of advances in chemistry, not bike technology or training. In other sports, there is no such clarity. At least with cycling, you know what you're going to get, from a fan's perspective.

So please, stop calling Greg Lemond an idiot and a cad, because he knows better than most what is going on behind those closed doors in those team meetings to which we are not privy. And stop saying that Lance is, or was, or isn't, or wasn't doped. Lance has never tested positive. He has more to lose than anyone if he did test positive (it would be the greatest fraud in cycling history, for sure), so it would make sense that he hasn't done, for the same reason that the Louvre's casualty insurance policy premiums are in the 17 digits-ish.

On the other hand, by all means call Greg Lemond a liar if he ever says he never ever even thought about doping when he competed. Why wouldn't he?

I think cycling should continue to spend money on anti-doping measures. Please don't get me wrong. But let's be honest -- cheating, in all its forms, and in every competitive arena, will always be present among humans, and there just aren't that many ways to cheat in bike racing. Doping is pretty much it, unless you count the ability to build a bike that is 2 pounds lighter than the UCI weight limit. If you added up all the cheating, doping and non-doping, that goes on in other sports (American football, again, comes springing to mind), I think you would find that cycling represents a "fairer" competitive arena than most sports. As a spectator and fan, I find more to love about cycling than baseball, football, soccer, and pretty much all other sports, because there is no real secret about the extent of the cheating. Cycling fans can be honest with each other about how dishonest the sport is; fans of other sports can't be.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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Not only are you not a cyclist 'big matt 24 (i must assume that this is your IQ)
but the cheats have won.

only a cyclist would see the beauty in true victory.
only a cyclist would feel the venom build , in knowing success was stolen by a weak minded cheat in a dirty system.

i really think your acceptance of drugs is part of the problem


are you pat mc quaid?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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bigmatt24 said:
The only factors weighing AGAINST doping, therefore, are a sort of abstract sense of fairness (which cannot fundamentally alter the behavior of people who are choosing between fairness and their livelihood) and the amorphous risk of health complications down the road (since no one, as far as I know, has ever keeled over a la Tom Simpson from today's, or even yesterday's, drugs). The money and glory far outweigh those two factors for everyone involved.
amorphous? as in biodegraded and 6 feet under amorphous?

Salanson? Nolf?
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Health problems from doping

blackcat said:
amorphous? as in biodegraded and 6 feet under amorphous?

Salanson? Nolf?
Have those incidents been firmly linked to doping products? I totally agree that they may in fact be related to doping, but from the perspective of a rider, and in the absence of concrete evidence linking the deaths to doping, the threat is still amorphous. Hell, the threat of lung cancer from smoking is still amorphous to some. If a rider depends for his paycheck on doing something that may or may not lead to health problems in the near or distant future, the threat is amorphous, unless the causal link between the two is firmly established, as it was between Tom Simpson and amphetamines.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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what we know so far:

1. the noose is tightening, doping controls are working but are FAR from eliminating PEDs

which means...

2. doping remains rampant but less egregious ie just about everyone is cheating but less recklessly

the worst thing for the sport is to continue this ridiculous debate of polar opposites on either side of the issue, neither side very well grounded in reality. The idea that the sport is clean is just about as laughable as the grand UCI collusion conspiracy theory.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Bigmatt, you are right in most of what you say,however there have been many more suspicious deaths of pro cyclists other than the ones quoted on this thread. The long term health risks are still my main concern. It appears to me that most of the cynics on this forum are educated intellectuals who make the mistake of assuming that elite athletes are of the same ilk and apply the same logic to their decision making. While there are always exceptions, many athletes come from working class backgrounds and see sport as a way out to something better and will do anything to achieve fame and fortune. In Europe cycling is a working class sport and the people have always known what goes on. Since cycling has caught on in the English speaking countries it has captured a different audience. That of the more educated thinking person, hence the greater scrutiny of doping and the debate concerning the ethics if it. IMO doping goes on in all athletic sports, its just that in most of them its swept under the carpet. At the end of the day professional sport is about entertaining the masses and if the ordinary people didnt like it they wouldnt watch it. Unless French television is doctoring its images then the masses are still interested.
 
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