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Jan Ullrich

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VeloFidelis said:
The concept that a completely clean peloton would be a level playing field is also a myth.

Not exactly sure what you are trying to say but most can see the difference between how a rider responds to training and nutrition and how a rider responds to chemical enhancement.
 
Race Radio said:
Not exactly sure what you are trying to say but most can see the difference between how a rider responds to training and nutrition and how a rider responds to chemical enhancement.
Obviously that is correct.

I think if I should try to argue Velo Fidelis, I would perhaps just use the simple argument. For example: X have by nature been provided with a body, that is much better suited for Elite sport, than Y. So how can it make sense, to talk about a level playing field?

Again, not that I would necessarily agree with this kind of argument, or think that this means that the chemicals does not make matter worse.
 
red_flanders said:
I would think Jan Ullrich knows more than a little about the playing field.

I tend to agree.

Mind you Jan wasn't really talking about 'level playing fields' or not 'level playing fields'.

Whilst the original article appeared in Frnech the CN translation;

"Almost everyone at the time was taking performance-enhancing substances," he said. "I didn’t take anything that was not taken by the others. It would only have been cheating for me if I had gotten an advantage which was not the case. I just wanted to ensure I had an equal opportunity.”

It's an interesting observation and a pertinent point he makes in regards to "equal opportunity".

I think all agree top down the sport, at the time, was a cesspit of doping.

The way the UCI went after him and not Armstrong is indicative that he had create "equal opportunity" for the level of his immense abilities.

I think for a talent as big as Jan, a guy who clearly could ride a bike better than 99% of the peloton had to take the path that he did.

The other point is his teachers. East German sports camp and then Riis/T-Mobile.

I think we can cut him some slack on that front. It was clear he didn't enjoy the doping by his reluctance to race year round and get fat in the off season (by his own admission).

Appears now whereby doping is no longer ia factor that he's enjoying his cycling more than ever. More than when doping was order of the day. The Fondo circuit is much better off having Jan in it.

Level playing, not level playing is a bit simplistic and short sighted for my liking. Doping is a far more complex subject than that.

T&R will help uncover a lot of what really was level and not. But levels may not matter so much now. It's more to understand how cycling got itself into such a mess whereby cyclists had no other option but to dope - tour winners and grupetto alike.

Nevertheless, Jan I believe derserves his place in history as one of the best bike riders the world has seen. I don't think many arguments there. 93 worlds and the fact that is brother was a world junior finalist in the 800m demonstrates that he came from good pedigree.
 
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Samson777 said:
Obviously that is correct.

I think if I should try to argue Velo Fidelis, I would perhaps just use the simple argument. For example: X have by nature been provided with a body, that is much better suited for Elite sport, than Y. So how can it make sense, to talk about a level playing field?

Again, not that I would necessarily agree with this kind of argument, or think that this means that the chemicals does not make matter worse.

If he is pretending response to drugs are the same as response to training that would be a pretty weak argument.

Take two highly trained, professional riders. Their response to a doping program, especially one focused on the delivery and absorption of oxygen, will be vastly different. Pretending that these significantly different responses are "equal opportunity" or a level playing filed is ridiculous.
 
My point is, that there is no "equal opportunity" in sport... any sport. Sport exists to determine an outcome, which is generally, who is the best, fastest. strongest... who is most genetically advantaged within a given set of circumstances. Those circumstances can be, and continually are manipulated to advantage one athlete over another. In cycling, Grand Tour routes are frequently designed with an outcome in mind. A mountain time trial certainly has a reasonably predictable result.

In a "clean" peloton a team with a larger operating budget, with better equipment, training facilities, medical and training staff, would have an advantage. How is that a level playing field?

One could make the argument that in a "doped" peloton, the playing field through medical science, becomes more level as circumstances among a broader group of elite athletes are more closely controlled to maximize their performance within continually narrowing parameters. This is not my contention. But you can't make the argument that a better financed team has an advantage in a "doped" peloton and ignore it in a "clean" one.

Sport is an interesting sociological experiment, and human characteristic. It was never meant to be fair. It is meant to determine who is best, not who is equal. The argument about a level playing field is a non starter for me.

Consider that in the history of mankind there has never been a competition... any competition, in which someone somewhere didn't cheat. It's human nature. It's why sports have referee's.
 
VeloFidelis said:
My point is, that there is no "equal opportunity" in sport... any sport. Sport exists to determine an outcome, which is generally, who is the best, fastest. strongest... who is most genetically advantaged within a given set of circumstances. Those circumstances can be, and continually are manipulated to advantage one athlete over another. In cycling, Grand Tour routes are frequently designed with an outcome in mind. A mountain time trial certainly has a reasonably predictable result.

In a "clean" peloton a team with a larger operating budget, with better equipment, training facilities, medical and training staff, would have an advantage. How is that a level playing field?

One could make the argument that in a "doped" peloton, the playing field through medical science, becomes more level as circumstances among a broader group of elite athletes are more closely controlled to maximize their performance within continually narrowing parameters. This is not my contention. But you can't make the argument that a better financed team has an advantage in a "doped" peloton and ignore it in a "clean" one.

Sport is an interesting sociological experiment, and human characteristic. It was never meant to be fair. It is meant to determine who is best, not who is equal. The argument about a level playing field is a non starter for me.

Consider that in the history of mankind there has never been a competition... any competition, in which someone somewhere didn't cheat. It's human nature. It's why sports have referee's.

A sociological experiment, I would agree.

If one looks at F1 racing, equestrian, american football the price of admission is wealth or scholarship.

Football (soccer) is more akin to allowing people from all social economic groups to have access to the game.

Level playing fields don't actually exist. Team sizes, team budget etc. play a part - JV in his own words feels it's Sky'a budget that allows them to dominate. With money there is not a level playing field.

With regards to Jan, one mustn't forget where he came from. A broken home who's alcoholic father beat him and his mother.

The sports school he attend was his way if getting his mother, Stefan and himself away from that horrible situation.

He made very good from a bad situation, created the opportunity if you will.

It's just unfortunate of the times he rode in and the bad influences at T-Mobile at the time.

What choice did he have? I wish he'd talk more. I like to learn more that went on rather than continually deride him.
 

Dr. Maserati

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VeloFidelis said:
My point is, that there is no "equal opportunity" in sport... any sport. Sport exists to determine an outcome, which is generally, who is the best, fastest. strongest... who is most genetically advantaged within a given set of circumstances. Those circumstances can be, and continually are manipulated to advantage one athlete over another. In cycling, Grand Tour routes are frequently designed with an outcome in mind. A mountain time trial certainly has a reasonably predictable result.

In a "clean" peloton a team with a larger operating budget, with better equipment, training facilities, medical and training staff, would have an advantage. How is that a level playing field?

One could make the argument that in a "doped" peloton, the playing field through medical science, becomes more level as circumstances among a broader group of elite athletes are more closely controlled to maximize their performance within continually narrowing parameters. This is not my contention. But you can't make the argument that a better financed team has an advantage in a "doped" peloton and ignore it in a "clean" one.

Sport is an interesting sociological experiment, and human characteristic. It was never meant to be fair. It is meant to determine who is best, not who is equal. The argument about a level playing field is a non starter for me.

Consider that in the history of mankind there has never been a competition... any competition, in which someone somewhere didn't cheat. It's human nature. It's why sports have referee's.

Then you are confusing the term "level playing field" with equal opportunity.

The level playing field means a standardization of a field, same way as there is an agreed standard on bikes (6.8kg) or on a race route. Here is the start, this is the route, there is the finish, off you go.
 
VeloFidelis said:
My point is, that there is no "equal opportunity" in sport... any sport. Sport exists to determine an outcome, which is generally, who is the best, fastest. strongest... who is most genetically advantaged within a given set of circumstances. Those circumstances can be, and continually are manipulated to advantage one athlete over another. In cycling, Grand Tour routes are frequently designed with an outcome in mind. A mountain time trial certainly has a reasonably predictable result.

In a "clean" peloton a team with a larger operating budget, with better equipment, training facilities, medical and training staff, would have an advantage. How is that a level playing field?

One could make the argument that in a "doped" peloton, the playing field through medical science, becomes more level as circumstances among a broader group of elite athletes are more closely controlled to maximize their performance within continually narrowing parameters. This is not my contention. But you can't make the argument that a better financed team has an advantage in a "doped" peloton and ignore it in a "clean" one.

Sport is an interesting sociological experiment, and human characteristic. It was never meant to be fair. It is meant to determine who is best, not who is equal. The argument about a level playing field is a non starter for me.

Consider that in the history of mankind there has never been a competition... any competition, in which someone somewhere didn't cheat. It's human nature. It's why sports have referee's.

Yes though sport lost its "innocence" around the 60 summer Olympics in Rome, when, for the first time, new, more effective, drugs (steroids) were introduced to athletes who were also representing their respective States as ideological weapons against rivals within the Cold War spectrum. Since then it has become the proverbial "arms race."

The late-nineteenth-early-twentieth century notion of sport as the gentleman's pastime, thus became transformed into populist propaganda of the State. Even if the notion was already embedded within the praxis of international competition from its inception during the Age of Empire, which begot the modern Olympic games, and subsequently within the crucible of the Nazi-Fascist period, notably at the Berlin 36 Olympics.

Yet the progress of science and economic concentration has rendered any notion of an "even playing field" ridiculous today. The commercial revenues that contemporary sport generates has distorted the game irrevocably and I dare say there is no turning back. All of this means that the more finances are poured into sport, the less human it becomes.

This is the bigger picture and it is here where one must start to even approach the greater problem.
 
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VeloFidelis said:
My point is, that there is no "equal opportunity" in sport... any sport. Sport exists to determine an outcome, which is generally, who is the best, fastest. strongest... who is most genetically advantaged within a given set of circumstances. Those circumstances can be, and continually are manipulated to advantage one athlete over another. In cycling, Grand Tour routes are frequently designed with an outcome in mind. A mountain time trial certainly has a reasonably predictable result.

In a "clean" peloton a team with a larger operating budget, with better equipment, training facilities, medical and training staff, would have an advantage. How is that a level playing field?

One could make the argument that in a "doped" peloton, the playing field through medical science, becomes more level as circumstances among a broader group of elite athletes are more closely controlled to maximize their performance within continually narrowing parameters. This is not my contention. But you can't make the argument that a better financed team has an advantage in a "doped" peloton and ignore it in a "clean" one.

Sport is an interesting sociological experiment, and human characteristic. It was never meant to be fair. It is meant to determine who is best, not who is equal. The argument about a level playing field is a non starter for me.

Consider that in the history of mankind there has never been a competition... any competition, in which someone somewhere didn't cheat. It's human nature. It's why sports have referee's.

A bigger, well financed, team does not give anything remotely close to the advantage a well structured doping program gives a rider who responds well to oxygen vector doping.

LeMond won the 89 tour with one of the worst teams in the race. Pantani's Mercatone Uno teams were a joke with terrible equipment. If did not matter as Marco responded well to the dope of the day. One of Jan's best Tour's was 2003. His team was sad. Coast stopped paying 1/2 through the season, They had to borrow a bus from Vittoria.

We are talking about top level Pro's, in their prime, riding the best equipment. Some riders get a 2% increase from EPO, others get a 15% benefit......do you really think you can get that from a larger team bus?
 
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Race Radio said:
A bigger, well financed, team does not give anything remotely close to the advantage a well structured doping program gives a rider who responds well to oxygen vector doping.

LeMond won the 89 tour with one of the worst teams in the race. Pantani's Mercatone Uno teams were a joke with terrible equipment. If did not matter as Marco responded well to the dope of the day. One of Jan's best Tour's was 2003. His team was sad. Coast stopped paying 1/2 through the season, They had to borrow a bus from Vittoria.

We are talking about top level Pro's, in their prime, riding the best equipment. Some riders get a 2% increase from EPO, others get a 15% benefit......do you really think you can get that from a larger team bus?

I would've thought a 'well structured doping program' needs a big financed team to put it in place. The logistics for implementing that must cost and to keep enablers sweet must cost.
 
The Festina team proved you need cash.

The Vaighters IM with Frankie he put it down to "logistics" and a well oiled plan.

It's not a matter or shooting up EPO and "boom".

It's got to be done right. Several guys tried it and messed it all up.

Exhibit A - Ricco.

Why did some guys pay Ferrari millions? Because he designed the perfect plan of drug use. It's not easy and of course you don't want to test positive.

T-Mobile went to Freiburg, why? Because they needed the best docs, the best drugs, the best research and the safest way to do so. That costs.

And it cost big time.

Why did Jan drop 100,000 into Fuentes? Because doping became an arms race.
It wasn't a matter of taking a shot and way you go.

Why did Pantani go to Ferrari?

Why did Froome excel at Sky?

The best teams with the biggest budgets, win.

I still want hear from Jan at T&R. I want his side as well as Lance's. Lets not let these guys go the way of Pantani.

Jan has already been sick. Why close him down? He has a story to tell.
 
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Benotti69 said:
I would've thought a 'well structured doping program' needs a big financed team to put it in place. The logistics for implementing that must cost and to keep enablers sweet must cost.

Yup, especially as we entered the 2000's were programs became more complex and expensive and more riders opted out of transfusions. Hardly a level playing field when Ferrari costs millions and most riders said no to transfusions.

As we have seen often in the sport riders on weak teams win. Big teams like Mapei never won the Tour. but I rider who responds well to a doping program is worth much more then a big team bus and 50 gm lighter bike
 
thehog said:
The Festina team proved you need cash.

The Vaighters IM with Frankie he put it down to "logistics" and a well oiled plan.

It's not a matter or shooting up EPO and "boom".

It's got to be done right. Several guys tried it and messed it all up.

Exhibit A - Ricco.

Why did some guys pay Ferrari millions? Because he designed the perfect plan of drug use. It's not easy and of course you don't want to test positive.

T-Mobile went to Freiburg, why? Because they needed the best docs, the best drugs, the best research and the safest way to do so. That costs.

And it cost big time.

Why did Jan drop 100,000 into Fuentes? Because doping became an arms race.
It wasn't a matter of taking a shot and way you go.

Why did Pantani go to Ferrari?

Why did Froome excel at Sky?

The best teams with the biggest budgets, win.

I still want hear from Jan at T&R. I want his side as well as Lance's. Lets not let these guys go the way of Pantani.

Jan has already been sick. Why close him down? He has a story to tell.

I should have added Jan was winning pre-EPO and transfusion age. I don't think mucho doubt on his talent.

The 93 worlds win is on YouTube and Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic at 19!

Probably doing roids at the East German camp but that's old school stuff.

JHuskey friend of Tobais (Jans brother in law) said there was some talk of a retiree match race on one of the cols - with former Pros.

And did anyone see Jan on YouTube doing a Froome impression?!! Funniest thing I'd ever seen.

I'll find the link.
 
Race Radio said:
A bigger, well financed, team does not give anything remotely close to the advantage a well structured doping program gives a rider who responds well to oxygen vector doping.

LeMond won the 89 tour with one of the worst teams in the race. Pantani's Mercatone Uno teams were a joke with terrible equipment. If did not matter as Marco responded well to the dope of the day. One of Jan's best Tour's was 2003. His team was sad. Coast stopped paying 1/2 through the season, They had to borrow a bus from Vittoria.

We are talking about top level Pro's, in their prime, riding the best equipment. Some riders get a 2% increase from EPO, others get a 15% benefit......do you really think you can get that from a larger team bus?

No but you pay the biggest salaries that do, then all the rest is taken for granted.
 
Race Radio said:
A bigger, well financed, team does not give anything remotely close to the advantage a well structured doping program gives a rider who responds well to oxygen vector doping.

Since the top Pro Tour teams were both well financed and had well structured doping programs that are obviously apparent in their respective team leader's results... what exactly is your point?

Mine is simply that a level playing field does not exist in sport.. doping or not.
 
VeloFidelis said:
Since the top Pro Tour teams were both well financed and had well structured doping programs that are obviously apparent in their respective team leader's results... what exactly is your point?

Mine is simply that a level playing field does not exist in sport.. doping or not.

Not so sure about the 'well-financed' part. The USPS Conspiracy's sale of their Trek racing bikes in order to get dope money comes to mind. Every year, sponsorship issues cause all sorts of nervousness for a few pro teams.

I think that a lot of these teams are tightly budgeted. I'm sure that there are team-organized doping programs out there, but I'm not sure that all of the top Pro Tour teams are that organized.
 
MarkvW said:
Not so sure about the 'well-financed' part. The USPS Conspiracy's sale of their Trek racing bikes in order to get dope money comes to mind. Every year, sponsorship issues cause all sorts of nervousness for a few pro teams.

I think that a lot of these teams are tightly budgeted. I'm sure that there are team-organized doping programs out there, but I'm not sure that all of the top Pro Tour teams are that organized.

The issue is not the financing. It's giving a line item for the money that buys the drugs.

Festina used the 5% rule. 5% of everyone's salary into the pot to buy the cache.

USPS first up sold the bikes so they had hard cash not appearing on the books. Later they had a other method.

T-Mobile had a university on-board, "research".

Then there's the hiring of "no roles", jobs they don't exist that are paid.

And overpaying a salary which includes the fund for medicine.

It it can't appear on the books as "drugs".

Point in case Rabobank:

Rabobank director Theo de Rooij acquired a Sysmex XE-2100, the same device used by anti-doping inspectors to measure the number of young red blood cells and the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, and reported that the machine would be used for "anti-doping" and was needed to "increase internal interim blood tests."
 
thehog said:
The issue is not the financing. It's giving a line item for the money that buys the drugs.

Festina used the 5% rule. 5% of everyone's salary into the pot to buy the cache.

USPS first up sold the bikes so they had hard cash not appearing on the books. Later they had a other method.

T-Mobile had a university on-board, "research".

Then there's the hiring of "no roles", jobs they don't exist that are paid.

And overpaying a salary which includes the fund for medicine.

It it can't appear on the books as "drugs".

Point in case Rabobank:

I'm buying what you're saying, but I'm having a hard time believing that every leading team is organized in such a fashion. I remember the Tinkov (I think that's who said it) speech where he said, essentially: "Do what you're going to do, but don't get caught." I think that more than a few teams operate in this fashion. Another example is Rihs and Landis at Phonak. I don't think Phonak was team-organized doping. Floyd did his thing on his own (and Rihs probably knew).
 
MarkvW said:
I'm buying what you're saying, but I'm having a hard time believing that every leading team is organized in such a fashion. I remember the Tinkov (I think that's who said it) speech where he said, essentially: "Do what you're going to do, but don't get caught." I think that more than a few teams operate in this fashion. Another example is Rihs and Landis at Phonak. I don't think Phonak was team-organized doping. Floyd did his thing on his own (and Rihs probably knew).

Both was Phonak.

But yes you're right. I won't say Phonak was USPS or T-Mobile. They didn't have a star-studded roster. FL wasn't outright for the Tour. That was probably Ullrich and Basso in 2006 (before their departure).

But you're right freelancing had become order offer day.

Maybe because Armstrong & USPS had a mortgage with Ferrari so everyone else was Fuentes.
 
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VeloFidelis said:
Since the top Pro Tour teams were both well financed and had well structured doping programs that are obviously apparent in their respective team leader's results... what exactly is your point?

My point is very simple. Oxygen vector doping has vast differences in response. Jan, or any other rider, pretending like everyone got the same benefit from EPO or transfusions is just nonsense.
 
thehog said:
The issue is not the financing. It's giving a line item for the money that buys the drugs.

Festina used the 5% rule. 5% of everyone's salary into the pot to buy the cache.

USPS first up sold the bikes so they had hard cash not appearing on the books. Later they had a other method.

T-Mobile had a university on-board, "research".

Then there's the hiring of "no roles", jobs they don't exist that are paid.

And overpaying a salary which includes the fund for medicine.

It it can't appear on the books as "drugs".

Point in case Rabobank:
I think you hit the nail on the head. The issue was that being illegal it should not be in the accounts to be audited.