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Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocrisy

The Clinic is the only place on Cyclingnews where you can discuss doping-related issues. Ask questions, discuss positives or improvements to procedures.

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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

05 May 2015 12:31

SeriousSam wrote:
Yes, PEDS are being used all the time for nothing but vanity and getting the better of your circle of accquintances. Shockingly, their use becomes even more prevalent when you can actually make money winning like in pro sports. :p


thisthisthis
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

05 May 2015 13:22

Freddythefrog wrote:Freibe is just another hack sucking up to British Cycling and but turning as the wind changes direction.

Haven't read either of his books but I like his stuff generally, his opinions on doping are a little soft (I said as much) but he does go on the record about it, he did a warts and all profile on the deceased Frank VDB here, which again is more than the standard fare on CyclingNews was 10 years ago. So I don't think he's a hack but as always YMMV. Maybe I'll get around to reading his Merckx book and change my mind.

blackcat wrote:
SeriousSam wrote:Yes, PEDS are being used all the time for nothing but vanity and getting the better of your circle of accquintances. Shockingly, their use becomes even more prevalent when you can actually make money winning like in pro sports. :p


thisthisthis

Yeah, that's why WorldTour cyclists get subjected to the most rigorous, invasive and extensive year round drug testing of all sports. And thankfully you don't see them whining about it nearly as much as they used to and as they do in other sports. So while It's far, far more lucrative to dope in the WorldTour, it's also far, far harder. So no, I'm not sure that doping is not more prevalent among your local scene elite, the sort of guys that beat former pros on Gran Fondos and take current WorldTour pros' KOMs.

The Hitch wrote:And with Valverde and Contador being the guys at the top top top, this should be a million times easier than it was when Armstrong was at the top. Because its not like Valverde or Contador can sue you for questioning them when they already served doping bans.

But no one does. That's telling.

BTW, just for the record I do wish they'd to this more. That was my main point. It really peeved me to see Aru defending himself by retweeting a guy with a giant "Pantani Vive" grafitti as his background, I thought those days were gone. Valverde in particular seems like a really easy target. But any way you cut it they'd have to tiptoe around it somewhat or get sued.

The Hitch wrote:And ps, when I say attack Contador and Valverde, I mean question how it is that they are winning NOW and not merely attack them for having doped before while implying they cleaned up their act and have learned how to win clean in this new fairytale utopia peloton.

Again, guys begging for a lawsuit from someone with a lot more money than them isn't happening. Even Kimmage is shying from that approach. People have families to feed.

The Hitch wrote:In any case, saying "Vino doped", or "Di Luca doped" isn't saying very much because there have been plenty of people in the sport who have pointed fingers at scapegoats and later turned out to have doped.

There are probably three teams that pay riders anywhere as much as Sky pays Froome. One is run by Vino and the other until recently by Riis. It does speak a lot to the current culture of pro cycling that he's probably wary of being photographed with either of those two gentlemen. Whether or not it's just for show.
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06 May 2015 02:17

re: Kimmage, I loved his article mostrecently. http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/where-is-the-line-between-the-sport-and-the-man-31191377.html

@PaulKimmage: 'YOU HAVE A MORAL DUTY TO EXPOSE THESE CHEATING BASTARDS'

I love the presentation of the choices an author faces, with the ambiguity of what a journalist does in fact choose. The article may show that he was loosing fire, but the tweet obviously shows that recognition, and the choice not to slows down.
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Re:

15 May 2015 21:27

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Re:

24 Jul 2015 11:56

CyclingNews wrote:Sky have tried to regain control of the narrative by releasing Froome’s numbers but only full transparency would come close to quelling the innuendo. Even then, a wider, reliable, system of analysis would need to be implemented to provide concrete answers.

Interesting. Mirrors a conversation recently had in the Sky thread, but advocating the tougher "full transparency" position vs. the "better transparency" incrementalism I defended.
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24 Jul 2015 19:54

Good idea about obligation to expose, call out, reveal, report, provide evidence... of doping, exactly the same way we're theoretically obliged to report any criminal behavior to the police... which would become natural if doping was a crime.

Btw, if you want to "understand" or predict Sky "moves", just try to think what would YOU do in their place... in order to cover things, produce some PR, smokescreens, etc. You'll certainly invent lots of stuff that will be better than what they actually do.
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28 Jul 2015 11:37

Don't know how much this story has been discussed here, but here's a link anyway...

http://www.alpsandes.com/posts/2015/7/26/threats-and-the-end-of-a-dream-juan-pablo-villegas-speaks-out-about-being-forced-to-retire

Intro:

As the rest of the world comes down from it's Tour de France high, I sit here staring at my computer screen, shaking my head. Not so much in disbelief, but simple sadness. You see, as a result of an interview I did with Juan Pablo Villegas earlier this year, a series of events have come to pass that eventually led him to retire from the sport. A sport that has been his entire life for the last eleven years.

In this interview, Juan Pablo explains his decision, how it's affected his life, and in so doing reveals how little has changed in the sport in the last ten years in terms of intimidation, and the treatment of riders who speak openly about the forbidden topic by directors, fellow riders, the press and even cycling federations. As I've said before, omertà is alive and well, and not merely as an allusive term. And if you think Colombia is alone in this matter...well, let's just say there's lots more work to be done on that front as well.
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Re:

29 Jul 2015 16:04



That's really tough. The Colombian media reacted well, it would seem, the federation evidently not so much. The problem with Colombian cycling is the local circuit, there are a couple of "good" teams developing riders (the clinic may now chuckle) but the rest seem really sketchy. Jingoism as always getting in the way of clean cycling.

There seems to be a little more to this story, though, that they didn't get into. He was racing for SmartStop and suddenly switched to Manzana Postobon mid-season before retiring, when I would've guessed he was better off in the states.

On the other note, a strong voice against jingoism and for clean cycling seems to be emerging in Ireland. Great podcasts with Kimmage, Walsh and even Dan Martin. The best, though, was with Stephen Roche. The subtext was strong near the end of this one:

http://www.newstalk.com/podcasts/Off_The_Ball/The_Panel_on_Off_the_Ball/61230/A_Saturday_Panel_special_with_Stephen_Roche
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13 Mar 2018 15:24

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cycling/team-sky-rise-and-fall-sad-parable-human-nature-bradley-wiggins-dave-brailsford-a8247016.html

This was good.

I particularly enjoyed the Syed bit; and the way Liew refuses to label him a journalist. Which is fair. As Syed was instrumental in how "the doctrine of marginal gains - one that essentially ignored Team Sky’s gargantuan budget and attributed its success to the accumulation of small advantages like using hand gel to reduce infections - became not simply a natty little tale to spin the papers, but a cultish business credo that its advocates have ruthlessly commodified for personal enrichment." It also poignantly and unintentionally belies Liew's point: it's easier to cast out the fallen than to reflect on the fault in ourselves. It's easier to blame the Syeds of the world than than to reflect on what we contributed to the mess (beyond stating that platitude as a theoretical purpose), and Liew comes off a bit like Kimmage in his accounting when he wasn't quite that brave.

But then again it also underlines that whatever the systematic faults, whatever the universal moral failings that are endemic to humanity and to society that spawn corruption, and whatever our complicity and our hypocrisy in shunning the scarlet lettered while ignoring our own sin, it is also important to come down on the worst, or at least the most visible, of the offenders. Because whatever theoretical complexities, stating your purpose, and rooting out the worst weeds, is inficione better than to fall onto cynical apathy because the whole exercise is just too hard and too unfair.
"Christmas is tomorrow... Let's get in the break." - Matt Hayman, 4/9/16
"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness." - Tolstoy
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Re:

03 May 2018 14:29

carton wrote:But then again it also underlines that whatever the systematic faults, whatever the universal moral failings that are endemic to humanity and to society that spawn corruption, and whatever our complicity and our hypocrisy in shunning the scarlet lettered while ignoring our own sin, it is also important to come down on the worst, or at least the most visible, of the offenders. Because whatever theoretical complexities, stating your purpose, and rooting out the worst weeds, is inficione better than to fall onto cynical apathy because the whole exercise is just too hard and too unfair.

So this is maybe more a manifesto post than a post for this thread, but this really underscores the point I wanted to make in that passage.

https://areomagazine.com/2018/04/09/in-defense-of-hypocrisy/
"Christmas is tomorrow... Let's get in the break." - Matt Hayman, 4/9/16
"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness." - Tolstoy
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04 May 2018 11:08

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Re:

04 May 2018 11:42



:rolleyes:
Barry´s confession is from 2012, Michael Woods turned pro in 2013 with a little Canadian team and noone interviewed him back then.
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04 May 2018 11:50

His excuse for not talking about Froome is also lame.
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21 Jul 2018 19:36

This seems as good a place as any to discuss the likes of Koen de Kort and Luke Durbridge, who have been taking to twitter to tell fans not to boo. Durbridge saying "if you don't like cycling don't come to watch" as if it's impossible to differentiate between a like of the actual sport of cycling and a dislike of the baggage that it carries, and de Kort even stating that, in fact, it is us, the fans, who are ruining cycling, by voicing displeasure. So I thought I'd write an open letter to Koen and Luke.

Koen de Kort wrote:On another note. Please respect every and ALL riders. Let us all just do our race and please stop the booing. Enough now. Cycling is such a great sport, don't ruin it.

Luke Durbridge wrote:What I sore from the fans on the final climb today towards @TeamSky was disgraceful. We are all human and we are all suffering regardless what jerseys we have on. If you don’t like cycling don’t come to watch!!


Dear Koen, dear Luke.

I have nothing against either of you personally, and never have. You presumably do not have anything against me, since the chances that either of you follow the forum is pretty slim and I don't recall having met either of you at any of the races I've been to. I am not a professional athlete and would never profess to have the talent or the dedication to do what you do, and I appreciate that it must be pretty detrimental to your motivation to travel through a sea of boos and hear what you feel is disrespect for the suffering you and your colleagues go through. But before you start telling the fans how to behave, how about thinking about it from the other side of the fence.

Road cycling is not football, it is not basketball, it is not ice hockey, baseball, or whatever other sport you can care to name which has ticketed revenues. There is no fixed home of cycling where we fans can all congregate almost every week to develop a connection to our home teams and home riders, and we don't get to see the whole event, just a minuscule part. But even if events aren't ticketed, many fans have to sacrifice plenty to follow the sport they love. I've trapsed up the sun-drenched face of a low altitude mountain in 40º heat to stake out a place three hours before the riders arrive, to see a few fleeting seconds of the action. I've been one of a hundred people crowded around a minuscule battery-powered TV unit trying to capture the end of a mountain stage that we'd seen go past minutes earlier on a hand-held aerial. There are people who wait out in freezing rain for hours in the Classics waiting for a chance that maybe, just maybe, their favourite rider will lurch past first, spitting mud into their face from the cobbles his wheels are punching their way along. I spend long hours on cycling forums, following races, assessing CQ ranking, designing races. I have 19.000 posts on this board, so I'd like to think that it's pretty self-evident that I have a passion for this sport. But at the same time, we don't get paid for this. You do. You're the ones with the talent and the aptitude, and you're the ones who are on the inside. We're not. We can't change it, we just get what we're given.

But that doesn't mean we're just faceless cheering automatons, who don't have great love and respect for the sport ourselves. We aren't here because we just want to cheer mindlessly. It's not our job. We're here as fans of the sport, because we want to see it enthrall and excite us the way it was when we became fans in the first place, which is different for all of us. We want to believe that we're watching the best in the world duke it out and wowing us with their strength, their fortitude, their resolve, their talent.

Right now, we cannot do that.

We cannot do that because we have just seen the entire fabric of anti-doping, the only thing that truly protects the integrity of the competition, come crumbling down, and hide in the corner like a startled cat in the face of the lawyers of big money.

We've never pretended cycling was perfect, but we've always loved it despite its flaws, despite its sins. At this point, we fans are like the battered wife, cheated on and abused, who keeps believing this time he's changed, this time he means it, he really does love me and he's sorry for all the pain he's caused me. We stuck with the sport through Festina, through Puerto, through Oil for Drugs, through Humanplasma, through the Reasoned Decision. We're willing to put up with a lot, you'd think. But through all of it, we had that belief that anti-doping's genuine aim was to prevent doping in sport, and even if we had concerns about how they went about their business, we were willing to accept it.

But following the Froome decision, we've seen WADA wilfully backtrack its own rules to exonerate a man whose physical and medical backstory now has more inconsistencies and contradictions than Kane, and are asked to believe that the greatest physical specimen in the history of cycling is a man who has dozens of ailments which, like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons, are perfectly in balance with one another so none of them actually detract from his cycling performance; it feels like we have literally seen "justice" being bought before our eyes, by a team which represents everything that is wrong with the sport - cold, calculating and reducing everything to watt numbers, lacking in the passion and the flair and the grit that has always attracted the fans; with a colossal budget that means they can not only purchase top 10 candidate riders and set them to work as middling domestiques in a colossally strong mountain train, but can also raid and steal riders that other teams have had in their developmental wings, profiting off others' hard work too; a racing style which tightly controls and stifles any of the kind of attractive racing that helps attract fans to the sport; perceived favour from the UCI and WADA which both happened for periods of the last few years to be run by people who have a level of connection to the organisation; the ability to filibuster or obfuscate any hardship while lying through your teeth (and easily provable lies, too, such as Cope visiting Pooley, buses that go before riders do interviews with them, and Rowe claiming not to have thrown down that guy's banner); bullying (both internal and external, via the likes of Sutton, and via the likes of Kennaugh belittling Pooley and Phil Deignan airing Pauline Ferrand-Prévot's private life in retribution for her being critical of Armitstead's pre-Olympic reprieve for missing doping tests); the implication of the press being bought off (Brailsford trying to sell "a more positive story" and trying to buy off Matt Lawton with group rides and free gear); and the generation out of thin air of super talents and transformations that, in prior generations, could only be explicable with doping. I know that, in the current péloton, you cannot make those implications without repercussion, and I get that. Even George Bennett issued a climb-down from his post-stage comments on Jafferau after they were taken to mean something other than what was apparently intended. But in Team Sky, fans see a boogeyman: a ruthless, undefeatable, suffocating beast that takes away all that is fun about the sport, and whose success is built on the back of nepotism, vulgar waving of the chequebook, and then served with an almighty dollop of unbearable smugness and hypocrisy.

Luke: perhaps you're right, we should be voting with our feet. At many races, that's fine. But the biggest races of the year are ones that fans have planned out months in advance, long before the latest issues - that are why Sky are drawing this hostile reaction - became public. Certainly Sky were not popular beforehand, and we've all heard the stories about the 2015 Tour too. But some fans have travelled across countries, across continents, even from distant parts of the world to watch the Tour de France. They'll have spent hundreds, thousands, of Euros, of US, Canadian, Australian dollars, pounds, kroner, rials, rubles, lira, whatever, to get flights, to hire motorhomes, to drive hundreds of kilometres to remote distant French countryside, up treacherous roads and down again. When you've made that commitment - which, remember, we aren't being paid to do - just for the pleasure of seeing some of your heroes pass by for a few fleeting seconds, without the joy of necessarily seeing the triumph of the end of it, it's pretty hard to vote with your feet and just not turn up. And besides, who would miss a few hundred people on the Alpe d'Huez among the thousands? It's not like ASO will see a drop in ticketed income. So how is a fan to voice their disapproval? So long as they only voice their disapproval, then why is that a bad thing? I certainly do not condone the idiot who tried to slap or shove Froome, any more than I condone the idiot who allegedly threw urine at him a few years ago. But giving riders an open thumbs down or booing the riders, the team, that represents everything that is hurting the sport in the public's eye, it doesn't physically harm anybody. Footballers routinely go through worse, often from their own fans.

And remember, Koen: those same fans you are admonishing as the people who are ruining cycling are the ones whose enthusiasm and positivity reduced Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig to tears of happiness, as she was so overcome with joy at the support and the love she was feeling from fans, chanting her name and cheering her on as she made her attack over the Romme and Colombière. So there's still plenty of room for positivity and support among the fans of the sport; the fans were still plenty willing to cheer, to celebrate, to love and to respect the riders during La Course, and nobody seemed to have any problem with Omar Fraile today even as he relegated the patriotic favourite to 2nd place. The fans aren't just cheering indiscriminately; they are showing support and respect for the riders they support and respect, and are not showing support and respect for riders that they do not support or respect.

Neither of you are fools, and I'd like to think that, unlike Dave Brailsford, you don't think that all of us fans are fools either. Neither of you really ought to feel like you're part of the part of the péloton that is getting the negative reaction either. But if you do feel like you are, instead of wondering why the audience isn't clapping on command like a dancing bear, maybe wonder why it was that part of the péloton lost the respect of its audience before you accuse that audience of ruining the sport.

With kindest regards.
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22 Jul 2018 01:59

Libertine once again proving to be the best poster on this forum by a huge margin.
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22 Jul 2018 05:33

Doesn't change the fact that booing is a negative reaction - There are many talented riders in the peleton who fans can cheer and support in a positive way - And it doesn't change the fact that despite the beautiful prose provided by LS, the French public continue to embarrass themselves with their unsavoury and uncouth behaviour during the TDF - Yes, Sky is an unpopular team but they don't attract such poor behaviour from fans in other countries - Let's see how much booing Sky attracts in the Vuelta - I fully understand the reaction of De Kort and Durbridge who want to compete in the biggest race in the UCI calendar in a warm and supportive environment - Frankly the riders and teams have been EXTREMELY diplomatic in their attitude towards the public - Maybe lessons can be learnt from the public - I doubt it !
Last edited by yaco on 22 Jul 2018 07:54, edited 1 time in total.
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22 Jul 2018 07:24

I will never have respect for the french fans before they go after Richard Virenque, how is still very popular and not have been taken his mountain jerseys away from he like Lance Armstrong with the yellow jerseys.
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22 Jul 2018 07:29

Let's not pretend that the fans booing Sky are all French, just because they're in France. What is this, the Armstrong era? The Tour is global and there are people who've travelled from all over to see it, and the distaste for Sky extends well beyond the borders of France.

Part of the beauty of mountain stages is that you can react to small groups, so it's perfectly possible to boo as Thomas or Froome pass and cheer as Bardet, or Landa, or Kruijswijk, or whoever you're cheering, come past. And it's not like Sky are exactly going to stoke up that crowd (well, the riders aren't. Brailsford did his best to, I wouldn't call his comments on Lappartient diplomatic) and for this reason it's good that Thomas leads, not Froome, because Thomas comes across a lot more well than Froome in this environment.
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22 Jul 2018 07:36

The idiots how are throwing things at riders and pushing them are just making the future ready. The future with fenches all the way up on the mountains and much more security and entry fee to enter the final mountain.
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22 Jul 2018 07:48

Fans are allowed to boo. There is zero harm in it. It is literally the same thing with other sports either team or individual. Just like pther sports rival fans will cheer if someone on the other team gets injured, which is terrible, and not what people booing Sky are doing. Now the individuals that are physically attacking the Sky or any rider is unacceptable.

Regarding nationality of who fans like. Of course fans sre more likely to support someone from their country that doped over a different countries doper. It is just common sense.
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