In recent months I have become more and more discouraged about seeing a resolution to the problem of doping in professional (and amateur) cycling. Honestly I am not exactly sure what the problem is and what the correction should be. By this point I am one who believes doping to be quite pervasive. Still people are working hard to eradicate doping. They are clearly failing. Biological Passports and the 'Riders’ commitment to a new cycling agreement were recently shot down as possible solutions. They turned out to be a distraction from real action and a big waste of time.
We need real economic penalties. Teams don't seem to be penalized for rehiring previously sentenced dopers, certainly not when individual rider points can be added to overall team points when deciding ProTeam rankings with the UCI. Directeur Sportifs (managers) are not penalized when contracted riders under their tutelage are found to be guilty, but meanwhile have secured race wins. Riders are clearly not penalized when they are able to come back after a 2 year suspension and easily step back into sponsorships and team contracts. Even the Organizers of bike races eagerly invite recently accused dopers. Is there any reason not to dope? Health? I fear a twenty year old is going to struggle to relate to health concerns.
Do we all think doping is cheating or not? Quite frankly I am wondering if we are talking about cultural differences. Do the Spaniards justify doping, the Italians, the Americans? Think about it, is doping part of enhancing the training process, or part of accommodating better recovery, or is doping cheating in competition only? Isn't the short term glory and financial gains worth the risk? And does the health of the athlete get lost in the wake of all these other incentives to use drugs. Dopers Suck - at what specifically? I think we all need to decide why doping needs to go and decide on one clear solution.
So far targeting the athletes has not worked, targeting the teams is not working, targeting the sport might be the answer. It occurred to me this morning, that Lance Armstrong will very likely spend some time in jail and his reputation will more than likely be tarnished. But more importantly, if he is found guilty of doping and his titles are taken away, he will take with him much of the history and integrity of this sport for the past decade. Increasing numbers of citizens will look upon the sport of professional cycling as a farce. As a non sport.
I agree with the argument that by now most cycling fans have decided to accept or not accept the reality of doping. Fans have made their peace with it by now. Still continued damage to the sport would be tragic. It would take years for the sport to recover from the reverberations if Armstrong is found guilty. Will the fans and the Sponsors hang in there?
|Photo by: PedalDancer.com|
- Contador was invited to race after being accused of doping and suspended
- Franco Pelizotti proves that the UCI's Biological Passport is worthless
- Alexander Vinokourov proves that riders need not pay fines for doping as declared
- Michael Rassmussen also proves that cyclists have no responsibility not to dope
- U.S. investigators in France to review doping evidence against Lance Armstrong
- Italian police meet with Novitzky in Lyon
- The Explainer: Testing, methods and jurisdiction:"the World Anti-Doping Agency was itself created as the direct result of a doping scandal at the 1998 Tour de France. The fight against doping in sport is rooted in cycling and our sport continues to warrant attention. We also tend to produce the highest number of anti-doping rule violations. According to its annual report, cycling alone generated 64 anti-doping rule violations (and 77 adverse analytical findings), the highest number of any international governing body that is part of WADA. Indeed, the UCI’s numbers were more than double those of the second federation on that list, the International Weightlifting Federation, which tallied up 30 rule violations. We’re No.1!"
2009 Alberto Contador - DOPER
2008 Carlos Sastre -
2007 Alberto Contador - DOPER
2006 Floyd Landis - DOPER / [Operation Puerto]
2005 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
2004 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
2003 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
2002 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
2001 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
2000 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
1999 Lance Armstrong - [DOPER]
1998 Marco Pantani - DOPER / [Festina Team doping scandal]
1997 Jan Ullrich - DOPER
1996 Bjarne Riis - DOPER
Doping Investigation Maybe we should take this seriously, Friday, August 13, 2010
Armstrong's ratings are plummeting The more I know, the more I am concerned Friday, August 20, 2010