Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Report; No Doping Positives at 2013 Tour de France

I editorialized on this topic at about the half-way point of the tour this year after the stage finish on Mt. Ventoux saying that the tour certainly looks cleaner as a whole; but there were still some "suspicious" performances. This latest report seems to support my feelings. 

Stopping short of saying that the tour was completely clean; it did confirm that there were no positives (at least for the products and methods that there are tests for...).

Francesca Rossi; Director of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, commenting on the 622 samples, including 443 blood samples and 179 urine samples, said:
“We have no adverse analytical findings. We changed the strategy. We were unpredictable and the riders perceived we were unpredictable.”
This "unpredictable" method highlights a problem that has been known for some time among insiders but came to light to the general public with Lance Armstrong's confession of a systematic doping history in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January of this year.

This is progress. Trust me when I say that while it seems that the findings by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and other doping control agencies worldwide are seeming to come faster and cover a wider scope than ever before - we are still just seeing the tip of the iceberg that is doping in professional sports. Performance enhancing drugs, hormone doping, blood doping (and whatever is the new, hip thing to do to cheat the tests) is more wide spread than you can imagine and goes much deeper and is far more sophisticated than the steroids and amphetamines of a few decades ago.

Other professional leagues have made positive strides on the matter; but I believe that we still have a long way to go and will see much more from the Professional American Football (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) before this is over. 

The Elephant in the room as far as I am concerned though is Professional Basketball and Hockey (in America; the NBA and NHL respectively) where we hear little if anything. The elevation of both of these sports at the elite levels the last decade or so is ripe for PED use to cope with the increased game intensity and voracious fan demands as both of these leagues enjoy explosive popularity growth of late.

The other shoe will drop; and soon. When, where, and with whom is the question and your guess is as good as mine.

What say you? Are you surprised at any of the doping news of late? How has it damaged your feelings toward professional sports at large? Where do you think the next bombshell will fall? Leave a comment and let's discuss...

Thanks for reading.

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