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My personal perspective.....

Oct 26, 2011
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I've always been told, and for the most part believed, that doping in sports is inherently evil. That dopers are simply cheaters who disgrace themselves and their sport, and that anything they accomplish should be expunged, and forgotten. Even if, in being a former racer, I understood the motivation behind doing everything one possibly could, to be the best that one could be, I still knew, or at least felt strongly, that doping was wrong. But lately I've been considering the subject from a different perspective, and I thought that I would solicit the opinions of this forum.

The idea that doping is wrong, basically boils down to three distinct arguments. One, is that doping gives the offender an artificial advantage over his fellow competitors. Two, is that doping is detrimental to the long term health of the doper. And three, allowing athletes to use performance enhancing drugs will encourage the abuse of those drugs among young athletes, and wanna be athletes. For the most part everyone understands, and can at least in part, agree with these three concerns. But now let's look at the subject of doping from a different point of view.

Let's say that instead of taking a pill or supplement that made you stronger, or faster, or gave you more endurance, that instead, you took a pill that made you smarter. In fact, this is probably happening in some sense already. Things like energy drinks help people be more alert and focused. They can help students, professionals, and lay people alike perform at an elevated level. But we don't consider this cheating. It doesn't give someone superhuman intelligence, or turn anyone into an Einstein. It just helps you function at your optimum level. If a college student were to find that there was some pill that could help them perform better on a test, would we consider this as giving them an "unfair" advantage? Would we consider instituting drug testing to catch the "dopers".

Truth be told, doping can't make you a superhuman athlete, or suddenly turn you into an Einstein. As my coach used to say, "The body will not do, what the mind will not do. But the body CAN NOT do, what the body CAN NOT do." No amount of doping could turn me into Einstein or Lance Armstrong. You're still limited by what God or your genes gave you. You may be able to enhance it a little bit, but you can't turn a run of the mill club racer into Lance Armstrong. I had the tenacity to be a good racer, but not the talent to be a great one, and doping could never bridge that gap. There are things that can help you perform at your best, intellectually and physically, but they aren't miracle drugs, in the end it's talent and tenacity that count.

On the second issue, of health concerns tied to doping. How can anyone really take such an argument seriously when you look at what the overwhelming majority of society puts in their bodies every day? Ninety-nine percent of what you find in grocery stores today, is junk. Being a former racer I still keep a close eye on what I eat, and I can tell you that most people have no idea about how unhealthy their diets are. The epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and a sundry of other health concerns, now means that for the first time in the history of America, our children will have shorter lifespans than their parents. It seems rather hypocritical for society to be railing against the unhealthy effects of doping in sports, while at the same time taking such a languid approach to the more pressing issue of the unhealthy lifestyles in society as a whole.

Athletes are undoubtedly more attune to the effects of what they put in their bodies then the average person, and although most dopers are probably dismissive of the health concerns, overall they are likely doing less harm to their long term health, than the average couch potato. There are many sports, cycling included, in which the demands of competing at the highest level are actually detrimental to one's health. The physical limits that top athletes push themselves to, often go beyond what is healthy for the human body. But we expect this, we even applaud it. Most drugs used by athletes today are used in ways and amounts that pose minimal risk to their long term health. The days of massively over dosing have been replaced by a more scientific regimen that hopefully produces the desired effect, while greatly diminishing the risk. Of course any drug can be abused to such an extent that it causes physical harm. There's no accounting for the ignorance of some people who believe that if a little is good, then a lot must be even better. Any drug can be abused.

The third and best argument against doping is the example that doping sets for young people. The professional athlete may know the risks, be prepared to accept them, and better equipped to manage them, but the young people who idolize and emulate them, are probably not prepared to understand and control those risks. Therefore it may be necessary to regulate the use of performance enhancing drugs, not because such use is unethical or dangerous to the elite athlete, but because of the unintended consequences that it has upon impressionable minds, who have neither the knowledge nor guidance to use those drugs in a safe manner. Allow the use of doping, and you will inevitably foster the misuse, and abuse of doping. Like it or not, professional athletes are role models. What they do, and how they act, matters. It's unfair in a way, to ask athletes to be accountable not only for their performance on the field, but also for the actions that their behavior may encourage in others, off the field. But it's a sport, and at its heart it's simply entertainment. Although an entertainment that asks an awful lot of it's performers.

Doping doesn't make our sports heroes more courageous, or their efforts more inspirational. Even without doping, athletes will push themselves to superhuman levels. They will astonish and inspire us. They will display discipline and perseverance beyond our comprehension. They may not be able to win seven TDF's in a row, but even those who fail, will be respected for the attempt, as they always have been. I realize that athletes, and sports, are engrained with an overwhelming desire and pressure to win, and I doubt that that will soon change. So although it may be necessary to ban doping in sports, and to publicly abhor such behavior, we can at least understand and admit that these are the levels to which we ourselves, push our heroes. They drive themselves beyond the limit of what should be humanly possible, and sometimes in so doing they push themselves beyond what is socially acceptable. When they have, by their efforts, pushed the limits of human capabilities, we must forgive them some weakness. They are after all, only human.

Like I say, no amount of doping could enable me to win the TDF, the Boston Marathon, or the Olympic decathlon. These things take extraordinary people. Unfortunately for many, the things which they achieved, have been overshadowed by the times in which they achieved them. For some history may find their accomplishments even more inspiring, for others there may be a bit of bloom taken off the rose. Such is the wisdom and luxury of hindsight, it puts all things in their proper place. When all is said and done history is often the kindest judge.
 
May 26, 2010
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Nope.

Armstrong couldn't win the TdF before cancer when his doping program was probably the same as everyones. He then decides to do more doping than others exclusively with the worlds eminent doping doctor and wins 7 in a row.

Simple, doping is cheating!

Taking an isotonic drink to wake you up before an exam. Pish! If you are stupid enough to go into exam without your full wits and need a coffee/Sugar drink to help you maybe you need a reality check.

I am not going to do a point by point reply but your post is full of holes.

The longest apology for Armstrong's doping i have seen.

Fail.
 
May 18, 2009
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Good post, OP. I would like to reply but timewise it is late where I am at so I need to crash. I will post tomorrow.

Unfortunately your points will be buried under an avalanche of LA hate.

BTW, this is your first post. Who were you before your ban? :cool:
 
Oct 26, 2011
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ChrisE said:
BTW, this is your first post. Who were you before your ban? :cool:

I'm actually new here. I don't really get much of a thrill out of talking about cycling. My cycling days are over. I thought that I would post this and then be gone. I haven't got much to add to this forum.
 
Jul 4, 2011
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One assumption made is that doping benefits are constant for all riders, but the fact is each body is individual and so too its reactions to different compounds.

I don't buy the argument that what's available in the grocery store is more dangerous than PEDs and doping (Ricardo Ricco being a prime example). Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is much safer than EPO any day.

Partinobodycular said:
Let's say that instead of taking a pill or supplement that made you stronger, or faster, or gave you more endurance, that instead, you took a pill that made you smarter. In fact, this is probably happening in some sense already. Things like energy drinks help people be more alert and focused. They can help students, professionals, and lay people alike perform at an elevated level. But we don't consider this cheating.

It isn't cheating to drink an energy drink, but it is to copy in the examination. Some do it, knowing full well it is wrong, to boost their scores in a crooked manner and taking the risk of being caught and suspended and that's the parallel to be drawn to doping in sport.

Finally, about sport being just entertainment. If it was essentially that and integrity played no part, WWF would be the biggest sport.

Edit:

Partinobodycular said:
Maybe I was apologizing for myself.

If you were, then kudos to your courage to post it on an internet forum.
 
May 26, 2010
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Partinobodycular said:
Maybe I was apologizing for myself.

Dont apologise. Do something about it. If you are American go and talk to USADA about your doping and help in the fight.

Athlete's are not heroes for performing in their chosen sport. Para athlete's come close.

The only cyclist i know of who is a hero is Gino Bartali for what he did using his true talent and sporting ability to save people's lives at quite a considerable danger to his own. And he never milked to enrich himself on the back of it. When you realise what someone like that does it makes all you other sportspeople look like second rate entertainers. Then add that you take dope to perform must makes it embarrassing as an athlete and pathetic for fans, who dont have the talent and ability, to watch.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Yours is a thoughtful commentary, but I have to say I take issue with almost all of it. In order:

1. obfuscations about students taking energy drinks really don't help the discussion. The rules as they stand right now are clearly-defined. Certain ergogenic aids are banned (EPO, blood transfusions), and some aren't (caffeine, altitude tents). The ambiguities people try to conjure up to excuse doping really don't exist.

2. in the world of endurance sports, and cycling in particular, there really is a magic pill. That doesn't mean that "anyone" can win the TDF, but what it does mean is that that there can be a dramatic re-shuffling of order. If you really question this, look at Bjarne Riis as the perfect example. Take a good, hard look at his results prior to 1993, then explain to me how doping can't make a champion out of a donkey? Somehow, I can't believe that Riis is the only example of this phenomenon. The most insidious part of many of the drugs is that they can actually replace training to a large extent. The physiological changes that come at the end of a need can equal or supersede those which come from "tenacity" and "hard work". This is the reality, and if you don't believe this, then you don't really understand how the drugs actually work.

3. dismissing the health concerns based on the diet of the everyday person is pretty much the definition of "red herring". Professional cycling is incredibly dangerous without drugs! That doesn't mean we should ignore the very real, and largely unknown long-term affects of altering blood and hormone levels. Your argument that athletes "understand" what they put in their bodies is either negligent or naive, not really sure which one. But your suggestion that doping is somehow "safe" is simply irresponsible. No one understands the long-term implications in using many of the products currently being used, simply because the riders are basically the human guinea pigs. Most of these products are being used in ways for which they simply not intended, or tested. And has been demonstrated many times, drugs which are still in clinical trials are being sought out, and pushed upon riders.

4. The argument that "the riders push themselves to these levels because the fans demand it" is to me, by far, the lamest argument of all. This is the ultimate in excuse-making. People aren't doping (or racing, for that matter) because they're trying to make someone else happy or for the greater good. They're doing it for themselves, and for their own reasons. And ultimately, doping really doesn't help the spectacle if everyone is doing it? Racing is still racing--guys will just go a little slower. If anything, it's had the opposite effect, with races being less selective (there's more than dope that goes into this, but that's a different discussion).

I've been racing long enough, have had enough teammates test positive and raced against enough professional dopers to witness first-hand the mindset of someone who has no problem getting performance at the end of a needle. Once the gun goes off, I forget about all of that and just race my bike, but sitting here reading the excuses, obfuscations and justifications makes me a little sick to my stomach. I realize that wasn't your intent, but that's how I feel about it.
 
Oct 26, 2011
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131313 said:
Yours is a thoughtful commentary, but I have to say I take issue with almost all of it.

Thank you for your input. I won't attempt to defend or rationalize my position. If you've been in such a situation then you know all the excuses, and I can understand your views. For me at least those days are over, and they won't haunt me like I'm sure they will haunt Lance and others for years to come.

It's life man, stuff happens. You make choices. Some you can't take back.

I know the dedication cycling demands and I respect the efforts of those who toil in obscurity. It's their right to expect more from those who were blessed with the talent to perform at the top of the sport. To be gifted with so much, and then feel the need to cheat, sort of seems like a betrayal to all those who weren't quite so blessed.

To me at least their disappointment is undestandable. I'm disappointed too. But there's always two sides to every story. Things aren't always black and white.
 
A

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well it turned lance armstrong from a mediocre one day rider into a 7 time tour de france winner.. ;)

so erm..

as an example, due to some medical issues i have had a very varying crit level. I can assure you that my phsical and mental ability when my crit is 35 is very very different to when it is in the high fourties. The difference is almost superhuman. There are an awful lot of studies looking at how epo, blood manipulation can make a huge amount of difference (estimates range anywhere between 3% and 15% improvement depending on who you listen to)

this sounds far too much like its headed in a "lance doped, but so did everyone so he was still the best" direction.
 
the issue with "your personal perspective" is that weekend & amateur riders cannot even reach a CAT1 level with all the dope ingested-let alone Professional level-because as you wisely said- the body cannot do what the body isn't designed to do-those few who can reach far beyond -not even the regular person-but those among very good skills" can only attain that position to become professionals-and as their status self explains-they are "professionals" and like in many other fields-there are bad, average, good, excellent & "superstar" professionals.-now-when an "average" professional abruptly becomes a "superstar" there is a common patter leading to that latter-which comes down to "risk taking"-some do take those ones "within the rules" and work their way up -or-there are few that go "beyond the law" to fulfill that "aspiration"............................................... translate that to the LA case if you like and you find that there is something wrong when him & his people claim that "skills" & "hard training" alone turned an "average Professional" into a "Superstar"...............
 
Mar 13, 2009
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131313 said:
2. in the world of endurance sports, and cycling in particular, there really is a magic pill. That doesn't mean that "anyone" can win the TDF, but what it does mean is that that there can be a dramatic re-shuffling of order. If you really question this, look at Bjarne Riis as the perfect example. Take a good, hard look at his results prior to 1993, then explain to me how doping can't make a champion out of a donkey? Somehow, I can't believe that Riis is the only example of this phenomenon. The most insidious part of many of the drugs is that they can actually replace training to a large extent. The physiological changes that come at the end of a needle can equal or supersede those which come from "tenacity" and "hard work". This is the reality, and if you don't believe this, then you don't really understand how the drugs actually work.

agree. I know there was an American domestique pro on this forum, one of the top few NRC teams, he was at Gila, and Armstrong was going backwards on the climbs, and three months later in 2009 in July, he made the podium at the Tour. ;)

thanks 13 for your frankness and transparency now and previously.

also see Frank Schleck @ De Nardi.

4. The argument that "the riders push themselves to these levels because the fans demand it" is to me, by far, the lamest argument of all. This is the ultimate in excuse-making. People aren't doping (or racing, for that matter) because they're trying to make someone else happy or for the greater good. They're doing it for themselves, and for their own reasons. And ultimately, doping really doesn't help the spectacle if everyone is doing it? Racing is still racing--guys will just go a little slower. If anything, it's had the opposite effect, with races being less selective (there's more than dope that goes into this, but that's a different discussion).

it is zero sum, actually, folks would prefer to see a mano a mano in the 70s or 80s, a Lemond v Hinault, not a blue train until 3 kms to go. Look at the amount of folks on the final HC climb in the queen stage, in 70s v last decade.

I've been racing long enough, have had enough teammates test positive and raced against enough professional dopers to witness first-hand the mindset of someone who has no problem getting performance at the end of a needle. Once the gun goes off, I forget about all of that and just race my bike, but sitting here reading the excuses, obfuscations and justifications makes me a little sick to my stomach. I realize that wasn't your intent, but that's how I feel about it.

I for one, appreciate what you and Race Radio and D-Queued and other top level athletes contribute, and know some guy who was tenth in a prologue in Dauphine, and I think he won that, first clean guy over the line, and he was in and out of the peloton in one year.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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TeamSkyFans said:
well it turned lance armstrong from a mediocre one day rider into a 7 time tour de france winner.. ;)

so erm..

as an example, due to some medical issues i have had a very varying crit level. I can assure you that my phsical and mental ability when my crit is 35 is very very different to when it is in the high fourties. The difference is almost superhuman. There are an awful lot of studies looking at how epo, blood manipulation can make a huge amount of difference (estimates range anywhere between 3% and 15% improvement depending on who you listen to)

this sounds far too much like its headed in a "lance doped, but so did everyone so he was still the best" direction.
I must admit, I preferred Dimspace.
 
andy1234 said:
Good post OP.

It's way too even handed for this place though.
I will paraphrase the likely responses for you to save you reading through them all.
Doping is evil. LA is evil. You support doping You love LA.

First you praise the OP, then you do the best to derail the thread with a bit of low quality LA trolling.
Read the OP again, carefully.

Partinobodycular suggest that modern doping methods have less detrimental effect on life expectancy, than inactivity.
He may well have a point, but that point would not be applicable to the EPO/LA golden years etc.

If he had not clearly stated this, then the counter argument would be one of doping the HB beyond it's natural limits is unsafe, whereas the brain has capacity that remains largely untapped, so enhancement is viable, without health issues. (in thoery)
 
Jul 20, 2011
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Disagree with the points made purely based on the fact that 'accepting' the use of drugs is preventing riders that do not want to dope from riding a fair field.

it may not be able to make me win the tour but it is enough to stop a top rider that is not using it from having a full career.

yes it may be better than a couch potato but it is not as good as riding without it and you take that choice away from riders. you are effectively saying ride doped or be a couch potato so removing the most healthy option, ride clean.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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Partinobodycular said:
On the second issue, of health concerns tied to doping.'...' It seems rather hypocritical for society to be railing against the unhealthy effects of doping in sports, while at the same time taking such a languid approach to the more pressing issue of the unhealthy lifestyles in society as a whole.

Occasionally I do feel like a bit of a hypocrite sitting on my **** watching cycling, with a drink in one hand and a fatty-salty-fried-thing in the other. I think the reason I want to see pro cyclist take more care with their health than I take with my own is that they have so much more to loose. To the ordinary spectator-of-limited-cardiac-output, the level of fitness attained by top cyclists is a rare and precious thing. The idea that they might be deliberately degrading their health for cycling is distasteful.

OTOH, I vehemently defend my right to take a "here for a good time not a long time" approach to spending my own life. I recognize cyclists right to make their own choices with the other risks related to cycling, but struggle to adopt the same attitude with doping. There are two reasons for the distinction. One is that other risks are more immediate and humans are better about making decisions relating to immediate risks than long term risks. More importantly, I worry that cyclists end up making these decision when they are young, insufficiently informed and under pressure. That's a real recipe for regret.

To be honest, I don't know if it's the emotive distaste or the protective reasons which dominate my opposition to doping.

Partinobodycular said:
Most drugs used by athletes today are used in ways and amounts that pose minimal risk to their long term health. The days of massively over dosing have been replaced by a more scientific regimen that hopefully produces the desired effect, while greatly diminishing the risk.

Go to your cerebral hard drive and delete the folder containing the above information. Replace it with this: Any drug used by a healthy elite athlete is off-label use. No research which meets sound ethical and scientific standards has been conducted into the safety or efficacy of that use. Long term drug use may cause different and more serious side effects than short term uses tested in clinical trials. Any medically or scientifically qualified person who tells you otherwise is ****ing lying charlatan.

Partinobodycular said:
The third and best argument against doping is the example that doping sets for young people.'...'It's unfair in a way, to ask athletes to be accountable not only for their performance on the field, but also for the actions that their behavior may encourage in others, off the field.'...'

Top pro athletes get the adulation of screaming fans, astronomical pay checks, chicks throwing themselves at them and sundry other perks of social status, because they are public figures. Anyone who accepts the benefits must also accept the responsibility of being seen as a role model. Less famous athletes have less influence and responsibility, but everyone has choices about the extent to which they are complicit with the doping culture.

Partinobodycular said:
Doping doesn't make our sports heroes more courageous, or their efforts more inspirational. Even without doping, athletes will push themselves to superhuman levels. They will astonish and inspire us. They drive themselves beyond the limit of what should be humanly possible, and sometimes in so doing they push themselves beyond what is socially acceptable. When they have, by their efforts, pushed the limits of human capabilities, we must forgive them some weakness. They are after all, only human.

Given the self imposed and external pressures pro cyclists face it's easy to empathize and forgive some weakness. It's even possible to admire and be inspired by the efforts of dopers, while still wishing they wouldn't dope. What would be unforgivable is a cynical determination to medically dominate the competition then profit through exploiting the emotions of the gullible, while disregarding the future consequences of those actions.
 

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Mar 11, 2009
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Partinobodycular said:
The idea that doping is wrong, basically boils down to three distinct arguments. One, is that doping gives the offender an artificial advantage over his fellow competitors. Two, is that doping is detrimental to the long term health of the doper. And three, allowing athletes to use performance enhancing drugs will encourage the abuse of those drugs among young athletes, and wanna be athletes.
.


I see the danger in point 3 the most insidious.
Especially when it come to the True Champions who doped.
Very dangerous to believe that you can become a Great Champion by doping.
Doping did not make Eddy, Lance, or Jacques Great.

If Lance is ever found guilty of a doping offense, part of his sentence should include visiting schools to educate young athletes to this point.
Maybe bring Ricco* along to drive the point home
 
Sep 5, 2009
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Polish said:
I see the danger in point 3 the most insidious.
Especially when it come to the True Champions who doped.
Very dangerous to believe that you can become a Great Champion by doping.
Doping did not make Eddy, Lance, or Jacques Great.

If Lance is ever found guilty of a doping offense, part of his sentence should include visiting schools to educate young athletes to this point.
Maybe bring Ricco* along to drive the point home


Maybe bring Ricco* along to drive the point home

You omitted the footnote to the asterisk.

I will assist:

* RICO
 
Aug 3, 2010
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Partinobodycular said:
I've always been told, and for the most part believed, that doping in sports is inherently evil. That dopers are simply cheaters who disgrace themselves and their sport, and that anything they accomplish should be expunged, and forgotten. Even if, in being a former racer, I understood the motivation behind doing everything one possibly could, to be the best that one could be, I still knew, or at least felt strongly, that doping was wrong. But lately I've been considering the subject from a different perspective, and I thought that I would solicit the opinions of this forum.

The idea that doping is wrong, basically boils down to three distinct arguments. One, is that doping gives the offender an artificial advantage over his fellow competitors. Two, is that doping is detrimental to the long term health of the doper. And three, allowing athletes to use performance enhancing drugs will encourage the abuse of those drugs among young athletes, and wanna be athletes. For the most part everyone understands, and can at least in part, agree with these three concerns. But now let's look at the subject of doping from a different point of view.

Let's say that instead of taking a pill or supplement that made you stronger, or faster, or gave you more endurance, that instead, you took a pill that made you smarter. In fact, this is probably happening in some sense already. Things like energy drinks help people be more alert and focused. They can help students, professionals, and lay people alike perform at an elevated level. But we don't consider this cheating. It doesn't give someone superhuman intelligence, or turn anyone into an Einstein. It just helps you function at your optimum level. If a college student were to find that there was some pill that could help them perform better on a test, would we consider this as giving them an "unfair" advantage? Would we consider instituting drug testing to catch the "dopers".

Truth be told, doping can't make you a superhuman athlete, or suddenly turn you into an Einstein. As my coach used to say, "The body will not do, what the mind will not do. But the body CAN NOT do, what the body CAN NOT do." No amount of doping could turn me into Einstein or Lance Armstrong. You're still limited by what God or your genes gave you. You may be able to enhance it a little bit, but you can't turn a run of the mill club racer into Lance Armstrong. I had the tenacity to be a good racer, but not the talent to be a great one, and doping could never bridge that gap. There are things that can help you perform at your best, intellectually and physically, but they aren't miracle drugs, in the end it's talent and tenacity that count.

On the second issue, of health concerns tied to doping. How can anyone really take such an argument seriously when you look at what the overwhelming majority of society puts in their bodies every day? Ninety-nine percent of what you find in grocery stores today, is junk. Being a former racer I still keep a close eye on what I eat, and I can tell you that most people have no idea about how unhealthy their diets are. The epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and a sundry of other health concerns, now means that for the first time in the history of America, our children will have shorter lifespans than their parents. It seems rather hypocritical for society to be railing against the unhealthy effects of doping in sports, while at the same time taking such a languid approach to the more pressing issue of the unhealthy lifestyles in society as a whole.
Athletes are undoubtedly more attune to the effects of what they put in their bodies then the average person, and although most dopers are probably dismissive of the health concerns, overall they are likely doing less harm to their long term health, than the average couch potato. There are many sports, cycling included, in which the demands of competing at the highest level are actually detrimental to one's health. The physical limits that top athletes push themselves to, often go beyond what is healthy for the human body. But we expect this, we even applaud it. Most drugs used by athletes today are used in ways and amounts that pose minimal risk to their long term health. The days of massively over dosing have been replaced by a more scientific regimen that hopefully produces the desired effect, while greatly diminishing the risk. Of course any drug can be abused to such an extent that it causes physical harm. There's no accounting for the ignorance of some people who believe that if a little is good, then a lot must be even better. Any drug can be abused.

The third and best argument against doping is the example that doping sets for young people. The professional athlete may know the risks, be prepared to accept them, and better equipped to manage them, but the young people who idolize and emulate them, are probably not prepared to understand and control those risks. Therefore it may be necessary to regulate the use of performance enhancing drugs, not because such use is unethical or dangerous to the elite athlete, but because of the unintended consequences that it has upon impressionable minds, who have neither the knowledge nor guidance to use those drugs in a safe manner. Allow the use of doping, and you will inevitably foster the misuse, and abuse of doping. Like it or not, professional athletes are role models. What they do, and how they act, matters. It's unfair in a way, to ask athletes to be accountable not only for their performance on the field, but also for the actions that their behavior may encourage in others, off the field. But it's a sport, and at its heart it's simply entertainment. Although an entertainment that asks an awful lot of it's performers.

Doping doesn't make our sports heroes more courageous, or their efforts more inspirational. Even without doping, athletes will push themselves to superhuman levels. They will astonish and inspire us. They will display discipline and perseverance beyond our comprehension. They may not be able to win seven TDF's in a row, but even those who fail, will be respected for the attempt, as they always have been. I realize that athletes, and sports, are engrained with an overwhelming desire and pressure to win, and I doubt that that will soon change. So although it may be necessary to ban doping in sports, and to publicly abhor such behavior, we can at least understand and admit that these are the levels to which we ourselves, push our heroes. They drive themselves beyond the limit of what should be humanly possible, and sometimes in so doing they push themselves beyond what is socially acceptable. When they have, by their efforts, pushed the limits of human capabilities, we must forgive them some weakness. They are after all, only human.

Like I say, no amount of doping could enable me to win the TDF, the Boston Marathon, or the Olympic decathlon. These things take extraordinary people. Unfortunately for many, the things which they achieved, have been overshadowed by the times in which they achieved them. For some history may find their accomplishments even more inspiring, for others there may be a bit of bloom taken off the rose. Such is the wisdom and luxury of hindsight, it puts all things in their proper place. When all is said and done history is often the kindest judge.

I appreciate your insight, but feel that you are pretty short sighted.

To the bolded in order:

1-That same logic could be used to argue that "minor" crimes such as theft or larceny are not to be taken seriously because people are murdering each other.

2-You repeat this statement, so you must feel strongly that this is the case. I will repeat myself also. See #1 above.

3-Please enlighten us. No one yet knows what the long term effects of taking a supplement regimine that can be purchased at the nutrition store will do to the human body. Let's hope there is nothing to fear for today's youth.

4-Time will tell what the effects of taking non required doses of prescription medications such as EPO, HgH, insulin etc., let alone common masking agents. I will leave my judgemnet to time, not your predictions.

5- "May be necessary"? Really? I would hate to see the outcome of choosing not to do so.

6-"understand and admit" that "we ourselves, push our heroes"...really? I kind of always thought that it was money. That is a pretty short sighted comment. Let me guess, you are similar to myself. Come from a decent family that helped you persue cycling as a profession. Always knew that if things didn't work out, that you would fall back on a college degree, or maybe a job at your father's business. Guess what? That may be the case for many here in the US, but my former teammates that doped, were trying to better their lives through continuing to race bicycles. I am still in contact with many of them and almost 10 years later, I am amazed at what their lives have turned out to be. Two brothers fold beach towels and stack chairs at a resort near their hometown in Spain, Another works in a tire factory in Turkey, where his uncle set him up with a "good" job. Another works behind the front desk of a hotel in Poland. The same hotel where we were housed as a team 15 years earlier. I could go on and on.....It had nothing to with what we or others thought of them, it has everything to do with what they thought of themselves.

Thanks for your insight, I guess mine is just a tad bit different.
 
Jan 18, 2010
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Partinobodycular said:
Let's say that instead of taking a pill or supplement that made you stronger, or faster, or gave you more endurance, that instead, you took a pill that made you smarter. In fact, this is probably happening in some sense already..... But we don't consider this cheating. It doesn't give someone superhuman intelligence, or turn anyone into an Einstein. It just helps you function at your optimum level. If a college student were to find that there was some pill that could help them perform better on a test, would we consider this as giving them an "unfair" advantage? Would we consider instituting drug testing to catch the "dopers".

This argument is a bit of a red herring with respect to doping in sports where the rules are clear.

Some of us do consider it cheating and it's more prevalent than you might think unfortunately.