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Why so much hate of dopers?
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I have had a few thoughts on this for a while, and the Millar thread inspired this post.

I'm not quite sure why some of the people here on ST have so much animosity towards doping athletes... The "cheaters". There is an implication that they are cheating and stealing from the other athletes in their given event. What most people don't understand, is that doping in professional sports is more pervasive than many could ever guess.

What people do not understand, is that the playing field is NOT level to begin with. All of these big, bad "cheaters" just happend to have gotten caught. I suppose that I am implying that most of the athletes in the peleton at an event like the TDF are doped. It is possible that I am wrong, but I don't think so. I AM sure of one thing: If all of the athletes who are/do/did dope in the TDF were caught and banned, we would have a very boring month of July.

Let's look at tier 2 pro cyclists, who battle it out in the lesser races, or even our local "pro/1/2s". Many of these guys are genetic/physical/athletic anomalies, just like the guys in the TDF. Many of these guys won all of their local races when they were in their youth, and showed amazing promise. They also train as hard as any TDF athletes, riding every day. BUT, something prevents them from reaching the top ranks. What is that "something", I wonder? The pressure to get to that next level, and the desire to acheive their dreams is something that one can't understand unless if one has been on the cusp of that level. It is my guess that most people will do whatever it takes, be it extreme training, crazy nutrition, or other "outside" support.

Once you are there, on the top, it must be even harder. The pressure must be incredible from fans, sponsors, teammates, family, etc. The list goes on. I offer this not as an excuse, rather an explanation for why athletes might choose to dope.

It seems to me, and to many others, events like the TDF are inhuman. I do believe that it IS possible to acheive these events without outside support, even though it is not probable. I even believe that LA's acheivements were possible, drug-free.

For the past 6 years, I have worked in an environment surrounded by elite athletes. Through recent aquaintance, I have met 2 US domestic pros. I am very familiar with the commitment that it takes to achieve top levels in athletics.

It my opinion that doping - in professional sports - such as TDF should not be banned. Rather, it should be regulated. I think that would help to level the playing field. Doping will ALWAYS be there, it always has been. That is just my opinion, though.

Regardless, I appreciate ALL of the TDF dudes and their performances with or without drugs. They are all just characters on a TV screen for me, and their performances inspire me - even the dopers (which I believe is most of them). Even with the dope, they have to train at a level that most of us can never comprehend.

On a slightly different note: Can anyone answer this question for me: What was the average speed of this year's TDF? I know that it has gotten faster every year until last year. Did it get faster again this year? I did not hear about that. I would doubt it.

Just some of my thoughts...
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
On a slightly different note: Can anyone answer this question for me: What was the average speed of this year's TDF? I know that it has gotten faster every year until last year. Did it get faster again this year? I did not hear about that. I would doubt it.
I they are all cheating, then why would expect this years tour to be slower?


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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Justin in OK] [ In reply to ]
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I believe that things were shaken up this year. It is my opinion that at least of the portion of the peleton was scared into not using their "outside support" - at least not to their usual degree.

I thought that that may have been implied by my original post.

Do you have an answer to my question? I sincerely want to know.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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My thoughts?

You assume a very unethical position from someone in the field of exercise physiology.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Paulo] [ In reply to ]
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"You assume a very unethical position from someone in the field of exercise physiology."

I don't know that my position is unethical.

I think that cheating is unethical. I do not think that doing drugs is necessarily unethical (including marijuana, alchohol, etc.).

"Legal" and "ethical" are two very different things. If the doping were legal, but regulated, there would be a more level playing field for all. In this way, doper would not be cheating, rather, they would just be using another tool at their disposal.

Granted, I do not think that doping should be allowed in amateur sports - such as in the olympics.

Why separate the two? I think that you can understand that Pro athletics are very different than amateur athletics. This would also allow for a more pure return to amateur sports in the olympics, something I believe many would appreciate.

I do think that the scenario I paint is highly unlikely. Just another opinion. I will never have any impact on this anyway, so my opinion is just that.

Note that I'm a bench-scientist (muscle physiologist), who works along side the exercise physiologists.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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I heard that last years TDF was the fastest ever and this years would be the next fastest
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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I think that cheating is unethical. I do not think that doing drugs is necessarily unethical

Refresh my memory. Isn't doping against the rules of the sport? Therefore, isn't doping cheating? Therefore, isn't doping for the sport unethical?

Help me out.








"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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I do not see how the sport could be regulated and there still be a level playing field. Say that you regulate the doping by saying that you can only use "X" drug but a rider wishes to use "Y" drug are you not back where you started (unlevel playing field).
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [vitus979] [ In reply to ]
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Here you go.

IF taking ergogenic aids (the ones that are now illegal) were to be made LEGAL, it would no longer be CHEATING. Therefore it would no longer be UNETHICAL.

Thus, my opinion is not unethical, unless if one were to believe that taking drugs is unethical.

I thought that I had explained this in my above post, but perhaps I was unclear.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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Well, if it's against the rules now and they still dope why would regulating it change anything? Wouldn't people just go beyond the regulations? Or are you saying that anything goes as long as it's disclosed?

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Don't hold back
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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IF taking ergogenic aids (the ones that are now illegal) were to be made LEGAL, it would no longer be CHEATING. Therefore it would no longer be UNETHICAL.

Well, yeah- but they haven't been made legal. They're illegal. And when people take them, they're cheating. And that's unethical, as we agree. Which is the big reason people can't stand dopers. They're cheaters.

Personally, I am against legalizing them. I don't see the point, really. And I think it would be impossible to regulate in any meaningful way. (Granted, it seems well-nigh impossible to regulate in any meaningful way by banning it outright, too.) I think you'd basically have to let anything go, and in addition to the fact that you still wouldn't get a level playing field (you'd get guys with better chemists having an advantage, or guys with more money buying better drugs, or whatever), people would go nuts with it. They'd have to. Do we really need a few hundred/thousand/whatever cyclists with blood the consistency of pancake batter? For what, a faster bike race?

That said, if it were legalized, I would fully expect every cyclist to do it, and wouldn't blame them in the least. But it hasn't been legalized, and those who do it now are cheating, and I blame them for that.








"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Runguy] [ In reply to ]
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As I said, the scenario is unlikely. And there will always be cheaters. As new drugs are developed, they would have to be each considered case by case.

But, if doctors could legally administer ergogenic aids within preset guidelines, it could possibly eliminate some of the back-alley doctoring that is going on. Then there could be a better standard among the doctors, resulting in a more level playing field.

I believe that people may percieve ergogenic aids as unethical, not just the cheating aspect. If all drugs were made legal and regulated, then it is no longer cheating. The drug regulation that I suggest would be on the amount of drug to be used. If the athletes go beyond this, they would likely put their lives in serious jeopardy.

Whatever, its not gonna happen anyway. I was just shooting off my opinion, as I said earlier.

I'm surprised that I'm not getting a little more support here. Perhaps everyone is out training. I already did my w/o this morning. I'm supposed to be working now...
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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You make a number of good points about what should be done and possible solutions for the current problem of athletes using banned substances and techniques to improve their performance.

There is a simpler aspect to this, and this is a large part of what WADA opposes: Fraud.

The auspices of sporting rules are always taken with a wink. There is a rule against fighting in hockey. But, as the saying goes, no harm-no foul.

However, when athletes attempt to sell their performances as sports marketing, particularly under the representation (in some cases, the vigorous representation) that they do not use performance enhancing substances, then they have perpetrated a fraud. They sold something that didn't exist. They sold a lie.

That is where it crosses the line.

Lance Armstrong is clean. As a result, a recent industry advertising survey indicated consumers ascribed higher credibility to advertising campaigns that featured Lance Armstrong than they did Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Anna Kournikova. The reason why people believe Armstrong's endorsements is because he is clean. Armstong's endorsement of Subaru is credible because he is clean. Armstrong's endorsement of investments is credible because he is clean.

If an athlete were to be discovered as using performance enhancing drugs after using the claim to the contrary as a sports marketing message that compromises the integrity of those endorsements. It creates brand cynicism.

It is a matter of cheating. It is also a matter of fraud. Fraud is a crime.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [vitus979] [ In reply to ]
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I really didn't mean to create a thread about the legalities/ethics of doping...

I just don't like the fact that people sit here bashing those who have been caught.

I'll bet that we are all cheering on and possibly idolizing many, many of the TDF participants who are doped and have not been caught. They are many cheaters in that peleton who have not been caught (Even Fuentes said so), yet we continue to cheer.

We all love Tyler when he broke his collar bone and went on to win a stage. Then, how quick people are to turn their backs on him once he was caught. Doped or not, his performance was amazing.

I think that the "cheaters" are INCREDIBLY brave for showing up. They don't need special jerseys. They already have a big scarlett D on their chest.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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All of what you wrote is true. It is a very big and complicated picture.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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To add fuel to this discussion, at one time, you were a doper for too much caffeine. Gianni Bugno, one of the best Italian cyclists in the early 90's was suspended from action for this very offence (too many good Italian espressos on race morning). At the same time, I can bet you that the top 20 at Kona would have been nailed for too much caffeine if they actually tested for it. 26 miles on caffeine at each aid station would likely have put many of these dudes over the top. So was it cheating? I don't know what the ITU limits for caffeine were at the time, but I bet you that it all lined up with the UCI and IOC.

Dev
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [devashish paul] [ In reply to ]
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This is an interesting discussion, as usual.

I have a real interesting medical situation. I cut a bunch of oleanders on Monday night, and now my arms have all broken out in a real bad rash!!! So, I went to the doctor yesterday and she said she would need to give me a steriod shot to try and calm it down. I said I had a race on Sunday and she commented I would not pass testing. Boy was that I funny question. Here I am sick, need medication to heal, and if I were a FOP and at a real race, I could not have gotten the shot to help heal me since I would have tested positive for steroids. I dont think my performance will be helped.

Dave

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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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Actually the steroids used to control allergic reaction are not anabolic steroids. now if you might have tested positive or not I'm not sure. Is cortisone on the banned list?

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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [devashish paul] [ In reply to ]
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[reply]To add fuel to this discussion, at one time, you were a doper for too much caffeine. Gianni Bugno, one of the best Italian cyclists in the early 90's was suspended from action for this very offence (too many good Italian espressos on race morning).
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You may want to look this up - if i recall correctly, that was his excuse, but not a plausible explanation for his caffeine levels.


Josef
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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Brother i hear ya and everyhing you said is true but people want to live in the fantasy land where THEIR heros never did the stuff. It's always that other guy. Like so many things in sports we keep dope illegal to make ourselves feel better. Logic and reason have no place in sports.

customerjon @gmail.com is where information happens.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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There are a lot of compounds that are on the banned list not because they are performance enhancers themselves, but because they look like the performance enhancing substance to the drug test. the steroids used for allergic reactions may fall into that category, the only way to know is to look up the specific substance on the IOC's list of banned substances.

Cortisone is banned if injected, but not if taken as a topical cream, although certain exceptions are made (e.g. Landis is allowed to have cortisone injections due to his hip). The UCI testing staff must be notified if a cortisone cream is used. (eg. Lance in 1999)

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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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This post made no logical sense to me.
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [dnf kona 1998] [ In reply to ]
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It made sense to me. (Take that as you may.)

He's saying that people don't like cheaters, and they don't like liars. When someone tells you that they're not cheating, and then it turns out that they have been, well, you get mad.








"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."
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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [Drea] [ In reply to ]
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It my opinion that doping - in professional sports - such as TDF should not be banned. Rather, it should be regulated. I think that would help to level the playing field. Doping will ALWAYS be there, it always has been. That is just my opinion, though.


Well, I for one have a problem with the startling number of young pro riders who have died in the last few years of heart arrhythmias related to EPO doping. I also have a problem with the number of pro athletes in this country that died of cancer and other causes related to illegal steroid usage.

Perhaps, the fact that essentially all illegal performance enhancing drugs are not intended for perfectly healthy individuals and it is medically inappropriate as well as unethical, let alone dangerous, to prescribe these agents simply to improve an athletes' performance. Removing legal restrictions by sport governing bodies does nothing to decrease the health risk or change the medical ethics questions of using these agents.

Perhaps, you have also lost sight of the fact that many medications carry adverse risks, and are only deemed appropriate when the risk benefit ratio is serious side effects versus death. Such serious risk taking is not warranted for healthy atheletes looking to improve their performance and paychecks.

I think your argument has fundamental flaws. I do not find it convincing.


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Re: Why so much hate of dopers? [vitus979] [ In reply to ]
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I think what he's saying is that Lance is not a cheater because his "q" rating is higher than Paris or Brittney(are they using peds?) and that it would expose him to criminal fraud. Based on that post I am going to turn my portfolio over to the investment company he endorses. At first chance, Monday morning.
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