There’s also this doping you know

In recent weeks, there has been an increase in ‘doping’ among many athletes, ranging from different sports, just a few months back the Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was convicted of doping. But many don’t know about another type of doping that has remained hidden from the spotlight.

In this age of cycling competition, feather light carbon fibre bikes cost more than a car and the also the difference between gold medal and nothing. Every single aerodynamic of the cycle, even the rider’s position on it matters. Cycling as many used to think of it as a simple sport, no longer is. It has many scientific and technological advancements that weigh in on the factors of the competition.

For years organizers of cycling competitions have fought the ever increasing biological doping amongst the participants, the controversy of Lance Armstrong still reamins fresh iin the minds of not only avid fans of the sport but amongst the other participants too. But now, a different kind of doping has emerged and that is mechanical doping. Yes, you read that correct.

There had been many rumors that riders had found ways to hide tiny metal motors or magnets in their cycle’s wheels or frame to draw out couple of more watts of power and gain the edge over other cyclists. In this age of technology, motors as tiny as a 15gb pen drive exist and can be easily concealed. Initially, it was considered that mechanical doping was fantastical and nobody would stoop so low to win by cheating. But it has increased and the technology is out there, and not just the technology which helps you win, but the technology to hide it too.

Due to this particular problem, organizers have to inspect the cycle too and take it apart if there’s some kind of doubt on a particular cyclist. This is an inconvenience to both the organizers who try to develop an atmosphere of fairplay and the cyclists who see their well maintained and carefully calculated cycles, along with the embarrasment and their reputation being taken apart in front of the public. The International Cycling Union is worried about this particualr problem and is hard at work to develop a system to tackle it effectively.

No one really knows what compels the participants, of not just cycling, but of any other sport to take this down trodden path to a victory which they’ll never be able to cherish in the coming years. But that is not the problem, and the problem is to cut off any kind of path to cheating and doping and that my readers, is the real problem as well as the solution.

Priyamvad Rai

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