A co-worker of mine has a brother who competed in the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships this last weekend. I've never ridden with or even met the brother, but I follow him on Strava and have seen his results, he's a strong kid. The winner of the cross country race finished with a time of 1:45, 7 min ahead of 2nd, and over an hour ahead of the brother.
For the last couple of years, and perhaps especially now with the news from the last month or so, anytime a person has a spectacular athletic performance, there is always the rumbling of 'what is he/she on?' Most people don't say it out loud or talk about it, but I bet most people think about it. What's sad about this is that we don't give full credit to people that very well may have just had a brilliant day, a perfect 2 hours on the bike.
I still think that bike racing, of all kinds, is the most beautiful sport. With all the news of late it would be easy to just say "Dopers Suck", throw them all under the bus, and move on. That's kind of the attitude I used to have. Over the last couple of years and quite a lot in the last months, I've changed that a bit. I don't know all the details of why or how the riders that have come out recently and admitted to doping. For these guys riding a bike was (is) their job. Who knows what or how or why they decided that the best, or only course of action was to take something that they knew at the time, or likely soon knew, was banned.
I don't know if pro cycling can be cleaned up or if other pro sports can start getting some attention for the doping that I believe goes on there as well. What I would like to see is that some time in the future extraordinary athletes to be able to enjoy success or failure without the specter of doping hanging over them. In the meantime, I'm not going to hate the dopers. It will likely make for some interesting theater over the coming months or years though.