Thursday, July 26, 2007


Normally I haven’t really followed much in the Tour de France. I’m a runner, not a cyclist. Butt I have always at least seen when things are coming to a finale, and have been usually aware of the winner. This year I’m dating someone who is very involved in cycling. As he said it (for a way for me to get it), this is his “super bowl”…so I’ve been watching it, sometimes with him, sometimes just on my own, and paying attention, at least a bit, to what is going on in it.

This year has been insane. The scandals are rampant, you have an early favorite who tested positive for a blood transfusion and his entire team withdrew, then just yesterday, the man in yellow, the man who had a very good shot at winning it all, ended up pulled, not because he tested positively, but because of failing to be available for a random test prior to the race starting, and having lied about his whereabouts. And his entire team pulled out as well.

Having become closer to the sport, and knowing someone very close to the sport, I’ve been informing that yeah, most of them do…and that makes me very sad. Of course he also pointed out to me that anyone at the top of these endurance level sports (yes, running included) is probably doing it…and that makes it even worse. What happened to the joy of the sport? Of course you look at the dollars that can come to the winners, marathon purses. The money for just a stage win in the tour. The endorsements from sports companies. We’re talking big bucks and who do you blame for it? What would a lot of people do for the right amount of money? But it still is sad and ruins the integrity of the sport for the fans that love it. I do have to say that I like the fact that the teams are taking responsibility and not just “looking the other way” and it’s the whole team being punished for it. Maybe it will make it become a team effort to keep each other off the doping. The thing is, it really sets a precedence too. Can you imagine a playoff bound football or baseball team pulling out because they find a few of their players are “doping”?

Beyond ruining the integrity, setting a bad example for the up and comers, it’s also plain dangerous. Using steroids, other drugs that are out there to enhance things, blood transfusions (adding MORE blood into the system than we normally have, this one floored me) and anything else they do is dangerous. It can kill…and these athletes don’t seem to care. This is sad…is money really more important than your health and well being? And knowing that you won, because you are the best, not because you used the right combination of drugs to make yourself the best?


Nat said...

I agree with you. I was sooo disappointed when I heard about all this recent stuff. It really does make you wonder if anyone competes anymore for fun or the love of the sport or just for the money?

JustRun said...

I agree. It's really overwhelming now that it's so obvious how prevalent doping has become.

Firefly's Running said...

It's SO sad that people have to cheat just to win. VERY bad example for kids!

Anonymous said...

There is a great article in slate about the tour de frace and doping. Do you really think the Kenyans dope? Just curious. What can I say I'm naive plus it makes me sick. I hate to admit it but every time Barry bonds goes up to bat I secretly hope he tears his rotator cuff so he can't break the record.

Dori said...

It's very disappointing that these athletes are cheating. I want to believe that Lance Armstrong didn't take steroids, but I've read some very compelling arguments that he did. There is a certain steroid that causes testicular cancer. Even the female winner at Grandma's Marathon 2006 was caught cheating. Fortunately, there are a lot of people working for tougher measures against cheating.

Kurt said...

Cheating is so rampant. Look at baseball, all the track and field etc.

At least we mere humans just run and race with what we have and able to do without any enhancements.