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Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocrisy

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Jul 11, 2013
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PK: What about your ethics? You use the word ‘betrayal’ about Basso and I’m thinking ‘That’s exactly what I want to hear.’ But then I see you at Vinokourov’s retirement party and being photographed with him. So what happens to betrayal?

CF: Yeah, I mean going to Vinokourov’s thing . . . this guy is a big icon in cycling. He has a retirement party here (Monaco),and there’s going to be a lot of influential cycling people here . . .

PK: He’s a *** cheat.

CF: (Laughs) You said that.

MC: I don’t think Chris fully understood that (Vinokourov) had doped.

CF: No, I knew.

MC: Not fully.
Oh boy that is always special to read again....
 
Re: Re:

carton said:
The Hitch said:
carton said:
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.
I think every one of these examples is flawed. That's assuming they are correct to begin with. Is Aru being semi- outed? One guy made one tweet and retracted it. Is Froome refusing to be seen with Vino? Well its not like they cross eachothers paths that much, but Froome is pally with Contador, does docus with Sean Kelly.

But anyway, its very disputable if, even if true, any of these are examples of omerta being broken.

Take Nibali refusing to be seen with Vino. I mean I don't know where you are coming from since this is only your second post, but lets be honest,Nibali is a rider who is quite obviously doping and has been doing so for a while.

If Nibali is doping, then what benefit exactly is him not wanting to be seen with Vino bringing to the sport? None. Its just 2 dopers not talking to eachother. All it shows is that dopers have learned how to behave in public to make people think they are clean.

And besides, Omerta means silence. Nibali or Froome not being seen with Vino, isn't breaking silence. Its definately not breaking omerta, because they are not breaking silence. On the contrary they are maintaining silence. Actually, if we look at your examples deeper we find that actually many of them actually show that the sport is in a very bad place.
I mean neither Froome nor Nibali are so much as willing to even call Vino out as a doper. BTW that wouldn't be breaking Omerta either. But they won't even do that. Nibali hasn't said squat. Froome was given the chance by Kimmage to say Vino is bad cos he doped, but he REFUSED. They won't even call out the dopers who everyone knows have doped.

Or look at Barguil calling out Zakarin. Yeah he called out Zakarin, but is 1 rider making 1 tweet a sign of omerta being broken? Pinotti called out Armstrong in 09. Kimmage wrote his book over 2 decades ago. Besides Barguil only called out a still relative nobody. Not a word about Valverde or Contador. Didn't seem to thing much wrong with Horner either back when Barguil enjoying his 2 stage wins in Horner's gt.

And American journos questioning TJVG? Well all I see is this Hood idiot writing absolute *** propaganda about how the sport was clean for 3 years without offering any arguments whatsoever to back it up. I see Ligget STILL being the "voice of cycling" in the United States, as well as plenty of other doping enablers, liars etc continuing to prosper in the commentary booth or on websites like velonews.

So I would call into question many of your examples, and also point out that 1 or 2 examples from here and there really do not mean omerta is being broken.

And btw, its when the guys winning the monuments and grand tours are being called out that you will know cycling is making some progress. A guy who 1 week ago was a total nobody who won 1 of the least important wt stage races, that's no big deal really
News flash: powerful people are harder to take down and harder to call out.
Well, that's the point. The whole point of a sacrifice is that its hard.

Its kind of like saying "I really want to pass this exam" and when a friend says, "ok , lets study for it" you reply, "nah, lets just be lazy and hope the right questions come up". Well then you don't really want it.
In the same way, someone who only wants to complain about a small fish doping but won't go after the guys winning monuments and gts, isn't really anti doping.

Its not like Valverde is even that hard of a target to go after. He served a ban. What's he gonna do if you call him out. Probably just do like he always did and hide until it blows over.

But at the very least the rider would be aknowledging the fact that there are flaws with the sport. Because when the riders at the top who are fighting for major races all year round, are doping,there is a major flaw in the system.
When they call out a Santambrogio or Zakarin who have merely won 1 smaller race, what they are suggesting is that the sport itself is clean, but that occasionally, someone on the periphery might succeed in 1 race through doping.

Now the above is a perfectly fine argument to have, if you actually believe that the sport is clean and only 1 or 2 riders have occasional success on the periphery through doping. But if Barguil, or anyone else making that argument actually believe that, they should probably explain why they think Zakarin is still doping, but Valverde and Contador are clean.

Which is why it matters very little if riders call out small fish. They are only challenging the 1 rider, not the sport itself, not the system. And ultimately omerta is and always has been about protecting a system, not an individual. Its when they call out the guys at the top that it matters. 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.

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.

-------
So I guess I was wrong that Froome didn't say Vino dopes. He did. Though only after being questioned about it because he was chummy with him. Which goes back to my original argument. If Froome was being friendly with Vino in 2012 after he had podiumed 2 grand tours and got an olympic medal, and now he doesn't, then that implies there is no real change in the sport only that people are behaving differently to create the perception the sport is changing.

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.

I don't know what friebe has done. Don't follow him. Last 2 times I heard of him was once when he mocked Vayer in 2013 after Vayer said Froome doped, and once a few months earlier when i read that he was putting down people on twitter who said Porte was doping for Paris Nice. In any case, if he actually believes some guys who were outside the world top 500 are now doing 6 wk in the final week of the Tour because they discovered some magic training techniques, then i don't have time for him. Though I don't know if that is his position since I don't read any of the places he writes for.
 
Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
carton said:
The Hitch said:
carton said:
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.
I think every one of these examples is flawed. That's assuming they are correct to begin with. Is Aru being semi- outed? One guy made one tweet and retracted it. Is Froome refusing to be seen with Vino? Well its not like they cross eachothers paths that much, but Froome is pally with Contador, does docus with Sean Kelly.

But anyway, its very disputable if, even if true, any of these are examples of omerta being broken.

Take Nibali refusing to be seen with Vino. I mean I don't know where you are coming from since this is only your second post, but lets be honest,Nibali is a rider who is quite obviously doping and has been doing so for a while.

If Nibali is doping, then what benefit exactly is him not wanting to be seen with Vino bringing to the sport? None. Its just 2 dopers not talking to eachother. All it shows is that dopers have learned how to behave in public to make people think they are clean.

And besides, Omerta means silence. Nibali or Froome not being seen with Vino, isn't breaking silence. Its definately not breaking omerta, because they are not breaking silence. On the contrary they are maintaining silence. Actually, if we look at your examples deeper we find that actually many of them actually show that the sport is in a very bad place.
I mean neither Froome nor Nibali are so much as willing to even call Vino out as a doper. BTW that wouldn't be breaking Omerta either. But they won't even do that. Nibali hasn't said squat. Froome was given the chance by Kimmage to say Vino is bad cos he doped, but he REFUSED. They won't even call out the dopers who everyone knows have doped.

Or look at Barguil calling out Zakarin. Yeah he called out Zakarin, but is 1 rider making 1 tweet a sign of omerta being broken? Pinotti called out Armstrong in 09. Kimmage wrote his book over 2 decades ago. Besides Barguil only called out a still relative nobody. Not a word about Valverde or Contador. Didn't seem to thing much wrong with Horner either back when Barguil enjoying his 2 stage wins in Horner's gt.

And American journos questioning TJVG? Well all I see is this Hood idiot writing absolute *** propaganda about how the sport was clean for 3 years without offering any arguments whatsoever to back it up. I see Ligget STILL being the "voice of cycling" in the United States, as well as plenty of other doping enablers, liars etc continuing to prosper in the commentary booth or on websites like velonews.

So I would call into question many of your examples, and also point out that 1 or 2 examples from here and there really do not mean omerta is being broken.

And btw, its when the guys winning the monuments and grand tours are being called out that you will know cycling is making some progress. A guy who 1 week ago was a total nobody who won 1 of the least important wt stage races, that's no big deal really
News flash: powerful people are harder to take down and harder to call out.
Well, that's the point. The whole point of a sacrifice is that its hard.

Its kind of like saying "I really want to pass this exam" and when a friend says, "ok , lets study for it" you reply, "nah, lets just be lazy and hope the right questions come up". Well then you don't really want it.
In the same way, someone who only wants to complain about a small fish doping but won't go after the guys winning monuments and gts, isn't really anti doping.

Its not like Valverde is even that hard of a target to go after. He served a ban. What's he gonna do if you call him out. Probably just do like he always did and hide until it blows over.

But at the very least the rider would be aknowledging the fact that there are flaws with the sport. Because when the riders at the top who are fighting for major races all year round, are doping,there is a major flaw in the system.
When they call out a Santambrogio or Zakarin who have merely won 1 smaller race, what they are suggesting is that the sport itself is clean, but that occasionally, someone on the periphery might succeed in 1 race through doping.

Now the above is a perfectly fine argument to have, if you actually believe that the sport is clean and only 1 or 2 riders have occasional success on the periphery through doping. But if Barguil, or anyone else making that argument actually believe that, they should probably explain why they think Zakarin is still doping, but Valverde and Contador are clean.

Which is why it matters very little if riders call out small fish. They are only challenging the 1 rider, not the sport itself, not the system. And ultimately omerta is and always has been about protecting a system, not an individual. Its when they call out the guys at the top that it matters. 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.

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.

-------
So I guess I was wrong that Froome didn't say Vino dopes. He did. Though only after being questioned about it because he was chummy with him. Which goes back to my original argument. If Froome was being friendly with Vino in 2012 after he had podiumed 2 grand tours and got an olympic medal, and now he doesn't, then that implies there is no real change in the sport only that people are behaving differently to create the perception the sport is changing.

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.

I don't know what friebe has done. Don't follow him. Last 2 times I heard of him was once when he mocked Vayer in 2013 after Vayer said Froome doped, and once a few months earlier when i read that he was putting down people on twitter who said Porte was doping for Paris Nice. In any case, if he actually believes some guys who were outside the world top 500 are now doing 6 wk in the final week of the Tour because they discovered some magic training techniques, then i don't have time for him. Though I don't know if that is his position since I don't read any of the places he writes for.
On this thread you can give names, The Hitch. One of the aforementioned dopers is right there on my board at #3. But back to the topic. You make all great points.Still, as far as I'm concerned, every bit counts. Calling out a small fish may not seem like much, but more of these may lead to bigger stuff as the small fishes want to save their skin, or as others get emboldened.
 
Re: Re:

Friebe::
All of which seems to bring possible flash-points into sharper focus - but may also not be the whole story. Anti-Doping Denmark’s (ADD) long-awaited report into drug use in cycling is being readied for publication. By suspending Riis, one reasonable theory goes, Tinkov has merely beaten the ADD to the punch. Perfectly reasonable, as we said, but also improbable in most sources’ eyes: one, because the report might embarrass Riis but is unlikely to result in sanctions, not least because the statute of limitations on the alleged offences has run out; two, because on past evidence, Tinkov won’t sacrifice Riis on ethical grounds, not even to save himself the Dane’s annual wage.
https://twitter.com/friebos/status/595115946748022785

Not the most stringent anti-doping journalist but more straight shooting, methinks, than some of his predecessors here.

No one serious thinks this is really a fairytale utopia peloton. Astana is still here. So is Katusha and Tinkoff-Saxo. Sky faces, fairly or not (I'm on the fence, TBH), salvo after salvo. Lefevere gets knocked around from time to time. Nobody is holding up Unzue as a paragon of virtue. Neither is Vaughters, for that matter. The times are too fast for comfort. But the sport is moving towards no-tolerance and no-syringes and no-TUEs. Velonews journos are openly attacking the big fish (Valverde), even American ones (Horner), instead of writing Armstrong hagiographies. Race organizers aren't giving relatively big home draws (Horner, Rebellin) the time of day. And riders are attacking winning GC contenders, not just the recently caught afterthoughts. That is change. And I do think that while there are some self-serving feints in there on the whole it may be for the better. Yeah, no rider or journalist, both of whose livelihoods are directly tied to the attractiveness of cycling to sponsors, is saying that most of the winners are frauds and road racing is basically a scam. Which it may partially be. But you surely must allow them at least that modicum of self-interest. Because if we stop pushing towards a little better and just shout out that it is not enough then it surely never will be.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: Re:

carton said:
But the sport is moving towards no-tolerance and no-syringes and no-TUEs.
but wait, you just invoked a lower regulatory threshold than the outlawed PED WADA code list.

they use the WADA code list, which is set at a much higher threshold to breach, yet you cite hypodermics and cortisone?

shhheeeeeeiiittt. they already take the explicitly outlawed stuff. You think these little tweaks can do anything more than be good marketing for Vaughters and Brailsford, even when they get their backdated butter on head TUEs like Armstrong in 99
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
I don't know what friebe has done. Don't follow him. Last 2 times I heard of him was once when he mocked Vayer in 2013 after Vayer said Froome doped, and once a few months earlier when i read that he was putting down people on twitter who said Porte was doping for Paris Nice. In any case, if he actually believes some guys who were outside the world top 500 are now doing 6 wk in the final week of the Tour because they discovered some magic training techniques, then i don't have time for him. Though I don't know if that is his position since I don't read any of the places he writes for.
CArton - Friebe an anti-doping journo ! I'm with Hitch. This is the guy who is still milking the Eddy gravy train ! I bet Cookson bought his book on Eddy and recommends it to all budding pro juniors. Lesson 1 - don't get caught. Lesson 2 - if you do get caught, make sure you have already ripped off so many races that it doesn't matter everyone still thinks you are great. Lance got close, he just left himself hostage to fortune by overdoing it too many times and rubbing too many peoples noses in it.

Sir Brad (Friebe also wrote a book about the him) needed to win a couple more Tours and he to could have toggled to "invulnerable cyclist" and if he was outed it wouldn't have mattered too much. As it is now, if somebody tough follows Cookson at the UCI, all those frozen samples might reveal something and that whole "we fluff pillows better than the rest" story will sink faster than the Titanic.

Freibe is just another hack sucking up to British Cycling and but turning as the wind changes direction.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

carton said:
blackcat said:
If you want a cleaner sport, go back to local club racing or second tier domestic racing.
Missed this. Not in my neck of the woods, not by a long shot.
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
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Re: Calling out dopers, ignoring others, Omertà and hypocris

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

Freddythefrog said:
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 said:
SeriousSam said:
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 said:
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 said:
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 said:
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.
 
Re:

CyclingNews said:
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.
 
Apr 3, 2011
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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.
 
Jul 11, 2013
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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.
 
Re:

mrhender said:
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
 
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.
 
Re:

carton said:
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/
 

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