Old Men Doping

This article just popped up on my Facebook timeline and I needed something to brighten up my day, so I read it.

The title of the article is ‘Three masters cyclists caught doping with EPO in amateur race”, which probably begs the question, ‘why did you need to read it?’. You’d be right, it’s a pretty explicit title.

The best part was reading the comments on FB, though, where most questioned why anyone would dope to ‘win a pair of socks’. I think this is missing the point.

Everybody knows ‘a friend’ who cheats a little on their taxes. We’ve also heard of people who tell little white lies (‘I only had one beer’). Perhaps some folks even embellish their CVs a little to beat out the competition for a job. Dishonesty is hardwired into our DNA.

Cycling, like any sport, attracts a minority of people who will try to win at any cost. I know someone who met Lance Armstrong at a VIP party and was nearly immediately challenged to a drinking contest by him. Apparently Lance will bet on just about anything (notably golf games) and for any amount, no matter how small. He probably can’t stop himself.

I don’t think it’s the pair of socks that is the attraction for these guys, but an insatiable urge to win and beat the other guy (or girl). And I’d posit that these 3 cyclists will probably not feel too guilty about it, either, since human nature also allows us to justify just about anything we do (something I love about human nature, incidentally). Here is Cyril Fontayne, the Frenchman who was caught motor doping a year ago:

“I don’t sell drugs and I didn’t kill a child, I put a motor in my bike….I am not the only one doing it.”

I think if you looked around you’d find similar defenses from others who’ve doped.

Finally, kudos to the organizers of the Vuelta a Miami for actually implementing drug testing. This is nearly always ‘threatened’ in gran fondos, but I’ve never personally seen it in action. If I got called to take a pee in a bottle after an event I think it would be the highlight of my career.


6 thoughts on “Old Men Doping

  1. This is a really intriguing topic, but one that has been making the rounds in the US for years. There was another fondo a few years back where someone was caught for doping.

    Amateur cycling is super competitive among certain people. We had known dopers in our races and while they were isolated from the community, they probably were fine with their drug induced accomplishments. And of course there’s the guy who used PEDs for all the KOM on Strava that prompted Gaimon’s YouTube channel.

    That said, I sort of get it. Now I would never use PEDs myself, but I also remember the grind of training and the slow fitness gains. If there was a way to make the grind just a little easier and the gains more remarkable, then I can see the appeal. Having a little bragging rights doesn’t matter much to me, but to the super competitive like you noted, that’s the carrot they are chasing. I expect that more amateur fondos will start testing. If I were racing clean then I’d be glad to test myself.

    • Yeah, GFNY has busted people in two separate years, I think. There are probably others.

      I forgot about the KOM guy! This brings up a whole other blog article – KOM chasers. I’ll have to be careful about my wording with this one, though, since I know a few of them!

  2. I also read that article. My initial reaction having lost to a guy that was juiced at our provincial time trial championships a few years ago was the same….loser!

    Digging deeper into this issue, if someone cheats in a nothing race to make themselves feel good for that brief moment, you just know that they probably cut corners and cheat in all aspects of their life as you pointed out.

    Even though I’ve won my fair share of races, and I’m very competitive, it’s the journey of one’s self, the exploration of your being, what your body can do when you apply dicipline to resolve, that’s the reward, not the shinny medal for coming in first.

    There’s always going to be someone that’s faster, makes more money, has the better job, has the bigger house, or fancier car….get over it! Live life on your own terms , not someone else’s.

    Your final point is very important and timely given what’s happening in US politics. Lying to people is becoming a way of life and seems completely acceptable, especially when the leader of the US does it every day and millions still defend him. Fake news isn’t new, it’s just accepted now and these losers show how winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

    • Rob, it was actually your comment on that article that brought it to my Timeline, I think.

      Thankfully it’s a small percentage of the population who are like this. Unfortunately for us they are often the ones at the top, controlling stuff!

  3. You hit on the head Jerry.
    Almost everyone cheats/lies/steals at SOMETHING. I don’t care if you take pens home from your job. you’re thieving. I can’t stand how society assigns levels of behavior to certain aspects or activities. It’s utter BS.

    First off, I believe in absolute choice and freewill. Many substances if not all should be legal. If I could get my hands on some quality supplements, I would absolutely use them. To be stronger, faster and better than I am without them. Even if it is fractionally better. It’s called gaining edge. As you stated, we all do it. Taxes, job, etc. We want an edge, that is human nature.

    For some blowhard journo’s though they seem to believe they are morally superior, that they can judge, I say f*ck them. They can go jump off a tall building with their smug righteous attitudes. Ultimately it is my effing choice to do whatever I want with my body. AND yes, I accept all consequences.

    I am very aware of all negative the possibilities. But again, it’s my decision or it should be. Society is great at deciding what we should and shouldn’t do based on narratives, certain fears and peoples inability to understand Freewill. Unfortunately, it is not changing anytime soon, thanks to statist mentalities and conditioned thought. So to this end, I will always defend ANYONE who chooses freewill, whether the consequences are good or bad. THAT is what personal accountability is about. 😉 You choose. You win or you lose.

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