“You have guys who train the same and are very disciplined athletes, and are even physiologically the same, but one has a quirk that’s very adaptable to the drug du jour,” Vaughters says. “Then all of a sudden your race winner is determined not by some kind of Darwinian selection of who is the strongest and fittest, but whose physiology happened to be most compatible with the drug, or to having 50 different things in him.”
Both articles are well worth the read to gain some insight on the world inside of cycling, and wider sports, as to how so many athletes turn to doping. David Millar's excellent book is also worth a read along these lines.
Almost every athlete I’ve met who has doped will say they did it only because they wanted a level playing field. That says something: everyone wants a fair chance, not more. So, let’s give our young athletes a level playing field, without doping. Let’s put our effort and resources into making sport fair, so that no athlete faces this decision ever again. We put so much emotion into marketing and idolizing athletes, let’s put that same zeal into giving them what they really want: the ability to live their dreams without compromising their morals.
Fortunately athletes can still win clean in triathlon. There is no doubt that there are drugs within the sport, but as long as athletes can and do win clean, there will be fewer athletes turning to drugs.
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