Why is doping bad?

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Apr 8, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
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".



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."

I was thinking about the development in a historical perspective.
For instance some riders will probably see bigger improvement in performance by using powermeters than others. It doesn't mean that powermeters are bad.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Even if all athletes were doping with the exact same products, the best athlete can no longer be defined by competition
HOW do you know for sure?
DO you know for sure?

If Eddy raced in an all doper field and won, is there a chance that he was the best athlete?

How about if he had a mechanical or was punched by a fan?
What the heck does "defined by competition" mean anyway?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Magnus said:
I was thinking about the development in a historical perspective.
For instance some riders will probably see bigger improvement in performance by using powermeters than others. It doesn't mean that powermeters are bad.
Gotcha - fair point, but power-meters are available to all and will be used by coaches and trainers, so the difference - historically speaking - is that smarter riders who trained correctly no longer have an advantage.
But ultimately it is still the "best athlete" that prevails.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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I find it odd that some seem to hold professional athletes to a lower standard of ethics than other careers. If doping were allowed, basically it would be the same as forcing an athlete or a would-be athlete to either dope or go home, as those who refuse to inject themselves with god knows what would no longer have any place in the sport.

Would it be ok if airlines made it mandatory that all pilots had to take certain drugs to increase their alertness, and those who refused were fired or not hired in the first place? I think most people would have a problem with an airline forcing its pilots to have to choose between becoming pill-poppers or finding another career. Yet that's basically the position that athletes would find themselves in if doping were to be "opened" - you either dope or don't bother applying. I find it really strange that some people seem to have no problem with that.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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ludwig said:
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...

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.
Thought provoking post most of which I agree with but I have to disagree with the bit I quoted.

History shows us that sponsors are driven away by doping whether openly admitted or not. The only way to make sure that a team has a competitive level of funding is to deny doping goes on within the team. Omerta is assured by the presence of doping.

Additionally as Mr Armstrong's special relationship with Mr Ferrari showed, there are huge competitive advantages in keeping what you are doing a complete secret. The notion that everything will become open and above board isn't borne out by experience. The opposite will happen, The most powerful teams will retain the best medical advisors on an exclusive basis and then there will be a load of guinea pigs at the bottom of the ladder. Dead guinea pigs if history does tell us anything.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Gotcha - fair point, but power-meters are available to all and will be used by coaches and trainers, so the difference - historically speaking - is that smarter riders who trained correctly no longer have an advantage.
But ultimately it is still the "best athlete" that prevails.
Except that before powermeters the smarter rider had a better chance of being the "best athlete"... so powermeters has changed who the best athlete is. Just like doping will in a case where it is equally available to everybody (because different people responds differently to doping).
 
TheMaverick said:
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.
Not sure whether to argue or agree with you.

Cheating could be considered a 'tactic', in which case I agree as this may be the only tactic employed. Otherwise, are tactics truly the definitive discriminator at the Tour?

There were only two tactics employed by Bert over Andy in last year's version.

1. Keep going if Andy drops chain
2. Attack on the climb

How many attacks did Bert attempt? Two or three tops. The tactic of the dropped chain was Bert's key moment.

Tactics require skills. Cycling as a sport - especially in GT's - is one of the most pure aerobic capacity sports we have. Skill level in a TT, for example, is nominal. Same with a hill climb.

This pushing your body to the limit is one of the graces of the sport. If the only tactic is to undermine the sport's grace, then the sport is defiled.

How are Tours won? Since at least Anquetil (who ushered in the sole focus approach), they are primarily won in the TTs - and/or hill climbs. If you cannot do both, you cannot win.

From Wikipedia:

His victories in stage races such as the Tour were built on an exceptional ability to ride alone against the clock in individual time trial stages, which lent him the name "Monsieur Chrono".
Anquetil was 'discovered' at the Helsinki Olympics where he took bronze in the TT.

His predecesssors (e.g. Bartali ("fastest man on the flat"), Coppi (hour record, 1st Alpe d'Huez winner), Bobet - "Bobet is a good climber and time-triallist who rides with authority and intelligence") had the same 'skills'.

Arguably the only deviation to that decades long trend was when Floyd got stripped of his title. You could say that Pereiro employed the 'dark horse' tactic of lulling everyone to sleep.

Dave.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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ludwig said:
Think about it peoples. Ever since 1998, cycling has been closely associated with doping.
You do mean 1898, right?
I hope that's what you mean.
Six-day races at Madison Square Garden, etc..
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Magnus said:
Except that before powermeters the smarter rider had a better chance of being the "best athlete"... so powermeters has changed who the best athlete is. Just like doping will in a case where it is equally available to everybody (because different people responds differently to doping).
No - a powermeter is a device to analysis training, it doesn't boost performance.
 

TheMaverick

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Feb 23, 2011
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Captain_Cavman said:
Additionally as Mr Armstrong's special relationship with Mr Ferrari showed, there are huge competitive advantages in keeping what you are doing a complete secret.
I don't think that is true. They were doing blood transfusions like most of the other top teams. The secret was out.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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Polish said:
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...
Yeah, fair point, incurring the wrath of Barrus there :) - (It wasn't a troll, but yeah, it wasn't very constructive. Just thought you're tone was really dismissive where it didn't need to be.)

In response to the on topic part, i can't see how doping is "good" for a rider per-se. Yes, many of the products used by dopers are product that are developed in order to treat those with ailments within the general population, but they are in no way meant for athletes to use with an aim of enhancing their sporting performances. (Or if you're Pele, your, er, personal performances ;) )

I can see the middle ground on the health issues, we're no longer in the nineties where soigneurs and DS's are giving their riders blood like raspberry jam, and thus dying in their sleep, so yes, you could argue, it is as safe as "orange juice" now, but how do we know that there isn't other damage. As i understand it for example, natural EPO is produced in the kidney and liver (NB, i'm not very clued up on the science aspect, so please, correct me if i'm wrong), so how do we what the effects of using synthetic EPO throughout a career is on an athlete's liver and kidney systems in the long term, regardless of whether it's legal or not?

So yes, there is a small grey area, but it's definitely dark grey.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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TheMaverick said:
I don't think that is true. They were doing blood transfusions like most of the other top teams. The secret was out.
What they were doing wasn't a secret in the broadest sense. But in the detail, not like Ricco sense, it was.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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It's not the dope, it's the lying and cheating. If there were no rules against the use of PEDs, step one. If there were no riders who lie in order to protect lucrative endorsement contracts because of the current social stigma against popping a needle in your arm to win, step two. Once you clear these, and make sure we have a very positive social image of taking PEDs, then you have a culture where the lying perhaps will stop. "See me? I take PEDs" and the crowd goes Hoooray!!! The they play some grand marching music as the non-lying, non-cheating drug filled rider takes to the podium, leaving the little poor weasles who could not afford this really good drug behind; all they could afford were some weak, not so good PEDs and we laugh at them for being so poor. There, a perfect world.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
No - a powermeter is a device to analysis training, it doesn't boost performance.
I guess you could argue that the powermeter in itself doesn't boost performance. But it seems rather academic.

Clearly the point of the analysis, that the powermeter enables is to make better training programs and thus boost performance?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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ludwig said:
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.
Firstly - you will see many many here arguing that reform of the 'system' is central to any solution of anti-doping.


ludwig said:
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.
I accept your view is theoretical - but I believe most riders if asked would they prefer or willingly dope they would answer no.

Most riders dope because the believe that is the current system and because they can see the benefits with a low risk of being caught.


ludwig said:
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.
... This goes back to my question to the OP . ... why would doping be considered bad publicity??
(Its already been answered on this thread)


ludwig said:
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.
You assume that a new initiative has to take place - actually the reality is that anti-doping has never been properly enforced and co-ordinated in the first instance.
What it needs is control from those outside the sports - anti-doping is an evolving process.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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alpine_chav said:
Haha.. that's ridiculous logic and not mine...

Doping helath issues - victim = the doper
Murder - victim = the murdered
Rape - victim = the rapee
that's not entirely correct

others that are effected by this

their family
their team
their sponsors (and those of the team)
the people the have to treat them (or bury them)
the image of the sport they are partaking in

same goes for the argument that if a drunk driver goes out and kills themselves they are the onlyvictim. what about the poor soul that has to scrape their remains off the wind shield.

Doing something that endangers lives, even if it is just your own SHOULD be illegal and rightly so.

what happens if doping is legalised? some poor fool with not enough money will kill themselves administering the drugs wrong, just for the chance of being able to compete at a higher level. It'll probably happen anyway, but if it was legal alot more would try. You'd also open the market up to rogue drug companies that produce dodgy drugs. they already exist, so why make it easier for them
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Magnus said:
I guess you could argue that the powermeter in itself doesn't boost performance. But it seems rather academic.

Clearly the point of the analysis, that the powermeter enables is to make better training programs and thus boost performance?
Again no - it is a machine for analyzing performance (thats available to everyone) - if it tells you that you were doing 400w then you were doing 400w.

There isn't a turbo button on it to bring you up to 500w.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Again no - it is a machine for analyzing performance (thats available to everyone) - if it tells you that you were doing 400w then you were doing 400w.

There isn't a turbo button on it to bring you up to 500w.
Darn......
 
Dec 21, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Again no - it is a machine for analyzing performance (thats available to everyone) - if it tells you that you were doing 400w then you were doing 400w.

There isn't a turbo button on it to bring you up to 500w.
There is on Tarmac SL 3's ;)
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Some riders respond to highly structured training better than others.

Some riders respond to sleeping in a tent better than others.

Some riders respond to watching their weight better than others.

Some riders respond to angry fans better than others.

Some riders respond to PEDS better than others.

The list goes on and on.
Some riders respond better than others.

Doping is bad sure. Doping is bad m'kay.
But "some riders respond better" is not a valid reason "why doping is bad".
Heck, if all riders responded the same to peds, would it be any less bad?
 

TheMaverick

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Feb 23, 2011
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Polish said:
Some riders respond to highly structured training better than others.

Some riders respond to sleeping in a tent better than others.

Some riders respond to watching their weight better than others.

Some riders respond to angry fans better than others.

Some riders respond to PEDS better than others.

The list goes on and on.
Some riders respond better than others.

Doping is bad sure.
But "some riders respond better" is not a valid reason "why doping is bad".
Heck, if all riders responded the same to peds, would it be any less bad?
Also, I think the response to blood doping is more even than EPO. For some people extra erythropoetin will not stimulate bone marrow into creating many more red blood cells, so they need more EPO to get the same effect. But blood doping gets around this by using existing red blood cells and putting them straight into the blood stream. It's more a level playing field.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I say don't just allow doping, require it. I want to see real commitment from the riders, not listen to all this whiny crap about fairness. He'll, let's just give them all a trophy and and go home.
 

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