I haven’t written an update on the Tomás Swift-Metcalf Blog since the penultimate stage of the Volta a Portugal. I have been wary of writing bullshit in such stressful, emotional times. I don’t like to speak of the problems in cycling, since I find them so boring. It’s the first thing anyone outside the sport mentions when I say I’m a cyclist.
The Armstrong fiasco affected me quite a bit.
I was one of those kids that took to the roads because of the Armstrong myth. My mum, Kate Swift, died of cancer when I was 19 during my first year at university.
Armstrong was a huge motivation for her and I, or at least gave us reason for optimism. That winter I watched my first bike race too: the Volta ao Algarve; won by Floyd Landis.
When Kate died in 2004 I didn’t deal with it very well. It took ages to get over it… years, in fact. I would run at odd times of day, like late at night round Loughborough and up to Beacon Hill and round the woods, always fast. The lactic burn was kind of a relief from something. It was a this time that I took to cycling on a Giant OCR I had bought after a summer’s work, because I found road bikes attractive looking.
Armstrong getting busted depressed me. It was not justice given all the bullshit and corruption in this world. The reams of blind hypocrisy since the Armstrong fiasco have been nauseating. I am so sick and tired of people cheating everywhere.
I asked a few pros if they would support a ‘doping league’. A doping league where you make sure to promote and protect health; i.e. the investment in dope control is channelled into health control, but otherwise athlete can use verified methods to boost up to certain thresholds.
The argument that the rich would take advantage in such a scenario is muted the law of diminishing returns; there is only a very limited number of things you can do to boost performance. Unfortunately the current system rewards the wrong types of ingenuity: control and subversion.
I can’t help being disturbed by the fact that anti-doping has grown into a multi-million dollar industry in symbiosis