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NPR Report on Giro and Cycling Drugs...(7 posts)

NPR Report on Giro and Cycling Drugs...Bosephus
Jun 22, 2001 11:29 AM
I heard an interesting report on NPR (National Public Radio) during my morning commute yesterday. It was about the struggle between modern cycling competition and performance enhancing substance use. They focused on the recent drug raids at the Giro. All in all it was all information I had heard before. The one thing that did strike me was a comment at the end. They said that in light of the recent Giro incident more than 80% of all sports fans in Europe consider cycling no longer a legitimate sport, despite the fact that it is second only in popularity to Soccer. The majority of sports enthusiasts in Europe think that there are few if any cycling pros that do not use drugs. One Italian guy that they interviewed on the street in Rome made the comment "How can they possibly ride up those mountains with those skinny legs ... they must be using drugs." My guess is there is a fair amount of the same sentiment amongst U.S. sports fans as well.

It's not hard to imagine a whole slew of drugs out there that are completely undetectable to current testing. Where there's a will there's a way. Do you think there are any legitimate cycling pros anymore?

I found this all very depressing. I was wondering if any of you heard this piece or had anything enlightening to add to this. I'm hoping at least some of you have a little more positive perspective on the whole matter.
...and the beat goes on...MeDotOrg
Jun 22, 2001 2:26 PM
I seem to remember reading that EPO tests can determine if it has been injested in the past 3 or 4 days, but the drugs effects can last 2 or 3 weeks. Can someone be pulled from riding for having an inordinate amout of red blood cells? Maybe so. I believe the Tour is now sampling blood as well as urine.

Cyclists are incredible athletes, with or without drugs. I wish there was a foolproof method of testing for performance enhancing drugs that was so good athletes wouldn't even think about cheating. It is not surprising that most Europeans believe that tour riders take drugs. It has been going on for decades. As to whether or not that makes the sport 'legitmate', that's the rub.

To me it is a little more disturbing that stages of the tour are up for sale (Yesterday's allegations - Outside magazine)
cycle/wrasslin'Leroy L
Jun 22, 2001 2:47 PM
I enjoyed the Giro except for the massive drug raid. Is professional wrasslin' a legitimate sport? It has a huge fan base. It it's a shame to see pro cycling turn into wrasslin' where everything is fixed and all the 'athletes' are on steroids and dope. On well....
I want to buy a stage but don't have $13KDaveG
Jun 22, 2001 3:29 PM
This is great! This is my best bet for winning a TdF stage yet, but $13,000 is a bit steep. Heck, folks here spend thousands on ultra-light parts and wheels that will never win them a stage. For a few bucks more you can buy one. Maybe I can get a better deal on a Tour of Switzerland stage?
...and the beat goes on...peloton
Jun 23, 2001 12:03 AM
They can tell from the ages of the red blood cells, and their percentages in the blood if EPO has been administered. RBC's are created at a fairly steady rate. If there is a jump in the rate they are produced, such as when EPO is introduced, there will be more RBC's of one particular age, instead of an even mix of different ages. This anomoly shows that something was introduced (artificial EPO!) that created more RBC's to be created at one period of time than the others. RBC's created by artificial EPO have a different electrical charge than do RBC's created by the body's naturally produced erythropotein. There's more to it than that too.

What the UCI and the IOC need to do is to get their test published in a major medical journal. It won't be considered to be completely accepted by the medical community until this is done. Until this is done, there is a legal loophole here in which cheaters can jump through. IE- How can I be proven to have doped, when the medical community has not yet embraced this test? The EPO test needs to go in the books.
didn't hear the piece, but to make it on NPR...SimpleGreen
Jun 22, 2001 9:44 PM
Man, cycling is really taking the publicity. NPR should also do some reporting on Major League Baseball--they're all 'ROIDED up!

Ironically, the only sports I feel that are not affected by performance enhancing drugs are golf and bowling. Can't help you win tournaments if you bench 450 pounds...

Such a shame, but that's PRO sports for you. Basketball, baseball, soccer, football (of course), track and field, tennins....they are all filled with users.

This is where we amateur cyclists win. We may not climb like Pantani or time trial like Ullrich, but we love our sport and ride our rides with purity Pro's can't touch. It's a job for them, but it's something we LOVE to do. That's what I think is the positive spin on this. In the end, if you love what you're doing and enjoy your rides, you win and ride better than any drugged up PRO!


I think you overlooked billiards, croquet, and archeryDaveG
Jun 23, 2001 8:07 AM
Lot's more clean sports out there! I hope, but am doubful, that we will someday have the technology to detect all doping and clean up the sport. I am totally unsympathetic to those caught and punished. The rules are clear and one choses to cheat knowing the risks. Doping does nothing but hurt the sport for the fans.