Doping: Crime and Punishment?

Jan 21, 2013 at 8:44
by Matt Wragg  
Doping has cast a long shadow over road cycling in the past year. Case after case, rider after rider, team after team, it felt at times like there was no end to its reach through the sport, even though all the high profile cases were being dug up from the past. As I write this, Lance Armstrong has just confessed all to Oprah on prime time American television; that whole ugly circus has gone mainstream. Right now must be a painful time to be in road cycling as it tries to come to terms with its past and reassure the outside world that they have learned from those mistakes, that the present is a brave, new world.

Those worries have never really reached the shores of gravity mountain biking. While road cycling grew out of competition, mountain biking grew out of the late '60s hippie movement in San Fransisco. Wild, long-haired freaks on burly bikes, hurtling down the gravel roads. It's fair to say that some of them would have failed drug tests, spectacularly in some cases. Yet the substances they would likely have found wouldn't have been EPO, testosterone or human growth hormone. LSD, THC or MDA, any combination of the uppers, downers and hallucinogens that were common in that corner of the world at that time. The simple reason being that performance-enhancing drugs are no fun. Born from this free-wheeling world, downhill has managed to remain less tainted by doping.

Yet Enduro is different. By introducing an endurance element to gravity riding it brings increased risks with it. Enduro's founder, Fred Glo, admits, "Enduro racing is not a different dream world and we know doping can exist. Building technical trails will not be enough, doping can be a big plus, we all know that." So it was profoundly disappointing to discover that the French Cycling Federation (FFC) recently banned a rider for six months for using a banned substance.

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The Facts and their Implications

The ruling from 6 September 2012 states clearly that a French-licensed rider failed the test at the Megavalanche at St-Paul, Reunion Island 2011 and hydrochlorothiazide, a masking agent, was found in his sample. A study in the British Journal of Pharmacology explains that masking agents "can be used to mask the administration of other doping agents by reducing their concentration in urine primarily because of an increase in urine volume. The urine dilution effect of diuretics also allows them to be classified as masking agents and precludes their use both in and out of competition." In other words, they make your body produce more urine, so the amount of the banned substance in your urine will be harder to detect as it's diluted further. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is clear in its guidelines that hydrochlorothiazide is banned at all times. We also know that the rider's ban started 20 September 2012 and runs until 20 March 2013. These are all the facts that are available right now and from here the bigger problem grows.

Article 45 of the French Cycling Federation (FFC) regulations state: "Toutefois, pour les personnes majeures, cette publication pourra, en cas de circonstances exceptionnelles, être effectuée sous forme anonyme par décision spécialement motivée de l'organe disciplinaire de première instance." That roughly translates to that in exceptional cases, people found guilty of using banned substances can apply to remain anonymous. Frank Filbien, the FFC's mountain bike representative, explains that, "There is a special committee, independent from the national federation. This committee can decide that the rider's name will not be published. This occurs when the rider tells the committee that such a publication will have a very negative impact on him and, for example, that he could lose his job - let's say he has a bike shop and there is a possibility that many people stop buying things in his shop if they know that he has cheated. This decision is very exceptional. That's why the rider's name has not be published."

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The obvious question is: why is this case exceptional? We don't know. Nobody outside the independent committee that made the decision knows why they have chosen to both punish and protect the guilty rider, even Frank Filbien doesn't know the name of the banned rider or the details of the case. He explains that, "French sports laws says that the AFLD is the French independent agency against doping for all sports. Each federation has to build a “committee,” whose function is to establish which punishment must be chosen for each case of anti-doping rules violation. In this “committee,” for our federation, there are five members and only one whom belongs to the FFC. The others are chosen for their specialist knowledge of health or justice. When a rider has been caught in an anti-doping control, the AFLD asks the national federation to establish the punishment, this is done by the committee which works in an independent way, neither the FFC nor the AFLD has any influence on it. If the national federation does not do anything before the required deadline, then the AFLD stands in for the committee." These experienced professionals, who probably have far more experience in dealing with doping cases than any of them would like to have, have taken all the facts into consideration and applied the appropriate policies and precedent in making a ruling.

Trust and Understanding the Media

We find ourselves in a situation where there is anger flowing through the sport, a desire to see justice visibly done and to remain free of doping. Yet without a name that anger is often misplaced, riders' names are being thrown around, sometimes on no stronger evidence than that they are from the right country and happen to ride Enduro. Innocent, clean athletes are inadvertently being tainted by the toxic overspill from this decision. The modern media and the free-flow of information on the internet mean rumours fly fast and the void of information is inevitably filled with gossip and speculation.

People naturally assume the worst, the suggestion that the rider could have made an innocent or stupid mistake is not a popular one right now. The British Journal of Pharmacology article acknowledges that hydrochlorothiazide has several medical uses and the short, off-season sentence is very lenient. Interpreting this as a sign that the rider made a mistake with their medication is as equally plausible as the reading that it is masking a more systematic regime of drug use. Yet only one of these theories is in circulation right now, and the truth is we don't know.

Italian Superenduro organiser, Enrico Guala, is open in his criticism of how the case has been handled: "To me, all this speculation and all the arguments on who is the rider, is very bad for the other riders. It's a lack of respect to all the other riders. In what other sport do they do this? They just say this athlete is doped. It's a way to protect the other ones." For the riders there is another dimension too, it creates doubt as to whether they are racing on a level playing field. Enduro's first professional rider, Remy Absalon, says simply, "For me, I'm an athlete, I train to win. It hurts to know that some guys cheat."

What the committee has not understood is that mountain bikers clearly do not trust the wisdom of their decisions. There is a desire from every level of the sport to see it remain clean, and to do that we want and need transparency. Maybe in the past simply keeping the rider's name anonymous was a plausible thing to do, mainly because few people would have ever found out about the ruling and if they did they couldn't share the details as easily as we can today. The world has changed and there is a strong argument that this kind of decision is no longer appropriate.

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The Wrong Response

Not everyone in mountain biking seems to have a grasp on the situation though. French website, Endurotribe, approached George Edwards, the Megavalanche organiser, for comment on the matter. You can read the full text of his response on their website, but the money shot is when he says "Néanmoins les caractéristiques sur lesquelles sont fondées les qualités nécessaires pour être performant en DH marathon/enduro n’offrent pas d’avantage prépondérant à l’absorption d’un produit dopant, ce qui atténue la notion d’un résultat immérité!" The short, rough translation is: "doping won't help in DH marathon/enduro because it's all about technical ability."

Anybody who has raced in the Megavalanche will tell you how ridiculous the suggestion that extra fitness wouldn't help is. Frank Filbien is emphatic in saying "I confirm that M. Edwards can’t have any influence on the decision taken by the committee. The members of this committee work in an independent way and must keep their decision secret. If not, they would be automatically excluded from the committee." So even if George Edwards is sticking his head firmly in the sand, he has no way of influencing the application of anti-doping procedures, which is reassuring to know.

The Future

Fred Glo, the organiser of the French Enduro series is vocal in his discontent and has written to the FFC stating that, "The current situation is not acceptable with the information we have. I want to know what to expect if this kind of case comes up in the future in the Enduro series. If the situation stays like this, it’s a very bad sign to give to riders and it cannot stay like it is." Sadly, this isn't the first time Fred has faced this kind of situation. In 2008 a rider named Franck Parolin was banned for six months by the FFC for using a banned substance while competing in a road competition away from Enduro racing. That ban has long since passed, but Fred's approach is "zero compromise," and he will never again be welcome at a French Enduro series race. As a race organiser this is understandable, anything less means being sucked into a world of complex judgements and grey areas. This way the message for riders is clear: no drugs.

In this case, the truth is that we are going to have to live with the situation. It is likely that we will never know the guilty rider's name. Maybe we need to know more about the work of the federations and their committtees, request more information. Even in this case, surely more information could have been made available to help us understand what happened without compromising the rider's anonymity? Or is there a way the FFC could help the rider be public about their offense, but support them in explaining it to the world? Unless we are to build our own systems, we must trust the FFC, the AFLD, WADA and the other organisations that police these matters. As Frank Filbien rightly points out, "The main thing is that such controls can take place in any race, even in Enduro races (probably, some people thought it couldn’t be the case) and that’s a good thing for sport."

What we must not do is waste this energy, this determination to keep our sport clean, we need to channel it into the future and find ways of avoiding ending up here again. As Vernon Felton wrote so eloquently for Bike Mag last week, "Professional cycling, in fact, has never been a 'clean' sport. Rat poison, cocaine, speed, caffeine suppositories—people have been injecting, gobbling and sticking things up their arse in pursuit of the podium before the Tour de France was even born." We may share two wheels with road cycling, but we do not share the same soul. Mountain biking was not born out of competition, but out of fun, friendship and bravery on those slopes just outside San Francisco. Talking to Chris Ball, the director of the Enduro World Series, he said one of the most hopeful things I have heard in a long time, "We are committed to the sport and we will always put the sport before the individual." If there is one positive we should take from this whole sorry affair, it's that we don't want to follow road cycling down that road to victory at any cost and we will not tolerate people polluting our sport.

338 Comments

  • + 352
 can we not have road cycling doom and gloom creep into mtb? I'd rather not know about doping then to have pinkbike turn into another depressing roadie style site, I see way too much doping crap on bicycling.com and I like the chilled out vibe of mtb and the fact the pros are chilled out to, anyway thats my opinion feel free to use the red arrow if you disagree, and I'm curious if it will be a pinkbike poll to guess which guy doped? could make a contest out of it...
  • + 113
 So you want to turn blind eye? That's exactly what did happen in road cycling, and look where it got them. The purpose of this article is not to "depress" you, it's to make us face up to the fact that Enduro could go the same way IF we don't demand transparency from the very start.
  • + 165
 i think all hes trying to say is he would rather watch videos of people ripping it and having fun than read about a bunch of drama and politics, and i totally agree with thatSmile
  • + 64
 Unless doping can make your love spuds bigger I cant really see it having a massive effect on Downhill, yes at some course's if you are fitter it could make you pedal better but luckly downhill is mostly skill, thats why we have riders at the top with such a different physic, hart, minnar, gwin all different. Enduro is completely different, stamina is a big factor, and drug use could make a hugh diffrence to rider performance, when I hear armstrong say that he took drugs because everyone else at the front was doing it, so it doesnt really matter, it really pisses me off. Maybe the top 60 riders were all taking drugs, but what about the guy who finished in 61st place that trained his arse off all year and only finished at the back of the pack. You took drugs to cheat, you took drugs to give yourself an unfair advantage over others, and you should be banned for life. We do not want this is our sport and drug testing and liftime bans should be inforced from day one so that we dont end up looking up to, and faulsly praise someone for their acheivments when really the praise and wealth should be given to the poor guy who finished 61st.
  • - 28
 You can't stop doping, as it is such a grey zone what doping is and what isn't, while pop-culture sees it black&white and is ready to shift their attitude 180 degrees towards a certain case if they are only given a story pompatous enough in a nice package.

Technology is also a kind of dope, you have perfect example in F1, though there certain things are banned not because it is not right, but it would lower the interest in the sport. Yet people all cheer for new bike parts, and Enduro racing will bring more new stuff than we have ever seen. Enduro-racing-specific forks, drivetrains, frames, wheels. It is irrelevant whether we have it already or not, they will not rest until a badge is on it.

So one day we will get a good gearbox, people will cry from joy and burn cassettes and derailleurs singing Grace. Then some other day some bloke will put electric engine in the roomy gearbox compartment and win a race...

Just train and practice to ride your bikes that's all you can do. Dont worry about the dope
  • + 12
 There is doping in DH, XC and Enduro. Its a physical sport and people want an advantage even if it is just tenths of a second.
  • + 11
 ^ I think that you have miss-understood, doping has nothing to do with technology and your F1 example doesnt make any sense.

Lewis Hamilton does not run around the track, bike technology has nothing to do with doping, it is completely different. If lance rode his last Tour on a Specalised bike instead of Trek he would still be a cheat.

The argument is about physically enhancing what a human being is capable of doing, not one rider having kasmir coated forks and his oponents not?
  • - 26
 To me it is about performance enhancement and it is itrelevant where it comes from. And please refer to it as USADA banned substances as it is much closer to the truth. A group of people gathered and decided which substances are allowed and which aren't, however you seem to refer to it as it is commonly understood where is the border as if either God or nothing-we-came-from decided that. There are plenty of chemical substances that are allowed, coffeine, vitamin B12, maybe you want to forbid sportsmen to go to places lying above 2000m?

This is a game with rules defined by humans and guarded by organisations like UCI, that everyone here bitches on. Off clurse we are so smart in MTB that we are going to make our own governing body that will never get cortupted and will be better. Talk to historia s how many times in history of humanity, people thought this way.

Relax, what is about to happen, will happen.
  • + 5
 dbox123, when you say "Unless doping makes you love spuds bigger..." reminded me of an extremely rude piece of stand-up. Just go on to youtube and search for 'Katt Williams steroids'. Not for kids or the easily offended. 2.57 long but you can skip the first half to get to where he talks about the side effect.
  • - 27
 And dbox: Anf if my tech-dope argument is irrelevant, I understand that if Contador DID have el engine in his road bike - you are perfectly fine with that?
  • + 5
 I go to the gym,loads of normal,regular ,average people do shit like HGH,it's out there,cheap and easily obtainable (one of the trainers offers it).
Drugs are as much a part of today as fuel increases,if you don't think people are taking them in their everyday training, you my friend are stupid.
  • + 18
 Doping makes your love spuds smaller!
  • + 8
 One other thing: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhlaHwnErBI
Don't do drugs. Otherwise the US navy will come to your house at 2 am and blast dubstep until your ears are bleeding and you're seizing.
  • + 13
 no racing. no doping. simple. if we were racing for beers and bragging rights alone..no problem. it's like using a lock to deter theft. locks only keep honest people honest. i usually try to be more positive but can't be naive..
  • + 4
 I don't think its fair to say that doping couldn't help with DH. Its different and the drugs used might be different, but any of these drugs could help. DH runs aren't exactly easy. There is a good deal of stamina required there too. Even if not for one run, doping could say allow a rider to take a couple extra practice runs, or train that much harder and longer. With that said, I don't think its a big enough advantage where the DH guys would likely risk it. Its not like the advantage gained in road cycling. But it probably could help.
  • + 7
 It's essential not to turn a blind eye to doping. Fred Glo has the right idea, lifetime ban, no exceptions.
Doping does nothing to grow the sport. Spectators can't tell the difference. Doping is entirely selfish on the part of the rider/team/sponsors. A win while or after doping is hollow and unjust. People who don't feel a heavy sense of guilt after winning while doping have serious psychological problems.
  • + 11
 It's really easy to stop doping. Lifetime ban and criminal charges on the first offence. Problem solved.

There are plenty of jobs out there that pay much less than professional sports where they test for drugs. You don't get a 6 month anonymous suspension, you lose your job permanently. Even something as benign as having weed in your blood from a toke a week ago. All the athletes talk about the love of the sport and how they just want it to be their life and they are willing to take the 'risk' (which is hardly risky if you can be back in competition in 6 months). Take away the sport they love, and you will be amazed at how quickly they will see the risk as being too great.

Bottom line is this is not a problem they want to solve, and that is really disappointing.
  • - 3
 Doping?! They want a drug to grow some balls and throw themselves down a mountain! Roadie gays should be banned full stop
  • + 1
 I'm guessing French guy who just parted with his Enduro Team recently was posted on Pinkbike? Going Separate ways sounds better than being dropped!
  • + 1
 Doping defiantly happens in all aspects of Mountain biking. From your shop ride to World Cup. Anyone that thinks otherwise is kidding them selves. Doping will take a mid PAC rider to the Front. Unfortunately for many people that's enough to get them to do it. Add that to the common belief that most people believe you have to dope to win because every one else is doping. I have two kids who love to ride bikes as much as I do, and if some day one of them has the desire to compete in cycling I want to Know for certain every possable measure has been taken to keep our sport clean. Punishment should be Strict and imediatly imposed once the first test is failed. If you didn't know this already many of the supplements on the shelves at GNC and other Soposed Nutrition stores will trigger a positive test. More than a few pros and trainers have told me they don't use any supplements, because the negatives are in too many cases greater than the positives. If you want to be fast on your bike ride it more often. We don't really understand the long term affects of supplements and energy drinks but, I'd wager a years salary that once we do know, it won't be positive. The Only Solution Is A Life Time Ban From All Competitive sports. Yes I said, All Sports. It shouldn't matter what sport you got banned from a Doper is a Doper. It needs to be understood that this is not acceptable in competition of any kind. The Best Rider should win. Not the best Cheater!
  • + 22
 does it mean if I smoke a fatty before a long uphill... and when I'm at the top I smoke another fatty for the rip down, am I doping? I sure have a good time :-)
  • + 7
 No, because those drugs are called PERFORMANCE ENHANCING for a reason. Weed detracts from your performance, it doesnt add to it...
  • + 1
 earlier in this somone sayed there is doping in downhill im just wondering what team he works for and where he gets his inside infomation from .I apoligize if i am just unaware of all this doping goin on in downhill but ive always taken pride in the fact that downhill is great sport that yes you need to be really fit to be in the contendors but you really need to have huge balls and just practise it alot Smile
  • - 14
 Sorry to have to say this but Dope is still Dope. Yes, You Are A Doper! Living in Colorado I know many people who smoke dope to calm their mind, improve focus, and to loosen up. Same thing can be said of a shot of booze. Ask any racer of any sport how important it is to be calm and focused and to stay loose. Granted dope and booze affect people differently, and for most people the effect is Negative not Positive. But if you know any skilled growers they will tell you there is a strain of dope to cure anything that ales you. I for one don't agree with dope of any form in sport. Neg Prop me all you want. When something you do is negatively affecting the lives of others you really should reconsider what you are doing. Don't even think about telling me your habit doesn't affect others because it does. Whether you are aware of it or not. As strong as some strains are today just a contact high can render some of us unable to function normally. Seriously impairing motor skills. Your bad habit could unknowingly cost someone their job or cause an accident that gets somebody killed. Then there is the Bull Shit notion that Pot relieves pain. Sorry quite the contrary for me and many others. A simple contact high of today's dope send insane amounts of pain through every part on my body that has been broke or repaired. Nothing pisses me off more than some ignorant pot head blowing smoke around in public places. I don't care that you do it just don't do it around those if us who don't.
  • + 2
 If you aren't first yer last wo0o00 MTB! I'm obviously joking, if I wanted to go drug I wouldn't have started riding.
  • + 4
 where do I get a needle for the syringe? I need to refill my printer ink cartridge!
  • + 0
 I can understand where the argument about tech is concerned. Because its about the rider, they've put restrictions on the tour de France now saying your bike has to be over a certain weight, I think cannondale or another manufacturer tried filling a frame with helium to make if lighter which strangely worked to a certain extent. There brought in a ban to stop you having a frame that light because of unfair advantage, cafine is another one classed as doping, what happens if you life coffee and the amount of red bull people drink before dh races these days is unreal that is strictly classed as doping because it's got caffeine in it.? Where dose it stop. ?
  • + 6
 @bikethrasher
Is your comment sarcastic? I can't really tell. If not then I'm sorry I'm not trying to be rude.
  • + 5
 I remember back in the nineties that downhillers were specifically warned that weed was on the banned list. The reason the UCI put was because it would make you ride in a way you wouldn't normally, and take risks that you wouldn't normally take. That's why weed was seen as 'performance enhancing'.
  • - 16
 No I'm quite serious you can ask anyone I work with. A contact high can render me incapable of standing. I'm not kidding. The Dope here in Colorado is insanely potent. This isn't the dirt weed shit that your parents smoked.
  • + 6
 Whaaa!!!! Those f***ing potheads! Hahahaaaa
  • - 21
 Right after the Pot Law passed I watched a guy I worked with medicate him self self to the point were he couldn't move or talk. And this guys life revolved around pot. If today's pot can do that to a heavy user just imagine how it can affect others. The pot of today is dangerous and it's use shouldn't be take lightly.
  • + 8
 ^ Good reason right there to legalize it, so that people can choose the strength of the pot. A bottle of beer won't do too much to an newbie, but a bottle of 100 proof whiskey can put even a seasoned drinker on their ass. I'm quite sure most pot users would like to know the strength of what they are signing up for. Not too many people appreciate getting more wasted than they would otherwise choose to when it comes to weed. In fact, many people I know are very cautious for this very reason. Given the choice they would choose a much lower strength variety. One that thrasher up there might be able to be within 100 meters of without fainting. But on that subject, I don't like it when people smoke tobacco within 100m of me, and I'm fine with keeping the smoke from any combustible item out of the faces of passer by's.
  • + 0
 please no dopping in freestyle bmx ! Wink
  • + 2
 Exactly keep drugs out of mtb will be really disappointed if this trend catches on with enduro riders
  • - 1
 thought my thread would be below the threshold but anyway its not as easy to stop doping as you think, the controls are corrupt for one thing, their is huge pressure to dope from sponsors and team managers, and lastly look at all your stars in strain sports now rip them all out for doping (assuming the controls were finally correct) and you'll notice there wouldn't be a sport anymore, rip out every roadie in the olympics, tdf, roubaix, giro and there's no race, so doping is bad but its very hard to stop, if every swimmer, baseball, cycling etc. star got lifetime bans today there would be no sports to watch except curling dh and darts
  • + 4
 Wrong. If every last doper got a lifetime ban and criminal charges, a guy like you or me might have a shot at being a pro at something. But this wouldn't happen, because as soon as the top ten got lifetime bans, the rest would stop doping.

The reasons you provide as to why it can't be stopped are not reasons, but simply the symptoms of bullshit slap on the wrist attitudes from governing bodies. It's fraud. It should be treated as a criminal offence in all sports. Criminal charges for competitors, coaches, doctors, testers or anyone else who is proven to be involved. Bribery, blackmail, perjury, cheating for profit (fraud), are crimes. Why Lance is not going to jail, I do not know. If I pulled shit like that at my job, I would be in jail.

Lay criminal charges, no exceptions, and it will stop and we can all get back to enjoying watching unadultered human beings competing for the top spot. Then maybe some people you and I know who are unbelievably fit but won't dope will have a shot at doing what they love for a living too.
  • - 1
 Dude, if you fill a frame with helium it becomes heavier. Gas has weight.
  • + 6
 Bikethrasher just made my night. Oh the silly things passed around on the internet.
  • + 1
 it would still require every member of doping control and the head of the sports governing bodies to be fired and jailed which will be a huge mess, or just take down the governing bodies altogether, maybe the sports that haven't seen doping yet might have hope but the other ones it will take years, as much as I'd love to see the IOC and UCI ripped apart theres still political bullshit to sort through, either way kramster you still haven't came up with a solution for the corruption, nobody's doing anything about it either at the moment so like I said it will take years to clean out strain sports that have seen doping, enduro will be fine if UCI keeps their hands off
  • + 2
 I'm betting that the main use of hGh or other performance enhancing drugs in DH is for injury recovery. But I could be wrong, just throwing the point out there.
  • + 3
 I dont race, but if I did I would still use Performance decreasing drugs ( marijuanna )

@ encorp. no, it would be lighter as its a lighter than air gas gas does have weight for sure but a gas with a lesser relative density is just that.

air weighs .076 lbs per cubic foot.
Salute
  • + 6
 @ bikethrasher.... Really? do you really believe all that ? if so I am sorry for your lack of education or life experiences.
  • + 8
 @bikethrasher. I would love to blow a huge bong hit in your face right now.
  • + 0
 The first comment had it right. Less doping talk more mtn biking talk. I say more money for trail builders and event organizers, less money for racers.
  • - 4
 I don't see why doping is so frowned upon. Honestly who cares if you do? Its your body and if thats what you need to preform than so be it. It doesn't take away from the skill required in cycling.
  • + 2
 kikker does have a point, what if an injured rider wants to be back sooner? I see nothing wrong with that, injuries ruin seasons.
  • + 2
 Who cares about this random "dope" list? The only way to stop doping is to delete the list and forget about it. We need less testing, not more.

Riding a suspenson bike is cheating, too. Having gears is cheating. Having disc brakes, sintered pads, helmets,body armour, clipless pedals, mud tyres, eating sugary before a race, power gels, drinking sports drinks. They are all unnatural practices designed to gain an advantage. WADA, USADA etc only care about staying in a job. They are the ones who care about doping, and their reasons are shady. Who is paying for USADA? The American taxpayer. Do you really want to pay for Travis Tygart to drive round in an AMG? What difference does it make to you if a sportsman takes something on an arbitrary list?

It's not black and white, the media are not saints, God did not write the list. Get rid of the list, solve the problem.

Lance just did what it took to win. Tom Simpson is immortalised for dying on the Ventoux, full of drugs and booze. It seems to me the only difference between him and Lance is, one is dead. Get off your high horses and let them get on with it.
  • + 7
 bikethrasher - i'm gonna go ahead and enlighten you. I'm a current prop 215 patient (medicinal marijuana) and I currently race ultra-marathons (50k-100 mile trail runs) and various triathlons at the elite level. My mile time is a 4:24 on track and my 10k time was a 32:28 most recently and let me tell you this: ALL OF THIS WAS DONE WHILE MEDICATED. Call it dangerous all you want, but if you can't focus when you're high then you're probably just not a very focused individual in the first place and you are probably prone to being distracted by a butterfly. and as for the riding stoned - it all depends on your mindset, hence it is a mild psychedelic "drug" (if you really want to call it that). If I'm riding and not really feeling on the ball and I smoke before or during, i'm probably not going to push myself that hard and i'll probably ride more cautiously. but if I'm feeling like I want to ride rowdy or get really sideways with my whips while i'm medicated, then i'm gonna shred hard. i'm already a pretty motivated individual and marijuana works to my benefit. Rant done and please don't bother others with your petty uneducated bullshit.
  • + 1
 @finnrambo, I never said that it was okay...
  • + 4
 @Bikethrasher.......Dude weed makes me feel some of the aches in my body more like my seriously injured rotor cuff, but I think it helps you focus on healing that area better, yes the pot is strong nowadays but nothing like drinking (which I do as well) pot should of been legal over alcohol along time ago because it seriously is not a big deal. You over exaggerate the contact high situation so you really are one of those misinformed herded sheep. No really I could be in a "hot boxed" car and pass a probation meeting ua in a few days, I have. Don't get on pinkbike and argue weed man you can't, I bet it's 50/50 on this website and I'm proud to live in Washington state where it's legal because our governer and law inforcement got there head outta there ass. Now go thrash a bike and don't worry so much about pot, maybe a little bob marley would help ya with that one.
  • + 1
 @kikker, sorry about that must've misunderstood where your point was going
  • + 3
 Mr Angry Nipples, Sir... I respect you.
  • + 0
 the more i think about it the more i hope this is just an article and we havent hit this level of bullshit. lets just take all the fun out of it. road cycling is for pussies. we should just ban road bikes and be done with this whole gay mess.
  • + 1
 @finn, I really had no point, I was just putting the point out there haha.
  • + 4
 neg props to every idiotic comment bike trasher has made thus far. hip, hip, hooray!
  • + 7
 Bike thrasher... Seriously... No. Just no, you are wrong. Weed has never killed anybody on this planet so what you are saying is untrue. Please stop...
  • - 7
 Paulclarke. This is why dope is everywhere you ignorant dumbasses don't think dope is dope. Two years ago a friend of mine got all high. Decided to walk home and never made it. For some reason he decided to stop in the middle of I-70 and got hit by on comming traffic. Stoned and Very Dead. It's no secret that drugs lead to serious depression, crazy mood swings and many other issues.
How many kids started smoking pot then moved onto cocaine then crack then dead. I have yet to meet a pot smoker that didn't dabble into heavier drugs. It's just Pot no it's just Hash no it's just LSD no its just Opium no it's just heroine. Honestly how nieve do you think I am? I went to collage. I've lived in the city. Ever time I see a crackhead I think of people like many of you. It's Just Weed Man. That's Bullshit and you all know it.
Then when one of your friends dies of an overdose of from drinking and driving. You don't quit doing the stupid shit that killed your friend. Noooo you go out and get all blasted out of your minds. Damn you people are stupid.

It's truly sad that so many of you find it necessary to get high to ride your bike, and make it through your daily life. If riding alone doesn't set you free you need professional help because your bad habit is the least of your issues.
Another thing all you potheads and drunks. All of you bitch about the price of everything and can never afford anything, but you always seem to be able to afford dope and booze.
  • + 8
 Bikethrasher; you are in the wrong forum man. Prepare to be ripped apart...

The statements you make sound like you really took the D.A.R.E program seriously. The gateway drug theory is propaganda. Why don't you just mind your own business, get off your high horse, and let other people live their lives the way they choose. Stop judging other people. Drugs can lead to depression and other issues but not for everyone. Not everyone who smokes weed becomes a crackhead. Why do you think it was legalized in your state? Because it never should have been illegal in the first place. Mark my words: Within 20 years Marijuana will be legal in all 50 states.

If you went to college how is your spelling and grammar so bad? Oh right; it must have been all of the contact highs you have been subjected to. You are naive, and you need to give this argument up. You are not changing anyone's mind here. You are just making yourself look foolish.
  • + 9
 I bet all the pot smokers started with beer. And before that it was sugar. We need to ban the real gateway drug. Chocolate.
  • + 4
 funny thing, Im diabetic so I dont do sugar or chocolate ( unless i make my own chocolate ) and I dont drink, well... rarely. but I do like a doobie at the end of a day so...... Salute
  • + 3
 i find that impressive that you don't drink, yet still smoke... righteous :]
  • + 5
 Absolutly awesome. This kids f*kin serious?! ^ just amazing. First of all if you're telling the truth about your friend smoking this 'weed' you speak of and not being able to talk or stand, then the other guy sitting in the road, thats not weed bro. Thats the stuff that the grade 12 kids sold you guys for way too much money and laced it with crack, speed and dirt to f*uck with your minds and laugh... From what it sounds like anyways... But you're 35 years old?! ..... On a serious note that drug shouldn't do those things to you. Even if its potent. I know you live in colorado, but I'm above you and higher on the map up here in B.C.
  • + 4
 Smoke weed everyday!
  • + 5
 There are specific receptors in your brain for THC. There are no other specific receptors like this in your brain for any other substance. Substances we consume such as alcohol or other drugs alter the signal between receptors. There are no specific receptors for alcohol or any other substance. But not for weed, there are parts of your brain developed solely to recieve THC and nothing else. So how could this have happened? This suggests that man has developed/evolved for thousands of years alongside cannabis/marijuana. Man has always had uses for cannabis, (not just to get 'high,' I might add; many uses) right back into distant prehistoric times, long before alcohol and other 'hard' drugs. Our histories are intertwined. In a way similar to how man and dogs have developed side by side, due to us domesticating them and breeding them. Whether you like it or not, at some stage in our development , cannabis/marijuana has played a role in producing who we are and our brains function today. It is only in the last 100 years or so that most governments have decided weed is bad for you, which is why there is such a lot of warped propaganda against 'evil' weed, it's really for political reasons such as the hemp industry threatening the lucurative petrochemical industry with cheaper, renewable fuel solutions at atime when governments had hedged all their bets on the fledgling petrochemical industry (search it, I can't be arsed to write it now, look up 'The Emporer wears no clothes'). Cannabis is nothing compared to alcohol. Nothing at all. Yet I bet most of you hypocrites saying weed is the root of all evil etc. enjoy a good drink now and again.
  • - 2
 Bigheadknowall - buahah, receptors, man lived alongside weed, Oh you made my day, humans are awesome. You connected more braincells that have completely nothing to do with each other to form a theory, than the guy who said that Gwin left Trek because he is religious and was ashamed of Lance dope scandal. This discussion is amazing. Where exactly did your ancestors found Cannabis in Ireland? Unless you say that human kind originated from Jamaica. If there ever was weed in Ireland, the pissing rain and wind took it to Norway. It rains Irish weed in Oslo. Where did you take it from - new book from Richard Dawkins? Oh... My stomach hurts

Go take a bevy, it's good where you live.
  • + 0
 sorry, just gave you the 334th prop Wink
  • + 4
 @wakidesigns
Weed didn't originate in Jamaca. Its just thought to be a big part of their culture.
  • + 4
 @WAKI

its kind of funny cause its easy to research and yet you doubt the validity of what bigh head is saying? Cannabis, Hemp ( part of the same family as hops ) have been around forever. In north america "weed" was referred to as "ditch Weed" cause it grew everywhere. I suggest you of all people ( one who often posts Long Seemingly informed rants ) do Some research of your own. Salute Also Nurologically You must have a receptor to any drug that Influences your Axioms electronic signals ( your neurological pathways ) This is true To any substance. So, again Learn and THEN trash talk away,
  • + 3
 Here Waki, Salute

So basically there's a synapse, which is kind of an open space between the receptors (dendrite ) and the axiom ( referred to as carrier blob lol I cut and paste lots of this - dmadness )

Anyway, this type of system works the same for Dopamine and Serotonin. Dopamine is pleasure, motivation, and attention. Serotonin is positive thinking, confidence and the sense of well-being.

Nobody knows exactly why these molecules do what they do... yet.

So for the time being let's focus on the serotonin one.

So there's a bunch of serotonin molecules in the carrier blog thing. In normal life, there's a rate at which serotonin is released from the carrier blobs into the synapse and a rate of which it goes back in. The more serotonin is in the synapse, the more likely a receptor is going to touch a serotonin molecule, making you feel better.

Before I continue, I'd just like to say a disclaimer: This is all of memory so if some of these are wrong please correct me. Thanks.

MDMA (Ecstasy) prevents ecstasy from going BACK into the carrier blobs. This means that, as serotonin is released into the synapse, it is unable to go back in. It continuously will touch the receptors, making you feel f*ckin awesome. Eventually your brain will kill off all that serotonin in the synapse and the MDMA will be flushed out of your sistem.
  • - 2
 Oh I love how you used: "so basicaly" before writing all this, hihi. Wired to weed - I like that, it's the most sense making theory in that whole discussion. I personaly get high by going into "open mode", yesterday I had a fever at night because of sinus inflamation - oh that was fun...

Im all for ecological, organic, biodynamicaly grown cannabis, with no additions - this world needs slowing down Smile
  • - 1
 And yea I'm all for drugs, but not unless I get a big property of my own (preferably with a big part of the forest and a mountain) where I can be self sufficient in terms of growing food, and get enough fire arms and ammo to protect myself and my family against inevitable surge of tresspasers.

Speaking of policies and far fetched theories: The first mean of turning citizens into a submissive consumer goo happy from being submissed, was radio, then we got TV and then "smart" phones. Alcoholics do buy shit! So the question is whether legalization of Marihuana will make people even more submissive and still willing to buy stuff, or it would make them actualy wanting: less stuff, less work (less taxes) and more free time?
  • + 4
 I've studyd biology and particle physics for a long time now, Nurology I only really became interested in the last few years. There is more to my above post buy PB though I may be spamming with such a long post. Want to know about all the other drugs? they all work the same way, as does evey thought you have ever had.

sent by an axiom, into the synapse and re-uptake ( absorbed ) by the dendrite.... My point is You were an ass to the guy who posted these true facts before and laughed and cut him down, So maybe you should be more humble about things you clearly dont understand.... yes?
Salute
  • - 4
 Whatever dude... I really did not realize that weed is so important to some people... I don't want to run into your hobby of ancient retorics anyways and the fact that you live in the center of the world, where weed grows like grapes in France, you know like Napa valley... I leave it here, it serms I am the only one here not allowed to take a ignorant piss, without which stand up comedy would not exist. I know I am not even close to form an argument.
  • + 2
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BACK ON TOPIC
  • + 3
 it grows everywhere man, globally, except obvious norther places, grows in france too.... anyways, im not on a mission to bash you or harm your ego, I just thought You seemed like the kind of guy who liked to be in the know about things. If I claimed that a bike was a device with only one single wheel, surely you would comment on my wrongness?, this Is all I was attempting to do, To inform .weed's importance is negelegiblle, FACTS are important. Salute
  • + 1
 why are you guys arguing about weed? I was on about liking sick edits better then doping articles....
  • - 2
 Sorry but I cant help it... dmadness: it is called neurology!!!!!!!!! sheesh.
  • - 3
 Everyone knows that people who get caned all the time are losers with a serious lack of motivation and drive. If you disagree with me and cite yourself as evidence you're the exception that proves the rule.

Governments as far back as the ancient Egyptians have known this and that's why most of them have discouraged its use. Maybe now it's getting legalised in more states in America because you've got a f*cking bad problem with unemployment and the government would rather you sit at home getting roasted than out thieving and causing trouble in the streets.

You could buy cocaine and heroin in Harrods until about 1918. Sherlock Holmes was a user of heroin, and although a fictitious character, it suggests that was normal at the time. Who wants to post up here and admit to being a regular user of those, and say there's nothing wrong with them? No one serious, I bet.

As for weed being on the banned substance list as a performance enhancer, what a joke.

Anyone else remember when Mixmag or Ministry did a car driving test when the journalist took coke, weed, E, and Ket? The only one he was faster around the course on was coke. I'd agree it enhances performance, but as for the others... nah.

And anyway... who cares? If Gwin wants to make himself go faster by whatever means I'm all for it. Its not cheating any more than having a better bike or more practice.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
  • + 6
 I already did. ..its in the ashtray. Its ok though some people cant function with the herb and would rather talk down on folks whove found some meds that work for them. Good job. You get a high five and a pat on the back. Oh and a middle finger salute!
  • + 0
 Jaame- Oh man you are such a "hater" by this group standards ehehe, you ruin it time and time again for most people. Few kids wanted to show off that they already know what weed is, discussion involving few not-givin-a-shitters went for so long that even some big serious scientists showed up to whom using drugs seem to be the only way to appear open minded. You try to ruin it for them as well. Firstly you need to present your FACTS and... oh this is better than arguing if Kona frames are shitty or not or a manifestations of confusion and ability to handle peer pressure when talking wheel sizes.
  • + 3
 LSD and Psilocin (Mushrooms) work in a different. These ones "pretend" to be Serotonins. Now without going into much detail, there are many types of serotonins, each one has a specific(s) function(s). The 5-HT2a is where you see things morph and stuff. These drugs activate the 5-HT2a mostly which is why you trip out.

The dopamines work the same way. These (in my opinion) are drugs that are less eye-opening and more "feel-good" drugs. The don't provide any spiritual benefits or long-term happiness .

Weed works on dopamine. Weed act the same way as endorphins. Endorphins encourage dopamine molecules to be released into the synapse. It basically amplifies good feelings.

Cocaine is to Dopamine as Ecstasy is to Serotonin. Cocaine blocks dopamine molecules from re-entering the carrier blobs. This makes you feel like the f*ckin man (a "rewarded" feeling - like when you win the lottery, that's what dopamine is for).

These is where things get interesting:
Speed (amphetamine) is like cocaine, except that it not only blocks re-uptake, it also pumps out dopamine. So, it's a lot more powerful.

Okay - so - what happens when you run out of dopamine in your carrier blobs to be pumped into the synapse? Well, that's where meth comes in handy.

Not only does meth block the re-uptake, AND pump dopamines back into the system, it also has your body CREATE more dopamine. So what you get is a tripple wammy effect of awesomeness.

Heroin is basically endorphins x 1000 (like weed, but they probably work on different types of dopamines).

its winter, i cant bike so i study stuff in winter Salute
  • + 1
 Dmadness, that was actualy... Interesting! Thanks for sharing in an idiot-proof format. Now which drug do you recommend for focusing and thoughts running wild 150 Mph? I wank my energy out big time and don't want to go through time taking process of meditation, writing plans, schedules then following them etc. Anything that can turn my brain into a spotlight whenever I desire? Coffeine has absolutely opposite effect on me
  • + 2
 I think you mean Caffiene, and if you want to chill then I suggest meditation, maybe some yoga and the ocassional Spliff. You have to work on an existing fram of mind that you can build on, this is the reason you see sooo many people all messed up on drugs ( bad examples ) because they do drugs to try to find direction or to fit the mold. You have to have a solid frame of mind and be enough in yourself to use a drug to expand your mind, and In my case I wanted to know EXACTLLY what a drug did, and why before I was willing to even consider taking one. there is much to loose when one does not consider the risks involved in ones actions, I think we all have a bit of this in us already... we Ride bikes. Salute
[Reply]
  • + 53
 A zero tolerance approach is required. Randomized testing with a lifetime ban for anybody caught cheating is the only way to send out the message loud and clear. I was in Armstrongs corner right up until he confessed because I simply couldnt believe that he was able to conceal it for so long, and with the help of those around him. What will happen to them? Probably nothing, but they facillitated his substance abuse and encouraged it. A lifetime ban for anybody caught either doping, or making it possible for anybody to dope, and nothing short of that is the only way to eradicate it from the sport.

anybody thinking that it can't, won't or doesn't happen in mountain biking, think again.
  • + 4
 Exactly. Riders shouldn't have the chance to swap blood and/or take products that mask doping substances after a race. Immediate testing is required. Someone doesn't show up for testing: racetime is replaced with a DNF.
  • + 8
 If someone doesn't show up for testing they already get much worse than DNF. They are considered positive and suspended.
  • + 3
 Of course it is going to happen to MTB, and in reality, it probably already is happening all over the shop. the reality is that humans are greedy for money/fame/notoriety etc.....this greed will inevitably drive people to cheat any way they think they might get away with it. unfortunately, that is the price of our sporting "growing up.
  • + 2
 Anybody who thinks doping is ok needs to look at the bigger picture. These athletes are idols to people of all ages. And there is a standard of professionalism that needs to be in place, a lifetime ban for doping is on the short list. It doesn't matter who they are. If Gee, Greg, Gwin got caught I'd be disgusted. And possibly stop watching the World Cups
  • + 2
 I agree 100% with this. You get caught doping once you never race again end of story. This should true for all sports across the board not just cycling.
[Reply]
  • + 45
 Doping 101. Remove the air from syringe before dope yourself.
  • + 4
 Ha ha i spotted that. the guy would be dead not winning
  • + 1
 I was wondering how many other saw that. :-)
  • + 3
 nah, i takes a good chunk of air to kill ya.....if you ever have a drip in your arm for any length of time you will see lots of bubbles in the tubes heading into your arm....the doc told me it was grand and im still here!!!
  • + 1
 Every time you come up from a scuba dive, you get bubbles in your blood. It's only a problem when they get big enough to lodge somewhere and restrict blood flow. They use the dive tables to regulate the ascent rate, keeping he bubbles at a safe size.
  • + 2
 Air bubbles in my blood and veins? HE'LL NO
  • + 1
 It was me,,, i admit, i removed the air afterwards...
  • + 1
 I was just taking blood thinning injections for a blood clot because of a broken ankle and no one told me anything about pushing the air out first and I'm still alive
[Reply]
  • + 25
 the first prize ever in mountain biking, to the winner of the "repack", was a bag of weed (in the words of MTB pioneer Gary Fisher)
  • + 6
 fkn hippies.....
  • + 4
 Now the name makes sense.
  • + 12
 Read an interview with Myles Rockwell a few years ago and he said when he first got into mountainbiking he used to push up all the hills, stop at the top, have a smoke on some weed, enjoy the view, then rip down the hill. This is similar to my mountain biking now!
  • + 6
 Bigheadknowall: You are not alone my friend. This is basic operating procedure for almost every mountain biker I know.
  • + 3
 same here and most riders out here in San Diego! gotta love the mountain biking community. we're like the surfers of the mountains
  • + 3
 Surfers off the mountains- too true. I grew up surfing and met a whole crew of riders through smoking a bit of fruit- they got me onto a bike, I got a few of them onto a board. The rest is history!
[Reply]
  • + 18
 Thank you for handling a very hot topic so cool. It is very important. To me it was clear that in Enduro we are in doping danger. So we need to test riders. That is the only positive message about this case, there was a Anti-Doping-Test at this race. How about other race? Tests produce costs to the organisation of the sport. Doper should pay for this. Lifetime ban is not the unique solution, but must be in the game as maximum punishment.
This special case is hard to start a discussion about fairness, justice, special courts and so on. But right now there a rules we accepted to play the game with. Many of us never asked about them. The case is the result of the rules defined ahead of this race. Maybe same rules need a special design to perform in enduro racing. A ban during a period without any races is useless.
But one thing I feel, there is no tolerance under the riders for the idea of maximum medical support. That is the difference in Enduro MTB and road racing. They showed open love to food that looks like medicine and nuclear pills to handle any pain. Teams had doctors like cars have spoilers. MTB is a different culture, let us protect it. Fight doping!
[Reply]
  • + 18
 Doping has no place in ANY sport or form of that sport (i.e. DH, Enduro, XC). We're lucky in that our sport is young enough to allow us to learn from the ugly past of road riding and make the right decisions moving forward. If you think that guys in gravity based disciplines don't or wouldn't dope your naive. Poker and Pool players dope for Christ's sake. And take a look at the guy next to you in the office-even he dopes-Ridilin, Aneracetam, ADD meds-anything to give a mental boost. The clear fact is that we hold sports up on a pedestal as being pure and ethical. We need to remember we have a chance here to set a precedent and we can't miss that opportunity. I hope the powers that be can and will have the courage to do the right thing so that we don't go the way of our lycra-clad friends on the road.
  • - 1
 100% agree with you
  • - 9
 doping should be 100% LEGAL, everyone would be on the same playing field and our sport would be pushed to a maximum speed wise, which is a good thing.
  • - 1
 oh yeah please explain?
  • + 3
 Enduro is right, I know enough about all types of performance enhancing drugs and people to know that there will always be doping in sports, even in mtb, you cant be naive and say DH'er dont dope, yes they do, they dont take the same recipe that roadies take but they are on something at some point, As far as I know they dont do randomized testing in the off season like other sports do so im sure you can build a huge athletic foundation get clean and be ready to kick some ass during race season.. money, sponsors, fame= doping
  • + 0
 We should have a clean division and doping division. Clean sport is important but you're not going to stop doping. Besides, I want to see some superhuman freak dude pumped to the eyeballs full of every performance enhancing drug going!! Imagine how fast he'd go down a hill and the size of the drops he's do at Rampage!! You'd have to put him back in his cage afterwards but in terms of entertainment it would be pretty awesome!!!
  • + 1
 An obvious reason that doping should remain banned is the potential harm to health of athletes. As mountain biking grows as an industry the increasing money that professionals can earn will make doping more worthwhile(if you can call it that). Here is an article about the risks of EPO www.examiner.com/article/surprise-blood-doping-with-epo-can-kill-you-a-new-study-finds
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Thank you Pinkbike for explaning every thing. I hope the mountainbiking sport will stay as it is right now, some ppl from all over the world helping each other to improve their biking skills.
  • + 1
 And skills are something that you can't get with substances.
  • - 4
 ercover - if you are a strong rider you will gain skills faster because you will be able to practice longer. You can also stimulate your brain to think how to practice skils so that it brings better effects.
  • + 1
 looks like WAKI is now an MD in psychology. please enlighten us, Doctor...
  • - 1
 Heeeel doggy heeeeel!
[Reply]
  • + 11
 That's a pretty bold statement to claim that doping is less likely in DH riding because it's shorter runs... Look in atheltics, 100 m runners are certainly more doped than the 5000 m runners (if this distance ever exists, well long distance let's say).

If you can train longer and recover faster, then you simply get better and fitter. No top downhiller isn't a 100% fit nowadays. They are all top athletes. So the risk exist just as much for me. I still hope all those guys are clean though.

As for diuretics alternative I would otherwise suggest having a good beer after the ride!
  • + 8
 Good point. BMX is even shorter than DH and there was lots of talk of juice back in the day and it wasn't coming from oranges.
  • + 1
 I have to say that I disagree.
I don't think there is as much interest for gravity riders to use drugs than road cyclists. In road cycling, power and endurance are pretty much the only factors that will determine your rank at the finish line. On the other hand, in dh/4x/enduro/whatever, power and endurance do play a certain role, but other factors like riding skills, size of balls, line choices, etc have a way bigger impact on the result, and dope can't help you on these issues.

That being said, of course it's possible to find dope in dh community, but it's less likely to happen if you ask me.
  • + 3
 t1000, in a DH race we see the top ten covered by a few seconds. If doping makes you a few seconds faster, or allows you to train harder so you can be a few seconds faster, then doping could be the difference between that guy who came fourth a few years ago at the World Champs and whose name no-one remembers, and remembering his name as someone who was World Champion.

But I agree, less likely. Especially since there aren't millions of dollars involved. "The love of money is the root of all evil." (I'm pumping out the quotes tonight).
  • + 1
 Apologies, dope does affect the size of your balls (Ask to Lance, he now has only one ball), but it's not really what I meant
  • + 1
 This is true, top DH athletes are very close from each other, and this is true in any other competitive sport, but not all the sports are as poisoned by dope, why do you think?
The point still stand.. In some disciplines, the interest of using dope for athletes is way greater than in some others, increasing the chances of dope to be used...
  • + 15
 Bear in mind, T1000, that not all of us were made from metal, so we break bones, tear ligaments, and damage soft tissue with regularity. To say PEDs can't help a DH'er gain *seconds* is not true at all. In fact, DH is very similar to martial arts these days with regards to training the full body, and what's expected out of it. The gain comes from thing's like anabolic roid's ability to maintain muscle mass after injury without exercise (Anavar was invented for this purpose) would help someone who breaks a bone or similar come back faster (I have an educated guess that 99% of team pro sport guys use stuff like this for recovery as they aren't tested), and with a leaner and denser muscle. Not all PEDs are equal, and there are quite a few that would help a DH'er gain an illegal, immoral edge with regards to recovery, speed, and anaerobic endurance (if the author thinks DH doesn't tax the glycogen out of your system, he's never raced). They wouldn't need them race day, but instead for the training leading up to it which makes it very difficult to detect. I am 100% ped free, but being involved in military and mma I have gained a pretty wide knowledge of what is out there, and why these guys think they have an erroneously justifiable right to take it.

I think taking the 'DH'ers don't dope because they don't need to' attitude is simply putting the wool over your own eyes. Many people in various sports have succumbed to the pressures and given in to taking PEDs, so what is different here? Taking a proactive approach (random testing for instance) instead would mean we have a better chance of keeping our sport untainted and clean. As the sport is growing, the need for it is greater now than ever.
  • - 4
 All it takes is enough money and volume of interested people to attract mainstream media coverage for the sport, meaning even more money. We can measure it in wages of riders - if a guy outside first national ten can make living out of a sport then banned chemicals are clearly involved because that gives you an idea that someone investing in sponsoring him can get it back in increased sales. We're not there yet fortunately.

As soon as big money is involved all it takes is a guy with strong desire to win as the only strong part of his character then wage as incentive to drop everything else he was doing for a job?

So who's to cheer for DH, or whatever in MTB growing bigger and reaching millions in front of TV?

Will it be more bikeparks, or more people in queue and more brake bumps in bike parks? more legal local trails or just more people on local trails eroding them? Choice is yours. To me dope is just a sign that a sport just stopped being a sport and turned into sick entertainment.

People riding trails don't watch commercials... So more we ride, healthier our sport is.
  • + 3
 Hmm. Whatever happened to Wade Bootes...?
  • + 1
 ^ He's coach of the Aussie BMX team.
  • + 1
 EnduroManiac- i agree drugs in the sprinting events are as likley as in long distance events but i also think if you dont even know if the event you used in your example is a real event (it is by the way) you should probably not use that as your example.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 I think some people would be surprised by what they would find in mountain biking. You are as naive as a 16 year old mormon girl on prom night at a public catholic school if you think doping doesn't exist in mountain biking. Not only are performance enhancers out there, so are a number of other illicit drugs that may or may not increase performance, but nevertheless change an athletes perception and ability in their performance.

The problem isn't exclusive to road cycling, but in fact exists in all sports. It's a systems issue, not an individual sport issue. The UCI is pathetic in their approach to doping in their sports, turning over authority to the likes of WADA (and their affiliates). The problem is MUCH MUCH bigger than one person or one sport. People need to open their eyes to that and stop saying "it doesn't exist in our sport, so can they just stop talking about"... sorry to tell you, it exists... heavily.
[Reply]
  • + 12
 lifetime ban for every cheater
  • + 3
 No chance to rehabilitate? Don't think that's the right way. People do change. Punishment is necessary but you have to give people a second chance.
BTW On what legal ground can you stop someone from partaking in your race if the ban is long gone?
  • + 1
 Well I think that would make them think twice, if they do it that means they think it's worth it, It must not be an alternative for them, lifetime or 10 years is not important, lifetime is just more symbolic. But what is more important than the sentence is the "certainty of punishment", there has to be very low chances to pass through, they must be catched if they try. That's what fails for now, but it cost money and it's complicated
  • + 4
 "Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen."

"You have to break some eggs to make an omelete."

What these pithy quotes add up to is this: Give a few riders a lifetime ban and it will deter others, and the sport as a whole will be better off.
  • + 1
 I think samples should be kept and back tested when new products are found as doping agents with clear rules saying cheaters should give race and sponsor's money back. Not so sure about the lifetime ban, but at least 1 year should be the rule. 6 month during off season is nothing.
  • + 1
 Make it four years or whatever, death sentence has not stopped people killing. If the chance of getting caught is minimal people will always do it. The teams should be forced to pay for the most modern labs cycling has ever seen, plus we need to see laws enforced where people actually go to jail for their drug handling.
  • + 1
 That's what I said, there has to be very low chances to pass through. I agree with what you say about drug handling, the fight is also about the network behind the athlets, but it's not that easy because all those drugs have a legal use in medicine, anyway no side must be ignored
  • - 2
 iamamodel - Fortunately at the very moment, MTB is too small and you can make some effective hunting, but if you catch too many... Lance was so good in evading USADA or everyone in this arrangement had their money to earn and obligations to different share holders?

When things get too big even those who watch watchers get corrupted and involved to a point where their career would go down the drain if they stand up against it. Not only theirs, once you go too deep, when you decide to jump out you drag down many good people with you. Cycling and athletics try to come out clean, but big toughs, like football, basketball, NFL, hockey, rugby, don't give a shit about dope - it would simply ruin the business... so they make sure nobody talks about it and that there are no USADAas in their changing rooms... and nobody will tell me that athletes in those sports don't drug themselves big time.
  • + 0
 Waki, that is an excellent point and supports the 'lifetime ban first time' stance - come down hard on the first few guys before it gets to a point where many people have too much to lose. I thought Lance would never be brought down, he was just too big and there was just too much money involved. The toll is going to climb higher and higher on that one.
  • - 1
 Hmmm... Now that I think about it, how you put it, it might work! yea it seems like the best idea. Enduro is young and away from UCI for some time, so people taking care of it have more freedom to do such things.
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  • + 6
 sponsors have a moral obligation to the sport to drop athletes when they dope in my opinion. sponsors should not hire people who have doped ether. i don't care if the guy was amazing on a bike, i wont support a brand if they support cheats. this is the way to get rid of cheats
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  • + 7
 There should be a clean series and a no holds barred series, so we could see what monsters rolled up to the line. And then all drugs used in the Doped series could be declared and tested for in the clean series.
  • + 4
 Not sure if you're being completely serious, but I've heard this argument quite a few times. If you're serious, let me present this to you and others who think this is a good idea.

Performance enhancing drugs can be extremely harmful to your body. They can also allow you to do incredible things. Having a "doping-only" league would make it WAY more interesting to watch than those who are clean because they would be slower and weaker. Professional athletes are role models, and anyone aspiring to make it to the big leagues would be forced to make the decision to dope.

No only that, but who's to say that people STILL wouldn't dope in the "clean" league? After all, doping is to create an uneven playing field. If you willingly participated in a doping-only league, the playing field would then be even, defeating its purpose.
  • + 1
 Super unlimited class
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  • + 4
 If there had been a risk that the anonymous rider may have lost his job over being named then maybe he wouldn't have done it.
Personally I think that there needs to be transparency in all judicial matters. I know it's unlikely but who's to say he didn't pay them off? I believe it has happened in other sports in the past (though they usually have more money at stake) but now we'll never know. And to give a short off season ban and remain nameless is hardly a punishment really, he (or she) could spend the winter working their arse off and be back stronger for this season.
Longer bans, naming and shaming, more random testing (although I assume Enduro doesn't have the money for that yet) and transparency throughout the process is what's needed.

Tom KP
  • + 2
 Yeah, if you aren't going to release the name then why bother testing?
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  • + 6
 i hope that it does not creep into any discipline of mtb. complete sh*t, a long term ban and being shamed to all would surely help fend it off.
  • + 0
 This article clearly states that it has already crept into MTB.
  • + 2
 doping will hit any competitive sport, I wouldn´t be surprised if a downhiller gets caught on EPO since the diference between two places on the podium are just fractions of seconds.
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  • + 5
 It should be a similar punishment for like when a child has a slice of cake without permission, and they are then made to eat the whole cake to teach them a lesson.....
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  • + 6
 Hmm how to deal with doping in cycling? Permanent lifetime ban. You do it and you're done.
  • + 0
 I'd like that for car drivers on alcohol or drugs, yet our lobbied governments know very well that you don't bite the hand that feeds you...
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  • + 2
 Let them dope,make it legal.if they want to take risks with their bodies so be it.I lost all respect with road biker racers long time ago,superior attitudes win at all costs mentalities and some of the most boring personalities of all biking disciplines.
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  • + 2
 maybe there is not so much money at stake in enduro right now. for sure in road cycling we are talking big bucks, and when there is money involve anything is done to get a hold of it.
i doen´t think enduro will see serious doping and lets hope it stays that way.
  • + 1
 But enduro is becoming so popular soo fast that next time you turn on the sports channel you won't be seeing le tour de france, you'll se the megaavalanche and that's when doping will start... (But as you say, let's hope we don't have a wannabe moron taking drugs to be better than others....)
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  • + 2
 Here's an article by a cycling blogger who personally took PED and wrote about the effects. It would be foolish to think that any of the enhancements from these drugs wouldn't be useful on a professional level; ethics aside.

www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2009/11/drugs-a-cautionary-tale
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  • + 2
 Doping is caused by the money involved in winning races. If you want it to stop you need attack the money. Go after the problem, not the result.
For instance: if a sponsored rider tests positive, then all of his sponsors would have to rename their products "steroid enhanced" . This would force the money to police themselves. A lifetime ban of a rider will not stop other people from trying to not get caught. The people that pay the money can prevent it from happening later.
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  • + 2
 Matt Wragg, you may want to change "Enduro's Founder..." to "the French Enduro Series founder", I'd just be worried that by labeling someone the founder of a specific style of racing you give them credit for something that had been happening for years else-where.
  • + 1
 Where had Enduro been happening for years elsewhere?
  • + 1
 The word "enduro" was used by the motorcycle community since the 70's, if not earlier. The word may not have been trademarked or registered, but my response was not because I believe the author to be misleading, more that in the second paragraph; Mr. Wragg could have better clarified what "Enduro Race Series" Fred Glo is the founder of.

It's like saying someone is the founder of "downhill" or "cross country" without getting specific about which event or series we're talking.
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  • + 2
 the financial cost of doping in an Armstrong type way is massive, epo ain't cheap! which means at this moment in time I can't see mountain bikers spending the thousands needed as the prize money ain't there. but as the sport grows so will the temptation...
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  • + 2
 People who want to dope are always going to dope. When some one gets caught every one just moves onto the next best thing till that is found out. Just a stupid idea, but there should just be two categories all those doping you ride in one category and all that aren't in another then every one can do what they want. Guess you still have to police it, but at least there no cloak and dagger and think what a kick the drug companies would get with all those test subjects.
  • + 0
 The whole point of certain substances being banned is that they pose a health risk. It isn't a case of just cheating or not it is avoiding athletes doing serious harm to themselves in the long run
  • + 1
 I agree with Dupa-blada - BeardlessMarinRider - if they are serious athletes, then why would they put crap into their bodies to begin with? Quick answer is for profit. Let them, they can spend that money later on, on their health bills.
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  • + 2
 MTB should learn from the mess that road cycling frequently gets into. Alberto C*ntador being a case in point. He rode the 2011 TDF while being investigated for doping the previous year. Everyone knew there was a good chance that he was guilty yet he was in the hunt for the yellow jersey for a large part of the race. Finished 4th (IIRC) then was immediately served a 2 year ban, but because it was backdated he was back straight after the 2012 tour.

Long bans, not backdated, zero tolerance on excuses, bans while the case is being heard. Doping is a problem in all sports. If competition is important then people will bend the rules, so it's no use sweeping it under the carpet and saying "why do we have to care about this roadie nonsense in mtb"

Sponsors play a part too. Has this guy been dropped by his sponsors?
  • + 2
 As far as the online speculation looks it would appear the ban is so secret even the team can not be informed. Poor brand when they find they have been using a doper to advertise their products during a suspension period... how bad will that make them look through no fault of their own!
  • + 1
 Good point i think you missed there if the teams are spending so much time money and bike part they should do a weekly drugs test and they are cover. My cousin swam in the London 2012 Olympic game, drug test is so tight she can't use sudafed because of pseudoephedrine. The team should be doing it and if they have a pile of data we would still love them.
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  • + 2
 I would argue make the punishment harsh and with no appeals. caught once banned for a season wins and titles stripped, caught a second time lifetime ban. Bring the banhammer.
yes you would thin the herd but there are plenty of cyclists in all of the disciplines to take the place of those who leave. How long do you really think it would be before athelites would not blow their one chance at living the dream of being paid to ride a bicycle. no exceptions...to much allergy medicine in your blood, too bad gone.

I know there will always be those who are ahead of the curve, nothing you can do about it till your scientists catch theirs, but that is why the punishment needs to be harsh. Imagine the frustration of those who truly love sport and competition going from Uci international level events to not even being in a local club saturday xc/dh/enduro event. People would stop.
go on tv, beg for forgiveness, admit you were wrong, thank you but you can't come back. We don't want you.
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  • + 2
 Anywhere that strength and endurance is required there is a high probability of doping period. Something doping doesn't do for you is give you the bike handling skills nor the willingness to train. Doping has been in most pro sports longer than we would like to think. It is part of the game unfortunately, as detection methods improve so do the masks. There will always be those who look for an edge either with doping or with more work. IMO.
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  • + 2
 Tiger cheated on his hot wife, Barry Bond cheated with drugs, NASCAR teams try to cheat the system all the time... weekend golfers cheat with scoring --- don't get me started with Obama, OJ got away with murder, Madoff bla bla bla --- if it's legal, man... we're gonna see some sick riding
  • + 2
 Bill Clinton ----- bla ha ha ha ---
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  • + 4
 We should probably just legalise all of it in sport and make it widely available to create an army huge vascular monster cyclists who can squat 300kg. Mite b cool.
  • + 2
 How 'bout a separate division? Normal boring joe cycling and a new division for HULKING RAGE MONSTERS. I'd watch that.
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  • + 2
 Sorry Sorry Sorry I know this is out there but why don't we have:-
Doping Down hill (They can have Monday when we are at work )vs Drug free down hill (Saturday & Sunday oh any other time you like)
Doping Enduro((Should be given a weight penalty 20kg each time they get court) with drug test every hour, after a 3 hour dopy will be carrying 60kg £1,000,000 says do does not win) vs Drug free Enduro. Any time, just lookout from the soft bit(Dead doper) under the lead blocks or sand bags lining the trails.

Sorry drug are bad.

BUT I LOVE MY WEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Doping in sports is as prevalent as inside trading in the stock market. Make it look like everyone wants something and the goofs will follow - real estate HA HA - things are really heating up and the idiots indebt themselves, You dont get a raise because a thousand Bernie Madoffs are running the countries business because they can and they want third winter homes. As long as there is business - there will be crookedness. We as participants can only guarantee our own actions and only try to keep our sport clean
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  • + 1
 The more you people try to turn the sport into a gong show of media exposure, racing, prizes, hype,commercialism, marketing and ra-ra look at me BS, the more you will get cheating, greed, ego, self importance and all the negative media crap.

You reap what you sow ; the slow creeping ruination of a cool chilled left field sport
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  • + 1
 As an Enduro racer I can say 100% you ABSOLUTELY need to be physically fit and strong with loads of stamina, endurance and recovery capability. Doing 5 times DH runs (often of up to 8 minutes in Europe), linked up by up to 50k of XC riding with 30 minute + climbs is a tough ask. Doing it on a 30lb 6-7" travel bike with a Camelbak and a full face lid on your back as well tests the body to it's limit.

For an organiser to make such a stupid comment that doping to boost physical capability has no benefit in our discipline is nothing short of a joke. If fitness had no advantage, why the hell do we see guys like Atherton, Barel, Clementz, Absolon, Gracia etc all in fantastic physical shape and training hard on strength and fitness?

We need an open and honest system. Otherwise we too will be tainted like road racing and then no future achievements will be looked on as simply world class performances, questions will always be asked.
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  • + 1
 I could take every performance enhancing drug on the face of the planet and still not complete the first mountain stage little alone the whole race. Drugs have been in sport since the first Olympians, except the Greeks actively encouraged it.
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  • + 1
 You guys are crazy! I've been racing Pro DH in Colorado for over ten years. Most of the fastest riders I know do it because they love it, DEFINITELY NOT for the money. Even if you win the Male Pro Class in most DH/MX/DS events, your winnings don't even cover your entry fee and your tires! Why the hell would (or could) you dope? I've had my strongest competition show me their lines, or give me a part that I need out of their toolbox so that I can beat them! Pure, friendly, respectful, honest, competitors. We want the best rider to win, period! Hardly any of us 'get rich' from sponsorship or endorsements, and most of us pay something for our bikes/kits/entry fees/gym time, etc. Maybe a few WC riders do a little doping, but even then, their paychecks and endorsements are a tiny fraction of the money and sponsorship opportunities in Euro Road Racing. Most of the top WC DHers are family men that are gonna spend their money on homes and investments to keep them going when the meager paycheck from DHing dries up.
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  • + 1
 All u fools saying doping should be banned, u got it all wrong! Doping shouldnt be banned, it should be encouraged! Just think:

Tour de France (Doped)
Everyone and their dog will get to see exactly how fast it is possible to go, and what exactly these drugs can do. All drugs under the sun are allowed, hell they could even have wee chats with the riders about what they are using/quantities etc + potential side effects (cant get it hard anymore, etc lmao).

Tour de France (au natural)
No drugs, no doping at all, just a demonstration of whats the maximum the human body can achieve without outside help.

Id happily watch both Smile

joking aside, im sure some sort of performance enhancement illegal/legal is present in any sport. some ppl are always going to bend the rules.

Peace out yo
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  • + 1
 We had Lance Armstrong come to Victoria high when i was on the bike team there and i thought he was a pompous prick then and now i just think he is even more of an idiot. What does it teach the kids of mtb today? That its wrong to smoke pot and drink too much but its ok to take these drugs cause it makes you better? f*ck him and any other rider that thinks this is ok. Do i smoke pot. yes. Do i drink. Sometimes. But to the point im falling over passing out. No. Do I believe he should of been stripped of his tour de France victory's. Hell yeah. Why is it that road cyclist have this my shit dont stink attitude? REALLY?? You shave your legs why? Cause it reduces wind resistance. No its so when they crash the scab doesnt get caught in the hair. As far as im concerned Road cycling is just another discipline to biking. Your no better than the guy willing to huck himself down a mountain over boulders and downed trees. So what you can go fast on flat pavement. Try that down the side of a mountain at 90 kmh. If your a road racer im sorry and you very well could be a good person but im only going from experience. Feel free to rant and rave at me. Better yet do one better and make me eat my words. Calling all Decent road riders. I would really like to be proven wrong. From your sometimes friendly pot smoking freerider.
  • + 1
 P.S. My dog is fat.
  • + 1
 @Bikethrasher Contact high?!?!?!?!!? Your an idiot. As for your friend getting hit on the i-70. He was an idiot too. Not the pots fault he was too dumb to not walk out in front of traffic. Its like trying to say your fat because of mcdonalds. No just to dumb to put down the 10 big mac's and 14 large fries. I have smoked some of the strongest weed out there right from a terminal cancer patient and it never made me want to walk on any major highway. He probably smoked weed laced with something. Or maybe he was on other drugs that you didnt know about. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. DUMBASS.
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  • + 1
 I think that the admittedly "short, rough translation" of George Edwards' comment on the matter is incorrect and I would like to offer my translation. I don't claim to be a translation expert but I have some small experience, spent time living in France, have met the man briefly and have raced and been a spectator at a number of UCC events. To state that he may be "sticking his head firmly in the sand" is arguable.

Original: www.endurotribe.com/2013/01/dopage-a-la-mega-la-position-de-georges-edwards-ucc#toparticle

My translation:

"Thank you for giving me my say.

This news has two aspects: one very positive (if I may say) and the other negative…

On the latter, the anonymous nature of the test results may cast opprobrium on athletes in the top 20. Nevertheless, not all the skills required to perform highly in Marathon DH/Enduro are enhanced by doping, reducing the chances of an undeserved result! Without excusing the poor sportsmanship of the guilty individual.

What I take from this event, is that this intervention is indicative of a preventative approach at the heart of a niche mountain bike discipline that remains marginal and "untamed". At the same time, the All Mountain community may claim to have received positive attention from the sports ethics regulatory bodies.

I'm not in a position to tell the federation what they should do on the matter. However, I will respond to all official information and take action accordingly.

I wish you great pleasure in our shared passion for 2013.

Sportingly,

George EDWARDS"

I don't often log-in to Pinkbike's forums/message systems but can be found regularly on Twitter: @harmon_dan
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  • + 6
 Legalize marijuana!
  • + 1
 Haha, it is in Colorado and Washington state, isn't it?
  • + 2
 California as well. OK, only under prescription but everybody's sick there I think Wink
  • + 2
 it's decriminalized in California but not quite as accepted as you would think. It's still illegal to toke if you're not a Prop 215 patient... oh but we'll hand out amphetamines and opiates like candy. that bullshit is infuriating.
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  • + 1
 Cheating is bad, mmkay? But i think all this attention, specifically in regards to Lance at the moment, is not necessarily sending the right message.

Up until recently, Lance was an American hero. In the eyes of the casual observer not privy to the background going-ons, he worked his ass off and won the biggest contest in road cycling in the world 7 times. And because of those victories, he was rewarded with lucrative deals with major sponsors, notoriety, and lets not forget about Cheryl Crow. What lesson does that leave? Work hard as hell, and you can be a millionaire banging music icons and be able to get paid to ride a bicycle.

Fast forward to all of the discussion in the last week or so about how he cheated this and that and he is a fraud etc. Is he going to un-get all of those millions of dollars? Is he going to un-get his badass house? Is he going to un-bang Cheryl Crow? Nope. New lesson of the day? Cheat 7 times in a row and and you get all of the same rewards as above.

Ban him from the sport, erase his victories from the records. That's about as much discussion as it should garner.
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  • + 2
 Theres alot of weed smokers on dh bikes....im one too....recent trip to llandegla i passed 2 lads on dh bikes toking on a spliff before black run.....suppose we like to chill alot
  • + 1
 nothin wrong with that! mountain biking is about enjoying life, as is surfing, smoking a few bowls of herb - keep livin my friend.
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  • + 2
 Lets just add another category to Enduro Racing and call it Enduro Open, it'll be a free for all w/ 50ft drops and gap jumps, w/ 13,000ft climbs. You have to be alive to claim the prize.
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  • + 3
 Well I think I might race this year. I am out of shape so I have been having a hard time deciding which drug to take. What do you guys think? I hear meth does good things.
  • + 1
 Bath salts. That way you can just eat the face of your compitition and you will win.
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  • + 4
 I'd Say Do it as much as possible, oh wait that's a different kind of doping. >
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  • + 2
 Hiding his identity? F@ck him. I'm working class. I show up f'd up: I lose my job. So should he. Publicize his name, throw him out of sports. Yeah, all of them. That's how you end doping.
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  • + 4
 Is WAKIdesigns on a sponsored Neg Prop mission? Now that dude is clearly on drugs.
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  • + 1
 Road cycling i.e. Tour de France isn't about who is the strongest rider anymore, now its about whose drugs work the best and who doesn't get caught. The question is: who isn't doping now? Lance ruined it for everybody and I bet the sport will start to lose fans. Think about Lance's kids and kids with cancer, who do they look up to? I Really hope that this doesn't transfer to MTB, DH.

Whats all this BS about weed and alcohol?
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  • + 1
 A lot of PED use in cycling is not just for better performance DURING a race but also to achieve sustained training intensity and faster recovery. This area would definitely apply to DH training which would translate to a performance increase when racing.
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  • + 1
 Fitness is everything at any level. Any illegal advantage must be excluded. All emphasis should be placed on courage, intelligence, hard work and technical knowledge. Any rider found guilty of breaking doping rules should be punished harshly. Stop the rot before you have Armstrong-type tyrants dictating to us how we should behave.
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  • + 1
 Roadies~~~ Harsher penalties....hands down! When there is risk of severe retribution, the crime rate drops...FACT ! Lifetime ban maybe for 2nd offense.
One chance....severe lengthy ban, 2nd time....game over for good. Everyone deserves a 2nd chance and I don't care who you are or what you think, we ALL have made mistakes and deserve to be forgiven for them.
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  • + 1
 Who cares.... Say Cam McCaul does a course to help heal some injuries, and increase the length of his career. That is only a good thing. I have never taken any drugs, but I would, and I would not be ashamed about it. Only if it was a reason like that.
  • + 2
 I don't think anyone is criticizing the use of drugs for rehabilitation. Just for performance enhancement. Many rehab drugs are banned substances, but after a certain amount of time they make their way out of the body.
  • - 1
 Doping to heal a injury is the same as doping because the effects of the drugs can still be in you after you have healed and are competing again.
  • + 1
 but in a professsional enviroment they would make limitations to make sure they don't have the edge once they get back into racing, I would think...
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  • + 1
 I got an idea. lets not get all corporate and make it about sponsorship and money. Make it about the love of the sport and keep the assholes out who want to corrupt it. Then if someone wants to dope, well who gives a shit. it wont be worth it. I cant think of anything that has been made better by throwing millions of dollars of endorsements at it
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  • + 1
 this is what i love about mtb, DH more specifically. even if they were to dope it dosent mean they will win races. it takes a 6th sense, something you are born with to be able to rip a WC track and win. this is a sport where you need the tallent, not the largest muscles.
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  • + 1
 There is an issue with doping in gnarly sports, alot of products can make you more aggressive, less put off by risk, more balsy and tenatious. i don't struggle to beleive a good DHer on the right stuff, testosterone booster, as a high street example.... would become more aggressive and balsy with their riding, i found that when i used test booster for gym that i was far more willing to go big and stupid on the bike. my average times commuting on a road bike got alot more impressive too. doping can and will ruin any sport if you don't make examples of anyone and everyone caught using it. however i would love to see a seperate league of openly doping sports... shit would be incredible to watch! and the athletes that do it will take it to excess, die young of horrible afflictions and the next generation will learn that casual use/abuse of enhancement products is bad because the eventual consequences are nasty as balls.
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  • + 1
 doping is not all about money... age-group amateurs dope in just about every sport... masters road racing is full of dopers and they are not in it for the money at all... as soon as enduro gets big you will see more doping and by amateurs with no motivation to make a dime out of it...

enduro athletes can surely benefit from many different types of drugs as mentioned here.. anabolics for fast recovery and muscle re-generation, blood doping to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood so that you can go longer close to red-line... and not already mentioned are amphetamines which ward off fatigue and increase focus during long efforts (you would still have a razor sharp focus and could still select lines after 30 mins of being pinned)

i am troubled by the comment of the "founder" of enduro because this is the kind of assenine bullshit that we have seen from road and xc folks for years who have been a port of the problem.... as a new sport, enduro has a big opportunity to put forth the right vibe early on with regard to keeping the focus on fairplay and honorable competition...
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  • + 1
 Something to think about, how can doping benefit a DH rider? Does drugs help him choose a better line? Make him attack a rock garden aggressively? Gives them the edge when jumping a gap? Only place I think would make a difference is the DH run at Sea Otter where pedaling is an exception.

Another thing to point out, there will always be cheaters out there. Competitors are always looking for an edge. Baseball, Tennis, Track and Field etc etc. Doesn't make it ok, just doesn't only exist in the cycling world.
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  • + 1
 Lance winning 7 times --- ok, he's somewhat of a jerk... interesting that he said he doesn't think someone could win 7 times without doping. l think he even said that HE couldn't have won 7 times --- if the fact that everyone else is also doing it then the playing field is equal. science and technology brought us here to this topic. opening up a topic, what's the big frikin deal? we use all sorts of products to help us go longer, stronger, recover faster... we use certain drugs (legally, illegally) which have (chuckle) the opposite effect to performance. those intverviews they showed with him claiming he did none of this, those were ugly how he lied.
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  • + 1
 Bikes are enough ready to handle what we've been putting on the tracks for years, if you can't deal with the fact that you're not fit enough to get a better place in a race then you shouldn't be racing. If you cheat you must pay, that easy.
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  • + 3
 And here's something to lighten everything up a little.. captionsearch.com/pix/vvss9ximab.jpg
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  • + 2
 Not a big fan of the first photo! I have younger children that frequent this website! Could you put up a "graphic content" notice??
  • + 1
 agreed, not the best pic to use eh? even if it is prevocitive
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  • + 1
 I drink loads of black coffee in between race runs, doesn't work! two bottles of red wine the night before? doesn't work either! tbh I can't see doping making up for my (or anyone's) lack of skills! - I just want to ride :-)
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  • + 1
 Maybe there should be two over all classes - the doper anything goes class and the dope free class. Then everyone can be happy. Hmm, but then the dopers will try to race the dope free class - cheaters!
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  • + 2
 I guess on the bright side...With that bubble in the syringe that guy is shooting on the cover photo, that will be the last time he dopes.
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  • + 3
 What about recreational drugs? Are people gonna get banned for that too like football?
  • + 2
 Rich Houseman.
  • + 1
 Don't think he got a lifetime ban, but I'm pretty sure he was stripped of his world cup win (which he won due to bad weather affecting the other riders' runs). He tested positive for cannabis.
  • + 2
 Let alone ban them from sport what about the criminal aspect? I seem to remember Tom Boonen getting a short suspension for having cocaine in his results yet no-one was bothered with the criminal aspect. Seems odd and it happens far too frequently, especially with the football (soccer) lady boys Wink
  • + 0
 People that do drugs are not criminals. That is far-fetched. The court system makes it seem that way to collect revenue. That's crazy to strip someone of a world cup win because of what they did on their own time for recreation. I don't advocate people doing recreational drugs either.
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  • + 1
 who gives a shit, baseball players, football player pretty much all professional athletes take performance enhancing drugs, the ones that dont get caught are the one that cover it up better.
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  • + 4
 I think the things should be more simple: Drugs = Ban forever.
  • + 1
 it's not that simple, plenty of drugs don't enhance performance
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Nobody wants to see industry paid doped pain addicts going uphill at a snails pace. Hell, nobody want to see big and small Lance participating and cheating since our schooldays.

This is an elite sport - amateur in the good old english sense of gentlemen`s agreement to play fair and at the end of a raceday, have a beer, or if you insist champagne, together at the tailgate.

www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/875772/Army-heros-leg-torn-off-on-sled-run-Toboggan-crash-St-Moritz-Captain-Bernie-Bambury.html

It is nice to win but not mandatory, spirit and participation is everything.

The Enduro-brainfart will go away and transform into mild dh.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 At the BMX parks where I normally ride, doping (sparking up) is almost compulsory,
[Reply]
  • + 3
 as long as they dont start testing for mary jane we all have nothing to worry about!
  • + 1
 Pretty sure that they already do. I know of a few riders that had winnings stripped racing DH four years ago for testing positive.
  • + 1
 that's infuriating.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Hey, I bet those livestrong bracelets, when way on the bicep make your veins bulge nicely.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Almost everyone would like a little advantage. When you drink that powerade or eat that carb bar are you not hoping for a little extra speed or endurance? It's just chemicals so it's not a big step to go from supplements to drugs. So your on a ride next week and someone says "hey have you tried that new gel from powerbar"? " I cleaned that massive climb after taking that" . Would you go out and buy it? What if he then smokes you on the next climb? Would you buy it then?
At what point do "supplements" become performance enhancers.?

The top level dh's are all incredibly skilled. Often their times are 100ths of a second different. So what might give one the extra edge?
In road racing they say look out for those who suddenly leap from doing well to doing phenomenal. Mr peat a few years back suddenly had a phenomenal season after a few years in decline. mr Gwinn jumped from top 15 to destroying the completion ?

I for one would hope that there is a line and that my heroes don't cross it but it makes me wonder.
One other thing. My wife used to be the person who chaperoned tennis players at Wimbledon after their matches. They were not allowed out of sight till the test was done. Not even to go to the loo. They were not allowed to drink anything or eat anything till the test was done. Our dh's are often handed beers from the crowd or sen swigging their sponsors energy drink straight after a race. How rigorous is the testing in do?
  • + 0
 "It's just chemicals so it's not a big step to go from supplements to drugs."

So far from correct it is unreal. Doping in sport is not just a case a swallowing a little tablet or a quick injection. The health risks are much higher not to mention the dangers of blood doping!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Just look at the results from the 2011 reunion mega...not really a mystery in my humble opinion. Enduro is overrated and will continue to promote overrated, fundamentally unimpressive kooks that are low on style and bike control and high on self esteem issues.. but sleep in oxygen tents with facemasks on, so they wind up like 2 strokes. some of the guys are legit and have my respect but it's a very small number. urban dh is way cooler than enduro..
[Reply]
  • - 1
 ok so armstrong doped. barry bonds doped. truth of the matter they still had to train. i cant sit here and dope it up and hope i hit 130 home runs in 2 years. or climb higher and faster in the french alps with out training. only thing is they doped and that helped a little. gave them the edge. move on. punish them and NEXT issue please.

how bout the obama care? ahh who cares. ;-)
[Reply]
  • - 1
 i couldnt care less about doping tbh, just as long as people remember its their sport and integrity they are ruining. Companies pile pressure on riders to win, so let the latest rodie saga be a lesson to them. Teams all have a part in it, not just the rider
  • + 3
 There is no where near as much money pressures in MTB as road and allegedly the team of the Enduro rider serving the doping ban don't even know he has been caught! The ruling states that everyone has to be kept out of the loop. In this case I feel for the team! They can have a doped rider on their team, be using that rider to promote their brand even through the suspension period and worst of all not even know! Imagine how bad it will look for that brand when the name eventually comes out. Hiding the name helps no-one especially those whose names are incorrectly tinted in the speculation! While the teams have a massive influence in the road world I can't help feeling that doping in DH or Enduro is just a sad way for an individual to get to the top of the podium regardless of the rewards.
  • + 1
 my comment was regarding lances antics, not the enduro rider, as i said i couldnt care less tbf, im not a compitition rider. If i was riding and people were doping that i was up against then i would be pissed. I still would not dope to make my self better, you are just being a cheat, cheating your self and others. I guess it takes all sorts to make the world go round.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 luckly gravity mountainbiking isn't in that much danger of doping, it's much more talet than strength in my opinion....
  • + 1
 Sorry, I meant talent not talet
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Lets do drug races,it would be fun to watch and bring new sponsors to our sport. \m/
  • + 3
 The tour of California is sponsored by an EPO manufacturer, no?
  • + 3
 I like the idea of clean series and a drug series to help encourage development of futuristic chemicals.
  • + 1
 there you go... perfect solutions.
  • + 2
 Team Influenza?
  • + 1
 BeardlessMarinRider, you are absolutely correct Amgen is a manufacturer of EPO. Given cyclings long and continued issues with PEDs I find it amazing they would think it's acceptable to be sponsored by a company who makes drugs which are used by some people as PEDs. The race organisers should be saying thank but no thanks and aligning themselves with sponsors who benefit the image of the sport. It should how truly stupid some people are.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 big buck salaries, corperate sponsers, contracts to win.... all down to tenths or hundreths of a second...... FK yea theres doping in top level,world cup MTB... pretty FKNG naive to think that there aint
[Reply]
  • + 3
 your sister ass is pretty dope, I just can't get off of it
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I heard Lance was considering doing his interview on the Ellen Degeneres show but thought Oprah would carry more weight.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 no dopers in mountain biking? You got to be fuking kidding me!?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The risk/reward for doping is way less in Enduro than Road...so hopefully testing and penalties are enough to discourage drug use.
  • + 2
 Exactly which makes it pretty dumb to cheat! Most of the top enduro guys aren't massive names on massive bucks so they are only cheating for themselves. When the penalty is a 6 month anonymous ban then all that say is "we couldn't care less, have a nice holiday and see you soon"
[Reply]
  • + 2
 $$$ + greed + fame= corruption. Basic math regardless of the discipline. Integrity + style + skill= hero.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 FreeRiding and Doping? Fatty at the top of the hill.
Pro Roadies and Doping? Well if ya want to win then I bet they all do it!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 "He who works the hardest dopes the best!" Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Contrador to name a few.
  • + 2
 Armstrong had a knack for organizing, that is for sure. I would hire him to run a bike company in a heartbeat, except everyone hates him. . .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dopin is dumb why ruin the sport....Smokin a lil weed before a run seemed harmless till got burnt out and ate shit now sober.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 We need separate categories, "doper" category and "normal", every top level athlete in the world is DOPING!
  • + 6
 We already have it. It's called professional sport versus amateur. Don't see any problem with doping, let professionals do whatever they need to win.
  • + 1
 Besides seriously putting their health at risk maybe...
  • + 3
 on a second thought, this is great potential for riders and pharmaceutical companies, they should endorse riders and pit their drugs against each other. imagine "Team umbrella racing" .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Road bikers have Lance Armstrong who dominated on performance enhancing drugs. MTBers have Shaun Palmer who dominated on plain ol' drugs.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thats just great. Enduro is so young and they are all ready giving mountain bikers a bad name. F£$%ing Armstrong fan boys! hahahah
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I had no idea that MENTOS were a banned substance. I have been doping the whole time and didnt even know it. Shame on me, that expalins there bizare commercials tho.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Of course fitness helps in sports. To say otherwise is to admit ignorance. I hope none of you only ride DH due to laziness haha.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 We might not see the kind of money as road racing see's, but if we stay true to our Mt. Biking lifestyle to keeping it fun, will go further in our sport.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 doping in competition is one thing, but in recreationnal it's an another thing.
  • + 0
 who would dope in recreational, I would find that pointless...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Doping is every where, every one know it and want it for money, you don't dope, you don't win.
  • + 1
 Exactly, no doping no money and no glory.
  • + 2
 makes pro racing less interesting to those of us who prefer biking to the hulk vs the fantastic four
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Make doping legal for every one. Then no one will have a disadvantage, and no one will cheat.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I donno if anyone else seen the picture above, with the syrenge, but there's a giant airbulb in it. That's like instant embolia my friend :/ youre doin it wrong.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How could doping possibly help my lazy ass ride a ski lift up the mountain?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 life ban end of. be real
[Reply]
  • + 1
 DUDE DONT DO IT!!!! STILL SOME AIR IN THE HOSE!!!! STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Where can I get what these guys were taking?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Dear America, someone who cheats is called a 'cheat' not a cheater'. Thanks, love you. From English speakers everywhere.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I remember a halfpipe snowboarder lost his gold medal for weed.....
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed
  • + 1
 Legalize it!! Haha
[Reply]
  • + 1
 PS this does not make me go fast
[Reply]
  • + 1
 YA, IT'S AWESOME!!! I LOVE IT!! RAAAHAHHHHHH
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wow.. no hagan esoo !!...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hi i enter pinkbike for fun, not for speak about drugs
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Doping in our sport? We are not Roadies!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Doping is already in mtb. It's just every body is allowed to do it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's kinda obvious to me Keep the sport clean and do not dope
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Downhill:
Doping = Without using brakes!
Punishment = Breaking bones!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 personally im with Dizzee Rascal. Bassline Junkie Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't see what the big deal is.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 And what about these laboratories factories shit?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 And that's what the previous article was "A SHORT HISTORY OF ENDURO"
[Reply]
  • + 0
 road cyclists ruining everything for us...
  • + 1
 ah crap i meant to thumbs up.... although i think it is france that seems to be at the forefront of all these scandals.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 DANABOL RULES!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 WHERE IS PROTOUR???!?!
  • + 8
 drug overdose..
  • + 4
 Where's deeeeight too? Haha
  • - 1
 We are all in the Ice Hotel in northern Scandinavia the homeland of Gnomes and Trolls on troll Symposium 2012. We take dope, throw 15mm axles, throw 650B wheels at each other and talk about rotations in the teams, making sure we disagree with each other all the time. Tonight we are out to see northern lights on sled pulled by our favourite negprop dogs - heeel doggy heeel!
  • + 0
 Hahaha waki funny shit
  • + 3
 Careful! you might get negproped for life...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what time is it? 4:20
[Reply]
  • + 1
 2z and cruise 4 lyfe
[Reply]
  • + 0
 don't go on drugs you don't need them for any thing
[Reply]
  • + 0
 In my eyes it all depends on the effect of the drug
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Is everyone on dope?
  • + 11
 only of the green kind here in canada
  • + 5
 Look dude, for riding and winning on the above drug you really deserve a medal.
  • + 0
 He well not want a medal you cant smoke that give he a ticket to the DAM. PS. Any up for WEED World Cup Downhill...Enduro 2 x 3sheeter the 100m downhill 20min kip 1 x 2sheeter and the first one to find their bike. PPs. your sitting on it
[Reply]
  • + 2
 There are no suspicions of CG as far as I can see. The rumours are another top French rider...
[Reply]
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