I’m Tired of all these guys saying…..

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that this is a different era, that was a different generation, the sport is clean now, you can race, and win, without taking drugs. For one thing, a generation in cycling has to be a riders lifetime racing professionally. So, guys like George Hincapie would of had to race through 3 or 4 “generations” of cycling for that term to be used to describe a time frame within the sport.

Since it is nearly a new year, I was thinking back about this past year in the sport. Obviously, the predominate topic has to be “the catching” of all the Americans that took drugs with Lance. Nearly every rider that had good results racing in Europe on the road, the last decade, maybe more, has confessed now. But, they all say the same thing, the sport is different, it’s clean, or at least cleaner.

The only “fact” I’ve heard that confirms this cleaner sport speculation is that the speeds for the Tour, overall, and on the climbs, is slower now. That isn’t enough. I can’t see any reason why it would be any cleaner. One of the biggest negative effects of the USADA investigation was it just showed everyone that the testing is total, complete bullshit and a waste of money. I don’t want to hear anything about the biological passport here, it should be all lumped in together and is all pretty much worthless.

This article was at Cyclingnews.com yesterday. It is of an interview with Benedetto Roberti, an Italian investigating judge who uncovered lots of evidence of drug usage by cyclists, including much evidence on Dr. Michele Ferrari. He is an avid rider, doing Gran Fondos. He says that the sport is still really polluted. That “there are substances in use that can’t be found by anti-doping tests. One is Erythropoietin Z by Retacrit, it’s known as EPO Z. There’s a Chinese EPO that has been released, I don’t know its name but it can’t be found (in tests) and was definitely the queen of the Olympics. There’s also AICAR, that is brought in from the East as a powder and is apparently a kind of genetic doping. In simple terms, it helps reset muscle fibres after huge efforts. It can’t be found in anti-doping tests either.”

I say this explains the current generation more than the riders themselves saying it is clean now. The testing will never be ahead of the usage. That is just a fact. There needs to be much, much stricter internal rules made by, and accepted by the riders themselves. The sanctions need to be very severe, draconian. Nothing is going to rid the sport of this pollution, which has been engrained in the sport for generations, until the penalties outweigh the benefits.

The riders that testified “against” Lance were all team mates. Each and everyone of them easily should be millionaires. And they did it so easily. I know tons of guys that had the talent of these guys. Lots and lots. Sorry, but they aren’t the chosen ones, the special ones. What made them special is that they decided to cheat their friends, and fans, to win bicycle races and steal money and life experiences from others. They all “came clean” and so conveniently decided to quit using drugs in 2006. Now, some will serve their timeouts and will be back racing early next year. Back winning races, such as Tom Danielson did this summer winning $3000 at the Teva games in Vail, an unsanctioned event. Levi said that he’ll race mountain bikes if he doesn’t find a road team. Wow, I’d love to run into him at a technical, Mt.Snow like event. Whatever happens, they’ll be back, racing, and probably winning, since the sport is so clean now.

Jimmy Dugan said, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”

Much within our sport hasn’t been great for quite awhile, because drugs make it too easy. The sport needs a culture change, not by the same guys that benefited from the previous practices. Let’s all try do our best to make it great once again.

Pat McQuaid doing Gangnam Style.

Draco wouldn’t have allowed all this corruption in the sport if he could have been the head of the UCI.

16 thoughts on “I’m Tired of all these guys saying…..

  1. KU

    The only evidence I can look to is purely anecdotal and qualitative: the speed, intensity, and duration of attacks by GC commenters, especially in the mountains.

    I saw it most in the 2011 TdF. The attacks would go only a few hundred meters before shutting down, a far cry from the 10k all out efforts of 2002. Those who still make those kinda of moves are frequently under open investigation or at least public speculation.

    Clearly, there are plenty of counter examples, but I’ll leave the rest to discussion.

  2. Jordan

    You could look at how “boring” the tour has become, you can also see the evidence from the biological passport showing decreased suspicous levels of naturally occuring substance (not testing for the drugs but the changes they make in the system), but this should obviously be taken with a grain of salt but it is still evidence. People said this year it was too fast to attack yet it is was still slower than previous years so either they are all in worse shape or they have less drugs, that simple! I don’t think you, Steve, will EVER believe that the peloton in cleaning up even if it is shooting you in the face. I’m not saying right now that there is irrefutable evidence that it is cleaned up but all ACTUAL evidence (not postulating) points towards this.

    As for drugs being prevalent now, when were they not? Eddy Mercx was caught with illegal performance enhancing substances no less than 3 times and is heralded as the greatest cyclist of all time.

  3. Terri Thater

    I’m sure you were disappointed then, KU, when you watched this year’s Vuelta. Attack after attack after attack. Guys coming back. Heck, even in the Tour there were guys dropped on the final climb who rebounded to finish in the top 15 on the day.

    Steve is dead on. He’s nailed it. Doping is as rampant now as it was back in the Postal days. See Team Sky’s performances…

    Here’s a question for Steve: do you think it’s right for the suspended riders (especially the Garmin guys) to get paid their salary during their six month suspension? If they’re truly suspended, they shouldn’t be getting paid, right?

  4. Bill K

    Steve, you must be mistaken. You should know that Armstrong is the Devil, and now that he is gone, European bike racing is as “clean” as it was in 1998. As you well know, Americans, on this side of the pond, have never had that problem.

  5. channel_zero

    A decade’s worth of dirty American dopers never caught. Huh. It’s like USA Cycling Development Fund purposely does nothing about doping. Then there are the persistent allegations Thom Wiesel has been somehow involved in doping cyclists since his earliest efforts in the sport.

    Tailwind principals got off Scot free on doping. Owning an IOC-blessed sports federation has its privileges I guess.

  6. KU


    You have a valid point. My evidence in anecdotal at best and the Vuelta refutes my examples. I did not, however claim the PRO Tour is clean, only that it appears to be an improvement.

    That being said, I wasn’t disappointed by the Giro nor the Vuelta, it was kick ass exciting racing.

  7. Daniel Russell

    “Never seen it on the team. Never heard about it. Never seen it.” Chris Horner

    So says the deaf and blind man. Two guy in their forties ride away by themselves on the hardest day in the Tour of California. Yeah, right.

    The doctors and riders are ahead of the testers and always will be. Sleep in an altitude tent, micro dose EPO, use anabolics, HGH and testoterone patches. Know your glow time and if the testers come at the wrong time don’t answer the door. The only people getting caught in testing are those making mistakes.

    Pro cycling is a great show, just don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s real. Never has been, never will be. When you have fame and fortune on the line there will always be those that will use any means to obtain them.

  8. Bill E

    The best part of the article is that you quoted from A League Of Their Own. Nice reference.
    And if it really needs to be said—again—all these dopers suck. Karma will come back and get them somewhere, somehow.

  9. Roberto

    Steve, you will always have an axe to grind, and I get that. But I also believe it’s cleaner than it maybe ever has been. Not completely clean, but a lot cleaner. I think because of the testing, more riders are micro-dosing. Which means they are probably slower. But the one thing I don’t agree on, is when you said those guys were so good, because doping made it easy. That’s bullshit. The reason Lance won all those Tours, wasn’t because it was easy, or simply because he was doping. All the top contenders were doping. Lance won, because he and his team got the maximum effect from doping. He and the guys on his team, trained harder than anyone else. The rest of the guys in Europe could have done the same, but didn’t. Lance and everybody on his team, did more training than anyone. Because of that, they got the most out of the drugs they were taking. But believe me, it wasn’t easy. They still had to sweat. Doping doesn’t make you a superstar. Training to the point of insanity, while doping, does.

  10. tilford97 Post author

    Roberto-I don’t agree with that. It is easier. Much easier. When I’m riding good, I look forward to going out and training hard. Real hard. I want to go out and sweat and train harder than I think everyone else is.

    The pain of riding a bicycle comes on many levels. When you are going good, then pain is much, much less. The severe pain of bike racing comes when you are going badly, struggling to keep up. It is a much different pain when everything is firing perfectly.

    With these oxygen vector drugs, there isn’t a chance that the pain can be the same. Oxygen makes the pain go away. Oxygen makes the recovery much quicker on and off the bike.

    I am so motivated when I wake up in the morning after doing 5 hours and I feel good, feel like I can go out again ride a strong 5 hours again. I can’t imagine how motivated I would be if I could do that day after day, week after week, season after season.

    When I was racing MTB full time, early season, I’d wake up at 3 am after every race, wide awake, legs throbbing. I’d usually go down to the hotel lobby and sometimes I’d run into Ned there, suffering the same effects. I remember one time after the Cactus Cup in Scottsdale, Ned and I were eating breakfast at Denny’s before 5 am. I’d bet you a million dollars if I was on “the program”, I wouldn’t have be feeling those affects. Both of use were in pain, hours, days after a 2 hour race.

    What makes it beautiful is the accomplishment after suffering and pain, hours, days, weeks worth. They don’t suffer as much. I’m not convinced that they suffer at all.

  11. Mike Rodose

    Little Chris Horner hid in the corner…

    Dooooosh. Sick of that creepy smiling numbed-out gnome. Fake tough guy. Please “retire”.

  12. Skippy

    Can anyone explain to me WHY ” micro dosing ” , is NOT Doping ? With what Steve is reporting , about New Drugs being ” Undetectable “,
    ” “there are substances in use that can’t be found by anti-doping tests. One is Erythropoietin Z by Retacrit, it’s known as EPO Z. There’s a Chinese EPO that has been released, I don’t know its name but it can’t be found (in tests) and was definitely the queen of the Olympics. There’s also AICAR, that is brought in from the East as a powder and is apparently a kind of genetic doping. In simple terms, it helps reset muscle fibres after huge efforts. It can’t be found in anti-doping tests either.”

    2013 Onwards is going to be another ” Minefield “! reports that WADA have released a ” NEW CODE ” , in the consideration period , to be implemented in 2015 , begs the question of :

    A/ Are they aware of these products ?

    B/ What actions are they proposing to OUTLAW these products ?

    C/ What Punitive Sanctions are they proposing to implement ?

    WE all know that the scientific community are consulted by WADA in recent times , but , are ALL ” discoveries ” brought to the attention of WADA ? Hardly likely that ” Drug Companies “, invest Millions of their money , and then tell WADA , how to prevent their recovery of those investments ?

    SAD to think that Garmin Racers that put their hands UP , get paid during the 6 month ” suspension “. To think that Garmin has become a rehab unit defies imagination ?

    Happy New Year to ALL !

  13. Roberto

    Steve, I don’t really disagree with that. I too have had sleepless nights. I guess unless you start taking EPO, we won’t really ever know. I can surmise, that the EPO would make all that go away, but I really can’t prove it. I made no secret of the fact, that when I was over there, I participated in the cheating. I used steroids, and took blood transfusions. I never used EPO though, so i’m not sure what the effects are. What I want to see, is the cyclists not WANT to cheat. I’m probably asking for a pipe dream, but I really think that’s the only way to make things better.


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