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What is your opinion of doping?

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Mar 13, 2009
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Archibald said:
beat me to it... comes back to parenting... simply look at what LA's "father" did in turning him into a sociopathic "winner"
Can you imagine what he'd have been if he was raised by Basson's parents?? (we'd never hear from Walsh for a start)

to raise a child so that they compete in their chosen sport without even thinking that cheating (doping) is an option... honesty, integrity and actually realising that if you win by cheating the victory is just hollow and meaningless, and therefore something you'd not contemplate...
utopia is a lovely place though
actually, my position was counter to your response, i made no value judgement on Armstrong. But I was saying that out construction about Olympic ideal and the norms and motherhood tropes on sport, are founded in pedagogy which will have some antecedence in the greeks like it was mentioned which influenced the muscular christianity BS and chariots of fire
 
Mar 1, 2015
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DFA123 said:
I've more or less accepted it as part of the sport. The 50% rule and bio-passport changed my perspective a bit, because they at least set some kind of limit on the arms race and reduced the risk of riders seriously harming themselves. Before then, the free for all was too much and was killing the sport - quite literally at times.

The issue that annoys me most around doping is when fans, and particularly the media, are so sanctimonious and have double standards despite most knowing full well what is going on. Especially when they are blinded by nationalism or jingoism.
[cough] Dan Lloyd [cough]

I'm ambivalent. I feel sorry for the guys that want to stay clean and not have to use some chemical cocktail to be competitive. But I know the UCI will never go all out to put an end to the cheating. And it is cheating and cheating is immoral. Professional sports (heck even amateur sports) will never be clean. There is just too much money to be made. And an adoring, ignorant public make the charade possible.

Most people just don't care or they fall for the bs that humans have evolved so incredibly fast over the last 10 years that riders can now smoke doped times. But if people were honest with themselves they would know that none of it is real. But does it really matter? Not to me. But for some 15 year old kid getting competitive and serious about bike racing, it does matter. And who knows, he may just decide to inject himself with something and end up dead. But who cares right?
 
Sep 10, 2013
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blackcat said:
Farcanal said:
much of it relates to the commodification of sport and to make it acceptable to the succour moms sic

you cant sell nfl if u say everyone is on roids. you cant sell holidays in july if you say everyone is on EPO.

this starts with an anglophile pedagogy and social engineering raising individuals to ascribe certain values to sport. a muscular christianity and olympic ideal. but it is all emperors clothes i tell ya. the test is within oneself, the sport is between you and a mirror
Sorry I have to take issue with you there. We anglophiles maybe bear some responsibility for it continuing recently but it's the Greeks who started it (although they would probably blame the Spartans).

Cycling has been an incredibly weak professional sport in UK until very recently, with almost no monetary reward for any amateurs, so mamon can't have been the means or the end to doping here. Equally, no amateur, however successful was ever given real recognition except amongst a tiny peer population. So i don't think there has been any intrinsic doping regime in UK cycling or any inclination for it.

That is quite possibly changing with the increased popularity of the sport, and pastime, particularly as the traditional club scene is being eroded by semi-sponsored teams and independent sportive riders.
if Wiggins was not British he would not have kept on getting the second and third and fourth opportunities. He gets those because of the Lotteries, and because British Cycling (in my reckoning) was paying some of the wages to Tonissteiner Colnago etc.

Kiwis have to go and ride crits in America. Same with South Africans, the opportunities before John Robertson were just not there. exception that proves the rule: Froome dawg

Americans and Australians had a pathway from Lemond onwards, much to do with their national teams and national track programs, better financed, like the current setup within British Cycling.[/quote]

I'm sorry, but you appear not to have read my post. I said 'until recentky'. Wigging exploits are very recent in the context of my post. Prior to the real lottery funding, around the mid noughties, British cyclists faced a much bigger struggle financially and practically than any of those you have mentioned. Domestic road racing is still very restricted in the UK and the exploits/behaviour of many sportive riders is not helping that situation
 
Sep 10, 2013
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Cycling has been an incredibly weak professional sport in UK until very recently, with almost no monetary reward for any amateurs, so mamon can't have been the means or the end to doping here. Equally, no amateur, however successful was ever given real recognition except amongst a tiny peer population. So i don't think there has been any intrinsic doping regime in UK cycling or any inclination for it.[/quote]

Recognition amongst a tiny peer group is more than enough incentive for some people to cheat. Some people would cheat at Tiddlywinks if they could.[/quote]

Maybe so, but the majority had not the means nor motive and cheating by the odd one who had does not describe a 'culture of doping'
 
In terms of performance enhancing drugs, I'd argue that anything ought to be fair game. Vitamin tablets, protein shakes etc are also performance enhancing and not natural.

The problem comes when it's harmful to your health. I personally think professionals should be allowed to blood dope, take EPO, whatever. If they're willing to put themselves at risk, they can have the rewards (a bit like anyone who is willing to risk a crash by descending like a mad man deserves the reward of gaining time). However, young athletes/cyclists should not be having to take all these risks to their health to succeed, especially when most of them won't even make it. And if these are allowed, then clean athletes simply won't be able to succeed against those that dope.

As a result, I think it's fine to have these drugs and methods banned, but only enforced if a seriously high level of a substance is found, and this would be extremely dangerous to their health. Restrict access to the substance for young generations but let the top level professionals do whatever they want. This would provide a level playing field.

Obviously the perfect solution would be to prevent anyone from doping, but that's just not possible, so I think this is the best alternative
 
Jul 20, 2015
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Probably been asked and answered on more than 1 occasion but in the current peleton what proportion of the riders do you think are doping? And do you think this is the case for every race?
 
I tried my hand at being a dirt pro in the mid '90s, and doping was trickling in. Its my opinion that Canada was the doping center in North America (Molday, Green, Hesjedal, McGrath, Shepherd...), and it also came in with the influx of road guys who saw $$ in racing on the dirt. Mid-pack NORBA guys to NORBA domination, to top World Cup competitors/champs literally over winter. Anyway, I could never dope because I have to live with myself. I would never feel good about a doped win. With that being said, I don't feel that I am holier than thou. Beside my conscience keeping me clean, I knew that I had options. I could always fall back on turning wrenches in auto/truck shops, or go to college (which I did). I can image that others don't, or at least don't feel like they have any other options. Honestly, I feel fortunate that I never felt pressure or trapped or whatever.

Do I wish cycling was clean(er), yes. Do I think that it will really ever be, no.

So what is my opinion? Doping is cheating. Walk a mile in another's shoes. Many people are hypocrites when it comes to doping. Ramble, ramble...
 
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gazr99 said:
Probably been asked and answered on more than 1 occasion but in the current peleton what proportion of the riders do you think are doping? And do you think this is the case for every race?
If you mean pro tour: 100% are doping at some level for all of the significant races. The discussion is, who is doing what, and what do we find OK, but what do we find over the line (as stated several times above).

If you mean masters racing in the USA, 75% are doping at some level...
 
Apr 17, 2009
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HappyCycling said:
I often find the discussion around doping to be muddled, people seem to conflate the notion of doping with inherent immorality. Sure, from the rigid perspective of the rulebook it is against the rules and thus technically 'immoral'. But is there not a distinction here? I personally find the hypocrisy around doping to be the most irritating part of it all. I do not think that a rider is necessarily a bad person for doping and lying about it, there are obvious reasons for why they would do this. So where exactly does the blame lie with doping? Or is it all just one big malady with numerous competing elements which enable the farce to continue? Can we definitively point to an 'immoral' element in it. I would like to hear seasoned cycling fans opinion.
Immoral? Hah! These guys are professional entertainers. Do we sit around and try to guess what actors and musicians are doping.

Hincapie, Leipheimer, Van De Velde yada yada yada. That's "immoral" or what ever you want to label it. Get rich and then narc on your benefactor for purely selfish reasons.

Guys I ride with that suddenly develop asthma, and since their inhaler, drop me on climbs they couldn't even finish before.

I ride for recreation, fitness and meditation.

Cycling keeps me situated. And any manipulation misdirects me.

I like watching professional cycling to keep me honest. I don't need to compete with a bunch of illiterate drug abusers.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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HappyCycling said:
I often find the discussion around doping to be muddled, people seem to conflate the notion of doping with inherent immorality. Sure, from the rigid perspective of the rulebook it is against the rules and thus technically 'immoral'. But is there not a distinction here? I personally find the hypocrisy around doping to be the most irritating part of it all. I do not think that a rider is necessarily a bad person for doping and lying about it, there are obvious reasons for why they would do this. So where exactly does the blame lie with doping? Or is it all just one big malady with numerous competing elements which enable the farce to continue? Can we definitively point to an 'immoral' element in it. I would like to hear seasoned cycling fans opinion.
good post HappyCycling

131313 talking about the domestic American peleton he rode in, writes good guys dope, and bastards dont dope...
 
Mar 13, 2009
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vedrafjord said:
I'm as guilty as many others here of being fascinated by the 'dark side' - the race within a race, the intrigue, the scandals, the guessing. But a lot of people here cheer on the really ridiculous performances like Ricco etc. but I just find them sad - I think of the clean athlete who could have been standing on the top step of that podium. The thing is, cycling at its best can be such a beautiful, pure thing - I can just grab my bike and head off on my own and it's just me and the mountain - pro sport will probably always be a cesspit but it can never take that away from me.
you mentioned ricky riccio? you had me at hello.

gunna find a gif 4 that

 
climb4fun said:
HappyCycling said:
I often find the discussion around doping to be muddled, people seem to conflate the notion of doping with inherent immorality. Sure, from the rigid perspective of the rulebook it is against the rules and thus technically 'immoral'. But is there not a distinction here? I personally find the hypocrisy around doping to be the most irritating part of it all. I do not think that a rider is necessarily a bad person for doping and lying about it, there are obvious reasons for why they would do this. So where exactly does the blame lie with doping? Or is it all just one big malady with numerous competing elements which enable the farce to continue? Can we definitively point to an 'immoral' element in it. I would like to hear seasoned cycling fans opinion.
Immoral? Hah! These guys are professional entertainers. Do we sit around and try to guess what actors and musicians are doping.

Hincapie, Leipheimer, Van De Velde yada yada yada. That's "immoral" or what ever you want to label it. Get rich and then narc on your benefactor for purely selfish reasons.

Guys I ride with that suddenly develop asthma, and since their inhaler, drop me on climbs they couldn't even finish before.

I ride for recreation, fitness and meditation.

Cycling keeps me situated. And any manipulation misdirects me.

I like watching professional cycling to keep me honest. I don't need to compete with a bunch of illiterate drug abusers.
What is OK doping, and what crosses the line? Your airways are restricted so a little dilatation is OK? Your T is low so a little boost is OK? Your red blood cells (htc) are a little low so a blood bag of your own blood is OK? Your red blood cells (hct) are low so a little CERA is OK? "Clean" is what you were born with. I know that many would see a bronchodilator as OK, and now more and more see T as OK, so if we're moving the line to "even our levels", why not CERA?
 
Apr 14, 2015
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What is OK doping, and what crosses the line? Your airways are restricted so a little dilatation is OK? Your T is low so a little boost is OK? Your red blood cells (htc) are a little low so a blood bag of your own blood is OK? Your red blood cells (hct) are low so a little CERA is OK? "Clean" is what you were born with. I know that many would see a bronchodilator as OK, and now more and more see T as OK, so if we're moving the line to "even our levels", why not CERA?
This is a much better stated way of what I was trying to say about asthma sufferers in the Simon Yates thread. It's the essence of sport and anything else is basically cheating.
 
blackcat said:
HappyCycling said:
I often find the discussion around doping to be muddled, people seem to conflate the notion of doping with inherent immorality. Sure, from the rigid perspective of the rulebook it is against the rules and thus technically 'immoral'. But is there not a distinction here? I personally find the hypocrisy around doping to be the most irritating part of it all. I do not think that a rider is necessarily a bad person for doping and lying about it, there are obvious reasons for why they would do this. So where exactly does the blame lie with doping? Or is it all just one big malady with numerous competing elements which enable the farce to continue? Can we definitively point to an 'immoral' element in it. I would like to hear seasoned cycling fans opinion.
good post HappyCycling

131313 talking about the domestic American peleton he rode in, writes good guys dope, and bastards dont dope...
So many people don't realise how true that statement is.

A friend of mine spent 3-4 years on conti and pro conti teams before getting disillusioned with the state of pro cycling and retiring at the ripe old age of 24.

Anyhow, in his last year as a pro he was training with a small group of pros around Como-Lecco including a couple of WT riders when he slid out on a descent and lost consciousness for several minutes. One of the WT riders was not only the first to stop traffic and call the ambulance but also rode with him to the hospital, calling his emergency contact on the way and didn't leave until they arrived.

He then checked in on my friend a few days after he was discharged from hospital.

The WT riders name?

Ivan Basso.

A doper CAN be a good person overall too.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Doping is unacceptable because, if a handful of riders dope, it forces everyone else in the peloton to dope to be competitive or find a new job.

What if those other guys aren't comfortable injecting themselves with EPO/HGH/some other thing? Should we applaud their ejection from the sport?
 
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CheckMyPecs said:
Doping is unacceptable because, if a handful of riders dope, it forces everyone else in the peloton to dope to be competitive or find a new job.

What if those other guys aren't comfortable injecting themselves with EPO/HGH/some other thing? Should we applaud their ejection from the sport?
I agree with that stance in an ideal world. But it's not really helpful or constructive in the real world - it's too black and white. Especially considering the list of illegal PED's is somewhat arbitary. What if a rider is not comfortable with taking tramadol, or creatine, or caffeine, or eating huge quantities of sugar every day? Should they just be expected to do it because it's not illegal? Are those things any les dangerous than micro-dosing EPO/HGH for recovery under the supervision of a doctor?

No-one is entitled to a living in professional cycling, regardless of how naturally talented they are. It's always been a murky, dirty world full of doping, politics, bribes and ruthless individuals doing anything to succeed. Riders have to make their own choices about how far they are willing to go to stay in sport, likewise, fans have to decide if they are prepared to enjoy the entertainment - even at the expense of clean riders not making it. It's literally impossible to eradicate doping with present technology, so doped riders will always be present in the peloton - and have been since the start of professional cycling. At least now, the bio-passport has more or less set safe limits as to what riders can take and has removed the ridiculously dangerous situation of the early-mid 90s.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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DFA123 said:
No-one is entitled to a living in professional cycling, regardless of how naturally talented they are. It's always been a murky, dirty world full of doping, politics, bribes and ruthless individuals doing anything to succeed. Riders have to make their own choices about how far they are willing to go to stay in sport, likewise, fans have to decide if they are prepared to enjoy the entertainment - even at the expense of clean riders not making it. It's literally impossible to eradicate doping with present technology, so doped riders will always be present in the peloton - and have been since the start of professional cycling. At least now, the bio-passport has more or less set safe limits as to what riders can take and has removed the ridiculously dangerous situation of the early-mid 90s.
I see where you're coming from, but the fact that pro cycling has always been a "murky, dirty world full of doping" doesn't mean it should continue to be so.
 
Re: Re:

CheckMyPecs said:
DFA123 said:
No-one is entitled to a living in professional cycling, regardless of how naturally talented they are. It's always been a murky, dirty world full of doping, politics, bribes and ruthless individuals doing anything to succeed. Riders have to make their own choices about how far they are willing to go to stay in sport, likewise, fans have to decide if they are prepared to enjoy the entertainment - even at the expense of clean riders not making it. It's literally impossible to eradicate doping with present technology, so doped riders will always be present in the peloton - and have been since the start of professional cycling. At least now, the bio-passport has more or less set safe limits as to what riders can take and has removed the ridiculously dangerous situation of the early-mid 90s.
I see where you're coming from, but the fact that pro cycling has always been a "murky, dirty world full of doping" doesn't mean it should continue to be so.
I don't really see how it can change. Doping can't be prevented, it can only be controlled to an extent - so what is the deterrent to stop the most ruthless riders in the peloton from doping? Then the arms race begins.

Even if, by some miracle, there reached a point where no-one was doping, some riders will see other riders going much faster than them and assume they must be doping anyway. Then the arms race begins again. The only way doping can be eradicated is if some kind of technology can detect all forms 100% - including new and designer drugs. That is clearly not possible at the moment, and probably never will be. Relying on riders, who are extremely driven and competitive, not to dope, because it would unfairly exclude clean riders from the sport, is never going to work.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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DFA123 said:
The only way doping can be eradicated is if some kind of technology can detect all forms 100% - including new and designer drugs.
Eradicating doping altogether would be extremely difficult, but the current system still has lots of room for improvement. For example, what's all this talk about "silent bans" in which teams are told to withdraw a certain cyclist from a certain race, and that's it? What's all this talk about certain riders getting a free pass?

Cleaning up corruption in the enforcement system would already represent a huge leap forward.
 
Jan 15, 2013
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Cillian Kelly has a good post about doping and the race within a race and our complicity in it:

There’s only so many ways you can tell the story of a race.

But a doping story is multi-faceted. We like to discover the gritty details of where and how and why they doped. Who was involved? Was it anybody that was involved in any other doping case? How can we link this dark tale with any of the others that have come before? They are often intriguing and they involve a glimpse of the human character which we don’t see in mere racing.

Storytelling is what cycling fans crave. The notion of a ‘season long narrative’ gets rammed into our consciousness by a flailing UCI who still haven’t figured out how to tell the story of a cycling season. But there are stories there already, they just can’t be contextualised by a contextless ranking system displayed on a screen.

We watch cycling races and presume there is a layer of subterfuge that we can’t see but we’d love to know about. We presume that some of the riders we are watching are cheaters, dopers. We love being entertained by what we see but we’re all too aware that there’s possibly a grim reason why what we’re watching is enjoyable.
http://www.irishpeloton.com/2016/06/big_red_doping_button/
 
Feb 24, 2015
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This topic comes up every so often and it is such a good one to get everyone riled up
For my part cheating is inherent in human nature - from the first olympiad to the first tour de france to diving in football and even sex changes.
What is cheating
If cheating is doing anything that alters what god gave us - the by definition training at altitude is cheating, sleeping in an altitude tent is cheating
in which case give every gold medal from here to eternity to the men born at altitude in the heat of africa for every distance race ever to be run in the future
and give every gold medal at every sim event for the 100m to someone over 6'7 as no one under that size will be able to compete in their natural state.
If EPO is cheating then we should just contest all future tour de france titles among people with a natural 50% HCT and be done with it - no need for other riders to take part

One other thing - If taking drugs should be banned due to health issues what do you say to the teenager who lives in abject poverty and has an opportunity to rid himself and his entire extended family from the daily horror of life if he takes some steroids to get into the NFL, NHL, NBA, etc. Because I will tell you right now there are plenty of kids living in serious hell who take that decision knowing it may work out and they may die but their whole family will be better off and their children will never have to live in that poverty again. I for one would not judge them and would not expect anyone else to unless they had grown up in that situation. Or when taking drugs to get into a college team or a professional sport allows them to escape a life of gang violence, brutality and probable early death.

Cheating and sport are part of the same equation, the business of sport and the money make it more prevalent and more profitable and so the methods get more complex and the risks higher - but so are the rewards.

Judge to your hearts content and hold your views as to what is right and wrong in your eyes.
Just remember the world is a big place and many people live in places where right and wrong mean very little when compared to life and death.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Rob27172 said:
Just remember the world is a big place and many people live in places where right and wrong mean very little when compared to life and death.
hyperbole

and if you think that those from disadvantage deserve the leg up, just remember, the pie is zero sum. The pie is not getting bigger no matter how many disadvantaged take the plunge of the needle.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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DFA123 said:
CheckMyPecs said:
Doping is unacceptable because, if a handful of riders dope, it forces everyone else in the peloton to dope to be competitive or find a new job.

What if those other guys aren't comfortable injecting themselves with EPO/HGH/some other thing? Should we applaud their ejection from the sport?
I agree with that stance in an ideal world. But it's not really helpful or constructive in the real world - it's too black and white. Especially considering the list of illegal PED's is somewhat arbitary. What if a rider is not comfortable with taking tramadol, or creatine, or caffeine, or eating huge quantities of sugar every day? Should they just be expected to do it because it's not illegal? Are those things any les dangerous than micro-dosing EPO/HGH for recovery under the supervision of a doctor?

No-one is entitled to a living in professional cycling, regardless of how naturally talented they are. It's always been a murky, dirty world full of doping, politics, bribes and ruthless individuals doing anything to succeed. Riders have to make their own choices about how far they are willing to go to stay in sport, likewise, fans have to decide if they are prepared to enjoy the entertainment - even at the expense of clean riders not making it. It's literally impossible to eradicate doping with present technology, so doped riders will always be present in the peloton - and have been since the start of professional cycling. At least now, the bio-passport has more or less set safe limits as to what riders can take and has removed the ridiculously dangerous situation of the early-mid 90s.
indeed

but the final sentence, I don't reckon it was that dangerous, that is a beat up from the moralists.
 
Feb 24, 2015
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blackcat said:
Rob27172 said:
Just remember the world is a big place and many people live in places where right and wrong mean very little when compared to life and death.
hyperbole

and if you think that those from disadvantage deserve the leg up, just remember, the pie is zero sum. The pie is not getting bigger no matter how many disadvantaged take the plunge of the needle.
That is not my point - My point is that it is easy for people living in civilised first world countries to sit behind keyboards in their houses, with heating and running water and electricity and preach morality and the ideals of right and wrong.

But when you are starving or near death, or have little chance of ever escaping extreme poverty then the idea of right and wrong get a little blurry.

The disadvantaged do deserve a leg up as they are their a lot of the time because they are kept there by the first worlds debt mountains that they hold over them; the wars we create; and the division we preach but that is a totally different conversation.

The issue is not the pie; the issue is the morality that this world holds as its barometer of right and wrong; and all i was trying to say is that the barometer is very different depending on where you look at it from.

Someone facing a life or death situation will think very little of the health consequences of a few steroids if it allows them to escape. A different perspective of morality is what I am suggesting. As opposed to the very black and white exultation's being bandied around in this discussion.
 

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