Armstrong and Doping

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by never_doped, Aug 8, 2003.

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  1. never_doped

    never_doped Banned

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    For three weeks I have tried to enter a dialogue on the state of cycling and the doping issue.

    It seems to me that the fanaticism of Lance has reached religious proportions and the majority of people in rbr are more willing to suspect that his brakes were sabotaged than even consider the possibility that Lance as well as the majority of the peloton is doping either by substance or method.

    On one hand we have several hundred urine and blood tests that give the result 'negative' which is not the same as 'not doping'. It is only that of the substances and methods that are known and tested, that none were detected.

    On the other hand we have a huge body of evidence, testimony of actual knowedge by qualifed and probable witnesses, performance deviations and conflicting statements and actions by suspected individuals and their coaches.

    Many activities that are way more apparent, public and impact to a considerable greater percentage of the population have remained in debate despite very few having 'actual knowledge' of the event.

    Very few people have 'actual knowledge' of anything of impact. We rely constantly on our own thinking processes and ability to accumulate, assimilate and codify knowledge that comes to us second hand yet has a far greater impact on our lives than this subject. It makes little sense to me how anyone here can justify their position by repeating 'show proof'. Even if I were an ex-doctor with actual knowledge the subject would still remain under debate here.

    Michael Shermer, (the RAAM cyclist) now runs a magazine called Skeptic, writes:

    "A sizable body of literature exists on the scientific method and there is little consensus among the authors. This does not mean that scientists do not know what they are doing. Doing and explaining may be two different things. For the purpose of outlining a methodology for the rational skeptic to apply to questionable claims, the following four step process may represent, on the simplest of levels, something that might be called the “scientific method”:

    1. Observation: Gathering data through the senses or sensory enhancing technologies.
    2. Induction: Drawing general conclusions from the data. Forming hypothesis.
    3. Deduction: Making specific predictions from the general conclusions.
    4. Verification: Checking the predictions against further observations. "

    I am hoping to progress through this method by continued observation, (gathering more evidence), and testing the logical conclusions with an informed audience. It seems that we can't even get to step 2 when the majority of participants end up never considering the information or allowing the possibility.

    I find it cowardly that the majority of you here are afraid to test your conviction of Lance other than to ask for actual knowledge and to point to the current testing results.

    As we know, governing bodies have a conflict in their interests, the USOC and Carl Lewis is an example that took almost 15 years to reveal.

    As we know, athletes and coaches have a conflicts of ego, reputation and pecuniary interests with the truth. It wasn't until liver damage attacked Thevenet that he admitted his involvement
    with doping in attempt to alleve his own conscience on doping.

    I have posted a large amount of information and would like to discuss with others the issues not because of bitterness, jealousy or to be an agitatator but to possibly collectively raise awareness and out of that create change that brings about the honesty, art and drama that clean cycling can be.
     
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  2. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    So if Armstrong (or any other elite racer who hasn't tested positive) is doping he either

    1) has some super drug or boosting procedure that no one else knows about and the UCI isn't testing for,

    2) has some super masking agent or concealment program that allows him to get away with using the same drugs that others are getting caught for, or

    3) is being aided by the UCI and every other involved agency in falsifying his failed tests.

    Any of those are possible I suppose, but they all seem unlikely due to the extent of the conspiracy involved. And why are you making this about Lance if your real thesis is that the whole of the professional cycling world is involved? Singling out the (arguably) most popular rider makes it appear that you have another agenda. Why don't you propose some solutions or changes instead of just accusations and sketchy evidence?

    IMO - the UCI is way more serious about busting dopers than the IOC or USOC ever were - your analogy just doesn't hold.
     
  3. lazysegall

    lazysegall New Member

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    I just don;t understand why this issue is about Armstrong. Lance may dope and so may the rest of the professional peloton. You present good evidence, but nothing that is definatley indisputable. I would, however, say that you go to far. It is unlikely that Lance is a great rider because he dopes (granted being competitive may require doping). Even if Lance dopes he is far less of doper than Rumsas, Virenque, or Pantani. Lance's sucess can be attributed to three things. First, Lance has incredible genetics. His V02 max scores were off the chart as a teenager. Second, Lance's training is more severe than anyone elses. Third, Chemotherapy broke down Lance's body completly. He was then given the opportunity to build a body ideal for cycling. His musculature is now ideal while his upper body used to be too bulky. Lance's greatness comes from those areas (with help from a great team and manager ect.) In other words I don't deny that he is doping, but I see greatness for what it is.

    Rather than attack out denial of the facts, disscuss how things could be changed. I have a few suggestions on this area. First, there better and more consistent procedures. If masking agents are being used there is often too much time to use them. Second, clearer defenitions of what doping is and clearer rules upon violations. I don't think anyone is clear on what substances, supliments ect a cyclist can and cannot take. The rules must be made clear. The UCI also seems to accept guilty with an explanation. Every rider has a story. It was in the chocolates, it was in my E, it was for my grandmother. Either explanations are ok or they aren;t. I hated to see Scottish skier Alan Baxter get stripped of his bronze medal, but at least the IOC showed consistency. Fourth, is more money. Cycling is not a cash cow and therefore having the money to keep up with Doping is nearly impossible. Maybe there is more but I still think doping would happen.

    If anything Doping occurs in Cycling because of the nature of the sport. There are only a few sports where Doping will be sure to enhance preformance (i.e. cycling, cross country skiing, weightlifting, swimming, track). Sports llike those will always be the most susseptable to doping. Those sports are most directly related to baseline physical perfomance and not weird feats of skill. Doping will not make Ronaldo a better player. Steroids will not necessarily make you a better baseball player. Cycling is also one of the few sports where almost any doping substance would be helpful. In some sports athletes will only dope to improve strength or aerobic preformance. Cycling is a sport where both are possible. The thing that is most unique to cycling, however, is the team structure. In marathon running improving from the 200th best in the world to 170th makes little difference. In cycling, however, that could be a significant difference. Cycling is a rare sport where every rider has their own incentive to be a little bit better (whether to win a stage, win a grand tour, or stay in the proffesional peloton). Since every rider has an incentive to dope (and lesser riders have an even greater incentive to dope) it is very hard to focus anti-dopin effors.

    Never_Doped I tried to start a disscussion for you. I see how intrested you are in the issue so I'll do my best, but I think the problem is impossible to overcome.
     
  4. never_doped

    never_doped Banned

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    This will probably be subject to some ridicule because I haven't fully investigated if this is possible yet alone feasible but the idea that comes to mind (probably saw it here from someone else already) is some sort of benchmarking of each individual athlete.

    I would like to add in a type of sequestering to establish fair benchmarks. This might have to be a lengthy period.
    A 3 month period upon turning Pro might be sufficient to baseline the paramaters.

    Extending the period of reversibility of results is an idea.

    Holding samples for future testing as testing methods improve would be another idea.

    Placing prize money and sponsorship in revocable trusts that are hedged with derivitives might take out the financial incentives as well. Winners could use have the use of an annuity in the meantime and borrow (at their own risk) against the trust with the knowledge of their own chances of getting caught in the next n-years of doping.

    As a lot of crimes are often proved by financial trails (FBI spy cases, terrorism, mafia, Capone, etc.) a riders own post win behavior may most be indicative of their doping.

    As well there has to be some type of financial money trail that provides for the high cost of the drugs. Maybe more financial oversight by the UCI is another way.

    Just a few possibilities.

    (I am going to take a vacation in Australia, New Zealand for the next 6 weeks starting Tuesday so I won't be around to debate this any further until Sept. For those of you competing in the meantime, good racing to you.)
     
  5. lazysegall

    lazysegall New Member

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    I don;t understand this irrevocable trust idea at all. I worked at a trading firm that traded derivatives so you wold think that I would, but I don;t. Can you explain? On a baseline number...it would seem that some numbers can be improved by things other than doping. Until we know everything that can affect V02max it might not be fair. Furthermore, your own posts have demonstrated that doping has taken place at the amature level.
     
  6. never_doped

    never_doped Banned

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    You'd want the trust to be revocable. I don't want to go in to how to do this but it is easy to get returns sufficient enough to hedge and still provide annuities. How in the hell do you think Profunds and Rydex manage? Derivitives,futures and options.
    Even a 'dumbass' like me manages to make 25% to 100% a day of the money that I have at risk. 4 SP points will give you 10% and you can do that just out of randomness and without having to hedge.

    The bottom line is that you have to take away every incentive to dope. If riders know they risk, reputatation and reward then it would be enough to stop most.

    Of course even if the penalties are as great as prison there are people that will break the rules. Maybe the threat of being sent to a 'federal pound me in the ass prison' might stop most. The average elite athlete probably lives a better life than the average criminal.
     
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