Twitter is an interesting way to keep up with riders. You can get first hand insights in their racing, plus things outside their life.
One thing many riders tweet about is the out of competition antidoping controls. Last night HTC-Columbia’s promising Aussie sprinter Leigh Howard wrote:
9PM at night, just sitting down to eat dinner and no other then doping control shows up!!!!
I’m not going to single out Howard. Other riders complain quite a lot more.
Yes it must be annoying, enjoying a moment of calm at home and then someone knocks at the door at a strange hour and a bizarre procedure begins. There’s paperwork and above all, they must piss into a pot. The athlete can’t run into the bathroom, it has to take place in front of the controller and the athlete has to pull their trousers right down and lift the shirt right up, to ensure they aren’t using a “reservoir” of someone else’s urine. All told, it’s humiliating and can eat up 30 minutes.
But it’s essential. Any healthy sport needs anti-doping controls and so when I hear riders complain, I get frustrated. It’s part of the job and above all it’s part of the commitment to keep the sport clean.
Note riders choose the slot, they nominate a time of day when they will be at home under the ADAMS scheme that sees riders give there whereabouts details. So this doesn’t come out of the blue, the rider has consented to the time slot.
The next time a rider complains, perhaps they’d prefer a job without testing, spending their hours in an office or factory instead?