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Katusha Anti-doping

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Apr 20, 2009
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Anybody that thinks this is reasonable (5x salary) is out of their everloving falking mind. Is there a zero percent chance of a false positive, taking a contaminated supplement, or even the russian mob (for example) finding a way to get in on the action($$$)? You create way too much incentive for someone to WANT failed tests, especially in this economic climate. ASININE.
 
May 26, 2009
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+ 1 on it creating a financial incentive to find a rider doped. Maybe unlikely but who knows when that scenario might be in the money for team owners in financial strife.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
I'd even be so bold to say many teams that have "anti-doping" programs test their athletes so the athletes won't get caught at doping controls, and cost the team humiliation, embarrassment, money, etc. Not so the athletes don't dope.

A team that's really anti-doping would not only implement serious profiling of not only HCT, but hematology testing of blood volume, plus power outputs. They would also have an honor code of some sort, and respect whistleblowers and such programs. Working with athletes to reward them for coming clean. Plus supporting following up on the athletes confessions. As it is now, riders that confess are treated far worse by the UCI, teams, other riders, and even many fans, than those that those that unrepentantly dope with no limitations, and no remorse. Read this article about a familiar name if you aren't sure.
+1. Agree. And to avoid their riders go to other doctors different to the team programs (If they have any).
 
May 9, 2009
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franciep10 said:
One thing that I don't like is that if you dope and it results in you being a really good cyclist, you get paid a boat load of cash, then if you get caught, you get a two year ban living off the money you made cheating, then you come back and sign a big contract aka basso, and it hardly hurts your pocket, I think katusha hurting their dopers financially is well it's better than nothing.

Why not explain it this way: you dope and get results and get paid and the sponsors make a boat-load of money off of the publicity you generated, and then you get a two year ban, and then you come back and some other sponsor signs you so they can profit off of the publicity your cycling will generate for them.
 
boalio said:
This whole scenario is the problem with the 'war' doping. Everything is blamed on the rider. Doping at a professional level isn't just some evil little rider who is too lazy to train, so he scores some EPO from a guy on a street corner and goes and shoots up in a bathroom. This is a highly technical medical system that requires a network of doctors and support staff to do it correctly.

But it in order to look like everyone is going to take doping seriously, they decide to financially ruin some poor guy, who doesn't even have a college degree, who comes from a long line of Belgian house painters, who most of the time has a wife and children. The whole thing is so hypocritocal. I think this sort of attitude is more morally and ethically corrupt than the doping itself!

Why not fine team owners and managers 5x their earnings? Watch doping get stamped out then!
I agree.

And don't get mad at the riders if they ride with the "Gruppeto" in every mountain stage.
 
boalio said:
Why not fine team owners and managers 5x their earnings? Watch doping get stamped out then!

Not practical. First off the owners/management can do very little to stop someone from using various products for recovery. This stuff is really easy to obtain. It is simple and quick to use. The management has little control over what a rider might be doing to recover from hard training. Second, although the management may be aware that variations in performance point to blood manipulation, the riders have contracts. You cannot unilaterally break the contract based on suspicion. You will get sued.

How do you separate a team owner who encourages and supports doping from one who is genuinely trying to run a clean team? Either one can have a rider test positive. The dirty owner will be using internal testing to prevent his riders from failing an official test. The clean owner will be using internal testing to prevent riders from doping. But as long as omerta is in effect, there is no way to know which owner is dirty and which is clean.
 
May 6, 2009
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elapid said:
What about Team Columbia-High Road's Serhiy Honchar? From his Wikipedia site: "On 11 May 2007, Honchar was suspended for 30 days by his T-Mobile team, following blood tests taken at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour de Romandie. On 19 June 2007, the T-Mobile team announced the termination of his contract."

This seems to prove Alpe's point rather well. Honchar slips quietly away and Team Columbia-High Road are not made to look bad.



Who was prosecuted? To the best of my knowledge, only Ivan Basso and Jörg Jaksche have been found guilty because of their involvement with Operation Puerto. Both suspensions were a result of confessions, Basso after initially being cleared of any involvement by the RFEC. No one else has been prosecuted based on evidence attained during Operation Puerto. Stay tuned for Valverde, however.

Yes, many riders should have been found guilty if their cases were able to proceed to their national federations. They didn't because of the Spanish judiciary, and hence they should be allowed to ride because their only guilt is by suspicion and rumours, not facts and convictions.



Alan Davis spent a year telling anyone who would listen that he would offer his DNA to prove he was not involved. Like Gil, the UCI would not get off their fat lazy asses and take him up on his offer. He fought for a year and was cleared by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. He was one of the lucky ones. If he was truly guilty, then let him face the ASADA and be found guilty. If the evidence is not there or not being released by the Spanish authorities, then he and every other implicated rider has the right to ride, including Contador.



I was one of the people calling BigBoat a troll. I regret it now, but I was frustrated with every post saying exactly the same thing and not providing proof or references. Each seemed to be written to induce a response, hence the troll remark. But I was never not a cynic and I think you'll agree most of my posts are quite realistic about the situation in the professional peloton. BigBoat's more recent posts have been more expansive and enlightening and he is obviously commenting from a position of authority if he is a high-level US coach, rather than trolling for a response. Again, I regret having said that about BigBoat and apologize to him/her for those remarks.

Slightly OT but am I not the only one to think his two TT wins in the 2006 Tiur where a tad shady considering what happened to him afterwards, Ullrich and Sevilla getting fired and we find out what Messers Sinkewitz, Kessler and apparently Kloden were up to? I believe that somebody is innocent until proven otherwise, but if I am allowed to be cynical, then that would be it.

Good post BTW.
 
hfer07 said:
The price for a doping violation is so high that is just unthinkable to even try

Won't even work. No way. The primary reason is that the severity of punishment is almost pointless when the certainty of it is nearly non-existent. We need to find a way to make sure riders who dope can't get away with it. Take a look at Kohl. He took over 200 doping tests and says he should have completely failed over 100 of those. It wasn't until they put markers in Cera that he finally popped positive, and even then, he passed some of those tests. He even said he took some tests right after doping, within hours, and completely passed. This, is the problem.

As an analogy. It's akin to saying that it will now be a year in prison for everyone who jaywalks. But if there are no police around, no security cameras, and no one will point the finger at each other, what's to keep people from continuing to do it?

I agree with Thought in that while use of EPO is down, we're still seeing widespread doping, just on a lower level. A lot of microdosing, and blood packing.

As I've said many times now, they need to test do hematology testing for total blood volume, as dilution and even plasma expanders can't mask that. And they need to profile power outputs long term. That would go a long way to cutting down on the most effective way to dope (O2 boosting). Then, most of all, they need to treat riders differently, and start working with them to getting them to talk, and agree to a code of honor, and not the omerta. But that's not going to happen until we see a total flush from the UCI, many national organizations, and through many teams and riders.
 
Well, many would say, if you aren't doping, you need not fear the possiblity of such a massive fine.
However, as we all know, the can be accidents with sweets, diarrhoea, depression, de-hydration, alcohol, road rash and a previously undiscovered twins.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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Parrot23 said:
Yes, it does seem very odd that there is no whistleblower protection. If one used the economic argument of Hulkgogan on the other thread, it does seem that the structure of incentives in cycling is wonky: it's all about punishment and ruin if you get caught, and huge rewards if you are not caught and are able to win thereby.

Have revised my views about ethics vs. economics of doping. The purely punitive/"ethical" approach will not solve the problem; it probably buries it deeper.

Not for legalization of doping, but leniency and support for whistleblowers. Can't all be on the punitive side of the ledger.

This is a great idea. Alpe or Parrot you should start a dedicated thread. Lots of things to discuss on this topic.
 
May 1, 2009
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I just had another thought about this contract. 5x the salary is a lot of money. Who does it go to? What happens if the team decides they want to get rid of someone? Spike their drink bottle, BAM. Katusha gets a massive windfall.

Imagine on another team, Contador is a problem for an Armstrong Tour, he is looking at breaking contracts to move to another team. Astana has financial problems, he is very expensive. Little bit of testosterone in his jam sandwich. Failed drug test. He is no longer a threat at the tour and Astana solves its financial woes through a massive wad of cash coming its way.

The openings for abuse are staggering.
 
Apr 22, 2009
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boalio said:
I just had another thought about this contract. 5x the salary is a lot of money. Who does it go to? What happens if the team decides they want to get rid of someone? Spike their drink bottle, BAM. Katusha gets a massive windfall.

Imagine on another team, Contador is a problem for an Armstrong Tour, he is looking at breaking contracts to move to another team. Astana has financial problems, he is very expensive. Little bit of testosterone in his jam sandwich. Failed drug test. He is no longer a threat at the tour and Astana solves its financial woes through a massive wad of cash coming its way.

The openings for abuse are staggering.

Surely this is just another argument in favour of there being consequences for teams as well as individual riders in the event of a doping positive. Sure, it's not a perfect solution, but what is?
 
boalio said:
I just had another thought about this contract. 5x the salary is a lot of money. Who does it go to? What happens if the team decides they want to get rid of someone? Spike their drink bottle, BAM. Katusha gets a massive windfall.

It does not go to anyone because pretty much no one has 5X salary to pay and the contract likely would not be enforceable due to labor laws.

Teams, especially a certain Belgian team, have already been rumored to have gotten rid of riders who were not performing by setting up or ratting out the riders.
 
boalio said:
I just had another thought about this contract. 5x the salary is a lot of money. Who does it go to? What happens if the team decides they want to get rid of someone? Spike their drink bottle, BAM. Katusha gets a massive windfall.

Imagine on another team, Contador is a problem for an Armstrong Tour, he is looking at breaking contracts to move to another team. Astana has financial problems, he is very expensive. Little bit of testosterone in his jam sandwich. Failed drug test. He is no longer a threat at the tour and Astana solves its financial woes through a massive wad of cash coming its way.

The openings for abuse are staggering.

wow-This statement looks to me like it is about to come reality for AC:D:D
 
Apr 20, 2009
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i wouldn't sign it either...

having worked in a medical lab and seen the number of mistakes that happen i would not sign either. there are roughly 500 riders in the protour. assume that on average each rider is tested five times throughout the year. that is 2500 tests. assume a 1% false positive rate- a low number for a medical lab- that is up to 25 riders a year possible facing such an onerous sanction.

there are probably a lot of riders doping, but we have to decide which side we want to err on: caution or punishment. human rights dictate that we should let a few dopers through the net to protect the rights of the clean. especially in something as inessential as sport. if it were flying planes or something like that, then maybe more punishment would be warranted to prevent any accidents.
 
gregod said:
having worked in a medical lab and seen the number of mistakes that happen i would not sign either. there are roughly 500 riders in the protour. assume that on average each rider is tested five times throughout the year. that is 2500 tests. assume a 1% false positive rate- a low number for a medical lab- that is up to 25 riders a year possible facing such an onerous sanction.

You are forgetting about the B test, and the B test is conducted with representatives of the athlete present.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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you are right, but...

i left out the b-test, but before that is performed the damage is done to the rider's reputation, etc. furthermore, in the operation puerto case it has been pointed out that many riders have lost jobs simply for the accusation; no b-test because no a-test. plus, say for example the rider is not performing and the team want to get rid of him. a contract like katusha's would be a huge financial incentive to see a b-test positive. consider also that there is often a range in which some tests can be called a positive or negative depending on a number of factors including tester interpretation.

in my opinion, the reason the UCI is as conservative as they are is that they have weighed all of these factors, including their own reputation, and play it safe. mr. (name cannot be written here) pound has done a disservice to WADA, cycling and sport in general with his behavior.
 
May 6, 2009
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I'm finding Cedric Vasseur's absence here quite odd IMO. If pro cyclists ever bothered to be Unionised there would be no way such a proposal would go through.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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craig1985 said:
I'm finding Cedric Vasseur's absence here quite odd IMO. If pro cyclists ever bothered to be Unionised there would be no way such a proposal would go through.

What's Cedric going to do or say that will cause the riders to follow him? The riders rep is powerless.
 
Apr 22, 2009
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gregod said:
i left out the b-test, but before that is performed the damage is done to the rider's reputation, etc.

Surely that's all the more reason to protect the identity of riders with a +ve a sample until the findings have been confirmed - other sports don't seem to have a problem with the pre-emptive naming and shaming.
 
May 6, 2009
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ElChingon said:
What's Cedric going to do or say that will cause the riders to follow him? The riders rep is powerless.

Well as the head of the PCA I would of thought he could have come out and said that Katusha's plan is a load of nonsense.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Well as the head of the PCA I would of thought he could have come out and said that Katusha's plan is a load of nonsense.

He probably doesn't have much of a leg to stand on if he did because nearly all, if not all, of the professional peloton has signed the UCI antidoping charter which also has financial punishments (not to the same extent as Katusha's proposal). The PCA would probably be portrayed as two-faced if they supported the UCI antidoping charter and not Katusha's proposed antidoping regulations. They would also be considered pro-doping, like every rider (McEwen, Bettini, etc) that did not sign the UCI charter because of the implications of the financial punishment clause.