By: Kate Pabich
Cycling and doping aren't just a problem for Lance Armstrong. Quad City bike race directors say it happens in our area all the time. Putting the brakes on drug use in the biking world is tougher than it looks.
The Quad Cities are home to numerous bike races throughout the year, and directors say checking every winner for performance enhancer's is just too costly.
Bike after bike, year after year, race directors face the same problem
And Lance Armstrong isn't the only guilty one. Donnie Miller puts on the Criterium in Rock Island every May and says in 2010 and 2011 winners, who took home over a grand each, later tested positive for drugs.
He says the US Anti Doping Agency doesn't make it easy to weed out the cheaters.
"USADA will come in and do 10 tests for $6,000, at $6,000 that's not economical for me I would need three sponsors just to cover drug testing."
Miller says drug testing not only hits the bank account hard but losing the entry fees from what he calls "dirty cyclists" could almost put them under.
But he thinks it's worth it.
"If I have to put the event on for a couple years for a lesser field to get clean I'll do that."
And avid bikers agree that the sport may have to back pedal to get on the right track again.
Miller also says that the majority of the drug abuse is occurring in the smaller races like the ones here in Rock Island because riders know the money might not be there for testing.