Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weighing In

91.6 kg this morning - over 200 lbs! Oh, but the real reason for this post is to weigh in on all the recent doping drama from our sport. This shall serve more as a therapeutic session than any real agenda. I guess that overall I'm happy that all of the filthy, smelly details of the doping practices of the previous decade are coming out. I would say that most people who've been around the sport long enough knew that PEDs were the norm back then but we had no real way of knowing the methods or just how far the rabbit hole went. So in a sick way, it's cool to hear just how disgustingly far some racers were going in order to win. It further validates us, the clean racers of our sport. And for the most part, I empathize with their situations at the time and I understand how one would lead their life in that direction and I even feel sorry for them for having to lie for so many years and now having to face friends, family, journalists, strangers, and the almighty internet warriors. But, please allow me to vent for just one moment so that I can air my grievances and then put this drama firmly behind me. Okay, here we go... Given the nature of these confessions, I think it's bullshit that these riders are being commended for 'breaking the Omerta.' I don't believe for one second that these guys decided to confess to past indiscretions for a better cycling future. They confessed because they were certain that the details were going to be leaked out one way or another and USADA offered them a reduced suspension and a chance to tell their side of the story first. In that way, they could somehow seem like the good guys because they are trying to clean up the future of cycling (rather than complete damage control!). And what did they get for years of EPO use, testosterone patches, and whatever else they could get their hands on? They got a six-month suspension during the offseason and commendations for their bravery. Oh, but they're reaaaally sorry for taking drugs all those years ago. It was the worst decision they ever made, and they've felt so guilty ever since, yada, yada, yada. Doesn't sound like a bad decision to me - you're friggin millionaires! Don't worry you can hire the best therapists money can buy to help you through this difficult time, assholes. And how about these half-assed confessions? "I only took EPO a few times and never consistently", "Johan made me do it", "Lance is a big, scary, 150 lb bully", "I took PEDs but I didn't inhale" (I paraphrase). It all smells to me. Self-preservation is the name of the game. There was nothing altruistic in these half-truth confessions. Tell me Hincapie, Vande Velde, Danielson, Zabriskie, and Leipheimer: if you chose to cheat and lie through your Postal years and then continue to lie a further 6 years later, why should we believe you when you say that you've been racing clean since 2005/2006 (or that you weren't cheating before your Postal days)? I have a really hard time believing that. I hope it's true but if the risk of being caught continued to be low and the lure of results, money, and adulation continued to be high, it would have to be quite the sudden alignment of their respective moral compasses. Okay, so say that everyone one of the confessors stopped taking PEDs in 2006 as they claim, what about the residual effects of drugs? Their level of training and racing on PEDs was so much higher than what they could achieve sans that the benefits of that could last for years, right? There are no studies about this that I know of but I have to believe that the Grand Tours, training, etc. that they did on the juice had to be beneficial to the body for years to come. Not to mention the confidence and other mental aspects gained while riding/racing better than you're capable of naturally. In all, it seems like a pretty sweet deal for these guys. I know that they say that these confessions were made in order for cycling to have a clean future but I'd say that they're encouraging the opposite! Look kids, if you dope yourself silly and get some really good results, then you'll have job security for the next few years and make yourself some good cash. Then, if the shit hits the fan, just blame it all on a ring leader (Lance/Johan) and sound really sorry and you should come away relatively unscathed. How's that for pessimism! Okay, I feel better. I know I over simplified and demonized in this rant, but something about this whole deal rubs me the wrong way. I don't really hate these guys or anything, it's just pretty frustrating given my history in this sport. I'd say I have a pass to bitch about this just this once. Thanks for reading.
Our makeshift blood bag (boxed wine) during our Positive Party! in Jan. 2010.