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  1. #1
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    Is cycling really a dirty sport?

    I watched the Tyler Hamilton 60 minutes interview for the first time on YouTube and everything being said where he says everybody in the peleton was doping...etc etc...I'm sure all of you have seen it....but I'm curious on how many riders dope in everyday life...average like myself or any of you? Is it that big in cycling?

  2. #2
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    I'd be surprised if anyone I line up with to start in sport class MTB or Cat. 4 'cross is doping. At least, in an organized way to try to dominate the other amateur cyclists in my area. Really, it would be pretty pathetic.

    One of the other teams in my area had a bit of a scandal not too long ago when one of their masters' riders got caught using steroids. He'd screwed up his shoulder and was trying to rehab in time for nationals. Pretty fast category. The charitable interpretation is that he was trying to get his shoulder to heal faster; the cynical interpretation is that he'd been using all along.

    I think it depends on what you mean by "average." Someone who qualifies to go to nationals is well above average, if not as fast as a pro. People who don't even compete use steroids, sometimes, so I'm sure there are a few 'roided out guys just entering Cat. 5. In a way, it's like asking if there are any people who hold down regular jobs and do cocaine or smoke pot - of course there are.

  3. #3
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    I think one can safely say that no, absolutely not. Id be surprised if find out doping is anything more than extremely fringe. For every pro doping, theres thousands of clean recreational riders.

    It would be more common among gym guys than cyclists.

  4. #4
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    Racers who rely on results to pay their bills have a strong motivation to use performance enhancing drugs. Those who have no desire to make their living on their bike racing results have little motivation to use performance enhancing drugs. The current state of testing in cycling is needed to penalize those who seek to violate the rules. The same is true in all professional sports.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaCruz View Post
    Racers who rely on results to pay their bills have a strong motivation to use performance enhancing drugs. Those who have no desire to make their living on their bike racing results have little motivation to use performance enhancing drugs. The current state of testing in cycling is needed to penalize those who seek to violate the rules. The same is true in all professional sports.
    don't underestimate peoples desire for their moment of glory. even at a random parking lot crit.
    Blows your hair back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichieRichRK View Post
    Is cycling really a dirty sport?
    Cyclocross certainly is.

    But we try not to talk about that in civilised cycling society.

    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

  7. #7
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    Pro doping approached 100% participation. Local racer doping? More than you think (more than zero), but certainly way less than the pros.

    "don't underestimate peoples desire for their moment of glory. even at a random parking lot crit." That, exactly. I've seen and heard it. It is out there.
    Just ride.

  8. #8
    I ride in circles..
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    I've personally known a few hobby body builders that used steroids and other banned substances to increase their size and strength.. These guys just did it to look how they wanted. No harm to foul.. (except for shrinkage..)

    Getting steroids is pretty easy so I wouldn't be surprised if more amateurs use them than we think. However they'll still be limited by their cardiac output which won't be helped by roids. They'll out sprint you but you'll beat them the rest of the time I'm guessing. As for other means of doping how many amateur cyclists have the money to dope?!!? Not cheap I'm guessing.
    ~ Long Live Long Rides~

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZoSoSwiM View Post
    As for other means of doping how many amateur cyclists have the money to dope?!!? Not cheap I'm guessing.
    They probably have more money for it than most pros.
    Blows your hair back.

  10. #10
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    If there were a way to dope your way to a lower handicap in golf then people would be doping in droves.

    Evidently you can "buy" your game to a certain extent in amateur cycling and I think it is probably more prevalent than anyone imagines.

  11. #11
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I'd be surprised if anyone I line up with to start in sport class MTB or Cat. 4 'cross is doping. At least, in an organized way to try to dominate the other amateur cyclists in my area. Really, it would be pretty pathetic.

    One of the other teams in my area had a bit of a scandal not too long ago when one of their masters' riders got caught using steroids. He'd screwed up his shoulder and was trying to rehab in time for nationals. Pretty fast category. The charitable interpretation is that he was trying to get his shoulder to heal faster; the cynical interpretation is that he'd been using all along.

    I think it depends on what you mean by "average." Someone who qualifies to go to nationals is well above average, if not as fast as a pro. People who don't even compete use steroids, sometimes, so I'm sure there are a few 'roided out guys just entering Cat. 5. In a way, it's like asking if there are any people who hold down regular jobs and do cocaine or smoke pot - of course there are.
    Jonathan Chodroff was busted (ratted out by his dealer) for using, er .... possessing EPO, and the corresponding time was when he was riding Collegiate B category for Yale. He was a Cat 3 road racer at that time (see article):

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/...session_141059

    Would you call that organized? Maybe not as organized as Manolo Saiz' Puerto ring, but there was a dealer who was selling stuff to riders. Maybe he also gave tips on how to use it?

    And when you say "doping", do you include all banned substances? Because the WADA list prohibits cannabinoids [Section S8], so anybody who uses that stuff is violating WADA rules. Not to mention narcotics [Section S9] such as methadone, morphine, oxy, etc.

    So I'm sure a lot more riders are "doping" than you think, even if they didn't intend their substance abuse to be performance-enhancing.
    Last edited by orange_julius; 07-06-2011 at 05:34 AM. Reason: typo

  12. #12
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    EPO use while competing in college sounds fairly organized to me.

    I was trying to exclude recreational drug use by saying "organized." I'd hardly call smoking weed or using harder recreational drugs doping in the sense that using EPO, steroids, or amphetamines is doping.

    Steroids is supposed to be a very effective training tool - by increasing a cyclist's ability to regenerate muscle, it facilitates doing punishing workouts day after day when most of us would need to take a break. The Floyd Landis scandal, that finally got him caught, was with steroids, and he was using the drug to recover better, so he could do that one-man breakaway for an entire mountain stage. When I saw it on TV, I thought, "Wow, that's superhuman." I guess it really was, which is too bad - I never liked him that much, but it was an exciting thing to see.

    One of the claims about doping, and the reason for all the out-of-competition checks, is that by using steroids in training, a cyclist can train to be stronger and faster, with more endurance, but race with all of that out of his system so he can test clean in competition.

  13. #13
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    EPO use while competing in college sounds fairly organized to me.

    I was trying to exclude recreational drug use by saying "organized." I'd hardly call smoking weed or using harder recreational drugs doping in the sense that using EPO, steroids, or amphetamines is doping.

    Steroids is supposed to be a very effective training tool - by increasing a cyclist's ability to regenerate muscle, it facilitates doing punishing workouts day after day when most of us would need to take a break. The Floyd Landis scandal, that finally got him caught, was with steroids, and he was using the drug to recover better, so he could do that one-man breakaway for an entire mountain stage. When I saw it on TV, I thought, "Wow, that's superhuman." I guess it really was, which is too bad - I never liked him that much, but it was an exciting thing to see.

    One of the claims about doping, and the reason for all the out-of-competition checks, is that by using steroids in training, a cyclist can train to be stronger and faster, with more endurance, but race with all of that out of his system so he can test clean in competition.
    I understand your view in distinguishing drugs with recreational faculty from those without (EPO, steroids, etc.) but historically the very same drugs are used for performance enhancement. Tom Simpson didn't die from EPO or steroids, he died from a mix of amphetamines and alcohol. Is amphetamines really "harder" than weed? Many can disagree. Both can suppress pain, thus can lead to better performance.

    My opinion is that WADA made the right call in banning all of the above, as they affect performance. One can argue whether the impact is psychological or physical or both, but they do affect performance.

  14. #14
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    I saw an article a few months ago that was taking about how rampant that performance enhancing drugs had become in the everyday racing. I would think the older you are, the more benefit you would get from recovery. I just can't imagine why someone would justify using drugs to win local races.

  15. #15
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    All amateurs and professionals dope. Happy now?

  16. #16
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    There is a lot more doping then people think in amateur sports (not just cycling). It's all about competitive nature, not money(although competing for money does come in at higher levels) and you rarely, if ever, get tested.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by orange_julius View Post
    I understand your view in distinguishing drugs with recreational faculty from those without (EPO, steroids, etc.) but historically the very same drugs are used for performance enhancement. Tom Simpson didn't die from EPO or steroids, he died from a mix of amphetamines and alcohol. Is amphetamines really "harder" than weed? Many can disagree. Both can suppress pain, thus can lead to better performance.

    My opinion is that WADA made the right call in banning all of the above, as they affect performance. One can argue whether the impact is psychological or physical or both, but they do affect performance.
    But there are differences. Substances in categories S6 to S9 are only prohibited in-competition, while S0 to S5 plus M1 to M3 (methods rather than substances) are prohibited at all times.

  18. #18
    classiquesklassieker
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    But there are differences. Substances in categories S6 to S9 are only prohibited in-competition, while S0 to S5 plus M1 to M3 (methods rather than substances) are prohibited at all times.
    Yes, correct, I was writing with regards to in-competition use (hence, citing specifically the codes). Thanks for making that more clear.

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