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Do you believe people can reform?

There is so much talk on this forum about historical drug taking, and being associated with people involved in it.
Assuming the VAST majority of riders in the Lance years were doping, I'd be more interested in knowing what people's beliefs are about reform.
Do you think you have to confess to be believed?
Do you think being caught up in that era disqualifies you from having any involvement in cycling today?
Is it possible that someone like Riis or Bruneel has tried to run things clean, having seen the error of their ways?
Can a cyclist just stop, the way many are now saying they did about 8 years ago, or is that just too convenient?

My own view is that many people on the whole will do what they think they can get away with (PED's, not paying taxes, screwing around etc) BUT if they think they can't get away with it, most are capable of not doing it.
But they way posters on the Clinic label cyclists, you'd think that any association in the past condemns people to permanent exclusion.
BTW I don't believe everyone can reform if given the chance, and many deserve the life bans they have for cheating twice.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Well depends on your definition of reform.

If you need to be dragged into poverty or need to be relocated to a small house enclosed by iron bars or need to lose everything you have till you can reform, then no.

If you can come to a point while doing the bad deeds and have an epiphany and decide to turn to the proper moral side of things at the same time giving up the proceeds of your wrong doing's, then yes.

The past is who you are, you can't erase the past no matter how hard you try. Coming to grips with this is what every ex-con, ex-doper must deal with, if people still doubt you later on then you know you are to blame and no amount of white flag waving is going to erase your past.

Sometimes I read this forum and think people have never confronted a wrong doer in their lives. Do you let the ex-house burglar in and show him all your belongings? Do you allow the ex-kid snatcher baby sit your kids? Do you let the car thief borrow your car? Some of you will say yes, but how many of you actually know an ex-<insert crime> in the first place. Yet, some ex-dopers want us to let them back into our fun of being their fan, sorry ex-doper you need to go re-earn your trust first just like the ex-cons, there are no gifts in our lives so why do we need to gift our fan-ism to an ex-doper?
 
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Cyclists are no different from other people in society.

I know I did things in my 20's that I wouldn't do now in the my early 40's and I know that's also true of all of my close friends.

I definitely think it's possible for someone in their early to mid 20's to get into doping, even though they know it's wrong and even really don't want to do it (eg. Zabrieske). But they've doped, not having developed the maturity and strength of character to be able to refuse and live with the consequences (clearly there are some examples of riders who did have that maturity early on and they left the sport).

So for me, someone like Vaughters is a good example of a guy who doped, knew it was wrong but as an older, more mature person can be a good influence in the sport and run a clean team.

I think it's also possible for others to do the same.

Bruyneel however has clearly run a drug program even after finishing his riding career. He has not matured into someone with the right moral character to be around easily influenced youths/young adults. He deserves to be removed from the sport entirely.

I also think is that the riders we now know left the sport because they refused to dope, should be bought back by the UCI as 'ambassadors' for clean riding that any rider can speak with off the record. Kind of like a 'helpline' but with more beef behind it.

Just my 0.02c.
 
May 14, 2010
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coinneach said:
There is so much talk on this forum about historical drug taking, and being associated with people involved in it.
Assuming the VAST majority of riders in the Lance years were doping, I'd be more interested in knowing what people's beliefs are about reform.

Do you think you have to confess to be believed?

If you don't admit to wrongdoing, when you are complicit in wrongdoing, how can you be taken seriously? (This is LA's problem.)

Do you think being caught up in that era disqualifies you from having any involvement in cycling today?

Depends on the individual, their circumstances, and the nature of their involvement. Also depends on whether they come clean (see above).

Is it possible that someone like Riis or Bruneel has tried to run things clean, having seen the error of their ways?

No.

Can a cyclist just stop, the way many are now saying they did about 8 years ago, or is that just too convenient?

Too convenient. You know what's inconvenient? Beating dopers when you're not doped. Especially when you're paid to win. Not getting a paycheck is inconvenient, too.

My own view is that many people on the whole will do what they think they can get away with (PED's, not paying taxes, screwing around etc) BUT if they think they can't get away with it, most are capable of not doing it.
But they way posters on the Clinic label cyclists, you'd think that any association in the past condemns people to permanent exclusion.
BTW
I don't believe everyone can reform if given the chance, and many deserve the life bans they have for cheating twice.
 
ElChingon said:
Well depends on your definition of reform.

If you need to be dragged into poverty or need to be relocated to a small house enclosed by iron bars or need to lose everything you have till you can reform, then no.

If you can come to a point while doing the bad deeds and have an epiphany and decide to turn to the proper moral side of things at the same time giving up the proceeds of your wrong doing's, then yes.

The past is who you are, you can't erase the past no matter how hard you try. Coming to grips with this is what every ex-con, ex-doper must deal with, if people still doubt you later on then you know you are to blame and no amount of white flag waving is going to erase your past.

Sometimes I read this forum and think people have never confronted a wrong doer in their lives. Do you let the ex-house burglar in and show him all your belongings? Do you allow the ex-kid snatcher baby sit your kids? Do you let the car thief borrow your car? Some of you will say yes, but how many of you actually know an ex-<insert crime> in the first place. Yet, some ex-dopers want us to let them back into our fun of being their fan, sorry ex-doper you need to go re-earn your trust first just like the ex-cons, there are no gifts in our lives so why do we need to gift our fan-ism to an ex-doper?

I don't think your examples are the correct ones to compare to doping. All those 'crimes' you listed are carried out by a minority of people, not the majority of people as was/is the case in pro cycling.

Most people do not grow up in an environment where crime is the norm and those who do are more likely to be criminals.

I would think more along the lines of social drug taking in society. How many people find it easy to not take drugs in a social setting if all their friends are doing drugs. Smoking weed or whatever would be the best example.

I also think most cyclists don't actually want to take drugs but do so as a last resort. I think many of those who agonised over such a decision would surely understand their own riders facing a similar situation and not pressure them. Of course if the whole cycling environment is more anti-doping, then I am sure such former riders would try to get their guys to reject doping regardless of what happened in their own careers.

TBH I don't think there is a hard and fast rule, it really depends on each personality. I dont believe that just because somebody doped in their own racing career precludes them from being a good, honest DS who might try to steer their charges away from doping. What about someone like Didier Rous for example?
 
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I believe they can reform. But they can never really regain my trust. Particularly if their reform isn't preceded by a volountary confession
 
Mar 10, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I don't think your examples are the correct ones to compare to doping. All those 'crimes' you listed are carried out by a minority of people, not the majority of people as was/is the case in pro cycling.

Most people do not grow up in an environment where crime is the norm and those who do are more likely to be criminals.

I would think more along the lines of social drug taking in society. How many people find it easy to not take drugs in a social setting if all their friends are doing drugs. Smoking weed or whatever would be the best example.

I also think most cyclists don't actually want to take drugs but do so as a last resort. I think many of those who agonised over such a decision would surely understand their own riders facing a similar situation and not pressure them. Of course if the whole cycling environment is more anti-doping, then I am sure such former riders would try to get their guys to reject doping regardless of what happened in their own careers.

TBH I don't think there is a hard and fast rule, it really depends on each personality. I dont believe that just because somebody doped in their own racing career precludes them from being a good, honest DS who might try to steer their charges away from doping. What about someone like Didier Rous for example?

I had to give some examples, but crime is crime, whether it be parking in the wrong spot or swindling millions illegally or the worse felony you can think of. Just because a parking ticket can only be a minor offense (assuming you didn't park in a handicap or other special spot) with a small fee doesn't mean its not a crime or bad thing, assuming you can read the parking sign in the first place. No Parking = No Parking, not pit stop for a few minutes to grab a cup of coffee or other. People seem to be content with drawing their own personal lines in what is OK or acceptable but they're are all crimes and it doesn't matter where you grow up its all based on HOW you are brought up. I know there are rich neighborhoods with some odd crime markers on the https://www.crimereports.com/ site that don't exist in the poor neighborhoods, but I guess some people will say those crimes are OK or not so bad because they can come up with a sidestepped reason it is not such a bad crime.

Still though, some riders can do the right thing based on their own given morality code, whereas others bend at the drop of a hat if it benefits them or if "everyone" is doing it or are peer pressured to do it. The weak always give in and the strong always keep their stance. As we all must know (unless you are living in a cave) not everyone is doing anything and peer pressure is about as strong as the first person to reject it. If riders are indeed this weak to bow at the slightest pressure then they don't deserve our support because we could easily get them to quit or do who knows what if we peer pressured them to.

On that note, lets send out a major fan peer pressure to overthrow the UCI. Tell them its the new dope. ;)

In closing, I peer pressure all the weak posters to get banned! :p
 
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These people have shown multiple times that they can not and will not reform:

- Lance Armstrong
- Johan Bruyneel
- Michele Ferrari
- Pat McQuaid
- Hein Verbruggen

These people must be punished and they must be punished severely.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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RedheadDane said:
Yes. I do believe people can reform.

Because making mistakes, and regretting them, is human, and at the end of the day all these guys are simply that human beings!

Exactly what I wanted to say. +1
 
Maxiton said:
If you don't admit to wrongdoing, when you are complicit in wrongdoing, how can you be taken seriously? (This is LA's problem.)

Damiano Cunego has never explicitly stated "I doped", but would you consider that quotes such as "the Damiano who won the Giro no longer exists", and when asked why he couldn't keep up with di Luca in the mountains, smiling and answering "there are general classifications, and there are life's classifications", to be tantamount to admitting wrongdoing? After all, Il Piccolo Principe has been about as clear as he can be, without actively volunteering to have himself put on the shelf for a year or two.
 
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peterst6906 said:
Cyclists are no different from other people in society.

I know I did things in my 20's that I wouldn't do now in the my early 40's and I know that's also true of all of my close friends.

I definitely think it's possible for someone in their early to mid 20's to get into doping, even though they know it's wrong and even really don't want to do it (eg. Zabrieske). But they've doped, not having developed the maturity and strength of character to be able to refuse and live with the consequences (clearly there are some examples of riders who did have that maturity early on and they left the sport).

So for me, someone like Vaughters is a good example of a guy who doped, knew it was wrong but as an older, more mature person can be a good influence in the sport and run a clean team.

I think it's also possible for others to do the same.

Bruyneel however has clearly run a drug program even after finishing his riding career. He has not matured into someone with the right moral character to be around easily influenced youths/young adults. He deserves to be removed from the sport entirely.

I also think is that the riders we now know left the sport because they refused to dope, should be bought back by the UCI as 'ambassadors' for clean riding that any rider can speak with off the record. Kind of like a 'helpline' but with more beef behind it.

Just my 0.02c.

Couldn't agree more, someone like Bruyneel should have known better.
 
As someone who works with prisoners of course I believe people can reform.

However, I also believe that the structural environment within the peloton is an active barrier to reform.

Individuals may wish to reform, but there is no hope if pressure for results means clean riders get released from their contracts, spat on by omertaists, receive no support from administrators, fans or journalists etc

The other point is that to reform means you have to know different, as Ricco shows, many do not believe that they can ride clean, they have never ridden clean and they 'need' the drugs as a crutch.

Let's take an example:

Lets say you are a big name sprinter from a small island off the English coast. Your brother is a cocaine dealer and you are not very intelligent. You've discovered that you can however, sprint. However, your emotional immaturity is a major problem when faced with difficult circumstances, when results don't go your way you lash out.

However, in your career, you've been aided by some of the best drugs and some of the oldest hands in the peloton when it comes to doping. You've been very successful thanks to the drugs and the support of your enablers.

However, in 2013 you decide to ride clean. To show everyone that you are not the product of a syringe.

Bad news however, all those guys who you used to beat are now beating you. Your new team, which paid a lot of money for you is wondering why they wasted this cash on a guy who can't get the job done, his team mates are ****ed because they've flogged themselves chasing down breaks for a guy who seems a hell of a lot slower than he was on his previous teams.

Now, this guy doesn't have anything to fall back on, he's barely literate and the alternative is well being a rent boy back home. It's all well and good think about reforming, but what happens when the situation gets tough. Can riders keep their hands out of the cookie jar when the going gets tough, when results don't go their way, when their team mates and DS's start *****ing about lack of results.

And you know that there will always be someone willing to show the riders a shortcut to results, hey that team doc who used to be at x,y,z, that DS from your old team who is now on your new team and used to help you out...
 
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I really do believe that when some of the ex-dopers say they've turned over a new leaf, that they have, and that they won't dope any more. I really do want to believe them.

But, these are the same people who for years and years before they came clean, lied to us all and allowed certain events to happen when they could have been stopped right then and there. If they are so principled now, why weren't they principled when their teammate was winning big events, leaving a bigger mess to clean up now?

In many cases (even after they came clean and then made the claim about the new leaf stuff), they continued to deny what they knew about other people and doping, or let the truth about that come out in a slow leak. Some of these people still ride and some of them don't, but some of the ones that don't are now directors and are in positions of authority.

We have testing which has been proven to not work, which means that now all the sport has to rely on to fight doping is the word of the people who ride and manage (which is why Sky now have written documents as their fight against doping, it is logical if you think about it).

The only thing that prevents the sport from falling into doped up chaos is the word of people who used to make a career out of lying to everyone. That is why I think, even though many are sincere when they say they have nothing to do with doping anymore, anyone with a doping past should be out of the sport. If we had error-proof testing that caught all the cheaters, then the ex-dopers would have more than their tarnished reputations to back themselves up, they would have legitimate clean tests which would restore their reputations.

Lets face it, the reason why so many people believed Armstrong is because they had faith in the testing, and they thought he was tested a lot. People believe in people but it certainly helps when there is lots of evidence in favor. Eliminating the irrelevant clean "tests" from Armstrong's column leaves his reputation with little to go on.

I do believe people can reform, but I need more than their word. Until they can give me more than their word, I think they should all stay out of the sport.
 
Big Daddy said:
These people have shown multiple times that they can not and will not reform:

- Lance Armstrong
- Johan Bruyneel
- Michele Ferrari
- Pat McQuaid
- Hein Verbruggen

These people must be punished and they must be punished severely.
People in cycling who have work with those dopers/doper supporters to keep a job can reform.
 
RedheadDane said:
Yes. I do believe people can reform.

Because making mistakes, and regretting them, is human, and at the end of the day all these guys are simply that human beings!

This! A resounding Yes, people can and do reform!

Heaven knows I did some things in my 20's that I am Greatly Embarassed by! One can Know something is wrong but in the inexperience/intransigence of youth make poor decisions, live to regret them and change ones behavior.
 
Adding to my earlier comment:

I'd say there are two types of people who doesn't reform:

The people who simply doesn't regret what they've done. Luckily the world doesn't consist solely of these people!

The people who doesn't need to reform. Honestly; people who never make mistakes seem a bit dull to me... :rolleyes:
 
I think its so important to hold out hope, and to believe positive things are possible, ESPECIALLY when there is so much s**** around.
Thanks for the Cunego example: he's still a great one day rider.
As for the comments about the rider from an island off the english coast: luckily I know you are in for a disappointment because next year he's going to continue to kick a**, clean too!
(Yes I know others have trod that path before, but he ain't one)
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Damiano Cunego has never explicitly stated "I doped", but would you consider that quotes such as "the Damiano who won the Giro no longer exists", and when asked why he couldn't keep up with di Luca in the mountains, smiling and answering "there are general classifications, and there are life's classifications", to be tantamount to admitting wrongdoing? After all, Il Piccolo Principe has been about as clear as he can be, without actively volunteering to have himself put on the shelf for a year or two.

Well, he still doesn't accept ownership of his mistakes, does he? I'd be a lot happier if he said that he'd done questionable things, to quote from a certain movie. Still, it's a whole lot better than Vino's silence.