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Poor innocent managers!

Apr 29, 2009
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Guys and Gals,

I hate to be so skeptical, and I'm American therefore it is natural for me to believe everything I hear and read and see, but let's step back for just one second.

First Kohl, then Schumacher, then Rebellin...all from the same team (last year), all for the same drug. What else is common between them?

Am I being too obtuse? Probably.

What I'm really suggesting here is that maybe, just maybe, Holczer isn't so pure as the driven snow as he appears. I'm sorry to feel that way, but I feel as though my hand is being forced in that direction as well.

Flame away.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Bro,
I get what you are saying, but the directors cannot be policing the riders all the time. Plus the directors have other business as well to manage in their teams. Could they do a better job? Yes. Is their job to police riders? No.
I am friends with a Pro Tour rider and he was telling me that the Whereabouts program is already a pain in the behind to deal with it. Riders are free to have anyone they prefer as their coach, whether that is a Dr. or a Ferrari or a Mito. From what I know some teams have said, you can train with whomever you want except a medical Dr. I agree. Drs have no business coaching anybody, their business is treating illnesess or monitoring riders health.
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Yeah,

I don't disagree with anything you say. I should also mention that I'm a natural cynic. And I've digressed on only my second sentence. I also agree entirely that the monitoring/whereabout system must be completely absurd to live with, but on the other side of the coin, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Funnily though, we seem to keep proving that the whereabouts system is ****e, no? It's always the in competition tests that get them!

What I'm pointing to is not so much that I think Holczer was responsible for monitoring his riders (because he absolutely wasn't), but more so that he, nor UCI, can really be this behind the ball on realizing when there is something awry. It just seems really really difficult to believe, that when the general public see's something eye popping on the television (a la Schumi pounding the TT's in le tour this summer or Ricco out of the saddle thrashing at will, dropping some of the best riders in the world), how on earth can the "insiders" not have a long leg up on information?

When I get to heavy drinking, which these days is very very often, I tend to lend myself to some pretty ribald speaking and conspiracy theory. I always used to love chanting to anyone around me that it's absurd to believe or expect these riders NOT to need medical assistance and even further (when the whiskey really settles), I like to convince anyone around that the UCI is actually behind the magic curtain orchestrating who takes what, when and if they stray, they get busted. Again, I should also admit that my brother and I LOVE WWF Wrestling as children and actually thought it was real.

But do you see what I'm saying? How, really, how could Holczer not know or at least have a suspicion looooooong before we hear of it, and act on it?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Two really good points there. First, I agree, it always seems these guys are caught by race day testing and not out of competition. That makes no sense to me...why? Second, I agree...the peleton had to know something was up when Ricco and Shumaker rode like they did. How could they not? But you cant accuse someone before they are tested positive!! Must be a strange situation?
 
TRDean said:
Two really good points there. First, I agree, it always seems these guys are caught by race day testing and not out of competition. That makes no sense to me...why? Second, I agree...the peleton had to know something was up when Ricco and Shumaker rode like they did. How could they not? But you cant accuse someone before they are tested positive!! Must be a strange situation?

They knew. How could they experience being dropped like that while they were riding at their limits without knowing that Ricco et al were doped!

You can accuse someone of being doped before a positive test. This is purpose of the biological passport....if it ever gets put to use that is.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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You are assuming that directors are fully aware of the riders' performance during training so they would have an idea whether or not their race performance is above their average or normal performance.
I am no director so I could not tell you if they do it that way or how they pick riders for races.
Now, you are right in a sense. A director could have ways to figure this out for example to ask about the training the rider is performing and make a determination if a 10% incrase in performance is supported by their programme and training logs. So there is a way to figure out, but I wish it would be that easy. The rider would assume that the director is suspecting the rider is doping and he can be let go based on an subjective determination made by the director. It is also a lot easier for the director to take a passive approach and let a third independent party evaluate if the rider is on drugs or not. Riders have contracts and I assume those have termination clauses and all that to deal with. The easiest solution is for the doping organizations making the accusation.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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I dont think Holczer ran a "team program." Maybe but it doesnt seem smart enough...

CERA is what you get when guys try to blood dope on their own with dectectable r-EPO to stimulate rectics.
 
I think it is impossible for a manager to ensure that all his riders arent doping, remember Gerolsteiner didnt have any anti-doping programmes like CSC or Garmin whether you believe in them or not. There was almost 30 riders on Gerolsteiner, so hard to watch them all.

As BigBoat pointed out, getting caught for CERA is more likely the result of individual doping even if 3 guys from one team got caught. I definitely believe organised team doping like T-Mobile, Festina has more or less stopped. Its more indiviuduals now.

On other riders knowing who does what, I went to the Giro last year and got talking to a rider before a stage. He was simply shocked at the performances of Sella, this after his second stage win in a row, he was also a bit skeptical about most of the guys in the top 10. From this you can gauge that most guys know who is on something but cannot accuse them directly for obvious reasons.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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If anyone believes the "team concept" of doping is gone, I suggest they re-examine the Bruyneel/Armstrong concept of "team management"--all for one, one for all. It appears that self-sacrifice, even if it means "manipulation" (by whatever means possible) so that victory is achieved, is the rule--not the exception.

With the Bruyneel/Armstrong duo, the large pool of money available, and the dark cloud of systemic team doping (Postal, Discovery, Astana) that I've always thought probable, you have the "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" argument. In my mind, you can't have one, without the other.

"I've never tested positive", my ***.
 
Apr 29, 2009
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You know,

Another angle that considers to bother me that I didn't bring up earlier is the amount of capital behind many of these teams. It seems so blatantly logical, that if you're the manager/boss, and your neck is on the line for something crazy like a 10 million dollar yearly budget, that you'd really go out of your way to ensure that it stays up and running.

I'm such a grumpy old man.
 
Did anyone read that blurb by Bruyneel? What an eloquent piece of nonsense about nothing.

Here's a man who is in as powerful of position as anyone in the world to curb doping in cycling - by speaking out harshly against it, and stating that he'll take full responsibility of those under him, and watch them like a hawk and instill the anti-doping ethic and mantra in them. And by saying he'll blow the whistle on anyone he finds doping - including other doctors and other teams, and that he'll testify if needed in any country in the world, in any court, in any arbitration hearing, against doping if requested.

That would be a huge statement. Imagine what it could do?

Instead, he talks about structure within the sport, focus of the UCI, uniting teams, and not allowing press leaks. :mad:
 
Yeah, that's a great idea. Let's not let Eurosport, L'Equipe, La Gazetta, CyclingNews, VeloNews, Cyclosport, etc. report on anything other than what Johann wants to feed them.

Maybe he'd prefer we have a periodical like Pravda be the only source for journalism.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I think it is impossible for a manager to ensure that all his riders arent doping, remember Gerolsteiner didnt have any anti-doping programmes like CSC or Garmin whether you believe in them or not. There was almost 30 riders on Gerolsteiner, so hard to watch them all.
The purpose of an in-house testing program is to ensure that riders aren't going to test positive. It isn't to stop them from doping. It's just to make sure that the doping is non-detectable by doing your own testing before those pesky official testers come along.

Of course the Gerolsteiner management knew what was going on. They probably arranged it in the first place or at least found someone reliable to provide the CERA etc. As stated, they are controlling budgets of many millions of Euros. And those that provide the money want victories. The bosses therefore can't afford to take the approach of just hoping training is enough because the rest of the peloton will spank the clean rider every time.

Should we also feel sorry for the poor old managers at Team Phonak? Wasn't it 11 riders testing positive in their team?
 
patswana said:
The purpose of an in-house testing program is to ensure that riders aren't going to test positive. It isn't to stop them from doping. It's just to make sure that the doping is non-detectable by doing your own testing before those pesky official testers come along.

That's correct.
 
I don't buy that Patswana. Well, I buy the first part. I imagine some teams do use anti-doping programs to insure riders don't test positive, sure.

But with Gerolsteiner you have to keep a few things in mind. Unless it was all a big ruse kept more secret than the Warren Commission Report, Holczer has been pretty outspoken in both his words and his actions against doping. Also, after Ricco popped + at the Tour, the word was there was a celebration among several riders in the Gerolsteiner bus that a cheater had been caught. Some riders thought it peculiar that Kohl and Schumacher weren't really celebrating. After Kohl was caught, the other riders expressed quite a bit of anger at him. This tells me at least several riders on the team were riding clean, and if there was any sort of team instilled doping program, it was kept amazingly secret from at least half of their own riders.

Of course, who knows?
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I don't buy that Patswana. Well, I buy the first part. I imagine some teams do use anti-doping programs to insure riders don't test positive, sure.

But with Gerolsteiner you have to keep a few things in mind. Unless it was all a big ruse kept more secret than the Warren Commission Report, Holczer has been pretty outspoken in both his words and his actions against doping. Also, after Ricco popped + at the Tour, the word was there was a celebration among several riders in the Gerolsteiner bus that a cheater had been caught. Some riders thought it peculiar that Kohl and Schumacher weren't really celebrating. After Kohl was caught, the other riders expressed quite a bit of anger at him. This tells me at least several riders on the team were riding clean, and if there was any sort of team instilled doping program, it was kept amazingly secret from at least half of their own riders.

Of course, who knows?
I'm sure that there is often a bit of the old schadenfreude when a rider from another team tests positive, even felt by riders who are doping.

I think the Ricco celebrations were more because the guy is a very prickly personality with an ego to match even Armstrong. Apparently he was boasting about his doping from a very early age. Definitely not the done thing.

The stories about Kohl and Schumacher, well, that is what we were told in the media but whether that was just to make the rest of the team sound innocent??? The anger from teammates against them may well have been because they screwed up their doses (like Heras probably did) or went above and beyond the team doping program (like Basso maybe).