Erythropoietin, Growth Hormone, Testosterone … When we have not studied medicine, and these words are known by the mere fact of being cycling fans, it just comes to our minds a word, shame.
Science for sport, training, rest or the threshold effort brings to human limits. Applied by the athletes themselves (and, unfortunately, more and more amateurs and fans), doctors (with a lack of moral), coaches (who play at being doctors), these shameful scourge people are linked too long to sport.
Cycling, particularly, has always been in the spotlight for the use of doping substances, and justifiably so.
We can go back to 1967 when Tom Simpson collapsed on his bike Peugeot as he climbed the Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France that year. Amphetamine was not new, since its use in the First World War was known effects of euphoria and absence of fatigue, but Tom’s misfortune was to be a pioneer in death as a direct result of the use of doping.
Following this fact, the first antidoping controls started, sport should not be associated to death … Who would sponsor it then? But cheaters are always one step ahead, sophisticated doping, new substances appeared and they became more cautious.
We could talk about cases such as Festina, the “particular” case of Armstrong, the Puerto operation (Spain, this deserves a separate chapter), authentic plot of procurement, distribution and control of prohibited substances that wobbled the foundation of this beautiful sport to the point put in check races such as the Tour. The damage of cycling doping done and is still doing is evident, the departure of big sponsors evidence a stigma that will cost many years to erase. The trickle of doping cases has never ceased and it doesn’t seem that in the short term will disappear.
In recent times, to make matters worse, we are seeing doping in amateur and even private competitions. The case of doping detected in the last race of Red Hook Series this year reveals two things, the professionalism that has reached the criteriums league that the spectre of possible doping cases is coming, and traps are not just a matter of the best.
The direction of famous cycle-tourists rides, yes, you have read that right, cycle-tourists are considering performing doping controls after participants recognized in anonymous surveys to have used illegal performance-enhancing substances.
From the RAW’s point of view, we believe in cycling as more than a sport, for us it’s a way of life, but after this writing we can feel nothing else than shame.