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Cindysphinx 07-05-2010 07:56 AM

Cycling: The Dirtiest Sport Of Them All
 
Did anyone catch Floyd Landis' allegations of doping in a recent Wall Street Journal article?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...200584006.html

He says that he doped and Armstrong doped. To which I say: No kidding.

I honestly don't think there is a single clean rider in the entire Tour de France, and there is no way Lance Armstrong was clean either. How could someone win all those titles against guys who were doping if he wasn't doping also?

Anyway, Landis says the riders used to use EPO, but now there is a test to catch that. So they have gone back to giving themselves transfusions of their own blood.

Honestly, I think the rules should allow that. Yeah, it's icky. Yeah, it's doping. But they're going to do it anyway, and I doubt there are any adverse long-term health consequences from repeatedly drawing and taking your own blood.

maverick66 07-05-2010 08:35 AM

Track and field is bad, So is Tennis,Soccer,Football,Baseball,Basketball, and any other major sport. Its just the way it is now a days.

Someone will argue I am wrong but they just have their head in the sand if they think the testing for PED's is anywhere close to the labs making them.

ollinger 07-05-2010 08:37 AM

Doping increases the red blood cell volume (relative to plasma) since the red cells are re-infused after the body has replenished what was removed. This mimics the medical condition polycythemia vera, in which the body makes too many red cells on its own, a condition so hazardous that the treatment is usually periodic removal of a volume of red cells by phlebotomy. Adverse effects of polycythemia vera include stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, peptic ulcer and other conditions, sometimes fatal. You think the rules should permit this, sphinx?

ramseszerg 07-05-2010 08:56 AM

"I doubt there are any adverse long-term health consequences from repeatedly drawing and taking your own blood."

hahaha nice.

PSNELKE 07-05-2010 08:58 AM

Cycling is the reason why I hate and donīt watch Eurosport..
Instead of showing Giro dītalia instead of RG most of the time.

r2473 07-05-2010 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maverick66 (Post 4841014)
Track and field is bad, So is Tennis,Soccer,Football,Baseball,Basketball, and any other major sport. Its just the way it is now a days.

Someone will argue I am wrong but they just have their head in the sand if they think the testing for PED's is anywhere close to the labs making them.

I'm just thankful that bodybuilding and boxing have manged to stay clean all these years.

But I am going to say that the sport that has been most affected by science and medicine is "being a hot chick".

mozzer 07-05-2010 10:40 AM

Theres no denying that they are super humen athletes though.
Also, in what other sports would your whole team stop and wait for you if you fell? Do you see that in any athletics?

Cindysphinx 07-05-2010 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ollinger (Post 4841017)
Doping increases the red blood cell volume (relative to plasma) since the red cells are re-infused after the body has replenished what was removed. This mimics the medical condition polycythemia vera, in which the body makes too many red cells on its own, a condition so hazardous that the treatment is usually periodic removal of a volume of red cells by phlebotomy. Adverse effects of polycythemia vera include stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, peptic ulcer and other conditions, sometimes fatal. You think the rules should permit this, sphinx?

I dunno. For plasma donation, don't they remove your blood, spin out the red blood cells and then give it back to you?

How come blood tests don't detect this sort of doping?

I think it is possible to be the No. 1 player in the world in tennis and be clean.

I think it is completely impossible in cycling.

I always wonder whether Carl Lewis was clean. I kind of want to believe he was.

Cindy -- who will always believe FloJo was dirty and died young as a result

maverick66 07-05-2010 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4841417)
I think it is possible to be the No. 1 player in the world in tennis and be clean.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news for you Cindy but all the top players are taking stuff they are not supposed to. Its just a part of the sport now.

ProgressoR 07-05-2010 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maverick66 (Post 4841445)
Hate to be the bearer of bad news for you Cindy but all the top players are taking stuff they are not supposed to. Its just a part of the sport now.

Wrong, I can guarantee I am not taking illegal substances. Mind you I am only ranked 14,462,765th in the world. But I reckon I can take out the guy above me sometime before end of the year.

jswinf 07-05-2010 01:41 PM

^^^^Maybe if you hit the 'roids you could crack the top ten (million.) You're not tempted?

ollinger 07-05-2010 01:55 PM

For plasma donation your red cells are put back IMMEDIATELY so your body hasn't had the opportunity to make more. Thus the ratio of red cells to plasma does not change. In doping, red cells are removed and stored in refrigeration. While in storage, your body replaces them both with red cells stored in the spleen, and newly manufactured ones, bringing your percentage of red cells (about 40-45% of blood volume, called the hematocrit) back to normal. Once back to normal, the stored red cells are added before the athletic event, giving you a HIGHER than normal hematocrit. Nothing is detectable. Officials could measure your hematocrit and see it is higher than normal, but they could not prove this didn't occur naturally.

West Coast Ace 07-05-2010 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maverick66 (Post 4841445)
Hate to be the bearer of bad news for you Cindy but all the top players are taking stuff they are not supposed to. Its just a part of the sport now.

No offense maverick, you make a lot of reasonable posts on this board and are one of the more solid members, but this is ridiculous. Please back up with data and/or a lot more clarification as to exactly what they're taking (I don't expect you to name names - but go ahead if you feel like it) - or withdraw.

Back to Cycling. When I heard years ago that a) it's really a team event - the top guy on each team is helped by his teammates; b) they would slow down/stop when one of the top guys got a flat so he could get back in the race, I didn't take it seriously as a real sport. Sure, I'm impressed someone can cover that much distance on a bike - but as far as competition, it's a joke. Then throw in the rampant drug use and I have no interest to follow it.

Cindysphinx 07-05-2010 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ollinger (Post 4841772)
For plasma donation your red cells are put back IMMEDIATELY so your body hasn't had the opportunity to make more. Thus the ratio of red cells to plasma does not change. In doping, red cells are removed and stored in refrigeration. While in storage, your body replaces them both with red cells stored in the spleen, and newly manufactured ones, bringing your percentage of red cells (about 40-45% of blood volume, called the hematocrit) back to normal. Once back to normal, the stored red cells are added before the athletic event, giving you a HIGHER than normal hematocrit. Nothing is detectable. Officials could measure your hematocrit and see it is higher than normal, but they could not prove this didn't occur naturally.

But if there is no way to detect it, why criminalize it? And if the hematocrit levels are not off the charts (near what can occur naturally), then how can it be so harmful?

It's not like these guys are dropping dead from this form of doping. That said, I do remember reading an article some years ago that said a lot of top racers were dropping dead (or having other problems) from using EPO.

Cindysphinx 07-05-2010 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by West Coast Ace (Post 4841837)
Back to Cycling. When I heard years ago that a) it's really a team event - the top guy on each team is helped by his teammates; b) they would slow down/stop when one of the top guys got a flat so he could get back in the race, I didn't take it seriously as a real sport. Sure, I'm impressed someone can cover that much distance on a bike - but as far as competition, it's a joke. Then throw in the rampant drug use and I have no interest to follow it.

I don't care for cycling, but the team concept doesn't bother me. I believe there are other cycling race formats that truly are individual.

Besides, it's a team. If they all decide to sacrifice themselves so that one guy can win, I don't have a problem with that. Still, I would have more regard for Lance Armstrong if he actually won all of those titles by his lonesome. I say the team won, not Lance.

West Coast Ace 07-05-2010 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4841849)
I believe there are other cycling race formats that truly are individual....Still, I would have more regard for Lance Armstrong if he actually won all of those titles by his lonesome.

I agree. And I don't think a lot of the public knows it's a team - or how far the team concept goes. I do enjoy the Olympic cycling events where it it one on one.

OrangeOne 07-05-2010 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4840923)
Did anyone catch Floyd Landis' allegations of doping in a recent Wall Street Journal article?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...200584006.html

He says that he doped and Armstrong doped. To which I say: No kidding.

Floyd was caught, properly caught, doping during the tour that he 'won'. His reputation is now dirt. He is pond scum. He now cannot make money from cycling, has no fame as a cyclist, and now seems to spout random stuff to grab a little fame every now and then.

Quote:

I honestly don't think there is a single clean rider in the entire Tour de France, and there is no way Lance Armstrong was clean either. How could someone win all those titles against guys who were doping if he wasn't doping also?
How do you know the other guys are definitely doping? All of them?

How come Federer and Nadal win pretty much everything in tennis? They are the best at the game, and they surround themselves with the best.

I'm not saying Lance is 100% clean, it's just too hard to know. But to understand even a little about the tour is to know the following:

a. Lance geared his entire year around the tour. He effectively ignored the tour of spain and italy. This is like Federer never playing the Australian or the French (or playing them, in his grass-court shoes and with his grass-court tactics, just for training), and focusing the whole year on Wimbledon.

b. Lance assembled the best team money could buy. Cycling tours, for better or for worse, are team sports. I don't get why people find that abhorrent, it's just a fact. So many team sports are about buying the right players.

c. Lance was appropriately genetically gifted as an endurance cyclist - ridiculous aerobic capacity.

So you take one of the very best riders with amazing genetics, you give them the very best team every year, and they focus entirely on one race.

Not surprising he won some.

OrangeOne 07-05-2010 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by West Coast Ace (Post 4841837)
Back to Cycling. When I heard years ago that a) it's really a team event - the top guy on each team is helped by his teammates; b) they would slow down/stop when one of the top guys got a flat so he could get back in the race, I didn't take it seriously as a real sport. Sure, I'm impressed someone can cover that much distance on a bike - but as far as competition, it's a joke. Then throw in the rampant drug use and I have no interest to follow it.

The above is odd. There are hundreds of team sports out there, where people compete as a team. In many of them, one or two players are elevated massively above the team. In cycling, both the individual and the team are competing for the win.

As for b - it's sportsmanship. Pure and simple sportsmanship. It's like playing tennis, and allowing your opponent to have an injury time-out to have their ankle taped. It's a recognition that they are competing as athletes, and that the bike is just a piece of equipment. It's akin to saying 'no, that is your point, your shot was in". It's akin to saying 'my opponent is 10 mins late due to unforseen circumstances, but i'll not take a default as I'm here to compete on equal terms".

OrangeOne 07-05-2010 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 4841849)
I don't care for cycling, but the team concept doesn't bother me. I believe there are other cycling race formats that truly are individual.

Some, but not as many as people think. Some of track racing is individual, and most mountain biking is individual too (but not all). There are time trials on the road that are individual, but they're not that common. Much of triathlon prohibits drafting, making the cycling component of that an individual challenge.

Quote:

Besides, it's a team. If they all decide to sacrifice themselves so that one guy can win, I don't have a problem with that. Still, I would have more regard for Lance Armstrong if he actually won all of those titles by his lonesome. I say the team won, not Lance.
In saying that, you're obviously partly correct. But to have more regard for him if....he wasn't competing in the sport he competes in? It's like saying 'I'd have more regard for Federer if he was a squash player, because they have it really tough'.

Ultimately, cycling team leaders are chosen because they are the strongest. Why? Because ultimately they have to ride alone. Their team supports them up to a point, but they have to then ride alone. Usually, in the toughest of tough situations. Up some of the steepest terrain imaginable, after riding 4 or 5 hours to get there. Off on a long breakaway at stupendous pace. The individual time-trial, something that has made or broken many riders' tours over the last few years, is entirely individual. To not recognise these massive individual components as the truly amazing is to not understand the sport.

Quote:

Originally Posted by West Coast Ace (Post 4841864)
I agree. And I don't think a lot of the public knows it's a team - or how far the team concept goes.

I don't think 'a lot of the public' realise many, many things, but one should not criticise something just as it's poorly understood. Anyone that cares to follow cycling for 10 minutes could learn entirely about the nature of the sport. It's the same as tennis, the public think it's about hitting winners, we know it's about consistency and placement, and letting the winners just happen.

I barely follow cycling anymore, but it's a shame to see it smacked around annually on here as the whipping boy of sports...

West Coast Ace 07-05-2010 03:12 PM

We can agree to disagree...

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangeOne (Post 4841908)
There are hundreds of team sports out there, where people compete as a team.

Let's start here. At least in the US - you don't list your location - they say '7 time Tour Winner, Lance Armstrong.' They don't name his team as having won 7 times, then list him as the captain. So you may know it's a team - but a lot of people don't.

And I won't even bring up the fact that the last stage is mostly ceremonial - they ride into Paris drinking champagne.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangeOne (Post 4841908)
It's like playing tennis, and allowing your opponent to have an injury time-out to have their ankle taped.

Bad analogy. A better one would be a broken string - and those points count. It's considered bad luck. Just like in racing - F1 doesn't slow down if someone has trouble getting their tire lugs fastened properly.

I'm sorry you think we're disparaging your 'sport' - but it's very flawed. At least compared to tennis. Again, we can agree to disagree.


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