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There are as many ways of cheating as you like. As far back as William
Webb-Ellis (if it ever happened) – picking up the ball and running with it wasn’t
in the rules. There is the tale of Choppy Warburton, a track cycling manager
around the turn of the 20th century, who had three young cyclists die early
after they were reportedly given cocaine, caffeine, strychnine and even
nitroglycerine to enhance their performance.

But don’t we all do sport in order to be fit and healthy, to achieve pride in
ourselves through application, preparation and discipline? Of course we do.
Do we get a little obsessive, do a few extra miles in order to get that edge
on our rivals, buy the lightest components? Probably.

How about some early morning training so that our rivals can’t work out how
we got that fit; or a rigorous coaching programme, hire a personal trainer
and hide excessive spending on new bikes from our partners? Well we probably
all know someone who does.

There are many things we do to gain approval, starting with the washing up,
holding doors open for others and so on. Being congratulated for an
achievement is a really good feeling. I never won a great many bike races –
though I did win some, and the satisfaction was enormous (especially after
years of trying).

So where does the cheating start? What is the motivation for athletes to
do it? It isn’t unknown among amateurs, certainly. Sport England don’t only
test riders who are on the national squad, and a few Vet amateur cyclists
have been caught doping both in and out of competition. But surely the
elation from winning comes from doing it fair and square, and if cheating were
involved, then that would take something away from the victory? After all, if
a person has cheated, THEY know they cheated, so they couldn’t gain
satisfaction from it.

But in professional sport there are a whole new set of motivations. People

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