Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On Landis, Drug Tests, and High Hopes

Okay, I know that it's being beaten to death by every news reporter, blogger, and cyclists on the planet right now, but I'm going to spout off anyway. I just wanted to wait to get a feel for the "landscape" on this subject. Here's my take.........

Landis: Okay, I think things do not add up here. Look, the guy got tested all throughout the Tour and passes all the tests except one. The substance that he fails for is widely believed to be not an effective source for performance enhancement unless it is taken daily for a long period of time previous to the athletes targeted event. All right then. Does anybody see a problem here? Namely, if your testing is so good, then why didn't you catch this previous to stage 17 of the Tour? If Landis did take the needle, than why on earth would it work when everyone says it wouldn't make that much difference when taken only once? Why didn't Landis fail subsequent tests- post stage 17? If the levels of this banned substance were as high as they say they were in Landis, then how can they disappear overnight? Was this something that was being used to cover up another performance enhancing drug? Was this all just goofy? I'm beggining to think so.

Drug Tests: Let's see now, how many times have I heard about people getting tested at medical facilities and finding out the results were wrong, interpreted wrong, or were found to be negative when tested again at another facility? How many times do our experts get it wrong? Plenty of times. We've all heard about it, or know someone it happens to. The point is, no drug test is fool proof. The system is flawed and yet we demand 100% accuracy! Ain't gonna happen, my friends. In the meantime, athletes lives are at risk of being destroyed not only by performance enhancing drugs, but by the very tests used to reveal them! One leak to the press, one screwed up result, one anomaly of human nature and you have a ruined life. I do not advocate drugs for any reason other than medical treatment, but to think that your testing methods are totally accurate, free from error, or can detect human anomalies is rather a dangerous assumption.

High Hopes: People are let down by this doping affair in cycling. Folks are even angry. I say you are wasting your time and may actually be feeding the frenzy. Look, some folks say, "Take away the money and the problem will solve itself." I say, Oh really! I got two words for you. Olympic Athletes. Not paid to win by the sport. Doping exists there too. Even amongst the true amatuers. That doesn't make sense anyway. Oh! Let's take away any rewards for success and the doping problem will be solved! So..........what would the point be then? I say that it's a problem of greater magnitude. I say the problem is rooted on a spiritual level......and I'll leave it at that. Point is, taking away the money won't work. Heck, kids cheat at common school yard games and there isn't any money passing hands there. Right?

So, what do you do then? Well, I think that if you are a cyclist, you just put the emphasis on what always led you to want to ride a bike in the first place. Not on Floyd Landis' positive A sample. Not on the hopes of having a "clean" Tour. Nope. Ride for the basic reasons you started to ride for and you'll always get that same joy. That same benefit. Just don't let any of this other stuff that doesn't really matter get you down and discourage you.

Just keep pedaling!

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