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Is it fraud if everyone "knows"?

In a sport in which the title sponsor for the biggest event in the U.S. is the manufacturer of the dominant PED in the sport, is it reasonable to presume the riders are not using PEDs? Yes, I know the TOC did not exist during the time of Postal, but this is meant to be an example, not the salient fact.

Did the USPS really not know? How stupid are these guys to sponsor a team in a sport they know so little about? I mean, if they didn't know, then they arguably knew too little about the sport to be reasonably informed about what they were sponsoring, and that's on them.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Good points.

I do not think it is fraud if everyone knows.

I do think it is fraud if an individual adamantly denies allogations when he is guilty of the allogations being made.

So, those who dope or know of doping would be better off dodging questions, denying interviews, using Clintonesque half-truths such as "I did smoke pot, but I didn't inhale.", and strategies such as those.

An interviewer could ask a question such as, "Did you ever use performance enhancing drugs?". A doping rider could use any of these replies without being a fraud:

"Most riders are on a program of legal supplements recommended by a physician."

"I do not condone cheating in sport."

"I have never been sanctioned for drug use. Your question is insulting to me."

"I have never had a positive result on a drug test. Let the facts speak for themselves."

"Asked and answered. Next question."

All of those answers deny a juicy headline to the media, are vaguely honest, and do not tarnish the sport in general.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Ninety5rpm said:
In a sport in which the title sponsor for the biggest event in the U.S. is the manufacturer of the dominant PED in the sport, is it reasonable to presume the riders are not using PEDs? Yes, I know the TOC did not exist during the time of Postal, but this is meant to be an example, not the salient fact.

Did the USPS really not know? How stupid are these guys to sponsor a team in a sport they know so little about? I mean, if they didn't know, then they arguably knew too little about the sport to be reasonably informed about what they were sponsoring, and that's on them.


I think it is reasonable to think that the USPS did not "know" that the riders were on a doping programme, because of two things:

1. Their contract surely has provisions prohibiting illegal behavior, as well as behavior against the rules of the sport in which they were competing.

2. The star rider, the cancer survivor, has publicly and consistently denied using PED's.

Given those two facts, there is little more USPS has to do in order to prove a breech of that contract, should the investigation uncover a systematic doping programme.

The fraud is in the withholding pertinent facts, misrepresentation of the operation of the team, the compliance with the laws and sporting rules, and the money at stake.

If a man walks down a street late at night, is mugged, and the police catch the mugger, they don't let the mugger go because "everybody knows" muggers assault folks late at night, ie, the citizen should have known better.

The act is still a crime.

Perhaps there are a few USPS employees quaking in their boots because they knew of the doping and they did not alert the proper authority? Maybe one or two of them work now for CSE, Public Strategies, or Trek?

That would be quite the twist.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
In a sport in which the title sponsor for the biggest event in the U.S. is the manufacturer of the dominant PED in the sport, is it reasonable to presume the riders are not using PEDs? Yes, I know the TOC did not exist during the time of Postal, but this is meant to be an example, not the salient fact.

Did the USPS really not know? How stupid are these guys to sponsor a team in a sport they know so little about? I mean, if they didn't know, then they arguably knew too little about the sport to be reasonably informed about what they were sponsoring, and that's on them.

Depends what the contract says, doesn't it? The burden of due diligence to discover cheating wouldn't fall on USPS and to suggest "they should have known" is an empty premise and the kind of defense employed as a last resort.
 
Oldman said:
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Depends what the contract says, doesn't it? The burden of due diligence to discover cheating wouldn't fall on USPS and to suggest "they should have known" is an empty premise and the kind of defense employed as a last resort.
Well, yeah, but I'm talking more in terms of morality than technical legalities.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Well, yeah, but I'm talking more in terms of morality than technical legalities.

That's what got us into this mess. Assuming the UCI, Sponsors, Promoters and Broadcasters were moral on any level. Riders have responded by giving them what they want at all costs.
 
This is one of the things that's messed up about the business model of Pro Cycling. There's a discount built into the cost of sponsorship because of the risk of association with dirty dopers, and the need for would-be-sponsors to have plausible deniability of knowledge about doping. This leaves the riders and team owners on the hook if anything goes wrong. Usually, riders get the shaft, and sometimes teams don't get sponsorship renewed. In this case, we might escalate to fraud against the sponsor, because the nudge-nudge-wink-wink isn't in the contracts, or the law.

-dB
 
Jun 19, 2009
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dbrower said:
This is one of the things that's messed up about the business model of Pro Cycling. There's a discount built into the cost of sponsorship because of the risk of association with dirty dopers, and the need for would-be-sponsors to have plausible deniability of knowledge about doping. This leaves the riders and team owners on the hook if anything goes wrong. Usually, riders get the shaft, and sometimes teams don't get sponsorship renewed. In this case, we might escalate to fraud against the sponsor, because the nudge-nudge-wink-wink isn't in the contracts, or the law.

-dB

That's a possible suggestion for future models. Sponsors will balk at any uncontrolled risk, though.
 
dbrower said:
This is one of the things that's messed up about the business model of Pro Cycling. There's a discount built into the cost of sponsorship because of the risk of association with dirty dopers, and the need for would-be-sponsors to have plausible deniability of knowledge about doping. This leaves the riders and team owners on the hook if anything goes wrong. Usually, riders get the shaft, and sometimes teams don't get sponsorship renewed. In this case, we might escalate to fraud against the sponsor, because the nudge-nudge-wink-wink isn't in the contracts, or the law.

-dB
Plausible deniability of actual knowledge is one thing.

Being defrauded due to lack of knowledge about something so obvious and predictable is quite another.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Ninety5rpm said:
Plausible deniability of actual knowledge is one thing.

Being defrauded due to lack of knowledge about something so obvious and predictable is quite another.

You are confusing your own issue.

Legally, I cannot think of a way to tell the USPS, and the American public, "Sorry, you knew cycling was a dirty sport, you should have known better. Case dismissed."

There is no room for an ethical judgement of hindsight in the world of global corporations. If a mistake is made, they simply move on. Learning from it is optional.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
Plausible deniability of actual knowledge is one thing.

Being defrauded due to lack of knowledge about something so obvious and predictable is quite another.
If everyone is in on a scheme/fraud then no, they cannot claim they were defrauded - but teams (especially now) sell themselves as 'clean' to potential sponsors and the public.

Look at the strategies of teams like Columbia HTC after T-Mobile, or CSC after Basso - or new (post '06) teams, Sky, Garmin.

No team wants to get embroiled in a doping scandal.

This is what happened with Liberty Segurous - they first had Ribeiro and then Nozal get done for +50% Hct, then Heras got popped for EPO.

Liberty were assured by Sainz that there was not a doping culture within the team but to make sure a renegotiation of the contract was done so in the event of any further scandals LS could pull the plug - which they did when Sainz was caught visiting Fuentes.
 

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