Sunday, May 13, 2007

Is Cycling TOO Tough?

Juliet Macur of the New York Times has an important story for all fans of cycling -- and sports -- in the Week In Review section of the newspaper Sunday.

Floyd Landis
awaits his hearing before an arbitration panel in California Monday to rebut the charge that his come-from-behind victory in the 17th stage of the 2006 Tour de France, which he won, was a fraud, as Macur puts it.

Macur writes: "If he loses, Landis will become the first winner in the 103-year history of the Tour de France to be stripped of the victor’s yellow jersey because of doping. The disastrous toll his case has exacted on cycling’s credibility — races canceled for lack of sponsors, teams abandoned by their corporate underwriters, fans staying home — offers a stark picture of what can happen when a sport finally confronts its drug problem in a serious way."

Macur also writes about baseball's drug problem but concludes that baseball is “a multiskilled sport” that can certainly be enhanced by drugs, but only by so much."

Cycling, on the other hand, simply might be too difficult:
“At the end of the day, cycling is about who’s the toughest, who has the most endurance, who can ride through the Pyrenees and ride for such long periods of time,” said Peter Roby, the director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University. “The sport itself almost lends itself to drug use because it’s so physically taxing.”

Cycling fans love their sport for its marvelous climbs and sprints and distances. We make tremendous demands of our sport, and the athletes have responded -- perhaps they have always responded this way -- by cheating.

Perhaps we should demand less -- and expect more.

MORE:
-- Sal Ruibal of USA Today:
Landis seeks both vindication and change
-- San Jose Mercury News: Landis' hearing is here, and there's more on trial
-- San Jose Mercury News: How the Landis Hearing Will Work

No comments:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Is Cycling TOO Tough?

Juliet Macur of the New York Times has an important story for all fans of cycling -- and sports -- in the Week In Review section of the newspaper Sunday.

Floyd Landis
awaits his hearing before an arbitration panel in California Monday to rebut the charge that his come-from-behind victory in the 17th stage of the 2006 Tour de France, which he won, was a fraud, as Macur puts it.

Macur writes: "If he loses, Landis will become the first winner in the 103-year history of the Tour de France to be stripped of the victor’s yellow jersey because of doping. The disastrous toll his case has exacted on cycling’s credibility — races canceled for lack of sponsors, teams abandoned by their corporate underwriters, fans staying home — offers a stark picture of what can happen when a sport finally confronts its drug problem in a serious way."

Macur also writes about baseball's drug problem but concludes that baseball is “a multiskilled sport” that can certainly be enhanced by drugs, but only by so much."

Cycling, on the other hand, simply might be too difficult:
“At the end of the day, cycling is about who’s the toughest, who has the most endurance, who can ride through the Pyrenees and ride for such long periods of time,” said Peter Roby, the director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University. “The sport itself almost lends itself to drug use because it’s so physically taxing.”

Cycling fans love their sport for its marvelous climbs and sprints and distances. We make tremendous demands of our sport, and the athletes have responded -- perhaps they have always responded this way -- by cheating.

Perhaps we should demand less -- and expect more.

MORE:
-- Sal Ruibal of USA Today:
Landis seeks both vindication and change
-- San Jose Mercury News: Landis' hearing is here, and there's more on trial
-- San Jose Mercury News: How the Landis Hearing Will Work

No comments: