Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Doping - again

Ok, I have to ask/comment about this; I hope that people don't think all elite level cyclists are using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Lets face it, to be a top level endurance athlete is a bit absurd in the first place. Why would anyone willingly submit oneself to so much pain and suffering? Regardless of salary, this is one of the hardest and most painful ways to earn a living. Some teams on the Pro Tour circuit have questionable medical procedures and a bit "shady" team doctors, but MOST riders are clean. For most, it's simply about one man's struggle against himself and the dream to succeed against all odds. Most elite level cyclists came from modest means and most have a very small chance of success. It takes an inner drive and will to compete at a high level, season after season. Most will not use PEDs for ethical, physical and financial reasons. Some riders, on some Pro Tour teams, are pressured into it, but most are clean. Sorry, I just had to put this in my blog, as a buffer against all the "experts" out there claiming that all elite cyclists are using illegal drugs.


Blogger Lever said...

I always say to people that of all the sports events and all the athletes in the world, the cyclists of the Tour de France are the ones I admire the most.

People often shrug or look at you like you're crazy, but compare a rider to a footballer who trains, then does 90 mins work, or a sprinter who may spend all their time preparing for a 14 second event...

To be in the saddle all day for 3 weeks, to climb, to descend, to keep the pace... requires a superhuman amount of effort and it is just that almost unfathomable amount effort that maybe makes people doubt the abilities of cyclists and wonder if they do PEDs... with the history of the Tour, even as far back as our own Tom Simpson, drugs *have* been a part of the sport at times, so it is a hard association to shake off, especially with drugs of the kind that are difficult to trace by the usual tests.

But when it said that, for instance, vegetarians don't get enough protein in their diets because they don't eat meat, and then there are vegetarian and vegan bodybuilders, then it is proof that the seemingly impossible can be done.

It may take time to convince people but only time will tell :)

Good luck to you friend, I hope you do well and keep us posted as to your progess :)

Blogger mags said...

Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it. It is so hard to say which sport is "harder" than the other. Being biased, since I'm an endurance athlete, I do think that cycling is one of the hardest sports. At a top level, any sport is challenging and requires the athlete to make huge sacrifices. However, of all the sports you could pick, cycling is one of the hardest and most painful sports to make a living in. As a side-note, since you brought up football (soccer for you Americans) - the training culture in this sport has far to go before reaching the quality and volume of endurance sports. They seem to think that they can rest themselves into becoming a good athletes.



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