Psychology of doping.

Jun 12, 2010
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Very interesting insight into the thinking of a 4 th cat doper.
"To hear Anthony talk of the science of the sport is to hear an expert — someone so versed in its physiological aspects that it’s startling, notably for an amateur racer. He rattles off the precise biology of the sport’s most important physiological markers. It’s an obsessive mind at work, and he says as much. It’s what undid the software developer ."
Cycling more perhaps than other sports seems to attract a certain type of mentality , an obsession to find those things that will improve ones performance and a vast range of factors to stimulate that obsessive trait. Without wishing to cause any offence it's defo a sport for the slightly " nerdy ". Maybe it's the long hours training hours, the way it can so easily become more a way of life than a hobby, a whole separate world away from more mundane reality. There's a lot of time to think, dream ,fantasy,s riding a bike..much as a local park kid playing football might audibly shout his own commentary as he plays ,pretending to be the latest footballing star, cyclist often do much the same, sprinting for that sign, crowning that hill etc.
Widening it out a bit, the type of mentality that will always seek a mechanical advantage over there opponent rather than to hope for a standardisation of equipment that then keeps the focus on athletic ability is also more likely to be able to find the moral / ethical " debate" every doper must have with themselves that give them a validation for doing it. The most common one most likely being at the elite level, " I can't afford not to if I know most of the opposition are to" and at the level of a 4th Cat, " no ones getting hurt ,it's only for fun and I just wanna see what it's like to train like my hero,s"


http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/news/in-search-of-relevance-a-cat-3-turns-to-epo-and-hgh_232611
 
Jul 10, 2010
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This is odd - there was another thread about this article. I thought I would point it out to you, so you could read other's thinking about what the article said - but I can't find the thread! Well, it's out there somewhere.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Centurion said:

I thought the insights deserved there own thread. Understanding the factors that create a doping climate including the loss/ reward loops both psychological and material has to be a key component in fighting doping.
Merely catching a small % only addresses the symptom of a much broader and complex issue. Meanwhile the system roles along, tweaking here and there but mostly doing a PR job.
 
Darryl Webster said:
I thought the insights deserved there own thread. Understanding the factors that create a doping climate including the loss/ reward loops both psychological and material has to be a key component in fighting doping.
Merely catching a small % only addresses the symptom of a much broader and complex issue. Meanwhile the system roles along, tweaking here and there but mostly doing a PR job.
Start with the culture.

Forget about trying to calculate the % improvement (and it is much larger than you suggest anyways).

Dave.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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D-Queued said:
Start with the culture.

Forget about trying to calculate the % improvement (and it is much larger than you suggest anyways).

Dave.
Yup, the culture is the biggest issue. Regards the % improvements, my guess is somwheres from 5%...to 15% between a clean and doped elite athlete dependant on quality and response variation and probably a bigger % gain further down the rankings.
If we assume a natural elite spread in capability to be in the order of 2..3% over the top 100...1000 athletes in a given sport world wide then its clear that like for like the doper has at minimum a 2% gain over the very best clean athlete and that's using the most conservative of figures.
2% and more is in my view , an insurmountable amount in any aerobic sport at the very highest level for a clean athlete to gain back any other route..the truth its most likely much larger.
 
Jul 25, 2011
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I think it's in human nature to cheat, just look at everyday life.

Eventually clean riders will become aware of this cheater(s). Now if there is no real authority of the governing body due to incompetence, corruption, lack of technology, independent, special interests, ... more otherwise clean riders will take the chance, all depending on that governing body.

Imagine police without speedradars, would you follow speed limits? -> EPO in the 90's

Now imagine police with speedradars, but you have a radar detector? -> step ahead that dopers can have. That's why I recently opened a thread about the importance of retroactive testing in my mind.

There will always be cheaters, but if you could almost guarantee a level playing field as governing body (due to all the tools available and rightly used), you'd probably not be that tempted to cheat in the first place.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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wannab said:
There will always be cheaters, but if you could almost guarantee a level playing field as governing body (due to all the tools available and rightly used), you'd probably not be that tempted to cheat in the first place.
Medical control and sanction , promotion and refereeing surely need to be independent to prevent conflicts of interest. Medical perhaps as a public health issue?. Sanction as part of criminal law for sporting fraud in professional case,s . Promotion by independent promoters and refereeing and promotion of adherence to standards and regs of the governing body remains with the them.
As things are its all to cosy .
 
Jul 25, 2011
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Darryl Webster said:
Medical control and sanction , promotion and refereeing surely need to be independent to prevent conflicts of interest. Medical perhaps as a public health issue?. Sanction as part of criminal law for sporting fraud in professional case,s . Promotion by independent promoters and refereeing and promotion of adherence to standards and regs of the governing body remains with the them.
As things are its all to cosy .

Yes, common sense, yet far from reality unfortunately. I guess there's too much money involved in all these sport federations, they all wan't to milk the cow.

As for the criminal law sanction, I first thought this was a bit too far going but it isn't actually. Athletes who dope clearly know what they are doing and are committing sporting fraude. This could have big implication, money wise, health wise (team mates start to dope, general consensus in the peloton, ..) and example wise (heroising kids etc.).

So yes, sporting fraude should be considered a criminal act. This should also be applied to everyone involved, not just the athlete. But it's very unlikely since it's country bound.

I think if you really did all these things we'd have a totally clean sport (or close to).
 
Feb 23, 2011
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Darryl Webster said:
Very interesting insight into the thinking of a 4 th cat doper.
"To hear Anthony talk of the science of the sport is to hear an expert — someone so versed in its physiological aspects that it’s startling, notably for an amateur racer. He rattles off the precise biology of the sport’s most important physiological markers. It’s an obsessive mind at work, and he says as much. It’s what undid the software developer ."
Cycling more perhaps than other sports seems to attract a certain type of mentality , an obsession to find those things that will improve ones performance and a vast range of factors to stimulate that obsessive trait. Without wishing to cause any offence it's defo a sport for the slightly " nerdy ". Maybe it's the long hours training hours, the way it can so easily become more a way of life than a hobby, a whole separate world away from more mundane reality. There's a lot of time to think, dream ,fantasy,s riding a bike..much as a local park kid playing football might audibly shout his own commentary as he plays ,pretending to be the latest footballing star, cyclist often do much the same, sprinting for that sign, crowning that hill etc.
Widening it out a bit, the type of mentality that will always seek a mechanical advantage over there opponent rather than to hope for a standardisation of equipment that then keeps the focus on athletic ability is also more likely to be able to find the moral / ethical " debate" every doper must have with themselves that give them a validation for doing it. The most common one most likely being at the elite level, " I can't afford not to if I know most of the opposition are to" and at the level of a 4th Cat, " no ones getting hurt ,it's only for fun and I just wanna see what it's like to train like my hero,s"


http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/news/in-search-of-relevance-a-cat-3-turns-to-epo-and-hgh_232611
Its interesting that you are the first person to mention the Psychology of doping as for a while I have wondered about the addictive characteristics of dopers. I dont mean to recreational drugs or booze. What I mean is the feedback loop in their brains which fools them into thinking that the only way they can win "fix" is with drugs and win after win gives them their fix. I dont actually think they are addicted to the PEDs but they are addicted to the "fix" they get with a win.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Doping at the age of 42, that's another way to overwin your midlife crisis.

Addicted to the rush of 'succes'. Others get addicted to coke, alcohol, this man to winning an amateur cycling race. Addiction is a disease.

Sad story.
His watts were up, and his drag was down. What’s that mean? Explosive time trial results.
The question is did he lower his cadence?
;)
 
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