Bernie Kohl - for all those fed-up with discussions about doping

Mar 17, 2009
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This is why we still do.

When he 'fessed up and said he started after last year's Dauphine, I didn't believe him. I thought he may well have started after the GIro because back in the winter of '07 there was an interview with him in Procycling. In that interview he was anti-doping and I thought he came across well as one of the new generation, I routed for hiim during the tour and thought he was believeable.

Now he says he'd been doping since 2005 when he turned pro, so he lies in an interview, he lies when he confesses. I'll still believe in many in the pro scene, but there are a lot of riders whose evasion and rumours about I'll happily believe until they are willing to be tested.

It's about time the UCI started doing something, because if Kohl has given names and they're still riding or still involved in the sport, then the sport will be in freefall and it will mainly be the fault of the UCI. Pro cycling may well be on it's last legs.

PS. If anyone at Procycling would like to go and visit Kohl and re-visit that interview, it might make good reading.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Kohl doped at AToC

@ AToC three years ago on Sierra Rd , Kohl, Landis and Levi separated themselves from the field on the sharp climb. I had barely heard of Bernie Kohl then. He went on to wear the KOM jersey and went from obscure to jumping to Gerolsteiner in a GC/team leader role. (I think he was T-Mobile before.)
These revelations as to how long he has been doping are really discouraging. It leaves us wondering about any extraordinary results. I would like to reclaim the public's faith in a riders natural abilities.
Unfortunately, the other breakout rider that year, 2006, was none other than Riccardo Ricco.
 
This has the feel of something that will get much worse, and there will not be the Spanish fed and judges to keep it under wraps. Riders from Rabobank were rumored to have used the same clinic Kohl used. If Kohl's manager rolls over then a lot of other riders are screwed.

In the aftermath of OP I remember a doc from northern europe claiming that there were several operations similar to Fuentes'. I think he said that one was rumored to be in Austria. It will be interesting to see if the operation was anywhere near OP's size. OP was handling about two out of the twenty major teams plus riders on other teams.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Or look at Valverde, today the Italians claim with certainty that one of the blood bags from Puerto belongs to him and so they are putting in place the process to ban him for two years. We'll see how long Valverde maintains his stance of denial.

As long as these question marks hang over the sport, we'll keep getting these stories.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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great that they are catching the cheats but this one in Austria is meant to cover other sports as was Puerto but again it's only the cyclists names that end up in the public eye.

I'd like a full list of ALL sports people involved in Puerto made public
 
sherer said:
great that they are catching the cheats but this one in Austria is meant to cover other sports as was Puerto but again it's only the cyclists names that end up in the public eye.

I'd like a full list of ALL sports people involved in Puerto made public
Yeah the worst part about doping is that, even though ALL sports do it, cycling is the only sport to do anything ABOUT it.

And it gives cycling a bad name, even though it's the only sport cleaning house. (Meanwhile Euro and US football, US baseball, and even F1 just keep rolling along, ignoring the problem.)
 
Mar 11, 2009
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mr tibbs, cycling hasn't done much. If Judge Serrano had not gone on holiday, Valverde would not be caught. Only riders with blood stored with Fuentes feel the heat. No one wants to reopen the investigation into Contador for example. In other words, cycling has not done a lot and it's random events like Serrano's holiday that have brought justice, not some deliberate procedure to find the truth.

sherer, it seems only the cyclists had blood stored at Fuentes, so only this can be matched by DNA and create convictions.

Remember, the likes of Contador, LL Sanchez, Allan Davis are linked by documentsbut this is not evidence of doping even if it is highly suspicious. The same goes for other athletes, footballers and tennis players, they might be linked but there is no smoking gun evidence.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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good point there although I remember when this first hit the news and we were told athletics and football were involved. As Vino said the other sports all have more money so they can cover these things up as cycling news reported the other week one football club are sueing for having their name linked to this. Cycling doesn't have the money to cover these things up
 
Apr 1, 2009
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No Top Sport W/O dope

If you want to be a pro cyclist you will have to use dope. Or, you can work on the assembly line. I race some amateur events and even here people dope. It's not only cycling, but soccer, atheltics, swimming, skating, tennis, and so on.
 
Nikbrou said:
If you want to be a pro cyclist you will have to use dope. Or, you can work on the assembly line. I race some amateur events and even here people dope. It's not only cycling, but soccer, atheltics, swimming, skating, tennis, and so on.
That's exactly the type of attitude that is destroying this sport.

I hope you're just trolling and that you're not sincere in that opinion because if you are then I can only wish that you disappear from this sport forever.
 
ingsve said:
That's exactly the type of attitude that is destroying this sport.

I hope you're just trolling and that you're not sincere in that opinion because if you are then I can only wish that you disappear from this sport forever.
Recognition of reality is not destroying the sport. Refusal to admit what is going on is what is doing that. The UCI is not cleaning up the problem because it has been able to rely on a segment of the fanbase to look the other way no matter what.
 
BroDeal said:
Recognition of reality is not destroying the sport. Refusal to admit what is going on is what is doing that. The UCI is not cleaning up the problem because it has been able to rely on a segment of the fanbase to look the other way no matter what.
Recognizing that there is doping in the sport and thinking that doping is necessary and thus ok are two completely diffrent things.

Yes, there is doping in the sport. Yes, the UCI is not doing their job. Yes, some fans look the other way. But, not one of those things are the way it should be.

As long as people (riders, teams, fans etc) cling to the notion that you HAVE to cheat to stand a chance then the problem will never go away.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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As long as people can earn money in sports, they will take the easy way and cheat. Because they want more; more money, more wins, more prestige.
 
It's not just segement of the fanbase that looks the other way.
In the case of major sports, the vast majority of news media looks the other way.
Take the implications of Kohl's confessions to their logical conclusion and chances are, your post will get pulled.
Ah Gerolsteiner.
Georg Totschnig is in the spotlight for his 2005 Tour win and the practices of that certain Viennese clinic.
Now, I remember Georg leading the Gerolsteiner team in the Tour of Germany that year, but he was beaten to the overall by a certain team mate.
Someone who has been touted as possibly winning the Tour;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutschland_Tour
 
Apr 2, 2009
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Unfortunately it appears all sports are infected with the need to perform, right now! I still do not understand what motivates those involved in sports to cheat by doping.
The team's that look the other way are just as much to blame for not screening their employees(riders, etc.), since doping is so prevalent in todays sports.
Honesty is just another word nowadays. Loyalty to ones self, family and team is not so important or a part of the values THEY(dopers) exhibit.
So being convicted is just a common occurrance as the society just accepts it. Dopers are just as bad as drug dealers, and basically criminals. They don't want to follow the rules of the organizations they belong to, that they joined on their own without anyone pushing them to sign the contract.
I understand people make mistakes, but once one is discovered you would hope that others will learn from that persons mistake.
Apparently dopers feel that they will never be caught. The Unions that sportsmen join should slam the door on dopers by not giving them a second chance.
History is there for them to learn from , not to repeat the same mistakes the dopers of the past have commited.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Nikbrou said:
If you want to be a pro cyclist you will have to use dope. Or, you can work on the assembly line. I race some amateur events and even here people dope. It's not only cycling, but soccer, atheltics, swimming, skating, tennis, and so on.
I agree, quite a bit. Possibly some domestic Pros in the USA have been clean...

These Euro=pean doping doctors though are morally bankrupt and many have gotten so good at lying they believe some of their own lies (like about hard work solely being the diff!) What a joke!
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
It's not just segement of the fanbase that looks the other way.
In the case of major sports, the vast majority of news media looks the other way.
Take the implications of Kohl's confessions to their logical conclusion and chances are, your post will get pulled.
Ah Gerolsteiner.
Georg Totschnig is in the spotlight for his 2005 Tour win and the practices of that certain Viennese clinic.
Now, I remember Georg leading the Gerolsteiner team in the Tour of Germany that year, but he was beaten to the overall by a certain team mate.
Someone who has been touted as possibly winning the Tour;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutschland_Tour

ANd many do not realize that with epo or blood doping you get up to a 20% boost in sustainable watts!! So one talented rider who is clean has no chance AT ALL of keeping up with another talented rider who is taking blood "refills" from time to time.

So the general public and media "regular Joes" still think guys have been clean when there is literally ZERO chance they are now or ever were. But I'm sorry Lance, I cant believe in miracles! Nor divine intervention, ETs, ghost hunting, etc!
 
Mar 30, 2009
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I've only followed cycling for a number of years and I love it! It's been rubbish though having faith in riders and supporting them, only to find out most of their results have come from doping. I was a huge fan of Ricco! It is a helpless situation to be in especally when the people running the sport don't seem to be looking in its best interests. So I think all we can do as fans of cycling is to keep these posts going and keep up public pressure on the organisers - Maybe we should do a TV blackout of an event to protest against the UCI!

There's no point burying our heads in the sand and hoping it will go away but until it improves, we have to continue to support the cyclists and races we love (until proven guilty of course) and obviously recognise doping exists, but have faith that one day, ego's won't rule this sport we love - true cyclists and fans will.
 
Kohl's Doping

Bernhard Kohl's admission to doping since 2005, the year he turned pro, and not, according to his original confession, from just prior to the 2008 Tour should allay any doubts as to the real nature of doping in pro cycling: namely that it is cultural. Because if Kohl were introduced to doping immediately following his entrance into the highest level of the sport, then we can assume that many, if not all or nearly all, neo-pros jump on the same bandwagon. But then again the Italians close to or "inside" the sport have been telling me this for years. That when one turns pro la roba ("the stuff") no longer becomes an option. And so too has Paul Kimmage provided the same insight for the anglo-saxon speaking world. But how many fans care to know the truth? How many prefer to believe the lies and the fairy tales, because it's easier, more convenient, less difficult to digest? The enth demonstration that for the public hypocracy and fiction are often preferable, and no more is this the case than in pro sports, to a less tolarable reality.

Rob Huber
Rome, Italy
 
Mar 27, 2009
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quadsRme said:
I still do not understand what motivates those involved in sports to cheat by doping.
You mean apart from the money, fame and honour justified by the "knowledge" that everyone else is doing it anyway? I'm afraid that I can fully understand why riders dope. Doesn't mean I agree with it, but what they are doing is simply the dark side of something that exists in every single one of us.


quadsRme said:
Dopers are just as bad as drug dealers, and basically criminals. They don't want to follow the rules of the organizations they belong to, that they joined on their own without anyone pushing them to sign the contract.
I don't agree with your analogy, and it is an important point. Dopers aren't drug dealers, they are drug addicts. The reason that they have gone down this path is largely the same as recreational drug users and they the same long-term addiction. Look at the stories of riders like Riviere who remained reculsive pill-poppers after their careers had ended. Also, there are so many stories of riders taking Pot Belge outside of competition. This is a nature driven by drug addiction and not simply by a desire to win races.

Sport needs to change it's attack on competitive drug use in the same way that society is starting to with recreational drug use. If you want riders to avoid taking drugs in the first place you need to be more supportive of them emotionally. A team that hires and fires at will based upon your last result is a team that is going to have a serious drugs problem. Look at Cofidis and Millar; they all but put the syringe in his hand and yet are deemed to be not responsible. Simpson was put in a very similar situation in 1967.

Irresponsible needs to be seen the same as responsible. Fortunately, I think that that message is starting to get through (Astana's exclusion from the Tour last year, Fuji's exclusion from any meaningful race this year), but that message is still inconsistent (why do Liquigas get to ride anything?).

Garmin talked about having all of their riders based in Girona. I know that they aren't all down there, but I still think that it is a great concept. People have talked about how supportive an environment the British track team are. It shouldn't be a surprise because the vast majority of the British track team live close to Manchester. It creates a nurturing environment, not just from management but amongst the riders themselves. If you spend all of your time amongst your teammates, you can see the warning signs and try and get them the support they need to stay clear of the dark side.

I read recently that Froome and Cummings, despite both being British, riding for the same team and living close to each other in Tuscany prefer training alone than with each other. How is that a healthy situation? 90% of pro cycling teams are simply a bunch of mercenary individuals and have no concept of the word 'team'.

If I was running a professional team, one of my first rules would be that you are moving to the town that the team is located and that you are training together. A psychiatrist, again such as the one used by British Cycling, is also a must in my eyes.

But the fundamental point is that teams need to exist outside of the racing, too.

quadsRme said:
Apparently dopers feel that they will never be caught. The Unions that sportsmen join should slam the door on dopers by not giving them a second chance.
History is there for them to learn from , not to repeat the same mistakes the dopers of the past have commited.
How is that different to any other crime, though? I break the speed limit on the assumption that I won't get caught despite knowing what the potential dangers are.

Graham.
 
A little anecdote on the German/Austrian clinic saga, to emphasise this culture issue.

I was recently re-watching the 2006 Tour. On the first mountain stage, that was covered in full by Eurosport, David Harmon was interviewing a "guest" in the box.
I forget the guy's name, but he was the Chief Public Relations Officer for T Mobile.
T Mobile had signed one Sergey Honchar, who was at the time under a cloud of suspicion in regard to a doping offence.

Harmon asked the question as to what "medical checks" were carried out by T Mob, before signing a rider, especially one who might have been caught doping.

The PR bosses response was that the team had an "agreement", with the University Hospital of Freiburg, that meant that any new rider underwent banks of medical screening checks, upon their arrival at the team and that every T Mob rider had been screened by the establishment.

Now we have Kohl with Vienna, along with the Rabo squad.
Conconi at the University of Ferrera.
Fuentes etc....

Yes, I'd say it was a culture. One of the establishment, not just riders.
 
Mar 15, 2009
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ingsve said:
That's exactly the type of attitude that is destroying this sport.

I hope you're just trolling and that you're not sincere in that opinion because if you are then I can only wish that you disappear from this sport forever.
Excuse me, but sounds like LA's words, talking with Bassons ... I't a mess what happened in sport rtegarding doping. You can't hide your head in the sand and say everything is just fine.
But doping are largely used in every major sport not only in cycling. It can be such an HUGE amount of doped rider in cycling and this phenomenon be ONLY in cycling. Again, it is very very strange what happened with Operacion Puerto, when there was rumours about the involving of other sports, like football or tenis.
So saying something about doping in cycling means you are destroying it??? No, those who destroy cycling are the doped riders, and all those who cover them and get money and fame from dope, team managers, doctors etc...
I know judo champions who had big problems with their hearts,livers, impotency and other hormons disturb. , few years after they quit sport, all of them very young, 30-40 years old...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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JavierOtxoa said:
Excuse me, but sounds like LA's words, talking with Bassons ... I't a mess what happened in sport rtegarding doping. You can't hide your head in the sand and say everything is just fine.
But doping are largely used in every major sport not only in cycling. It can be such an HUGE amount of doped rider in cycling and this phenomenon be ONLY in cycling. Again, it is very very strange what happened with Operacion Puerto, when there was rumours about the involving of other sports, like football or tenis.
So saying something about doping in cycling means you are destroying it??? No, those who destroy cycling are the doped riders, and all those who cover them and get money and fame from dope, team managers, doctors etc...
I know judo champions who had big problems with their hearts,livers, impotency and other hormons disturb. , few years after they quit sport, all of them very young, 30-40 years old...
I think the other sports have too much money all the papers know if they print the name of a Real Madrid player they will be sued and won't be able to defend themselves. Cycling has less money so they can get away with it.

The problem isn't so much the riders it's all the DSs and teams who have been living with this since before the 50s. Didn't one of the tour rule books even state "drugs aren't provided by us". Until we get a new set of teams and DSs who want to do this clean then it will keep happening. It's the whole system that needs to be changed
 

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