Doping

Alright, hard facts: There was a time in my life where I openly stated it should be mandatory for all Major League Baseball players to take steroids. My reasoning was that I lived in North Carolina where there is no MLB team and the act of going to see a team would entail a major investment on my part: 7 plus hours of driving time, hotel, meals out, and the astronomical cost of MLB tickets. Sure you can sit in the nose bleed section, but with an investment of this magnatude I want to have good seats. Moreover, with this type of an investment, I wanted to be assured to see a home run. I wanted to see someone knock it out of the park. In truth, my reasons for advocating steroid use were for comedic conversational value at best.

One of my heroes is Lance Armstrong. Lance survived testicular cancer which is beyond what most humans are able to do. He then went on to win the Tour de France 7 consecutive times which constitutes a monumental and inhuman effort. While it does take having a great team around you to win the Tour, you still have to pedal that bike.

The year after Lance retired a man named Floyd Landis won the Tour de France. During stage 16 he was 8 minutes behind the leader, and stage 17 was a mountainous range with hills that would strain some automobiles. Early into Stage 17 there was a group that included the leader that broke away from the pack and left the bulk of the riders in the dust. Landis powered away by himself, with no team mates to help break the wind, or set the pace, caught up to the break away and passed them to take the win and make up all but 30 seconds of the 8 minute lead. It was beyond inhuman. It was amazing. It was not possible. It was Floyd Landis doping.

The unusually high ratio of the hormone testosterone to the hormone epitestosterone (T/E ratio) in Landis’ urine sample was what tipped everyone off. Maximum UCI (the governing body of cycling) limits to the T/E ratio are 4:1. It sould be said that athletes bodies will often times produce this hormone more so than other peoples can or will. Landis had an 11:1. Of course he denied doping and stated that the excess was “natural and produced by my own organ.” In another test it was determined that synthetic testosterone was present in his urine samples which proved his guilt. Landis was stripped of his title, and banned from the sport for two years.

Over the years, other sports pros have been accused or come out and stated that they have used performance enhancing drugs to get ahead. Just the other day Mark McGwire sat crying like a little girl saying how sorry he was for doping.

As a child I played little league baseball and my father said “do your best.” Often my best was behind other kids abilities. Trying hard but losing is fine. Losing builds character. It motivates us to try harder. It shows us our weaknesses, and helps us to understand the others out there are trying hard, just like us. Winning is great, but in every race there is only one winner. That leaves a lot of us in good company.

As a triathlete I run for what it does for me and how it makes me feel about myself. As a 40 year old triathlete I understand that there will be younger and faster people out there who will pass me. As a person who has and does tune his body to “do my best” I must say that I regret ever even jokingly saying that athletes should use steroids. I clip coupons and scrimp and save and squeeze every ounce of toothpaste out of a tube before throwing it out just to be able to afford to live my life. I beg and plead with my sponsors to pay my entry fees or provide their products so that I may be able to run my races and to watch Mark McGwire cry in his expensive suit, leaves me nauseated. The putrid bile burns my throat at the “Have” feigning his apology to the “have-nots” about how sorry he feels for taking all that money generated from their ticket, poster and memorabilia sales.

Fuck you Mark McGuire.

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4 Responses to “Doping”

  1. […] here: Doping « Ronin Sherpa Share and […]

  2. Yeah that should be of no surprise. Say what Barry Bonds?

  3. […] this blog I have discussed the issue of doping in sports and shared my distain for it. Normally a cyclist testing positive for clenbuterol is handed a two year ban from the sport because […]

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