Overend calls for cycling's dopers to be treated as criminals

Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Ned Overend called for stricter treatment of cyclists who are busted for doping, saying that they should be treated as criminals.

"My opinion is, it needs to be a crime to cheat in sports, to take drugs in sports. Unless they make it a crime, they're going to have a hard time controlling (doping)," Overend told the Durango Herald on Tuesday, two days before the broadcast of the Oprah Winfrey show which will feature Lance Armstrong's doping confession.

Overend drew an analogy between doping cyclists and criminals who steal. "You'd want that person to be charged with a crime," Overend said. "And it's not just Lance. I'd put all the guys who cheat together with Lance. To me, all the guys who cheated are thieves, and they made millions."

The six-time NORBA national mountain bike champion and 1990 mountain bike world champion isn't interested in hearing the excuse that everyone was doping at the time. Instead he points out that some of the dopers effectively stole several hundred thousands of dollars from racers who didn't cheat by doping.

"That's a crime and needs to be made a crime, so these guys would be going to jail," said Overend.

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