Sunday, December 13, 2009

Doping Consequences: A case study with Joe Papp

It is said that a cat burglar designs the best security system and for this reason Bike Pure sought the reformed doper Joe Papp to help us define solutions for the problem our wonderful sport has with drugs. by Myles McCorrym

On May 7, 2006, at the UCI Tour of Turkey, Papp was found positive for metabolites of testosterone at the post stage test for which he won – his fourth of the event. While he awaited definitive proof from his B sample, Papp's continued racing into July. Competing in Tuscany's 100-mile Granfondo Michele Bartoli, where he crashed with less than a half-mile to go. Papp initially thought he'd only endured a few scrapes. But by the time he lay down in his hotel room, his left buttock had swelled grotesquely. Papp cajoled his team soigneur into driving him to the closest hospital, in nearby Pescia. For he knew the injury was not innocuous. Surgeons operated on Papp several days later, removing a mass of EPO-damaged sludge that amounted to roughly a fourth of his blood volume.

Back in the U.S., doctors would later tell him that after the lethal cocktail of EPO and blood thinners that his team had provided , Papp was lucky to be alive. Joe Papp is now an outspoken, no holds barred opponent of the use of illegal performance enhancing methods and substances in sport. He has lived, he has witnesses, first-hand – the damage that can be done to a rider’s reputation, their marriage and their career in the wake of a conviction or admission of doping. While Papp is not unique in that he is one of dozens of professional cyclists sanctioned for doping during the past several years (over 60 in 2009 alone), his is a story worth telling, if only to deter one young athlete from taking the tempting first step down the dark path that ends for too many only in expulsion, arrest, or death - a career of cheating..." Read the Full Interview at Bike Pure.

Bike Pure aims to promote clean riders, moving the spotlight away from the dopers by working towards life bans for the cheats. Have your say by joining BikePure and wearing a wristband or headset spacer, visit their website for more information. Bike Pure is an independent, non profit organization, committed to redirecting trust to professional cycle sport. Bike Pure is an umbrella group for all concerned parties in cyclesport. A medium to let the fans, riders, teams and cycle trade join together in a united stance for an new era of clean cycling.

The piece was also covered on at least tow other sites:
1) - California, USA
2) New Zealand Road Cycling – New Zealand

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