Lance Armstrong cheated, but how and why? We all have our ideas about the why, but the how might still have people confused. Lance was blood doping; it is a messy analogy for steroids in other sports. Lance would take EPO to give him more red blood cells so he had better endurance. In the inception of blood doping the athlete would have blood draw several months before the competition and have it frozen. Then a lab would spin out the red blood cells in a centrifuge so they could be reinserted into the athlete before competition to get the same effect as EPO. EPO is erythropoietin, a drug that stimulates the growth of red blood cells. This does not mean Lance’s wins came easy.
What people do not think of when an athlete is accused or convicted of a performance enhancing substance is that they still must perform the work. Typically these athletes end up work much harder than their competitors. This holds true with athletes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons whom still had to lift weights and perfect their form. These substances allow the athlete to maintain vigorous training longer than “clean” athletes and may even be able to achieve levels above normal. I am by no means defending them, but the extra effort is dismissed for the idea of a magic pill that makes normal people amazing athletes. The rules state that you can not use certain substances, and if you do, it is not longer an even playing field. The idea of sports is to see who the best is without drugs.