Saturday, 21 May 2011


After hearing the comments of Tyler Hamilton about Lance Armstrong (about doping) I saw this interview with Tyler Farrar from Team Garmin-Cervelo (a sprinter from a Pro-Cycling team):

Do the doping scandals distract you from doing your job?

It’s something we are all aware of as cyclists. It’s an issue that every sport faces. Personally, I think from the publicity standpoint it’s bad, but from the sporting standpoint the good thing is cycling does face it right up front. We fight it harder than any other sport. The downside to fighting it is that we have scandals. If you don’t do drug testing, you don’t have any positive tests, a la football. That’s the thing. A lot of sports choose to push it under the rug—we don’t. We do everything in our power to clear it out. And, you are going to have people cheating. It’s human nature to break laws and people will cheat. The good thing is they are catching these people. Yes, it does hurt the sport to have a big name go positive and be stripped of a big victory, but that shows the antidoping testing is working. It’s a sport
that has a long history of doping, sadly. In the last decade though it’s a sport that has been turning itself inside out to change that culture, and has made a lot of progress. Obviously there is still a ways to go. Guys are still going positive, but what can you do? You can’t change it over night. You have to fight it. As they make better and better tests, they are going to catch more and more of the guys who are cheating. We are going to have to deal with a few of these scandals to make it happen. These are the scandals that are the watershed moments of the sport that really changes things.

Before the Festina scandal in 1998, no one really cared. People talked about it, but no one cared. And that was the first time it became a big deal and they said, ‘Okay, we have to do something about this.’ They started implementing more and more doping controls, and they had guys getting caught. Then with the Operation Puerto scandal, it was the next moment where they said, ‘Obviously we aren’t doing enough.’ That was the next moment where all of a sudden anti-doping went to a whole new level with more tests. They started playing with ideas like the biological passport, which took some time. That is a process they started working on basically in 2006 when all that happened. And, it took a few years to develop it to the point where they could actually implement it in to the sport. It’s all a work in progress. I really think it’s cleaning up a lot. If you believe the stories from the 90’s, it was a freak show and it’s certainly not that now. If you take my team, Garmin Transitions/Garmin-Cervelo
in the future, we were one of the first teams to really come out and say, ‘We
are a clean team; we are going to do in-house testing on top of any UCI, WADA or whatever governing body is testing.’ That was an interesting position to stake out at the time. There
were a lot of people that said this would be a test of how clean cycling is. If you have a completely clean team, how well are they going to do? We were fifth in the world this year.

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