Cycling - Cleanest Sport Around?

Posted on August 16, 2006

Trek MadoneI listened to an interview that Bob Roll gave during the recent Tour of Utah to radio station KCPW the other day. I half expected that it would just be another one of Bobke’s crazy and funny talks about cycling but he was actually pretty subdued and he brought up a lot of serious topics (i.e. the Tour conspiracy theory about the French being against the US). The topic that was most interesting and most timely was that of doping in the sport of cycling.

In light of many cyclists being caught doping the sport has taken a really hard hit. This couldn’t have come at a worse time as the sport has already seen the loss of a decent amount of viewers due to Lance not being present. Some of the cyclists that have been “caught” are still in the innocent-until-proven-guilty camp (Landis for one - things still seem a bit fishy in his case so I am not inclined to condemn his just yet) but let’s say for a moment that most of them are proven to have used any of a number of doping substances or methods. Would cycling be the most dope riddled sport around? Bobke thinks not and he makes some pretty compelling arguments to back up his assertion.

Bob says that cycling tests far more than other sports and I don’t think there is any disputing that. During the Tour de France for example, race officials will perform about 1,000 dope tests. Compare that to the under 100 that have ever happened in baseball and you’ll see the ratio of tested to positive is in cycling’s favor (makes you wonder how many baseball players are doping - seems like Jose Canseco may be telling the truth afterall). That said, it seems as if cycling is getting a bad rap because they are out there making testing a priority while other sports are looking the other way. It is too bad that cycling has to take the fall for the indifference of other major sporting organizations. Hopefully other sports will follow cycling’s lead and rid competitive sports of doping for good while also clearing cycling of its’ unwarranted reputation.

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3 Comments so far
  1. […] Cycling - Cleanest <b>Sport</b> Around? […]

  2. Gary Hudson November 2, 2007 11:20 pm

    I agree that testing for performance enhancing drugs is reasonable. Every contestant in a race needs to have an equal chance to win. Cheating seems to be widespread in many other areas as well. So in conclusion, I agree with testing in every sport to maintain fairness and good sportsmanship.

  3. cycling March 3, 2008 12:32 am

    Cycling certainly is the cleanest sports today, not just because the high priority of the testing for performance enhancing drugs but also because other sports are somewhat lax. I’m an avid cycling aficionado and for me, performance enhancing drugs takes away the clean competitiveness of the sport.

    – stephen