Before I discuss the breaking news that the UCI has announced new doping categories for pro cycling, here is an email that a friend and former pro cyclist who has several national or world champion jerseys sent me in response to yesterday’s post:
Personally, I believe most racers want a clean peloton and want a healthy life after their racing careers. If they can be competitive racing clean, they will; however, if other racers are getting an advantage through doping, especially if it's supported or even conveniently "ignored" by their teams, then those who would prefer to be clean "give in" as opposed to leaving.
Although you may not know many people who watch wrestling, I'm guessing it's incredibly popular, especially with the WalMart / NASCAR / Ultimate Fighting crowd. Although I don't hang with this crowd either, I'm guessing many of them would love to see disproportioned, drug-laden riders suffering to their deaths. This crowd may relate to pro cycling more if they saw huge, obese riders banging into each other, leaving huge patches of skin and blood across the pavement as they hooked each other, ala a mix of sumo wrestling and roller derby on wheels.
Basically the idea to legalize drugs is quite naïve in my opinion; it would be a research project in doping and genetic engineering, not a sporting event.
As for the new UCI doping categories, another friend and fellow masters racer, Bruce Bilodeau, wrote a post on this news. This is actually old news as Bruce’s post showed up three years ago. Bruce adds a little more color to my friend’s point (2) above. The post below is an edited version used with Bruce’s permission…