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Professor: “The media has turned doping into entertainment”

October 30th, 2007 by Morten Romby · 1 Comment

The intensive media coverage on participants in Tour de France, who have been caught using doping, is causing more harm than good, professor Verner Møller claims.

Since the cycling team Festina in 1998 introduced the world to another and darker side of cycling, there has been an enormous focus on doping and an increasing demand for improved methods for testing the cyclists.

Doping has since the Festina scandal been a solid ingredient in the media coverage on the annually returning Tour de France. Every year since 1998 even more pro cyclists have been tested positive and dismissed in disgrace.

During the Play the Game conference, Professor Verner Møller at Aarhus University said that the media coverage plays a great part of the doping problems.

“When the media intensively focus on the testing system, it forces the cyclist organization to implement inconsiderate testing methods, which cause more harm than good” Verner Møller says.

According to Verner Møller it has resulted in pro cyclist trying out new and not approved medicaments with seriously health risk as the consequence.

Media focusing on the man, not the system
This summer Danish Rabobank cyclist Michael Rasmussen was driven from the throne and the yellow jersey, by supposition of doping. The media kept asking where he was on specific dates, where he should have been available for doping test. He could or would not answer, and Rabobank subsequently dismissed him from the team.

“This extreme focus on exposing cyclists red-handed is just like cutting the top of weed. It has no real effect. The focus should be on exposing the system and the kingpins behind the doping-network,” Verner Møller says.

“In the end it is just about selling newspapers, and that shows that the moral of journalists is not a bit better than doped pro cyclists.”

Tags: Theme: Anti-doping

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