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Michael Pepper ban increased for "admitting guilt"

Apr 28, 2010
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Michael Pepper, SA cyclist, tested positive for Clen and T. He admitted guilt, instead of claiming it was from contaminated mongoose or something. Anyway, I'll leave Khalid Galant, CEO of the Institute for Drug-Free Sport, to take up the story on the punishment:

“Because two banned substances were found in the athlete’s sample, and the fact that he admitted guilt, the tribunal panel felt they could increase the ban from two years to three years,”
http://www.sport24.co.za/OtherSport/Cycling/Lengthy-ban-for-top-SA-cyclist-20110210

What the hell? What kind of message does this send out? If you argue the result on some ridiculous technicality you will get a one year ban, whereas if you admit guilt and make the process easy on all parties, it's increased to three years? What kind of twisted logic is that?

Oh yeah, the UCI approved "shut the f*** up or else" logic. :rolleyes:
 
If Ricco's IQ is less than his HC level, what price these clowns?

As to 2 PEDs being more of an offence than one.
Maybe they should ban themselves for three years for reaching 2 stupid conclusions, instead of one.

This ruling will have the cheats burrowing further into the woodwork.
Can't they see the negative impact of such a decision?
Then again, maybe they can.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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If the substances had been found in seperate samples, wouldn't it already have been a lifetime ban?

I have to agree, this sends the wrong message. It promotes hypocracy, and punishes honesty.
We, the fans, should use this case as an example,a nd take it viral via social media. Every cyclist needs to know about it, and subscribe to the notion that this is counterproductive doping fighting.

Who can take the lead? I'm too stupid to make short URL's to link here.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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Cloxxki said:
If the substances had been found in seperate samples, wouldn't it already have been a lifetime ban?

<snip>
From the way the article reads, both came up on one sample. Could be wrong though, just my interpretation.

The concept of giving a rider an extra year for admitting doping is ludicrous, just encourages more omerta, more lies, and less change.

I hope he fights the length of his ban, not often you want to see a cyclist appeal against a ban, but he should.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Met de Versnelling said:
From the way the article reads, both came up on one sample. Could be wrong though, just my interpretation.

The concept of giving a rider an extra year for admitting doping is ludicrous, just encourages more omerta, more lies, and less change.

I hope he fights the length of his ban, not often you want to see a cyclist appeal against a ban, but he should.
Indeed. I was just meaning to indicate he was lucky getting away with 2 years (even 3), by having multiple substances not to be found in seperate samples. I may misinterpret the rules, but then, so do authorities.
 
May 20, 2010
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Part of my email to DrugFreeSport:

Khalid Galant,
CEO
Institute for Drug-Free Sport South Africa

Dear Sir,

I wish to raise the matter of Michael Pepper, cyclist, whom I understand to be a resident of South Africa.

I further understand that Mr Pepper has tested positive for Clenbuterol and Testosterone(?). He admitted guilt.

From Sport24
Lengthy ban for top SA cyclist
2011-02-10 13:31
Quote:
“Because two banned substances were found in the athlete’s sample, and the fact that he admitted guilt, the tribunal panel felt they could increase the ban from two years to three years,”
This quote,attributed to you, implies that admission of guilt should, at least in part, contribute to an increase in the penalty applied.


End quote.

While not the entire thrust, I was wishing to point to admission of guilt contributing (even if only a little) to an increased penalty.
 
Jul 9, 2009
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Doesn't matter if they found 50 banned substances in one sample, it's considered a first offense positive and the normal is 2 years.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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Cloxxki said:
Indeed. I was just meaning to indicate he was lucky getting away with 2 years (even 3), by having multiple substances not to be found in seperate samples. I may misinterpret the rules, but then, so do authorities.
Right, gotcha. :)

Actually, you make a point there. If they'd said, 3 years on the basis of two substances, then well and good.

I guess there's a case to be made on both sides of the argument here actually.
 
Dec 21, 2010
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mountaindew said:
Doesn't matter if they found 50 banned substances in one sample, it's considered a first offense positive and the normal is 2 years.
Should this be the case though? I understand why this is the case, but at the same time, you have to wonder, 2 years for every substance found maybe?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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But hang on, he may have been honest about how the Clen got in his system (apparently intentionally?) but there is no sign of him saying where the Testosterone came from. Normal policy is that if you are honest AND give up the supplier then you get a lower sentence. Not aware of any policy that saying "yep I did it" should get you time off.

Personally I think people have got this backwards. I have zero problem with the SA decision and they should be proud of it. They are telling the world they take this stuff seriously.

It is the others (for a current example: the Spanish federation) that should be dropped from the UCI and all riders on their licenses should be forced to register with a different country for a replacement. (my preferred suggestion at the moment is SA)
 
Apr 28, 2010
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Martin318is said:
Normal policy is that if you are honest AND give up the supplier then you get a lower sentence. Not aware of any policy that saying "yep I did it" should get you time off.
That's not the point. Do you agree that it should get you time added on?

I don't think anyone is suggesting he should have received a reduced sentence, but just making the contrast with the Spanish case that lying can get you time off whereas being honest apparently gets you time added on. IMO both cases should be two years. Strict liability and no assistance provided in either case.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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Roland Rat said:
That's not the point. Do you agree that it should get you time added on?

I don't think anyone is suggesting he should have received a reduced sentence, but just making the contrast with the Spanish case that lying can get you time off whereas being honest apparently gets you time added on. IMO both cases should be two years. Strict liability and no assistance provided in either case.
I see your point i.e 2 vs 3 years.
But we were present at the hearing thus we would not know what the circumstances were/are. Surely they applied their brains in deciding what sentence to hand out??

If "honesty" was your prerogative, he should have just applied for a TUE in the first place!
Maybe that ignorance and lack of respect for the systems in place and knowingly/intentionally dope got him the harsher sentence.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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Side Wind Sports said:
The rider, from the date of notification always pleaded innocent.
Only on the 7th of February 2011 which was 3.5 months down the line did he tell the guys what happend.

mmmm.....so maybe not honest from wht get go.

Roland Rat said:
Not really.
Pitty....I thought it answered a couple of questions that were asked before.....
Won't bother to post info again. :cool:
 
May 20, 2010
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Spinnekop said:
...



Pity....I thought it answered a couple of questions that were asked before.....
Won't bother to post info again.
:cool:
Thank you. Your link provided me with some additional info.
 
Sep 15, 2010
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I was always taught that honesty was the best option - clearly not where doping is concerned!;)

I realise this is a contradiction in terms, however, when someone holds their hands up and says "I did it" this shouldn't mitigate a lesser sanction but it definately should not attract a harder sanction.

At the end of the day he has broken the rules and the minute you compromise yourself in this way you leave yourself open to sanctions.... however fair or unfair.
 
Apr 28, 2010
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Spinnekop said:
Pity....I thought it answered a couple of questions that were asked before.....
Won't bother to post info again. :cool:
Sorry, that came across ruder than I meant it to. Thanks for posting the link, and please don't be put off doing so in the future because of my lack of tact!
 
WADA code Aggravating Circumstances

This comes from a provision under the WADA code that allows for first-offense sanctions of up to 4 years for doping under AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES - basically, doping intentionally and knowingly for a long time before being caught, doing so knowing full-well that it was wrong, involving others, blah blah...anything basically beyond getting caught trying something out for the first time can be argued as aggravating circumstances.

So, for example, let's say someone comes to me in December and asks me about EPO and says they're looking to get some and what do I think and I tell them it's a bad idea, they probably shouldn't do it, but then they go ahead and do it anyway. Maybe then they use some anabolics too, and 2-3 months down the line they test positive. Well, when the evidence of their conversation with me is entered into the record and clearly indicates their intention to dope and for how many months it may have been going on, those aggravating circumstances can justify an increased ban under the Code.

That's only one example though.

Here are a couple of quick links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/7099845.stm

http://road.cc/content/news/27298-wada-chief-calls-more-four-year-bans-doping

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/6339/WADA-wants-to-enforce-four-year-doping-bans.aspx
 
Jan 18, 2010
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is this honesty?

Sounds a bit like an admission/non-admission to me.

“He stated it was never his intention to take the substance to win or become better than any of his fellow riders but rather just to reach a level he had previously had. He also went on to confirm that there is no other cyclist involved and that his team and or teammates at the time, were unaware of what he was doing.”
This quote from the CN article referring to the testosterone postive.
 
May 20, 2010
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joe_papp said:
This comes from a provision under the WADA code that allows for first-offense sanctions of up to 4 years for doping under AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES - basically, doping intentionally and knowingly for a long time before being caught, doing so knowing full-well that it was wrong, involving others, blah blah...anything basically beyond getting caught trying something out for the first time can be argued as aggravating circumstances.

So, for example, let's say someone comes to me in December and asks me about EPO and says they're looking to get some and what do I think and I tell them it's a bad idea, they probably shouldn't do it, but then they go ahead and do it anyway. Maybe then they use some anabolics too, and 2-3 months down the line they test positive. Well, when the evidence of their conversation with me is entered into the record and clearly indicates their intention to dope and for how many months it may have been going on, those aggravating circumstances can justify an increased ban under the Code.

That's only one example though.

Here are a couple of quick links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/7099845.stm

http://road.cc/content/news/27298-wada-chief-calls-more-four-year-bans-doping

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/6339/WADA-wants-to-enforce-four-year-doping-bans.aspx

Even experienced pros are caught doping. I believe that they would only dope after careful consideration. Therefore their doping would be premeditated and carefully planned at that (for the most part). Therefore maybe most dopers would satisfy aggravated circumstances??

I understand that the above is only reasoned rather than concrete evidence. And evidence is required rather than reasonable supposition. However it does seem that the stated circumstances of Mr Pepper's "extended" penalty are harsh...given other doping circumstances.

To finish I accept, as indicated by previous poster, that you dope, you test positive, you are penalized...and you risk a penalty does not seem fair.
 

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