Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Sands Shift Beneath the Empire of Armstrong

A friend of mine sent me the following links and expressed his disdain for doping in cycling, for what he sees as the fraud of Lance Armstrong, and for willing to believe for so long that Armstrong raced clean.

ESPN story recounting Tyler Hamilton's subpoena

Floyd Landis on ABC News nightline

Then today of course the New York Times ran a major front page story indicating that former friends and/or teammates of Armstrong are now testifying against him.

What's to be done about doping in cycling? I suggest a libertarian approach - forget banning, forget trying to find cyclists using performance-enhancing drugs, it's as futile as the endlessly futile "war on drugs" (meaning, the illicit kind). Forget them both. Legalize their use.

In cycling's case, I suggest requiring riders to register with racing authorities as users and provide lists of what they're using. Everyone using performance enhancing drugs would then be "docked" minutes so they would start a race in arrears. Clean riders get the legitimate time. Dopers have minutes added to their time.

Would this eliminate cheating? Probably not. But it might potentially end the charade we're now witnessing.

My friend wrote:

Never failing a drug test means very little when the testing itself has been corrupted by all those, inside cycling and inside the business cabal, who stood to profit by the industry that became LA.  I find the whole thing disgusting and shameful...including shame on me for being willing to suspend my disbelief.

I took off the yellow bracelet long ago when another cyclist quipped," Ah, I see you dope too."  Haven't we all taken enough 'junk?'

Did Armstrong dope? I don't really care anymore. "It's Not About the Spike." I just like to watch those maniacs ride all over France, I don't care what they're on in addition to two wheels.

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