Is Walsh on the Sky bandwagon?

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There's a massive difference between "I haven't personally seen any hard evidence of doping" and "These people wouldn't dope - I KNOW them, they're good people. Also, the Txema thing? Didn't happen." And dozens of other things I could include but which I don't feel like repeating because they've been said countless times in this thread.
 
Aug 5, 2012
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BradCantona said:
I'm not a Sky fanboy, I'm not of the opinion Walsh is the greatest writer either, but I think the stick he's getting here is way over the top. As is the assumptive 'given' that Sky are doping according to some here. Some of his comments don't help his cause, Sky don't always help their own either. But how do you prove a negative, especially when it's possible the negative isn't even there to be proven?

Too many of the accusations are poorly thought out, and conveniently dropped or twisted when they don't suit. "Oh Sky deliberatly performed poorly today to avoid suspicion". Absolutely nonsensical

This will no doubt go down like a lead balloon, but don't for a second think your bitterness and contmpt is shared by all, or that anyone who gives them the benefit in the absence of hard evidence (and remember, Walsh had shed loads of evidence in persuit of Armstrong when no one else wanted to know) is a fanboy
I don't expect Walsh to uncover any smoking guns to show Sky are doping, I was happy assuming he was observing them building up a pattern of events and then if anything comes out that contradicts what he has been told/observed then he would do something at that point, maybe that would never happen but that's all I expected of him

What I didn't really expect is the effusive praise of Sky, the factual inaccuracies and his weak explanations for the reasons he believes some things.

My opinion on if Sky are doping hasn't changed one way or another because of Walsh's time with them, my opinion of him has changed a bit, not that he doesn't still deserve credit for what he has done in the past, of course.
 
Oct 25, 2012
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BradCantona said:
That horrible, dastardly 'lie' he tells about the Tour taking place late July eh... only goes to show Sky are doping right?
I think thats more a comment on Walsh as a journalist than it is on Sky. But hey, if it suits your argument to claim otherwise then go for it.
 
....well, he agreed to ghost Froome's autobiography last summer so he can add that conflict of interest to that of him being employed by the sponsor.....

of course he's probably having a laugh at watching the £s come in...and even takes the pi** "move along, nothing to see here" :)
 
Jul 21, 2012
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elduggo said:
I think thats more a comment on Walsh as a journalist than it is on Sky. But hey, if it suits your argument to claim otherwise then go for it.
This is what its come to. Find the least dumb thing Walsh has written in the book and pretend the rest doesnt exist.
 
hrotha said:
There's a massive difference between "I haven't personally seen any hard evidence of doping" and "These people wouldn't dope - I KNOW them, they're good people. Also, the Txema thing? Didn't happen." And dozens of other things I could include but which I don't feel like repeating because they've been said countless times in this thread.
There is a massive difference between the two as you point out, but I don't really get this as a particular criticism of Walsh in this case, given that both conditions appear to be true.

Isn't the point that that Walsh now does know these people, and does trust them as good people, so what's he meant to do about that when reporting? Pretend that he doesn't really in order to 'protect' his journalistic objectivity (and potential future reputation)? Would that be more honest? Show more integrity? I can't see how.

Now, if he was staring in the face of some evidence like there was around Lance, and he ignored that in order to say 'I know him, he wouldn't dope, he's a good person' then yeah, it's a ridiculous argument.

But if you look, you don't find any evidence, and you form a positive value judgement along the way, then the least you can do is be honest about that, isn't it?
 
Jul 21, 2012
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Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion. This support may be strong or weak. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. At the other extreme is evidence that is merely consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence.

In law, rules of evidence govern the types of evidence that are admissible in a legal proceeding, as well as the quality and quantity of evidence that are necessary to fulfil the legal burden of proof. Types of legal evidence include testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence.

Scientific evidence consists of observations and experimental results that serve to support, refute, or modify a scientific hypothesis or theory, when collected and interpreted in accordance with the scientific method.

In philosophy, the study of evidence is closely tied to epistemology, which considers the nature of knowledge and how it can be acquired.
This should be stickied for all to read so I dont have to see the stupid "evidence" arguments anymore.
 
RownhamHill said:
There is a massive difference between the two as you point out, but I don't really get this as a particular criticism of Walsh in this case, given that both conditions appear to be true.

Isn't the point that that Walsh now does know these people, and does trust them as good people, so what's he meant to do about that when reporting? Pretend that he doesn't really in order to 'protect' his journalistic objectivity (and potential future reputation)? Would that be more honest? Show more integrity? I can't see how.

Now, if he was staring in the face of some evidence like there was around Lance, and he ignored that in order to say 'I know him, he wouldn't dope, he's a good person' then yeah, it's a ridiculous argument.

But if you look, you don't find any evidence, and you form a positive value judgement along the way, then the least you can do is be honest about that, isn't it?
No, because he's not acknowledging it as a disclaimer about his possible bias, but directly as an argument about why Sky are clean.
 
Oct 25, 2012
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the sceptic said:
This is what its come to. Find the least dumb thing Walsh has written in the book and pretend the rest doesnt exist.
its not the point I was making if thats what you mean.

I think it gives good insight into how clumsy and careless Walsh has become, whether it be the lack of proof-reading or the lack of fact-checking. And we have seen several examples of it this year.

It sets an informative and important context for the rest of the discussion thats taking place.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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the sceptic said:
This should be stickied for all to read so I dont have to see the stupid "evidence" arguments anymore.
thank you.

two additional points wrt evidence:
1. there is plenty of it according to walsh's own usps-standard of evidence (fastest times uphill, team dominance, dodgy doc, sudden transformation)
2. even if we dismiss those issues as evidence (which sky fans ncluding walsh are obviously doing), the point to make then is that there is no evidence either way. Which is what Barry Ryan referred to
CN: "I suppose the main issue with your book is that you take such a strong and explicit stance in stating that Sky are clean. I'm not sure if the evidence is there to make that call either way."
 
Reading this bit again, particularly the bolded, my god, there is just no describing how low Walsh has sunk

''There is an arresting theatrical drama about Ventoux when the riders get to the top of the tree line and come out into the blinding light of the moonscape beyond. It is a mountain built to stage final acts.

This final act begins with Froome attacking and leaving everybody for dead except Quintana.
Tactically it is a master class, and illustrates how much wisdom Team Sky have been able to plant in Froome’s head these past few years. The younger, straight out of Africa, Froome would have chased down every break of the day before finding himself out of gas.
Or on another day from the early years he would have looked around him, taking in all the big names, and decided his only chance was to attack from far out, when they weren’t paying much attention. They would think he was mad and do what bike riders have done since 1903: give him enough rope to hang himself.
He would often get a good placing on the stage but would have emptied his tank to do so. The next day, he would sleep with the fishes.

But here on Ventoux, he is calculating, waiting for the right moment. And his understanding of the perfect strategic climb is no coincidence. Froome has climbed Ventoux before. Twice..''
First of all Walsh painting every single event on his sky holiday as if it were the crescendo to some epic, love/war/betrayal, poem for the ages.

"a mountain built to stage final acts" Its a ****ing mountain. Land that rises above the rest of the landscape. Formed when tectonic plates meet.

riders get to the top of the tree line and come out into the blinding light of the moonscape beyond.
Has Walsh never been on a mountain before? The whole point of mountain tourism and half the appeal of the Tour is the beauty of the mountain ranges and the views from the top.

But no. Mirror mirror on the wall, the mountain Froome wins his stage on is the fairest of them all.

Then,
Tactically it is a master class, and illustrates how much wisdom Team Sky have been able to plant in Froome’s head these past few year
the most basic tactic in cycling - attack, is according to Walsh a tactical masterclass on sky's behalf.

Again, everything so perfect. Perfect tactics, perfect rider, perfect mountain, perfect drama, perfect stage. all so so so so beautiful and fantastic, amazing.

The younger, straight out of Africa, Froome would have chased down every break of the day before finding himself out of gas.
Or on another day from the early years he would have looked around him, taking in all the big names, and decided his only chance was to attack from far out, when they weren’t paying much attention. They would think he was mad and do what bike riders have done since 1903: give him enough rope to hang himself.
Pre 2011 Froome was always chasing down the leaders or losing by getting in breakaways that got reeled in. OMG this is such a massive fail. Even if the breakaway got reeled back in, if 2013 Froome got into a breakaway he would at the very least have turned heads all around the world by dropping his breakaway companions for minutes and being the last man reeled in. If Froome can drop Quintana Nibali and Contador surely he would have dropped the likes of Hoogerland, Chavanel, Voigt?

Does anyone remember Froome getting into breakaways and being impressive. I remember San Luca. Got dropped by the rest of the breakaway. Totally the opposite of what Walsh claims happened in Froome's early career.
. And his understanding of the perfect strategic climb is no coincidence. Froome has climbed Ventoux before. Twice..''
He rode Armstrongs time because he climbed Ventoux twice before (once with Sean Kelly, did Froomie tell how he had to spend the night ripping up kelly posters to feel better about what he had done?)
 
Oct 16, 2010
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The Hitch said:
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He rode Armstrongs time because he climbed Ventoux twice before (once with Sean Kelly, did Froomie tell how he had to spend the night ripping up kelly posters to feel better about what he had done?)
on the ventoux, mollema raced arguably his best MTF ever, but had never raced the ventoux before. No doubt Walsh would have been able to spin that as a tactical mastermove as well.

what about porte, how often had he ridden the ventoux previously? he was mighty impressive. How does walsh explain that?
 
who?

veganrob said:
Yes, absolutely. They should have to read it, check the agree box before being able to post here.
who are THEY? All members ....including those that don't share your thoughts

are entitled to post

even walsh who has been exposed as being in team skys pocket.... yet

doping remains unchanged

Mark L
 
hrotha said:
No, because he's not acknowledging it as a disclaimer about his possible bias, but directly as an argument about why Sky are clean.
Honestly I don't see the distinction. He's being pretty clear on his conclusions, and on how he's come to those conclusions: he hasn't seen any 'hard' evidence that points to them doping, and he's spent a lot of time talking to them and watching them, and he's using that experience as evidence to make a judgement about the issue.

Whether you or I would come to the same conclusion based on the same experience is impossible to guess, because we haven't had the experience. And likewise, whether we trust Walsh's experiential evidence as anything other than interesting anecdote is likewise beside the point. The point is that he has had a look, and come to a conclusion, and I'd always rather people expressed a truly held opinion then not - that's why I enjoy reading these threads despite the level of absolute insanity (in my opinion) that gets displayed on a daily basis.
 
RownhamHill said:
There is a massive difference between the two as you point out, but I don't really get this as a particular criticism of Walsh in this case, given that both conditions appear to be true.

Isn't the point that that Walsh now does know these people, and does trust them as good people, so what's he meant to do about that when reporting? Pretend that he doesn't really in order to 'protect' his journalistic objectivity (and potential future reputation)? Would that be more honest? Show more integrity? I can't see how.

Now, if he was staring in the face of some evidence like there was around Lance, and he ignored that in order to say 'I know him, he wouldn't dope, he's a good person' then yeah, it's a ridiculous argument.

But if you look, you don't find any evidence, and you form a positive value judgement along the way, then the least you can do is be honest about that, isn't it?
I understand what you're saying, and agree that journalists shouldn't hide their bias, but I disagree that this is what Walsh is guilty of. His interview didn't rankle me because I have a hate-on for Team Sky and glory in anything I can make fun of them for (I don't and I don't), it annoyed me because it sounded fawning and obsequious. I would expect an investigative journalist who's 'blown the lid' off of a myth as big as Armstrong to have stricter standards, or at least more restraint. Saying garbage like it's an 'absolute lie' to suggest his buddy in Sky might be involved with doping is just an insult. Anyone who's relatively inquisitive and skeptical, MUCH LESS someone who's followed the peloton since the 80s, MUCH LESS someone who dug through the muck of the Armstrong era in such a crucial way, should really understand how ludicrous it sounds to shut down any opposition or skepticism with a blithe 'oh well, I know them so there's no stone I left unturned'.

Even if he showed up with this poor-quality, overwrought book, even if it came out that he was ghosting Froome's autobio and so it seems like he's not trying to upset the applecart and spill the cash cow (how you like them mixed metaphors?), I'd be willing to forgive him if he showed at least some veil of open-mindedness about the whole affair.

Something like "well, I've talked to everyone on the team and there doesn't seem to be a culture of doping. I've talked to Froome and he's a nice guy but then again Tyler Hamilton was too. I find the 'zero-tolerance' thing a bit stifling and encouraging of people to keep their past under wraps, but I get the sense that this doesn't affect how the team employees act in the current day. At the end of the day, it's hard even as an embedded journalist to know what people do in their most private time, and people will always have their suspicions of successful athletes. But I believe in innocent until proven
guilty, and everything I've seen, from the testing in cycling to the ethos of the team to the anecdotes of the riders I've spoken to about doping... everything I've seen supports that proposition of innocence."

Those would all be things that it seems David Walsh believes, and stated like that, I'd be willing to listen to him and reason with his points. But this garbage about 'oh, it's not fair! People don't even pay attention to the facts! People spit on Richie Porte, how awful!' David - that has fuccing NOTHING to do with whether or not they are ACTUALLY doping, and your defensiveness and deflection and fawning are insulting to our intelligence, and step well over a reasonable line of subjectivity to which any journalist worth their salt should be held. You sound like a corporate shill, and do more to create more uncertainty about Team Sky to any skeptical fan of cycling (read: anyone who has followed it closely and cared about it for years).

Grrr.

edit: I realize I maybe strayed from the original point, which succinctly put, was to say that I don't think he should be hiding his bias, I think he's just shown far too much bias for a source that we're supposed to consider trustworthy.
 
Oct 6, 2009
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At this point, I'm beginning to wonder how much initiative Walsh took to fact-check the Lance stories. In the LA case, he had reputable, reliable insiders like Betsy feeding him information and putting him in touch with other first-person sources, like McIlvain, for example. He had a lot of help with much of the work, as very cooperative sources were willing to share information, direct him to evidence and testimony from others, and show how everything fits together. Since the information from Betsy and Co was not fabricated, Walsh's investigation looks very thorough and not full of holes, even if he didn't question very much the veracity of many of his sources.

Now with Sky, his first-person sources are the team itself. If what they say is true, and he doesn't question it all that much or check facts, he's home free again. But if they are spinning things a bit, and he doesn't question or fact-check, Walsh looks like not a very good investigator.
 
sniper said:
thank you.

two additional points wrt evidence:
1. there is plenty of it according to walsh's own usps-standard of evidence (fastest times uphill, team dominance, dodgy doc, sudden transformation)
2. even if we dismiss those issues as evidence (which sky fans including walsh are obviously doing), the point to make then is that there is no evidence either way. Which is what Barry Ryan referred to
So you understand the points made in Sceptic's post about different types of evidence, and different strengths of evidence, right? And you understand that two different people can view the same evidence with varying levels of trust, right?

Now then, what's the point you're making?
 
May 28, 2012
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Of course it is BS that Froome did not impress much before 2011 because of his continuous attacking. He was a very inefficient rider, who only had a few good days.

Then again, coming in 6th on the San Luca after a hard stage is not that bad of an effort, it's just that his zigzagging is all people remembered. But he still finished in front of guys Kiryienka and Reda.

In the 2008 TdF on the Alpe d'Huez stage he went over the top of the Croix de Fer in a 25-man elite group. This means he could do something, especially if he was clean at the time, if you look at the names he was keeping up with then. he blew up though and finished just in front of LTD.

He's now evolved beyond that, and has caught up with what his opponents were doing at that time, it's not a surprise he's now a top rider.

It's just Sky who are making him look bad with their effort to be considered a clean team, and Froome is even himself buying into it. I wish he'd have gone to Astana in 2012, then his doping wouldn't even be discussed. People would assume he does, just like Purito, Valverde, Nibali etc.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Pentacycle said:
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It's just Sky who are making him look bad with their effort to be considered a clean team, and Froome is even himself buying into it. I wish he'd have gone to Astana in 2012, then his doping wouldn't even be discussed. People would assume he does, just like Purito, Valverde, Nibali etc.
lol. perhaps.

@skidmark: great post. your posts (and also some of thehitch's posts) in this thread contain objective, well-worded, detailed yet consise criticism of walsh's recent journalistic endeavors.
Those who think Walsh is unfairly criticised should perhaps take issue with those posts.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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RownhamHill said:
So you understand the points made in Sceptic's post about different types of evidence, and different strengths of evidence, right? And you understand that two different people can view the same evidence with varying levels of trust, right?

Now then, what's the point you're making?
look, the discussion is simple:
walsh has a set of arguments for why he believes sky/froome are clean.
the soundness of these arguments is being weighed here in this thread.
most posters including me label the arguments with adjectives ranging from ridiculous and laughable to plain stupid and ignorant.
there seems no better way to insult walsh by suggesting, like you do, that he genuinely believes in those arguments.
 
skidmark said:
I understand what you're saying, and agree that journalists shouldn't hide their bias, but I disagree that this is what Walsh is guilty of. His interview didn't rankle me because I have a hate-on for Team Sky and glory in anything I can make fun of them for (I don't and I don't), it annoyed me because it sounded fawning and obsequious. I would expect an investigative journalist who's 'blown the lid' off of a myth as big as Armstrong to have stricter standards, or at least more restraint. Saying garbage like it's an 'absolute lie' to suggest his buddy in Sky might be involved with doping is just an insult. Anyone who's relatively inquisitive and skeptical, MUCH LESS someone who's followed the peloton since the 80s, MUCH LESS someone who dug through the muck of the Armstrong era in such a crucial way, should really understand how ludicrous it sounds to shut down any opposition or skepticism with a blithe 'oh well, I know them so there's no stone I left unturned'.

Even if he showed up with this poor-quality, overwrought book, even if it came out that he was ghosting Froome's autobio and so it seems like he's not trying to upset the applecart and spill the cash cow (how you like them mixed metaphors?), I'd be willing to forgive him if he showed at least some veil of open-mindedness about the whole affair.

Something like "well, I've talked to everyone on the team and there doesn't seem to be a culture of doping. I've talked to Froome and he's a nice guy but then again Tyler Hamilton was too. I find the 'zero-tolerance' thing a bit stifling and encouraging of people to keep their past under wraps, but I get the sense that this doesn't affect how the team employees act in the current day. At the end of the day, it's hard even as an embedded journalist to know what people do in their most private time, and people will always have their suspicions of successful athletes. But I believe in innocent until proven
guilty, and everything I've seen, from the testing in cycling to the ethos of the team to the anecdotes of the riders I've spoken to about doping... everything I've seen supports that proposition of innocence."

Those would all be things that it seems David Walsh believes, and stated like that, I'd be willing to listen to him and reason with his points. But this garbage about 'oh, it's not fair! People don't even pay attention to the facts! People spit on Richie Porte, how awful!' David - that has fuccing NOTHING to do with whether or not they are ACTUALLY doping, and your defensiveness and deflection and fawning are insulting to our intelligence, and step well over a reasonable line of subjectivity to which any journalist worth their salt should be held. You sound like a corporate shill, and do more to create more uncertainty about Team Sky to any skeptical fan of cycling (read: anyone who has followed it closely and cared about it for years).

Grrr.

edit: I realize I maybe strayed from the original point, which succinctly put, was to say that I don't think he should be hiding his bias, I think he's just shown far too much bias for a source that we're supposed to consider trustworthy.

Yeah, all fair enough - and don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting that anyone should trust Walsh's judgement on all this, or that I particularly do myself.

But even in your ideal conclusion there you're basically projecting your own scepticism onto Walsh - I believe in innocent until proven
guilty ... everything I've seen supports that proposition of innocence
- but Walsh clearly isn't that sceptical anymore, he thinks that everything he's seen suggests more than just a proposition of innocence, but the actuality of it.

My only point is that you don't need to abandon your own scepticism to accept he's drawn a different conclusion to what you might do.
 

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