I posted this in a forum today and figured it could make a good blog entry too.
In the business world, every transaction is watched over with computers. It is easy to cook the books within one company’s computers, but the companies on the other ends of those transactions will be watching over your math with their own systems. Obviously sometimes there are situations that a company has the chance to get away with the tactics that Enron used, but even that can readily be watched over with outside sources that have enough vested interests to watch over millions/billions floating around. On the other hand, cyclists would have to be tested every day of the year for the entire duration of their careers and even then, it wouldn’t be as effective as a computer watching over every little mathematical corruption. The cost of manually watching over all of the top cyclists would be extremely tough and invasive to their lives, but likely effective enough to stop them from cheating. The cost of watching over billions of $ at big companies, unquestionably worth doing and it’s done, for the most part, extremely effectively with computers. The question of to punish or not to punish the cyclists who get caught, well my opinion is that punishment is a must as long as the system is effective. Otherwise, you have the majority of top cyclists making big $’s and getting a lot of glory for cheating while the unfortunate few who get caught get nailed really hard. That system (our current setup) is really messed up and I can completely understand why people would say that if we don’t have the means, we are forced to give in to the wide spread corruption that is not fixable through smacking up the few who get caught. Scare tactics just can't overcome the desire for glory and $. The only fix is to test every pro cyclist every day all year long. When that is in place, I’m all for tough punishment (lifetime bans). As for the Ken Lay’s of the world, I say nail em’ extremely hard! I have a harsh perspective on people like that and would have no problem with capital punishment (death penalty) in that case.
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