tranzformer wrote:^ SSB to follow what you said about the burden of proof being low, here is a copy of the USADA statement on burden of proof. Will let the lawyers get into it.
@ SSB, a follow question I have is whether cycling can ever be a clean/pure sport? It just seems the history of it is so deep with doping and use of performance enhancing substances (free its very beginning) all the way up to now. These riders perform at such a high level of performance over such a long period of time, that I wonder how one gets rid of doping? The benefits are too large. Almost seems like it should be allowed and then closely monitored with several team physicians to ensure rider safety. Because it is the safety and health of the rider that is used as an excuse against doping right?
That's something I can't really think of a solution to. Again, theoretically creating harsher punishments should be a deterrent to anyone even considering doping. Having seen multiple examples of why harsh punishments in the real world/cycling world don't work, I've come to the conclusion that not only does it fail to work, it has the tendency to exacerbate the problem because efforts are directed towards punishment rather than deterrence. The motive to cheat is simple: you gain a lot of glory and monetary awards. You can't exactly remove these incentives from pro cycling, otherwise what would be the point of the sport?
On a fundamental level, I believe that in all sports, one should be competing on the basis of their natural abilities. But one can dedicate their entire life to training and become a top player from a person who is merely "good", and a person who dopes within the safe range for their body can also be on the same field. What people find morally reprehensible is that the last person got to point X with a shortcut, and that is why those people are punished in society. A solution is that we just allow doping with ironclad oversight, and everyone is giving a level playing field, so it's one's choice to dope or not to dope to reach the limits of their body.
The problem that creates is that it contradicts the spirit of the sport, it's supposed to be man vs. man and not an arms race. That's a partial reason why we have limits and standards for bike design and weight. If we allowed doping, but within safe levels, then you'll bet that there'll be people with bottomless pockets trying to push the envelope of what is "safe", and again, we're back to the problem of it being an uneven playing field and a race between technologies, not bike riders.
There are so many sports that are clean out there, and all of them have the same incentives (i.e. glory and money.) Maybe we need to learn a thing or two from them? The solution is not as easy as telling kids not to dope, like how people tell kids drugs are bad.
Sorry for the long-winded posts, but it's a nice distraction from work.