This Drug Thing, It’s Never Ending….so let’s just shoot them

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There had been a lull in the sport of cycling pertaining to drugs recently. Enough of a pause that it sort of gave me hope about the direction of the sport. But, I think I was just thinking optimistically, mainly because there hadn’t been much in the cycling media about it. Now there are a whole slew of new guys showing up positive. I’ll never race my bike in South America again because it is so polluted.

I’ve come to the conclusion that unless the sanctions become unbelievable strict and seemingly unfair, then there is never going to be an end to all of this. The current regulations aren’t doing it.

Ultimately wouldn’t it be nice if cyclists were more like golfers. I don’t think a professional golfer has it even in the back of his mind that he is going to move his ball to get a better stroke on it. It is beneath his ethics. We somehow need to instill in everyone concerned, that it is completely not acceptable to have any connection into drug usage in cycling.

All of a sudden, it is reported that there are these new drugs that are rampant in cycling. Drugs that most of us have never heard of – AICAR, Telmisartan, and others. It has been reported in numerous places on the internet that there are close to 100 variants of EPO that are undetectable. The French police found the evidence that linked the drug to teams during the Tour, but the UCI refused to retest the samples, as if that would have shown anything.

The Spanish authorities arrested a Columbia doctor that has been linked to doping in cycling for the past decade last week. This guy, Beltran, had AICAR and TB-500 on him when he was arrested at the airport. He has worked for a ton of Spanish teams. It is amazing to me that a guy like this can stay under the radar in this day and age of the sport. It shows me that there isn’t a radar, it is just a perception.

There needs to be a house cleaning from top to bottom. And there needs to be new sanctions created that deter athletes from even thinking about using drugs. I can’t believe that the same guys, over and over, are racing and winning after so many problems. Look at Oscar Sevilla currently winning the Veulta Mexico. He served a 6 month suspension for having Hydroxyethyl Starch in his system, which is a masking agent. This is after already been caught up in Operation Puerto and then riding for Rock Racing. It is a joke that this guy still races bikes professionally. If I was in charge of the world order, he would never be allowed to do one more pedal stroke, ever. Shot on the spot if ever seen on a bicycle. That is just about how serious I am about how severe the sanctions need to be from now on.

But, as long as there are the same players in place in all aspects of the sport, plus this new break away professional league thing starting, I have serious doubts that anything is going to change. It is pretty depressing when you really thing about it.

17 thoughts on “This Drug Thing, It’s Never Ending….so let’s just shoot them

  1. Bud

    You commented on golfers. I remember watching some sport show, they were talking about Jose Canseco or Balco. The opinion was that the next sport to really have problems with drugs was golf. Guess it has to do with being able to hit the ball as far as possible. If money is involved, there will always be problems.

     
  2. SB

    meanwhile, the UCI is protecting our lawyer tabs and making sure we wear camelbacks on the back, not the front.

    and in the parking lot of the group ride last night, my personal MD casually mentioned that he knows of several local Masters racers who are “on the program”

     
  3. Dale

    Another great post, and may I add one more to the list of cheaters that ticks me off– those who cut the course in CX or mountain bike races.

    One of many that I’ve seen was at a race in St. Louis; the course tape had been taken out by a wreck or something and most of the racers took that as an opening to ride where the tape wasn’t, effectively shortening the course by 15 or 20′ It wasn’t like this was the first lap– the course was obvious by the wear from several earlier races. Seriously? We’re cutting the course to move up a place in a freaking Cat 3 or 40+ event? Do these guys cheat when they play Uno with their kids as well?

     
  4. Michael

    Where there is money, yes folks in whatever sport might cheat. But local crits and Cat 3’s and 4’s? WTF??I’m sorry but time to come down hard on ALL cheats in whatever sport. Shooting seems too nice. And as far as your writing goes, I like it for what it is, a honest bike racer telling his readers what he does/thinks and what the life is like. Keep it up!

     
  5. channel_zero

    UCI is definitely part of the problem. The biopassport program is an elaborate system designed to enable doping, but not so much as to kill a rider.

    Two good ways forward that to which I think you might agree.

    1. WADA assumes all test processing authority. Part of the cool trick in the biopassport system is the UCI’s complete authority over test processing. UCI’s role as promoter becomes pretty clear.

    2. Backdated testing. Tests are years behind the cheats. If the riders know they could get caught 5-8 years later with current ranking wiped away and old results nullified, they would be discouraged from getting started.

    The problem with these simple solutions is the tidal wave of positives would make the IOC look bad.

     
  6. Kevin Dahury

    You guys have it backwards. Bike racing is just a sport= entertainment. Let them all dope. It is no different than training any circus monkey.

    Don’t take it so seriously. There are many LARGER issues facing mankind, let alone our country. Lighten up. Take a chill pill.

    Real heros are teachers, doctors, engineers and scientists who work to better our lives everyday.

     
  7. Matt Gibble

    How about this approach. Busted one time, lifetime ban, all sports, no excuses. Too bad for the occasional bad test but obviously these idiots will just keep beating the system otherwise.

     
  8. Robin

    It’s always fun to talk in extremes, but in reality, can you ever think of anything so extreme happening (i.e. auto lifetime ban for one-time positives?) I can’t think of a more depressing paranoia that would overcome all athletes subject to testing. Accidents happen, and people should be allowed to learn.

    Furthermore, people get angry at the UCi for limiting innovation in cycling, but isn’t “doping” a further innovation? Like dimpling on a Zipp 404, integrated headsets, and wind tunnel testing, drugs are merely placed on a continuum of innovation and performance enhancement. Where does one draw the line between good and bad innovation? Whose morals are we using?

     
  9. channel_zero

    Robin,

    Your ‘continuum’ theme is like enjoying a sausage. Not as much fun when you see what went into it.

    In that regard, it was the late ‘1980’s and European under-23’s were dying of heart attacks. At the time it was a mystery and the UCI/Pro cycling collectively shrugged.

    Looking back, it is pretty obvious they were EPO related deaths. Your elegant continuum hypothesis is smoothing over experimenting on humans and killing a few in the pursuit of winning some bike race.

    Is it okay to continue experimenting on humans and killing a few? How about chronic/terminal illness? Look up Greg Strock’s story. He was in the same program as a certain 7x winner of the TdF.

    Is it okay to enforce teamwide doping too? Because if you ignore doping the way the UCI did, the 1990’s it’s a foregone conclusion. That’s just part of the continuum though, so that’s okay…

     
  10. channel_zero

    Kevin,

    If it’s just ‘entertainment’ then we have to prepare kids to be actors in the show.

    Kids aren’t going to get to the Pro Show on fresh fruits and veggies. Many in the WorldTour have been cycling competitively since they were teenagers. What age should they start doping? 15? 13? It’s just entertainment after all….

     
  11. H Luce

    Try this:

    get caught once, two-year suspension, race results for past two years nullified with return/forfeiture of all prize money, primes;

    get caught again, four-year suspension, race results for past four years nullified with return/forfeiture of all prize money and primes, and no more riding with any team;

    get caught a third time, lifetime suspension, lifetime race results nullified with return/forfeiture of all prize and sponsor money and goods, and primes.

     
  12. H Luce

    “Bike racing is just a sport= entertainment.” It’s also a way to make lots and lots of money. Doping and cheating are fraudulent means of getting results which would not be possible without the doping and cheating. It’s criminal – it’s theft from honest riders who don’t dope and cheat

     
  13. Kevin Dahury

    You guys still don’t get it. I’ve served 5 tours overseas from Iraqi Freedom, all the way through Afgahanistan; you are all living in a very protected dream where something as trivial as who’s talking PEDs is an issue.

    Come along with me for three days and I’ll have you all peeing in your pants and reflecting on what really matters in life.

    Mr zero talked about impression on kids. Until the age of 18 parents are responsible for kids. Be responsible. I can show you kids who grow up in austere conditions and become the hope for the futures of their society.

    Just enjoy the ride for what it is. I don’t give a shit if my competitor is on PEDs or not, I just compete for the joy of the freedom I fought so hard for and many of you will never understand or cherish.

     
  14. H Luce

    Kevin – you didn’t fight for our freedoms. Afghanistan never attacked the US, it was another war that the US got lied into by the Bush/Cheney cabal, along with Iraq. You fought for the economic hegemony of US corporations over the supplies of certain natural resources – namely oil. Also, it’s probably just coincidental that the US invaded Afghanistan the year after the Taliban outlawed the growing of opium poppies and reduced the output of opium to nearly zero, and since the invasion there have been bumper crops of opium every year since.

    PEDs are an issue in this sport since they indicate the presence of pervasive corruption, the same sort of pervasive corruption that has occurred in the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, albeit on a much smaller basis. This is penny-ante stuff compared to the antics of Halliburton, Blackwater, and Kellogg, Brown, and Root.

    Both the sport of cycling and the Federal Government are in need of massive top to bottom investigation, prosecution, and reform – but the problems are of the same quality if not magnitude.

     
  15. Jim

    I am not a fan of NASCAR but they handle problems like this in a slightly different way.

    That is that they make the punishment SO severe that team owners (and sponsors) will think more than once as to whether it is worthwhile.

    As an example, traction control devices of any sort are not permitted by rule. Problem is, how can you tell if a team is using one? They are computer controlled and you can’t really tell what a computer might be able to do.

    In this case, NASCAR did not allow any sort of computer on board the car. (Now that they permit fuel injection, I don’t know how they regulate this). They also mandate exactly where, and it what arrangement, the engine electronics must be arranged.

    Bottom line, if you go ahead and try it, you are going to a pay a HUGE fine, loss of points for the driver and owner, and problems with your sponsor when you are not permitted to race.

    The punishment is really severe so you had better not get caught. Since you play in their arena, you will play by their rules. No need for courts at all. Racing is a privilege, not a right.

    I suppose lawyer tabs and sock length is easier. That MUST be why they do it.

     
  16. Knower

    In golf moving your ball is like attacking across the centerline. Doping is doping! It is endemic in every sport at the top level. Cycling it ends up deeper down. I’ve raced for years and it’s clear who is “on”. We race the same guys every week, year after year. We know when something is not right. When things are inconsistent. It’s simple pattern fitting. The sport needs to be swept of the dopers and the apologists for dopers. I have zero tolerance, doping is so straight forward I give a doper no second chance. I’ll never speak to them or applaud their performance.

     

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