from todays USAC RaceClean email
Last month, you cited anonymous survey data as one of the reasons you believe doping is a problem in amateur cycling - could you provide more information?
First off, survey data is just one portion of the evidence that led us to believe doping is a problem in amateur cycling. For instance, we observe that the rate of positives among amateurs tested is alarmingly high. Secondly, we know from observing other sports, and even human endeavors outside of sport, that when breaking the rules is simultaneously beneficial and not monitored, bad behavior results. But we’d also like to note that we are addressing doping in amateur cycling because our members tell us they are observing issues and want to see action. We know a significant portion of our membership care deeply about this issue.
Now, as for that survey data - a lot exists across all sports, but something we received last year was particularly relevant and eye-opening. If you were opted in to our emails during the fall of 2014, you may recall being asked to complete an anonymous survey by a group of international anti-doping researchers led by Dr. Paul Dimeo from Stirling University in the UK and Dr. Werner Pitsch from the University of Saarlandes in Germany. We did not receive specific information about any of the survey participants, but we did receive an overall analysis of the survey which used a questioning strategy to allow respondents to answer honestly without fear of retribution. The analysis indicated that as much as 10% of survey respondents in categories 1-3 admitted to using prohibited substances at some point during their competitive cycling career. Another finding in the research was that there was little difference in the prevalence of lifetime doping between categories 1, 2, and 3, validating the belief that the prevalence of doping is not simply a function of competitive level or rewards. Again, such data does not alone form the basis for our concerns, but it is compelling evidence.