Andy Rihs

Jun 18, 2009
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So when is Cyclingnews or someone else in the press going to start asking the hard questions?

It's easy to make Thomas Frei out to be the bad guy, but let's face it: there are a dozen more ready to take his place.

So, from owning one of the dirtiest teams in the history of a dirty sport (Phonak), to buying back some credibility by running a clean team for a couple of years, then sliding back to the ways of old.

Juxtapose these two articles:

http://www.bmcracingteam.com/index.php?id=9&L=0&uid=10

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/3568/BMC-Racing-Andy-Rihs-takes-it-up-a-notch.aspx

Lot's of folks pussyfoot around the notion of holding team owners responsible, but I think it's clear that he needs to be held accountable. And, as he makes clear, he's in cycling for the promotional opportunities, not for charity. So why is he allowed to continue to profit, and only the riders get punished?

The old adage is pretty true; some people will cheat no matter what, some people will never cheat, and some will cheat if it's expedient. I'd guess it's a bell-shaped curve distribution.

BMC went from internal controls and an emphasis on riding clean to hiring guys with questionable characters as coaches, abandoning internal controls and hiring high-profile euro guys. Out with Ian McKissick, in with Thomas Frei. (This, by the way, is a perfect example of what happens when a guy decides to dope, and the real world consequences. McKissick, a guy of immense talent is out of pro cycling, Frei, no where near the class of McKissick, is rewarded with a bigger contract). 'Anti-doping' seems to have been replaced with tacit acceptance..."get yourself prepared, but if you're caught you're on your own" seems to be the message. As Frei noted, no one really paid much attention when he started going really well. Well, the noticed enough to talk about offering him more money.

It's fine to hold Frei accountable, but what's that going to solve? Frei's right, the financial incentive is too great for many to follow the rules.

What to do? Make a financial disincentive to break the rules. Fine the teams for doping infractions (take it out of their bank guarantee), and pass out suspensions for entire teams, not just individual riders. It seems pretty clear than sanctioning riders simply isn't helping. Until there's a system in place that provides a big disincentive for the team to cheat, not much is going to change.

And it's time for the cycling press to actually start asking the hard questions of those benefiting from the dishonest actions of others.

That's my two cents at least.
 
Jan 27, 2010
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Would you also be in favour of plea bargaining with the perpetrators (eg: Frei- a reduced sentence if he can prove that the DSs or owners knew of doping)?

NW
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Don't forget that Jim Ochowicz (BMC president) made this beautiful comment in relation to Alessandro Ballan:

"We didn't know who his coach was."

So, BMC don't do a little backround checking on their riders?

Have they learnt nothing from their Phonak days are is it they just don't care?
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Don't forget that Jim Ochowicz (BMC president) made this beautiful comment in relation to Alessandro Ballan:

"We didn't know who his coach was."

So, BMC don't do a little backround checking on their riders?

Have they learnt nothing from their Phonak days are is it they just don't care?
Maybe Ballan kept it very secret at the time so it could not be verified, and of course kept it from BMC when he joined.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Neworld said:
Would you also be in favour of plea bargaining with the perpetrators (eg: Frei- a reduced sentence if he can prove that the DSs or owners knew of doping)?

NW
If he could prove it, sure. However, I actually believe him when he said they 'didn't know'.

BUT, the team has put a system in place where they really don't want to know. They just want the riders to get results. I don't believe the team was doping him up. I just think there was tacit acceptance, i.e. "don't get caught".

If the team were facing a serious sanction for the actions of one of it's riders, you can damn well bet that they'd want to know what their riders were doing.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Neworld said:
Would you also be in favor of plea bargaining with the perpetrators (eg: Frei- a reduced sentence if he can prove that the DSs or owners knew of doping)?

NW
Yes - but not under the current 2 year sanction.

I have stated this before - 4 years for a 1st sanction,(which is in place since early 2009 but has not yet been used!) and offer a reduced sanction for info on the suppliers and perpetrators.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Eyjafjallajokull said:
Not that simple if it was kept quiet.
Let me remind you of Ochowicz's quote again 'Sproket01'..

"We didn't know who his coach was."

That is not - "he said he did not have a coach' or 'he said Dr. X was his coach'...

This is an admission that BMC were not that bothered in finding out who the riders had coaching them.
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Let me remind you of Ochowicz's quote again 'Sproket01'..

"We didn't know who his coach was."

That is not - "he said he did not have a coach' or 'he said Dr. X was his coach'...

This is an admission that BMC were not that bothered in finding out who the riders had coaching them.
You're reading a lot into that short quote.

You maybe right that they should have studied harder, but if a rider keeps things under raps then it's hard for a team to know everything. There is always going to be some trust involved - unless they have the resources of the CIA to look into the background of every rider.

We shall see.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Don't forget that Jim Ochowicz (BMC president) made this beautiful comment in relation to Alessandro Ballan:

"We didn't know who his coach was."

So, BMC don't do a little backround checking on their riders?

Have they learnt nothing from their Phonak days are is it they just don't care?
Guido Nigrelli was/is a pharmacist not a coach.
Why should Ochowicz know about Guido Nigrelli?
Ochowicz should have said he did not know about any team pharmacist.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Eyjafjallajokull said:
You're reading a lot into that short quote.

You maybe right that they should have studied harder, but if a rider keeps things under raps then it's hard for a team to know everything. There is always going to be some trust involved - unless they have the resources of the CIA to look into the background of every rider.

We shall see.
Firstly 'Great White'- the Pro Cycling world is quite small - Rihs has the money to check in to all riders history.

Secondly - you ask your potential employee to show their 'training logs', power profiles etc- if they have these, who set them up?
For a rider of Ballans stature if he says either himself or the team Doc you can be sure he is not worth hiring.
Also, permission to seek their biological passport information from the UCI..... any doubt keep them out.

As for "trust" - that worked really well in Phonak, didn't it 'Rex Hunter'?
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Firstly 'Great White'- the Pro Cycling world is quite small - Rihs has the money to check in to all riders history.

Secondly - you ask your potential employee to show their 'training logs', power profiles etc- if they have these, who set them up?
For a rider of Ballans stature if he says either himself or the team Doc you can be sure he is not worth hiring.
Also, permission to seek their biological passport information from the UCI..... any doubt keep them out.

As for "trust" - that worked really well in Phonak, didn't it 'Rex Hunter'?
Yeah you're probably right, but vetting is often a tougher business than it might seem. American presidents can testify to this when half their appointments are rejected on background issues they were not informed about.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Polish said:
Guido Nigrelli was/is a pharmacist not a coach.
Why should Ochowicz know about Guido Nigrelli?
Ochowicz should have said he did not know about any team pharmacist.
So??

"We didn't know who his coach was."

.... his coach could have been Guido Nigrelli, Pope Benedict XVI or even "Eyjafjallajökull", it does not matter - except that it shows Ochowicz did not really care.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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Dr. Maserati

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Polish said:
Are you saying Jim Osh should have known about pharmacist Guido Nigrelli and known that he was shady even before the police knew? C'mon.


http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/gazzetta-dello-sport-reveals-more-details-of-mantova-police-investigation
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Yes, thats exactly what I am saying.

I am sure Jim knows how to use google....

Cyclingnews 5th May 2001.
Two pharmacists are accused of supplying doping agents: Davide Posca of Como and Guido Nigrelli of Verona. Nigrelli is accused of supplying Emagel, a masking agent for EPO, to Lampre riders Mariano Piccoli, Gabriele Missaglia and Marco Serpellini. Lampre bosses Pietro Algeri and Beppe Saronni will also be called to give evidence.
 
Apr 19, 2010
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Two pharmacists are accused of supplying doping agents: Davide Posca of Como and Guido Nigrelli of Verona. Nigrelli is accused of supplying Emagel, a masking agent for EPO, to Lampre riders Mariano Piccoli, Gabriele Missaglia and Marco Serpellini. Lampre bosses Pietro Algeri and Beppe Saronni will also be called to give evidence.
No Ballan there.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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With regard to Ochowicz, LeLange, and Rihs...

This is the exact same management as the Phonak team. Keep in mind that Phonak hired doper after doper, and suffered positive after positive, for years on end (Zulle, Botero, Sevilla, Buffalo, Moos...this is just a start, there were tons more positives associated with Phonak). But the UCI remained friendly to them because of their long-term sponsorship commitment to the sport...up until the Landis debacle. At some point afterwards they mended fences with the UCI and now we have the current BMC incarnation.

I see them as addicts. They love the sport as it is and don't care how much it disappoints them. They want to win another GT, even if it means another grand fall.

Of course they know the score. They are determined to make room for themselves in the sport.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Don't forget that Jim Ochowicz (BMC president) made this beautiful comment in relation to Alessandro Ballan:

"We didn't know who his coach was."

So, BMC don't do a little backround checking on their riders?

Have they learnt nothing from their Phonak days are is it they just don't care?
Dr. Maserati said:
Let me remind you of Ochowicz's quote again 'Sproket01'..

"We didn't know who his coach was."

That is not - "he said he did not have a coach' or 'he said Dr. X was his coach'...

This is an admission that BMC were not that bothered in finding out who the riders had coaching them.
You'd be a good lawyer. You can twist words any which way you want. Nobody had even heard of this guy before this and/or didn't know he was a dope doc.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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ludwig said:
With regard to Ochowicz, LeLange, and Rihs...

This is the exact same management as the Phonak team. Keep in mind that Phonak hired doper after doper, and suffered positive after positive, for years on end (Zulle, Botero, Sevilla, Buffalo, Moos...this is just a start, there were tons more positives associated with Phonak). But the UCI remained friendly to them because of their long-term sponsorship commitment to the sport...up until the Landis debacle. At some point afterwards they mended fences with the UCI and now we have the current BMC incarnation.

I see them as addicts. They love the sport as it is and don't care how much it disappoints them. They want to win another GT, even if it means another grand fall.

Of course they know the score. They are determined to make room for themselves in the sport.
are they any different tho, to the Spanish teams, to Riis' CSC/Saxo, to USPS/Disco/Bruyneel's Astana, ONCE/Liberty Seguros, Quickstep, Italian squads, Telekom/T-Mobile/High Road/Columbia

all teams who have had success have either had direct programs or defacto programs. Phonak were a little more sloppy, and like Gerolsteiner, they were the expedient scapegoat.
 
Jan 30, 2010
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Dr Maserati, you've made your point about who you think the poster is, why keep harping on it (calling out 'BPC', 'Sprocket'...) ?

Answer the post, not the poster. It gets annoying to read, hence, i'm done reading this thread.
 
Inner Peace said:
Dr Maserati, you've made your point about who you think the poster is, why keep harping on it (calling out 'BPC', 'Sprocket'...) ?

Answer the post, not the poster. It gets annoying to read, hence, i'm done reading this thread.
What post were you answering?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Inner Peace said:
Dr Maserati, you've made your point about who you think the poster is, why keep harping on it (calling out 'BPC', 'Sprocket'...) ?

Answer the post, not the poster. It gets annoying to read, hence, i'm done reading this thread.
Actually I answered all of their posts with the exception of the "no Ballan there" because I decided not to bother highlighting that they had completely missed the point - which is of course BPC's style.
 

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