Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Latest Rounds of Doping

Doping in cycling....

I'm just tired of it all. Between a large handful of Spaniards popping (including 5 time grand tour winner Alberto Contador) within the last few weeks. The Spanish government deciding to permanently close the Operation Puerto affair. Joe Papp and his magic list of clients. Kirk O'bee with his life time ban and what looks to be Australian rider Nathan O'Neill to be following closely behind. It's just about enough to make you throw all your cycling magazines, DVDs and computer in the trash and say to hell with it all.

I mean what is it going to take to clean the sport up?! Or can it ever be cleaned up. Bernhard Kohl says its not possible to win the tour without doping. And I would say judging by history he's correct.

We expect these guys to do super human efforts one day and then wake up the next and do it again. But its more than that. There are so many type A personalities out there that want to win more than anything. I was listening to a podcast the other day ( HIGHLY recommend these guys. Audio isn't great, but its the best Quality cycling podcast out there). And they were talking about the USADA doing surprise doping controls at a masters race in the north east. A Masters race... Seriously?! That's just pathetic.

I once read a really interesting study (I'm sorry I can't recall the specific information on it so bare with me) that showed the difference mentally between an elite level athlete and a Joe fresh of the couch. The question basically stated; If you could take a pill that was completely undetectable by any testing and you would never ever be caught for taking it and this pill would guarantee you a gold medal in the next Olympic games, but you would die 5 years later. Would you take it? 98% of the average sedentary Joe's out there said they would absolutely not take the pill. But when the athletes were posed the same question over half, over HALF said they would do it!  That right there should tell us something about the drive of some people.

When you add on top of that people like Bernhard Kohl, Floyd Landis, and Riccardo Ricco say they were tested hundreds of times. Sometimes just the day before or after.  And then only popped the one time. That starts to make it sound like its really not that risky.

With the rewards being so great. Why wouldn't they do it? (playing devil's advocate here) If there is such a small margin between being the winner of a grand tour and the lantern rouge why not take it? If you can afford it anyway.

I'm not sure where any of this is going. And quite frankly it doesn't change my love of the sport any more than before. I just find it morbidly fascinating and kind of sad all at the same time (like watching a soap opera). Like; Man I wish they could get their shit together! But, wow did you hear what just happened!?

Keep the rubber side down,

Big E

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