Straight Dope

So much has happened in the world of competitive Doping in the past few weeks. Mostly the clearing of Alberto Contador. I’m sure everyone has their two cents on the situation and wants to cash in their pennies about contaminated meat. However what would be more impressive if everyone just let it go. There are endless conspiracy theories that could be listed off concerning Contador but the fact of the matter is that Contador was tried in the courts and found innocent. None of us couch-side commentators will know the case as intimation as those who made the decision regarding Contadors future. Ultimately we have to place our faith in the decisions made by the courts and UCI because if we don’t cycling will become an endless rabbit hole of rumors and conspiracies.

Just look at the recent developments of Lance. Not only is the most recent investigation concerned with events that took place over ten years ago, but the whole reason for the renewed interest is because of a now totally irrelevant and discredited rider that everyone seems to want to see the last of (except for apparently the cycling media).
So what should happen? Some say to solve the issue in the sport we should legalize EPO, Blood Doping, amphetamines, bicycle motors, the whole shebang. This idea is completely retarded. I’d say it’s equivalent to strapping rocket engines to NASCAR’s; it slightly violates the the fundamental principals of the sport.
What should happen is that we all should collectively just move on. Contador is innocent, Lance probably doped but it was 12 years ago when everyone else did so let it go, Floyd is now a nobody and should stop getting interviews where he says totally bat shit crazy stuff, and most importantly: we should all get back to watching good clean bike racing. As much as anti-doping champions like Jonathan Vaughters wouldn’t like to tell their sponsors; cheating will always be a part of cycling as with every other sport on the face of the earth. We will never rid the sport completely, so instead of focusing the entire energy of the sport on it, doping should be dealt with in a consistent and concise matter without so much fanfare. Most other sports do just this and as a result don’t have the sort of mass cheating scandals found in cycling.

That’s why above all else I want to see riders like Vinokourov, Basso, and Di Luca succeed. They were all caught, served their punishment, cooperated with the UCI without publicly outing everyone they knew, and have returned to the top tier of the sport. Di Luca even signed with Katusha for no pay until he proved he could succeed without cheating. They’re not dopers, they’re world class riders that were part of a previous generation of cyclists where doping was commonplace. They also didn’t draw out their doping scandal into years of name dropping and supposed childhood drama’s that lead them to cheating.
Some assume that being caught doping is indicative of a rider’s moral fiber and they will never be clean. This plain false. However if a rider that’s been been caught doping returns to the sport and immediately gives himself kidney failure by re-infusing blood he stored in his own refrigerator, he’s probably a bad person…and very dumb.

So can we all just please get back to what we love most, watching riders suffer and ride till their eyeballs pop out all for a chance to obtain glory atop the podium?

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