Sunday, September 30, 2012


The general intent of this post is to discuss the rules we live (and play) by....who makes them, are they fair and just, etc etc. I ponder long and hard about this very topic on my long solo rides (which is when I do most of my 'deep' thinking). Of course the underlying factor for my thoughts is the ongoing Lance Armstrong Affair, and in general the doping in sports dilemma.

Doping in sports is seen as "cheating".. But my question is WHY is it considered cheating? The easy answer is because it's against the rules. You break the rules, you are a cheater. And cheaters should be caught and punished, of course.

Here is where it quickly gets into the gray area. Anybody our there NEVER speed in their car? (and I do mean NEVER). Never gone above the STUPID 55mph speed limit? (the one that is STILL with us in SO many places...sheesh, once something becomes a law it's VERY HARD to get rid of!) Never gone 37 in a 35 zone? 18 in a 15mph school zone? 70 or more in a 65 zone? If you HAVE, then you should be punished. A guy I once worked with claimed he always stayed at or under the speed limit. AND, (now THIS is scary), he TRULY believed that anybody who passed him or came up fast behind him about to pass was trying to kill him, and HE should be allowed to shoot and kill THEM. Rather extreme, yes. But he has a point. Those people ARE breaking the law. He just thinks that HE should be allowed to be the judge/jury AND executioner. Thankfully that will never be the case (I hope and pray anyway).

But consider that under the current 'system' (that we are seeing in cycling first and foremost), that might include one day using some amazing new technology that allows the enforcement side to go back in time and see if you EVER broke the law (rules), and then punish you for ALL those offenses. You see, if you've been speeding for a while, (possibly all your life), then it's now a conspiracy, which is WAY more punishable than a single offense. You have a habit of speeding you see, and as such should have your privileges of driving a car taken away for you for the rest of your life. You are a very bad person. The devil. Your speeding isn't fair to those who don't.

But isn't speeding in some instances warranted? WHY is the rule there in the first place? Well, I'd assume (you know what that means) to protect the public. Someone going too fast in traffic could be a danger to other drivers. But what if there are no other drivers? What if it's just you and the open road? Isn't then the speed limit somewhat intrusive? We are blessed with human will, a thinking reasoning brain (AND opposable thumbs), and we can make decisions for ourselves (some better than others). Sometimes we can see that a rule is good, and sometimes not. It's a judgement call. We can decide if it's important enough to obey, in the circumstances that are upon us at that moment. If it's just me and the open road, then doing 70+mph in a 65 zone is not dangerous at all, and I have decided that I can disregard that stupid law. Should I still be caught and punished for that infraction at some later date, even though I wasn't caught when I was doing it?

And besides, WHO makes all these rules? Typically in society, it's just a few people, sometimes one. Well, who died and made THEM king? Sometimes WE did (elected officials), sometimes they are appointed, sometimes they could literally be BORN into that position (think royalty), and sometimes they just somehow end up with the POWER to make rules. But just what is a rule? In a nutshell, it's someone using THEIR morals, values and OPINION as to what is right and wrong, and imposing that upon others without their consent, theoretically for their own good. Is this always the case? I'd say not. But THAT is just my opinion, which is EXACTLY what a rule is in the end...someone's opinion on how things should be.

I've noticed that in most cases, the people who MAKE the rules typically aren't bound by them (not to get political, but take our US Congress for instance). That is one strange conflict of interest. Making rules for EVERYBODY ELSE that doesn't apply to you. And as to rules in sports, they are typically NOT written by the participants themselves. Which I always find interesting....someone who DOESN'T do the activity under scrutiny is making the rules for that activity. How on earth do THEY know what's best? My job is in electronics. I hold various certifications that are required for me to do my job. I have a NASA cert in soldering and fiber optics, and Lockheed-Martin aerospace certs in crimps, wire wrap, wire-harness assy, connector mate-demate, and many more. If I do say so myself, I'm pretty darn good at my job. In some areas I'm quite exceptional. For someone to come along and make a rule pertaining to my job that DOESN'T do my job, well...that would be ridiculous. HOW on earth would that person know what's required? They DON'T. That's the simple answer. Which is quite maddening, because in our society we have people making rules that have no real idea what they are talking about. They are imposing their values, morals, judgements and opinions onto a topic in which they are not experts.

But Matt, where are you going with all this? Well, I'll tell you. Over at Rants a commenter there recently made the comment that long ago in the TDF it was considered cheating to use more than 2 bottles of water in a stage. I had never heard of this before, but it probably makes sense way back in the day. I very much doubt that this rule was written by a racer. I can vaguely understand the desired effect of this rule: making a level playing field. Each racer gets two and ONLY two bottles of water to complete a stage. There....all's fair now, right? But wait. Every single person on the planet has slightly different physiology. One guy sweats more than another. Each guy has different weights, builds, etc. I'd say this rule was dumb (but that's just MY opinion). So... what if you "CHEATED" and had more than 2 bottles of water? Is this rule a good one? Back at the time it was probably considered so by some...but as the world turns and time goes on, the rules change and evolve as we progress. Eventually that rule was changed or done away with as it wasn't practical or feasible for the sport.

There was also a rule way-back-when that each TDF bike-racer be TOTALLY self sufficient. Carrying all their own equipment (spare tires, tubes, etc). They would stop and buy food and drink along the way (they would typically eat cheese and wine, and drink olive oil for the high calories it contains). ANY outside assistance with bike repairs would disqualify you. One guy was leading the TDF and his ancient steel fork broke. He carried his bike to a blacksmith shop, and welded the fork back together himself (welding in that time wasn't with a torch or was with fire and a hammer and an making horseshoes and swords and such). He went on and won that race, only he was later disqualified because the blacksmith operated the bellows so the rider could effect the actual repair. He had help, thus he violated the rule, and paid the price for it. SHOULD he have been disqualified? Well..he did break THE RULE. But was it a good rule? Maybe at the time it seemed prudent...but can you imagine today if that rule were still in existence? would put pro cycling back into the stone ages. No tire or bike swaps, no food on the road. The level of racing would go WAY down. Thankfully we've adapted and now the racers go faster than ever before, and we have cameras everywhere filming the action...and it's all very exciting which is good for the sponsors and teams and racers.

So as technology moves us forward, the rules slowly adapt to the new world order. WAY back when I was a sophomore in high school, calculators were pretty new to the world. I recall my dad bringing home the first one I had ever seen...he was a salesman at the time, and it was a quite pricy yet exciting new tool! It was pretty small, fit in the palm of his hand, and did addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. OMG WHAT A MARVEL! Well, just a few years later they were becoming fairly common, yet I had to use a slide-rule in my electronics class for the entire first semester. Calculators to do your math (even though you had to KNOW the formulas) was considered cheating and not allowed. Of course that rule has changed. Can you imagine going thru college today without a calculator? Or a computer? Or a super-high-falluting-whammy-jammy i-phone 27? on earth would you ever possibly make it? And the heck with college...try GRADE school! Boy, the times they have a-changed!

The point IS that rules (hopefully) adapt to the ever-changing world we live in...albeit always behind the curve to some extent. In sports the rules are there to presumably present fair play, the ever dreamed about (but probably never achieved) level playing field. And so...back to the moment. SHOULD PED's (as we know of them at this very moment in time) be considered cheating? Well...back in the day taking on extra water was cheating. The human body is mostly composed of water. You have all the water you need right in your body at any given moment. So now you are taking in EXTERNAL WATER? Wait just a cotton picking minute...that's CHEATING! MORE water than you body already has in it? NO FAIR! CHEATER! CHEATER! Disqualify! Throw the bum out of the sport!

But WAIT! The human body also has  naturally occurring EPO in it....we have just learned to re-create it via the wonders of technology. Sure, it was CREATED to help anemic patients with a low red blood cell count (that's me, or very close....but I just can't seem to convince any Dr. to prescribe it, darn it!) Cancer patients who have had their bone marrow destroyed by chemo or radiation treatments. Oh...well there you have it. EPO was created for that purpose, so it can't possibly be used for ANY other purpose. BUT WAIT AGAIN! It would seem that MOST things we create have found alternate uses, sometimes BETTER than the original intent! Why...I personally can't FATHOM a world without yellow stickies...I'm surrounded by them at nearly all times! But the sticky-stuff wasn't created for that purpose...but some smart man at 3M thought it up after accidentally creating the re-usable sticky goo. Hmmm...taking something and using it for something else that it's good for. WOW! What a CRAZY CONCEPT!

So....back to EPO. And HGH (Human Growth Hormone). And steroids (testosterone is the one typically in the sporting news just now). What do they do? a nutshell, they ALLOW for the possibility for an athlete to become better. I say ALLOW, because he/she can inject/ingest all they can of these items....but it won't help them one iota. You see, they STILL have to go out and TRAIN. What these PED's really do is allow the athlete to become BETTER by doing even MORE had work than if he didn't have them. Muscle mass isn't built by lying on the couch drinking beer and eating pizza over the winter (just ask Jan Ulrich)'s developed by WORK. LOTS of work. EPO gives the athlete more red blood cells, so his heart can deliver MORE oxygen to the muscles with less beats. So he can do more work with a lower heart rate. It also allows for faster recovery after hard workouts. HGH allows for faster recovery, as the body heals its-self better and faster, like when you were younger. Testosterone allows for more muscle development (of course, all this is a SUPER-nutshell of the benefits of these PED's taken from my understanding).

Wow..that is all very interesting. So Matt...what it seems you are saying is that it appears that the very same PED's that are currently against the rules allow the athletes to become BETTER at what they are paid to do?

Yes... It would appear to be so.

So WHY is it against the rules? Because a few people have decided so, that's why. Quite honestly, I'd think pretty much anything that allows a PROFESSIONAL athlete to be BETTER at his job would be a good thing. But's against the rules. Cheating. But do the athletes themselves see it as cheating? By the very nature of the current dilemma we find ourselves in, I'd have to say the answer to that question is in general NO. THEY are the ones doing the training and work to become better. The PED's just allow them to do that. No amount of PED's on the planet will make me into a star cyclist, or swimmer, or backpacker, or whatever else there is to be a star at that I have any interest in at all. I don't have the drive and determination to do the work necessary.
Somehow we've developed this stigma that is associated to the word 'drugs', maybe due to the "druggies" of the 60s? I don't know, but you hear the word DRUGS and you think BAD. However we take aspirin (actual aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, or any of a dozen other medications) to FEEL better from simple aches and pains. But take a drug to help you PERFORM better, and WHOA now...NOT ok? That seems silly. There is no magic beanstalk don't PERFORM better just by taking the stuff, you still need to DO the work. In fact, MORE work. THAT's how you actually perform did MORE work. So your performing better is a reward for that work, and the assist your body got was from using current technology (just like getting rid of a headache), as it allowed you to make your body TRULY perform right at the peak of what is possible. As we move forward what we know will only increase, and there will be newer and better ways to help the body do what it does even better. Will this be a bad thing? Helping the human body be BETTER? Oh...yes, back to the DRUG thing...evil...doping. So yes it MUST be bad.

 I've seen the arguments that they are dangerous. Well, let's discuss that.

They certainly have that potential. All drugs have that potential. But not just drugs/medications... LOTS of things are dangerous. Driving to work in your CAR is dangerous. But we accept that risk. Yet people die every day in their cars, and that's ok. Part of life. So, back to the PED's. Yes, cyclist's have DIED from EPO use in the past. However, that was actually from EPO over-use. They got their hematacrit SO very high that their super-fit young hearts couldn't pump the sludge during their sleep due to their insanely low resting heart-rate, and they died from heart attacks. How on earth could this happen? Mostly I'll speculate because it was all done under the cloak of secrecy. NOT out in the open, monitored by qualified medical personnel (who are very interested in the health of their athletes, as are the teams and sponsors, as each athlete is worth MONEY). So the very rules making this stuff illegal (which the cyclists themselves ALL know to be of GREAT benefit to doing their jobs better) is what makes them the MOST dangerous. Buying them from unknown sources, obviously illegal. Transporting them, concealing their use, disposing of the 'evidence'.

Though there is this tidbit to consider: being my own devils advocate and all, what are the FUTURE ramifications of using these PED's? We don't really know. Because it's not the future yet. We will in a few years...and maybe all the rules banning the stuff WILL end up having been better for the athletes safety. But we don't know that. No matter WHAT drug (medication) you take, you won't know until it's too late that it ended up being dangerous.

I fondly recall back in the day, my beloved Oakland Raider football team of the 70's. John Matusak, Lyle Alzado, and many others from that era. Ahhh....they were my heroes. However, they used steroids to bulk up, get bigger and stronger, and be better at their jobs. They were big and strong and fast. And living the good life as sports superstars. And it eventually killed them. Decades taken off their lives due to the use of these drugs. But, it allowed them to be come the BEST at what they did. They were PRO football players. They won the lottery and played in the NFL. Did they know it would take years off their lives? Maybe, maybe not...I can't answer that. Maybe they didn't care...young people are like that...the years in the far off future are something they might be willing to trade. Sadly, most drugs haven't been around long enough to tell what the future holds for their users. But that applies to most ANY product manufactured...drugs, cars, hot coffee, desiccant bags..... you name it, someone has done something stupid with it, and sometimes even with PROPER use still suffered for it. Just watch your TV for a bit, and some commercial will come on advertising some law firm with a class action lawsuit over some product that was used in the past and has now been found to be dangerous. Well folks, let me tell you: LIFE is dangerous. It will kill you...I GUARANTEE that you won't get out alive. I say enjoy it while you can. OK...back to the discussion in progress.

Just look at Asbestos. WOW, if there was ever a product that caused harm in the future, it was that. But the manufacturers (supposedly) didn't know it at the time, and it was used pretty much EVERYWHERE. Sometimes it comes down to simple awareness and proper use of things that are still dangerous, and then they aren't so dangerous. We STILL have asbestos's all around us in floor tiles, pipe insulation, and many other places. But there are things you don't do with it, or it will be dangerous. Desiccant bags used properly do just what they are intended to do..keep stuff fresh, remove water and moisture. But you're NOT supposed to EAT them. Somebody must have done that and won a lawsuit, as EVERY desiccant bag I've ever seen has the warning "DO NOT EAT" written on it.

My guess is that these PEDS have a pretty safe track record if used moderately and under a Dr's supervision. Anybody ever hear of any deaths related from a Dr. helping an anemic patient with EPO when used as prescribed? I'm not saying they don't have dangers...but EVERYTHING has dangers. At some point there has to be some responsibility taken by people who use things. It would appear the athletes have already taken that responsibility, as they are using PED's even though they are (currently) against the rules.

But as I said, IF it makes them BETTER athletes, WHY is it still against the rules? This is not grade-school or high-school sports, or even college. This is open-class...the pro's...ADULTS. People who are of consenting age and have made the decision that THIS is what they want to do with their lives. NOBODY is putting a gun to their heads making them take these things. They decide to do that all on their own. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Why? Why would they decide to break the rules? Well, obviously, they have used their own thought process and decided (much like we decide that the 55mph speed limit is stupid and can be ignored) that a particular rule isn't a good one, and they know that like the 2 bottle water limit rule of old, they can do better with more. Isn't a professional athlete's ultimate goal to be the VERY BEST he/she can be at their chosen sport? Isn't that what the paying public wants to see? Isn't that what the paying sponsors want to see?

But we (they) have injected the morale's, decisions and opinions of a VERY few people into the mix, an ADMINISTRATION...desk-jockeys. And THEY get to decide what's right and wrong. Their OPINION. There are well over a BILLION people on the planet. Each and every single one with their own opinion. And of that billion +, it's just a micro-fraction of those opinions that truly count. THEY decide what is right and wrong, allowed and disallowed. However THEY are not the ones doing the sport. Or PAYING for the sport (sponsors). Or PAYING to WATCH the sport (where the REAL money is...the SPECTATORS, which is ultimately what pays for the sport in the first place).  THEY in this case are just a VERY few people who somehow are the saviors and all-knowing gods of that particular sport, or in some cases MANY sports. Only THEY know what's best. And anybody who thinks otherwise is just WRONG.

Which brings us to the current cycling dilemma. The Lance Armstrong Affair. The righting of a HUGE wrong according so some, a witch-hunt to others, and to many it's just not worth a moment of thought, as it has no bearing on their daily lives. But it's taking tax dollars. OUR tax dollars. Mine, yours (well, HOPEFULLY yours...we seem to have a LOT of freeloaders in this country right now...but THAT is another topic entirely!)

What is the good of it? Is it going to "Clean up" cycling? Is it going to make it better? Is there less PED use among the peleton (and using the trickle-down theory, in other sports)? And just WHO is the winner of those 7 TDF's? I beg you, someone please tell me! It's a slap in the face to ALL the racers to just say there WAS no winner for those years. That would be stupid. There was a race, I saw it. If you are saying the guy who won no longer is the winner, then who IS? And the very thought of cleaning up cycling, or sports in general. Is it possible? There has been "cheating"  in the form of ignoring/breaking/bending of the rules ever since the inception of sport. And there always will be. And they (the "cheaters") will always be a step or 2 ahead of the enforcers. It's not just that way in sports's pretty much the way of the world. It always has been, and always will be. So is it worth all the money spent to TRY to stop it?

Let's take a look at Prohibition in the US. You'd think we would have learned something there. A very few decided that alcohol was bad, and made it illegal. LOTS of time and money was spent to combat it. LIVES were LOST! And what was the outcome? Well, it pretty much created the US Mafia. AND, it's now legal, as it turns out you just can't stop people from doing what they want in the end. And we are still doing it. Look at NYC...they JUST passed a ban on soft drinks over 16 oz in fast food restaurants to combat obesity. OH YEAH BABY!! That will certainly do the trick! The cattle will be unable to get their super-sized mega-sodas and will just magically become fit and slim due to this new rule. Never mind that while IN the FF joint they can just get 17 refills, to go with their 2 double-cheeseburgers and mega-size frys. But yep...SODA has been identified as the problem. And this new initiative will fix it. HALLELUIAH! Good gravy (mmm...gravy!)...will we NEVER learn?

So, where do things go from here? I have no idea. I personally believe the peleton isn't any cleaner now than it was before or after the Festina affair. But all the new rules and testing and such was brought on line to do just that. And the biggest problem with all this? The false positive. It's just a law of averages that in ANY system there is a mathematical number that will fall within certain ranges, and then there will be those that fall above and below that. In the terms of drug testing, that equates to false negatives and false positives. However, here you are taking about an athletes life. Even ONE false positive is too many. But somebody set the standard, realizing (even though it's not talked about) that there MUST be some false positives. It's inevitable. I guarantee it's already happened. And the system is rigged, so the athlete has pretty much no choice but to acquiesce and take the ban AND public humiliation that comes along with him forever being known as a CHEATER. THAT would be a very hard thing to do when you are truly innocent.Though I do give the anti-doping system one thing: it would appear that the numbers have been skewed so-as to allow for as few false positives as possible. I can say this as it would appear that it has been skewed SO very far that they almost never catch the true cheaters. And this being the case, is it worth it in the first place? I ,mean Lance and his boys ran rampant over the entire sport for his ENTIRE CAREER and didn't get caught, even though he was "the most heavily tested athlete on the planet" for those 7 years. Yep, I'd say that anti-doping system was working pretty flawlessly. NOT!

Sooner or later all this PED use will be a thing of the past as the next new thing will have come along making this all irrelevant. Genetic engineering. We are very close. They (whoever THEY know...the scientists, guys in labs taking prehistoric mosquito's trapped in amber and creating dinosaurs, etc) have been doing genetic manipulation of crops and such for quite some time. Making certain crops 'better' in some regards...making them more resistant to pests and insects, reducing the need for insecticide. This seems like a good idea, however we can't truly grasp what the LONG TERM effects will be. There are many opinions on the expected. Some for it, some against it. How are we to know? But I do believe that the use of artificial means to enhance the human body's capabilities will be allowed in various means sooner or later.
Right or wrong, that's debatable.

In the end I think it will come down to the mighty dollar, or Euro, or Kronur, Lira, Yen, Ruble, whatever. Until all currency has been replaced with something else and EVERYBODY has equal opportunities and there IS no money, it will rule our lives. And the money made in and from the sporting industry is just too mighty to go away quietly. People's will ALWAYS need something to take their minds off the daily drudgery of life. Going to that dead-end job, day after day. Sports is the way for the common man to escape, to root for something bigger than he is, to see PEOPLE doing super-human feats that they can only dream about. The athletes are modern day heroes to the common man. I don't see that changing anytime soon. And the allure to MAKE IT to that top echelon of any sport will be as as large as ever. There will always be those who will do ANYTHING for that chance, rules be damned. And the public loves them for it, right up until they are caught. It's quite the complex situation for the budding teenage athlete with dreams of grandeur. Is it the drugs that are ruining them, or is it just human nature? Always wanting to do better than the next guy...whether that's a test in school or out on the football field.

Certainly it's a dilemma for the current (and future) generations. If I had a kid and he was deciding what sport to get into, I'd be of mixed opinion. Would you rather he become a cyclist (knowing that it will probably require the use of PEDS at some point if he becomes really good), or maybe into one of the new EXTREME sports?  You flinging thru the air while the rider does stuff, sometimes not even holding on as it flies hundreds of feet thru the air...ever see the medical records of those 'kids'? What it TAKES to make it to the "Extreme games" level...(or whatever they are called)? Learning to do double flips on a dirt bike, into a foam pit if you can find one or afford it, or just learning QUICK (or not) if you can't. Talk about mortgaging their future...most of these young kids will be totally crippled by the time they are 40. Kind of makes PED use in cycling seem like pretty small potatoes.

We'll see, but mark my words, I believe that these advancements in medical technology will eventually be allowed into sport. It just makes sense. That's the heart of sports, and professional sports especially: to be THE BEST. Sooner or later the rules will change and we will stop hindering that process one tiny step at a time. Of course the athletes might (will?) die young (look at Sumo wrestling in Japan, or Pro-wrestling here in the US...they are killing themselves for the opportunity). But DURING their tenure in the spotlight, they are stars. Burning their wicks at both ends of the candle so to speak, but that has always been the case and most likely always will be.

As always, this is just my 2 cents worth. I"m SURE there will be many who disagree, and that's FINE and PROPER! As I said, we ALL have our opinions. For good or bad, mine doesn't really count for much in the big scheme of things. Oh well...such is the life of one of the LITTLE people.

I do believe that it's time for a beer! Thank goodness the Prohibition rule was changed! 



  1. Well, commenting in the face of that post would be like holding a candle to the sunshine (Blake) but just so ya know that i'm paying attention I read it and agree. tj

  2. Hey TJ..."holding a candle to the sunshine"...that had me chuckling!

    And yeah, scrolling down I just noticed... that one kind'a got a bit LOOOOOOOOOOONG...(GRIN!) Thank goodness I didn't continue on some tangents that I had originally thought of...

    And as always, thanks for the kind words and visiting.

  3. One moment, I'll post mine soon. just wanted to say I love your new site!hgh

  4. Wow, Matt, an avalanche of words! It seems that you, like so many of us, are struggling with the issue of LA's use of PEDs. What to think? And I agree (I think that I am agreeing, anyway) that it is kind of a gray zone. Just another training method? Dirty cheating? somehow I don't feel that it is the latter, but surely I would rather that PEDs not be used. And, no, even in approved therapeutic medical indications, the use of EPO and transfusions are not so safe over the long term -- we've stepped away from using EPO and transfusions as generously as we did 15 years ago, as the evidence comes in of long term consequences.
    One way that I can think of that wide spread PEDs use does NOT results in a level field-- not everyone or every team can afford it to the same degree or variety or level of sophistication. Maybe if it was "legal" the costs would come down, but they could potentially go UP as the "best in the business" demand premium rates!

    Ive been reading some of the comments on the general news sites since the summary of evidence was released yesterday. Very interesting that there are so many who just don't know much of anything about pro cycling but know only LA. I guess that I never really realized just how famous he is in the USA outside of cycling race fans. These are folks who have no idea that there are races other than the TdF both condemning and defending him, with so many wrong "facts"!

    1. Rae, I think the bigger issue here is that they are really only going after Lance. In all this data release in the last 2 days we've heard more than one of the 'testifying' teammates say that it was EVERYWHERE in the peleton, and required if you wanted to compete at that level. Which is totally believable. And I certainly can't stick up for Lance here, because it appears he did indeed do the PED's.

      But the USADA has made him out to be the one and only devil.

      HOWEVER, did Lance himself create and mastermind this entire atmosphere of blood doping in Pro Cycling? Or, did he step in and see how things were, and come up with a way to use the system as it was to the very highest level? According to the USADA he did. HE alone (of cyclists) gets the lifetime ban. But what about all the OTHER teams and team leaders?

      Fine...lets fix sports. But that requires using this same tactic across the board to ALL teams, in all countries (and NOT JUST in cycling btw..I mean US Football, Baseball, Basketball, and let's not stop there...bring in International Football, Rugby, etc etc...EVERY pro sport).

      But that isn't what's's pretty much USA cycling that is bearing the brunt and blame for the entire generation of the 'Blood Manipulation' era. It was all JUST Lance...he forced everybody (on every team it appears, as they were all doing it) was all him. Oh, and Johan, and Dr. Ferrari. Those three are (were) THE ENTIRE doping problem in cycling.

      And now it's better. You can bet your bippie that there will be no more PED use in cycling. Just because the entire peleton has been 'getting away with it' pretty much completely over the last 15 years or so, I'm SURE they've all stopped cold turkey because Lance has been taken down. Fine...but don't stop...keep going...root them ALL out. Otherwise it WAS just a witch hunt.

    2. Well, you have to recognise that USADA only has jurisdiction over American cyclists or events in the USA. It appears that the other US cyclists who testified will be getting suspensions, although consistent with some other suspensions that we've seen for caught European pros who cooperated, short and mostly over the off season. And no, LA didn't create it (and you know how I believe that people accepted it so easily, dating back to the 80's, thinking of these hormones and transfusions as more "natural"), but yes, it appears that LA did act as ringleader and ENFORCER of doping on HIS team, which is less excusable.
      There WERE a few teams in that era that didn't have a doping culture, sounds like. Credit Agricole for one.
      Maybe now that the "secret" is out, there will be less pressure and opportunity to dope for the next generation. For sure those doctors who aid and abet the misuse of drugs need to go to jail and have their licenses yanked.

      I share your frustration at the image this is giving to USA cycling in particular (and cycling in general). I am sick of sports pundits referring to cycling as "the dirtiest sport". I HIGHLY doubt it. As I've said before, football players aren't born with those necks!

  5. What I want to know is how Lance "got" FESTINA to dope in 1998... And Pantini. And Ullrich. And Riis. And Indurain. And Slitherin...And...And...

    Maybe that's in the 1000 page full-length version?

    Mind control? Ohhhh, Devil-Lance is dastardly!

    But hey, BRIGHT SIDE! Now that the Wicked Old Warlock at last is "dead", the sports world will be a "DRUG-FREE ZONE"! Yahooooooo! All other lyin, cheatin, corruption will continue of course, but NO. MORE. DRUGS! Whoo-hoo!