I believe that cycling has been wrongly judged. Riders are seen as cheaters and the sport of cycling is thought of as corrupted, and yet people cheer when a juiced up baseball player hits one out of the park and when an unnaturally strong football player makes a big tackle.
I love the sport of cycling; I watch every stage of the Tour de France and read CycleSport magazine the day it comes in the mail. I am more than happy to ride thousands of miles a year and dedicate hundreds of hours to this sport, but it kills me to read the headlines about another rider getting caught for doping. It is not just because I am disappointed in these athletes, it is because I know how the rest of the world will perceive this news. People read this news and think that this is typical in the sport of cycling, and as a result of this, cycling has been marked as one of the only sports with a doping problem. They say this while they watch “great american sports”, like baseball and football, that have just as much, if not more more, steroid and doping problems.
Cycling should be praised for its efforts to cleans itself of cheaters, not criticized and ridiculed. Isn’t it good that the sport is trying to get rid of doping? Shouldn’t the sports that aren’t addressing this problem be the ones singled out and condemned? It is sad that a sport would actually be given more respect if it stopped prosecuting athletes for cheating and let everyone dope. There is something wrong when people see riders like Tyler Hamilton and Michael Rasmussen as cheaters, and yet, they see players like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi as top notch athletes.
Cycling should not be left all alone to fight doping in sports. I am not suggesting that people should leave the sport of cycling alone. I suggesting that we take action in all the other sports out there. Cycling took a leap of faith to start cracking down on this wrong doing and since then, the rest of the sporting world has stood by and simply judged. Cycling has been ruined over the years due to people seeing it as a corrupted sport and not as a audacious sport trying to counter the massive problem that doping has become. I believe that cycling has been wronged and that there needs to be a change in heart towards this brave sport.