A New Low in Cheating

It hasn’t been the greatest year for running with the NOP scandal and Russian doping bust but I guess we can take some solace in the fact that we have at least avoided putting motors in our legs (to date). For those who missed the headline, a professional cyclist at the World Championships for cyclocross was busted for having a hidden motor in one of her bikes. A motor.

What is going on in professional endurance sports that we have given up on chasing the next level the natural way? Is winning worth a lifetime of knowing you cheated and the risk of getting caught? What is the punishment for someone (arguably barely an adult) who participated in this?

2 thoughts on “A New Low in Cheating

  1. Ryan

    I tend to find what I guess you could call mechanical cheating kind of humorous and less sinister than the use of PEDs. Things like attaching an electric motor to a bike, corking a bat, doctoring a baseball all seem to go wrong in very public forums, the offender gets suspended, and everyone gets a good laugh in at their expense. PED use seems more like “real” cheating because of the criminal, systemic nature of the cheating. Where do you place leaving the US to obtain medical procedures not available here (thinking about NBA players going to Germany for orthokine treatments) on the scale of cheating?

    1. Runner Under Pressure Post author

      I see your distinction with “mechanical” cheating. There’s almost some sympathy for the person who thinks they might get away with that. As for people traveling to get procedures not done in the United States, it’s sort of a tricky line. My initial reaction is that you have to follow the rules of your country of residence but that raises questions in a sport like running where international competition is common. I think that’s why we have WADA and U.S. Anti-Doping, although clearly neither body is particularly effective at least right now.


Join the Conversation!