Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stick A Fork In Me

I'm officially done following pro cycling. Forever. Every single rider of any consequence is slowly but surely admitting to or being accused of past doping offenses. Many are suspected of currently doping, even as the scandals multiply.

The simple truth is this: pro cyclists cannot be competitive without EPO and human growth hormone---they cannot rely on their own physical conditioning and mental preparation to deliver them victories in races. It is a constant race to the bottom, as new riders find themselves forced to dope just to compete with the veterans and maintain their contracts.

Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong and all the other stars have been or will be implicated in doping scandals. The accusations, denials and counter-accusations will only multiply from here.

Why follow a sport that cannibalizes itself by forcing its stars to cheat and then destroying their names and banning them from competition when they are caught? Even professional baseball isn't this despicable.

It's a shame, but this will be the first year since 2001 that I haven't watched the Tour de France. Why bother? Will any great riders be left to compete? Are they even truly great riders?

I'm done.