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How to Get Doping Out of Sports - NYTimes.com


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People who end up living their dreams are not those who are lucky and gifted, but those who are stubborn, resolute and willing to sacrifice

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Most honest account I've read on doping.

Becoming a world-class athlete is a very lonely road:

Achieving childhood dreams is a hard road. I found that to be only truer as the years and miles passed. First, there is the physical effort of riding 20,000 miles a year for 10 straight years to even get within spitting distance of ever riding the Tour de France. Then comes the strain on your family as they try to support, or at least understand, such a singular focus. Next, the loss of friends and social contact.

Extremely.

We will never get doping out of sports. Ever.

Two reasons:

1) It works. As he says, 2% (and it's more of an edge than that) is the difference between winning and losing.

2) People don't really care. The Tour de France has been very dirty for a very long time. We still watch. Fans did not stop buying tickets when Bonds, Sosa and McGwire were at it. We pay to see winners and give lip service to ethics. Sad but all too true.

And how many are doping now that we don't know about? Many more than you think. It's an arms race. PED will not make you a champion. You know why? Because, like Moneyball statistics, they have already been absorbed into most sports where they have effectiveness. You don't need them to win -- you need them to show up. Sad, but true.

As for the discussion of sacrifice, I applaud his frankness. It's become trendy to discuss "Deliberate Practice" and 10,000 hours... but then why do so few of us really do it? Because it's that hard. And it's not just 10,000 hours, it's 10,000 hours of a particular type of training. The kind where you relentlessly critique yourself, never being satisfied. It's the opposite of happiness and contentment. It's constantly telling yourself "that wasn't good enough" -- for 10,000 hours.

It means sacrifice of friends, family, opportunities and, often, a normal life. We love experts. But we don't like to think about how punishing it can be to get there. And how difficult it is to stay there.

I know how punishing it is to get there.

But I didn't realize how difficult it is to stay there.

Thanks for posting that, Eric. Mind officially blown.

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