Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Who needs 'em?

Just in time to help cheaters in the Tour de France and the summer Olympics, a lab in Denmark has published the results of a study showing that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s test for EPO use among athletes doesn’t work.

In batches of samples taken from test subjects who agreed to use EPO, the study found that WADA-approved labs were completely unreliable at detecting anything at all. In other words, the risk of getting caught is small while the potential benefit in competition is huge.

During an endurance event like a marathon or the Tour, when athletes are usually pacing themselves by performing at lower levels of exertion, EPO can improve their performance by 50 percent.

And they probably won’t get caught.

“It doesn’t sound good for anyone who wants a drug-free sport,” said Carsten Lundby, the lead author of the report.

No shit.

The top level of sports is tainted. We can no longer believe what we see, so why bother to look? I stopped watching the Tour years ago. I stopped watching other sports long before that.

You want pure sport? Cancel your cable subscription and be your own athlete.

Go out and ride. Spend the cable money on Clif bars and bike parts.

No, there’s nothing on the line. No competition, no trophies, no money. That’s all crap anyway.

Pure sport is a human body in motion for the sheer joy of it, with no motivation to cheat.

You already have everything you need.


rambn said...

I totally agree: be your own sport. I've felt that way for years. If I watch at all, it might be a brief youtube video, but that's it.

I've hatched some of my most daring plans while watching TV, and deciding that I wanted to participate, rather than spectate.

Anonymous said...

I would like to watch some kind of racing. Doped or not, I don't see how they hold those speeds. BUT- I wouldn't know that if I hadn't been out there and tried it.

I have to agree. Trash the tube and get out there. It's infinitely better.

Live life - don't just watch it.

lemmiwinks said...

I've only watched the TDF (or any bicycle racing for that matter) the last couple of years, until then it held no interest for me. The doping thing can be very disappointing. I remember watching enthralled at the amazing climb by Alexander Vinokurov a couple of years ago, only to find out it was too good to be true.

But so it goes. I watch mostly for the stunning scenery, historic towns and villages and local decorations. Even with EPO coming out my ears I wouldn't be able to hold onto the back of the peleton on a flat stage, much less in the Pyrenees or Alps, so I'm still impressed by their speed and endurance. I also believe (perhaps naively) that the majority of riders (like Cadel Evans who I'm naturally hoping will win this year) aren't drug cheats.