I think sports where endurance and stamina are key are most prone to drug abuse. Cycling is a prime example of this. This was probably the case from very early on, as the very early editions of the TdF, for eaxmple, featured stages of brutal distances over often primitive roads. Under these conditions, riders may take drugs not to win, but just to be able to finish. Probably in the early TdF's cocaine was heavily used, since it was then a popular stimulant and still legal in many countries.
I do mostly agree with the defenders of cycling who maintain that cycling doesn't have any more drug use than many other sports, but rather cycling is more open in trying to stop such abuse. When I see baseball continuing to not only tolerate rampant steroid abuse, but continuing to recognize and glorify records pretty clearly achieved as the direct result of such abuse, I think cycling is pretty clean and enlightened by comparison.
ternst <email@example.com> wrote:
I think "doping " or stimulants as people/ society has known them has been going on since time immemorial. Only think back to the old Greek Olympiads. Do you actually think those guys were fighting on distilled water? Birth control was known thousands of years ago, and so were the needed drugs. As sports progressed so did the use accordingly. Only when the problem became too public did the powers that be react. The substances were available as discovered and those that desired participated. Most things were legal until outlawed, and not everybody gets caught speeding in their autos. As rules got stiffer, circumvention got more sophisticated and the game went on So don't hyperventillate, every sport has had a problem, but cycling has always had a higher profile, so our squeaky wheel gets the most of media . Ted Ernst Palos verdes Estates CA USA
> This thread is NOT an attempt to start a debate about the current doping
> scandals plaguing the sport of pro-cycling...Rather, it is a question I
> have about the history of drug use in the sport.
> As a relative "newbie" to the world of racing bicycles (classic or
> otherwise...I have only been involved for 6+ years), there is a certain
> "unmentionable" history that I know almost nothing about. And current
> debate has made me curious. I hope you can forgive my naivete...
> Through reading and listening to a number of discussions about
> contemporary wide spread use of drugs, one stance or discussion point that
> often comes up is something along the lines of "drug use and cycling have
> gone hand in hand for decades".
> I'd love to hear some opinions as to whether or not drug use is really
> something that has historically played a role in the pro peleton, to which
> the general public and the pro organization have turned a blind eye.
> Is it a widely known (or greatly debated) fact that many of our heros from
> the bygone "golden age" of cycling were not, in fact, "riding clean"?
> Any suggestions for further reading will also be appreciated.
> Matthew Bowne
> Brooklyn, New York