This New York Times article highlights Team Slipstream, an American pro cycling team that pledges to compete drug free, with weekly blood tests to prove their purity.
“It’s an absolute severe pain for us to do, but I’ll do anything to keep from being lumped with the guys accused of cheating,” said Danny Pate, 27, a former under-23 world champion and one of Slipstream’s top riders. “I’ll give DNA. I’ll post all of my information on the Internet. I’ll do anything to help save the sport.”
Some interesting tidbits from the article:
The team is having problems finding a title sponsor because sponsors are apparently skittish about being associated with doping in sports.
Regardging team director and formrer Postie Jonathan Vaughter: Throughout his career, he said, riders battled the ethical question of whether to use performance-enhancing drugs. In the 1990s, he said, the use of the blood-boosting drug EPO was rampant and teams felt pressured by sponsors to win at any cost. “I don’t have a halo over my head; I made some mistakes when I was a rider,” said Vaughters, who would not directly say whether he had used performance-enhancing drugs. Nudge nudge wink wink.
Team Slipstream was previously the TIAA-CREF development team. This year, they were established as a UCI Professional Continental Team. Slipstream is sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill.
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On a really windy day last autumn on the Schuylkill River Trail, I got to pull for TIAA-CREF for a few miles. I am a Clydesdale of magnitude but I can pound along pretty good on the flats, so they were happy to take shelter behind the barn I suppose. Anyway, I pulled off to wait for a friend who couldn't catch our train. The team took off, and I continued on with my friend. Later on, they were heading back east and I was still going west. The lead rider recognized me and gave me a wave. It totally made my day.