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Drugs & Health Blog

Doping Disaster: On the Wheels of a Scandal

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

Cycling legend Lance Armstrong, winner of the Tour de France 7 times, and his teammates from the U.S. cycling team have been under investigation for illegal “doping.” They are accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs like amphetamines, anabolic steroids, or EPO (erythropoietin), a substance that boosts endurance by increasing the body’s oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

Using any of these substances can give people an unfair advantage and is considered cheating. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking into these allegations.

Although the investigation itself is closed to the public, Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis, who won the Tour de France in 2006 and has admitted to drug use, recently wrote a tell-all book in which he describes drug use in the sport.

A Tarnished Legend

As the most successful member of the U.S. team, Lance Armstrong was a champion. His wins—and dramatic comeback after being diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer—made him a hero to people around the world. The damage that the doping allegations have done to Armstrong’s reputation and to the sport is major. Society has rules in place to ensure fairness. And so do most professional sports.

Parents teach their children to play by the rules, and we expect adults to live up to these standards, too. But the pressure to win—or to get good grades, or to complete a big assignment—can tempt any of us to bend or break the rules.

When the stakes are high, and the competition is intense, shortcuts to gain a competitive edge are tempting. But is it worth it in the end?—especially in the case of illegal substance use, which can do long-term damage not just to reputations, but to people’s brains and bodies.

What do you think: What does it mean to you to hear that someone you look up to might have been riding to victory not on talent, hard work, and focus alone, but by cheating? What does “playing fair” mean to you?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.



(wah-cer-stene) well, in my opinion, not all drugs are bad for you. for example if in correct caffeine i thing is a legal drug. i dont know anything else. oh and one more thing, i like pie


Under investigation - nothing proven yet. This article leaves the impression that Lance is guilty.
Not Proven Yet!

God you guys,
Lance is a good biker.
He can't just use steroids.

When he was treated for cancer, they had to take a blood sample.
Wouldn't it have shown up there?
Or even in a urinary sample?

Dumb reporters asking stupid questions that everyone knows the answers to.


Lance is not proven guilty but in this sport almost everyone is taking some "rubish" in order to achieve better performance.
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I think that drugs are bad for you. Just because Lance didnt get proven guilty he is the one that has to live with himself. Its his conscience. I know if i were him i wouldnt be able to live with all the guilt. I think that it is a really big deal when athletes get accused for using drugs because alot of little kids look up to them. Theyre a role model to the world. Not only using drugs as a person in the spotlight you also ruin your reputation and can damage your body. You dont need drugs to make you a better athlete because by using them it can make you a worse athlete. Drugs arent good for you especially when you dont know all the facts. Apparently if your using drugs and say you know all the facts you dont because you wouldnt be using them in the first place.

If everyone is doing it, which is extremely likely, then at what point do you give up everything and lose just because you refuse to take it too. I am against using drugs to boost performance, but in this situation, in order to win you have to. You can be the best biker out there, but you will almost never be able to compete with guys that are taking this added hormone.

Comes down to the point that this stuff works--well and there are hundreds of articles out there to prove it. And because of this people are going to use it because they want to win and in today's race culture, it's almost a must.

I don’t want to trivialize your concerns by simply saying don’t give in. It is understandable that you feel that you are playing on an uneven field if you believe that “everyone is doing it.” But know that not everyone is doing it, and those that are will experience the consequences of using – whether the physical toll that steroids take on your body or the dishonor of being caught “cheating” when tested.

Its not good to do drugs because when they mess up your brain it may be hard to recover

YOLO i think u shudnt do drugs casue there very bad. thanks!

i think you shudnt do drugs. they can permently hurt you. People think that you do it once and it doesnt hurt you or affect you. Some peopole say YOLO and they do it but really, they dont know wat ther gettin into. THNKS!

I think that any athletes that take steroids are idiots. For example, Lance Armstrong took steriods, eventhough he was so good at what he did, I don't understand why. Why would he want to do that and ruin his career. I think people like this just ruin the sport. i think that they should get suspened, or just kick them out of the league. There should also be a big fine, seeing as how they usually make so much money.

steroids are bad and stupid go work out plus you can have increased cholesterol liver damage mood swings breast development and acne there dumb. and who wants little testicles? not me. PEYTON TAKE GODIVA OUT!!!

Drugs are the worst thing to do to yourself. Everyone should think twice before trying a drug. It could determine the rest of your life!! So many people have died form overdosing on a drug or just for trying a drug for the first time can kill you. Just don't give in to peer pressure, stay strong. It's not cool to do drugs just cause your friends do tht. Be your own person. Please don't do drugs just saying no to that one person tht offers you a drug can save your whole future and life. Just get high on life, not on a drug.