Avoiding the slippery slope
How does doping start? It's cultural
Everyone wants to go faster, either in sprints, or boost their thresholds for those long, tedious bits before a sprint finish in an endurance race. One way to do this is to cheat, doping works. It's a fact. It works.
Culturally, how do we try and prevent it? For starters, we don't do what the Peaks coaching group have just done, they're now loudly flogging some magic concentrated beet juice as a miracle performance enhancer, but it's ok because it's natural or something. It's a supplement and it's not banned (yet, who knows if, like caffeine, it'll be a threshold thing, too much NO and you're busted), that's true, but it's the wrong thing to be doing (hey, I guess they want to make a buck, and they are the exclusive US distributor of one particular blend, all's fair, right?). No. Wrong. Wrong message.
"The nitrates in Beet It beet concentrate offer the athlete a competitive advantage, some studies showing up to 16% improvement in endurance! I noticed the difference with Beet It shots after my first use! It's a subtle ability to push harder for longer. Who doesn't want this!?!"
This is right when the fuss about Lance and doping is front page news. Seriously?!