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Passive Doping

So I wrote a post about Passive Doping and will include the opening here:

"Passive doping refers to the theory that “clean” sportsmen can do measurable harm to their health by overcompensating in an effort to match competitors who race with the benefit of illegal performance enhancing drugs. For many readers, the idea of passive doping conjures-up images of physical exhaustion, but the phenomena involves a psychological component as well, and it's no less serious.

Today I spoke with a good friend who competes professionally at the Pro Continental level - he is deciding who to sign with for 2011, and is considering whether or not he wants to race in Europe with a top-level team, or back in his home country. To the best of my knowledge, my friend competes drug-free, and he's never failed a doping control. And yet he's a victim of passive doping..." Read the Rest, here.
I'm starting this thread both to point attention to the theory of passive doping, with the hope that others here might have either experienced it and can speak to it, or were aware of it, and they can contribute anecdotal experience to help make the idea a bit firmer.

At the same time, if there are people who don't think Passive Doping really exists or happens, then they should say so.

But not in the manner of this anonymous comment left on my blog:

Anonymous said... Oh let me get you a violin. It's nice to be the nice guy but we all know where they finish. I know its not right to "cheat" but live by morals and you will go no where.

It's a sad part of our culture, but don't join the rat race only to complain about the long hours. Build your own business and run it as you seem fit. The fact is Joe, stop crying over spilt milk.

09 September, 2010 20:48

So this is kind of a two-step process to participate in this thread:

1. Read the OP and then click to the Blog Post and read the essay on Passive Doping before clicking back to the Forum.

2. Discuss/Comment (a you may have made comments on the blog article itself - you can reproduce them here if they're you responses...). Sample question: Is Passive Doping all just in your head? What do we tell the next batch of Juniors about training their mental edge...so that they aren't affected by passive doping?
 
Jul 6, 2010
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Hey Joe;
I'm not sure if 'passive doping' would be the correct term for the effects of trying to perform, cleanly, in a doped environment. When I initially read your 'passive doping' title I was thinking more of something innert, or psychological that would help performance. Regardless...

I can attest to the fact that there may be no worse feeling than being beaten by someone who you feel you can beat (or should beat). That being said, there is nothing that can motivate an athlete more than getting beaten, especially by someone they feel that they should beat. As I have said before, that is the nature and beauty of sport - our society's last form of true meritocracy. Those who can go faster or further, do go faster and further. There is one winner, and everyone is beaten. It's not pretty, or democratic, or fair, but it's the nature of sport. And it's what makes sport wonderful. Suck up the losses, learn as much from them as the victories, and get ready for the next fight.

Doping detracts from that beautiful pursuit.

If by 'passive doping' you mean feeling the soul-crushing loss of inspiration and drive to pursue your love of sport in a venue that is tainted by individuals who are manifestly cheating (others and themselves) to be more than they could be, then yes. 'Passive doping' is enough to drive many good, talented people out of the sport. And THAT is truly a shame.

As I said, I'm not sure 'passive doping' is the right turn of phrase. It may be more of a despondent feeling of getting it in the pooper, all your dedication and hard work being thrown away, and commiting your life to something that ends up coming up short through no lack of work on your own.

I think 'getting f*cked' might be the phrase you're looking for.

Not that I'm bitter or anything...
 
Feb 25, 2010
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What I think is that Joe's reffering to passive smoking where you're not the smoker but you still get damaged by him.
I can see your point about passive doping and, racing as a junior myself, I don't think we should be prepared to face that thing. I feel it would make PEDs more real and easier to come by and accepted.
If everyone would just be honest and some people would accept they're not as talented as they'd like to be we wouldn't even be having this discussion :(
The fact that people who decide to be cheating also harm others that are racing clean- by taking away big sponsor money, prize money, better deals, psychological damage etc...- makes them imo no better than ordinary criminals. No offence to you Joe cause you came clean and were sorry for doping and I respect that :)
 
It's a difficult question and I suppose that it's always been lurking there to be asked.

I guess that 'passive doping' only exists if you 'out' the dopers in the same way as we can all 'see' smoking and its effects. If everyone rode according to their undoped limits, the doper(s) would be conspicuous. If dopers were isolated cases, then it would at least be easy to point them out, if not catch them out. That aspect of the argument is kind of circular.

Meanwhile the trend I see is an increase in smoke and mirrors. Errant riders are fired for "contractual violations" or "irregularities". The bio passport erects a wall in front of the actual data. Nothing's disclosed.

So then all that's left is unnatural selection. Talented young riders will quit for lack of success, others will accept a career as a domestique. Plus ça change.
 
Not a badly written article Joe, i must admit.
Still i too wouldnt call it Passive doping. Especially since its victims arent actually getting a better performance out of it. More a injust defeat obseession syndrome. In this day an age if an athlete is clean they deserve to be called as such.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Confused as to the term passive doping. You iether dope or you dont. Nothing passive about it.
If Joe is reffering to the use of substances legal but potentialy harmfull by riders trying to maximise things in order to keep there place in the peloton, such as injecting glucose, iron etc then I supose that might be descibed as "passive doping".
This was certainly commen practise in the 80`s but not somthing I realy approved of as dont feel any sport should be so demanding that injections are a reguler requirement and Im not convinced doing it yourself in hotel rooms is realy safe practise.
The issue of the effects on doping on those who choose to be clean are considerable.
Potential issolation within a team were doping may be commen, limited oppertunities to move to other teams in the transfer season, obviously a limit on wining oppertunities and therefore earning potential.
There ARE riders who accept that and spend there careers largely as dometiques. Keeping there mouths shut.
Speek out and it becomes commen knowlege that you realy dont accept it and your career in pro racing may effectivly be over. Not withstanding that thats said to appease the media alla David Miller style.
Im suspitios that that its also becoming the case in Elite "amatuer" racing though , ta to UCI`s effective ending of the amatuer catagory ( this happened during my time away from the sport, were any National Federation`s general membership ever consulted on that descition?) judging on the number of X pro`s increasingly involved with federation teams.
For me the sports credibility at Elite and above has all but been lost.
For those who choose clean it`s embittering , frustrating, angering and absalutly unjust.
Thankfully we can choose to still ride for fun eh?:)
 
The title made me think of athletes who don't (want to) know what their coaches are putting in their drinks, food, or even "vitamin" shots.
The East_German women speed skaters, beaten by a Dutch girl coming out of nowhere at the '88 Calgary games, in a recent Dutch documentary (lauding the fresh clean girl beating the evil commy dopers) gave the impression to have fallen victim of such a practice.

When an athlete doesn't achieve the intended result, to go for harder training, or trying even harder (if at all possible) in a race, is IMO a sign of lacking intelligence. Everyone has their own optimal training style and volume, and it's a secret to be uncovered. It's rarely training to da max which offers best results, although dopers will certainly make their adversaries think it works like this, a nice double trap to let them fall into, lose even more.

Joe, if you were so much into doping and distributing, why did you leave your good friend to struggle for all those years? He could have been getting the results he "deserves" being so talented and dedicated. Or is your friendship of recent years only?
I recently wrote on Matchiner, that if I'd be a clean client in his management, I'd be appalled to have been left out on the good stuff, or appaled by now being implicated by everyone as likely one of his doping proteges he doesn't wish to tell on.
In case of a friendship with you, I suppose the same sympathies could apply. He could have used your help, or now be distrusted both by the omerta crowd and the pro-clean people in the sport, for being formerly associated with you.
Not trying to make you look bad, sincerely trying to understand the interpersonal dynamics of such things.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Hi Joe,

Read the article and the premise seems sound and should be expanded on I agree.

However, I concur with most of the input here the that the term "passive doping" just doesn't seem to fit. It conjurs an entirely different image in my head.

For example I do not think of someone (friend or family member) effected by an alcoholic (be it physically or pyschologically) as a "passive alcoholic"...

I'm not entirely sure what would be a better term for it though...
 
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flyor64 said:
Hi Joe,



For example I do not think of someone (friend or family member) effected by an alcoholic (be it physically or pyschologically) as a "passive alcoholic"...

I'm not entirely sure what would be a better term for it though...


"Passive victim" of doping / alcohol / etc sound about right?.

It fecks me right off how glib peeps attitudes to the real victims of doping are...athletes in so many sports cheeted out of careers they`ve often put the best years of there youth to achieve only to find *******s running the show at the leval were the clean should be seeing there efforts most rewarded.
 
I describe passive doping as a psychological effect that the results of racing has on clean athletes. The physical changes that may result from the psychological effect are due to overtraining, mental stress, and fatigue... basically mental and physical stress, both which can do physical harm.

How to deal with the physcial stress: DON'T respond to the knowledge of being cheated out of wins or otherwise good performances by overtraining. CONTINUE to train and take care of your body properly.

How to deal with the mental stress: PUT THE STRESS BACK ON YOUR COMPETITOR by ignoring their success or your lack of results. REST in the knowledge that your cheating competitor is suffering from some mental stress of their own by worrying over whether or not he/she's going to get caught in a doping test. Let that stress tear them down. (And if you want to throw some fuel on that fire, in an opportune moment make a simple comment like "have you heard about the latest test for..." or "I hear they are going to be doing more out of competition testing...") TAKE STRENGTH in the knowledge that others have gone before you at the pro level (ala David Miller) and raced clean (finally) amidst a competition that cheats.
 
I've already replied once so please feel free to ignore but other folks' responses got me thinking about the phrase "passive doping" too.

When I first saw it, I didn't get it either until I read MichielVDB's explanation.

I had thought that it meant team leaders who could stay clean whilst using expendable, doped workhorses off whom to leapfrog with 10km to go or something like that.
 
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Darryl Webster said:
"Passive victim" of doping / alcohol / etc sound about right?.

It fecks me right off how glib peeps attitudes to the real victims of doping are...athletes in so many sports cheeted out of careers they`ve often put the best years of there youth to achieve only to find *******s running the show at the leval were the clean should be seeing there efforts most rewarded.

I agree with that, but I think Joe is taking the concept one step further and exploring the damage a clean cyclist does to oneself (both physically and psychologically) while attempting to catch and hopefully beat a doped up cyclist.

The "victim" decides I'm not going to take this lying down...trains their tail off (more than they already do...which is sick in and of itself), and ultimately one of two outcomes (or both) happen:

- They are injured from all the over-training etc, and thus the physical damage

- Or they continue to get beaten by the doped rider, thus suffering psychological damage...especially, as Joe points out, if the clean cyclist is clearly more talented than the doped cyclist. This has got to suck...

So what's the term for that? I don't think victim does it justice...
 
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How do you name it when masters are on medication for heart etc
Medication that is on the banned list ,
So they are told you must not take it so we give it a miss so as not to be sanctioned.

But out midway through a race they drop dead because they missed the meds
who is wrong now.

It has happened 3 times last 18 months and the coronor has been too weak
to refere it back to the anti doping laws.

They have applied for a TUE but it has been refused because some WADA expert who has never seen the rider says he dosnt need the meds.

Why cant WADA be charged with manslaughter.
 
brianf7 said:
How do you name it when masters are on medication for heart etc
Medication that is on the banned list ,
So they are told you must not take it so we give it a miss so as not to be sanctioned.

But out midway through a race they drop dead because they missed the meds
who is wrong now.

It has happened 3 times last 18 months and the coronor has been too weak
to refere it back to the anti doping laws.

They have applied for a TUE but it has been refused because some WADA expert who has never seen the rider says he dosnt need the meds.

Why cant WADA be charged with manslaughter.

Surely if your meds are on the banned list and you decide to skip them (which presumably would be against medical advice) then that's your responsibility, isn't it? You're choosing to put your life at risk for the sake of a bike race - how is that WADA's fault?
 
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L'arriviste said:
Surely if your meds are on the banned list and you decide to skip them (which presumably would be against medical advice) then that's your responsibility, isn't it? You're choosing to put your life at risk for the sake of a bike race - how is that WADA's fault?

+1 in response to brianf7.

if your family doctor or medical specialist in relation to personal health says take this medicine to save your life you take it.
 
Ah, so that may be LA's next PR angle.
"My helpers doped, sure, but I didn't need to. See, I only came to the front at the end of the race, I had always hidden from the oncoming wind, that's smart racing, you know."
And all the fanboys will nod decidedly.
 
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L'arriviste said:
I've already replied once so please feel free to ignore but other folks' responses got me thinking about the phrase "passive doping" too.

When I first saw it, I didn't get it either until I read MichielVDB's explanation.

I had thought that it meant team leaders who could stay clean whilst using expendable, doped workhorses off whom to leapfrog with 10km to go or something like that.

Thank you =)
 
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on3m@n@rmy said:
I describe passive doping as a psychological effect that the results of racing has on clean athletes. The physical changes that may result from the psychological effect are due to overtraining, mental stress, and fatigue... basically mental and physical stress, both which can do physical harm.

How to deal with the physcial stress: DON'T respond to the knowledge of being cheated out of wins or otherwise good performances by overtraining. CONTINUE to train and take care of your body properly.

How to deal with the mental stress: PUT THE STRESS BACK ON YOUR COMPETITOR by ignoring their success or your lack of results. REST in the knowledge that your cheating competitor is suffering from some mental stress of their own by worrying over whether or not he/she's going to get caught in a doping test. Let that stress tear them down. (And if you want to throw some fuel on that fire, in an opportune moment make a simple comment like "have you heard about the latest test for..." or "I hear they are going to be doing more out of competition testing...") TAKE STRENGTH in the knowledge that others have gone before you at the pro level (ala David Miller) and raced clean (finally) amidst a competition that cheats.

That's an admiriable position - taking the high road, and all.

The main issue I have with the premise of your approach is that it changes nothing, the dopers keep stomping, and the clean riders are left to find creative ways to deal with the psychological damage they undergo by competing against them.

My primary concern about this debate is that it lends too much legitimacy to the idea that cycling is inherently dirty and therefore the clean riders need to figure out how to suck it up, and keep smiling with a mouth full of poop.

As to Joe's idea of 'passive doping', I don't think it hurts a clean rider to be pushed. If they end up overtraining, then they need to get a better handle on what they CAN do. The psychological and ethical damage is manifestly much greater - despondency, depression, recreational substance abuse, feelings of worthlessness, perhaps an eventual exodus from the sport entirely. Is that good for the sport?

I have a serious concern that this debate is turning too much to a type of 'blame the victim' mentality. It's not up to clean riders to HAVE to deal with dopers, and to find ways to bother them while still trying to pursue their dreams.

Maybe we should be vilifying dopers a little more seriously. The German population was really fired up about how dirty it was getting, threats of not broadcasting the TdF, cancelling TdD, etc. etc. Then Zable spills his guts, comes clean, and is lauded with a standing ovation in Germany.

This can't be done in half-measures. Vilify all of them, maybe even Joe...
 
Did it ever occur to anyone replying to this thread that maybe the root of the problem is competitive sports? That it really isn't physically healthy to train, even free of PES, at the intensity and duration that most pros do (a lot of medical studies suggest that the health benefits of moderate exercise do not extend to more dedicated efforts)? And that it isn't mentally healthy to have so much of your identity depend on being able to outperform others? Nor spiritually healthy to be paid millions of dollars when many on earth don't even have the basics of food, shelter and clothing?
 
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JMBeaushrimp said:
Hey Joe;
I'm not sure if 'passive doping' would be the correct term for the effects of trying to perform, cleanly, in a doped environment.

I can attest to the fact that there may be no worse feeling than being beaten by someone who you feel you can beat (or should beat).

If by 'passive doping' you mean feeling the soul-crushing loss of inspiration and drive to pursue your love of sport in a venue that is tainted by individuals who are manifestly cheating (others and themselves) to be more than they could be, then yes. 'Passive doping' is enough to drive many good, talented people out of the sport. And THAT is truly a shame.

As I said, I'm not sure 'passive doping' is the right turn of phrase.I think 'getting f*cked' might be the phrase you're looking for.

Not that I'm bitter or anything...




Ditto, a million times over.

It's not passive doping. It's the act of bending over and grabbing your ankles, race after race, until your spirit is broken and you no longer have the will to compete.

I rode that way for 6 years. That was in the early 1970s. In the R.S.A. and in the U.S. Nothing changed but the continent.

Eventually I wised up. The sport, from the top down, is broken. Every new rider thinks it will be different for them. It's not.

You dope or you get f<ucked over.

There isn't any in-between.
 

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You do not have to be a CLEAN rider to push yourself beyond your limits trying to keep up with STRONGER riders lol. Duh.

Plenty of DOPERS also push themselves beyond their limits trying to keep up with the MOST AWESOME of the awesome ones.

Just look how many DOPERS suffered like dogs trying to keep up with Lance.
Pain written all over the faces of so many dopers. WaaWaaWaa.

But only a VERY select few can be the very very BEST.
Part of Nature. Part of Competition. Part of Sports.

Of course, having a high pain threshold helps too.
And high cadence to flush out the pain cooties.
Work ethic, diet, lazer-like focus.
Poetry in Motion. Poetry at Rest.
 
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Polish said:
You do not have to be a CLEAN rider to push yourself beyond your limits trying to keep up with STRONGER riders lol. Duh.

Plenty of DOPERS also push themselves beyond their limits trying to keep up with the MOST AWESOME of the awesome ones.

Just look how many DOPERS suffered like dogs trying to keep up with Lance.
Pain written all over the faces of so many dopers. WaaWaaWaa.

But only a VERY select few can be the very very BEST.
Part of Nature. Part of Competition. Part of Sports.

Of course, having a high pain threshold helps too.
And high cadence to flush out the pain cooties.
Work ethic, diet, lazer-like focus.
Poetry in Motion. Poetry at Rest.

Wow! If I hadn't read a bunch of your other posts I'd actually feel a bit bad about calling you a genius. Unfortunately I don't...
 

Polish

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JMBeaushrimp said:
Wow! If I hadn't read a bunch of your other posts I'd actually feel a bit bad about calling you a genius. Unfortunately I don't...

I usually do not get offended when someone calls me a genius lol.
But you have called yourself a genius on many posts.

Consider me officially offended:(

Now getting back on topic.

Does a CLEAN rider suffer more than a DOPER when both are pushed beyond their limits?

Is it possible a DOPER would suffer more, doing more damage?


DiLuca's face looked as agonized as Voeckler's.
(Assuming Tommy is clean)
 

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Polish said:
I usually do not get offended when someone calls me a genius lol.
But you have called yourself a genius on many posts.

Consider me officially offended:(

Now getting back on topic.

Does a CLEAN rider suffer more than a DOPER when both are pushed beyond their limits?

Is it possible a DOPER would suffer more, doing more damage?


DiLuca's face looked as agonized as Voeckler's.
(Assuming Tommy is clean)

my guess is dopers feel far less pain than many clean riders. Di Luca was just a little constipated the day he was riding with voeckler. it happens to all of us from time to time.
 

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