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On Doping

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While to some doping is the story of the last twenty years in Cycling, I find the subject completely unbloggable, other than pointing out who's being accused of what.

Here is what we know about doping:

  1. It's been a part of Cycling since the days of pep pills and the iron forge.
  2. It is therefore impossible to dismiss the idea that anyone -- even him -- is a doper. For every substance that tests claim to detect, there's another substance that can mask the first one. So at any given moment, it's impossible to tell whether the cat or the mouse is winning.
  3. On the other hand, it's also somewhat in dispute -- depending on whom you ask -- whether there is adequate assurance against false positives, either due to poor handling, bad motives, or the reliability of the tests themselves even when performed properly.
Confused yet? Consider a few questions:
  1.  How does a guy make it to day 20 before he shows up positive?
  2. Why would the leader of a grand tour -- who knows with absolute certainty that he will be tested -- take anything?
  3. Has anyone ever won an appeal? Do you get the sense that the appellate bodies are even interested?
Oy. The only way to determine with certainty whether the accused is guilty or not, short of finding a syringe on his trophy shelf, is to look within the soul of the rider, a technology that is still beyond the means of a humble weblog.

There are interesting sources of information about doping out there. I recently read Paul Kimmage's A Rough Ride in which he talks openly about doping (but even there, his sanctimonious attitude makes one question accepting this at face value).  If you know of other informed sources in the public sphere, feel free to tip us off.

But I for one can't find a way to address the issue without parading around in circles.