Why is doping bad?

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Dr. Maserati

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alpine_chav said:
Sorry but I've just read the whole thread again and it barely scrapes the surface of why. For every point made the opposite could be legitimately applied.
Well if you read over 90 posts in 15 minutes then I can see how you missed some key points nor have you put forth an actual "opposite legitimate" argument.

Ok - to help you answer your question, lets flip this - why (in your opinion) are there anti-doping rules in the first place?
 
Aug 30, 2010
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gillan1969 said:
its not so much the system as the culture...and you won't change that overnight

legalising doping isn't like legalising herion

i don't need to compete with a heavy heroin user to go about my everyday business

whereas a cyclist would need to dope to race against everyone else who was doping...you in effect make it mandatory
Yes, yes and yes but you also don't 'need' to be a pro cyclist. It is in effect already mandatory...
 
I used to be a strong supporter of legalizing doping. I still think it may be the only solution, but it definitely raises problems.

First, not all athletes may want to dope, so most suggestions for legalizing doping concede there will have to be a two-tier system, dopers and clean. But of course there will be dopers in the clean tier, athletes who can’t compete, doped, with those in the doper tier, and seek to get an advantage. So sports at this level will not be very different from sports today, with everyone claiming to be clean, but most probably not. Certainly there will have to be just as extensive testing of this supposedly clean tier as occurs in pro sports today.

Second, sports is about getting an edge, so dopers will always try to find some new substance or program that works better than the widely known and used ones. To maintain their edge, they will want to work in secrecy, which may mean no advice or help from doctors, certainly not from any official medical personnel that a sport may use to monitor the athletes. So much for the “controlled environment” that is supposed to prevent abuse of substances. Do you realize that “control” is basically incompatible with the athlete’s drive to be the best? That by definition you want to separate yourself from the pack, which means you do not want to be limited to the drugs that everyone else is using above board. Hence the situation in the doper tier will also inevitably closely resemble what goes on in sports today, with athletes doping in secrecy and denying to everyone that they are using anything other the regulated substances.

In fact, there isn’t much point in allowing doping if the playing field is level. The whole point of doping is to get an edge. I know, most riders who admit to doping say they did it just to keep their jobs, that everyone else was doing it, so they had to. But if the situation were really that simple, we could eliminate all doping and achieve the same thing. While I suspect there is a somewhat leveling effect in pro sports with regard to doping, the ultimate rational for doing it-what ensure that it will continue to occur--is there is always the possibility of a substance or program that will give you an edge over the rest, at least temporarily. Regulated doping would defeat the purpose of this.

Some may propose totally unlimited doping, anything goes. But not only is this sure to lead to serious abuse, and likely deaths, but by condoning it, sports, it seems to me, will develop an outlaw image. I’m not even sure a situation like this would be compatible in modern societies, where the state is held to have some responsibility for the health and welfare of its citizens. For sure, many people would be outraged by the notion.

You (OP) say: “To me sport is about pushing the limits of the human body. If drugs allow you to push yourself further why not? It's still the human body.” I have some sympathy with that view, I think it is important to see how drugs can change what is physically (and mentally) possible. Yet that attitude is born mostly from competition.

Have you ever heard of doping occurring in non-competitive sports? Do mountain climbers, for example, dope? It seems to me that certain banned substances might help them, and since at least some of these substances aren’t banned for activities where there is no official competition, they could pretty much take anything they want. And maybe some do, for all I know. But I rather doubt doping is very prevalent, because sports like these are mostly about satisfying a personal desire, not proving you are better than someone else. You aren’t measuring your worth directly against someone else. I think an attitude like this is a strong antidote to the competitive ethic. You can constantly push the envelope, challenge yourself, within the limits of an undoped physiology. Indeed in sports like these, there is often great status in denying yourself the aids that are "legal" or accepted, like climbing at high altitudes without tanks of oxygen, or not using standard equipment like ropes and spikes.

Third, there is the problem of youth. Simply passing laws banning substances below a certain age will not solve the problem. Just look at the problem of teenage drinking. Like it or not, sports stars are role models, and kids try to emulate them. If sports are open about doping, of course young kids will want to use the same substances.

Despite all these problems, the current system, it seems pretty obvious to me, is unsustainable. Something has to give.
 
Aug 30, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Well if you read over 90 posts in 15 minutes then I can see how you missed some key points nor have you put forth an actual "opposite legitimate" argument.

Ok - to help you answer your question, lets flip this - why (in your opinion) are there anti-doping rules in the first place?
In my opinion there are anti-doping rules because someone somewhere thought they could make some serious money out of it. That is generally the only reason institutions of any kind exist.
 
bianchigirl said:
You know why I think doping is unfair? Because sport isn't supposed to be fair - some athletes are simply physically superior and I'd prefer to watch a sport where I can be fairly certain that physical talent is winning out rather than the most skillful doctor. Armstrong may have won a Classic or two, he may even have come close in a GT but personally I'd rather watch the genuinely gifted athlete succeed rather than the one who takes the most sophisticated cocktail of PEDs.

And yes, I do believe there's a huge gulf between the ad hoc recovery doping of the pre EPO era and the doping arms race that was refined by the Bruyneel/Armstrong/Ferrari partnership. I believe Hinault & Merckx won because they were the most gifted riders. I find it impossible to believe the same of Armstrong and his ilk.

So my answer to your question is this - doping is unfair because it robs us of seeing true talent at work. The playing field is never level and isn't meant to be.
well put. this is, of course, the only real answer. blood manipulation in all its forms has destroyed all natural hierarchy in the sport. without that hierarchy it is truly pointless to follow the sport -- even meaningless. why enjoy or debate a rider's performance or upset if everything was owed to the particular drug cycle/blood infusion they were on and the amount of money they are able to pay a doctor...a doctor, I stress, not a coach.
 
alpine_chav said:
I don't have an answer to the final question ... all I do know is that at the moment they do. I was one of those 18 year olds and I quit because I didn't want to dope. Very simple decision and a good one at that.
Will you quit a job b/c other people cheat on their taxes? Should we stop enforcing tax laws?

Will you stop eating at restaurants b/c the cooks might not wash their hands after using the bathroom? Should we stop enforcing health/safety inspections?
 
Jul 19, 2010
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Although I've been a pro athlete for many years, I never doped. I raced against doped athletes without knowing, and with time I realized what was going on. My initial reaction was more in the line of would I be willing to go the extra mile. I've always seen it as another (very important) step in doing what it takes to be world class. I still wouldn't dope but I totally understand athletes who do.

so back to the original qestion, why is doping cheating?

- Unfair? 1st world athletes have "unfair advantage" compared to 3rd world athletes; access to better technologies, diets, equipment, facilities, etc, so should that also be considered cheating?

- Bad for you? training 6-8 hours a day has to be unhealthy and bad for the human body, so should training time also be limited? How about racing with injuries? broken bones? should it be forbidden since it's "bad" for you?
 
Aug 30, 2010
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Willy_Voet said:
Will you quit a job b/c other people cheat on their taxes? Should we stop enforcing tax laws?

Will you stop eating at restaurants b/c the cooks might not wash their hands after using the bathroom? Should we stop enforcing health/safety inspections?
This has nothing to do with the argument. Please stay on topic. People cheating on taxes doesn't affect my health. I haven't gotten ill from chefs not washing their hands but someone close to me nearly died. Again one persons actions affected another's health negatively which is not the case with doping. The only person's health that got affected in doping is the dopers. Please think before you post again.
 
alpine_chav said:
I don't understand. They decided to dope and are now paying the price. What this has to do with the legality of doping is beyond me...
Look pal, you put a thread up there with the title "Why is doping bad?"

I gave you some pretty heavy reasons why it's bad. What's not to understand?

Laws exist to set the boundaries of what society expects. People can skip the obstacle at their own risk, sure. Remove the obstacle altogether and you create a new norm. Initially, you'll have to dope to win. Eventually you'll have to dope just to survive. But when you mess with your body's functions like that, you might not survive anyway. Sport it ain't.
 
Aug 30, 2010
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reigarc said:
Although I've been a pro athlete for many years, I never doped. I raced against doped athletes without knowing, and with time I realized what was going on. My initial reaction was more in the line of would I be willing to go the extra mile. I've always seen it as another (very important) step in doing what it takes to be world class. I still wouldn't dope but I totally understand athletes who do.

so back to the original qestion, why is doping cheating?

- Unfair? 1st world athletes have "unfair advantage" compared to 3rd world athletes; access to better technologies, diets, equipment, facilities, etc, so should that also be considered cheating?

- Bad for you? training 6-8 hours a day has to be unhealthy and bad for the human body, so should training time also be limited? How about racing with injuries? broken bones? should it be forbidden since it's "bad" for you?
These are 2 very valid observations. No matter where we draw the line there will always be an uneven playing field.
 

Dr. Maserati

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alpine_chav said:
In my opinion there are anti-doping rules because someone somewhere thought they could make some serious money out of it. That is generally the only reason institutions of any kind exist.
So someone drew up anti-doping rules (that throws out their stars) to make a few quid?

Answer the question - why are there anti-doping rules in the first place.
 
Aug 30, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
So someone drew up anti-doping rules (that throws out their stars) to make a few quid?

Answer the question - why are there anti-doping rules in the first place.
I did. There is no shortage of 'stars' waiting in the wings. Sort of like drug dealer... get rid of one and the vacuum is quickly filled.
 
May 26, 2010
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alpine_chav said:
<snip>


Also why is Merckx and Hinault doping any different to Lance's?
so it always comes back to the wonderboy and how now that it looks like he is going to get done for being 'the greatest sporting fraud' we have to some how find a way to justify his doping.

It does not make a level playing field. Myth.

This thread is pointless.

Doping is not needed. If you can't compete on your own natural ability than the sport is not for you. It is about competing not about always winning.
 
Feb 24, 2011
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This whole thread is senseless. I could open a new one titled "Why is stealing bad?". Then people will say that it is bad because it is illegal, because someone is affected, because it violates the meaning of property, anyways. And then I could retort something like "Well, yeah, but the governments are corrupt, and there are lots of thieves around and blah blah blah, so no, stealing is not bad". At least that is the OP modus operandi. You can't argue against that, not because you don't have arguments, but because they are dismissed anyways. If someone can't understand that any unhealthy and potentially lethal aid in order to succeed in something is bad, he is really beyond my help.
 

Dr. Maserati

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alpine_chav said:
I did. There is no shortage of 'stars' waiting in the wings. Sort of like drug dealer... get rid of one and the vacuum is quickly filled.
No - you haven't. To argue that they did it as an extra revenue stream is ludricious - why do you think the likes of PMcQ & HV try to get athletes off in the first place.

This goes to the heart of your original question - so why were anti-doping rules drawn up in the first place?
 
Oct 7, 2010
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I just sit here shaking my head, this has to be the most stupid thread ever, and here I am going to post on it. In law school, some doofus always asks this question, and the big moral debate on why some group of people gets to subjugate others because of their beliefs comes into the mix. Rules, laws, codes and other guidelines are there for a reason, the safety of others.

These specific rules on bike racing and doping are not there to make someone money, but perhaps we can get some out of the coroners, medical examiners, undertakers, selling candles for vigils, and all the adjoining aspects that are sure to happen if drugs are legalized. The purpose of racing a bike, is racing the bike, not who has the best doctor that can circumvent every rule out there. This is not about if I don't get caught it makes it ok. If I don't get caught holding on to the team car up 3 mountain passes, and then I blow everyone away in the sprint, that is totally ok. The purpose of sport is the human overcoming obstacles to have their best performance. Not about how many cheats they can employ to do that.
 
Aug 30, 2010
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Ildabaoth said:
This whole thread is senseless. I could open a new one titled "Why is stealing bad?". Then people will say that it is bad because it is illegal, because someone is affected, because it violates the meaning of property, anyways. And then I could retort something like "Well, yeah, but the governments are corrupt, and there are lots of thieves around and blah blah blah, so no, stealing is not bad". At least that is the OP modus operandi. You can't argue against that, not because you don't have arguments, but because they are dismissed anyways. If someone can't understand that any unhealthy and potentially lethal aid in order to succeed in something is bad, he is really beyond my help.
It not that I can't understand that... what I initially wanted to point out is that people seem to accept the bs they are fed day in and day out while the people feeding them the bs benefit. A little less acceptance of the status quo and a bit more questioning never hurt anyone. It is exactly the health reason why I quit racing so yes I do understand why doping might be bad for me... but beyond personal health I can't see a valid reason for dope being banned and I feel health is a personal issue therefore current doping law is perhaps over-reaching if this is the only parameter it's validity is measured by. When I look at who benefits from doping law it is mainly the anti-doping institutions who are making money hand over fist which leads me to believe that we are being conned by those who pretend to be our moral guardians. Us as cycling fans and consumers are being taken for a ride (pun not intended).
 
May 26, 2010
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alpine_chav said:
It not that I can't understand that... what I initially wanted to point out is that people seem to accept the bs they are fed day in and day out while the people feeding them the bs benefit. bsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbbsbsbsbsbsbsbbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbbbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbbssbbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbsbbsbsbsbsbsbsbs
posters like you keep posting and trying to feed the BS.


can a mod close this thread please as it is utterly pointless.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
No - you haven't. To argue that they did it as an extra revenue stream is ludricious - why do you think the likes of PMcQ & HV try to get athletes off in the first place.

This goes to the heart of your original question - so why were anti-doping rules drawn up in the first place?
Actually I think the only point I agree with the OP on is that doping controls post-Simpson are down to revenue at the end of the day. Not as he states but in terms of loss of revenue from people not wanting to invest in a sport with such a soiled reputation. A death on live TV tends to have a negative impact.
 
May 26, 2010
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Captain_Cavman said:
Actually I think the only point I agree with the OP on is that doping controls post-Simpson are down to revenue at the end of the day. Not as he states but in terms of loss of revenue from people not wanting to invest in a sport with such a soiled reputation. A death on live TV tends to have a negative impact.
i dont see it like that but if riders dont dope no testing is required. Lemond has commented that tests are not needed and a power wattage output would be a good way to measure and check on those who are doping.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Captain_Cavman said:
Actually I think the only point I agree with the OP on is that doping controls post-Simpson are down to revenue at the end of the day. Not as he states but in terms of loss of revenue from people not wanting to invest in a sport with such a soiled reputation. A death on live TV tends to have a negative impact.
You're on the right track - but it is not the OP's position.

But anti-doping is not done for revenue (in fact it costs money) - labs get paid for testing, not for positives or sanctions.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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alpine_chav said:
After spending a bit of time on this forum reading all the faux moral outrage and begrudgery around doping I am still completely unable to come up with a good answer to why doping is illegal. For those who say it's about fairness what about diet? Food is medically classified in the same category as doping products and essentially enables the same processes within the body. So therefore should we ban food or make everyone eat exactly the same things? To me sport is about pushing the limits of the human body. If drugs allow you to push yourself further why not? It's still the human body. The body has to react to the introduction of foreign bodies (food or drugs). Anything which is in our environment and accessible to us should be used. We are after all products of our environment.

I also see posts from people such as Suzanne Sonye who says she did the right thing in speaking up. Why is it the right thing? Because it's against the law? Maybe the law is wrong (I think we can all agree that it is idealistic and completely unrealistic because it is obviously not working very well as is)? It seems to me that most people were told doping is cheating and cheating is bad from a very young age and therefore never actually questioned the area of doping law fully. An indoctrination of sorts. Doping need not be cheating...

In short I feel that we as the cycling community have a moral obligation to question why we automatically assume doping is bad. Under controlled environments doping could work while in an uncontrolled environment we will see more sad cases like that of Ricco. The legalisation of doping could also have an added knock on effect of increasing the speed of innovation within the medical world which would be a positive outcome for all of us.

I'm a huge fan of transparency, innovation and human progress (in all walks of life) and doping in sports in one facet which could be developed and progressed openly to the benefit of all of us.

Thoughts?
If you allow doping, why not motors attached to bikes? Why can't a marathon runner ride in the back of a car part of the way? Sports have to draw arbitrary lines of "fairness" all the time, ie "rules", and whether you agree with it or not, doping is against the rules (of all sports, not just cycling) and is therefore as much cheating as is having a motor inside a bike frame.

Of course it's entirely arbitrary, but then again, allowing doping but not a motor is just as arbitrary. Got to draw the line somewhere.
 
Aug 30, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
You're on the right track - but it is not the OP's position.

But anti-doping is not done for revenue (in fact it costs money) - labs get paid for testing, not for positives or sanctions.
I agree with this also. Perhaps it started for the reason of maintaining interest in cycling but as things progress more people have more vested interests... doping costs money which also means someone else is making money...
 

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