In a VeloNews 'Ask the Dr" column Dawn M. Richardson, MD, FACEP talks to cyclists who have admitted to doping and have touched that "third rail" of cycling,they speak about it. These riders have admitted to suffering from depression and other substance abuse problems only AFTER they became immersed in the doping culture of pro cycling:
Most surprising was the disclosure of common and long-lasting mental illness and frequent substance abuse among dopers. Some had alcohol- or substance-abuse histories before professional cycling. None was treated for mental illness until after doping. Those with substance-abuse histories escalated or started while doping. There was often a family history of addiction. They described an overwhelming and lingering psychological burden from their participation in doping that reminded me of Raskolnikov in "Crime and Punishment." Some were relieved when they were caught, as it seemed the only way out of "the club." I have heard more than once, "I'd be dead if I continued doping."
And they're not exaggerating. Marco Pantani and José Maria Jiminez were top athletes who died at what should have been the peaks of their careers as a result of doping, cocaine abuse and mental illness.
The Fanhouse references the above VeloNews piece,wondering what doping does to cyclists, and relates it all to Floyd Landis and the current situation surrounding the yellow jersey from last summer's Tour de France:
One reason the Floyd Landis doping scandal so frightens the entire world of professional cycling is the rotten log effect: once you kick the whole thing over and actually award the Tour jersey to someone else, you might have to eliminate everyone of note in the cycling ranks in order due to rampant doping throughout the sport.
The LA Times posts a well intentioned opinion piece by former Olympian Edwin Moses about steroids and training, and he gets the Landis hearing reference wrong by referring to it as an 'EPO related" melodrama.
The Guardian UK puts forth that the problems with doping in cycling lately exemplified by Bijarne Riis and Floyd Landis, are not isolated instances and must be placed in the context of a long history of PED scandals. Therefore, if the Tour de France is to be taken seriously, cycling has to completely clean up its act:
There are answers, however, and some of them came last week at a business park in Hertfordshire. The American, Bob Stapleton, has been given the task of cleaning up the T-Mobile team that invested millions in Riis and another fallen idol, Jan Ullrich.
Realising that their investment in cycling could damage their image, T-Mobile have moved rapidly from hands-off to hands-on. The riders are vetted, questioned closely about their ethical approach and rigorously blood tested. When the tests offer doubtful results, as with last year's Tour stage winner Serhiy Honchar, the cyclist is suspended pending further analysis and may eventually be sacked.
The Asbury Park Press posts a piece on hip resurfacing surgery, such as the procedure Floyd Landis successfully underwent last fall.
PezCyclingNews took lots of pictures at last wekend's Philadelphia International Cycling Championship, and hurried to see Floyd Landis in the VIP tent, but apparently took no pictures of Floyd.
The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation lists a Floyd Landis event to be held in Bryant Park in Manhattan on June 27th which will be hosted by John Eustice. The "Word for Word" author event will be at 12:30 PM in the park and Floyd will speak about his new book "Positively False" presenting his side of the issues surrounding last year's Tour de France.
Finger Training thanks Floyd Landis' tough attitude towards training to get him to go just a little further.
Across the Great Divide talks about a tragic shooing, and a comment turns it into a cheap shot against Floyd Landis. Looks like our pal Roid.