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Is there any hope(20 posts)

Is there any hopegrandemamou
Apr 25, 2002 8:14 AM
of stamping out doping in cycling. Two stories to put things in perspective:

Dateline USA Today "Table tennis player Barney Reed jr of New York was suspended for two years Wednesday for a doping violation. [He]...tested positive for an elevated level of an anabolic steroid...." Not to be disrespectful but give me a friggin break it's table tennis.

May Procycling in an interview of Nico Mattan on doping: "The average speeds are higher. They can find EPO, so it's not that. But there are always new products. You can't stop doping."

I know this has been beaten to death. But, it has gotten me wondering. Every time they devise a test someone finds a way around it or finds something new. It sounds crazy but I'm beginning to wonder if it's not better to just let them do as they wish and suspend drug controls. This comes from someone who for years felt that the UCI was right that it should be about the rider not about the equipment, bike or drugs.
re: Is there any hopeNo_sprint
Apr 25, 2002 8:26 AM
I hear ya. I've got no answers other than to say some things will never stop. Will any sort of drug use ever stop? Nope. Is there an *answer* to everything? Nope.

I constantly wonder how over in Italy it's ok to impregnate a woman with a cloned human embryo however, if you're caught with a UCI banned substance, you're jailed and/or tried. I wonder how they differentiate who they are going to jail or not? Caffeine is banned. How much coffee does a civilian get to have in his home before he's raided? How much Andro can a person have before being raided? Or is it written in their laws somehow that you've got to be a cyclist to make some of this illegal...
sports fraudDougSloan
Apr 25, 2002 8:28 AM
I think the crime over there is not so much the possession or even use of substances, but using them to cheat in sports events; they treat it like criminal fraud.
aahh! makes sense. thank you. nmNo_sprint
Apr 25, 2002 8:43 AM
noDougSloan
Apr 25, 2002 8:26 AM
Two things will solve the problem:

1) Have a specific list of what IS allowed, every darn thing you could put in or on your body; that would exclude newly developed secret potions.

2) Invent and use an accurate lie detector test.

Until then, my bet is that pro's will continue to utilize whatever means they can get away with to ride faster.

The higher average speeds are likely attributable to higher tire pressures. :-)

While it's suprising that a ping pong participant would use steroids, it's even more suprising to me that anyone would bother to test for it.

Doug
of course there is hope.....Spirito
Apr 25, 2002 9:10 AM
my hope one day is for the tour de france to award points to the rider who has the prettiest bike, nicest outfit and some riding panache ie just looks cool. then they will all stop taking drugs and i may finally have a chance of wearing the yellow jersey (although i feel a battle with elafantino could happen - what a tussle that would be - never would there be a tour with more color).

till then fat chance - testing will always be a step behind.

stylin' master spirito
I think you nailed itDougSloan
Apr 25, 2002 9:17 AM
Other contests in which doping no use:

*Lightest bike

*Most gears on a bike

*Highest pressure tires

*Fastest downhill coasting speed (can't see how doping would help)

*Longest track stand

*Most aero bike

*Bike with fewest moving parts
i would make attempts in lightest bike and fastest downhillSpirito
Apr 25, 2002 10:00 AM
but no way would i use the same bike for the two.

fewest moving parts would be very interesting if combined with the downhill run. i hope the organisers would have sufficient insurance for competitors and spectators.

the team Faema (1969) merckx replica build is soon to begin - watch this space.

spirito will then announce a team sponsored by martha stewart and paid to appear in all the events just to look good - finishing depends on how many cafe's and bars are along any given course. helmets not allowed unless they are of the cinelli hairnet "good for fXXX all" variety. of course we will have special sock holders in our shorts for them cold stages such is our vanity. :-)
the Martha Stewart categoriesDougSloan
Apr 25, 2002 10:32 AM
For the M.S. competitions, you must create you own bike and clothing from natural materials, that is, shear your own sheep, weave the clothing, mine the ore...
thinking of a renegade TdF called "tour de Fred" :-)NmSpirito
Apr 25, 2002 11:02 AM
spirito = style man?tarwheel
Apr 25, 2002 9:46 AM
the secret is out. spirito is actually style man from bicycling magazine. it all starts to make sense now
o dont know of style man but if he's retro then he's brethren NmSpirito
Apr 25, 2002 9:52 AM
Doesn't seem likely...cory
Apr 25, 2002 9:22 AM
I've posted this before, but I have two friends who've been in and around big-time sport, one as an agent and one as a college athlete and physician. They pretty much agree that as long as the rewards are so great and the enforcement so lax, doping is inevitable. The trainers and athletes are always a step or two ahead of the people doing the testing, who can only react to changes.
And the money, they say, makes almost any risk worthwhile. A pretty good 240-pound college football lineman can stay clean and go to work for an insurance company after he graduates for $50,000 a year if he's lucky, or he can dope up, train hard, get up to 300 pounds and make millions before he's 30. Pretty easy choice for a lot of those guys.
cycling is not footballmr_spin
Apr 25, 2002 10:20 AM
The minimum salary for an NFL player was $450K last year. That's real money that might be worth taking some risks to get, but most professional cyclists are lucky to make $30K in a year. In fact, most of the pros who race domestically in the USA probably don't even come close to that. I read somewhere that many of the guys on Spanish teams make about $14K a year. The cost of living in Spain is much, much lower than the USA, but that's still pretty close to poverty level.

So the question has to be asked - where is the reward for the third tier guys who make up the bulk of the peloton? Shared prize winnings can't be that lucrative.
Good point, but...timfire
Apr 25, 2002 12:48 PM
"...where is the reward for the third tier guys who make up the bulk of the peloton?"

I think winning in and of itself is enough reward for many. People just want to be top dog sometimes, regardless of whether or not they get physical rewards. I've seen body builders here on my college campus who use steriods, but they don't even compete (and if they did it would just be ametuer stuff, nothing with any real prize money). I think they just like the pride of being the biggest and strongest guys on campus.

--Timothy Kleinert
My maxim on this topic has always been:Sintesi
Apr 25, 2002 12:08 PM
"If it's against the rules, it's cheating." Anyone who dopes by taking drugs explicitely listed or taking drugs which work in a similar manner is a cheat and should suffer penalty if caught. Best you can do when a line is drawn in any regard - police the best you can, knowing some will get by, and make examples out of those that do get caught as a deterrent. Necessarily flawed.

One wonders what would happen if the UCI came out and said "okay" to performance enhancing drugs under a doctor's close supervision. The contestant and the doctor sign waivers and disclose all substances used. If the athelete dies or ends up in poor health, then you have actual data and a good example as to why one shouldn't emulate his/her methods. It's the start of a slippery slope I suppose, but maybe the UCI and other sports regulatory bodies should be amoral and less parental and let the individual decide what is too dangerous and which is not. One could argue racing in of itself is inherently dangerous and harmful. I don't think Pros statistically live as long as the avg. human.

What do you think guys?
legalizing doping?DougSloan
Apr 25, 2002 12:18 PM
I would not like to see it. It would turn the sport, even more so, into a medical contest, with the riders as guinea pigs flirting with death to win. Also, I doubt that would appeal much to the public. I would not like to count on a doctor to oversee riders' health in those situations. Likely, each team or rider would find their own "whore" of a doctor who would do anything it took to help them succeed. Put it this way, if my kid, brother, or friend were a rider, I would never want them to be involved in that sort of competition. It's not worth it.
legalizing doping?Sintesi
Apr 25, 2002 12:42 PM
I definitely agree with you. Just putting forward an extreme supposition. But I believe one existing attitude is that this situation to some degree already exists. There are whored doctors (Willie Voet, Bernard (I'm not a real doctor) Sainz, probably Ferrari, etc...), the UCI does look the other way, people do perceive cycling as a "dirty sport" filled with cheats. It's a messy affair.

I'd much prefer athletes dedicated to good nutrition, hard training and "eau claire," but is this possible anymore? Is the line going to be drawn farther out with each generation? Since it is widely acknowledged that is impossible to stop cheating, perhaps there needs to be a dialogue between the medical community and the governing sports bodies into finding products that will not do damage or harm. I'm sure this isn't a new idea.

I dunno at all, just throwing this out.
Allow me to provide an example...eschelon
Apr 25, 2002 12:57 PM
even if the governing body legalized doping...the sponsors of the teams would all run like hell...away from the whole cycling thing. These companies who sponsor cycling benefit from being associated with winning teams...in a way, the sponsors seek to expand their brand awareness and all the trademarked rhetoric that goes with the whole company. People are always looking for courage and hope and honor...the governing bodies can accept doping but the public behaves in a monolithic way as far as what is fairplay and honesty goes.

Hey, even though prostitution is legal in many countries, does that necessarily make it okay to talk about the whore you screwed for $xx with your family at the dinner table?
It will go on until they start banning athletes for life,tz
Apr 26, 2002 5:23 AM
and maybe even then too. The payoff/risk "ratio" is still too attractive. Just look at the Olympic cross-country skiers. Lazutina, I believe have kept one of her medals. If her entire career was at stake, things might have been different.
Yes, this may sound like a draconian measure, but I don't think that professional sport would lose any appeal because of strict regulations. Cycling may lose some top athletes, race speeds would probably decrease, but the excitement of competition would still be there.