SportsProf

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tour de Farce

Does anyone really care about the Tour de France this year? As in, of course, people who don't live in the French towns that appear on the map of the race?

How dumb can some cyclists be? Because this article reports that a third cyclist was kicked out for blood doping this year. Didn't those guys hear of Floyd Landis? Don't they surf the internet, read, talk to people in their sport?

I cycle for exercise, and right now I'm in pretty good shape. All that said, the more grueling a race/ride you undertake, the more your muscles are going to hurt. No matter what you eat, no matter how you sleep, no matter how many physical therapists accompany your team. So what would be so wrong having a race without blood doping? So, the times would be a bit slower, but to the average fan the race still would be a good feat and still would be fast. Instead, the sport is riddled with scandal, and its trademark is at an all-time low.

At this point, who really cares? And, if you're a cyclist, why risk your long-term health taking drugs at such intervals and in such quantities that you don't know what the long-term effects will be on your bodies. Quite frankly, your family members need you more than you should need the public to buy you a drink because you won some bicycle race 25 years ago that nobody remembers. That is, of course, if you'll live the extra 25 years to tell the tale.

3 Comments:

Blogger Roy said...

Suppose we change every instance of cycling to football as in "And, if you're a football player, why risk your long-term health taking drugs at such intervals and in such quantities that you don't know what the long-term effects will be on your bodies. Quite frankly, your family members need you more than you should need the public to buy you a drink because you won some football game 25 years ago that nobody remembers."

Just like football players, cyclists take drugs to get a competitive advantage over the other players for the money and fame. In just about every professional sport, cheating can make a huge difference in financial rewards (think Jason Giambi for example.)

I watch football because each season is an exciting drama and many games within the season are exciting. I watch the Tour because each Tour is an exciting drama and many stages in the Tour are exciting.

In either case, players are occasionally caught cheating; I don't understand why it causes cycling to be at an "alltime low" while football is still at an alltime high.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

I think, perhaps, there is a bit of hypocracy in the common fan when it comes to doping. We want our athletes to be in top physical condition, and at peak performance, at all times. In short, we want perfection. We root for winners. But, when an athlete CHOOSES to shorten their lives in pursuit of that very ideal, when they actively choose now over then, for that little edge, we cast them aside.

Someone once gave this analogy: If there was a pill that would enhance your cognitive reasoning, memory, and overall brain function, but would shorten your life by ten years, you could bet every damned scientist in the world would take it. And you can bet it would be heralded as the medical breakthrough of all times.

Now, the issue is still pretty simple, to this point. Steroids are cheating. Cheating is wrong. It's that easy. But, perhaps, we shoudl examine the reasons WHY we hold that truth, and move forward in our sports, and our appreciation of them.

11:37 AM  
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10:45 AM  

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