Doping at World Championships

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by docgtn, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. docgtn

    docgtn New Member

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    So the UCI announced that it was toughening its doping controls at the World Championships. They say they are conducting 30 anti doping controls. Does this mean they are conducting 30 tests or are they testing each sample 30 different ways. Are they testing each rider each day? What is this random testing. Am I the only one that thinks they should test everyone at the start of the day, and by this I mean here is the testing center, you must pass through it on your way to the starting line? Just wondering if I was the only one tired of watching guys cheat?
     
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  2. tafi

    tafi Member

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    I'm not sure if you realise but drug testing is very very very expensive. No one has enough money to run testing on every pro cyclist. The UCI has a list of riders who it tests regularly (high achievers, and suspicious characters) and after every race the placegetters and a random selection of riders are tested.
    I assume (if you have the numbers right) this means that there will be 30 riders in the elite mens race tested.

    You should also know that the UCI conducts more doping tests (by a factor) than in any other sport. The only reason they are catching the cheats now is because of the testing they are carrying out. It is screwed up logic to suggest that doping cases should decrease immediately after the introduction of tougher testing regimes.

    You cannot test a rider five minutes before a race and get the results in time to exclude the cheats before the start. It takes weeks to run through all the tests which must be carried out. However running a control before the race may be better in terms of organisation (all the riders are in more-or-less the same place).
     
  3. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Yup. Too expensive. 30 tests for the elite race (if this is true) is actually a huge amount.
     
  4. Edudbor

    Edudbor New Member

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    Anyone else feel like you might as well just make it okay to dope?

    Basically, the idea is, if nobody dopes; natural ability, talent, experience, and skill will determine the winner. If EVERYONE dopes, again, natural ability, talent, experience and skill will determine the winner. It's only when you mix-n-match do *some* people get an unfair advantage.

    It'd be like taking a bunch of pro riders and putting them on Walmart bicycles. Assuming the bikes don't fall apart, ALL of the riders will be at a disadvantage from what they normally do; everyone will go slower - but it's still talent and skill that will determine who wins.

    It's a lot of time, money and effort to test riders and it is still a crapshoot. They focus on the best riders and some randomly selected riders; it might not mater to the fans who finished 2nd to last, but the guy who got last would sure be ticked off if he lost to a doper. You don't have to be great to benefit from performance enhancing drugs.

    If you just said, 'Hey - screw it, do whatever' everyone would use 'em - everyone would get the benefit and nobody would get screwed.
     
  5. Trail

    Trail New Member

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    Edudbor,

    We can't allow it for the same reason we shouldn't in other pro sports....it's not the stars that I worry about, but the "kids" trying to break in. I really don't care about the health of the high level riders that cheat....they'll pay the piper with poor health as they get older. However..if some 17 or 18 year old kid wants to try his hand at being a pro, he'll know that he HAS to dope in order to be competitive. There will no longer be a choice for those that want to ride at the higher levels of the sport (even domestic CAT I and II).

    Morover, if doping is universal, it'll filter down the youth and amateur ranks (I'm sure it has already to some degree).

    The only answer then would be a situation like they once had in body building, with different divisions for "enhanced" and "clean" competitors.

    We all know that our long term judgement wasn't the best when we were young....universal doping could have some very long term consequences for our young, ambitious competitors....and for our sport!

    Sorry to be preachy!

    Trail
     
  6. tafi

    tafi Member

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    Only it's not like that at all. If doping becomes legal then the pharmaceutical companies will have another "market" to sell to. The average racer will then have to wear another cost just to compete. Only those with the deepest pockets will be able to ride at the top.

    I fail to see how it would be any different at all.

    Added to that, of course, is the health issues as outlined by Trail.

    The answer lies not in legalising doping or even in increased testing, but in proper education of younger athletes (who to their credit are begining to educate themselves) on the issues and the fact that it is not okay to win at all costs.
     
  7. Edudbor

    Edudbor New Member

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    I come from a weight training/bodybuilding background; so I'm not very familar with the health risks associated with performance enhancing drugs used by cyclists. But, when it comes to anabolic steriods - often, the more informed an athlete is on the subject; when they fully understand how much strength/mass they can expect to gain during 6 months of natural training vs. 6 months of 'enhanced' training - and when they have a good understanding of the health risks and of the importance of PCT they often make an informed, rational, choice to juice.

    In fact, I'd say most people's opinion of steriods is heavily biased based on very inaccurate information they remember from 7th grade health class as part of the 'Say No To Drugs' movement.

    So, I'm not sure that education is the answer.

    Aside from that; as far as the cost goes - as it is right now the more money you have to spend on equipment the better you'll do. If you have a $500 dollar budget for a road bike/equipment you aren't going to be able to keep up with an equally skilled rider with a $5000 dollar budget. Short of forcing everyone to use the same setup or having strict rules on the what equipment you can use; having more money is always going to be a benefit. Letting people dope wouldn't change that; it'd just be another aspect of the sport where having more money would be an advantage.
     
  8. thoughtforfood

    thoughtforfood New Member

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    No, the beauty of cycling is that you could put two equal cyclists on vastly different bikes in terms of money, and the guy who eats the least air will win.

    As to performance enhancing drugs, you already have a system that benefits the top tier teams as it is. Those who can afford the best doctors have the fewest positives. Witness the number of positives of riders who left Disco. Having another F1 system of "he who spends the most money wins," will only hurt a sport such as cycling because while technical superiority is acceptable, pharma superiority is much less palatable to people. Therefore, the number of people available for marketing campaigns will diminish, and companies will take their money elsewhere. You will end up with a cleaner system either way. People just do not want to watch doped sports, and even those who profess to would grow tired of having the greatest number of wins going to mutant freaks who die when they are 30.
     
  9. Edudbor

    Edudbor New Member

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    If different bicycles have no effect on who wins a race; why do riders spend thousands of dollars on them?
     
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