If a rider speaks against doping and gave information about what other riders were taking they are likely to be ostracised and forced out of the peloton. It is happened to many riders who speak against doping. If you take cheat and take drugs you will be always welcomed back.
Its an irony that many within cycling have tried to maintain a system which puts the physical and mental health of the riders at risk, just so they can waste money on dope.
What is the point is wasting money on dope when the positions of riders will be the same as if there was no dope? If you allow doping the same riders will win as if you had no dope. So what do they gain?
The UCI drug testing is ineffective is doesn’t catch the cheats. It is too predictable yet they say they don’t have enough money to have more drug tests. See this story from former US Postal team doctor http://www.procycling.com/news.aspx?ID=1661
Cycling is a multi million pound sport, the money is there but just not the will.
The physical dangers of doping will always hard to quantify but there have been numerous premature deaths due to doping. Big names such as Simpson, Pantani, Jimenez but also countless of less well known amateurs. Johan Sermon, Denis Zanette
Cycling doesn’t just harm physical health of riders, there have been numerous premature deaths, Tom Simpson, Marco Pantani, Jose Maria Jimenez. But also many of long term drug users end up with mental health problems. Both Pantani and Jimenez suffered from depression before their premature end.
For all its faults British cycling is at least relatively drug free. I assume there is no one as insane to take a £100 course of EPO to win £20 for a 25 on the F1. But also in Britain the culture is different. There has never been the wide acceptance of doping you might find on the continent.
Writing in a London newspaper, Phil Liggett, the veteran cycling broadcaster, pointed out that as many as 100 international racers have died prematurely during the past decade, most from heart attacks. The likely cause, Liggett argued, was the ongoing abuse of EPO,
To combat cycling doping there needs to be a change of attitude by the riders, teams and organisers. More random tests are need both within and without competition but also more support for those riders who are willing to speak out against doping in the peloton.
Recent events show the uphill struggle the cycling community faces to overcome the problem. Recent high profile cases include Tyler Hamilton (Olympic Gold Medalist) Roberto Heras (Tour of Spain winner) David Miller (World Champion)
Also revelations from pro cyclists like Fillipo Simeoni and others show how many riders are able to easily avoid the detection of drug tests.
Richard is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team. He competes in UK time trials.