Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thrilled with the review of "The Tour" that came out today on xtri.com:
http://www.xtri.com/article.asp?id=1772

At one point the writer says:
The principal theme of the book is performance-enhancing drugs, a subject which is depressingly topical in today's sporting world. However, rather than tread a tired path about the dangers of drug use and the immoral nature of the cheats, Shields turns the angle on its head as he highlights the enormous pressures pro cyclists can come under and the easy justification available to them should they take this step. At times, the logic is so compelling that the reader is actually egging Barnes on to take that fateful step.


That's precicely what I'd hoped to convey. It makes me happy that this particular reader saw it. I'm as turned off by the drug issue as anybody, but the problem isn't going to go away until we address it differently. (Don't get me started on the mess Dick Pound and the World Anti Doping Agency are making of things.)

The greatest potential outcome for my novel would be that by educating readers it gives more athletes the power to say, "No." I hope it also forces athletes to consider the real consequences of their actions. Cheaters are often skilled at constructing complex justifications for what they do, but the bottom line is that they are creating a great deal of harm, and I did my best to show that in the book.

Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Puzzled !

Dave Shields said:
I'm thrilled with the review of "The Tour" that came out today on xtri.com:
http://www.xtri.com/article.asp?id=1772

At one point the writer says:
The principal theme of the book is performance-enhancing drugs, a subject which is depressingly topical in today's sporting world. However, rather than tread a tired path about the dangers of drug use and the immoral nature of the cheats, Shields turns the angle on its head as he highlights the enormous pressures pro cyclists can come under and the easy justification available to them should they take this step. At times, the logic is so compelling that the reader is actually egging Barnes on to take that fateful step.
I
Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com
I've read this post several times and I don't get it - in fact it actually makes me uncomfortable.
Why do you (or do you REALLY) imagine that your book will help athletes say no to drugs?
Also "Shields turns the angle on its head as he highlights the enormous pressures pro cyclists can come under and the easy justification available to them should they take this step". I think the reviewer must be very inexperienced with Sports/ Cycling books - this angle is as jaded as any but it rankles me more because its presented in fiction.

I wish you even more success than you have already had - its just the post / review that I don't get.
all the best,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,838 Posts
It's not illegal if they can't test for it.

And what's so wrong with taking your own blood, getting the RBC's out, and then putting back in you? No drugs are used, right?


Dave Shields said:
I'm thrilled with the review of "The Tour" that came out today on xtri.com:
http://www.xtri.com/article.asp?id=1772


The greatest potential outcome for my novel would be that by educating readers it gives more athletes the power to say, "No." I hope it also forces athletes to consider the real consequences of their actions. Cheaters are often skilled at constructing complex justifications for what they do, but the bottom line is that they are creating a great deal of harm, and I did my best to show that in the book.

Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
I loved both books, and I don't care if this is a back-door ad or not. I've endorsed them loudly in the local bike club.

I think the view from the inside they give of the pressure to dope is a good one to show. Just say no is part of the solution. This is not addiction, it's basicially recreational use and they could stop if they wanted without help.

The other side is balanced, fair enforcement backed by accurate, repeatable lab tests. I don't think we have that yet.

The constant unwarranted attacks on Armstrong are not helping the regulatory agencies gain any crediblility in the world's eyes either.

Waiting for the next cycling book, Dave.

Ice Man
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
Performance enhancing drugs are part of our culture.

You know, like ******, Botox,steroids perscribed for acne, and similarly, breast and penile implants. With all this stuff accepted in the world, why are athletes treated as criminals? If you think athletes taking performance enhancing drugs are the biggest problem in the world of pharmaceuticals, consider the number of drugs that have eventually been proven harmful or this story.

One drug company found a drug to combat sleeping sickness. Sadly, for them, most of the people who needed it were poor and they couldn't make enough money to continue producing it. They sold the patent to another company who discovered a cosmetic use and began producing it to sell in the developed world. Physicians Without Borders had to raise hell to get any for people dying from sleeping sickness.

I'm not arguing to legalize doping for athletes, all I'm saying is that a young man who wants to get stronger or faster is no worse than an old man who wants to get it up again or an old woman who wants to get rid of her wrinkles. The sanctimony aimed at ballplayers and cyclists is essentially a demand that a small group of people live up to a standard that they didn't create and clearly don't all accept. I worry far more about parents and teachers pushing Ridilin on children to make them more manageable than I worry about Barry Bonds or Tyler Hamilton.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Congratulations

rusa1586 said:
The sanctimony aimed at ballplayers and cyclists is essentially a demand that a small group of people live up to a standard that they didn't create and clearly don't all accept.
Now that is on one well articulated argument ! You should forward that to your old English Teacher.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very interesting points, but I think there's a big difference between the situations you're describing and an athlete who feels forced to turn to performance enhancing drugs because of outside pressures, whether that be his team, sponsors, or the knowledge that his competitors are beating him through use of these same drugs. How do you feel about athletes being compelled to use drugs just because they are talented and have already invested so much in their careers that they can't afford not to take the next step?
Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com

rusa1586 said:
You know, like ******, Botox,steroids perscribed for acne, and similarly, breast and penile implants. With all this stuff accepted in the world, why are athletes treated as criminals? If you think athletes taking performance enhancing drugs are the biggest problem in the world of pharmaceuticals, consider the number of drugs that have eventually been proven harmful or this story.

One drug company found a drug to combat sleeping sickness. Sadly, for them, most of the people who needed it were poor and they couldn't make enough money to continue producing it. They sold the patent to another company who discovered a cosmetic use and began producing it to sell in the developed world. Physicians Without Borders had to raise hell to get any for people dying from sleeping sickness.

I'm not arguing to legalize doping for athletes, all I'm saying is that a young man who wants to get stronger or faster is no worse than an old man who wants to get it up again or an old woman who wants to get rid of her wrinkles. The sanctimony aimed at ballplayers and cyclists is essentially a demand that a small group of people live up to a standard that they didn't create and clearly don't all accept. I worry far more about parents and teachers pushing Ridilin on children to make them more manageable than I worry about Barry Bonds or Tyler Hamilton.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
I'm not sure you understood my point.

Dave Shields said:
How do you feel about athletes being compelled to use drugs just because they are talented and have already invested so much in their careers that they can't afford not to take the next step?

My concern is for athletes being criminalized for making decisions similar to decisions that all kinds of people make in their every day lives. Our culture has a drug for damned near everything. Why should athletes be banned for taking them? If a competitor in a beuty pageant used steroid creams for a skin condition would she risk being banned from future competition?

It troubles me that sports are increasingly disconnected from the realities of the world. The standards for athletes' and coaches' behavior look to me to be both whimsical and arbitrary. Tennis players demand silence for fear of losing a point, but boxers perform with much more at risk while fans yell and scream. Where in the world could you get a job if you acted like a college basketball coach? It sounds funny, but a college coach was given a technical foul for having a heart attack because the ref assumed he was just being a jerk.

The pressure on athletes is enormous, but ultimately they are almost adults and making their own decisions. I worry much more about many children than a few elite athletes. All kinds of kids take Acutane, for their complexions, Ritalin to slow them down and Prednazone for minor ailments. I used to get steroid shots for poison ivy! I see a connection between these accepted behaviors and kids self-medicating themselves with illegal drugs when they're unhappy. All the furor about athletes and drugs obscures a much bigger issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
rusa1586 said:
Dave Shields said:
How do you feel about athletes being compelled to use drugs just because they are talented and have already invested so much in their careers that they can't afford not to take the next step?

My concern is for athletes being criminalized for making decisions similar to decisions that all kinds of people make in their every day lives. Our culture has a drug for damned near everything. Why should athletes be banned for taking them? If a competitor in a beuty pageant used steroid creams for a skin condition would she risk being banned from future competition?

It troubles me that sports are increasingly disconnected from the realities of the world. The standards for athletes' and coaches' behavior look to me to be both whimsical and arbitrary. Tennis players demand silence for fear of losing a point, but boxers perform with much more at risk while fans yell and scream. Where in the world could you get a job if you acted like a college basketball coach? It sounds funny, but a college coach was given a technical foul for having a heart attack because the ref assumed he was just being a jerk.

The pressure on athletes is enormous, but ultimately they are almost adults and making their own decisions. I worry much more about many children than a few elite athletes. All kinds of kids take Acutane, for their complexions, Ritalin to slow them down and Prednazone for minor ailments. I used to get steroid shots for poison ivy! I see a connection between these accepted behaviors and kids self-medicating themselves with illegal drugs when they're unhappy. All the furor about athletes and drugs obscures a much bigger issue.
Yes, I understood that part of what you said from your previous post. I think you've made an interesting argument and I mentioned that. I agree that drugs play too large a role in many areas, but that doesn't mean we should loosen the restrictions on them in sport. Justified or not, people look to athletes as role models. That alone is a good reason that we should expect them to obey the rules.

Different sports have different rules and protocols, so I don't know where you're going with the tennis v.s. boxing v.s. basketball thing. I've never heard of a boxer who requested silence. The story about the coach having the heart-attack is amazing. Do you have a source?
Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
Dave Shields said:
Very interesting points, but I think there's a big difference between the situations you're describing and an athlete who feels forced to turn to performance enhancing drugs because of outside pressures, whether that be his team, sponsors, or the knowledge that his competitors are beating him through use of these same drugs. How do you feel about athletes being compelled to use drugs just because they are talented and have already invested so much in their careers that they can't afford not to take the next step?
Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com
In a few years we will all be facing the exact situation at work. Science is getting close to perfecting "smart" drugs that work in something smarter than rats and once people start getting passed over for promotion, fired, or just pressured by supervisors, coworkers, and spouses because they aren't "committed enough" I would put big money on most of the anti-doping zealots taking the same path they currently so vigorously denounce.

It's debatable whether superior athletic performances are in any way needed, but arguing against cheating that produces more intelligent people, particularly in light of current events, is a tough case to make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
last reply

I don't think I advocated for looser rules for athletes as much as tighter rules for the rest of the world.


Tennis, boxing & b'ball - Just examples of the rules and ethics of sports being arbitrary, neither consistant from sport to sport nor necessarily logical. We already see widely differing anti-drug rules from sport to sport, further muddying an already difficult issue.


The coach's name is Tom Penders. The story got a lot of play in CT because he played at UConn.

We've already proven my point by writing so much about doping athletes. The subject deserves far less attention than we've given it and other drug related questions deserve much more. I'm going to stop now. Thanks for listening to my rants.

dz

Dave Shields
http://www.DaveShields.com[/QUOTE]
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top