Originally Posted by Dr. Maserati
Who said it was separate from real life (what does that even mean?).
It is a Internet forum - not a Court of Law. No one passes sanctions or judgements.
Poppycock. the Clinic is all about passing judgements.
Constitute = establish.
What do you use to establish if someone has doped. What is your threshold?
Firstly, there is a difference between someone doping, and establishing that someone is doping. The latter should always be smaller than the former; otherwise innocent people are smeared.
As to what I consider conclusive proof? I set that out already - Blood and urine test positives; robust and verifiable eye witness evidence; other reliable scientific evidence backed up by trustworthy science in a robust and verifiable way.
What is not conclusive proof - rumour, innuendo, clinic 'join-the-dots', animus, unpleasant rider personality, team origin, success.
Now, there will be occasions where I have suspicions, or concerns. inappropriate and self-serving rider comments; bizarre behaviour; certain outlandish individual feats.
But it is vitally, and I repeat VITALLY, important to remember, that is all they are - they are not in any way 'proof'. And to my mind far too many clinicians, rather than actually support investigation, are content to say - "I don't like that rider/believe that performance - that's all the proof i need! And my opinion is the be all and end all"
Frankly, a someone who fervantly wants doping eradicated, i find that tiresome. It seems an awful lot more to do with the ego of the clinician than actually cleaning up the sport.
A lot of Clinicians are under the impression that riders and teams are always ten steps ahead of the anti-dopers, and always will be. That is an opinion, and can be genuinely held - but it's not verifiable.
I take some minor comfort in the fact that Armstrong got caught; as did Vinikorov, Zulle, Riis, Valverde, Ulrich, Pantani, Franck Schleck, Millar, Hamilton, Landis, Contador and by extension the rest of the US Postal. It took years to catch Armstrong. It took days to catch Landis. But both were caught. That's progress, I suppose.
Now, if you want 'idle' speculation, I can do that for you.
I'm not all that worried by Wiggins, much, no doubt, to fellow clinicians disgust. His tour win this year was not a dominating tour de force - it was a Big Deisel behind a superstar team on a very very friendly parcours with a weak field. Armstrong, Ulrich, Contador, Andy Schleck on form would all have destroyed him.
Nor do i think Sky has a team doping structure. I just see no evidence of it.
Froome, however, in my opinion, requires very close scrutiny. As does Jon T-Locke. And I am very glad Yates is gone. For the record, I think the zero tolerence policy is sponsor driven, and bonkers - i feel Brailsford's own instincts are much closer to Garmin.
I have no real reason to doubt Vaaghter's sincerity. He's a former doper, and clearly full of himself, but again 'unlikeable' rider personality trait -> fraud.
Dave Millar is an interesting personality - again, much to Clinician's disgust, no doubt, I think, on the balance of probabilities that he is now genuine. He strikes me (pop psychology alert) as someone whose self-identity was completely broken when he was caught - and his new self-identity, the redeemed anti-doping crusader, is very dear to him for that reason - he seriously overplays it, and says stupid things regularly - it doesn't mean, however, that's its fraudulent.
I wouldn't however let him near power in the UCI - he doesn't strike me as suited to that role.
The dirtiest race currently, in my personal and uneducated view, is the Vuelta. I simply don't think the spanish authorities are serious about doping control, and culturally, there is simply far, far too much forgiveness of it.
The 2012 Vuelta troubled me intensely. Of the top three, Valverde is the rider I have most difficulty with. Entirely personal.
The French and italians were once as bad, but events appear to have changed their broad feelings somewhat - not totally, but somewhat. I await the italian case coming up with interest, however.
Some parts of the world have worse 'cultural' problems re: doping than others; that's not racism, it's just the facts. Doesn't mean that riders from that country are clean, or dope.
But if we leave cycling for a second, and look at athletics, for example - only the wilfully blind would not accept that parts of eastern europe, particularly some of the former soviet states, have an endemic doping culture in certain events. The trail of middle distance russian women, running unbelievable times in Russia, and the wilting overseas; the systemic problems of doping in Belarus; the long history of East German women doping (koch, anyone?); the long and tainted history of american sprinting.
In cycling, there appear to be some parts of the globe where the disgust with doping simply doesn't run as strong. That's just reality. How we tackle that is an an interesting question.
Enough idle speculation for ya?