Would you?

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Would you have doped? (be honest)

  • Maybe

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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FWIW, Lemond once said that if he had been younger,with most of his career still ahead of him, when EPO use began to spread through the peloton, he probably would have taken it. He understood the temptation. So for him it wasn't just ethics, but a matter of practicality. In his early thirties by then, he felt he didn't have much time left at the top in any case, so it wasn't worth it.

Remembering what I was like when I was in my twenties, I think if I'd been a racer good enough to benefit from doping,I would have done it. I would have justified it by the fact that everyone else was doing it, that it was de facto permitted. Everyone knew it was going on, and just about everyone was comfortable with it. And given I had no problem taking an assortment of recreational drugs when I was that age, I don't think I would have been afraid to transfuse or take some substance that hadn't been well characterized. Nowadays, I won't put even the "safest" drug in my body unless it's absolutely necessary, but of course young men are notoriously irrational, and think they're immortal.

Even more than that, I think I would have looked upon a very rare Bassons as a weirdo, not an example of moral rectitude, but someone too stubborn and self-righteous to go along with the status quo. It pains me a little to admit it, but at that time in my life I might have understood and condoned LA's driving him out of the sport. I wouldn't have done it myself, but I might not have protested, either.

I very much agree with other comments that it's mostly a matter of peer pressure and of being a certain age. Which means that the real villains here are the managers and cycling officials. These are older men and women who should be immune to the peer pressure, and old enough and wise enough to know better. I can forgive riders who dope on the grounds that I probably would have, too, but I can't forgive the enablers, because if I were older and in that position, I wouldn't have tolerated it.
 
I'm a hypochondriac and I'm afraid of needles. Maybe they could convince me to take some pill or other for recovery, but I'd be too afraid of a) getting caught, and b) the side effects, to do anything serious. I'd probably be happy to just be pack fodder as long as I was earning enough to get by and I wasn't getting tested all that often, because blood tests = needles, = me as pale as a ghost.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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spalco said:
[x] Probably yes. But who knows without having been in that spot.
I think this pretty much says it. I just think that anyone who hasn't been in that position can't really know. The best I can say is I hope I'd do the right thing. I'm old enough to be a parent to some of these guys and I'd like to think if I had a son in the sport I'd agressively steer him in the right path. I'd like to think I'd tell him he'll wish he'd never been born if he so much as thinks about doping, but again I just don't know.
I think a big part of the problem is not having the right people guiding riders in their early teen years. This is when kids are learning about what kind of people they want to be and personal morality. I really think that even if a rider doesn't dope until he turns pro, the decision is basically made years before.
 
Bit of a guilty conscience at the best of times when i was younger so i doubt i would have gone through with it if i had the natural talent. Then again, as others have said, its not a case of sitting at your keyboard and thinking what you would have done, it could have been a case of coming in knackered out after being beaten again by people who are less naturally talented and who are taking all the money/glory that you should have been getting. Then your boss pointing this out and suggesting a solution.
 
Jan 3, 2013
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I'm fairly sure that I have been doping since my teens.

When I was 14 I went for what I thought was a family holiday in Tenerife. However, having read the Sky thread I'm now convinced that this was just an excuse to avoid out of competition testing and engage in a doping programme.
 
Mar 26, 2013
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Yes.

I would have used the same justification as everyone did "everyone else is doing it, so I have to in order to keep up". I hate losing, and can completely understand why people went to such lengths.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Was in this position. (pro in 88,89) My ( very naive) thoughts at the time were these..If I`d become a team leader and found it was the only way to be competitive then I might. In my nativity it never occurred to me you had to dope to even get into that position!
Conclusion. NO.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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and you wonder why cycling is in the situation it's in with doping. all the anti doping clinic people saying yes they would dope

shame on you all
 
Mar 13, 2009
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the poll tells us to be honest.

the only honest answers, imo, reside in the affirmative or agnostic domain. we cannot know how we would act as individuals if we were not presented with the same circumstances.
 
blackcat said:
the poll tells us to be honest.

the only honest answers, imo, reside in the affirmative or agnostic domain. we cannot know how we would act as individuals if we were not presented with the same circumstances.
I understand your argument le chat noir, but I disagree.

"know thyself"

I know perfectly well what my position is on numerous issues without having to be exposed to said circumstance. Especially when a decision has to be made (such as the decision to dope), which is not an instinctive or spur of the moment reaction.
 
Jan 20, 2013
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blackcat said:
the poll tells us to be honest.

the only honest answers, imo, reside in the affirmative or agnostic domain. we cannot know how we would act as individuals if we were not presented with the same circumstances.
Me thinks this is true!

It will always depend on the circumstances and what choices are presented.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Of course. If doping is prevalent, there's really no good reason not to dope. Doping doesn't require pulling a Ricco and endangering yourself. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.
 
Jan 20, 2013
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sittingbison said:
I understand your argument le chat noir, but I disagree.

"know thyself"

I know perfectly well what my position is on numerous issues without having to be exposed to said circumstance. Especially when a decision has to be made (such as the decision to dope), which is not an instinctive or spur of the moment reaction.
I know myself and I know how I feel about doping....it stinks. And I know I would never want to dope , But circumstances can change you. They can and do...change people, if its your bread and butter, were not talking about the garden of edan here.

For me the worst aspect of doping is the lying and deception, all the cover ups and pretentious dope testing, which only really goes after the little guys - not those at the top who are protected...this is your real evil.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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it is curious that almost exactly the same poll was posted here several years ago...it was way before the armstrong myth collapsed and created many self-reflections among the american cycling fans.

if i recall correctly, the results of that poll were about the same - many if not the majority admitted they would dope and cheat given the circumstances.

no, i wasn’t shocked but i recall noting to myself, ‘isn’t it thought-provoking that so many of the same people speak in very strong, exceedingly critical and indignant terms of the ‘dopers’ and cheaters when they are caught‘.

again, relying on my memory, i even recall berzin’s surprise (he posted here and may correct me if i am wrong) when i pointed him to the results of that poll following one of his excellently passionate anti-armstrong posts that seemed to me (a sworn armstrong detractor) too moralistic.


long story short. i did not vote then because i felt the poll did not frame the questions the way i was comfortable to honestly answer. now, after several years, i thought about it. and even though i am still not fully comfortable with the poll, i decided to answer what imo would be the properly framed questions.

Would I dope as a teen had I found myself in the elite (national or professional) team ? the answer: if the peers nudged me - no, but if the coaches did - I probably would. no, b/c from get-go i was a fiercely independent, searching for my own ways kid. yes, because the respect for seniors and their authority was built into my dna and reinforced by my parents and school..

would i start doping in my 20s had i found myself in the elite level ? probably not, definately not knowingly ! in fact, during my competitive years i was at that level and the issue of chemical aid was never far away. but, partly due to my upbringing, partly due to my early interest in sports biochemistry, i was disinterested in the external medicines per se, rather WHY and HOW they work when put INSIDE. this, together with my earlier mentioned traits, lead me to certain principles…such as, tablet vitamins ? may be (only if i researched and understood their benefits to health and recovery). but needles were a categorical ‘no’ b/c they are meant to breach the NATURALLY eolved digestive tract. i simply could not knowingly pop a pill before I asked questions or read the label and researched it. no, wada banned list did not exist yet and i had little concern for the high sports ethics then. i simply did not see the need to swallow this stuff designed for sick and impaired people. being a huge, healthy and full of energy guy i saw no need.

and that where i stand today.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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sittingbison said:
I understand your argument le chat noir, but I disagree.

"know thyself"

I know perfectly well what my position is on numerous issues without having to be exposed to said circumstance. Especially when a decision has to be made (such as the decision to dope), which is not an instinctive or spur of the moment reaction.

I would think I would opt out of the sport like others. and like i would raise my children to.

like Betsy

but can we really know?

the aphorism you invoked, actually has at its origins, meaning to look at ones own malign actions, and not descriptive instruction or judgement. I do not think anyone can know until some honeytrap is presented to you, if you would not cheat on your wife. until the object of fantasy is within reach, and this maybe the superbowl, or wimbledon, you cannot say, this utopian bliss would be turned down.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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python said:
hat seemed to me (a sworn armstrong detractor) too moralistic.
most who come to the sport from the media, not the asphalt, go on this metaphorical ride. its hard not to, as when children develop their worldview, most are inculcated with the ideals surrounding athletics

long story short. i did not vote then because i felt the poll did not frame the questions the way i was comfortable to honestly answer. now, after several years, i thought about it. and even though i am still not fully comfortable with the poll, i decided to answer what imo would be the properly framed questions.

Would I dope as a teen had I found myself in the elite (national or professional) team ? the answer: if the peers nudged me - no, but if the coaches did - I probably would. no, b/c from get-go i was a fiercely independent, searching for my own ways kid. yes, because the respect for seniors and their authority was built into my dna and reinforced by my parents and school..

would i start doping in my 20s had i found myself in the elite level ? probably not, definately not knowingly ! in fact, during my competitive years i was at that level and the issue of chemical aid was never far away. but, partly due to my upbringing, partly due to my early interest in sports biochemistry, i was disinterested in the external medicines per se, rather WHY and HOW they work when put INSIDE. this, together with my earlier mentioned traits, lead me to certain principles…such as, tablet vitamins ? may be (only if i researched and understood their benefits to health and recovery). but needles were a categorical ‘no’ b/c they are meant to breach the NATURALLY eolved digestive tract. i simply could not knowingly pop a pill before I asked questions or read the label and researched it. no, wada banned list did not exist yet and i had little concern for the high sports ethics then. i simply did not see the need to swallow this stuff designed for sick and impaired people. being a huge, healthy and full of energy guy i saw no need.

and that where i stand today.
cogent summary.

I did not think I posted neither. my only answer i would be comfortable with would be in the negative, but i think that would be a lie to myself, as much as i would not think of myself as taking a supplement for a sport, if the circumstances were framed differently, and i had the potential of recognising a dream, it may be too powerful. and this has a premise, that it is fundamentally wrong. and i have come full circle (or 180 degrees) and doping is not an absolute wrong. in fact, i cant see even in grey terms, how it enters the spectrum.
 
Mar 18, 2013
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bobbins said:
Until there is a deterrent, people will dope.
There are deterrents, though they are far from being perfect, a perfect deterrent will never exist, and even hypothetically speaking if one did, there will always be those athletes who would be willing to take the risk. You cannot change the nature of humanity.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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No.

I have seen what doping does to people, in real life. The eighties dope that is. It messes with the brain. Big time. Guys who are now in their fourties/fifties are still enjoying those days. Addicts to any thrill they get on to.

I would have been a great whistleblower though.
 
Aug 15, 2009
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I took anabolic steroids back in the day. Needles didn't bother me, I sort of enjoyed the clandestine nature of the enterprise, and didn't think I was doing anything morally wrong. So, had I been an elite cyclist with access to PEDs that made me more competitive with my peers, I probably would have doped...
 
Definitely yes. Not at first but after always finishing in the autobus and struggling to get within time limits I would have joined in. Not sure I could uphold Omerta though. Even if i didn't rat out to the authorities I would have blabbed about it, or even hinted about it to other people/press.

I certainly would be feeling guilty about it. Perhaps like Vaughters questioning it and all, but don't think I would have stopped it. In the current environment I would have confessed.
 
Dec 13, 2012
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I can see how resolve weakens overtime, the old 1000 days and all that. After all I'm sure there are plenty of us on here that have worked for a company that practices/ethics/procedures that we didn't like or feel comfortable with when we first joined but then after a while it feels like the norm...
 
Jul 10, 2010
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I can honestly say maybe. I didn't race "back in the day", but before "the day", so to speak. My racing years coincided more closely with Lemond's.

I would have used ephedra, and would still use ephedra, if it were legal, and obtainable as an herb. I would not have used speed, in any of its multitudinous forms. Small amounts of steroids, if available, I would not have been fashed over, I think. EPO, I think, but I do not know, would probably fall into the same internal mental category as speed - too refined and manipulated as a drug. On the other hand, **** quai is an herb which acts in a similar fashion (but is much weaker) and I would, even today, consider using it.

It is like the difference between cocaine and coca leaf. One is the natural form, the other is a manmade distillation. While coca, ephedra, and **** quai are powerful herbs, and care is definitely required, I can mentally pigeonhole them as sufficiently close to food. Self-prescription could rarely be fatal if even possible. Long-term damage is far more difficult to obtain, if it would even occur. Whereas, long term damage is distinctly possible from steroids, speed, and coke, and there is evidence it may be possible from EPO and similar products.

Once these products got into the "banned" category, then I generally avoid them. However, in the pro environment we now believe was prevalent from the mid-90's to the late aughts, where the peer group was accepting, if I had ever been part of that, I might have accepted the status quo. However, I can honestly say, even in those circumstances, I would have likely been a follower, like Andreu, rather than an early adopter.

You can see from my answer on steroids that the line for me is grey, not black and white. But I am also confident of my answers, since I knew riders who were using "something" (probably speed), and would not have done the same. I know that, because I didn't. On the other hand, I got prescribed cortisone or something for some problem for a while. My strength on the bike went way up while on it. Pretty mentally enchanting that way.
 

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