Why Not Just Let ‘Em All Dope?

If you’re in anyway following Le Tour, you’ve almost certainly had a conversation over the last week about whether it would make sense to just let ’em all dope. Joe Lindsey from Bicycling magazine has a thoughtful guest post over on the Freakonomics blog making a pretty persuasive case that it’s a bad idea. A couple of central points:

  • Good dope is expensive. If it were legalized, winning would favor, even more, the wealthiest competitors and teams.
  • The best dope, like the cows blood crap Rasmussen is accused of trying to smuggle out of the United States, is illegal for human use.
  • Lots of riders don’t want to dope. They’re already screwed under the current system, but if doping were legalized, they’d be really screwed.

And on a related note: below the fold, the Wikipedia list of cyclists who have “trained in Italy“. You might want to print out this list and keep it handy to compare with the riders on the podium tomorrow in Paris:

Athletes associated with Michele Ferrari


  1. This has also been debated in a slightly different context, steroids in baseball (and football, pro wrestling, and other sports). The most convincing argument I have heard came from a doctor and friend of John McCain’s who asked a pro-steroids broadcaster: How can you support allowing steroids in pro sports, knowing that that will mean that children everywhere will face pressure to change their bodies and their minds forever for the sake of a competitive edge for a short time? He especially focused on the psychological and sexual side effects of steroid use, which can be shockingly serious.

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