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Thread: Doping

  1. #1
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    Doping

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    In a taxi heading downtown
    Rearranging my position on this friend of mine who had a little bit of a breakdown.
    I said breakdowns come and breakdowns go.
    What are you gonna do about it, that's what I'd like to know?



    Like that Paul Simon lyric, I've rearranged my position on doping in professional cycling. I enjoyed watching several riders who have returned from suspensions in this year's Tour. I even tried to hold a grudge against Vinokourov, but it didn't work; like the others, he's fun to watch. Riders that I don't like, I just don't like, whether they are doping or not and whether they are caught and sanctioned or not.

    So my current thinking is that doping violations and suspensions are just one more aspect of the sport, like tire punctures, mechanical failures, fans with purses and dogs, illness, and injury. Sanctions come and sanctions go, what am I gonna do about it, that's what I'd like to know.

    How about you?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by malkin View Post
    In a taxi heading downtown
    Rearranging my position on this friend of mine who had a little bit of a breakdown.
    I said breakdowns come and breakdowns go.
    What are you gonna do about it, that's what I'd like to know?



    Like that Paul Simon lyric, I've rearranged my position on doping in professional cycling. I enjoyed watching several riders who have returned from suspensions in this year's Tour. I even tried to hold a grudge against Vinokourov, but it didn't work; like the others, he's fun to watch. Riders that I don't like, I just don't like, whether they are doping or not and whether they are caught and sanctioned or not.

    So my current thinking is that doping violations and suspensions are just one more aspect of the sport, like tire punctures, mechanical failures, fans with purses and dogs, illness, and injury. Sanctions come and sanctions go, what am I gonna do about it, that's what I'd like to know.

    How about you?
    I watch and enjoy the races without worrying who is and who isn't anymore.

    I'm convinced they all dope to one degree or another, and that when a rider gets pulled or suspended, it's just to make a media show and make an example of them. If they are serious about prosecuting it, they would find a way through the legal armor that Lance Armstrong has built with his multi-million dollar empire, and start with him.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    I watch and enjoy the races without worrying who is and who isn't anymore.

    I'm convinced they all dope to one degree or another, and that when a rider gets pulled or suspended, it's just to make a media show and make an example of them. If they are serious about prosecuting it, they would find a way through the legal armor that Lance Armstrong has built with his multi-million dollar empire, and start with him.
    Well said.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    I'm convinced they all dope to one degree or another, and that when a rider gets pulled or suspended, it's just to make a media show and make an example of them. If they are serious about prosecuting it, they would find a way through the legal armor that Lance Armstrong has built with his multi-million dollar empire, and start with him.
    I'm pretty sure this is currently in process. I think Lance has a better chancing of winning in arbitration than anyone else, since he has more money to spend on his defense. But I think the odds are still against him.

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  5. #5
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    I've had this discussion with some friends. Should we care if professional cyclists dope? Should auto blood transfusions be legal (because it is their own cells) but everything else be forbidden? If we say that doping at that level is ok, what does that do to young cyclists? Will they have to dope in order to be competitive? Again, should we care?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by roo4 View Post
    I've had this discussion with some friends. Should we care if professional cyclists dope? Should auto blood transfusions be legal (because it is their own cells) but everything else be forbidden? If we say that doping at that level is ok, what does that do to young cyclists? Will they have to dope in order to be competitive? Again, should we care?
    I had this very discussion with my BF who was a high level junior road racer in the 80s. I am a doping cynic. I have been invovled in high level sport as a health care professional for enough years to know that if they aren't all doping, then most of them are. My opinion has been, why don't they just make it legal? Let them dope and stop the farce that is drug testing. For one thing, it's not like the powers that be really take testing seriously. Professional sport is about money and they make money by getting people to watch. We watch because the athletes continue to entertain us with their amazing abilities. Their abilities wouldn't be so amazing without doping...

    Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with doping. I'm just trying to be realistic. As a health care professional, it would be easier if it was all out in the open.

    My BF is also a cynic when it comes to doping but much to my amazement, he adamantly states that it can't be legalized. Not really. Because of what it would do to juniors and he's right.

    I had never thought about that angle. If nothing else, we have to at least maintain an image of trying to keep the sport clean so that youth riders can stand a chance at escaping the doping game. Hopefully at least the ones that never make it to professional cycling (most of them) will avoid using performance enhancing drugs that could kill them or maybe even give them testicular cancer in their mid twenties. Oops, did I say that out loud?
    Last edited by Wahine; 07-23-2012 at 07:48 PM.
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  7. #7
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    +1 what Wahine said about the juniors...

    As if the physical aspects of doping weren't bad enough, there's the psychological aspects too. Many of these guys seem to be in total denial and they have to kid themselves as much as they need to kid others. I really liked reading that (super long) interview with Landis on the topic. If you have many hours to spend on the topic, check this out: http://nyvelocity.com/content/interv.../landiskimmage (aka "The Gospel according to Floyd").

  8. #8
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    I second the conclusions of Wahine's discussion. I had a similar one at work (no health care experts present, but a few cycling fans). I enjoy watching cycling, but the doping is present at every level, not just professionals. Yesterday there was news of 2 amateur cyclists doping for the NY Gran Fondo (see Bike Radar).

    I think seeking surges in performance is probably like any addictive behavior: some people may try it once and really long for the performance boost. That, to me, would explain why amateurs do it, too.

  9. #9
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    Don't kid yourselves that doping is only happening at the professional level. As pll said, yesterday the news broke of master's aged racers being caught doping at a Grand Fundo - the grand prize? An $8000 bicycle that many could likely afford. One of the racers has admitted to the doping - he won Tour of the Battenkill this year. Think about how it feels to be racing against someone, only to find out they were doping.

    DH and his friends are sadly questioning the performances of more than a few local AMATEUR racers. They have the means to do it, and testing is virtually non-existent at our local events.

    Put yourself in a racer's shoes. Every weekend DH and I are out putting in our best efforts on the local race scene. We don't dope. We pay our money, work our a$$es off, and have to question the performances of some of our peers. It's disheartening.

    Oh - and EPO is readily available on the internet. And just yesterday, DH's rheumatologist quipped that even male enhancers (you know the ones advertised consistently during prime time TV?) would improve performance.

    So, do the pros do it? Yes. Do the amateurs do it? You bet. Does that make it ok? Absolutely not.

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  10. #10
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    Doping is one reason I no longer care about professional sports. I don't believe in the integrity of the people that compete. I don't want to emulate them. I don't want my son to aspire to be like them.

  11. #11
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    I'm with Irulan, though I don't watch the races much.

    I think it's always going to be a farce until they acknowledge that it is NOT about health, safety, fairness, or anything but sport. Make it about these amorphous ideals and people will feel free to violate them because they understand there's no real moral force underlying it - if there were, then the line would be drawn a whole lot closer to "natural." Outlaw LASIK, outlaw the arm pump surgery that all the moto racers get, outlaw the elbow surgery the baseball pitchers get, outlaw wind tunnel testing, outlaw metabolic testing, outlaw all of it, and only then will it be about a person, a bike and a course.

    Or leave it the way it is, and acknowledge that the physical enhancement rules have no more moral force than the rules about the size of a lacrosse ball or the duration of the two-minute warning, but that those who violate the clearly defined rules will be penalized in clearly defined ways within their sport.
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  12. #12
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    When I was in college and high school I knew many many people who were rxed adderal. Did this give them an edge academically because they could stay up for days straight studying? Absolutely. Would anyone ever consider this cheating? No.

    It seems like something that has permeated all aspects of life. I'm not sure if we should accept it for what it is and move on. But I know we shouldn't stick our heads in the sand and pretend that it's not happening.

  13. #13
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    Please don't go there. There are those of us with legitimate ADD who use cycling to treat our issues but no amount of riding negates the fact that your brain constantly misfires. Academic advantage for people with real ADD, absolutely not, maybe a slightly more even playing field, yes.

    [QUOTE=geaux;648560]When I was in college and high school I knew many many people who were rxed adderal. Did this give them an edge academically because they could stay up for days straight studying? Absolutely. Would anyone ever consider this cheating? No.

  14. #14
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    I didn't say anything about the legitimate use of ADHD medication. If you're staying up for days, you're abusing the drug, which I thought was obvious in my post. There are also legitimate uses for hormone therapy, and I'd imagine all other methods of doping. My point was that people use medical treatments for an advantage in many different ways and I'm curious about where the line should be drawn.

  15. #15
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    I used to think like some of you until I listened to an ethicist, Norman Frost, who was a guest speaker at the hospital I work at. He was had some quite compelling arguments about why doping is should not be considered cheating any more than using the latest technology is. I won't try to go into all of it here, but look him up some time.

    He also convinced me that a level playing field is a complete and total myth. There is no such thing.

    He also challenged the widely held reason that testosterone should be banned because of risk of cancer.... it has actually been found that there is not a link between testosterone use and cancers. (btw - it is normal for testicular cancer to strike men in their 20's. It's not an old man's disease. 20-39 is the typical age range) To be sure some PED's carry risks, not necessarily of cancer, but real and severe health risks like making your blood too thick to circulate.... but better to have people doing it in the open and under the supervision of a doctor, than hiding it until they die.

    (disclaimer - I'm joking!) Why not consider having been pregnant a PED it does permanently raise your blood volume.....
    Last edited by Eden; 07-24-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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