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Drud Use in Cycling(4 posts)

Drud Use in Cyclingbevcor
Jun 8, 2001 6:04 PM
Professional cycling has always been a haven for performance enhancing drug use, even if known only secretly. While allegations have, in the past, been very few against cyclists, the past few years certainly changed that. Riders have been accused of using EPO, human growth hormone (HGH), steroids, amphetamines and many other ban substances. Riders in an attempt to produce better results had prepared himself or herself accordingly, using 'all available technology'. As Virenque himself said at the Festina trial: "We don't say doping. We say we are preparing for the race. To take drugs is to cheat. As long as the person doesn't test positive, they're not taking drugs."

In light of the current turn for professional cycling and the continued denial and cover-ups from the UCI and the riders themselves I found this bit of info on unannounced drug testing at cycling events in Flanders. I have included excerpts of the full article below.

Drug Use in Flanders Cyclists
Unannounced drug testing at cycling events in Flanders resulted in 7.8% positives in a total of 4,374 analyzed samples in a period of 8 years. That works out to 341 cyclists busted for drug use in Belgium during that period! About 5.8% of athletes competing in the official Belgian Cyclist Federation were tested positive while 8.9% of the amateurs tested were positive. Combining these two results gives the earlier 7.8% total positives.

The most frequently detected drugs were ephedrines, amphetamine and other stimulants including prolintane, pemoline and fencamfamine. Steroid use appeared to be limited to nandrolone and testosterone during this period. Polydrug use was also detected with the most common combination being amphetamine and ephedrine. In one instance, an athlete tested positive for 5 banned substances! The drugs in this case were: amphetamine, pemoline, ephedrine, amfepramone and codeine.

This study found that codeine use was on the rise with 6 positives in 1992 and 6 positives in 1993. Before then there were no positive tests for codeine from 1987 to 1991. Strangely, codeine was taken off the IOC and UCI banned substance lists in 1994, just when it seemed codeine abuse was on the rise. Endurance athletes have been known to abuse codeine for its analgesic (pain relieving) effects. It's bewildering why it was taken off the list. Codeine in itself is not a good analgesic because of its exceptionally low affinity for opioid receptors. Instead, codeine gets its analgesic effect by converting to morphine (a banned substance). Taking codeine, a drug that converts to morphine in the body, off the banned substance list while morphine is still banned seems a little confounding.

You may see the full article here: http://www.endureplus.com/drugsinflanders.cfm
re: Drud Use in Cyclingpeloton
Jun 8, 2001 7:32 PM
Drug use in cycling is at least making an effort to clean up it's act. The poor reputation of cyclist's is due in part to the fact that there is testing and scrutiny on the subject. Other sports avoid the bad rep by just not testing altogether. Major League baseball has it in the Player's association contract that no testing for performance enhancing drugs will take place. The NFL and NBA have similar look the other way policies. Just because you don't acknoledge the problem doesn't mean that it isn't there. I would say that cycling is much cleaner than other sports that don't endure the bad reputation that cycling does in relation to doping. That isn't to say though, that doping isn't a problem at all with cycling at all- it's just villified compared to other very guilty parties. THere are cheaters in all pro sports, at least cycling is trying to get rid of some of it's offenders. You have to commend that effort.
re: Drug Use in Cyclingbevcor
Jun 8, 2001 8:25 PM
If Willy Voets is to believed, in the past the same doctors who did the drug testing were the same ones who supplied performance enhancing drugs to the riders which in his words 90% of them are. Clearly the problem goes beyond just the riders, and no amount of police raids are going to stem the tide until there is a house cleaning throughout cycling and not just in the peloton.

I can understand the rider's frustration, and the feeling of being unfairly singled out. Why aren't there police raids at the French Open for tennis players? Why aren't soccer players hotels being raided during World Cup qualifying matches?

To persecute the cyclists isn't going to solve the problem at all. Like recreational drug abuse, it is only through an intensive education campaign, along with diligent testing, that the sport be made clean once again. And that has to start at the top, and not with the political ambitions of some French or Italian prosecutor.
As long as we ask riders to......bear
Jun 10, 2001 9:40 AM
As long as we ask riders to compete on the TDF, Giro and Vuelta and ride 20+ stages and over 1000 miles there is going to be drugs,,why do we play this games,,,they ALL use drugs,,,most of the times we CAANT detect them becasue they have newer and better dugs and doctors that help them hide it!!