Compared to football-players cyclists are virtuous role models. Yes, Lance Armstrong, Michael Rasmussen and other riders have doped, and because of this they have received the predicate as the most immoral athletes in the sporting world. But if morality is not only a question of whether a person has enhanced his or hers performances by the use of various drugs (and lied about it), but also is about human beings’ relations and interactions, then cycling isn’t as depraved as we like to tell each other. Football is much worse.
The September 2014 editorial entiteld 'Role Models on Dope' is written by Ask Vest Christiansen, Aarhus University and John Gleaves, California State University, Fullerton. Read the editorial here.
Three years ago, a new anti-doping initiative of the UCI caused a fuss in the media and among the cycling community: the “no-needle policy”, as the governing body called it, consisting in a prohibition of “injections of medicines or other substances, without a medical indication, that have the objective of artificially improving performance or recovery (vitamins, sugars, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, etc.)”
The Miami-Dade County Public School administration recently announced plans to begin testing student-athletes for performance enhancing substances (PES) (Pannoni 2014). The school system, located in southern Florida, is the fourth largest in the United States with 340,000 students. Citing “safety” concerns for young athletes in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal, in which federal charges have been brought against associates of the Miami-based clinic for distributing steroids to athletes—including high schoolers—the pilot testing program for PES is unique in the U.S.