Originally Posted by ferryman
Not evidence or intuition. But I saw what I saw in the days of USPS domination and I saw what I saw this year. And I have to tell you I was F***** depressed to the extent that I was almost giving up on this sport. I really thought that those days had gone.
I find italian catenaccio soul destroying. It's not in itself evidence of doping
I find All Black and Springbok 'power' rugby tedious.
Now I also happen to think that the Boks dope. Jury's out on England and AB.
And while I accept that doping would particularly help their 'style' - i don't think the style is inherently evidence of the doping - it's tactical, cultural and boring as hell - leaving aside my beloved ireland, I'll take welsh and french style any day.
But power rugby works, and it will be used, doping or not.
Sometime the conversations around USPS remind me of those around east german swimmers and athletes in the seventies and eighties. The East germans were doped up to their eyeballs - they actually managed to more or less turn one woman into a man completely (he's now married to another ex doping female!). The GDR was in many ways the scum of the earth. They made USPS look like boy scouts.
But they also did a pile of legit sports science - they led the world in it. Indeed much of what passes today in cycling and rowing and triathlon as cutting edge legit sports science, the GDR were doing decades ago.
USPS were doped to the eyeballs, a pack of cheating ****s lead by a functioning sociopath who all but killed a sport I love. But not EVERYTHING they did was non-legit - they also did legit stuff that was very effective - in effect, anything, legit or otherwise to get an edge.
And the 'train' tectic, boring as it is for romantics, is just legit. It just works. It worked before EPO. It worked before blood doping. EPO makes it work much better, USPS proved that - but that doesn't remove the effectiveness of a 'train' as a general tactic. PArticularly against a weakish peleton- and the 2012 Tour peleton was decidedly weak.
Think of all the dopers in LA's day. Many of them were on exactly the same kinds of drugs and techniques. Yet you couldn't possibly suggest Pantani used a train. He did all the "bouncing around, crazy attacking". Much more fun to watch. And he won far less than LA.
I loathe USPS, what it stood for. I hope Bruyneel rots in hell. and if Sky, for example are doping, I hope Brailsford joins him.
But USPS are in danger of becoming the 'Godwin's Law' of the Clinic. That everything they did is inherently evidence of doping. "they use a train tactic"=doping, so sky must dope. "They're anglo's"=doping, so sky must dope.
And that's just silly, after a while.