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Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocrisy

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Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocrisy

24 Apr 2015 16:09

There's good discussion about Henderson now on the Aru thread, but I think it deserves it's own topic.

As it stands, on the topic of a rider "calling out" a different rider for doping, be it Sayar, Aru, or whoever, or defending positive tested riders like Lance, Contador, or whoever, there seems to be two camps:

- Good on him for saying it like it is
- Bad on him, it's hypocritical because he has said _______ in the past, (or, bad on him, he hasn't said anyting about ______).

It may be an oversimplification, but gets to the meat of the discussion, I think.

In what way does hypocrisy invalidate their comment? Is there any value in the incremental approach to tackling omerta? It's not fair, sure, but is fairness a reason to ignore the instances we are presented with?

A few things I want to point out:

I believe that the of the riders in the peloton, there are people on every part of the clean-dirty spectrum. Guys on bread and water, guys with legitimate asthma claims, illegitimate asthma claims, tuns of cortisone, epo, blood bags.

When a rider says the sport is cleaner, they're saying my sport is cleaner. Different teams, different circles within those teams, different specializations, different roomates, different DS's and doctors .

I think about conversations I've had with other competitors. Some just don't get it. They're not digging on message boards, haven't "been around" enough to pick up rumors or experiences, and just simply don't know the reality of the sport. They are interested in their sport, their circle, their team, their event. Willful ignorance maybe, but still ignorance and not omerta.

Others aren't resistant to the idea of a culture of doping, but just have never been provoked to think about it. They could and would link A-B-C to get D, but have no reason to look for it, or no one to present it.

So I think people here have trouble identifying riders' ignorance or lying. How realistic is it for any given rider to know when any other rider, let alone the whole field, is doing? A rider can guess that 20% (or 90%), but how realistic is it that they know, and that they know which 20%?

We can chastise a rider for not calling out insane transformations, but is it a cover up or blindness? These are guys that have spent their career transforming themselves, cleanly or not; it is the fabric of an athlete to believe transformations are possible.

All that being said, I'm in that camp to say that it is an athletes responsibility to know; the old obligation of an athlete to just stay clean is no longer relevant, they need to prove they are clean; ignorance is no longer acceptable. But that responsibility is new: so many don't know yet that understanding the culture is part of their job. Before they get into the sport, athletes are told that they are the new generation. Is it their fault that they believe it? It's easier to build a bias than to change it.

...

My frustration isn't just that athletes are lying, or are ignorant of the culture of doping, my frustration is also that the reaction to the missteps are not productive. That calling out Henderson's hypocrisy may be true, but not helpful.

I got a little stream-of-consciousness, and I'm not sure I explained what I'm feeling, or even understand what I'm thinking, but part of the issue of developing clean sport is a marketing problem. We're not going to hit the tipping point for action when the ones pushing are alienating their audience.
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24 Apr 2015 18:37

It's really simple. Don't be a hypocrite if you want to be respected and taken seriously, and if you want people to at least entertain the notion your remarks don't betray either stupidity or self-servingness.

Whether accusing riders of doping on twitter based on little evidence is an important step towards breaking the culture of omerta is tangential to that.
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24 Apr 2015 19:26

OP, that's why I haven't posted since the comments switch was turned off.

There's a lot of speculation on here that I think is healthy when confined to us hardcore fans but out in public its counter-productive to actually moving the sport forward. We know how much the sport is trying and how much mud there is to shift through but the sponsors obviously don't want to hear about it. So the screams for revolution into an impossible utopia will inevitably fall on deaf ears since all the ex-dopers who think bio-passports are for pussies but have to listen to the sponsors (since they live of their sports medicine/strategy/training/doping savvy) aren't going to just lay down and die. Those of us who actually prefer actual change to just whining about the status quo need to do everything possible to try to support efforts to turn over the sport over to guys who at the very least do a much better job of pretending to care than the halfwits who respond to doping allegations by retweeting an indignant response by dude with a giant "Pantani Vive" mural as his twitter background.

Yeah, Henderson might not have jumped the gun on this one but the UCI is giving due process, well, its due, which is the important bit. Yeah, the rush to turn on the dopers might be somewhere between mostly and completely image driven, but its much, much better than an environment where Armstrong instructed the media and the peloton to zip their lips, on live TV, no less, and both of those bodies almost to a man did as instructed by the patron. Yeah, the roost will be turned over to another set of hypocrites but if as fans we do all we can it might *hopefully* be an ever so slightly better set of hypocrites. Because we are all at our cores to some extent deluded hypocrites ourselves. And those who like to say cycling must transform itself immediately into some kind of spotless utopia or else it's all for naught are as desperate to be lied to as the worst of the Livestrong ostriches were (I imagine more than sparingly they're one and the same).
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

27 Apr 2015 13:21

Excellent post, carton, and I don't disagree with you. I would add the following:

1. As you stated, in a sport that is trying to rebuild its image and doesn't want to spook existing and potential sponsors, no one at the top knows how to reconcile cleaning up cycling and keeping the business afloat while the changes are taking place.
2. In the process of cleaning up cycling, dopers will be exposed and we saw during the Armstrong saga or today with Sky how the masses can be easily manipulated, and frankly don't care as long as their fellow countryman is winning.
3. Unlike other sports, and unlike monuments, GTs are a three-week build-up to a conclusion, it is in many ways like a 20-22 episode TV series. They create enduring memories that can't be just erased. You can erase one race, one day, but not an entire month of your life. And it gets even more difficult when weeks, sometimes years go by before cheats get exposed.
4. This could explain why we are all hypocrites to some extend. I plead guilty here: in the '90s, I was a big fan of Richard Virenque, he disappointed me big time, yet in another thread (Fantasy Draft), I couldn't wait to pick him. :o I can't forget the good times, the great Julys...

Changes have to come from within: that's the only way. Riders who have an incentive to be/stay clean, teams who are held accountable, and the UCI should do its job, with carrot and stick, pressure on organizers not to issue credentials (team or media) to former dopers, et caetera.

No ifs, no buts about it: riders have to be part of it. They can't stay on the sidelines, waiting for others to do all the work. Calling dopers out is only one of many things that they can do. And others need to ensure that no retaliation takes place. What Armstrong did to Simeoni should never have been tolerated.

It can all be done in a way that only well-informed fans will notice, in a way that will not deter sponsors, in a way that will not make too many waves with the masses.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

27 Apr 2015 13:35

Addendum:

When Jalabert was (finally) exposed and stepped down from his cushy TV job, the news was soon replaced by the action on the TdF road. The show did go on.

I'd rather see Mottet, Delion, or Bassons get that job and the check that comes with it, rather than an unrepentant doper, a liar...

I don't understand how UCI can take anti-doping stances while at the same time letting the Riises or Vinos of the world mentor your riders.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

28 Apr 2015 18:55

Tonton wrote:Excellent post, carton, and I don't disagree with you. I would add the following:

1. As you stated, in a sport that is trying to rebuild its image and doesn't want to spook existing and potential sponsors, no one at the top knows how to reconcile cleaning up cycling and keeping the business afloat while the changes are taking place.
2. In the process of cleaning up cycling, dopers will be exposed and we saw during the Armstrong saga or today with Sky how the masses can be easily manipulated, and frankly don't care as long as their fellow countryman is winning.
3. Unlike other sports, and unlike monuments, GTs are a three-week build-up to a conclusion, it is in many ways like a 20-22 episode TV series. They create enduring memories that can't be just erased. You can erase one race, one day, but not an entire month of your life. And it gets even more difficult when weeks, sometimes years go by before cheats get exposed.
4. This could explain why we are all hypocrites to some extend. I plead guilty here: in the '90s, I was a big fan of Richard Virenque, he disappointed me big time, yet in another thread (Fantasy Draft), I couldn't wait to pick him. :o I can't forget the good times, the great Julys...

Changes have to come from within: that's the only way. Riders who have an incentive to be/stay clean, teams who are held accountable, and the UCI should do its job, with carrot and stick, pressure on organizers not to issue credentials (team or media) to former dopers, et caetera.

No ifs, no buts about it: riders have to be part of it. They can't stay on the sidelines, waiting for others to do all the work. Calling dopers out is only one of many things that they can do. And others need to ensure that no retaliation takes place. What Armstrong did to Simeoni should never have been tolerated.

It can all be done in a way that only well-informed fans will notice, in a way that will not deter sponsors, in a way that will not make too many waves with the masses.


well, that "riders have to be part of it" is pretty much a fantasy, did we see "movement for credible cross-country skiing", running, soccer, basebal... you name it - there's this standard role attribution, where riders, teams and sponsors are on one side, fans and journos on the other side, and what decides is where the judiciary pillar stands, UCI and also race organizers.... and we know where they were so far and how "much" it changed with the new leadership, needs years and years and still the UCI mafia just stares in disbelief: what do you want from us, look at other sports, that's their spirit so obviously the primary motivation is to hide as much as possible, imagine judges that want "just no scandal" during Nuremberg trial
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

28 Apr 2015 21:15

doperhopper wrote:well, that "riders have to be part of it" is pretty much a fantasy, did we see "movement for credible cross-country skiing", running, soccer, basebal...


In the current state of affairs, you are right. There are no incentives to be/get clean, and no one wants to rock the boat. Of course there is no movement for credible anything: they see what cycling is doing and don't want to damage their image by admitting that they have a problem too. Duh!

In cycling, retroactive testing may be a strong enough incentive, coupled with other measures including one that I indicated: no credentials for convicted dopers or companies (i.e. TV stations and others) who employ dopers. There are plenty more ideas that could be put on the table: I certainly don't have all, or evn 5% of the answers. But ultimately, regardless of anything else, doping is a matter of a rider making a decision.

I hate to take my own example...as an example. I didn't have the talent and the genetics to make it to the top, so no sour grapes here. However, it was nice to be an upper tier rider as a "cadet" and my first year as a "junior". Nothing great, but a few top-10 finishes and an occasional top 5. Enough to dream big and think of myself as the second coming of Eddy Merckx :rolleyes: . Then my second year as a junior, I saw that guys were doping (amphetamines/steroids - that was in the mid-80s) and it was getting harder and harder to contend. I made my decision, I quit competitive cycling and kept riding for fun.

Ultimately, regardless of anything else, doping is a matter of a rider making a decision. So yes, for anti-doping to succeed, riders have to be part of it.
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28 Apr 2015 23:13

1. OP premise you can "prove" or "responsibility to prove". this is incorrect. it is a paradox, one cannot prove they are clean. they can just not dope.

2. you have placed a burden on riders "acting clean". is this not what JV and his team do, and they indulge just as much as others. "Acting clean" is about more offensive, that Armstrong's behaviour.

I now really dont care if they dope, as long as they don't keel over and kill themselves, as long as they treat their brothers with more generosity than Armstrong. But Armstrong's doping? I no longer have the same problem as I once did with that. Because he was no different, but he was in terms of gaming the system, or capturing the administration and sport. that was fraudulent.

dont tell me you are clean and do the marketing of clean. Bailsford, JV, all the puritan anglophones are pissing in my pocket and I get a tad indignant. its offensive, just dope, dope quietly, dont test positive, and get your knighthoods
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

28 Apr 2015 23:18

Tonton wrote:
doperhopper wrote:well, that "riders have to be part of it" is pretty much a fantasy, did we see "movement for credible cross-country skiing", running, soccer, basebal...


In the current state of affairs, you are right. There are no incentives to be/get clean, and no one wants to rock the boat. Of course there is no movement for credible anything: they see what cycling is doing and don't want to damage their image by admitting that they have a problem too. Duh!

In cycling, retroactive testing may be a strong enough incentive, coupled with other measures including one that I indicated: no credentials for convicted dopers or companies (i.e. TV stations and others) who employ dopers. There are plenty more ideas that could be put on the table: I certainly don't have all, or evn 5% of the answers. But ultimately, regardless of anything else, doping is a matter of a rider making a decision.

I hate to take my own example...as an example. I didn't have the talent and the genetics to make it to the top, so no sour grapes here. However, it was nice to be an upper tier rider as a "cadet" and my first year as a "junior". Nothing great, but a few top-10 finishes and an occasional top 5. Enough to dream big and think of myself as the second coming of Eddy Merckx :rolleyes: . Then my second year as a junior, I saw that guys were doping (amphetamines/steroids - that was in the mid-80s) and it was getting harder and harder to contend. I made my decision, I quit competitive cycling and kept riding for fun.

Ultimately, regardless of anything else, doping is a matter of a rider making a decision. So yes, for anti-doping to succeed, riders have to be part of it.

the best metaphor for cycling is a failed state (internaional politics).

the amount and proportion of people which have been touched by doping, means if you wanted them to not be involved, there is no sport. how about a south african truth and reconciliation process? what is the motive for this? Is it not just some game theory(economics), where you maintain a different facade for public consumption, but have effectively not changed the underlying behaviour
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Re:

29 Apr 2015 00:18

carton wrote:OP, that's why I haven't posted since the comments switch was turned off.

There's a lot of speculation on here that I think is healthy when confined to us hardcore fans but out in public its counter-productive to actually moving the sport forward. We know how much the sport is trying and how much mud there is to shift through but the sponsors obviously don't want to hear about it. So the screams for revolution into an impossible utopia will inevitably fall on deaf ears since all the ex-dopers who think bio-passports are for pussies but have to listen to the sponsors (since they live of their sports medicine/strategy/training/doping savvy) aren't going to just lay down and die. Those of us who actually prefer actual change to just whining about the status quo need to do everything possible to try to support efforts to turn over the sport over to guys who at the very least do a much better job of pretending to care than the halfwits who respond to doping allegations by retweeting an indignant response by dude with a giant "Pantani Vive" mural as his twitter background.

Yeah, Henderson might not have jumped the gun on this one but the UCI is giving due process, well, its due, which is the important bit. Yeah, the rush to turn on the dopers might be somewhere between mostly and completely image driven, but its much, much better than an environment where Armstrong instructed the media and the peloton to zip their lips, on live TV, no less, and both of those bodies almost to a man did as instructed by the patron. Yeah, the roost will be turned over to another set of hypocrites but if as fans we do all we can it might *hopefully* be an ever so slightly better set of hypocrites. Because we are all at our cores to some extent deluded hypocrites ourselves. And those who like to say cycling must transform itself immediately into some kind of spotless utopia or else it's all for naught are as desperate to be lied to as the worst of the Livestrong ostriches were (I imagine more than sparingly they're one and the same).


i actually dont mind hypocrites, we are all hypocrites to some degree.

i would prefer liars and hypocrites to be just a nicer version of hypocrite and liar, not like Lance. yes Lance, dope, win the Tour, but dont screw over people while you do it. Win on the tarmac and lime.
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Re:

29 Apr 2015 14:01

blackcat wrote:1. OP premise you can "prove" or "responsibility to prove". this is incorrect. it is a paradox, one cannot prove they are clean. they can just not dope.

2. you have placed a burden on riders "acting clean". is this not what JV and his team do, and they indulge just as much as others. "Acting clean" is about more offensive, that Armstrong's behaviour.

I now really dont care if they dope, as long as they don't keel over and kill themselves, as long as they treat their brothers with more generosity than Armstrong. But Armstrong's doping? I no longer have the same problem as I once did with that. Because he was no different, but he was in terms of gaming the system, or capturing the administration and sport. that was fraudulent.

dont tell me you are clean and do the marketing of clean. Bailsford, JV, all the puritan anglophones are pissing in my pocket and I get a tad indignant. its offensive, just dope, dope quietly, dont test positive, and get your knighthoods


That last section was less about proving you're clean JV style, and more about the changing responsibilities of riders to know the culture. I was thinking more about Talansky's defense of Armstrong. It is his responsibility to know the climate of the sport, to know that he has no validity to defend a rider. Or, TJVG: "new generation" or not, he needs to know that riding around in the tow of Lance is not a good idea. My point is that ignorance of doping is no longer an excuse to "mistakenly" defend dopers. My point is also that riders should know that just because they "... have never seen doping in cycling, and never in the evenings in the urban environment, to put it that way,", for example, doesn't mean it doesn't happen, and that their comments/behavior should reflect that... if that makes sense.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

29 Apr 2015 14:27

blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

29 Apr 2015 21:26

Tonton wrote:
blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.


But when you look at the actual T&R they had in South Africa, you realise it's not what cycling needs - not that specific thing. ie there's no reconciliation required. The cyclists are doing it to themselves.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

29 Apr 2015 23:44

Dear Wiggo wrote:
Tonton wrote:
blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.


But when you look at the actual T&R they had in South Africa, you realise it's not what cycling needs - not that specific thing. ie there's no reconciliation required. The cyclists are doing it to themselves.


Not so sure. Maybe somewhat clearing the slate may be less damaging to the image/interests of the sport while getting results. That is if all involved provide the kind of info that will (like anti-mafia efforts in the US in the '80s and '90s) hurt the doping/omerta system beyond repair. Probably naive on my part, but let's agree that the same old same old isn't working.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

30 Apr 2015 01:16

Tonton wrote:
Dear Wiggo wrote:
Tonton wrote:
blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.


But when you look at the actual T&R they had in South Africa, you realise it's not what cycling needs - not that specific thing. ie there's no reconciliation required. The cyclists are doing it to themselves.


Not so sure. Maybe somewhat clearing the slate may be less damaging to the image/interests of the sport while getting results. That is if all involved provide the kind of info that will (like anti-mafia efforts in the US in the '80s and '90s) hurt the doping/omerta system beyond repair. Probably naive on my part, but let's agree that the same old same old isn't working.


Definitely agreed there.

I am not sure you could do a better job than they just did with their CIRC though - which was expensive and time consuming.

I think the skype session with Joe Papp vs the David Millar whinge that he couldn't attend in person, the rejection of Landis information, the alleged witch hunt motivation behind it all to oust Hein V, etc is a key indicator that the problem with cycling at the top of the sport's administration is too much agenda.

JV and Cookson et al are not interested in the truth. <Jamie from MythBusters>There's your problem</voice>

They're really only interested in arse-covering and maintaining their piece of the pie.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

02 May 2015 04:28

blackcat wrote:the amount and proportion of people which have been touched by doping, means if you wanted them to not be involved, there is no sport. how about a south african truth and reconciliation process? what is the motive for this? Is it not just some game theory(economics), where you maintain a different facade for public consumption, but have effectively not changed the underlying behaviour


need to quote my post for context.

i dont see this as valid, i dont think the sport wants to adopt any new foundation, i think the sport can reconcile doping quite fine. It is appearances that matter. So Brailsford and Vaughters adopt the simulcrum of anti-doping and clean sport.

any tweaking of the rules from Aigle at UCI hq, the riders just tweak their behaviour, its game theory, SSDD. they still seek to subvert any new imposition.

and the hierarchy of teams, the sport, and managers, are all ex-pros where they have been touched by doping.

If you want a cleaner sport, go back to local club racing or second tier domestic racing.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

02 May 2015 04:31

Dear Wiggo wrote:
Tonton wrote:
blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.


But when you look at the actual T&R they had in South Africa, you realise it's not what cycling needs - not that specific thing. ie there's no reconciliation required. The cyclists are doing it to themselves.

and I was only raising it to dismiss it. I never asserted it for validity. The sport is captured by graduates of doping, where their success was predicated on doping, why would the see anything negative in doping?
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

02 May 2015 04:42

blackcat wrote:
Dear Wiggo wrote:
Tonton wrote:
blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.


But when you look at the actual T&R they had in South Africa, you realise it's not what cycling needs - not that specific thing. ie there's no reconciliation required. The cyclists are doing it to themselves.

and I was only raising it to dismiss it. I never asserted it for validity. The sport is captured by graduates of doping, where their success was predicated on doping, why would the see anything negative in doping?


they only see negativity in being caught or ratted out.
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

02 May 2015 09:05

Dear Wiggo wrote:
Tonton wrote:
blackcat wrote:how about a south african truth and reconciliation process?


I'm not against that. If there's a provision stipulating life ban if info provided turns out to be false and/ or incomplete.


But when you look at the actual T&R they had in South Africa, you realise it's not what cycling needs - not that specific thing. ie there's no reconciliation required. The cyclists are doing it to themselves.


This is bang on by DW.

After a T&R most will go back to doing what they do best. Why change? Testing is not catching them and no one in cycling trusts anyone so unless it can be policed properly they'll all suspect others of being up to something so they will do something to try and make it a level playing field.

The cyclist choose doping. Not too many dont and those that dont dope dont last or leave the sport. Cycling is a small sport with a gang like mentality and if you dont 'roll' with the gang you get 'ousted'. The cyclists, most try and stay in the sport after competing. Not too many on teams that never rode a bike and doped.
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04 May 2015 18:02

blackcat wrote:The sport is captured by graduates of doping, where their success was predicated on doping, why would the see anything negative in doping?

Completely true. There are those who could care less if they tried.

Tonton wrote:That is if all involved provide the kind of info that will (like anti-mafia efforts in the US in the '80s and '90s) hurt the doping/omerta system beyond repair.

But I actually think the omerta system is being hurt right now.

More Strides than Rides wrote:That last section was less about proving you're clean JV style, and more about the changing responsibilities of riders to know the culture. I was thinking more about Talansky's defense of Armstrong. It is his responsibility to know the climate of the sport, to know that he has no validity to defend a rider. Or, TJVG: "new generation" or not, he needs to know that riding around in the tow of Lance is not a good idea. My point is that ignorance of doping is no longer an excuse to "mistakenly" defend dopers. My point is also that riders should know that just because they "... have never seen doping in cycling, and never in the evenings in the urban environment, to put it that way,", for example, doesn't mean it doesn't happen, and that their comments/behavior should reflect that... if that makes sense.

Because this is happening. Aru-types are being semi-outed. Barguil is subtly going after Zakarin. All-american boy TVG is getting questioned, hard, by american journos. You don't see that many pictures of Froome and Vino together, he even seems to admit it was a bad idea to hang out with him. Even Nibali doesn't seem specially warm to the idea of being seen to much with his boss.

Tonton wrote:I'd rather see Mottet, Delion, or Bassons get that job and the check that comes with it, rather than an unrepentant doper, a liar...

And more and more fans want to see Andreu or Millar calling races, rather appologists like Liggart.

Tonton wrote:I don't understand how UCI can take anti-doping stances while at the same time letting the Riises or Vinos of the world mentor your riders.

Vino has had his hands full. Riis was actually dismissed (even though he probably took Saxo Bank with him). Servais Knaven has probably been sending a lot of resumes. But you can't just kick out Mackarov and Tinkov out of cycling. I'm guessing the amount of Katusha and Astana jerseys being sold are on the wane, though.

Tonton wrote:Probably naive on my part, but let's agree that the same old same old isn't working.

So I disagree on this. It's not quite the same old. It is getting a bit better. Is it hypocritical to hammer some riders (Rebellin) and not others (Pelizzoti): sure. Is Zakarin wining Romandie good for the sport: absolutely not. But maybe I'm being naive, but the questions are being asked, the teams are being investigated, and things are getting better.
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