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Why the obsession with doping in pro cycling vs. other sports?

Why is doping such a big deal in cycling, but not so much in other sports, or in Rock n Rock for that matter?

I mean, everyone knows track and field athletes, tennis players, football players, soccer players, baseball players, and of course rock n' roll musicians are mostly all charged to the gills, but I don't think forums about them are filled with doping discussions, or have special "Clinic" sections.

Why the obsession in pro cycling?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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1. Doping has an obvious impact on who wins or loses. It's harder to assess the impact of doping in ball sports because there are skills besides endurance involved. Aerobic capacity is the most important factor in most everything outside of a field sprint. The baseball homerun record has been a focal point of doping talk because doping has such a quantifiable impact on that.

2. Cycling has a long public history of doping.

3. Often the details of cycling doping are spectacular and lurid, even to the most cynical fans.
 
Epicycle said:
1. Doping has an obvious impact on who wins or loses. It's harder to assess the impact of doping in ball sports because there are skills besides endurance involved. Aerobic capacity is the most important factor in most everything outside of a field sprint. The baseball homerun record has been a focal point of doping talk because doping has such a quantifiable impact on that.

...

Well said.

Cycling is an endurance sport, and not a skill sport. Doping directly improves performance.

In the current realm, of course, we also have 'the miracle' and 'the second coming' who is "driven by what's inside". And if I don't buy into the grandiosity, then I am labelled a cancer lover.

Given this particular person, it is clear that doping has a bigger impact with cycling dopes than it does in other sports.

Dave.
 
May 23, 2010
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1. Pro cycling is where you can arguably make the biggest gains via doping. Blood boosters AND recovery drugs are required to break into the top in grand tours and multi-day stage races.

2. Doping has been a big problem in triathlon and cross-country skiing as well, but these sports are less popular and have less money in them so the focus by the media is not at the same level.

3. There's probably just as much doping in US pro baseball and football and hockey - but these sports have player unions which have to some degree been effective in blocking more stringent doping controls. Then again, pro cycling has its own "omerta" which could be compared to an unofficial union.

4. All sports governing organizations are torn between doing the "right thing" and protecting their own business from a scandal that could bring down the whole operation. Corruption or more subtle silencing of doping positives has been rumored to have happened with many sports federations (e.g. FIS / skiing, MLB, NFL) over the years.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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It is a big deal in baseball and athletics, though perhaps not as big a deal. One thing about athletics is that doping rings are usually limited to certain countries. So the reaction is "Russia is dirty" rather than "athletics is dirty". Besides, if one event gets tainted by a doping scandal, there's still 20 other "clean" events.

There's no real evidence of soccer and football having a serious doping problem. Especially not the former. That helps.