“Technological Doping” Finds Its Way Into Pro Cycling

Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche pulled out of her race on the world cyclocross biking titles with a mechanical drawback, however afterwards authorities found a motor inside her bike. (picture by way of abc.internet.au)

On the earth of biking probably the most ignominious occasion to happen has been Lance Armstrong juicing his solution to seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999-2005, every of which he was retroactively stripped of after acquiescing to 2012 costs of utilizing efficiency-enhancing medicine. However a brand new “technological doping” scandal is making its means by means of the biking ranks, and will have a much bigger impact on the game than Mr. Armstrong’s maligned actions ever did.

So what precisely is that this “technological doping” that’s wreaking havoc on the popularity of cyclists throughout the globe? Nicely, apparently every thing that occurred with Lance Armstrong steered cyclists away from enhancing themselves, in order that they’ve moved on to upgrading the subsequent neatest thing: the bicycles they journey. Cyclists have gone about doping their bicycles by hiding motors on elements of their bikes (19-yr-previous bike owner Femke van den Driessche, from Belgium was lately discovered to have a motor in her bike), which — as you possibly can probably think about — could be very, very unlawful. There are numerous methods by which a bike owner can taint their bicycle by including a motor to it, however regardless of the place the motor is positioned or how properly it’s hidden, it affords stated bike owner an apparent benefit over their competitors as a result of… properly, motors will probably be robust to compete towards.

Though that is the primary time that a scandal corresponding to “technological doping” has rocked the biking world, it’s completely not the primary time athletes have gone about dishonest by modifying one thing aside from their our bodies. Within the 2015 NFL Playoffs, simply over a yr in the past, your complete New England Patriots group got here underneath immense hearth for what was finally recognized often known as Deflategate (or Ballghazi, relying on the place you look). Deflategate was a debacle that witnessed the Patriots deliberately protecting footballs beneath-inflated for the 2015 AFC Championship Recreation, which happened in Massachusetts and witnessed the Patriots throttle the Colts forty five-7. Alas, regardless of clear involvement and intentional wrongdoing, neither the Patriots nor Tom Brady have been punished almost about Deflategate — though that possible says extra concerning the NFL than anybody else.

Considerably longer in the past, in the direction of the top of the 2010 MLB common season, a state of affairs just like Deflategate was prevalent within the baseball universe. Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants accused the Colorado Rockies of “juicing” the baseballs given to visiting pitchers, and regardless of MLB by no means discovering proof that the Rockies had “juiced” their baseballs, MLB took steps to make sure no dishonest was concerned.

The Rockies’ “juiced” baseballs, Deflategate, and now the “technological doping” scandal within the biking world all reveal a couple of issues about athletes they usually approach they need to compete. Very first thing: athletes completely need to cheat — and that may all the time be a component of professional sports regardless. Second factor: athletes are prepared and prepared to seek out unconventional methods to go about dishonest, and have now gone so far as hiding motors in bicycles. As know-how — particularly within the sports world — continues to advance at an exponential price, will probably be fascinating to see what new loopholes professionals uncover to go about getting the higher hand on their competitors.