Is Team Columbia really clean?

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Mar 12, 2009
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Just by being pragmatic and realistic...my guesstimate is that 99% of pofessional cyclist have used, are using and are about to use performance enhancing drugs.

The Managers and Trainers know about it passively or actively one way or the other. Only the idiotic sponsors may not know.....then again.... :D

the 1% out of 100% are the ones that will never win anything.

Thats just my opinion.
 
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Anonymous

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msjett said:
BigBoat, I think you are flogging a dead horse....all I see is people running around this forum with their fingers stuck in their ears saying "lalalalalalalalalala" cause they have heard it ten times already.

I appreciate your opinion, and you have provided much insight.

But, I personally would love to you see put this passion to better use, perhaps lobbying the UCI or whoever it is to really clean up the sport!? :D
no fingers in my ears...

but strangely i still cant hear him.. :D
 
Jun 22, 2009
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I have been wondering about this question for some time, but particularly so after team Columbia's unheard of achievements over the last week and a bit in winning eight (or was it nine?) races with six different riders.

You can look at it two ways - either they have successfully gathered a squad of the most promising young riders in the world and are now 'harvesting' while the iron is still hot, so to speak - or, they have exclusive access to the best (and still undetectable) PED on the planet. Until I have evidence to the contrary, I will choose to believe the former rather than the latter.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
You can look at it two ways - either they have successfully gathered a squad of the most promising young riders in the world and are now 'harvesting' while the iron is still hot, so to speak - or, they have exclusive access to the best (and still undetectable) PED on the planet.
Why are these two mutually exclusive? If most of the peloton is doped (and given the unending stream of positive results, I don't know how anyone could think otherwise) and Columbia is still winning, then they have "a squad of the most promising young riders in the world" (who happen to all be doped). You see, if all the riders are "jacked," then the playing field may be pretty well level.


Dave
 
Apr 3, 2009
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All doping allegations put aside, I thought I'd just mention that Columbia will most likely add two promising Belgian riders to their squad next season. Jan Bakelants is 23 years old and last year won the Tour de l'Avenir and L-B-L for Espoirs. This year he has been doing very well as a neoprof. The other one is Jan Ghyselinck, who has this year won among other things the Tour of Flandres for Espoirs.

Very nice transfers for the boys, and I'm curious to see how they will turn out in the coming years.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Biciclette Bianchi said:
You see, if all the riders are "jacked," then the playing field may be pretty well level.
Not true.
There are literally hundreds of potential doping products that can be used. Some work very well, some do very little if anything.
The really good products are the most expensive and often exclusive. Then there are some combinations that work well together and some that can make things worse. Plus some riders will respond really well while others won't.

So it is not the case that without dope, you can achieve x%, then with dope you can achieve x + 20%. There is not a level playing field if everyone is doping. Those with the best doctors and best contacts will get the best gear that the average rider can neither afford nor access. Someone on the full Ferrari program is not going to be troubled by someone using some cheap amphetamines and salbutamol. Both are cheating, but the potential performance enhancement is markedly different.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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patswana said:
Not true.
There are literally hundreds of potential doping products that can be used. Some work very well, some do very little if anything.
The really good products are the most expensive and often exclusive. Then there are some combinations that work well together and some that can make things worse. Plus some riders will respond really well while others won't.

So it is not the case that without dope, you can achieve x%, then with dope you can achieve x + 20%. There is not a level playing field if everyone is doping. Those with the best doctors and best contacts will get the best gear that the average rider can neither afford nor access. Someone on the full Ferrari program is not going to be troubled by someone using some cheap amphetamines and salbutamol. Both are cheating, but the potential performance enhancement is markedly different.
I'm convinced though if they just legalized epo that would level things out a bit... Most cannot blood dope with their own blood due to the complicated nature of it...You need a well trained physician in charge that wont F it up which most athletes simply do not have...So guys like Lacne are just jumping up and down of all the testing now "McLovin' it." The top Skier Bodi Miller wants epo legalized in all sports. Nobody backed Bodi up on that one....:) I think he had the right idea though. ;)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Jasper said:
All doping allegations put aside, I thought I'd just mention that Columbia will most likely add two promising Belgian riders to their squad next season. Jan Bakelants is 23 years old and last year won the Tour de l'Avenir and L-B-L for Espoirs. This year he has been doing very well as a neoprof. The other one is Jan Ghyselinck, who has this year won among other things the Tour of Flandres for Espoirs.

Very nice transfers for the boys, and I'm curious to see how they will turn out in the coming years.
WOW! I thought he raced for Beveren, isn't that the QST 'opleidingsploeg'? If so, I wonder what QST will feel about this move...

2 very promising riders indeed! Bakelants the more complete tour rider and Ghyselinck more of a strong classics specialist?
 
Apr 3, 2009
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Bakelants is currently employed by Topsport Vlaanderen, Ghyselinck is indeed racing for Beveren 2000. I've read no reaction from Quickstep so far, but I assume they're indeed not quite happy with these transfers. Especially since they already tried to make a move on Bakelants (together with Silence) last season, but het decided to stay with Topsport. And now he's off to Columbia. But of course, belgian teams cannot monopolise all promising belgian riders.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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Where to start...

Hi guys! I’m family of one of the riders so may be able to help out. I’ve been lucky to see many races and hear many race stories… a crazy sport indeed! Anyway, while there is doping in cycling, as in every sport, I honestly believe that as a whole Columbia is clean. Why? Firstly, part of the contract is that if any other team member is caught doping then the team as a whole folds. Secondly, the amount of times he gets randomly drug tested (at races and at home) is ridiculous (every rider must report their whereabouts 24/7, 365 days a year which means no changing plans last minute!). On this note, I think a major point we haven’t discussed is the issue of “random” drug testing. Cyclists in particular have (a) more individual drug tests than any other professional athlete, and more importantly, (b) its “random” testing “unlike most sports”. This alone accounts for why cycling has the worst reputation for doping; not just because there are more drugs in cycling than other sports per se but because there is more testing and its random. That put aside, do all riders dope? Nowadays, definitely not. He honestly believes that things have “slowly” changed for the better over the last decade and that less and less riders are doping due to (a) stricter doping penalties (e.g. what was once a slap on the wrist has now turned into a substantial jail term in several countries) and because (b) most young riders and the newbie sports directors believe that they can ride clean. In saying that, there still seems to be a slight divide (in cycling in general) between the old school and the newbies in which the former are more scared to ride clean (because they know no other way) than the latter (because they were introduced to cycling clean so have the confidence to ride clean); this is expected coming from a sport that heavily depended on drug use many years ago. So while doping has decreased and has the potential to continue to decrease, doping still appears to be prevalent due to the nature of doping controls (being tested so often and randomly) and because some of the old school riders are scared to change. But what about Columbia?? Well Columbia is predominately a new team with very confident young riders who solely ride for the “team”; they don’t care who wins as long as it’s a win. And, if you look at the TDF last year, it’s a good example that they weren’t doping. They wanted stage wins for Cav and the overall GC for Kim but they couldn’t have their cake and eat it too… unless they were doping of course! In the first week, they dominated the scene for Cav (4 stage wins) yet as soon as they got to the mountains Kim was immediately dropped (exactly as the team had predicted a few days earlier…). The team made this prediction because they knew Kim was clean and cuz the team had exhausted its effort for Cav they knew they would have nothing left. If they were doping, they would’ve had both stage wins and the overall GC. But it didn’t happen. And since then, yes they have dominated, but there’s enough riders on their team (27 males/12 girls) to rotate the rosters to afford each rider recovery time (in fact there’s too many good riders that they’re still struggling to pick the start list for the TDF which is only a week away!). Anyway, while there’s definitely still doping in cycling, as in every other sport, as a whole I would honestly like to believe that Columbia is a clean team. That said, bring on the TDF 2009!!
 
Lucifer said:
And, if you look at the TDF last year, it’s a good example that they weren’t doping. They wanted stage wins for Cav and the overall GC for Kim but they couldn’t have their cake and eat it too… unless they were doping of course! In the first week, they dominated the scene for Cav (4 stage wins) yet as soon as they got the mountains Kim was immediately dropped (exactly as the team had predicted a few days earlier…). The team made this prediction because they knew Kim was clean and cuz the team had exhausted its effort for Cav they would have nothing left. If they were doping, they would’ve had both stage wins and the overall GC. But it didn’t happen.
If it is you the person you said you are then I appreciate your feedback. You are implying that other riders in the top ten are doping. Maybe I misunderstood you.

Remember that in the past we also have seen people who have lied to family too, so I hope that's not your case.

Thanks.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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Hi again. I'm not implying that the other top 10 riders were doping at all. Those riders could've been better in the mountains and their teams would've tactically used Columbia to do all the work in the first week anyway. I remember Armstrong use to say that he would always wait as long as he could to get the yellow in the TDF cuz once you have it, all the other teams literally do nothing but sit in the middle of the pelaton and wait for you and your team to chase every new break away (which is a lot of work for one team over 3 weeks). Because Columbia had the yellow for the first week they were bound to lose it. When I said there's still doping, I'm referring to the cases that have been reported over the last couple of years, I'm not pin pointing any top 10 riders in particular at all. The focus of this discussion is on whether Columbia is clean and I believe they are. And, yes, riders have definitely lied to family before, it happens all the time, but I've been told so many in depth stories about this sport over the years and based on that I believe things have definitely changed for the better and that Columbia is one of the more positive changes to the sport. Hope this helps.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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BigBoat said:
Sorry, but I just had to add this on:

"This is unbelievable, I think," -Emilia Fahlin

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/columbia-dominates-national-time-trials
At first glance I could see how this could "stir it up" a bit...but with the exception of Fahlin's, none of their TT wins were a surprise...they were all pretty much expected, were they not? Most are repeat winners...

And I don't think Fahlin gives herself enough credit...she's a helluva cyclist at 20, and on the best women's team in the sport. I think her progression was a given.
 

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