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mikel ortega's personal webpage, weblog or whatever it is...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Professional cycling, no future

I'm a big cycling fan, but as an activity, I'm not so interested in following professional races. Or at least, not anymore. Years ago I used to follow many races, I knew about teams, riders, and so on... but I got bored. It just stopped interesting me. Later on, with all the doping scandals, the dull world of cycling became even frustrating to me. I guess it's difficult to accept that all your favorite cyclists are involved in doping.

Today I read about Floys Landis's case in the news, and once again, I got the same idea: Professional cycling, as any other professional sport involving endurance exercise, won't make sense in the future.

A couple of years ago I read an interesting article in Scientific American about Gene Doping (pdf). It's not the only article, there are many more on this isue. The main idea behind this is that the genetic data of muscles could be changed to create, let's say, super-muscles or improved abilities like creation of blood cells. This could be managed by introducing a virus with a mutation code in the athletes body, this virus would change the the genetic sequences in body's cells. It seems that they've already made successful trials on mice and the big thing is that it would be virtually impossible to detect.

That was two years ago when I read the article, but it seems that some cyclist are already using this kind of doping. In one of it's forms, it's called Repoxygen, and some coaches are being investigated from having used it. It's a treatment that has not been extensively tested in humans, so the use can be extremely dangerous and still impossible to detect.

Anyway, if it's not Gene Doping I guess it'll be something else in the future.. I think there's nothing to do to stop this investigations from getting astonishing new results. So, well, I'll keep enjoying my cycling rides.. but I guess professional cycling faces a difficult future.

En castellano, os dejo el link a una entrada muy interesante de un blog que acabo de conocer al googlear las palabras de esta entrada. Desde luego que el deporte profesional tiene un futuro bastante incierto.

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