Login to VeloClub|Not a member?  Sign up now.
December 15, 2017
December 14, 2017
December 13, 2017
December 12, 2017
  • jules

    great article. I don’t like it though, as a solution. last night I watched an expose on Don Burke who made a fortune while behaving like an absolute pig. and protected by media execs. who knew what was going on, but turned a blind eye to protect their ratings machine.

    professional ‘doping’ – or cheating at work – is rampant. it’s in banking, it’s in cronyism where cartels of mutually loyal but mediocre talent employees promote each other up the corporate ladder.

    yet these people all get away with it. why are we so obsessed about doping in pro cycling?

    • Superpilot

      Seems so irrelevant to life doesn’t it?

  • Superpilot

    An interesting proposition. I’m reminded of the psychology around modelling of behaviour. There are studies on it proving that if you model good behaviour and rewards to a target population, you will achieve greater behavioural change than if you model poor behaviour and consequences. Something around a ‘don’t litter’ campaign changed from advertising a fine and a picture of an overflowing rubbish bin to a well known household name modelling putting trash in the bin led to measurably reduced litter in the immediate area.
    Come to think of it, every parenting book I have read in an effort to lift my parenting skills in light of the common affliction of “I don’t know what the hell I am doing-itis” also mentions rewards work better than punishments.
    As far as sport is concerned, and this one in particular, it appears the rewards for bad behaviour have been greater than the rewards for towing the clean line. And the models available to new pros have been poor.
    Like, if a former or current pro holds their results up and says, “Look what I achieved clean!” to encourage others, the culture in the sport would turn on them, question those results further, and they would be under even more scrutiny. Just ask Sky.

    • jules

      Excellent point. I’m not a psychologist but that is my loose understanding. People want to achieve and be recognised as achieving or belonging. If you model positive behaviour, they see themselves in that model and as a means of achieving positive affirmation. But if you model poor behaviour then they also see themselves as modelling that poor behaviour, as being judged or accused and being penalised. While we intend people to reject that model, people are weird in that it seems to enter their psyche as its modelled and that’s what they do.

      In cycling we are obsessed with modelling the poor behaviour, i.e. doping.

      • Karl

        cleanprotocol.org ?

  • The Sports Pharmacist

    While its good to see that research is being done to prevent doping in sports, I don’t think this is the answer. How much income do elite athletes already run the risk of losing as a result of doping? Yet it still happens.
    From memory, the research grant for this was around $120,000. Perhaps this money could have been spent on actually testing more athletes?

    • jules

      my point in another post here was that it could easily be applied to many professions. if it turns out you ripped off clients on financial advice – forfeit your conditional super.

      it would never fly (although maybe it should) but why is there such acceptance for beating up on cyclists?

      • The Sports Pharmacist

        You are 100% correct….there is a lot of unethical (or even illegal) behaviour in all professions purely for financial gain, which people get away with in large numbers. I have seen people get into a lot of trouble, but the numbers being punished are unfortunately minuscule compared to the offenders who get away with it.
        With regards to doping in sports, cycling unfairly cops a lot of the flak. But there are many other sports out there, where the athletes are making a hell of a lot more money, where doping is definitely a big issue. Is there an answer? How do you instill a sense of honesty, ethics and morality into an entire population?

        • jules

          elite sports attracts a special type of person. generally not all “no, really, you first – I insist” personalities. there will always be cheating.

  • An issue that doesn’t appear to have been identified (unless I missed it) is that we tend to discount the distant future in favour of the salient present. This is especially an issue for adolescent males. Full neurological maturation combines with risk-taking and a highly salient present to lead to decision-making that satisfies short-term opportunities. (I don’t recall who studied it, but I am going to guess it was Kahnemann and Tversky.)

    My suspicion is that elite athletes in high-pressure circumstances who are told “do this and you’ll get that in 40 years if we catch you” will discount that distant future rapidly if they’re disinclined to be clean. The pain is too far away. They’ll see themselves as making enough money over the years that if they don’t score the super in their sixties it won’t matter.

    • jules

      also, there are 2 types of dopers:
      1. Lance – I can win big
      2. Joe water carrier – I can’t keep up without doping

      A moderate financial penalty could deter Joe water carrier if he was already borderline on whether to dope, but will probably not influence Lance who is swimming in a bigger pool

      Also Joe water carrier doesn’t need to dope these days, if you believe what the pros say.

  • Waylon

    Retrospective / retroactive testing is the more powerful possibility here, mentioned by cyclingtips but not the good economist.

    Ie WADA tests selected samples from 5+ years ago. Make super, plus possibly the ability to work as a coach/director/agent, contingent on ex riders going through this process.

  • Antony Budin

    If someone pays you 10 millions/year plus advertising, I doubt this could be a solution.

    • Vivre

      The comments about risk in the present vs. a reward 40 years in the future ring true for me. Adding to that, ethical concerns aside, if my present choice is to earn $2 million/yr as a successful doped athlete yet $200,000/yr clean, why would I not risk the slight chances of getting caught? If the lower salary nets me $10,000/yr in retirement deposits– subject to “doping detection” science, but the higher salary nets me $100,000/yr in retirement deposits, what’s my incentive to participate in this conditional superannuation scheme?
      Also, what entity would be trusted to coerce, administer & enforce such a heavy handed program, with potential legal and societal consequences of such entity holding athletes’ earnings until 40 years in the future? As a professional athlete, I would refuse some quasi governmental entity’s stewardship and ability to withhold my earnings, all based on very shaky and scientifically questionable doping detection science.

BACK TO TOP
16 NEW ARTICLES
December 15, 2017
December 14, 2017
December 13, 2017
December 12, 2017