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Out There: Should You Dope?

A handy reference guide for runners.

A handy reference guide for runners.

Doping seems to be everywhere these days, as Olympic heroes and age-group athletes alike have been busted for being, well, dopes. I almost started this column by saying that doping is “back in the headlines,” but then I realized it never really went away. From Lance Armstrong to Tyson Gay and Olympic race walkers to age-group runners, cyclists and triathletes, this topic is everywhere in endurance sports.

For those so bold to admit they do it (or, you know get caught and weep on Oprah), you’ll hear a lot of rationale behind why they felt doping was appropriate. For those listening and wondering, “Should I dope, too?” I’ve compiled a handy field guide to make your decision in a variety of complex situations.

Scenario 1: You’ve got a lot of money to buy the right stuff (and people).

Should you dope? No.

Scenario 2: You’ve been assured you won’t get caught.

Should you dope? Nope.

Scenario 3: You were raised to believe you are a super-special snowflake and don’t care if you get caught, because rules don’t apply to you.

Should you dope? No. And get over yourself.

Scenario 4: You don’t like broccoli, spinach, or those other pesky “good for you” foods.

Should you dope? No.

Scenario 5: Genetics gave you the shaft. (Curse you, parents, for being of hardy German stock!)

Should you dope? Nein.

Scenario 6: There’s a big race coming up and you need a little boost in your daily training.

Should you dope? For the love of Pre, make some coffee. No.

Scenario 7: You’ve got a really good cover-up story involving drugged hamburgers and eating your identical twin in utero, or —

I’m just going to stop you right there. No. You most assuredly should not dope.

Scenario 8: Training in an altitude mask and wearing a bracelet with special magnetic healing powers has not been helping you get faster.

Should you dope? No. And take that mask off. You look ridiculous.

Scenario 9: Your doctor is gullible enough to prescribe testosterone supplements because you recited a list of “Low T” symptoms you do not actually have, but instead copied off WebMD.

Should you dope? Are you kidding me? No.

Scenario 10: You’re trying to qualify for the Olympics, and your training partners have been regularly kicking your ass on the track. You know they’re doping. You’ll never beat them until you join their fortified ranks.

Should you dope? No.

Scenario 11: You’re a big shot athlete with sponsors threatening to pull your dollars if you don’t win your next big race.

Should you dope? No. You’ll make more money with a tell-all book.


About The Author:

Susan Lacke does 5Ks, Ironman Triathlons, and everything in between to justify her love for cupcakes (yes, she eats that many). In addition to writing for Competitor, she serves as Resident Triathlete for No Meat Athlete, a website dedicated to vegetarian endurance athletes. Susan lives and trains in Phoenix, Arizona with three animals: A labrador, a cattle dog, and a freakishly tall triathlete boyfriend. She claims to be of sound mind, though this has yet to be substantiated by a medical expert. Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

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