how would clean up pro cycling?

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Oct 25, 2010
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Altitude said:
I don't think that this would prevent doping. You think the riders who dope are concerned with how their actions might effect others within the team? They are concerned with one thing-- individual success. The worst thing that can happen in their eyes is possibly getting caught and not being able to race anymore-- that's the only risk. I highly doubt that they consider the teams mechanics when jamming a needle in their a$$.
When I say "team pressure", I don't mean a bunch of young guys in a van calling their teammate a ****er. These riders generally only see each other at races. The pressure is exerted in the form of the contract between the owner and the rider. Perhaps if a rider was offered a contract with a million Euro penalty for any doping violations (due directly to the team owner), they might be willing to think twice.

If I organized a D-1 team, secured a sponsor, offered contracts to riders, had a payroll and had to deal with all the UCI crap... You can be damned sure that any contracts that I offer would come with some very significant consequences for any individual rider who jeopardized my business venture by doping. And I'd secure my business venture by keeping a VERY close eye on my riders outside of competition. Because it's about business.
 
I would go with little more than an extension of the current testing system - but if you test positive, then you receive a fine. Your fine is the cost of re-testing every sample of yours that is housed, because as tests improve, things go in and out of fashion. There could be bucketloads of CERA positives from 2007, for example. These tests could take place over a two-year period, while the rider has their conventional ban.

The two year ban then has the sum total of the time from your first positive test to the last added on to it. Hence, if you test positive today, but no other samples have anything in them, two years. If you test positive today, but upon retesting CERA is found in tests from 2008, that's 2008-2010 = two years, added on to your two years' standard ban, = four years.

The biggest drawback of this is that it means that the sanction is greater the older you get, and may mean that younger riders are more willing to take the bans.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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BotanyBay said:
When I say "team pressure", I don't mean a bunch of young guys in a van calling their teammate a ****er. These riders generally only see each other at races. The pressure is exerted in the form of the contract between the owner and the rider. Perhaps if a rider was offered a contract with a million Euro penalty for any doping violations (due directly to the team owner), they might be willing to think twice.

If I organized a D-1 team, secured a sponsor, offered contracts to riders, had a payroll and had to deal with all the UCI crap... You can be damned sure that any contracts that I offer would come with some very significant consequences for any individual rider who jeopardized my business venture by doping. And I'd secure my business venture by keeping a VERY close eye on my riders outside of competition. Because it's about business.
Ultimately though, in a for-profit cycling world your business model would fail if your riders aren't doping, unless you can come up with a way to attract sponsors without winning races. Look at Columbia...at first it was all about building up a clean image but ultimately the main focus in once again on winning races and there is no difference between Columbia and any other team.

To get back to the earlier discussion on why punishment for doping violations must extend to teams....in the end no one on the team is innocent if someone else (particuarly a lead rider) is doping. Helping the doping rider is part of their job and by not stopping the doping they are participating in the cheating. It doesn't matter if the team members weren't aware the teammate was doping--it is their responsibility to create a clean team environment and if they fail they suffer the consequences. In a clean cycling world, when a violation occurs, entire teams would be ejected for 1-2 year periods and everyone on the team would have to do the time.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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ludwig said:
in the end no one on the team is innocent if someone else (particuarly a lead rider) is doping. Helping the doping rider is part of their job and by not stopping the doping they are participating in the cheating. It doesn't matter if the team members weren't aware the teammate was doping--it is their responsibility to create a clean team environment and if they fail they suffer the consequences.
Is your plan to lock 'em up like the Japanese do for Keirin racing and Sumo wrestling?
 
Dimtick said:
i think that EVERY single rider should be sampled at every stage and at out of competition controls. Only a sample of those riders are tested but if questions come up then you have other riders and other events to test.
Contador claims contaminated meat and that everyone in Astana ate the same meat but he was the only rider tested. If the samples from the other riders all came back with the same low level positive as Contador it seems like that would reinforce the contamination claim.
If the purpose of this rule is simply to provide evidence in a case like Bert's, I think it's overkill, because this kind of case--where a rider claims contaminated food--is quite unusual. How many high profile riders have tested positive for clenbuterol in the past ten years, and if there are any at all, how many tested positive in a GT, where they might reasonably have been expected to be eating the same food as their teammates over a prolonged period of time? That issue probably does not arise in one-day races, and it definitely does not arise in OOC tests. Are you then going to propose that family members and dinner dates all have to be tested, too?

It would also be costly. E.g., you have nearly 200 riders in the TDF, and about 20 stages. That's 8000 A and B samples that have to be stored for periods of perhaps several months. And after all that, the evidence might not be sufficient. Suppose six riders ate the same meat, and only two tested positive for CB. Is it because they ate more meat than the others, had a different metabolism, or were both blood doping?

It's easy in hindsight to say, if only Bert's TDF teammates had been tested. But just because in this one case such tests might have been revealing does not IMO justify going to all this trouble. Everyone seems to agree that a rider is not going to take CB during a major race, that if it's in his system then it mostly likely got there through blood doping. So concentrate on a test for that.

ludwig said:
All riders/managers get paid the same salary, so that the racing is more about glory than profit. The base salary should be large (at least 100Kish) to ensure that cyclists are not starving. Some athletes might be able to keep a small % of outside sponsorship deals but the overwelming majority of funds from sponsorship deals should go towards promoting cycling as a sport and a healthy lifestyle and funding the dope testing programs.
I totally agree that money is the root of this problem. If there were not huge financial rewards for racing well, there would not be huge incentives to dope. Obviously. But no organization would ever condone this, because money of course is used as a means of attracting the best talent. HOw can one team expect to sign a particularly talented rider if it can't offer more than another team?

And the riders themselves would see it as unfair, why should a rider like Bert be paid no more than some domestique? It strikes against the notion of a meritocracy.

Not saying I disagree with this notion, but it's totally unrealistic. But then, you already know that.
 
Aug 10, 2009
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131313 said:
I completely disagree. How many guys ever win a single race? How many professional cyclists are out there? No offense but your comment shows a bit of a lack of understanding of how professional cycling actually works.

If a rider is forced to sit out a 6 month suspension because he has a teammate who's caught doping, guys will be forced to be their brother's keeper, and the pressure will come from the team management and the other riders to ride clean.
I completely agree with 131313. Penalties need to extend to teams... and most importantly DS's, team managers and owners. Right now the penalties all fall upon the riders and that is useless - in procycling.

The old school DS's are the main problem. Change them, you change the sport.

1) Extend harsh penalties to Directors. A rider goes positive Director banned 2yrs just like rider.

2) Ban teams outright - for shorter periods of time. A rider on team xx is positive. Entire Team xx is suspended for 6 weeks (in season min. more depending on substance)

3) Re-enact the ProTeam code of conduct and actually enforce it this time. Make sure it has stiff penalties for owners, managers, DS's.

Right now the criteria for proConti and ProTeam approval by the UCI is done against three criteria:

* sporting
* financial
* ethical

If you pin owners, managers and directors to the ethical criteria and say something like this in the code of conduct:

"No proTeam may be owned, general managed or directed by a person(s) who have had a rider under contract test postive in prior two years."

You will see the sport clean up pretty quick. You will have one of two things:

* much more sophisticated and controlled micro-doping (that will likely be so cost prohibitive very very few will engage)

* Every team will run serious internal programs like Garmin and HTC. But even more serious.

Its far to easy to pin all the blame and penalties on the riders... and ultimately they are not the power holders in the sport. Hold the people in power accountable and the sport will clean up lickity split.

The 'brother's keeper' model will totally work.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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One obvious thing to do is for the IOC, UCI and all sporting federations to put presure on goverments, internationaly and nationaly for the adoption of "sporting fraud" law thus making the use of PEDS for gain a criminal offence.
Most of us seem to agree it`s worked well for the French though it has put them at a "disadvantage" re GT gc`s.
 
Aug 10, 2009
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Darryl Webster said:
One obvious thing to do is for the IOC, UCI and all sporting federations to put presure on goverments, internationaly and nationaly for the adoption of "sporting fraud" law thus making the use of PEDS for gain a criminal offence.
Most of us seem to agree it`s worked well for the French though it has put them at a "disadvantage" re GT gc`s.
I completely agree with this. But I view this as an initiative best left to WADA and the IOC. Leave the UCI out of it. I think this is their (WADA) stated role in the Anti-doping movement. Furthermore 50% of WADA's funding is from international governments which gives them an established relationship to leverage in this kind of initiative.

This is also an initiative that goes beyond 'just cycling' and would benefit all sports.

Finally, the UCI seems to have trouble just governing cycling... if we try to get them to work with international governments we're just asking them to be distracted and they'll f#ck up the sport even more than they already have.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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shouldawouldacoulda said:
I completely agree with this. But I view this as an initiative best left to WADA and the IOC. Leave the UCI out of it. I think this is their (WADA) stated role in the Anti-doping movement. Furthermore 50% of WADA's funding is from international governments which gives them an established relationship to leverage in this kind of initiative.

This is also an initiative that goes beyond 'just cycling' and would benefit all sports.

Finally, the UCI seems to have trouble just governing cycling... if we try to get them to work with international governments we're just asking them to be distracted and they'll f#ck up the sport even more than they already have.
Ya bang on there...WADA are the boys ( and gals) to lever for such law..UCI @ IOC are far to currupt for the role.;)
( Silly me eh...a monentry lapse of reason:rolleyes:)
 
Jun 15, 2010
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I know the UCI rightfully get a lot of critisism regarding doping, but are there any sporting federations that have really got control of doping?
 
Jun 27, 2009
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Merckx index said:
ludwig said:
All riders/managers get paid the same salary, so that the racing is more about glory than profit. The base salary should be large (at least 100Kish) to ensure that cyclists are not starving. Some athletes might be able to keep a small % of outside sponsorship deals but the overwelming majority of funds from sponsorship deals should go towards promoting cycling as a sport and a healthy lifestyle and funding the dope testing programs.
I totally agree that money is the root of this problem. If there were not huge financial rewards for racing well, there would not be huge incentives to dope. Obviously. But no organization would ever condone this, because money of course is used as a means of attracting the best talent. HOw can one team expect to sign a particularly talented rider if it can't offer more than another team?

And the riders themselves would see it as unfair, why should a rider like Bert be paid no more than some domestique? It strikes against the notion of a meritocracy.

Not saying I disagree with this notion, but it's totally unrealistic. But then, you already know that.
Yes, pro cyclists would fight it tooth and nail.

For pro cyclists, omerta is the best option. Just don't talk about it; don't put it out there in public etc. So its not relevant to bring up how the cyclists would feel about reform, as their financial well-being is not really the issue.

If we are talking about how to clean up a dirty system, then we have to think about what it is that makes the system dirty. Eliminating the profit motive would be a big step. I don't see how there is any hope of eliminating oxygen-vector doping from cycling when the pay-offs associated with winning races are so huge.

Naturally this kind of reform goes against our capitalist and meritocratic values. However, we don't have to look far in society for examples of non-profit organizations and athletes competing without the chance to become multi-millionaires.

To really create a dope-free sport, there would have to be a fundamental shift in attitude concerning what cycling is actually about. If everybody was forced to adopt the attitude that cycling must be dope-free and the purpose of professional cycling is promoting a healthy lifestyle, then maybe after a few generations sportsmen would start internalizing the mantras, and notions like code of honor would be taken more seriously. "Winning is everything" would be replaced with a more socially responsible mentality.

Pipe dreams, I know.
 

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