I’m not nearly a smart enough guy to understand all the issues involved with medicine. Especially taking medicine while racing bikes. I do know it isn’t very fun racing while you are sick, but that is part of the job many times.
And it really doesn’t even matter if you are a professional, where it is really a job or just a guy focusing on any given weekend. You might have be training for a specific race for a full year, only to come down with some crud the week before. There is no way you could not start the race. I’ve done that many times.
And the results are sometimes surprising, which is why doing things out of the box is amazing and sometimes the only way to push the limits of things.
But this TUE thing is ridiculous. A TUE is a exemption that allows athletes to compete while taking normally banned medicines. It is also a way for athletes to take substances that enhance performance, without being ill.
Bradley Wiggins can go on the BBC and or do an interview with The London Times and say that he was just trying to stay even or whatever, but everyone, including Bradley, knows that the reason he was taking those triamcinolone injections was to enhance his performance, not to get well, or his his words, ” to cure a medical condition”.
Here’s the deal. WADA and USADA knows when something is being abused. They can just look at the number of athletes applying for TUE’s for the same substance and if the number gets ridiculous, then they need to address the problem. But that doesn’t seem to be the way the process works. It drags on for years until it gets to a tipping point.
The guys at The Outer Line wrote a piece about TUE’s today. If you have some extra time, and are interested in the subject, here is a link. As always, they cover the topic pretty well. They don’t have a solution, but do address the problem pretty solidly.