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What is cheating in cycling?(16 posts)

What is cheating in cycling?Len J
Jun 12, 2001 10:09 AM
Performance enhancing drugs?
Hemoglobin Packing?
Sleeping in altitude tents?
Training at altitude?
Utilizing better Diet to enhance performance?
Utilizing a lighter bike than the competition?
Training more than the competition?

What is the Difference?

There is one argument that anything should be allowed. I know the counter argument is that you could then buy a win, but aren't the bigger budget teams buying the win now?

What determines what is legal vs. not (besides the ruling bodies)? What is the logic?
Sprinters in the mountainsCima Coppi
Jun 12, 2001 10:34 AM
Len,

Don't forget about having your teammates or fellow sprinters push you up the climbs so you don't fall out of the time limit!!!

CC
Sprinters in the mountainsJon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2001 10:44 AM
In the area of law and ethics, logic is ALWAYS flawed. The upshot is rules are usually loosely based on some principle, e.g. health of the riders, level playing field, etc. So the narrow answer is cheating is anything which falls outside the rules. Your point is well taken though.
P.S.Jon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2001 10:45 AM
In the logic of the peleton cheating is not getting caught.
What is the Principle...Len J
Jun 12, 2001 10:54 AM
that the rules in cycling are loosly based on?
It's the health effect of the drugs that draws the line.....runstevierun
Jun 12, 2001 11:16 AM
Taking EPO, using stimulants and blood packing all have serious, and possibley fatal, consequences for riders. Training more, at high altitude, or/and with a better diet, presumably, would not present the health risks that doping engenders. Drawing bright lines always raises the ambiguity in our value systems. Use speed, get bounced from the tour, use a decongestant without permission of the race director/medical staff, same result. Nevertheless, the principle behind the rule is rider safety/health. That the rules can produce ridiculous results (see above) isn't a reason to discard them but rather a reason to temper the rules with rationality. In our legal system (american system), that's the power that judges wield (and sometimes with good effect).
So what you are saying is.....Len J
Jun 12, 2001 11:31 AM
that any performance enhancing drug that had no negative effects on rider health should be allowed. Does this include hemoglobin packing (which has had no measurable side effects)? How about Testosterone injections?

I think your point about Healty/safety is a good one, but I think we get carried away with this as you go down the list of banned items. It may have started with this principle, but it clearly has gone well beyond it.

Food for thought though, you have helped the focus somewhat. Thanks.
More AmbiguityJon Billheimer
Jun 12, 2001 11:39 AM
Len,

In both Italian and French law the idea has been introduced that illegal doping also consists in taking any substance that will boost performance. So the new drug that Frigo may have taken assists in unloading oxygen from hemoglobin. But what about sodium phosphate which is supposed to do the same thing? So far as I know it's perfectly legal...and safe. And on and on and on. The rules inevitably become arbitrary at some point. They can be and often are arbitrarily enforced as well.

Cycling is not the only sport with problems. Check out track and field. It's worse there. Also observe the extremely arbitrary enforcement of rules in hockey, football, etc.
Billheimer is correct.9WorCP
Jun 12, 2001 1:03 PM
Cheating is when a rider or team introduces advantages not available to the other teams they compete against. Ultimately all rules in any sport or game are arbitrary and all participants must agree to obey these rules if the sport is to have any meaning. There are always going to be advances in science and medicine that will enable an athelete to go beyond what was physically impossible in another age, and these advantages should be allowable if, after consideration by the sanctioning bodies, they are deemed "safe" and consistent w/ the natural evolution of the sport. I think these changes should be gradual and the UCI or whover should be conservative on whatever new approaches to the sport are allowed. Cycling records would become a moot point if any new development were immediately allowed to enhance performance. That would be disrespectful to its own traditions.

Some drugs are allowable and some are not. Some bikes are allowable and some are not. If you want to compete fairly then only use the advantages that all the riders have agreed to use and no more.
Billheimer is correct.Len J
Jun 12, 2001 1:20 PM
"Cheating is when a rider or team introduces advantages not available to the other teams they compete against."

So if someone develops a time trial bike that conforms techniclly with the rules, but which gives the rider a 5% advantage (theoretically), this would be cheating becuse this same technology was "not available to the other teams they compete against"?

"There are always going to be advances in science and medicine that will enable an athelete to go beyond what was physically impossible in another age, and these advantages should be allowable if, after consideration by the sanctioning bodies, they are deemed "safe" and consistent w/ the natural evolution of the sport."

This makes good sense to me.

"Cycling records would become a moot point if any new development were immediately allowed to enhance performance. "

Why? As long as advancements are allowed, cycling records (made with inferior Equipment/training etc.) do become a Moot point. This is the nature of sports that is technology aided.

I do agree with Billheimer that the Ambiguity is part of the human condition. Someone has to decide what is legal & what is not. Because it is decided by humans, it will be flawed. I really was trying to get to the core Principle underlying the rules & I think you have helped me see some of it. I just wish the ruling bodies would keep the principles in mind when making & enforcing the rules.
Yeah. Basically.9WorCP
Jun 12, 2001 2:16 PM
As long as it conforms to the rules I see no problem w/ creating a faster machine. If the UCI wanted to ban a type of bike after its introduction because it is too advantageous or radically changes the contest in an unforseen way I would have no problem. Its like motor sports where these geniuses always manage to squeeze out a few more horsepower or mph and the regulating officials have to introduce new rules to slow them back down again (probably so they don't kill themselves). Nothing wrong w/ being smarter than your opponents.

As far as cycling records go, I guess I was thinking about continuity from one generation to the next. I mean sure, there is no comparison between the rigs Jan and Lance ride compared to the ones Fausto Coppi and that Italian cycling great Rollo Tomassi (joke) rode, and yes they didn't have access to the same sophisticated training methods, medicines etc. . . But these changes happened gradually over time from generation to generation. Suppose the UCI suddenly allowed riders to switch to recumbants after big mountain climbs like Ullrich switched to a heavier bike for his descent in the TDF last year. What would that do to fastest stage records? No comparison and the "fastest stage" would be a silly designation not a real record broken because you aren't competing, even remotely, w/ the guy who set the record. I think it's inevitable that the records are going to fall due to technological innovation and you are essentially correct but I personally feel it would kill the sport if today's atheletes aren't competing against the greats of their sports as well as their contemporaries. I'm on shaky ground I guess but that's how i'm thinking about this.
You make a lot of sense.......Len J
Jun 12, 2001 2:28 PM
I hadn't heard about Ullrich changing bikes. Another of those inconsistancies. How do you look other riders in the eye? When I was running, you could always tell the guy who was beatable by how many shortcuts he took. (especially in X country) In the heat, the guy who was worried about the heat was already beat. On some level, Ullrich was telling his competitors he couldn't win without this change. tough on the self confidence.

I'm glad I don't have the responsibility to legislate the sport. It seems impossible to keep up with anything other than the obvious. I think it might be easer if they stuck to the safety principle but I guess that would ruin too many traditions.

Much to think about. Thanks.
re: What is cheating in cycling?mk_42
Jun 12, 2001 3:52 PM
What IS cheating in cycling?
I am not talking about the philosophy of it all. I'm sort of wondering what is actually banned. I'm not so interested in the drugs as in the technology/equipment that's not allowed. And training methods. Are there some famous examples of bikes that are banned? Is there a good site for the rules of the big three european races?

_42

Banned bikesLazy
Jun 12, 2001 3:58 PM
I'm not an expert on this at all, but I do know that bikes with different sized wheels are banned
yep. Should be in here:9WorCP
Jun 12, 2001 4:47 PM
http://www.uci.ch/english/about/rules.htm
re: What is cheating in cycling?Velocipedio
Jun 12, 2001 7:56 PM
I think Maurice Garin taking the train from Bordeaux to win the 1904 Tour de France is cheating...