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Anti-Doping Laws: Hypocritical or Fair?

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1 Anti-Doping Laws: Hypocritical or Fair? on Thu May 20, 2010 2:18 pm

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They test for doping at the Olympics, for the stated reason that doping is not fair to the other competitors. Yet how fair is it to the athlete from Kenya that he or she is competing against an American athlete who trained at the U.S. Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, and has the benefit of a world class coaching and technology?

Where is the line between taking an expensive supplement of select amino acids, such as glutamine or the branched chain amino acids, which are normal substances found in the blood after protein is digested, and taking testosterone which is also a normal substance found in the blood?

Is it "fair" that some people have naturally higher concentrations of performance-enhancing hormones than others? Since hormone concentration lags with age, is it "fair" to permit a 20-year old athlete to compete against a 35-year old?

Some have genetically less myostatin, which halts muscle growth. Some appear to have no myostatin and grow muscle tissue the way I grow roaches in the kitchen and mushrooms in the refrigerator. Is this "fair"? Does "fairness" dictate that those not so favored be allowed to compensate through better biochemistry?

What is "fairness"?

Some attack the use of performance-enhancing drugs because they are dangerous. Well, what sport does not risk injury and create wear and tear? Certainly not cycling! And despite all the scare stories about the use of steroids by young athletes, steroids overall are less of a danger than prescribed drugs, which are something like #4 in cause of death in the USA.

Your view?

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2 Re: Anti-Doping Laws: Hypocritical or Fair? on Sat May 21, 2011 11:48 am

Well, the net is tightening around Lance Armstrong. Statements by Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, who have no credibility, and now, according to rumors, by George Hincapie, who does.

Well, so what? Cycling bodies have decreed that there be tests. Armstrong passed those tests. Why then rely on anecdotes of drugs and transfusions and so on?

Isn't the test the standard? If the test is not the standard, but only one criterion of prescribed behavior and anecdotal evidence can be considered concerning who saw what when however long ago it was, then doesn't that undermine the tests? Why turn science into soap opera?

I don't carry any brief for Lance Armstrong. Never liked the guy, never been a fan even while bordering on admiration. But all of this is nothing but a circus. Truly, while Armstrong does not wear a white hat, neither does the anti-doping agency and neither do the legislators or Federal agents who investigate performance enhancing drugs.

Here's a guy who says drugs in cycling are none of Washington's business: http://www.denverpost.com/carroll/ci_18107081 I agree.

Sport is spectacle. The "fairness" in sport is not something you can or should legislate. If you get wound up in fairness, then you end up handicaping competitors depending on strength or endurance or quality of coaching or training. For that matter, maybe drugs level the field and promote fairness.

Note to the Feddies: Fold up the carney tents and go back to doing your jobs. Stay the hell out of sports.

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3 Tyler Hamilton on Mon May 23, 2011 11:09 am

Tyler Hamilton looked so earnest in that "60 Minutes" interview that aired last night. One wonders, did he look the same way back years ago when he was denying drug use in the face of positive test results? When his supporters were organized by Tyler and his family under the banner of "Believe!"?

Now Tyler is earnest, now he is taking the high road. What about before? He didn't say anything to his fans that he had bilked over the years for time, money and enthusiasm.

And poor Floyd Landis, who had an unbeatable story behind him when he was one fo the favorites for the 2006 Tour de France, has had an even harder fall. No, not because he went from Tour winner to tour disgrace in days, but because he gambled and lost everything, friends, family, bank account, credit, on denial. Loss of a father-in-law to suicide, divorce, bankruptcy, such credibility as he had. And toward the last it seemed clear he was trying to blackmail his way onto Team Radio Shack. A Mennonite lad who lost his compass in the outside world.

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