Anyone who even remotely follows professional cycling knows that doping scandals have been rampant in the sport for some time. However, in recent years doping scandals have developed a little bit lower down the competitive ladder.
The UCI's Independent Commission for Reform in Cycling stated it believed doping was increasing amount among under 23s and in various teams below World Tour status. "Doping in amateur cycling is becoming an endemic. This was confirmed by riders, professionals, managers and anti-doping professionals. "
The UCI's report also raised concerns with over 40s doping stating, “Masters races were said to have middle-aged businessmen winning on EPO, with some of them training as hard as professional riders and putting in comparable performances.”
Apparently the rise in doping among amateurs was caused by ease of access to drugs via gyms, the internet, and doctors. Other circumstances caused this increase as well, including: reduced cost, a wealth of knowledge available for administration methods, and the limited funding set aside for testing on the amateur level.
Personally, it's confusing to me that an amateur cyclists, especially one of 40 years of age or older, would be taking these performance enhancing drugs. Because many of these cyclists are so past the prime without a real chance to becoming pro, I have to think that taking these drugs is a way to boost their own ego.
I understand that it's appealing to win. When you have the money to pay for the drugs and there is little risk or consequence for doping at that age, people see it as an easy way to win.
What am I going to do with this information? Nothing. I'll continue to enjoy cycling for what it is, I'll continue to enjoy true competition free of added chemistry. I'm doing this to have fun and better my life, I'm not trying to be the next Lance.