The use of performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) in elite cycling extends well beyond the 60’s. Evidence suggests that PED’s where used as far back as the Ancient Greeks. They used various methods of doping to gain the performance edge (Bowers 1998). People will always use and abuse substances in the pursuit to get the edge as well as personal appearance (Fernandez, Hosey). These days with equipment being technologically advanced and available to all professional teams athletes need to find a way to perform at the new levels. There have been many theories to explain the contributing factors for professional athletes deliberately using PED’s to gain an unfair advantage, a competitors success or failure should be a result of their natural talents (Beloff 2001). Although, the literature covers a wide range of information, this review will focus on the pressure athletes are facing to succeed and stay on top at the elite level. (Maler, Liechti, Herzig, Schaub 2013)
DOPING IN THE WORLD OF CYCLING
The World Anti-Doping Agency code declares it to be an illegal drug if it is performance enhancing, a health risk, or if it violates the “spirit of sport”(WADA, 2009). Teams like the US postal team, place a ‘code of silence’ pressured athletes to use PED’s as well as groomed them to evade detection from the authorities so they can gain an unfair advantage (Tygart 2012). In the past 16 years of the Tour De France there have been 12 years that the overall winners have been linked with and found guilty of taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (McLean, Tse, Wannanen 2013). Considering the state of the doping culture in cycling throughout the last 20 years alone, its no wonder athletes like Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landers, Alberto Contador...
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...e results will be true as everyone is in an equal playing field.
People are responsible for their own actions, however if an athletes sample is found to have intentionally violated the rules with a prohibited performance enhancing Substance then that athlete should be banned for life regardless of the drug of choice. To many sports are saying there cleaning up the sport however the drug cheats that have been found guilty are still in the sport with a slap on the wrist or small ban. All the bans are doing are educating the teams with how to better mask the drugs so they can get away with it for longer next time. (Charlish 2012). The only way cycling can get back the credibility and trust from the world, is to toughen down on all elite athletes.
In summary athletes who dope are not bad people, they just want to even the playing field, or gain the edge.
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