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Doping and the Future of Cycling
By Staff
Date: 2/18/2013
Doping and the Future of Cycling


I would like to suggest one possible simple step in the right direction for the fight on doping.

Every day I read a new story on an old problem. Doping was, and may still be rampant, in pro cycling. Everyone gets that.

Itís not Lanceís fault. Itís not the UCIís fault. Itís not USADAís fault, or any other one person or one cycling groupís fault. Itís basic human behavior. At some level, everybody lies. Managing that temptation is one of lifeís greatest challenges. Teaching those who are younger and less experienced than you to do the right thing is one of lifeís greatest responsibilities.

Please consider viewing our latest documentary episode of RACE DAY - The Series.†(See synopsis below.)

I hope itís entertaining and I think you will enjoy it. More importantly, I think it will help us spread the word about one possible answer to the doping problem: Teach the next generation of cyclists the right set of values, morals and decision making skills so they can make the right choices on their own. Every major American cycling star who has been caught has the money, connections, and ability to do this. Even helping one or two of the young riders in their home town will make a difference.

I had my first personal experience with doping in the biggest NRC criterium of the time in America in 1989. I was in the winning breakaway with five other guys who were all proven world-class riders. It was my first year as a pro and the average speed of the race was right around 31mph. In the closing laps, I watched one of the guys in the break simply ride away at 32-34mph and win solo. The rest of us in the break did not stop chasing and we did not catch him. After the race, I asked one of my breakaway companions (who had won huge races in Europe and the USA), ďHow is that possible?Ē He simply replied, ďOh, heís on the program.Ē After a bit more questioning, I understood. My immediate and overwhelming response was, ďF#&* - That Ė Guy! Iím going to train harder, race smarter, build a better team and beat him anyway.Ē

I stood on the podium of more than 300 Pro 1-2 races in my career and in well over 100 of those I was on the top step. How many of the other 200 or so races was there a doper on the top step above me? I donít know. I donít care. I raced clean. I knew I did, and I knew those who didnít knew they didnít. Thatís all that mattered to me.

The moral of the story? All the way back to the mid 80ís when bike racing became a real sport here in America, everyone who was anyone in the sport knew about doping. I was there and Iím telling you, EVERYONE knew. Each rider had to make a conscious and moral choice to do it or not do it. And the word on the street was if you wanted to have a career in Europe, let alone a winning one, you probably have to be on the program because most of the riders there were. Now, not every single rider who ever raced over there did drugs. Thatís not true. Thatís never been true. But, almost every single rider knew what they were up against. Those were the rules. If you race, you race against dopers. Do it, or donít do it. But, donít cry about it.

I hope now we can change the rules.

Finally, I know this episode promotes our program and our sponsors, but I think they deserve it. In the current cycling environment, if you want to keep companies who are still behind the sport interested, itís important to give them exposure for doing the right thing.

Thank you.

Jamie Paolinetti

Writer/Director Ė RACE DAY - The Series
The Hard Road Ė
PRO the movie Ė
Former Associate Editor Ė Bicycle Guide Magazine
Current USA Cycling - Masterís National Criterium Champion


In 2003, filmmaker Jamie Paolinettiís gritty cycling drama†The Hard Road†was released to the world. The story followed a group of young professional cyclists as they sacrificed everything to follow their dreams. The film instantly received international critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including being named ďTop 5 Documentary of the YearĒ by DVD talk.†The Hard Road†has since played in film festivals and screenings all over the world and continues to be a†cult classic†in the cycling industry.

Now, ten years later, amidst cyclingís post apocalyptic Lance Armstrong remains, Jamie, teammates from The Hard Road, former Masterís National Champions and a group of committed sponsors attempt to mentor cycling's next generation of young aspiring pros through the potential pitfalls, challenges and rewards of what is one of the most difficult and tumultuous sports in the world.

Follow these committed young athletes and help support them in their perilous journey for respect and redemption of the sport they love in our on-going FREE monthly documentary series,†RACE DAY.

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