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The normality of doping, "It didn't feel like cheating to me."

Among the plethora of fascinating revelations in the ESPN Ford interview with Landis, this one really stands out:

Flandis said:
I don't feel guilty at all about having doped. I did what I did because that's what we did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there, and that was a decision I had to make to make the next step and my choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don't do it and I always tell people I just didn't want to do that and I decided to do it. I actually don't regret that at all ... Having been there, and once you get in that situation it's an easy decision.

I personally performed a blood transfusion on Levi [Leipheimer] in a Tour [2005] where he beat me. It didn't feel like cheating to me.
I think this incredible statement accurately reflects the sentiment of everyone in the peloton. In 2005, Flandis and Levi were on different teams, and here's Landis performing a blood transfusion on his competitor. Doping is so normal for them, that even helping the competition dope seems no different than holding his bike up while he interviews before the start, or giving him an extra bottle of water.

I think they really and truly don't believe it's cheating.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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The analogy that I make once in a while is that it's like pirating software.

"Everyone does it. Nobody gets hurt. It's perfectly normal". And you don't think twice about it.

That's exactly how pro athletes feel about it.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Tyler'sTwin said:
That is the most outrageous and upsetting of all of Floyd's revelations.

Think about college kids getting each other hits from the bong or spliffs or tabs of whatever disco biscuit is in vogue at the time. Sure it's illegal, but it's part of the scene.

I don't see how this is any different. Doping seemed to be a rite of passage as much as leg shaving and massages. It showed that one was serious and took one's preparation seriously.

Or people speeding on a highway. Everyone's just a few kms over the limit. One doesn't call the police to complain. And then when someone else is caught for going 40kmh over the limit, everyone else can look at them smugly and say, 'Ha! Got what you deserved!' and go right back to speeding with the rest of the traffic.

In that context, there can't be any guilt.