Thursday, September 30, 2010

Contador, Doping, etc.

Well hell, it's really hitting the fan today. First the news of Alberto Contador, followed by the news of his compatriot Ezequiel Mosquera. All this coming to light while Fabian Cancellara wins his 4th Worlds TT championship.

First off, I don't like Contador, never have. Well before he and Lance got into it at last years TdF. Which is pretty much irrelevant to anything, but since it's a bias, I should disclose it.

My first reaction to Contador's positive was "it's about time" followed by a bit of surprise that he actually allowed himself to be caught. But as more and more is written, I'm finding that he may actually be right. Being right, in reality won't mean much. Plenty of other cyclists have been "right" and still been suspended. I've always believed Tom Zirbel got a bad deal, but then again, he was a rider I liked.

It's interesting to me that cycling has such a bad rap for doping. It's easy to see, just look at the headlines in todays sports section. Interesting because cycling seems to be the only sport with the pretense of being serious about eliminating performance enhancing drugs. Even more interesting in that riders, in the cases of Zirbel and Contador, if they are to be believed, are being found guilty of wrongdoing without them knowingly doing anything wrong.

Contador is claiming that he ingested Clenbuterol because of some tainted meat. Basically the claim is that some rancher used it to make more money from the beef he was selling. It seems this actually has some traction.

To me, the fact that our food contains products that cause athletes to fail drug tests is a much bigger issue than one cyclist testing positive. It's not enough to avoid supplements, multi-vitamins, energy drinks, etc. Riders are now going to have to even know the source of the food they're eating (which is a good idea anyway, and something I try to do).

So Contador may very well be getting screwed, but it only serves to show how little control an individual has over the food they eat. The regulatory agencies are far too cozy with the industries they should be regulating to do anything about. Big Agriculture increases its shareholdings, and the people get screwed.

Locally grown veggies are the way to go.

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