Saturday, August 18, 2012

"The answer is to never give them the option."

How to Get Doping Out of Sports

WHY does an athlete dope? I know why, because I faced that choice.

My life on a bike started in middle school. When the buzzer on my Goofy clock snapped on at 5:30 a.m., I popped out of bed with excitement and purpose. Rushing down the stairs, I stretched 20 some odd layers of still baggy spandex onto my 90-pound skeleton and flew out of the garage. Into the dark, freezing Colorado morning I rode. For the next 30 miles, I pushed my heart rate as high as it would go and the pedals as fast as they would go, giving various extremities frostbite and giving my parents cause to question my sanity. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of the NYT.

Kicking Back Comments: Here is a preview from Sundays OpEd in the NYT.

A very eloquent admission from one who knows. This is truly the way to end doping, and Jonathan cuts to the heart of it. He recognizes it's a choice. Illegal, not illegal, that won't matter to someone who wants that "2%" as he details it. His IRS analogy is spot on.

Where I think he misses in the article, is where he has flourished as a manager. Garmin takes great steps within the team itself to assure that there is no doping going on by entering ACE, and maintaining a "biological passport" for each rider. They know upfront if they dope, they are out.

This to me is far more of an incentive than USADA or UCI punishments. It allows the free choice, up front, and a clear path otherwise. Like the IRS, the USADA just does not put fear into the hearts of some as the molecular biologists designing this stuff are better than the enforcement ever can be.

Business spend millions every year in accountants that find ways to twist the IRS code to save the companies billions of dollars. People will continue to do so regardless of the regulation.

I still contend, it is the individuals who choose not to dope, or condone it that make the biggest impact. People who are determined will always find a way around the rules.

Think about this in a soccer context. Do players behave themselves during a match just because FIFA is looming, or US Soccer?


Players will do what they want, and suffer the consequences if they do. It's all about personal choice and responsibility. Jonathan in his article made it clear the failing to dope was his, and I give him great credit for the admission. He also allows his riders to make a choice, in the most positive of ways. Not under threat of sanctions or dismissal, but with the simple choice of riding for Garmin or not. For any who want to be at that level with that team, it is a Hobson's choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment