Monday, January 24, 2011

Cycling and Doping

Jonathan Vaughters fired the highly successful Directeur Sportif Matt White yesterday from the Garmin Cervelo professional cycling team, for sending a rider to a doctor for a check up, without clearing it with team headquarters first.

For those who don't follow cycling this is the equivalent of Barack Obama firing Hilary Clinton, for sending an aid to a restaurant she's heard about in a country on which we have a trade embargo, without first clearing it with the White House. Well, sort of. I mean, it's both that big and that shocking. It also sends out a message: We mean it when we say "We won't tolerate this."

The reason Garmin has the rule is because they have a strict anti-doping policy, and they monitor every little opportunity in which doping might rear its ugly head. There was apparently no doping in this episode--just the opportunity for it to occur because the rider saw a doctor who had been linked to it in the past.

All the rider saw the doctor for was a VO2 test. It was Matt White who sent him there without asking first, so it was Matt White who took the fall.

I feel bad for Matt White and the Garmin "lads" (as he calls them), but this is a good thing. It tells me (and hopefully the rest of the world), that Garmin's anti-doping stance is no smoke.

I have also decided that in the interest of full disclosure, I should list the performance enhancing drugs that are getting me through the Bike Challenge. I feel I owe it to the many people who have placed their faith in me. I freely admit that without these drugs, I probably would not be able to complete all 2011 miles this year. If that makes me a doper, so be it; at least I've been honest with you.

Without further ado, here they are:

Drugs I take every day:
Nexium (for chronic acid reflux)
Crestor (for high cholesterol)

Drugs I take every once in a while:
Advil (for sore, achy muscles and the occasional headache--in fact, I'm thinking of taking one this morning)
Zomig (for the migraines I get about four times a year)

Drugs I have taken in the past year and may have to take again this year if the need arises:
Flonase (for a chronically stuffy nose; had to stop because it gave me a headache--see above)
Tylenol for Sinus Headache and Pain (see above, stuffy nose)
Cyclobenzaprine (OK, this was just twice, at night, for a muscle spasm caused by a pinched nerve in my neck)
Nyquil (I had a head cold last spring)
Dayquil (see above, head cold)

Drugs for which I have a prescription but have never used (well, maybe I used it once several years ago; can't remember):
An asthma inhaler (for seasonal, exercise-induced asthma; can't even remember the brand name)

I also eat walnuts, blueberries, and drink a glass of red wine with dinner on a nearly daily basis.

Oh, and of course, there are the apple fritters:

Well, I think that about covers it. I feel much better having gotten that off my chest.

Keep those pledges coming. We're up to nearly $4300 for the South Plains Food Bank farm. You all rock.


  1. Wow, no caffeine? I take a rather large cup of tea on days when I'm running more than 5 miles. :)

  2. Elizabeth--I felt it was important to come clean, especially about the apple fritters. ;^)

  3. Susan,
    I am disappointed to read you are a regular walnut user. You know that is just a gateway nutmeat. And you claim to be a role model? Is it too late to rescind my pledge? And, blueberries? Is there nothing you won't do? Oh I am sure you will say the end justifies the means.

  4. David--I am sorry you are disappointed in me for eating walnuts and the blueberries. I will only say in my defense the same thing that the peloton used to say before cycling started cleaning up its act: Everyone does it, therefore, I must eat nuts and blueberries, too, to stay competitive.

    Please don't hold my weakness for anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids against the food bank. It isn't their fault. ;^)

  5. Ya might not need that nexium if ya eased back on the fritters. I've battled refluz for years, and it was terrible in 2000 when they didn't really know how to diagnose it. My mom takes zomig for her nearly monthly migraines. Aren't you glad I shared with you? I need some wine. Now.


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