This can't be the only thread on this, Is there another that I've missed?  If not, I'm surprised the response has been so quiet, but I'm interested to know what everyone thinks.  Did he get what he deserved? What will it mean if the sport is dropped from the Olympics? Should all professional cyclists pay for allowing this to go on for so long?  Does the new "bio passport" resolve the issue?  What makes a "level playing field" these days?  How far would you go to earn a 75 million sponsorship deal?

Not being a competitor in cycling, I have no idea how prevalent doping is today or if it's as relevant in Australia.  I do know that seeking an unfair advantage is hardly anything new in most of the sports I have been involved in.  I don't even know if it's even possible to achieve a level playing field in a lot of sports.

 

Dave

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There is not much that can be done, i think now most of them would be scared stiff anyway, from whats happening now. So you will naturally see the changes in the next tournaments coming up

Come on folks a 3,500kms race in three weeks. Sound a little inhuman? Ever heard of the lemon principle? Get enough lemons i.e. drug cheats and any logical person becomes a drug cheat. Do I blame the riders - yes to a degree and I don't mean draconian life bans and other witch hunts. Who do I blame the most? The UCI who failed for decades to test and enforce anti doping rules and allowed racing cycling to be corrupted. About time we focussed on these (how can I put it politely) failed administrators of the sport of cycle racing. By the way do any of those clowns come from the old East Germany and other Soviet Block drug cheat havens?

I'd like to see some of the sponsors take some more responsibility. It seems too easy for them to pay astronomical sponsorship deals knowing full well that puts incredible pressure on individuals to perform.  Then simply distancing themselves as having “no knowledge” when things go pear shaped.

I don't think the distance itself is inhuman.  Surely there is enough examples of riders doing this type of milage "clean" to show it can be done.

Somewhere from 50  to 85% of the pro peleton doped - at least in the late '90s.  What Lance did that the rest didn't was lie about it when he got found out.  The Europeans have mainly just taken it on the chin, and moved on.

Doping, historically, started off not being banned, but being regarded as necessary to "survive" a stage race like the Tour de France.  For the first 30 years of the Tour de France, doping was condoned.  For the following 60 odd it has been banned, but the culture has been slow to change.

The bio passport makes it harder because retrospective positives are now becoming possible.

What I think nobody has really considered yet is the impact that any negative fallout has on the downstream industry which benefits from the "halo effect" of the celebrity of pro cyclists.  For instance, Lance's success was a huge shot in the arm for recreational cycling and sales of bikes in the USA.  I'm not sure if there is a knock on effect on, for instance, sales of bikes, due to the fallout of Lance getting caught.  If there is, this could result in, for instance, bike manufacturers starting to be more selective in whom they sponsor in the pro peleton, and what terms they have in their contracts to try and keep the people they sponsor clean.

Downstream benefits ? Probably nil. Armstrong was finished in the sport anyway so wasn't inspiring many to ride. What difference did it make in Italy when Pantani tested positive ? None. The sport took off before Armstrong became a household name.Everyone that followed pro cycling knew what Armstong was doing but most just chose to ignore it. The sport will continue without him, just as it did for a century before him.

In terms of sponsorship, you may have heard that Rabobank are paying out their last contract but not allowing their name to be used.

This can't be the only thread on this, Is there another that I've missed?

There's this one. It's only had about 10,000 views.

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