“I am not a victim. It was my decision to dope. I can assure you, I have never told by a boss to dope, but I have also never experienced a rider being asked why he suddenly became so fast,”

BikeMonkey Guest Post
The latest pro-cycling cheater is one Thomas Frei, recently of the BMC team. He was caught using EPO, unceremoniously dropped from his team and spoke to the press. His comments are refreshingly honest.

“Of course I would have gone on doping. The money tempts you, it is the same for everyone,” said Frei in an interview with Swiss website NZZ.ch.

Ahh, the fight for glory, right?

As for himself, he said that he started his pro career clean. “Then came the hard stage races, and I learned that infusions were used for recovery. Everything was legal, but I still didn’t want any of it. But at some point it started [for me], because everybody does it. The doctor gives you the first shot, and then it isn’t long until you give yourself the first illegal shot.”

There’s the rub. It ain’t physiologically possible to do that job, even just the job of domestique, on pasta. They all know that. We all know that. The circumstances are ripe for doping just to survive. Just to have a paycheck. Just to have a team slot for the next season.
There couldn’t possibly be a lesson for science careers in here anywhere.

The authorship position on a scientific manuscript is occasionally a matter of acrimonious debate within laboratories. My readership is diverse and whenever we discuss the issue it is made clear that there are a lot of variant field-specific practices. All well and good. My continued point is that the authorship position is at root a communication. No one tradition is “right” or “wrong” or, as some actually contend, “ethical/unethical” as a matter of ultimate truth. What is important is that the expected audience knows how to read the author line and conclude the desired thing* about relative contributions to the work.
I was kicked over the edge on this by reading a comment on a blog I hadn’t seen before called Infactorium. The author AnyEdge observes in this post:

I’m fourth author on this, although realistically I should be second, but the two authors at 2nd and 3rd did some good work, and deserve recognition and will be thrilled and this will likely be the only publication of their careers because they don’t have a job that expects (or really even rewards) publication. So I feel magnanimous about that, because it’ll be a paper for me and that’s good.

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