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Kohl retires

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Mar 10, 2009
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rhubroma said:

Great insight!

It sounds like a classic prisoner's dillemma (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma for explanation of the orginal problem), whereby two prisoner's, in this case cyclists, are facing some difficult choices, when they feel they are being played out against each other, either by a DS or 'the system'. The actual rational choice is to not dope (and stay healthy), but the contextually generated (suboptimal) rational choice is to dope.

If you don't dope, and the other one doesn't, both ride clean, create a clean peloton, fight each other with the same engines and make a living off doing exactly that. Optimal choice, for both.

If one dopes, and the other doesn't, someone will not be able perform at the 'highest level' and won't be able reap the rewards of his efforts/talent. Optimal choice fo one, because he eliminates competition, and gets a good contract.

Since both doubt the other will stay clean, in the light of getting signed and becoming a relatively well paid cyclist, both will decide to dope to achieve their goal and get that contract. Suboptimal choice, but very rational in these circumstances. It's suboptimal, because in a way they bite the hand that feeds them (cycling as a sport) by cheating the fans and detrimentally affect their health, while both still get a contract.

Perhaps that's also where the solution lies. Finding a way out of the strangle hold of a prisoner's dilemma?
 
Mar 16, 2009
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rhubroma said:
This to me seems to synthesize what is meant by a "culture" of doping. And from a certain perspective its rational is at least rationally based and thus comprehensible

First, a great post - you took the time to articulate what I assume is the situation. When I said that it was the money in the sport that causes doping to be such a problem, I didn't mean to be taken quite so narrowly. Rather, the feeling that you can't make it as a pro without "help" is what I think is the issue. Either there is someone less talented than you who will take away your job if you don't do "all that you have to" to keep it, or that you will be able to make a living but never be able to beat the guys who are "juicing" (and hence never be given the chance to win by the team management). Like I said earlier, I don't really see a way forward for cycling from its current situation (even if there are clean riders, they don't know if the prople beating them are clean, so doubt and temptation enter and there is a good chance that the rider may not stay clean).


Dave

P.S. It's probably obvious to all that I am talking out of my hat, never having been a pro nor have I even spent time around real pros. I am just saying what it seems to me the situation likely is.
 
rhubroma said:
Well I didn't make it. I mean I could do some good rides, but in the end the engine wasn't big enough. The cream keeps rising to the top and I wasn't the cream, thus wasn't picked up by a pro team.

Now if everything was at an even playing level, and my training was optimal and the head was as good as the legs then I could have my chance on a climber's course. But really that meant top 5. If there were guys on EPO, then probably I got ripped off you know.

The problem is that while you know if you're clean (or not), you don't know who among your competition is clean (or not). That's the bad thing, the doubt. Yet I know that there were guys who "got help," which meant you never knew your true worth. And I had guys recommend doping as the only way to win, some believed that without "getting help" it was just impossible to win beyond a certain level.

I don't want to make any excuses though. There were guys who could just ride harder, faster, longer. Period. In the end, it was enough that I got to ride in races with them. But it is that "doubt" which is the really ****ed-up, nasty thing. Becuase doping exists and sometimes you got droped not by someone who was naturally superior, but by one who had less scrupples, was all the more sly. But they weren't the true champions. Not those guys. They'd probably score a year's contract, then blow their engines cause they by doping put a Ferrari motor in their Fiat body. No the real talents moved forward cause they're the real cream and were born with a Ferrari motor. And so when it came time to dope, for them it was just like putting in optimal fuel and not an entirely new and incompatible engine. Their motor's systems could just handle it no problem and they'd carburate in the smoothest and most efficient manner.

No it's not impossible to finish races without dope, but you need to be super prepared. The problem isn't finishing it's getting a noteworthy result without doping once you arrive at a certain level. Unless you are just that damn good. But after a certain level, being that damn good becomes an increasing rarity when doping is involved. So even the best talent who know's he's clean, has to either accept living with the torment of doubt (unless one believed doping doesn't exist), or increasingly sees that playing the game by his ethical standards is in direct conflict with getting the major results which may mean the difference between signing a contract or not. Many an aspiring damn good cyclist simply can't resist the temptation of doping and often finds an alibi in the conviction (not unwarented) that his main competitors have caved in as he's about to do. So to him doping isn't cheating any more, in so far as cheating means one is looking to get an unfair edge on the competition through ilicit means. No to him it is simply bringing his body back up to a fitness level where he can no longer live with the doubt, because he knows, or at least believes, that he has put himself back in a game that's played "in a certain way." And that if everyone were on bread and water only (which he is fully cinvinced can't be the case), he would have the same chances for honest victory as he does by doping with everyone else.

This to me seems to synthesize what is meant by a "culture" of doping. And from a certain perspective its rational is at least rationally based and thus comprehensible. The problem is, and I don't want to sound like a broken record, the DOUBT. Of course in strickt terms of the rules doping is unethical, however in terms of the psychology of doping it is pointless to try and preach absolute morality (especially in today's society), when, as in the example above, there are rational means to transform what is legally against the rules into valid practice; when the very concept of cheating upon which ilegality of a practice is based is itself cast in doubt if not cancelled by this culture.
Thanks. I, as an avid fan, appreciate your feedback.
 
Bala Verde said:
Great insight!

It sounds like a classic prisoner's dillemma (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma for explanation of the orginal problem), whereby two prisoner's, in this case cyclists, are facing some difficult choices, when they feel they are being played out against each other, either by a DS or 'the system'. The actual rational choice is to not dope (and stay healthy), but the contextually generated (suboptimal) rational choice is to dope.

If you don't dope, and the other one doesn't, both ride clean, create a clean peloton, fight each other with the same engines and make a living off doing exactly that. Optimal choice, for both.

If one dopes, and the other doesn't, someone will not be able perform at the 'highest level' and won't be able reap the rewards of his efforts/talent. Optimal choice fo one, because he eliminates competition, and gets a good contract.

Since both doubt the other will stay clean, in the light of getting signed and becoming a relatively well paid cyclist, both will decide to dope to achieve their goal and get that contract. Suboptimal choice, but very rational in these circumstances. It's suboptimal, because in a way they bite the hand that feeds them (cycling as a sport) by cheating the fans and detrimentally affect their health, while both still get a contract.

Perhaps that's also where the solution lies. Finding a way out of the strangle hold of a prisoner's dilemma?

It's also about the virtue/vice conflict or dilemma. One exists only in respect to the other's existence. By contrast, you could not have the existence of one without the other's existence. And since one does exist, so too, by the former's very state of being, must the other.

In classical philosophy this was known as Dualism and applied to analysis of the existence of good vs. evil.

If we apply the same reasoning to society, we would find that man simply can't live in a perfect state of virtue, any more than he could do so in an absolute state of vice.

And this is why it would be impossible, in the philosophical sense, for there to be sport without doping, where natural sport is considered virtue and doped sport vice. Because such would imply that only virtue exists, which is unnatural and against the laws of human society.

This is why doping will always exist at some level, unless human society were to radically and unnaturally transform itself into a utopia.

Since that's not possible, the sport culture has realized what you call a suboptimal resolution in reconsidering, to one's own personal convenience and advantage, the very logic of virtue and vice, which is confounded and looked upon with relativity in order to justify one's practice? This has become the alternative to utopia, which never really was one because it is unnatural.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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I'm not gonna lie I used some stuff when I used to race, nothing like epo or testosterone but amphetamines and cortisone, not as a enhancer but just to supress the joint pains.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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rhubroma said:

So you are a post modernist :rolleyes:

Now you need to go beyond the hierarchised binary opposites and deconstruct why these terms have achieved such a priviliged as well as subordinate status.

Sport is associated with:
natural, competitive, authentic, organic, body (zone of authentic work), purity.

vs.

unnatural, corrupt, cheat, artificial, prostethic / chemic substances, impure

subsequently leading to the glorification of the former and the criminalization of the latter. Why is this so?
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
Based on this, we can only assume that there is not such a thing as 100% clean, right?
Thanks for the Info.

100% clean not at that level. But I was the cleanest rider on that team, and I could tell you some stuff about my former teammates
 
Apr 10, 2009
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Outstanding posts rhubroma. You all know where I stand on the issue, personally. Although, as I have said before, I completely understand the pressure in the pro ranks to engage in enhancement. You broke it down and made it simple for the layperson to understand that pressure.

As a side note, I also appreciated your post on the differing cultural attitudes toward the problem. Makes it easier to understand other viewpoints, as I would hope it would help them to understand mine.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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franciep10 said:
100% clean not at that level. But I was the cleanest rider on that team, and I could tell you some stuff about my former teammates

Possibly without listing names (we understand the Omerta :D), list out the infractions or substances used and how/for-what kind of race if there was a difference.

Think of it as the release of the burden you've carried.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Well for starters you had epo, testosterone, blood doping and normal stuff like amphetamines, ritalin. We competed in races like dupont, redlands classic, I actually won that one year, mostly national races, I don't like to give out names but Ill give you a clue to the name of one of my teammates, he was the third american to win a stage in the tour de france.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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And then Mr McQuaid feels stepped on his toes, so what does he do as UCI's president. Indeed, he lashes out like a prepubescent crybaby, whose favourite doll has been violated by Barbie Ken.

When asked about Kohl's critical statements with regard to his pet project - that was said to deliver instant results and reveal some interesting names of potential violators months ago -

"The statements Kohl makes are totally inaccurate,"... "I wouldn't accept anything. I haven't seen the full interview that he did, I only saw excerpts. But those excerpts I saw were totally inaccurate and not in line with the accurate facts. He is using things to suit himself."

Now I don't know if cyclingnews misquoted him, but McQuaid sure is a gifted debater, as you can see, he manifestly countered Kohl's claims by laying bare those alleged inaccuracies of his statements...

Mind you that these experiences merely come from a seasoned doper who prepped himself since he was 19 and only got caught once, while having been tested over 200 times. How often did McQuaid pass a doping test again?

And instead of sticking up for the guy who, genuinely or not, tries to contribute to breaking the 'Grand Silence', he has most praiseworthy words:

I would not put a lot of faith in what he [Kohl] says. It is always guys who get caught and thrown out who start reflecting a little bit, preparing a book, and they come out with anything. Unless we have proof, we can not go and do anything,"

Obviously, he is right that without proof, one isn't in a position to judge, but to go midievally ad hominem at him, and discredit the guy by doubting the sincerity of his claims and, en passant, questioning his motives... that, I'd say, is a tad below the UCI president's dignity. To summarize, according to Pat, the words of an exposed doper are worth nothing. And when an exposed doper says nothing, but makes a come-back in 2 years, at least Pat's a happy camper.

Pat, perhaps a little media training would prevent you from harming the image of cycling. You deserve to share some sessions with Boonens shrink!
 
Great post Bala Verde.

Pat's right about proof, but wouldn't you think they'd at least want to hear what Kohl has to say??? I mean, sit down with him, start asking him some questions:

- What PEDs did you use?

- Where did you get them?

- How exactly did you cheat the tests?

- Who knew you were doping?

- Who else do you know doped? Do you have any proof?

Then, take those leads, investigate, and validate them as possible. Or use them in future research and investigations.

Pat "Chief Wiggum" McQuaid however isn't truly interested in stopping doping. He's more interested in perception, and Kohl just made him look like a horses a** and an incompetent failure.
 
Bala Verde said:
So you are a post modernist :rolleyes:

Now you need to go beyond the hierarchised binary opposites and deconstruct why these terms have achieved such a priviliged as well as subordinate status.

Sport is associated with:
natural, competitive, authentic, organic, body (zone of authentic work), purity.

vs.

unnatural, corrupt, cheat, artificial, prostethic / chemic substances, impure

subsequently leading to the glorification of the former and the criminalization of the latter. Why is this so?

Because man lives in a state of "hierarchical bianary opposites". Just as death, or an abscence of consciousness, only has validity by virtue of existence, so too has every social and ethical construct been recognized by its antithesis. Thesis-Antithesis. Mankind is hopelessly ensnared within a mutually nessecary and exclusive-conflicting duality, which has determined every value based judgement assesment of his existence.

However Machiavellism with his "ends justify the means" philosophy and then Nietzsche and his "will to power" prescept, have proposed alternatives to the rigidly fixed Dualist concept, whereas the niilists have totally rejected its laws along with everything, literally everything.

But among the masses, just look at every single form of organized religion, political body (it isn't by chance that I have arranged the two together) and the lex, it is a cogent reality which still reigns supreme...
 
franciep10 said:
I'm not gonna lie I used some stuff when I used to race, nothing like epo or testosterone but amphetamines and cortisone, not as a enhancer but just to supress the joint pains.

Your sincerity is appreciated and I pass no judgments. Once, and only once, when I was flat out exhausted, I allowed myself to be injected with somehting. I was told it was vitamins. I never asked questions.

Given the doping programs I witnessed of others, I considered mine a very small transgression, a ****-em all folly. I couldn't have cared less at the time. To the contrary, there was a state of self-gratifying satisfaction after all the being teased about racing "naivly" on "bread and water." I just said **** it, I don't care. I need a little help.

I seriously doubt I actually got help, though, becuase one shot of anything isn't a real "thearpy" (and maybe it was just vitamins after all), but in that moment there was a sensation of being superman and to have passed (at least for once) into their realm. Like the old REM tune.

Its then that I began to understand what drove them to "break the rules." It was sheer meglomania and hubris and tyranny. In short, it was about will to power as Nietzsche thought. It does not surprise me at all that many dopers thus can't resist in their down time the nights out in the disco all coked up and on ecstacy. Similar meglomania, similar euphoria...
 
franciep10 said:
Well for starters you had epo, testosterone, blood doping and normal stuff like amphetamines, ritalin. We competed in races like dupont, redlands classic, I actually won that one year, mostly national races, I don't like to give out names but Ill give you a clue to the name of one of my teammates, he was the third american to win a stage in the tour de france.
The EPO have me confused. It looks like your rode during the late 80's and early 90's during which time the EPO was just being introduced at a very technical level. Or you were very young at the time and witnessed the transition from Anphetamines to the powerful EPO?
 
Apr 11, 2009
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Anyone see this comment on Lance's twitter yesterday:

"That goes in the "bull****" category. When you're born a donkey and all of a sudden become a thoroughbred, then we know."

I think it's a comment by him, but could be mistaken. Is this a dig at Kohl?

The "donkey" above is is a pretty good description of Lance himself. Wasn't he a middling "donkey" in TDF before meeting "Dr." Ferrari" and his "medical program'? Couldn't TT or climb worth diddly squat--or even finish the Tour. Other than the World's, a fairly middling classics rider, not in the class of a Boonen or a Devolder, or a Museeuw (yes, I know he was jacked).

His V02 max figures are reported to have been pretty middling compared with say a Lemond or Indurain, and certainly compared with XC skiers, he's not even in the same ballpark.



Twiter extracts:

# ...soaking up @lukearmstrong, @gracearmstrong, @bellaarmstrong, @annahansen, and Max (?). Have a great weekend everyone.
about 22 hours ago from web

# St20 done. Fairly flat stage today. We went FAST tho. 28mph avg for 125 miles... Ready for the last day, getting home to Aspen, and...about 22 hours ago from web

"# Pre stage video with Jason McCartney. http://tinyurl.com/lwrvpcabout
22 hours ago from web

# @randomcyclist sorry, thought u all could see the question. ? was my thoughts on Kohl's claims that u "have to dope in order to win".
2:33 AM May 30th from web in reply to randomcyclist

# That goes in the "bull****" category. When you're born a donkey and all of a sudden become a thoroughbred, then we know.
1:50 AM May 30th from web

(NOT SURE WHAT THE ABOVE COMMENT IS IN RESPONSE TO? IT'S JUST SITTING THERE OUT OF CONTEXT, BUT APPEARS TO BE FROM LANCE; COULD BE WRONG, THOUGH).
 
Mar 18, 2009
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It's Lance's. He later posted something like "sorry forgot to say it's a response to kohl's comment" (and followed by posting kohl's quote in full).

For some weird reason he deleted that post later :confused:
 

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