Punishments for Teams, Directors, Sponsors?

Jul 11, 2010
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I know that everyone feels that the easy way to "fix" the doping issue is to just keep punishing the riders, but I don't think that's going to solve much of anything. What about the people financing and managing it? Where's there culpability? I don't care what anyone says, they know good and well who on their team is doping. Those guys are in too close of quarters for too much of the time for it *not* to be known.

Should the riders be tested and sanctioned? Yes. But the punishments ought to go right up the food chain.

If a rider goes positive. Suspend the ENTIRE team for a period of time. Maybe not two years, but long enough to make it really hurt. More than a couple positives on a team in a season? Pull the team's license. The team should have no more options for defense against doping than the riders. The team and sponsors should be just as liable for what's in the rider's body as the rider. I don't care if they're on the opposite side of the planet. If they can drop $10M on a cycling team, they can also afford to send a chaperone or two and manage what's going on.

And for the sponsors, make them financially responsible. Force them to put up money as "insurance." Call it a doping deposit if you will. If someone on the team goes positive, guess what? Kiss your deposit bye-bye. Proceeds of which go to the WADA and the team's home anti-doping agency.

I'm against doping, but the current system of persecuting only riders to perpetuate a system of widespread corruption is just perverse. The only way I can see to fix it or at least even tame it, is to make everyone in the food chain accountable.
 
Mar 26, 2010
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I don't have a problem with some form team repercussions, especially if multiple riders test positive.

But I don't think sponsors can or should be held responsible unless there's evidence of direct involvement or actualy knowledge (or perhaps reckless ignorance). The surest way to guarantee that cycling nobody ever sponsors cycling again would be to hold sponsors liable.
 
Aug 10, 2009
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AnythingButKestrel said:
I know that everyone feels that the easy way to "fix" the doping issue is to just keep punishing the riders, but I don't think that's going to solve much of anything. What about the people financing and managing it? Where's there culpability? I don't care what anyone says, they know good and well who on their team is doping. Those guys are in too close of quarters for too much of the time for it *not* to be known.

Should the riders be tested and sanctioned? Yes. But the punishments ought to go right up the food chain.

If a rider goes positive. Suspend the ENTIRE team for a period of time. Maybe not two years, but long enough to make it really hurt. More than a couple positives on a team in a season? Pull the team's license. The team should have no more options for defense against doping than the riders. The team and sponsors should be just as liable for what's in the rider's body as the rider. I don't care if they're on the opposite side of the planet. If they can drop $10M on a cycling team, they can also afford to send a chaperone or two and manage what's going on.

And for the sponsors, make them financially responsible. Force them to put up money as "insurance." Call it a doping deposit if you will. If someone on the team goes positive, guess what? Kiss your deposit bye-bye. Proceeds of which go to the WADA and the team's home anti-doping agency.

I'm against doping, but the current system of persecuting only riders to perpetuate a system of widespread corruption is just perverse. The only way I can see to fix it or at least even tame it, is to make everyone in the food chain accountable.
I've felt this way for a long time. However, leave sponsors out of it. They are too far removed to be held accountable. And putting any such responsibilities/accountability onto them will make it very difficult for teams to attract + retain sponsors. If not impossible. Its already difficult enough.

Team Owners, Managers, Directors ... Yes absolutely 100%. In pro cycling they hold the power (on the team/athlete side of the sport). To date they pretty much skate away free and clear of any culpability of doping. Yet on the flipside they can have a daunting influence on a rider's choice to dope - if not demand it outright.
 
Maybe?

It's a good idea, but it relies on a transparent and consistent federation. The UCI is neither.

If one follows Hein and Pat for a while, you get the feeling there's lots of interaction between Team DS's and Pat. Some of the communication is probably entirely appropriate. But it looks like some is not. For example, it is incontrovertible that Pharmador's positive was not supposed to go public. Look at the way Armstrong's positives got swept away. So if a team member tests positive, there's a real question of whether or not the penalties as written get enforced anyway.

What about the riders who have not tested positive but are not allowed to return to the UCI Pro peloton? There's a few of those too.
 
May 26, 2010
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I think the Doctor's of a team that has more than 3 doping positives and should be banned from sport for life. Whether that goes for DS, yes I do think so. Teams should be relegated from the top status for 3 years.

What would this mean. Nothing, unless the UCI changes from a corrupt organisation to a fair federation that cares about the sport of cycling.
 
A

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AnythingButKestrel said:
I know that everyone feels that the easy way to "fix" the doping issue is to just keep punishing the riders, but I don't think that's going to solve much of anything. What about the people financing and managing it? Where's there culpability? I don't care what anyone says, they know good and well who on their team is doping. Those guys are in too close of quarters for too much of the time for it *not* to be known.
i think most people around here will agree that team bosses etc need to be punished or made responsible.


AnythingButKestrel said:
If a rider goes positive. Suspend the ENTIRE team for a period of time. Maybe not two years, but long enough to make it really hurt.
Unfair, and unworkable. You cant hold a clean rider responsible for the failings of a doping rider. Completely crazy. And besides, do you think a doping rider really gives a **** about his teammates, do you think the threat of his teammates being suspended would stop him or her from doping?

You also get a situation where riders who havnt doped, or havnt failed tests are tarred with the same brush. THere are countless legal reasons why this would never be enforcable.

If anything, I think this could almost make riders dope more, rider sits there thinking, if a teammate gets caught im going to get suspended for x period of time, sod it, i may as well dope. What have they got to lose, may as well get banned for doping themselves than get banned for someone else doping.

Benotti69 said:
I think the Doctor's of a team that has more than 3 doping positives and should be banned from sport for life. Whether that goes for DS, yes I do think so. Teams should be relegated from the top status for 3 years.

What would this mean. Nothing, unless the UCI changes from a corrupt organisation to a fair federation that cares about the sport of cycling.
dont disagree with the ideas of chucking doctors out, but again, legally very hard to stop, and even if they are not officially linked with the team, what is to stop riders going to the doctors in their own time. Very hard to enforce.

But yes, DS's sponsors and Doctors etc should be punished for organised doping within the team. But individuals should not be punished for the uncontrollable actions of another.
 
May 26, 2010
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TeamSkyFans said:
.......


dont disagree with the ideas of chucking doctors out, but again, legally very hard to stop, and even if they are not officially linked with the team, what is to stop riders going to the doctors in their own time. Very hard to enforce.

But yes, DS's sponsors and Doctors etc should be punished for organised doping within the team. But individuals should not be punished for the uncontrollable actions of another.
If a rider takes it upon himself to dope outside of the team set up, yes it seems unfair to punish the team but it is for the team to police their riders. Difficult, yes, but possible. Make riders live in a close proximity to a team base. Internal testing and a good team DS will recognise performance whether it is enhanced or not.

All these measures are being put forward because the sport will not give up its PEDs, they need to be encouraged with harsh penalties.
 

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Aug 17, 2009
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AnythingButKestrel said:
I know that everyone feels that the easy way to "fix" the doping issue is to just keep punishing the riders, but I don't think that's going to solve much of anything. What about the people financing and managing it? Where's there culpability? I don't care what anyone says, they know good and well who on their team is doping. Those guys are in too close of quarters for too much of the time for it *not* to be known.

Should the riders be tested and sanctioned? Yes. But the punishments ought to go right up the food chain.

If a rider goes positive. Suspend the ENTIRE team for a period of time. Maybe not two years, but long enough to make it really hurt. More than a couple positives on a team in a season? Pull the team's license. The team should have no more options for defense against doping than the riders. The team and sponsors should be just as liable for what's in the rider's body as the rider. I don't care if they're on the opposite side of the planet. If they can drop $10M on a cycling team, they can also afford to send a chaperone or two and manage what's going on.

And for the sponsors, make them financially responsible. Force them to put up money as "insurance." Call it a doping deposit if you will. If someone on the team goes positive, guess what? Kiss your deposit bye-bye. Proceeds of which go to the WADA and the team's home anti-doping agency.

I'm against doping, but the current system of persecuting only riders to perpetuate a system of widespread corruption is just perverse. The only way I can see to fix it or at least even tame it, is to make everyone in the food chain accountable.
I think it already works that way. Phonak, Kelme, Rock racing, Polti, Liberty Seguros wurth, Festina,, Saunier Duval, TMobile, Dicovery, USPS, soon to be Astana ,my beloved Radio Shack, etc. etc......
 
Aug 10, 2009
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DirtyWorks said:
It's a good idea, but it relies on a transparent and consistent federation. The UCI is neither.

--- So if a team member tests positive, there's a real question of whether or not the penalties as written get enforced anyway.

What about the riders who have not tested positive but are not allowed to return to the UCI Pro peloton? There's a few of those too.

All true. But this is where the IOC and WADA should come in. The WADA code can (if it isn't already) be extended to enforce penalties in lieu of the sport governing bodies who don't.

WADA also needs to extend its code to address other aspects of doping in sport wrt to how sports are operated and run - particularly team sports.

If strict liability exists for athletes - why not for teams, their managers and officers? Corporate laws allow for directors and officers to be held accountable for actions of employees. Why not do the same thing in team sports?
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Entire teams have folded after "last straw" positives have taken everyone down, and not only does the doping continue, but their fellow riders won't even react with any degree of anger when it happens.

Many riders have had their entire years' earnings disappear overnight, and they still won't even make an anti-doping "peep" about it.

We can't even really target anything yet, because we still don't fully understand the problem. It is rogue riders? Is it a completely pervasive, organized fraud? Is it dirty teams?

This is why I've been so adamant in hammering away at people like JV, because without good, quality information about the true nature of the problem, we can't possibly devise a strategy on how to fix it. And we need some full disclosure to happen from more than one individual to get started. We need to know what used to happen, what's happening now, etc. We need everyone we can.
 
Oct 8, 2010
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AnythingButKestrel said:
I know that everyone feels that the easy way to "fix" the doping issue is to just keep punishing the riders, but I don't think that's going to solve much of anything. What about the people financing and managing it? Where's there culpability? I don't care what anyone says, they know good and well who on their team is doping. Those guys are in too close of quarters for too much of the time for it *not* to be known.

Should the riders be tested and sanctioned? Yes. But the punishments ought to go right up the food chain.

If a rider goes positive. Suspend the ENTIRE team for a period of time. Maybe not two years, but long enough to make it really hurt. More than a couple positives on a team in a season? Pull the team's license. The team should have no more options for defense against doping than the riders. The team and sponsors should be just as liable for what's in the rider's body as the rider. I don't care if they're on the opposite side of the planet. If they can drop $10M on a cycling team, they can also afford to send a chaperone or two and manage what's going on.

And for the sponsors, make them financially responsible. Force them to put up money as "insurance." Call it a doping deposit if you will. If someone on the team goes positive, guess what? Kiss your deposit bye-bye. Proceeds of which go to the WADA and the team's home anti-doping agency.

I'm against doping, but the current system of persecuting only riders to perpetuate a system of widespread corruption is just perverse. The only way I can see to fix it or at least even tame it, is to make everyone in the food chain accountable.
Are you like 12 years old?

The reason why the riders are the "only one punished" is because they are the only ones who dope.

Second, how are you going to prove that the directors had anything to do with it?

Three, Do you really think that Pat McQuaid and the UCI would ever go after directors and team owners? You saw what happened when Landis implicated Bruyneel and Phonak...McQuaid showed no desire to open up that can of worms and in fact criticized Landis.

Four, there is nothing in the current UCI rulebook that makes it illegal for directors sportif, team owners, or sponsors to have knowledge of a rider on their team who is doping. The rulebook will never be changed to go after those people because the UCI is corrupt.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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And once again we're back to the corrupt nature of the UCI...

All the staff on a team needs to hold a UCI licence. From the manager, to the DS, to the wrenches, to the soigneurs, ALL of them.

Seems like it should be pretty simple to enforce some sort of protocol, but then you run into the brick wall of the UCI. They really don't care about stopping doping.

If they had any sort of impetus to stop doping this could have been taken care of long ago. But they obviously don't.

We're back to the necessity of an impartial third body.

Someone needs to be able to dictate what the rules are re team positives and the structure of the team, and that someone is obviously not being the UCI.

I don't think it's a bad idea to pull an entire team for a month if a rider is popped. Not to punish the other riders, but to punish the larger components of the team. No racing, no marketing, no visual presence. It also makes the team less valuable to future signatories - these guys really do want to race, after all.

Anyway, this is all conjecture. If the big nuts won't make it happen, me p*ssing about it on a forum isn't going to do too much. Unless I can make the annonymous reader think for a minute...
 
I don't advocate harsher penalties against the individual so it's hard for me to say throw managers, trainers and doctors away for life.

But there needs to be some sort of mechanism whereby they can suffer the consequences of enabling, endorsing or turning a blind eye. As others have said, the UCI is unable to show fair and equal treatment to riders, so how can we expect consistence in their actions towards the rest?

In an ideal world, where we had a legitimate governing body, I'd like to see teams being investigated. Any team which gets a positive test or a dodgy passport has to undergo intense scrutiny by an investigator for a period of time. Any personnel (including current cyclists) complicit in the doping of someone on their team get a life ban from the sport. Of course it would be quite difficult to find someone guilty here, but it might happen.

Also, any cyclists who are sanctioned, found guilty by an investigation or admit to doping should never be allowed to work in a non-playing role at teams. People like Riis who endorse a whole new generation of dopers are a cancer.
 
May 26, 2010
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TERMINATOR said:
Are you like 12 years old?

The reason why the riders are the "only one punished" is because they are the only ones who dope.

Second, how are you going to prove that the directors had anything to do with it?

Three, Do you really think that Pat McQuaid and the UCI would ever go after directors and team owners? You saw what happened when Landis implicated Bruyneel and Phonak...McQuaid showed no desire to open up that can of worms and in fact criticized Landis.

Four, there is nothing in the current UCI rulebook that makes it illegal for directors sportif, team owners, or sponsors to have knowledge of a rider on their team who is doping. The rulebook will never be changed to go after those people because the UCI is corrupt.
Proof not needed. Put the burden of responsibility on the Team for their riders. Make the Directeur Sportifs, Team Owners and Doctor's responsible.

No really worth discussing the UCI in it's current guise. Shower of shyster's.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
Proof not needed. Put the burden of responsibility on the Team for their riders. Make the Directeur Sportifs, Team Owners and Doctor's responsible.

No really worth discussing the UCI in it's current guise. Shower of shyster's.
What you're advocating is unworkable and in all likelihood illegal under EU law, which covers pretty much every professional contract in cycling at the highest levels.

To hold the DS, owner & doctor of a team that responsible would require a level of scrutiny and control of their riders that would make a convicted criminal blanch. It wouldn't be possible for them to be in a position to know what was happening in that rider's life so that you could call them to account.

The real problem is not the DSs, doctors & team owners but the UCI itself. It has shown time and time again that it is incapable of acting in any other way other than to control the situation. To expect the UCI to actually do something tangible to stop doping is only going to leave you disappointed and angry.
 
May 26, 2010
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ultimobici said:
What you're advocating is unworkable and in all likelihood illegal under EU law, which covers pretty much every professional contract in cycling at the highest levels.

To hold the DS, owner & doctor of a team that responsible would require a level of scrutiny and control of their riders that would make a convicted criminal blanch. It wouldn't be possible for them to be in a position to know what was happening in that rider's life so that you could call them to account.

The real problem is not the DSs, doctors & team owners but the UCI itself. It has shown time and time again that it is incapable of acting in any other way other than to control the situation. To expect the UCI to actually do something tangible to stop doping is only going to leave you disappointed and angry.

It isn't unworkable if teams signed up to a charter to take responsibility for their riders and if they didn't would not be guaranteed entry to events such as monuments and GTs. Otherwise what they are saying is that the riders are separate entities and therefore self employed!

Yes the UCI is the real problem and if that is corrected to work in a proper manner it is likely that PED use would greatly reduce.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
It isn't unworkable if teams signed up to a charter to take responsibility for their riders and if they didn't would not be guaranteed entry to events such as monuments and GTs. Otherwise what they are saying is that the riders are separate entities and therefore self employed!

Yes the UCI is the real problem and if that is corrected to work in a proper manner it is likely that PED use would greatly reduce.
The fact that most teams operate in Europe would make any charter very difficult to introduce let alone enforce.

Far easier and fairer would be to introduce a meaningful probation period for riders returning from a ban. If a rider had to start at the bottom and work his way back up to the level they were at when they were caught it would be a good deterrent. I don't mean exclude them from just the Pro Tour but also the Pro Continental level. That way someone like Basso or Ricco would not be able to take the start of a major race until 2 years after their ban had been served. They would have to earn the trust back first.
 
May 26, 2010
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ultimobici said:
The fact that most teams operate in Europe would make any charter very difficult to introduce let alone enforce.

Far easier and fairer would be to introduce a meaningful probation period for riders returning from a ban. If a rider had to start at the bottom and work his way back up to the level they were at when they were caught it would be a good deterrent. I don't mean exclude them from just the Pro Tour but also the Pro Continental level. That way someone like Basso or Ricco would not be able to take the start of a major race until 2 years after their ban had been served. They would have to earn the trust back first.

then you are penalising riders without hurting those who in my opinion really enforce the omerta.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
then you are penalising riders without hurting those who in my opinion really enforce the omerta.
Ultimately it is the rider who chooses to dope. They may be put under pressure to do so, but they can always say no.

By putting riders on a 2 year probation the teams will be unable to just take up where they left off. Basso would only now be eligible to ride for Liquigas, Ricco would still have another year in the lower divisions & Di Luca would be unable to ride in the Giro until 2014. Riders would not be risking 2 years but 4 years. They would still be able to race but not for teams participating in the Giro, Tour, Classics etc. At the moment a rider on €XM a year can afford to take a 2 year break, in fact they may benefit from the rest! 2 years off followed by 2 years on €20K is another matter.
 
May 20, 2010
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AnythingButKestrel said:
I know that everyone feels that the easy way to "fix" the doping issue ... to make everyone in the food chain accountable.
Love the sentiment and the objective however I think AlanShearer's view is more practicable.

All responsible parties need to be held accountable. And sponsors, senior team staff need to take a more active/chaperone role... implement soon, just implement with care.
 
May 26, 2010
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ultimobici said:
Ultimately it is the rider who chooses to dope. They may be put under pressure to do so, but they can always say no.

By putting riders on a 2 year probation the teams will be unable to just take up where they left off. Basso would only now be eligible to ride for Liquigas, Ricco would still have another year in the lower divisions & Di Luca would be unable to ride in the Giro until 2014. Riders would not be risking 2 years but 4 years. They would still be able to race but not for teams participating in the Giro, Tour, Classics etc. At the moment a rider on €XM a year can afford to take a 2 year break, in fact they may benefit from the rest! 2 years off followed by 2 years on €20K is another matter.
yes it is the riders who dope, but when you have been coached since a vey early age and especially in the Cycling nations, ie Italia and Belgium it takes a very strong character to say no when families are out supporting them, hoping for a big team contract.

this gets abused by coaches and DSs
 
Mar 17, 2009
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AnythingButKestrel said:
Ultimately, it is the rider who is *forced* to dope to keep his job and so that everyone up the food chain can profit.
I think you're missing my point.

By making the rider unavailable to the teams that he was riding for for 2 years after the ban finishes you are not preventing him from making a living but you are making it hard to just start up where they left off. That hurts the teams as they are killing their own rider supply if they promote doping. It also gives the riders an incentive to resist the pressure to dope.
 
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