Why is doping bad?

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Sep 10, 2009
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alpine_chav said:
We see the best possible performance because of doping. You need a mix of talent hard work and positive response to dope to succeed at the top level. If anything it really shows us the maximum possible outcome of talent at work. Doping doesn't guarantee success. Only one person can win at a time and there are many more people than one person doping in the elite field.
If you believe that, then you believe that Stefan Schumacher really is a better TT'er than Fabian Cancellara, since he did beat him twice in the '08 Tour.

Doping, despite your denials, really can make up for a comparative lack of natural talent. That's why athletes dope in the first place, to make up for what they lack.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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alpine_chav said:
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...
Who is making money from what you termed "cheating" or doping that are part of the anti-doping scene?
Labs get paid to test samples while it costs UCI/ASO/teams to implement. Do you really think the authorities who drew up anti-doping rules did so to create a revenue stream that they cannot profit from and costs them money?

Of course not - so again, why were anti-doping rules drawn up in the first place?
 
Mar 17, 2009
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VeloCity said:
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.
This is the right answer. To have a level playing field you need a line to be drawn. It matters less what or where the line is and more that we actually have one.

The argument about risk is totally arbitrary. How is the health risk of doping any worse than allowing riders to careen down steep mountain passes at 80 km/hour wearing a millimeter of spandex for protection? Most high level sports are physically dangerous.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Murray said:
This is the right answer. To have a level playing field you need a line to be drawn. It matters less what or where the line is and more that we actually have one.

The argument about risk is totally arbitrary. How is the health risk of doping any worse than allowing riders to careen down steep mountain passes at 80 km/hour wearing a millimeter of spandex for protection? Most high level sports are physically dangerous.
Of course most sports have a risk element to it - but also there are (wait for it) rules and standards in place to minimize those risks.

All races have a fleet of lead vehicles on roads that are closed or have restricted access. The difference between the fastest rider and the slowest is marginal and can (usually) be made up quickly.
 

jimmypop

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Jul 16, 2010
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red_flanders said:
Folks, I believe you're witnessing someone intent on "re-framing the discussion". Why they're trying to do so I'll leave to you.
The seeds of this argument were planted early last year. Since Armstrong is likely to be charged in a court of law on fraud charges and convicted in the court of public opinion on doping, the message-makers are doing their best to minimize the doping itself in the context of the larger discussion on Armstrong.

Good thread. Thanks for the laugh, OP.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Of course most sports have a risk element to it - but also there are (wait for it) rules and standards in place to minimize those risks.
Yes, I understand that. Risks should be minimized. I am in favour of helmets and you should not be running around with a hematocrit of 60%. However, I don't think doping risks are inherently worse than other physical risks.
 
Murray said:
Yes, I understand that. Risks should be minimized. I am in favour of helmets and you should not be running around with a hematocrit of 60%. However, I don't think doping risks are inherently worse than other physical risks.
Again, where do they draw the line?

"Doping is OK as long as your HcT is below 60%" ?

"PED use is OK as long as you stay within these thesholds" ?

I don't think such a middle ground is a desirable position. Remember anyone will push whatever restrictions you put in place.

I don't know why any fan of the sport would want to see the anti-doping code relaxed, when the only outcome possible is a dilution of the sporting aspect. If you want to see money and labs win races stick to F1...
 
Jan 22, 2010
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I guess teams should just buy up property at altitude and have their riders live there during the year. That would be one way to get an edge. I'm suprised more US pro teams aren't based out of Denver. It would make sense to be. Or they could issue each of their riders hyperbolic chambers. Sure, their wives wouldn't like it, but it's for their profession.

I'm tired of everyone being automatically accused of doping simply because they won. Bobridge was immediately accused of doping after his pursuit. Cancellara accused of having a motor in his bike after winning Paris-Roubaix. How ridiculous was that?! Anyone who actually watched the race knows he simply rode away from everyone and they all just watched until it was too late. I guess it's because most of the guys who win these days DO CHEAT, so it's hard to believe anybody.

I don't think doping should be legal, but at this point, I don't even care anymore. If you set up parameters for "legalized doping" someone will just break them. You could have cycling mimic weightlifting where they have a gassed competition and a clean one. Call it, Pro and Amateur.
I almost can't wait for the day when someone's heart explodes going up Alpe d'Huez because they are so gassed up. It will make for great tv. I think something like that has already happened though...

If you're willing to take the risks, you're willing to accept the consenquences. Whatever they are.
 
Aug 17, 2009
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Doping destroys the Darwinian aspect of sports. Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition.
It no longer is a competition to find out the best athlete, but instead the athlete who's body best adapts to doping. Some people may be cured from a headache by 1 aspirin, others may take 5 and the headache rages on. No matter if 1% or 100% of athletes dope, the results become skewed by widely varying degrees of adaptation to pharmaceuticals, in a non-Darwinian fashion, that fundamentally prevents the determination of the strongest athlete. This is one reason, amongst many that I think instinctively makes people offended by doping. It blurs their vision as to a very fundamental question in human societies for thousands of years: Who is the best?

The best leader
The best farmer
The best warrior...

People want to know who is the best. Period.

The second reason I'd say doping is bad is that it creates a moral and ethical selection, which should not be a part of athletics. An athlete who's moral compass directs him away from doping, will become a less competitive athlete. Relative morals should have nothing to do with the outcome of athletic competition. The rules of the game serve as the morals for each and every competitor, no matter what their personal thoughts/ethics are. If doping comes into play, it creates a moral dilemma for some and less so for others, driving away some athletes who may be better prepared and more physically talented, but have moral issue with the act of doping. This, once again, creates a situation where we are unable to define "the best", as perhaps the best was driven away from the sport due to his/her ethical grounding.

This not even touching the health consequences, etc etc... But I'm sure you guys have go that one.

JV
 
Jul 6, 2010
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JV1973 said:
Doping destroys the Darwinian aspect of sports. Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition.
It no longer is a competition to find out the best athlete, but instead the athlete who's body best adapts to doping. Some people may be cured from a headache by 1 aspirin, others may take 5 and the headache rages on. No matter if 1% or 100% of athletes dope, the results become skewed by widely varying degrees of adaptation to pharmaceuticals, in a non-Darwinian fashion, that fundamentally prevents the determination of the strongest athlete. This is one reason, amongst many that I think instinctively makes people offended by doping. It blurs their vision as to a very fundamental question in human societies for thousands of years: Who is the best?

The best leader
The best farmer
The best warrior...

People want to know who is the best. Period.

The second reason I'd say doping is bad is that it creates a moral and ethical selection, which should not be a part of athletics. An athlete who's moral compass directs him away from doping, will become a less competitive athlete. Relative morals should have nothing to do with the outcome of athletic competition. The rules of the game serve as the morals for each and every competitor, no matter what their personal thoughts/ethics are. If doping comes into play, it creates a moral dilemma for some and less so for others, driving away some athletes who may be better prepared and more physically talented, but have moral issue with the act of doping. This, once again, creates a situation where we are unable to define "the best", as perhaps the best was driven away from the sport due to his/her ethical grounding.

This not even touching the health consequences, etc etc... But I'm sure you guys have go that one.

JV
Right on, JV.

I know I've been hard on you for a lot of things, but this post is spot on.

I've argued these same points almost ad infinitum in The Clinic. I must say I'm glad to see that we share what I would call a 'grander' interpretation of why doping is wrong.

Keep it up. I want to believe...
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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JV1973 said:
Doping destroys the Darwinian aspect of sports. Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition.
It no longer is a competition to find out the best athlete, but instead the athlete who's body best adapts to doping. Some people may be cured from a headache by 1 aspirin, others may take 5 and the headache rages on. No matter if 1% or 100% of athletes dope, the results become skewed by widely varying degrees of adaptation to pharmaceuticals, in a non-Darwinian fashion, that fundamentally prevents the determination of the strongest athlete. This is one reason, amongst many that I think instinctively makes people offended by doping. It blurs their vision as to a very fundamental question in human societies for thousands of years: Who is the best?

The best leader
The best farmer
The best warrior...

People want to know who is the best. Period.

The second reason I'd say doping is bad is that it creates a moral and ethical selection, which should not be a part of athletics. An athlete who's moral compass directs him away from doping, will become a less competitive athlete. Relative morals should have nothing to do with the outcome of athletic competition. The rules of the game serve as the morals for each and every competitor, no matter what their personal thoughts/ethics are. If doping comes into play, it creates a moral dilemma for some and less so for others, driving away some athletes who may be better prepared and more physically talented, but have moral issue with the act of doping. This, once again, creates a situation where we are unable to define "the best", as perhaps the best was driven away from the sport due to his/her ethical grounding.

This not even touching the health consequences, etc etc... But I'm sure you guys have go that one.

JV
Thanks JV for coming on and explaining (what I hoped the OP would figure out on its own) in an easy and articulate manner.

The reason anti-doping rules were drawn was any other scenario would be untenable as it against the very essence of what sport is.

To the OP - morals, health, fairness etc - are peoples individual reasons to why doping is viewed as "wrong" - while all being valid points the combined effect is that any tolerance to doping would be against what sport is.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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This thread is a joke and I'm not fooled for one second by the OP's premise.
The only reason I'm responding is due to this line that seems to have gone unquestioned:
alpine_chav said:
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...
If the answer to that isn't self-evident, then I can't help you.
Doping is currently against the rules in cycling.
Leogrande admitted doping to Suzanne.
She told her director Frankie Andreau about it.
KL was breaking the rules and by doing so was putting the entire team and support staff in jeopardy.

Please don't feign such basic ignorance on a point that is so absurdly obvious.
It's embarrassing to the entire forum.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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JV1973 said:
This not even touching the health consequences, etc etc... But I'm sure you guys have go that one.

JV
But the health consequences of the riders is important.
Maybe the most important aspect.

So why are you "not even touching" this?

Team Doctors and their staffs are an important part of Pro Cycling.
Maybe even a clean competitive advantage.

And last month in a CN article, Bassons said "you can be healthier doing the Tour de France on drugs than without anything.” And of course, the flipside is a shady Doctor in a backroom clinic can kill a rider with a botched blood transfusion.

Just saying the Health Consequences is a very important part of the discussion...your opinion would be interesting if not controversial.


Anyway - "Who is the best?

The best leader....the best ones have done illegal drugs sometime in their lives lol. Even if they did not inhale.

The best farmer...the world would face famine if it were not for plant doping.
Organic farmers could not support even a tiny fraction of the population.

The best warrior...hey, they say ALL is fair in love and war.

Now I'm not saying doping is not bad.
It is bad, very very bad. Dopers suck. Boo.
Gosh, some in this thread have compared it to murder and child molestation.

I just wondered why you would not discuss the health consequences and why the corny "best of" examples. Darwin lol.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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Polish said:
But the health consequences of the riders is important.
Maybe the most important aspect.

So why are you "not even touching" this?

<snip>
No, cause we definitely hadn't covered that above in the thread, and in many similar threads before. That's why JV's left that to us, why weigh in repeating what everyone is saying?

You running scared about what JV might have told the Feds about your glorious leader/pay-master? I would say lrn2trll, but it's like you're straight of 4Chan sometimes...
 
Something that's worth bearing in mind with doping is controlling the amount. As JV says, different people react in different ways.

We know from people like Jörg Jaksche that the team riders just trusted their team doctors - stick your arm out and leave us to it.
We know from people like Jesús Hernández that the riders are sometimes lied to about what is in what they are being given.

If a rider like Jesús Hernández was being given something not realising what it was, or even knowing what it was but not the dosage, but then was also privately doping themselves, then you get that 'double dose' of doping - which becomes difficult to control and risky.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Met de Versnelling said:
No, cause we definitely hadn't covered that above in the thread, and in many similar threads before. That's why JV's left that to us, why weigh in repeating what everyone is saying?

You running scared about what JV might have told the Feds about your glorious leader/pay-master? I would say lrn2trll, but it's like you're straight of 4Chan sometimes...

Are you trolling by bringing Lance into this thread?
Please don't.
And for all I know, JV is under investigation also....

But getting back on topic.
The health consequences of doping, good for a riders health versus bad for a riders health, is an unsettled and controversial issue.

Not as simple as you seem to believe...
 
Apr 8, 2010
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JV1973 said:
Doping destroys the Darwinian aspect of sports. Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition.
It no longer is a competition to find out the best athlete, but instead the athlete who's body best adapts to doping. Some people may be cured from a headache by 1 aspirin, others may take 5 and the headache rages on. No matter if 1% or 100% of athletes dope, the results become skewed by widely varying degrees of adaptation to pharmaceuticals, in a non-Darwinian fashion, that fundamentally prevents the determination of the strongest athlete. This is one reason, amongst many that I think instinctively makes people offended by doping. It blurs their vision as to a very fundamental question in human societies for thousands of years: Who is the best?

The best leader
The best farmer
The best warrior...

People want to know who is the best. Period.

The second reason I'd say doping is bad is that it creates a moral and ethical selection, which should not be a part of athletics. An athlete who's moral compass directs him away from doping, will become a less competitive athlete. Relative morals should have nothing to do with the outcome of athletic competition. The rules of the game serve as the morals for each and every competitor, no matter what their personal thoughts/ethics are. If doping comes into play, it creates a moral dilemma for some and less so for others, driving away some athletes who may be better prepared and more physically talented, but have moral issue with the act of doping. This, once again, creates a situation where we are unable to define "the best", as perhaps the best was driven away from the sport due to his/her ethical grounding.

This not even touching the health consequences, etc etc... But I'm sure you guys have go that one.

JV
@ first reason:
How is adaption non-Darwinian?
Besides: changes in race length, equipment, training methods will, as well as doping, see too that different riders succeeds.

@ second reason:
If doping is bad because it creates moral and ethical selection aren't you then basically saying that doping is bad because it's bad?
Besides: moral/ethics in sport isn't the same as in society in general. Or as Tim Krabbe puts it:

"Road racing imitates life, the way it would be without the corruptive influence of civilization. When you see an enemy lying on the ground, what’s your first reaction? To help him to his feet. In road racing, you kick him to death. "
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Magnus said:
@ first reason:
How is adaption non-Darwinian?
Besides: changes in race length, equipment, training methods will, as well as doping, see too that different riders succeeds.
You need to view what JV said...."Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition"....
Equipment is pretty much standard and while different athletes train for different priorities training is fundamentally the same, but there are races from just a few kms (prologues) to almost 300kms (MSR), flat races to races with multiple col's...... and then there are the GT's.
All of these give oppurtunities for athletes of different abilities - but with a natural selection of those considered "best athletes".


Magnus said:
@ second reason:
If doping is bad because it creates moral and ethical selection aren't you then basically saying that doping is bad because it's bad?
Besides: moral/ethics in sport isn't the same as in society in general. Or as Tim Krabbe puts it:

"Road racing imitates life, the way it would be without the corruptive influence of civilization. When you see an enemy lying on the ground, what’s your first reaction? To help him to his feet. In road racing, you kick him to death. "
Again, JV answered that when he wrote....
"If doping comes into play, it creates a moral dilemma for some and less so for others, driving away some athletes who may be better prepared and more physically talented, but have moral issue with the act of doping."
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Why
Cycling as most sports is suposed to be fair competition so we add doping to improve the indevidual. So in order to be competitive every one must take these drugs in order to stand any chance.
We know that managing training will produce form for everyone in some way but will doping .
If you are forced to try this pill try that pill if it works keep taking it in order to do your work, drugs work differently on each indevidual some need more than others some need less .
So then how can we make drugs part of the sport what is the right drug for everyone?
We are athleats not guinea pigs for drug companys.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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You know even though this thread has been disparaged as silly/stupid/etc, it's actually turning out to be a fairly good thread--there are lots of interesting arguments here.

I don't disagree that doping is harmful and cheating and therefore contrary to what sport is supposed to be.

However the hard truth is cycling (eg the athletes, the sponsors, and the fans) has shown very little will to actually reform the sport.

Think about it peoples. Ever since 1998, cycling has been closely associated with doping. Chronicles of doping argue that doping because noticably more intense sometime in the early 1990s.

Yet the very men that pioneered these changes remain at the apex of the sport. McQuaid, Verbrueggen, Riis, Bruyneel, Echevarri etc. Even Saiz will be back soon--after all it was unfair to exclude him while Riis and Bruyneel got to go on as before. Most cycling fans make excuses for these characters. Or they argue among themselves about who is worse, failing to grasp they are all the same. If doping were so immoral, then where is the solution for freeing cycling from the iron grip of the doping DSes and doping doctors? Surely all of you realize there is no hope of reform with these men at the helm. But since all of these characters are easily forgiven for their transgressions, obviously dope and doping is not quite as immoral as some are making it out to be.

You could say that it's up to the cyclists themselves to reform their sport. Well, all indications show that the cyclists don't consider doping cheating. The only cyclists who are genuinely ostracized from the sport after being caught doping are those that decide to confess the truth about their doping to the public. You could say the cyclists only act this way because of necessity, but that necessity is driven by sponsors and fans in addition to the requirements of sport.

My point? Cycling fans care much less about doping then they care about their sport not being publicly associated with doping. And professional cyclists don't seem to view doping as cheating. Yes, most pro cyclists probably wouldn't support legalization in the sense of unlimited dope consumption. However its a good bet pro cyclists would support a testing regime that allowed limited doping. The only reason such a regime is not publicly discussed is because its bad publicity. So 'omerta' becomes the golden mean--the preferred solution for both cyclists and fans.

Yes of course, we can all agree that theoretically, it would be better if athletes didn't use dope. But in order to achieve such a lofty aim, fans and athletes and sponsors would have to get off their asses and try to support races that are actually clean. But as of now, the link between every major figure in cycling and doping is so strong that the testing regime lacks all credibility, and the fans know it. There isn't any genuine will to clean up this or any professional support, nor does anyone have an answer to the fact that doping docs consistently triump over the testers.

Now i grant there are worse things in the world then forcing atheltes to live a life of lies and hypocrisy--as is the status quo today. But one potential virtue associated with legalization/toleration that is too lightly dismissed is the opportunity for the athletes and everyone else associated with the sport to speak forthrightly about dope and doping, and for real knowledge about doping in sport to get out into the public sphere. As long as the rejection of toleration is as knee-jerk as it is here, then we won't ever get that public discussion. Athletes will get to keep on lying and fans will get the comfort of their illusions--everyone wins!

So here's some food for thought. Is it not plain that 'omerta' and the knee-jerk rejection of toleration or legalization are closely related attitudes that support and reinforce one another? Athletes won't talk about doping for a very good reason--because it brings bad publicity onto the sport. Which in turn reinforces the status quo, which is continued doping. The root cause of this (omerta) is anti-doping moralism. History shows us people's attitudes were not always this way--once upon a time attitudes towards drugs in sport were much different.

I don't have an answer to the problem. But to get an answer, we are going to have to start thinking out of the box and consider some new ideas.
 

TheMaverick

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Feb 23, 2011
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JV1973 said:
Doping destroys the Darwinian aspect of sports. Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition.
It no longer is a competition to find out the best athlete, but instead the athlete who's body best adapts to doping. Some people may be cured from a headache by 1 aspirin, others may take 5 and the headache rages on. No matter if 1% or 100% of athletes dope, the results become skewed by widely varying degrees of adaptation to pharmaceuticals, in a non-Darwinian fashion, that fundamentally prevents the determination of the strongest athlete. This is one reason, amongst many that I think instinctively makes people offended by doping. It blurs their vision as to a very fundamental question in human societies for thousands of years: Who is the best?

The best leader
The best farmer
The best warrior...

People want to know who is the best. Period.

The second reason I'd say doping is bad is that it creates a moral and ethical selection, which should not be a part of athletics. An athlete who's moral compass directs him away from doping, will become a less competitive athlete. Relative morals should have nothing to do with the outcome of athletic competition. The rules of the game serve as the morals for each and every competitor, no matter what their personal thoughts/ethics are. If doping comes into play, it creates a moral dilemma for some and less so for others, driving away some athletes who may be better prepared and more physically talented, but have moral issue with the act of doping. This, once again, creates a situation where we are unable to define "the best", as perhaps the best was driven away from the sport due to his/her ethical grounding.

This not even touching the health consequences, etc etc... But I'm sure you guys have go that one.

JV
Some people consider doping to be an extention of smart tactics. Already the rider who wins is not always the strongest but the most tactically smart.
 

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