Bailing With a Colander

Just the other day there was another report of an old-fart racer that got busted for EPO. This one appears to be more of a triathlete than a cyclist, who was busted not through direct testing but through an investigation into his online supplier.
If you do a quick Google search for online suppliers of erythropoietin (EPO) or other performance-enhancing drugs (PED), there seems to be no end. Some of them are likely traps by USADA or other governmental agencies to catch idiots. Probably more than a few are scams that substitute bogus/dangerous substances for the real thing, since the site owners know that people that are already bending the rules are less likely to cry to the authorities when they're cheated. That still leaves a lot of "legitimate" venues out there for obtaining PEDs, and given there are so many sites operating, it certainly follows that there is the demand to support them.
My chosen sport-that-nobody-cares-about is less than a drop in the ocean that is the PED market. A moderate-sized gym in Venice, California probably out-dopes the entire domestic peloton. However, the availability of EPO on the market indicates there is more than enough interest in the endurance sport community. Most body builders and people desperately fighting age through science don't care as much about lung capacity. Runners, cyclists, triathletes, and similar athletes do.
For amateur sports and leagues that do test for PEDs, the money is not there to do so in any comprehensive manner that would act as a significant deterrent. Even shutting down a few online pharmacies and sanctioning the customers won't really do much, because 10 more will pop up to fill the demand. Not to say that it isn't a worthwhile battle to fight, but it certainly isn't one that can be won from that approach alone.
As David Anthony's case showed, some people just take this stuff far too seriously. Based on my own investments in the sport, probably more than a few would say I do too. I'm not sure where the jump happens from power meters and carbon wheels to EPO injections in the belly fat, but that's a line I don't even want to toe. Please let me know if I'm close, because I would need a lot of EPO to get through my fat rolls. I just don't have that kind disposable income.
I hope the culture will shift to where middle-aged pedal-floggers will intuitively know that this sort of thing is just stupid. Astana and Katusha have their pick of over-the-hill riders that dope better than you. An age-group Stars and Stripes or state championship jersey won with doping is worth less than the material it's made from (ask David Anthony about how winning with doping feels). Nobody cares who won the 2004 Tour of Mayberry Masters 45+/Cat 4 Category (unless it was Goober, because that guy is a machine). In the big scheme of things, none of it matters. This is supposed to be fun, in a painful, masochistic way. That's it.
Until the old-guy-in-lycra culture shifts a bit, there are going to be far fewer guys getting caught than guys getting away with it. Hopefully nobody is doping in my little racing pond, because that would be beyond pathetic.
All I can do is grind away at the pedals and try to avoid the temptations of the snack bar. If people have to dope to get around me, they have some serious issues that go beyond my capacity to understand. That, or I have invested a sizable portion of my income on cinnamon rolls and anyone passing me has to double their distance traveled.


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