Monday, February 3, 2014

Does Cheating Occur At Races?

They say cheaters never prosper. That is an assuring thought, if it does happen. Unfortunately, many cheaters go undetected and unsuspected, escaping the radar of doping authorities. 

This article reveals shocking data: One in 7 Ironman participants, apparently, cheat in long-distance races such as Ironman triathlons.

This is certainly not assuring news, yet it may just be the tip of the proverbial ice-berg. Unlike professional cyclists, where cheating is rampant (read Tyler Hamilton's 'The Secret Race') - bread and water (aqua-pita) won't cut it - and anti-doping proponents only reveal their ugly, conscionable sides, the amateur arena is already loaded with suspicion. Why? Perhaps, a significant number of gifted age-groupers are annoyed at missing their podium placings, and their potential slots in the world championships. 

In the past decade, only a handful of professionals have been caught for doping. If a current champion is caught for deliberate cheating, it may diminish the stature of the sport but not its allure. Competitive bodybuilding is rift with doping, i.e. through the use of anabolic steroids, dehydrating and fat-reducing pharmaceutical aids. In spite of the open-use of such hormone-based, muscle-enhancing medication, bodybuilding has a large niche following and a prevailing mindset that bypasses logic and reasoning, and blind-sighted by aesthetic beauty. Grotesque muscles are considered sexy on the bodies of both genders.

Why cheat? The reasons are aplenty. Because it can be an advantage, unfair or not. Because more and more serious athletes are resorting to such (mal)practices. Because, it enhances the body's potential to do more and exceed its perceived limits. Because, some need to go to Kona and feel complete with that experience and hyperbole. Because the financial rewards diminish significantly when you place off the podium. Because...and the list of qualifications and reasoning continues, ad infinitum. It is, what it is.

The cheating will continue, and we need to adapt to the situations and conditions. We have choices, but cheating need not be the only one. Several roads lead to Kona, and you need to live with your own conscience and integrity. Perhaps, it is time to not get angry but to get even. Do your best, and live with your best. You can still earn a chance to Kona through sheer luck of the draw(s), charity slots, entry by exception, or through the tradition of placing. After all, isn't the journey as relevant as the destination?

No comments: