Virtually none in rock climbing, maybe there are very few who use steroids or similar to build muscles and aid faster recovery but the most important aspect of rock climbing is really strong tendons in the forearms and to be light as possible. I have no idea what PEDs would help but it totally goes against the spirit of climbing - here are a few reasons...
Pulling hard is about muscle strength, not tendon strength. Roids would help here.
1. There is virtually no money in the sport and basically no official structure. Its just individuals doing there own thing. Thus never any pressure from outside..
True, but there is often plenty of pressure from the inside, e.g. bragging rights for new hard route... And as any reader of this board knows, doping is rife at all levels of cycling, including where there is only pride at stake. Besides, wouldn't _you_ like to climb harder just as much as you would like to ride harder?
2. Doing new routes or repeating other peoples hard routes is what strong climbers most like to do because its outdoors and interesting (indoor comps are pretty gay). Climbing has always relied on honesty and trust, climbers just say 'I did such and such,' often no one else was there apart from their belayer. There is a far higher ethic at play and climbers have always policed themselves rather than from outside...
Mostly agree, but there are plenty of controversies out there as to "did they really climb the route they claimed?" More often in mountaineering than sport climbing (e.g. the Egger-Maestri line on Cerro Torre), because nobody is watching...
As for the "ethic" thing, people will only take you on trust that you just put up a new 5.15 route if you're known to have climbed high 5.14s before. The community just isn't big enough to get away with that sort of cheating - if you think indoor comps are "gay", how "gay would the out of town 5.15 hard-man be when he fails on your local 5.12? The would run out of belay bunnies pretty quickly...
Getting back to the dope argument, doping might you get strong enough to climb those 5.14s and earn that trust.
3. Climbers are cheap-skates. Way more likely to be stoned often....
Guys who put up new routes are usually cheap-skates about everything _except_ climbing. You know what it costs to equip a line with bolts? Cost of a spare set of 15 Petzl quickdraws that you leave hanging on the line for 3 months while you work it? Let alone the cost of a mountaineering expedition.
4. The sport is much less competitive compared to other sports. In climbing one is never against someone else, yes we try to be stronger then the other but that is only gauged by being able to do a harder route, again relying on honestly...[/QUOTE
Any top-level athlete is by nature competitive. First-ascent bragging rights are worth a lot. How much do you hear about guys that climb super-hard, but don't put up their own routes? "Pro" climbers make their living from putting up hard new lines and getting press for their sponsor in the process, not repeating somebody elses line.
5. Having met enough pro climbers and heaps of top amateurs I can see they are very different people, cheating just wouldn't enter into their thinking.
I know many would say 'yeah right' and not believe, but climbing is quite different to most sports.
Yeah right. It's a good 6 or 7 years since I have been much of a climber (and I was never more than a 5.11d recreational climber), but working in the industry at that time I had at least peripheral contact with a significant number of this nation's hardest trad and sport climbers and mountaineers.
I'm not saying any of them were dopers, let alone 'bad people' but they were all _incredibly_ motivated to train hard, and there were plenty of highly 'competitive' personalities. In a sport where the desire to succeed is so strong that many risk their lives, do you really think nobody would be tempted to dope? Even for the love of a route which is currently beyond their physical limits? Besides, it's not even "cheating" when there are no rules.
FWIW, I was a 'doper' - ibuprofen was the sixth food group for me!