Doping, Your Thoughts Experiences Opinions

I’m like @chad in that we know the rules so I can’t wrap my head around cheating. Especially for masters or anyone who is not a pro. With that said, I’m still going to race and I know there are others who dope (socal) but, I race to have fun first and foremost. I actually moved up a spot after Kayle Leogrande was popped after Redlands. We all knew but, whatever. It doesn’t define me and I’m able to divorce myself emotionally. Funny that I have friends who are cyber racers (never pin it on) and are just obsessed with hating dopers.

While I don’t condone it I’m still racing even if the fields are peppered with dopers. Honestly, I suspect a higher percentage of people who use T who never race but, do it to be faster for group rides! I think it’s a mistake but, it’s not my body.


I’m still trying to wrap my head around pot as a banned substance…

Last June I had a grade 2 tear in my Left MCL, leg was nasty swollen, the Doc knows I hate medicines, hate pills and would rather just deal with the pain, He suggested a regimen of CBD oil, it natural so I gave it a whirl. Seemed to work well for the swelling and inflammation. One month later I was back on a bike but taking it very easy over a month ahead of schedule.


I’m more concerned for the mental health of the dopers in masters and amateur fields than anything else. None of us are going to get rich at this hobby and the risks you’re putting yourself through just don’t seem worth it under their circumstances.

I actually understand the pros doping situation and understand their cheating much easier than I do the guys I’m racing against in the local P12 fields who have…at best…a ceiling as an American continental pro, and that’s easier still to understand than the knuckleheads doping in a 35+ field

I’m fiercely competitive, but just don’t understand it - not only do I value my health and well being too much but I also don’t think I’d get much (any?) satisfaction from winning a race where I wasn’t playing by the same rules as everyone else


That opens up another can of worms. If you look around our society is riddled with people taking this or that to fix something. Instead of a healthy whole food, low preservative diet and a little exercise to prevent or deal with a variety of disease people would rather take a pill. Shopping at the local farmers market/whole foods/health food store is expensive but, I choose to look it as preventative medicine. I can pay to prevent disease now through a healthy lifestyle or I can pay for it later with conventional healthcare.

I’m shocked how many older middle aged guys I work with supplement with testosterone who do not have any problem other than they are getting old. They are not athletes. They don’t want to do the things required to be healthy but, they want what they felt when they were 25. What’s interesting is they can not understand why I don’t as well! Even after I tell them about how doping is cheating, health risks etc…they simply don’t think it’s cheating or are in denial about the possibility of complications from dosing. I suspect a % of athletes feel the same way.


I’m not concerned with anyone doping that I am racing against. If I knew about it, I find it more entertaining than anything. Its never clearly evident in MTB racing. There are a couple guys at the top of Cat 1 that I wouldn’t put it past them. I think they should at least race in the pro/open if they just continue to pace off the front to easy wins. But there is no mandatory upgrade to pro.

There has got to be a fair amount of Masters racers taking advantage of the low T diagnosis and others doing HGH.

The weed thing that someone mentioned. I thought weed was just banned “in competition” because it does suppress the pain and you can go harder and therefore is not only cheating but dangerous IMO.

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This is because, as a species, we are terrible at weighing deferred costs such as long term health risks against immediate costs such as the extra time it takes to eat healthy foods


@Greeninaustin You are correct in the statement that it is a banned substance “in-competition” and they even allow for a TUE to be applied for but looking at USAC, WADA, USADA they all seem more worried about smoking the substance than anything else. But directly speaking of what they call NON THC CBD oil is a misnomer even made from hemp plants it will still have a low level of THC in it according to testing.


I don’t resent pill poppers as much as some others do, it seems. Why? Because (1) taking PEDs is generally condemned and judged unfair, and (2) because I could take pills too if I wanted (disclaimer: I neither want nor do).

But how ‘bout all the unfair advantages that are lauded and esteemed? For example, the now-retired hedge fund manager that can afford the best bikes, kit, coaching, nutrition, and medical care, while having abundant time to train and recover? How can a working man of similar age be expected to compete against that?

Point is that there’s a broad spectrum of advantages, and we’ve singled out pills as the only thing that unacceptably tilts the field of play.


Not to say I agree or disagree with the reasoning that led us to this point but…

The general hierarchy of cheating appears to be something like mechanical doping is worse than medical doping is worse than gear optimization is worse than training optimization.

There is a fairly clear line for bike racing around what constitutes a race legal bike (both weight and frame geometry rules are clearly defined). Within those confines you can do pretty much whatever you want, but if you break them you are cheating and disqualified. People argue about those rules and whether they should be changed, but (nearly) everyone agrees on those limits. If you were to show up with a motor on your bike, or a recumbent bike you wouldn’t be allowed to race because these things give you an unfair advantage.

Similarly there are fairly well known and understood drugs that will give your body a boost such that you can out perform others who have invested similar time and money into their training.

Now…below the line that we consider cheating are things like getting a good night’s sleep because you can afford a full time nanny to watch your kids or having a personal nutritionist who follows you around and makes sure you’re eating perfect foods all day every day. Also below the line is hiring a professional coach who will monitor your workouts and provide you with real time feedback on your performance such that you can hit your intervals.

For amateurs there is certainly a wide array of things you can do to fully optimize your training, your bike, your aerodynamics, all of these things vary in cost and in benefit but are not generally considered cheating.

I find it interesting how stark the line is in my mind and how gray it is in yours. I regularly compete against people with both significantly more and significantly less disposable income than I have and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I sometimes feel envious of those with less time constraints or those with the money to have spent time in an air tunnel to optimize their position but I also feel grateful that I can afford the time and dedication that I put into this hobby.

For me there is no question that medically enhancing your abilities is outside the rules of the game, the same as putting an aero shield around my TT bike would give me an unfair advantage and be illegal. This is because there are clearly defined rules for these things that I would be violating whereas there are not rules about how I spend my time and money on training, recovery, or my position on a race legal bike.


It was just one example used to possible explain why some don’t see it as cheating. It was not meant to be an argument from ignorance.

For me I break it down into two categories/issues/feelings (can’t find the right word haha).

A) it’s a social sport that we do for fun, if you are doping to win a Cat 3 race or whatever you’ve lost sight of why we ride bikes. If you’re doping to win non-pro races, and you care that much about winning, then there are other issues that need to be addressed. And I think we should be helping these racers emotionally.

B) If you are a pro who is doping, you need to look at who you are hurting. The sport of cycling to start, because a stigma of doping now surrounds the sport. It has decreased but will always be there. But you are also hurting the fans. I was 8 years old the first time Lance won the Tour. He was my idol, and when he finally admitted to doping it crushed me. They have to think of all of the kids out there that look up to them as mrole models (I guess the same goes for non-pros but their reach is exponentially smaller, but even if one kid looks up to you that should be a reason not to dope).

Just my 2¢


It’s not stark or hazy; I’m simply focusing on a different line.

James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games has shaped my opinion on many things, this discussion included.

Long story short, we’d completely agree on the rules of the (finite) game as you illustrated.

IMO, the amatueurs I understand the OP was referring to are, though beholden to the rules of the finite game, more participating in the infinite game, where the “rules” are a bit fuzzier, which is what I was pointing to.

I apologize if I’ve over-philosophized the discussion. I was just sharing a perspective I thought would add to the thread.

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oopps…disregard this post…

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I have never contemplated doping, see no benefit in doing it and would be scared of all the risks. This is all related to competitive sports such as cycling or running.

However if I was trying to body build and I was just trying to bulk up to please myself I could understand taking steroids.

Weird I know.

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It’s all good. I started this thread after listening to the podcast is why it’s here. Your thoughts are good and I’ve thought exactly the same fwiw…thanks


Does a back of the pack rider doping matter? Yes.


I think pot is only banned in competition?

Somehow I fail to see doping as an evil of all kinds. I am certainly against it, to a point. Everything that is defined in the list by corresponding authorities is considered doping, period. Tomorrow beetroot juice may become listed and will become PED. What seems not so obvious is that in pursuit for advantage, mechanically or chemically, it drives progress of trying and discovering things, whether lighter and/or stronger, discovering new materials, understanding better how body works, etc etc. Is it not true? Help me understand this.


You might want to go easy on them, in a way. I ride with a doctor and he left one clinic because the head physician turned to testosterone as soon as he had a middle-aged patient who was tired and droopy. My doctor friend is of the opinion “sure, you get older and a slouch … if you want to pep back up, lose 5 kg and almost always the problem will solve itself.”

So it could be their physicians prescribing the stuff and they are following advice in good faith. Better advice would be lose weight and put some physical activity into your life. Doesn’t really have to be that much.