Interesting article by Sports Illustrated

Cobblestones said:
The juxtaposition European/American fan is a little bit simplistic, but otherwise a great article.
It is black and white, but that a mainstream publication would print a devastating portrait of the sport, showing it not just drenched in drugs but that the people involved don't really care, is interesting. It is completely opposite of the "few bad apples" defense we usually see.

I also think that articles like this will eventually chip away at mainstream acceptance that Armstrong was clean. The article leaves no doubt that drugs are necessary to compete.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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There's one thing majorly wrong about the article.
It states more than once that european fans are nonchalant and accepting of the fact riders dope.

It's quite the opposite: most people are convinced everyone is clean and only one or two are "stupid to dope, but get caught anyway". And they don't like dopers.

Not. One. Bit.

In that respect, the author is quite swayed by the fact that he only seems to have contact with european people who are involved in the sport as a profession. And from those, the omerta and the "doping is normal and necessary" mentalities are to be expected, unfortunately. The reality of the european cycling fan is light-years away at the other extreme of possible opinions.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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issoisso said:
There's one thing majorly wrong about the article.
It states more than once that european fans are nonchalant and accepting of the fact riders dope.

.
Thats how it is with everybody. Most supporters try to lie for their heroes. LOL

:)
 

Dr. Maserati

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issoisso said:
There's one thing majorly wrong about the article.
It states more than once that european fans are nonchalant and accepting of the fact riders dope.

It's quite the opposite: most people are convinced everyone is clean and only one or two are "stupid to dope, but get caught anyway". And they don't like dopers.

Not. One. Bit.

In that respect, the author is quite swayed by the fact that he only seems to have contact with european people who are involved in the sport as a profession. And from those, the omerta and the "doping is normal and necessary" mentalities are to be expected, unfortunately. The reality of the european cycling fan is light-years away at the other extreme of possible opinions.
The article is quite black and white - but I have a question issoisso - do you think people are 'convinced' or 'believe' everyone is doping?
I was at the Tour in 07 and was quite suprised as Rasmussen was given - shall we say a less then warm welcome on the podium. Yet other riders with equally dubious pasts were greeted enthusiastically- which I couldn't figure out.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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the media can own the Rasmussen furore. They manipulated and were manipulated. Velonews integreal and part of that definition of media.

I was told about two weeks before the Tour this was gonna break. I do not know how it was co-ordinated, I assume the UCI was looking for a scapegoat, and it dovetailed like they perhaps never considered with Rasmussen snaring the lead.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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"Last year, when CERA hit" -- CERA is third-generation EPO -- "we were expecting fans to turn against the Tour. Instead it was more popular than ever. It doesn't seem to matter."

This is my fav quote.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
The article is quite black and white - but I have a question issoisso - do you think people are 'convinced' or 'believe' everyone is doping?
Is there a difference? When someone tests positive, you see basically everyone saying either "He made a mistake. He just used it this once", or if it's an older rider like Beltrán or Piepoli "Why did he do that? An entire career clean and now he goes and soils it like that".

It's not about being a fan of the particular rider caught. Not at all. That's the general reaction of most fans to any positive.

Dr. Maserati said:
I was at the Tour in 07 and was quite suprised as Rasmussen was given - shall we say a less then warm welcome on the podium. Yet other riders with equally dubious pasts were greeted enthusiastically- which I couldn't figure out.
The mentality seems to be that if you're being accused of something (as chicken was at the time) but haven't been convicted, you should be, but if you were convicted in the past, it's all fine and you've learned your lesson.

It gets to ridiculous proportions when you consider that riders who serve a suspension and come back saying they were set up, they never doped, etc etc, also get the "it's all fine, he's learned his lesson" treatment.
 
For me what's interesting about the SI covering the story, is that about four years ago there was a sports journalist conference in Ireland with writers from all over the world. David Walsh was there and also a representative from SI. Walsh let this person know in no uncertain terms that they were a disgrace for their reporting of the Lance issue, i.e. that they completely turned a blind eye to the doping. Interesting positional change from them...
 

Dr. Maserati

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issoisso said:
Is there a difference? When someone tests positive, you see basically everyone saying either "He made a mistake. He just used it this once", or if it's an older rider like Beltrán or Piepoli "Why did he do that? An entire career clean and now he goes and soils it like that".

It's not about being a fan of the particular rider caught. Not at all. That's the general reaction of most fans to any positive.



The mentality seems to be that if you're being accused of something (as chicken was at the time) but haven't been convicted, you should be, but if you were convicted in the past, it's all fine and you've learned your lesson.

It gets to ridiculous proportions when you consider that riders who serve a suspension and come back saying they were set up, they never doped, etc etc, also get the "it's all fine, he's learned his lesson" treatment.
The reason I asked about the difference is that I find a lot of people believe that their favourite sport/athlete is clean - yet if you push them on it they are not convinced - it was just an observation.

Of course my friends who follow soccer and tennis ask me why I follow cycling "because they are all doped" and yet get very defensive and uncomfortable when you question their sport.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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"Good" men don't dope

I think the real issue here is that in the USA (and the UK in many ways) doping is seen as immoral and wicked.

The mentality is:

Men of character and substance would never resort to cheating.

Lance defeated a terrible illness and works tirelessly to help and inspire others in their struggle. He is a good man, and he would never cheat and lie.

Floyd had a bad day and then showed true grit and determination to recover. His performance was inspirational, and he appears to be a humble and sincere man. Therefore he cannot have doped and lied about it.

In continental Europe the idea is more that riders are human beings, and just like all human beings can be both good and bad.

eg.An extraordinarily motivated and tough man who inspires hope among cancer sufferers can also be an arrogant bully, control freak, a liar and a cheat who hides behind the sick and suffering to deflect criticism.

A smalltown humble rider with great talent can be overcome by ambition to resort to underhand methods to avoid defeat after a bad day.

I think this issue also manifests itself in the European idea that the system is immoral and corrupted, whereas in the States the idea is more that the individual concerned is flawed.

Culturally we see than the US is far more individualistic than Europe.
 
Jun 21, 2009
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such rubbish.

do americans really think that all europeans are the same? fúcking hell, if so they're more ignorant than i thought.

the people in italy, england, croatia, ireland, norway, poland, they're all very different. jesus christ, i now see that's a statement so obvious that it can be taken for sarcasm.

the italians, austrians, spanish and russians have a poor rep for their attitude towards ped. other than those, i think most (western) europeans would laugh when americans seem to think they can take the moral high ground when it comes to cheating in sport.

carl lewis? don't see him being knocked much. flo-jo? loads of people in baseball and american football? etc etc.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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issoisso said:
There's one thing majorly wrong about the article.
It states more than once that european fans are nonchalant and accepting of the fact riders dope.

It's quite the opposite: most people are convinced everyone is clean and only one or two are "stupid to dope, but get caught anyway". And they don't like dopers.

Not. One. Bit.

In that respect, the author is quite swayed by the fact that he only seems to have contact with european people who are involved in the sport as a profession. And from those, the omerta and the "doping is normal and necessary" mentalities are to be expected, unfortunately. The reality of the european cycling fan is light-years away at the other extreme of possible opinions.
Rhubroma would probably disagree with you. He has written quite a few posts on the difference between European and American attitudes to doping. His views are in accordance with this article. Not saying you're wrong, just that this journalist is not necessarily wrong either.
 
Mar 20, 2009
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Mongol_Waaijer said:
I think the real issue here is that in the USA (and the UK in many ways) doping is seen as immoral and wicked.

In continental Europe the idea is more that riders are human beings, and just like all human beings can be both good and bad.
There's something else going on, and to appreciate it you need to do business in southern europe. Or read the excellent "The Dark Heart of Italy" by Tobias Jones.

In Anglo-Saxon culture, a victory achieved by cheating is a lesser one than an honest victory. In some parts of the world, a victory achieved by cheating without being caught is a greater victory since it required cunning and beat the system.

It's funnier in soccer; my Italian colleagues cannot understand why we (the English) get so upset about players diving to win penalties. To them, if a player dives and wins a penalty, he is a hero - the villain is the defender who allowed himself to be tricked.

The whole thing is summed up by the fact that the greatest insult to a man is to suggest he is a cuckold. You come second to a doper by racing clean? You're going to be on the wrong end of jokes, the winner will not be on the wrong end of abuse.
 
May 11, 2009
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keen_but_slow said:
There's something else going on, and to appreciate it you need to do business in southern europe. Or read the excellent "The Dark Heart of Italy" by Tobias Jones.

In Anglo-Saxon culture, a victory achieved by cheating is a lesser one than an honest victory. In some parts of the world, a victory achieved by cheating without being caught is a greater victory since it required cunning and beat the system.

It's funnier in soccer; my Italian colleagues cannot understand why we (the English) get so upset about players diving to win penalties. To them, if a player dives and wins a penalty, he is a hero - the villain is the defender who allowed himself to be tricked.

The whole thing is summed up by the fact that the greatest insult to a man is to suggest he is a cuckold. You come second to a doper by racing clean? You're going to be on the wrong end of jokes, the winner will not be on the wrong end of abuse.
I think you're mixing up 'sense of fair play' with 'self-righteousness'. The English only get upset about the other team diving to win a penalty.
 
Mar 20, 2009
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R.0.t.O said:
I think you're mixing up 'sense of fair play' with 'self-righteousness'. The English only get upset about the other team diving to win a penalty.
hahaha true!

Our player : faint embarrassment
Their player : cheating c*nt
 
Jun 16, 2009
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one thing that bothers me is people who make sweeping generalizations about people in different countries.
I have lived & worked in Europe and one of the comments i always seemed to get was "we don't believe you are american, you fit in better here"
Eventually i came to realize that alot of people's primary experience was with american tourists or students. The tourists were usually of the WWII generation, loud & brash with the financial means to travel. How many people i met who would greet me with a bad texas accent saying" we're from Texas every thing is bigger & better there" There were plenty of other tourists but the loud obnoxious ones left an indelible impression.
While there is something to be said for cultural differences, at the same time there are tremendous cultural differences within countries so which one truly represents the country?
How many local dialects are there in Italy? Every village is like a different country.Southern Swedes make fun of the "blonde & blue eyed"(read naive but happy)people in the North. When i lived in Norway my friends told me
"all we hear is how free people in Sweden are, but when we go to a beach together we get naked first and they keep their clothes on". It was my experience as well.
When someone judges the "culture" in the UK, which is it? Manchester? London? Guilford? Blackpool? Bournemouth? Yorkshire? Cornwall? Swansea?
Jersey?
How about america, San Francisco? Houston? Kansas City? Denver? D.C.? New Orleans? Cheyenne? Philadelphia? Boston?
New Jersey?

People are different as well as the same all over
;)
 
runninboy said:
one thing that bothers me is people who make sweeping generalizations about people in different countries.
I have lived & worked in Europe and one of the comments i always seemed to get was "we don't believe you are american, you fit in better here"
Eventually i came to realize that alot of people's primary experience was with american tourists or students. The tourists were usually of the WWII generation, loud & brash with the financial means to travel. How many people i met who would greet me with a bad texas accent saying" we're from Texas every thing is bigger & better there" There were plenty of other tourists but the loud obnoxious ones left an indelible impression.
While there is something to be said for cultural differences, at the same time there are tremendous cultural differences within countries so which one truly represents the country?
How many local dialects are there in Italy? Every village is like a different country.Southern Swedes make fun of the "blonde & blue eyed"(read naive but happy)people in the North. When i lived in Norway my friends told me
"all we hear is how free people in Sweden are, but when we go to a beach together we get naked first and they keep their clothes on". It was my experience as well.
When someone judges the "culture" in the UK, which is it? Manchester? London? Guilford? Blackpool? Bournemouth? Yorkshire? Cornwall? Swansea?
Jersey?
How about america, San Francisco? Houston? Kansas City? Denver? D.C.? New Orleans? Cheyenne? Philadelphia? Boston?
New Jersey?

People are different as well as the same all over
;)
Sure the stereotypes exist, and do have some basis in superficial reality, but so too does Culture with a capital "C," which is naturally more profound.

I can attest that in Italy, where I have lived for over the last decade, there are both many stereotypical and cultural differences between the various societies of the Boot, which are much more penetrating than any such discrepancies between Bostonians and Philidelphians, those form Chicago and those from NY, simply because Italian civilization is infinitly older.

In any case, beyond Italy there are still more profound stereotypes and cultural variagations between it and the other Romance, Slavic, Germanic, and Anglican European societies, which, again, are much more profound than those in the US between folks living along the east coast, south, midwest or far west, also because of the historical situations.

In general European culture, though, seems to me to be more aware about ideology and has long lost that innocence which in Americana, by contrast, has created a society in which we can move from George Bush to Barack Obama in succession and where a firm belief in ethics, whether or not it be grounded in reality, allows folks to candidly take for face value what their European counterparts know isn't how things are being done.

Here the world of sport and doping becomes a perfect arena for bringing into focuss such divergent world views, where the Americans often need irrifutable proofs to condem for believeing in wide spread doping, which flies directly in the face of the ethical world they believe (or wish to believe) in. By contrast most Europeans think about it in exactlly the opposite terms, that doping is simply how the game is played, not having any ethical illusions informing their world view. Though this doesn't mean the European society has no belief in ethics, just that in the political world, as in the world of sport, nobody is so naive as to believe that it plays a major part, if any, of what goes on behind the scenes. Like the Italian term mentioned (for the Italians even have a term for this! Which shows how different their perceptions are from the Midwesterners, in a manner of speaking.): dietrologia. From dietro (behind), so "the study of what goes on behind the scenes."
 
Jun 16, 2009
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rhubroma said:
In general European culture, though, seems to me to be more aware about ideology and has long lost that innocence which in Americana, by contrast, has created a society in which we can move from George Bush to Barack Obama in succession and where a firm belief in ethics, whether or not it be grounded in reality, allows folks to candidly take for face value what their European counterparts know isn't how things are being done.

Here the world of sport and doping becomes a perfect arena for bringing into focuss such divergent world views, where the Americans often need irrifutable proofs to condem for believeing in wide spread doping, which flies directly in the face of the ethical world they believe (or wish to believe) inQUOTE]

Sorry thats rubbish. People have different ideaology the irrespective of boundaries. You can find plenty of people with many different views in America, rather than the all encompassing stereotype you just put forth. And sorry my friend it is the same the world over. People usually surround themselves with people of somewhat like mind or values so maybe it is just easier to believe what you believe. I know a tremendous amount of people in rural areas who persist in not sharing their beliefs with others. There are people and societies in America who firmly believe not in fair play or ethical behaviour but rather in the principal that you do whatever is neccessary to provide for yourself and it is only shameful if you are caught doing it.
Just like you will find in parts of Italy, Greece, Turkey.
But then again you find it in the UK, Germany,
it is the same the world over, always has been always will be.
 

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