Bassons: The most eloquent perspective...

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Sep 10, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
Bassons made a choice. it is very simple. He could have continued in the sport had he chose to dope. He didn't, he chose not to dope and decided to pursue something in life which was not dependent on cheating, i consider that 'a higher road'. That he now works in an anti doping job shows he is trying to change it from outside rather than within, which is a lot more than many have done or are trying to do.

As for riding for himself, 1 rider's comment. He was good enough to ride as a pro for 5 years and apparently without doping.
Well no, it was actually several riders from several different teams that said the same thing (Xavier Jan as well, for eg).

But regardless, that was kind of my point - I don't think Bassons had much of a choice but to retire. He was, for all intents and purposes, basically forced out of the sport. Which imo actually makes his story even more poignant and relevant.
 
To be credible as an anti-doping spokesman, Bassons should have donated tens of thousands of euros to Verdruggen and the UCI and befriended a known doping "doctor". Boffing a few blond movie stars would have helped as well.

But seriously, he has basically dedicated his life to spreading the anti-doping message, that is pretty much proof of his position even if he is paid for doing it.

As for only riding for himself, would you want to put yourself in the service of a bunch of drug addict teammates?
 
Jul 15, 2009
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VeloCity said:
Nor was he very popular with his teammates to begin with - see Bourguignon's comments about how Basson's wasn't a very good team rider and mostly rode for himself.
Well his teams used to send him to get blood tested first while the others took their masking agents, which he did without complaint. That's a team player. I'd say they liked him enough for that.

I would suspect some former teammates may be rewriting history somewhat to play down the impact of doping in their era and in Bassons' decision to quit.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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petethedrummer said:
Well his teams used to send him to get blood tested first while the others took their masking agents, which he did without complaint. That's a team player. I'd say they liked him enough for that.

I would suspect some former teammates may be rewriting history somewhat to play down the impact of doping in their era and in Bassons' decision to quit.
Borguignon was a friend of Bassons and was referring to when they were teammates on Force Sud, before Bassons joined Festina.

I'm not trying to castigate Bassons, but let's not put the guy on a pedestal by rewriting history either. Besides, why didn't he come forward before the '99 Tour Festina bust? And if the Festina bust had never happened, would he have come forth at all? He was thrust into the anti-doping spotlight because of the Festina bust and he's done a good job with it since, but let's not pretend that he is, by nature, an anti-doping crusader. He became that way largely because of circumstance, not because of personal moral outrage.

btw didn't realize Bassons was from Mazamet - isn't that Jalabert's hometown?
 
Jul 15, 2009
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VeloCity said:
He was thrust into the anti-doping spotlight because of the Festina bust and he's done a good job with it since, but let's not pretend that he is, by nature, an anti-doping crusader. He became that way largely because of circumstance, not because of personal moral outrage.
From reading his book (though i'm no expert at French, I translated it slowly) it seems he is a quiet, introspective individual and it probably took a long time to snap. If he wasn't morally outraged he could have rejected the offer to write his column but instead he took it. Maybe 3 years too late for your liking.

Maybe the sort of crusader you want would be shouting his mouth off about doping from his arrival in the sport. That would be great but that individual hasn't arrived yet in the pro peloton. What Bassons did do; compete drug free, write the '99 column, write his autobigraphy and his current anti-doping job, place him above any other rider as an anti-doping crusader.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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petethedrummer said:
From reading his book (though i'm no expert at French, I translated it slowly) it seems he is a quiet, introspective individual and it probably took a long time to snap. If he wasn't morally outraged he could have rejected the offer to write his column but instead he took it. Maybe 3 years too late for your liking.

Maybe the sort of crusader you want would be shouting his mouth off about doping from his arrival in the sport. That would be great but that individual hasn't arrived yet in the pro peloton. What Bassons did do; compete drug free, write the '99 column, write his autobigraphy and his current anti-doping job, place him above any other rider as an anti-doping crusader.
Nahh I would say that Floyd is above any other anti-doping crusader.

When things got tough Bassons just quit. If he was on the playground he would have been called a ??? ????. Or joined the High Road as you all say. :rolleyes:
 
May 20, 2010
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Glenn_Wilson said:
Nahh I would say that Floyd is above any other anti-doping crusader.

When things got tough Bassons just quit. If he was on the playground he would have been called a ??? ????. Or joined the High Road as you all say. :rolleyes:
Do you have even a modicum of respect for anyone who is anti-doping?
 
May 26, 2010
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Glenn_Wilson said:
Nahh I would say that Floyd is above any other anti-doping crusader.

When things got tough Bassons just quit. If he was on the playground he would have been called a ??? ????. Or joined the High Road as you all say. :rolleyes:
well pro cycling is not a playground although a certain rider definitely used playground bully boy tactics throughout his career.

I am of the opinion that one is not weak when one does not return the aggression that one is threatened with.

Name calling on a playground just shows how low those calling names are. Bassons was obviously way above that level.

Without question he took a higher road. He did not quit the sport as he is working in anti drugs, which in the current popularity of doping in sport is a very positive and pro sport job.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
well pro cycling is not a playground although a certain rider definitely used playground bully boy tactics throughout his career.

I am of the opinion that one is not weak when one does not return the aggression that one is threatened with.

Name calling on a playground just shows how low those calling names are. Bassons was obviously way above that level.

Without question he took a higher road. He did not quit the sport as he is working in anti drugs, which in the current popularity of doping in sport is a very positive and pro sport job.
very well put, B

what i don't understand is that those who preferred to stay with the flow of the doped peloton, those who still lack the inner strength (or a ball) to admit, that those don't get called for the real weakness to their character.

that type of character weakness perpetuated more fraud and cheating and yet some basson's detractors refuse to see it.
 
May 26, 2010
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python said:
very well put, B

what i don't understand is that those who preferred to stay with the flow of the doped peloton, those who still lack the inner strength (or a ball) to admit, that those don't get called for the real weakness to their character.

that type of character weakness perpetuated more fraud and cheating and yet some basson's detractors refuse to see it.
+1

That people would criticise a rider like Bassons who rode as a pro fro 5 years, which is not a short period of time, it might be the average considering how many retire early from illness, accidents and not making the grade, is crazy.

Bassons was not weak as a pro, if he was he would have ridden for 2 years max. To ride for 5 years in the EPO years shows he was talented.

He was fully aware of what was happening in the sport. His decision to leave the peloton and get a higher education is nothing short of admirable. To then come back and work to clean up the sport that turned its back on him is even more admirable.

So for me he is above any form of criticism.
 
Glenn_Wilson said:
Nahh I would say that Floyd is above any other anti-doping crusader.

When things got tough Bassons just quit. If he was on the playground he would have been called a ??? ????. Or joined the High Road as you all say. :rolleyes:
Landis was a doper who got caught and was left with very few options.

Bassons made a choice not to dope and stuck with it.

Being forced to "come clean" vs making a conscious effort to do the right thing are what seperates these two men.
 
Glenn_Wilson said:
Nahh I would say that Floyd is above any other anti-doping crusader.

When things got tough Bassons just quit. If he was on the playground he would have been called a ??? ????. Or joined the High Road as you all say. :rolleyes:
You miss the point that Landis jacked to get to the position of Tour winner. If he had stayed dope free like Bassons, there is a good chance he would have lasted for an even shoter preiod in the peloton than Bassons, at best he would have been back on the US circuit after a few seasons in Europe. Do you think he would have spoken out or got much attention as a US domestic racer, I dont think so.
 
I just do not understand al the Basson detractors. Put yourself in his position. A guy that dreamed and worked incredibly hard to fulfill that, only to learn the dream is full of drugs and cheats. That is pretty devastating. No one would scream about the unfairness. He was young and the industry was rife with corruption. Who is going to believe?
Here is another personal, similar, true story.

My brother wanted to be a lawyer as long as I could remember. Worked his **** off to put himself through Law school. Graduated at the top. Got a job in a prestigious firm doing product liability. He ended up defending corporations that he knew were guilty. HE was disgusted and ending up quitting despite the implications it would have on his career.
He ended up dying at 32yo.

Aside. I am not throwing stones at all lawyers ok. So no comments on that please
 
VeganRob, sorry to hear that about your brother.

But let's also be realistic. I am not detracting from Bassons or your brother for that matter), but both were really naive not understanding the jobs they got into.

A lawyer is not defending the actions of those he defends, but rather defending the people themselves who have every right to use the legal system to it's fullest potential. You can do that full well without compromising your own integrity or without lying on behalf of your client. It is a distinction that not everyone is able to make, but that is essential if you want to succeed as a lawyer.

In the same vein, Bassons was unbelievably gullible and naive if he really didn't know in 1996 when he got into pro cycling that doping was rife at that time. This was in the middle of the EPO-era with everybody talking about a two-speed peloton, people like Van Hooydonk throwing the towel at the age of only 30 (in 1996), nicknames like Monsieur Soixante for that year's TdF winner (Riis), etc., etc.

Bassons deserves our respect, but let's keep it real.

Regards
GJ
 
May 26, 2010
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GJB123 said:
VeganRob, sorry to hear that about your brother.

But let's also be realistic. I am not detracting from Bassons or your brother for that matter), but both were really naive not understanding the jobs they got into.

A lawyer is not defending the actions of those he defends, but rather defending the people themselves who have every right to use the legal system to it's fullest potential. You can do that full well without compromising your own integrity or without lying on behalf of your client. It is a distinction that not everyone is able to make, but that is essential if you want to succeed as a lawyer.

In the same vein, Bassons was unbelievably gullible and naive if he really didn't know in 1996 when he got into pro cycling that doping was rife at that time. This was in the middle of the EPO-era with everybody talking about a two-speed peloton, people like Van Hooydonk throwing the towel at the age of only 30 (in 1996), nicknames like Monsieur Soixante for that year's TdF winner (Riis), etc., etc.

Bassons deserves our respect, but let's keep it real.

Regards
GJ
take this post and substitute Bassons for donors to Livewrong.............
 
veganrob said:
I just do not understand al the Basson detractors. Put yourself in his position. A guy that dreamed and worked incredibly hard to fulfill that, only to learn the dream is full of drugs and cheats. That is pretty devastating. No one would scream about the unfairness. He was young and the industry was rife with corruption. Who is going to believe?
Here is another personal, similar, true story.
I agree that Bassons should be commended for his stance, however, I find it hard to believe that anyone riding at an elite amateur level in the 90's wasn't aware of what they were getting into.

It's really more a willingness to see how far you can get in that culture, without doping yourself, than having a dream broken.
 
GJB123 said:
VeganRob, sorry to hear that about your brother.

But let's also be realistic. I am not detracting from Bassons or your brother for that matter), but both were really naive not understanding the jobs they got into.

A lawyer is not defending the actions of those he defends, but rather defending the people themselves who have every right to use the legal system to it's fullest potential. You can do that full well without compromising your own integrity or without lying on behalf of your client. It is a distinction that not everyone is able to make, but that is essential if you want to succeed as a lawyer.

In the same vein, Bassons was unbelievably gullible and naive if he really didn't know in 1996 when he got into pro cycling that doping was rife at that time. This was in the middle of the EPO-era with everybody talking about a two-speed peloton, people like Van Hooydonk throwing the towel at the age of only 30 (in 1996), nicknames like Monsieur Soixante for that year's TdF winner (Riis), etc., etc.

Bassons deserves our respect, but let's keep it real.

Regards
GJ
Thank you.
One can't criticize people or fault them for being naive. Sure we would like to sometimes though. But that would be wrong. Iy is only in todays society that makes it right.
And I do understand law very well and why we have it. It is a bit too much of a litigious society we have in my opinion though.
My only point here is that sometimes our dreams are shattered and we don't always know how we are going to react. And that includes Basson. To his credit he is trying to do the right thing now.
Thanks again.
RW
 
Sep 10, 2009
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petethedrummer said:
From reading his book (though i'm no expert at French, I translated it slowly) it seems he is a quiet, introspective individual and it probably took a long time to snap. If he wasn't morally outraged he could have rejected the offer to write his column but instead he took it. Maybe 3 years too late for your liking.

Maybe the sort of crusader you want would be shouting his mouth off about doping from his arrival in the sport. That would be great but that individual hasn't arrived yet in the pro peloton. What Bassons did do; compete drug free, write the '99 column, write his autobigraphy and his current anti-doping job, place him above any other rider as an anti-doping crusader.
No, I'm saying that Bassons did not become an "anti-doping crusader" by choice but by circumstance. Without the Festina bust, none of us would be talking about him right now because he most likely would've just kept quiet and gone about his business even if he was morally against doping. Nothing wrong with that - that's apparently what Moncoutie has chosen to do - and that Bassons took that ball and ran with it and continues to speak out is courageous and should be applauded, but it wasn't a brave personal choice by Bassons as so many posters here like to present it, it was a twist of fate.
 
VeloCity said:
No, I'm saying that Bassons did not become an "anti-doping crusader" by choice but by circumstance. Without the Festina bust, none of us would be talking about him right now because he most likely would've just kept quiet and gone about his business even if he was morally against doping. Nothing wrong with that - that's apparently what Moncoutie has chosen to do - and that Bassons took that ball and ran with it and continues to speak out is courageous and should be applauded, but it wasn't a brave personal choice by Bassons as so many posters here like to present it, it was a twist of fate.
In all likelihood it was a bit of both.

Regards
GJ
 
May 26, 2010
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I still think Bassons made a choice, he could've kept his mouth shut but he chose to speak out. It was his choice to talk to the magazine that then led to the omerta ganging up on him like the proverbial schoolyard bully led by mr sociopath.
 
VeloCity said:
No, I'm saying that Bassons did not become an "anti-doping crusader" by choice but by circumstance. Without the Festina bust, none of us would be talking about him right now because he most likely would've just kept quiet and gone about his business even if he was morally against doping. ...............
.
You write:
Without the Festina bust, none of us would be talking about him right now because he most likely would've just kept quiet

But in fact w/o the Festina bust of 98, he would have been thrown out of the team in 99. Instead he became a sort of "moral backing" for his team. That's what he said.

He also gives credit to his girl-friend (wife?) for helping him when he felt he might give in to the pressure to dope.

You can easily imagine the kind of pressure teams exert on people like Bassons or Moncoutié, racers who have VO2 max of about 86 for the first one and 88 (or more) for the second clean would clearly be at the very top with EPO alone.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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VeloCity said:
No, I'm saying that Bassons did not become an "anti-doping crusader" by choice but by circumstance.
Circumstance led to the column offer*.
Choice led him to say yes to that offer.


*Why was it that Bassons was offered the column? pure chance? or because they knew he was clean and anti-doping?
 
Sep 10, 2009
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petethedrummer said:
Circumstance led to the column offer*.
Choice led him to say yes to that offer.


*Why was it that Bassons was offered the column? pure chance? or because they knew he was clean and anti-doping?
Well yeah, of course, but point is that without the circumstance coming first - ie the Festina bust and its aftermath - there would've been no subsequent choice for Bassons to make. It's not like Bassons just woke up one day and decided to become an anti-doping crusader out of pure moral outrage. He had plenty of opportunity to do so prior to Festina, and I'm merely suggesting that without the Festina bust, chances are that he wouldn't have come forward at all.
 
VeloCity said:
Well yeah, of course, but point is that without the circumstance coming first - ie the Festina bust and its aftermath - there would've been no subsequent choice for Bassons to make. It's not like Bassons just woke up one day and decided to become an anti-doping crusader out of pure moral outrage. He had plenty of opportunity to do so prior to Festina, and I'm merely suggesting that without the Festina bust, chances are that he wouldn't have come forward at all.
You keep going around and around on this with nothing gained.

1. There's just no way to define the tipping point. You have the luxury of 20/20 hindsight to call the tipping point. I see this so often and it's a fatal assumption. It's as if history happens in a safe continuum. It doesn't. If not a Festina, then some other team would have finally gotten busted. And then, you would have the same false confidence only using a different team as the tipping point. That's not how life works.

2. Again, you are ascribing a feature 'anti-doping crusader' to Bassons that he may not agree with and I certainly don't. You completely ignore Armstrong's role in Basson's promotion to your 'anti-doping crusader' pedestal. If Armstrong did/said nothing, the story likely would have evaporated in chaos in this forum. Bam! no more pedestal.

See you on page 23 when you are still trying to make a point that is not valid.
 

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