Pressure to win and doping: Tinkoff and Sagan

I was musing a bit about the pressure Tinkov is putting on Sagan right now with his comments about wanting to reduce Sagan's contract due to perceived lack of performance. While I don't really understand the mechanism under which something like this would be possible, clearly Tinkoff is putting public pressure on Sagan to perform better than he has.

I recall JV talking about how he was creating different expectations in his team with less pressure to dope.

Whether one thinks Sagan is already on the sauce, does this kind of public shaming not put pressure on all Saxo riders to dope? On all riders? Does this not extend a climate in cycling of expectation to dope? It's not like Sagan has been absent all spring, he's placed well and fallen off the pace in some long classics. Actually in some ways he looks and rides like a supremely talented rider who isn't doping, or at least he could be perceived that way based on his performance this spring.

I think Tinkoff not only wants results, he clearly demands them, and it seems clear from past comments that he expects riders to dope. What if anything should be done about this kind of thing?

I know it's laughable to expect the UCI to do anything, but wondering what people think about all this anyway.
 
Aug 31, 2012
7,550
1
0
Yes, as the desire to do well in races increases, so does the incentive to dope. It doesn't matter what that desire is caused by.

The prestige winning brings, standing on the podium, the salary one can command in future contract negotiations, pressure from the team boss, from family and friends, from yourself, all put pressure on riders to dope.

So nothing should be done about this. It's the fundamental reason as to why athletes dope at all, inseparably linked to competition in sports.
 

Irondan

Administrator
Moderator
Without question Tinkov is pressuring his team members to dope, the bigger question is.. What happens to Tinkov within the UCI when his riders start getting popped? Do they have recourse to discipline the team owner? Do they care enough to make a stink?
 
Mar 27, 2014
202
0
0
Without question Tinkov is pressuring his team members to dope,

Why?
How?

Peter Sagan is on a reported $4mln per year and is the highest paid cycling star on the planet. He has achieved this by getting the team to give him a huge contract based on past performance and presumably his expectations of what he could deliver in future if they built a team around him.
They have held up their end of the bargain and built a team all about Sagan, and then he decides to take it easy and just earn his $12mln over three years, that is rather poor on Sagans side of the bargain.

It is no different than you asking for a car that can go 200 miles an hour - you tell him you will build him one for $1mln and then deliver him a car that goes 20 miles an hour.

Sagan had a plethora of winds over the same riders he is riding against now, he was winning hilly stages and long flat stages he has won from breakaways and from the bunch obliterating everyone. Now all of a sudden he couldn't win a tombola.

Either he is now off the sauce he was on before or he has got his big pay cheque and decided to take it easy and the team manager isn't happy about it. And quite right to.
 
Re:

irondan said:
Without question Tinkov is pressuring his team members to dope, the bigger question is.. What happens to Tinkov within the UCI when his riders start getting popped? Do they have recourse to discipline the team owner? Do they care enough to make a stink?
Nothing will happend to him. All he's saying is "I don't care what you do, but you'd better win". As smart as Oleg can be, not very subtle, but careful not to use the D word. Yes, his riders are being pushed to produce at all costs. When they get popped, he'll move on and buy a football/soccer team. What a dooch...
 
Mar 27, 2014
202
0
0
When they get popped, he'll move on and buy a football/soccer team. What a dooch...

As has been mentioned in other threads - This is what happens when a sport gets into the mainstreams consciousness The money comes in
SKY
Tinkoff
Astana
The morals and any sense of sport go out of the window and it becomes a business.
Lets face it some people have looked at it as a business for a long time - ever since wonderboy started to prioritise his winnings in the TdF
So just like football teams are playthings of the stupidly wealthy; now so are cycling teams.

For all those people who wanted Cycling to make it to the big time of sports; it appears that you have what you wanted.

I guess it just depends on your view if you like Tinkoff he is a saviour, if you don't care for the riders he is probably a dooch as you state.
But a dooch with money that the UCI and others in cycling will be more than happy to entertain because without him they would not even fill the world tour this year.
 
I'm pretty sure Tyler Hamilton is on record saying Oleg told everyone in a team meeting that he's ok with doping as long as no one gets caught.
No doubt the riders have been on the gear well before his recent statements.
I just don't understand what makes the guy think calling out his riders in public will make them want to perform better. And good luck cancelling the contract.
 
Mar 27, 2014
202
0
0
I just don't understand what makes the guy think calling out his riders in public will make them want to perform better. And good luck cancelling the contract.

Sagan is young - he would probably want to have another few years in the sport.
So if I was Oleg and I thought the guy was taking a year off to enjoy $4mln of my money while not performing at his best I would call him out for a number of reasons.
To highlight to him that I am not going to put up with him taking me and the team for a ride
To highlight to him that I will look at all options to cut his money and by default his nice lifestyle in monaco
To make him aware that I will happily point out why other teams in future might not want to hire him after his contract expires.
To make him and the world aware of his lack of perceived effort and focus so when it gets nasty and contract re-negotiations are undertaken then everyone is aware of why.
To make sure the rest of the team and other employees understand why they don't all just get to sit on their backsides and live off of my money.

If you are an employee you are expected to do a job, if you don't do your job, in most areas of life you get a warning and then you get fired.
I get the feeling this is Sagan's warning from the boss.
 
Re:

the delgados said:
I'm pretty sure Tyler Hamilton is on record saying Oleg told everyone in a team meeting that he's ok with doping as long as no one gets caught.
No doubt the riders have been on the gear well before his recent statements.
I just don't understand what makes the guy think calling out his riders in public will make them want to perform better. And good luck cancelling the contract.
This is where it doesn't quite add up for me, and I agree with all your points. I assume the ones who needed to be on the sauce were. Do we think this year is a clean Sagan, or a de-motivated one? I would assume the latter, or just the vagaries of form. Some years you are super vs. the competition, some years not.
 
May 26, 2010
28,144
2
0
Is Oleg any different from other owners? He is vocal, but is Martinelli not saying similar to Aru, Nibali and the rest of Astana. heck the Iglinksy Bros were thrown under the bus not to dissimilar to Oleg's style.

Are the Murdoch's not saying the same to Brailsford who is passing on the message!

Oleg loves the attention and perceived power he has over his team and wants to show everyone he is 'Big Boss', but we all know he will up and leave as soon as it pleases him and he grows bored with cycling.

Oleg is not normal either, he defo has some 'personality traits' that make hima person best avoided if possible. Shows how bad things were for Riis to get involved with a guy like Oleg. But Riis left with a wedge, but those left behind have to deal with Oleg and his tantrums.
 
Re:

Benotti69 said:
Is Oleg any different from other owners? He is vocal, but is Martinelli not saying similar to Aru, Nibali and the rest of Astana. heck the Iglinksy Bros were thrown under the bus not to dissimilar to Oleg's style.
I think the vocal nature of it is a bit different. Everyone hears it.
 
May 26, 2010
28,144
2
0
Re: Re:

red_flanders said:
Benotti69 said:
Is Oleg any different from other owners? He is vocal, but is Martinelli not saying similar to Aru, Nibali and the rest of Astana. heck the Iglinksy Bros were thrown under the bus not to dissimilar to Oleg's style.
I think the vocal nature of it is a bit different. Everyone hears it.
Then some riders will take it personal and it will affect them others wont take it personal because it is the same story time and time again whether you are a dom or road captain if you dont perform, adios.
 
Oct 6, 2009
5,273
2
0
What was the race where Oleg was supposedly raising hell in the team bus about everybody not performing up to snuff, and OT was going on and on, and Sagan finally got tired of the diatribe and stood up in front of everybody and told Oleg to be quiet? Does anybody else remember those stories, or am I dreaming?

Anyway, part of Oleg's problem with Sagan may not just be the lack of results, but the failure to bow and scrape before the mighty Tinkov.

edit-
I think the race was Tirreno, and then Contador worked for Sagan the next day, or something like that.
 
Sep 29, 2012
12,197
0
0
And is it exacerbated by the fact that Tinkov says he doesn't give a sht about leaving next year, if he gets bored of his toy? What pressure does that place on UCI to treat him carefully - concerned with losing > 5% (1/20 pro teams) of their guaranteed annual budget?

What self-directed freedom does that allow Tinkov in terms of motivation and demanding more from his riders - if it leads to them doping and disgrace for the team, but he's fine leaving it all behind in 2016 anyway, why should he care if his actions lead to more doping?
 
Aug 28, 2010
398
0
0
Re:

robertmooreheadlane said:
They have held up their end of the bargain and built a team all about Sagan, and then he decides to take it easy and just earn his $12mln over three years, that is rather poor on Sagans side of the bargain.
The rest of your post leaves a lot to be desired, but that's just pure conjecture right there. You've no idea what Peter Sagan is actually doing away from racing (Twitter does not make one well informed). Extending your statement you could surmise then that Philippe Gilbert has been taking it easy since he switched to BMC, and Thor Hushovd took it easy when he switched from Cervelo.

Oleg Tinkov is like the captain of a sinking ship. Not that Tinkoff-Saxo itself is necessarily sinking, but I certainly wouldn't want to be a rider under his direction. If you look back over whatever time period you want, you'll find examples of riders who have switched teams and ended up having poor performances. Certain team environments foster better results than others, and I think Liquigas/Cannondale was a better environment for Peter Sagan (in what way, you can decide, but the results do suggest it), but money being the motivator it is, he and Oleg chose to work together, and it hasn't worked out for reasons the general public don't yet know.
 
Sep 29, 2012
12,197
0
0
Sagan's YTD CQ Ranking points comparison:

20/5/2012: 912
19/5/2013: 1302
18/5/2014: 861
17/5/2015: 873

I'd say he's doing as well as last year.
 
Mar 13, 2009
16,856
0
0
Re:

Dear Wiggo said:
Sagan's YTD CQ Ranking points comparison:

20/5/2012: 912
19/5/2013: 1302
18/5/2014: 861
17/5/2015: 873

I'd say he's doing as well as last year.
but Wiggo, we know that cycling is not ranked, all that counts is wins/are wins.

but, what is valid, if the ceteris paribus, your comparison of like to like. this 3 months of this season, to the first three months of last season. But we dont care about 2nd, and other podiums. Wins are the only thing that matters.

And that is why we have the race to the bottom wrt doping, and lowest common doping denominator.

But, after July, that will be the indicator.
 
Openly attacking a rider like this may or may not be unprecedented, but it surely presents a bad public image.

Tinkov obviously thinks it will motivate Sagan to perform incredible feats, but it's just boorish on his part, and it reflects poorly on the whole sport.
 
Re:

Berzin said:
Openly attacking a rider like this may or may not be unprecedented, but it surely presents a bad public image.

Tinkov obviously thinks it will motivate Sagan to perform incredible feats, but it's just boorish on his part, and it reflects poorly on the whole sport.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Pro cycling needs a union where everyone can get on the same page. This way the Oleg's of the cycling world will be told by the group to stfu and everyone can go about making their money.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
masking_agent The Clinic 11
B The Clinic 2
D The Clinic 10

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS