Friday, 12 October 2012

Cycling is now drug free. It has always been drug free.

I heard this morning the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) saying that with the release of the investigation into Lance Armstrong’s drug use, that he was now confident the dark days of drugs in cycling are over.

But I seem to recall similar comments over many years from other cycling authorities.

It reminds me a little of the way Soviet leaders talked about their five-year plans, in a five-year cycle that looked like this:

Year 1: The last five-year plan has been overturned as a complete failure foisted on the great Soviet people by a clique of reactionaries. We welcome the glorious new five-year plan that will see the great Soviet people achieve world dominance.
Year 2-4: Signs of increasing failure.
Year 5:  The last five-year plan has been overturned as a complete failure foisted on the great Soviet people by a clique of reactionaries. We welcome the glorious new five-year plan that will see the great Soviet people achieve world dominance.

Anyone who believes cycling is now completely drug free is fooling themselves.

Or working for WADA.

4 comments:

  1. I think the whole question of drugs in sports needs to be revisited. As a libertarian, I think the only thing wrong with the use of drugs to enhance sports performance is the surreptitious nature of it, i.e. the unfairness of 'clean' athletes believing they are competing fairly with other (supposedly clean) athletes who are actually doped.

    It will be increasingly difficult in future to police performance-enhancing technologies, particularly with genetic engineering and nanotechnology. It would be interesting, I think, to see just what the human body is capable of with the aid of such technologies, and rather than ban them completely, we should move to differentiating between 'enhanced' and 'non-enhanced' performances, in the same way that various categories of disability are differentiated at the Paralympics.

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  2. And in that world, what Lance Armstrong did do could still be celebrated.

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  3. To add to Kiwiwit's comment, another comparison would be bodybuilding where they have "natural" bodybuilders. Of course, all the attention goes to the guys who are on the juice and look like something out of a comic book.

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