With Lance Armstrong’s confession being the major news item of the moment, I figured I’d throw my two cents in and give my perspective.  I had a short interaction with Lance when I worked with Nike.  Essentially we had to help Lance with his running form and training a little as he transitioned into triathlons.

It was an interesting experience, given how much I despised drug users, and looking back enlightening.  Why? Because it gave me a brief glimpse into why people might have chosen to bury their head in the sand instead of facing the facts presented before them.  This continual burying of heads is what kills fair sport.  It’s not just the athletes, but also the media, journalist, fans, coaches, and perhaps most importantly agents and sponsors.  I’m not sure if there is an answer to the problem of doping.

But I would start with a radical departure that might include taking aim at those who control things and have power.
-Doctors- any doctor supplying an athlete be banned from working with athletes in that sport (if an athlete is caught working with him, he gets banned).  Work with US govt. to maybe make it a hit on their medical license.
-Sponsors- Right now it doesn’t matter if athletes dope to sponsors. If they run well and don’t get caught, great.  If they get caught, then they just distance themselves and don’t take a hit.  Create penalties that if the sponsor knows, they get fined X dollars.  If a coach the sponsor pays has athletes busted, make it where there has to be an immediate termination of that coaches contract.
-Coaches- Have a rule against coaching drug users. If someone you coach tests positive, have a consequence.  If you get to 2 or 3 athletes who have tested positive, ban from coaching.
-Agents- Similar to coaches.  Have them take a hit if there athletes test positive.

Basically, create consequences for those beyond the athletes.  Just some quick thoughts.

You can read the full article on competitor.com below:


Get My New Guide on: The Science of Creating Workouts


    1. Anonymous on January 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Over on Letsrun, some posters are interpreting your piece on Competitor as indirectly accusing Alberto Salazar's athletes and the Oregon Project of using performance enhancing drugs. Any response?

    2. Coach Mark on February 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Sponsors and doctors being accountable? That would do it!

    3. Art on February 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      I agree with you whole heartedly.
      I work in Corrections and about 80% of our offenders abuse drugs.

    Leave a Reply