I just finished reading The Secret Race, by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle, which was an incredibly interesting read that candidly addresses the state of elite cycling and the use of performance-enhancing drugs. With the start of another Tour de France just around the corner, I thought I would re-post a blog I did in January, which looks at PEDs through the lens of choice theory.

The Better Plan . .

SI cover

It was haunting, stark, in-your-face. The cover of the April 14, 1997, Sports Illustrated, drew your attention to an image that dramatically captured, in one stroke, the state of affairs in athletics, indeed, the state of affairs in society. An arm, a strong arm with bulging bicep, fist clenched, wrist cupped, formed the bulk of the image, yet placed between the cupped wrist and bulging bicep was a syringe, it’s needle plunging into the taunt muscle. That was it, just an arm and a needle, yet you couldn’t look away. Although it appeared 16 years ago I have never forgotten that image.

The lead article, titled Over the Edge, opened with survey results that were, it doesn’t seem possible, even more haunting than the cover image. Quoting the article’s opening statement, it reads –

A scenario, from a 1995 poll of 198 sprinters, swimmers, power lifters and other assorted athletes…

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