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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    Anger of clean athletes

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    A former Olympic kayaker who competed in the 2012 summer Olympics gives his take and anger for assumptions by others who assume many athletes are tempted to take performance enhancing drugs. And yes, he does call Lance and others who deceived the world by taking performance-enhancing drugs, as losers because of their actions.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    meh… for most of his career no one could even get close to him, PED's or not, he did have an unusually suitable physique and a director sportif with an incredible talent for managing a race. If you look into test results and people who were caught with something or other, basically all of the top people were doing something too… The folks at the bottom can grumble all they like, but I'm not convinced they'd have done any better regardless. I'm more of a believer in the "you can't make a race horse from a donkey" theory of things and was made to think a great deal by listening to an ethicist who argues that performance enhancing drugs are no more sport altering than using the latest and best equipment. Part of his argument was that some countries could not afford to get their olympic athletes the newest most amazing stuff, like the drag cheating swimsuits or send them to year round training camps etc. He figured PED's needed supervision and oversight, but banning (for adults at least) them was arbitrary. He figured a "level playing field" is a fantasy, as the people who compete at these things and are at the top already have something that ordinary folks just don't - be it superior physical strength, a body incredibly suited to the sport (ala the swimmer Mark Pelps), bigger than average lungs/heart etc.

    And if you don't think sometimes your equipment can make a difference, Lemond won over Fignon because he used a clip on aero bars and an aero helmet for the final stage that year, an unusual TT into Paris. Those items had previously only been adopted by triathletes, but Fignon who went bareheaded and on a regular bike lost enough time to lose the entire race. Was that fair? It wasn't against the rules, but was certainly a PE.
    Last edited by Eden; 11-10-2014 at 05:51 AM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    But that's the deal with sports. There have to be rules, and there has to be a bright line, and nearly always the location of that bright line is arbitrary. That's maybe seen most clearly and most heartbreakingly in the case of intersex athletes like Dutee Chand or Caster Semenya, trying to compete under gender-binary sporting rules. Why is a regulation baseball a certain size, why is a football field a certain length, why is there a limit on how far forward you can set your seatpost, why do MotoGP teams have to seal their engines at the beginning of the season, why are some drugs banned and others are not? It's all arbitrary, and that's what makes it sport. Part of the job of an athlete or team is to do whatever they can to improve their performance without crossing that line. Part of their job is to get as close to the line as they can. People who get caught on the wrong side of the line deserve to be sanctioned, and people who stopped short of it deserve to be rewarded, because it's sport. It's not like it's, I don't know, being a teacher, or bidding for a highway contract, where you can legitimately say the spirit of the rules should be honored. In professional sport, rules have no spirit - they're just arbitrary lines by which the game is created.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    9,324
    Ahhh... but teachers can cross the line. We 're judged on our students do on testing. There are ways to cheat. You can read the test to your kids, you can flat give them answers. In the bubble in days you could change their scores. Nowadays you can point out the correct answer on the screen. You can encourage poor test takers to opt out of the test. And if you do poorly many are going to blame someone else, just like in sport. "Well, that teacher got all the good kids." or "My students' parents aren't supportive." or "The test was poorly set up."

    It all comes down to integrity and truly doing and believing that you're doing the best that you can without make excuses about your performance or blaming others.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    We watched "Slaying the Badger" on Netflix's was interesting to hear Andy Hampsten's take on the changes in racing
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Oh, I didn't mean that there is no line in teaching! I meant just the opposite, that that's one of those places where the spirit of the rules *does* matter, both in terms of the integrity you want to teach your students, and in terms of, at least what USED to be the purpose of testing before the technocrats took over, which was not for the sake of the test itself, but to evaluate actual progress.

    I was thinking about Rita Jeptoo's case on my run today, and how it seems to me that illustrates both ends of it. Yep, if she doped, she should lose her titles. Doesn't matter whether she'd have won without doping, doesn't matter whether "everyone else was doing it." She got (or at least preliminarily seems to have been) caught, she knew the rules, they get enforced, end of story. But her agent, on the other hand ... going into full covering-his-own-azz mode the minute he got the news - going so far as to break the news to the media himself, saying they might as well not bother to test the B sample, and cutting her completely loose ... that's not right, and AFAIC a contract with an agent creates both a legal and a personal relationship. If he sues her, without myself knowing the precise language of their contract, I'd want her to have a colorable counterclaim.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    There is nothing fair about life. I rather have a clear and "clean" conscious these days. In todays cycling world, I don't think bike equipment will make that much of difference but tactic, luck, and drugs can.

    And if you won the genetic lottery for cycling physique. No matter how or how much I trained, I was never destined to be a world class athlete. My big head weighs too much for my poor skinny legs and my neck.
    Last edited by smilingcat; 11-10-2014 at 08:44 PM.

 

 

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