Doping on Team Lizard Collectors?

So, imagine this: A USAC licensed racer on Team Lizard Collectors comes up to an unlicensed rider and says, “Here, put this in your water bottle. You’ll go faster.”

Freddie says, “What is it?”

Doper McDopefuck says, “It’s like 5-hour Energy. It will speed you up.”

McDopefuck stuffs a handful of small packets into Freddie’s trusting hand and moseys off. Freddie mixes the powder with water and the next day takes off on a ride with a friend. Freddie notices unusual speed and power and extreme stimulation. After an hour Freddie’s heart feels like it’s about to rip out of the ribcage.

Freddie, who has high blood pressure, gets off the bike and lies down. Freddie can’t breathe and thinks a cardiac event is about to kick off. “What’s wrong?” Friend asks Freddie.

Freddie tells Friend about the powder and after recovering enough to make it home, goes online and checks the label on the packet. Surprise! It’s a legal supplement that contains a relative of DMAA that is on the WADA list.

Shit just got real.

Dopers in the mist

The first part of the problem is simple: What to do about Doper McDopefuck and any other buddies who are loading up on DMAA and its banned cousins?

Answer: Report them to USAC’s clean cycling program and get on with your life. They will hopefully be surprised one day with a pee-pee test and get run out of the sport.

And don’t tell me it’s the board’s job to out people. Only USADA/WADA/national anti-doping bodies get to sanction dopers. That’s why Chris Froome is still racing and about to enjoy a big win in the Giro and another in the Tour.

Recreational dopers

For those dopers who don’t race and who dope to win group rides or Strava, well, they are fucked up, but as Thorfinn-Sasquatch taught us, recreational doping is a very real thing. Pity the cycling club that starts to weed out its non-racing members who are taking drugs, because the vast majority of cyclists take some kind of drug at some point that is on the WADA list.

Inhalers, pot, ecstasy, amphetamines, viagra, testosterone, and a plethora of legal drugs are regularly consumed by members of your cycling club. So what? They may be using it to get an edge on the group ride, or they may be using it for the purposes that it was prescribed. The first purpose is hardly illegal, and the second may well be medically necessary.

Anyone who joins a cycling board and wants to play narc is going to find himself in a full-time Inquisition, resulting in a club roster of 1.

Pushers

The problem I have is with the Doper McDopefuck who pushes the drug onto the unknowing recreational rider. Those riders can suffer serious health consequences. The licensed racer taking a banned substance and passing it off to another rider deserves to be invited to go away and never come back.

Education

I’ve never heard of a club that has a drug education policy. We need one, and your club does, too. In the same way that we advocate for safety, for nutrition, for good training techniques, and for fair play, we need to advocate for drug health. That means talking with our members about doping, about why it sucks, and about why it doesn’t comport with the goals of our club.

The next time an unsuspecting rider takes a drug pushed off on him by someone who is doping, and that unsuspecting rider dies or gets horribly hurt, it won’t be enough to say, “We didn’t want to harm the reputation of our club.” To the contrary, doping is everywhere in cycling and in life, and we have a duty to educate so that people can make informed decisions.

For those who think that the reputation of their entire club has been harmed because they admit to having a doping problem, well, your reputation is going to be harmed a whole lot worse when someone dies or winds up with a USADA sanction like Meeker or LeoGrande. Tackle the problem head-on, don’t sweep it under the rug. It’s easy to be smug when someone on another team gets caught cheating, less so when it’s your own group of friends and riding pals.

For those who dope to cheat others in sanctioned races, rat them out and send them packing. There’s no shame in having lying, cheating, sonsofbitches in your midst. The shame is not doing anything about them.

END

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6 thoughts on “Doping on Team Lizard Collectors?”

  1. Well said, Seth. Unfortunately this is becoming more and more prevalent in most cycling circles across the USA. Today’s (p)athlete wants all the rewards without putting in the hard work; that’s why all the big bike manufacturers are able to sell ultralight $10,000 bikes with deep carbon 100% carbon wheels and power meters. People think they can chet a little bit and “buy” speed. Since that mindset already exists, taking a little “powder in the bottle” is a natural next step. Those guys are out there trying to win every Saturday morning coffee ride. Whatever you need to feel good about yourself, I guess. #SMH

    1. Everything has blended into a slurry. You can cheat on Strava, on the coffee ride, with electronic drivetrains (I have one), and with hidden motors. Soon, with openly electric bikes. And you nailed it re: the ultralight expensive bikes. Mine isn’t ultralight, but it’s very, very, very light compared to the average sport bike. Even people who are willing to do the work want the extra edge, which used to only come in a syringe, but now comes in every possible variety, including #socmed. I had a really nice ride with my wife on Friday. We pedaled along and chatted. Then I got my ass beat on Sunday, and one of the ass-beaters was super doper Tom Danielson. I have to say that I enjoyed both.

  2. Report them to USAC’s clean cycling program

    Why? The federation (AKA Thom Wiesel) is perfectly okay with doping. You just have to win.

    Pretend it’s a human-powered sport and know that you are pretending while you are pedaling 100% carbon with colorful underwear and ugly shoes on.

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