Saxo and Vacon licences under threat?

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Jul 14, 2009
I think the UCI is playing this extraordinary..guy has a substance in his system but there is a good reason so all is cool. Now a 2x smuck pumps his puss into his body after storing it in next to the six pack and salsa and now it's a team problem? Passport,,wadas or anybody else if you want to make it a team problem don't start now. If a doping rider knew he was putting the entire squad at risk..and all their kids,wives and everybody else..doping would be reduced by 90%..Ricco was a high risk rider and the team mates who did or didn't have anything to say about signing him should not get relegated for his poop pump that nearly cost him his life. the team approach is one I totally endorse but not year when you issue pro licenses pull this kind off When one positive rider ruins a program doping is over until it global instead of a singled out azzbag the problem will continue
Oct 29, 2009
I think it would be obscene if a team could lose their status when a contracted rider goes rogue, and goes behind a team's back. All the more if this rule is "invented" after the facts, and only applied to 1 team when it is convenient to be shown to be tough (with small fish).

If a team has a decent ant-doping policy in place, has internal checks, even has it written into the contracts that any rider who is found positive and discredits the team, that that rider is fired on the spot and also liable for a whopping financial penalty, what on earth can a team do more apart from babysit a rider 24/7? And I mean 24/7. Even the UCI and WADA can't afford to do that which is why it takes forever to nail (self-admitted) long-time cheats. Why expect it from the teams, all of a sudden?

With Mosquera, was he not found positive for a ride for a different team, but that positive only emerged after the contract with Vacansoleil was signed? How can Vacansoleil, or any team, possibly protect itself from that sort of eventuality? It even asked for his status not be included for their total tally as a goodwill gesture, when there was a suspicion raised after they signed him up and had entered into a legally binding contract to employ! What more can they do? Fire someone who isn't even found guilty? Yeah, that will be legal and without costs, under EU law. Or stretch a budget that is not able to absorb that sort of cost and attract a spare "plan-B" rider, just in case? (something they can't do because of the rider quotas set by the UCI).

It actually gives doped riders a huge stick to hold against their employers when they fail an internal test or arouse suspicion: "expose me" and you will be out with me.

What about team members who can't even control what a team does and doesn't do with fellow riders? How is it fair on them that their employer can be yanked from the exposure and income stream you signed up to, or even disappear altogether when another rider goes rogue?

It's an insane principle to uphold when this Rico thing appears to be a totally rogue act. Systematic team doping a la Festina, that's a different ballgame.

As if Rico would stop doing it because the team would suffer after he is found out and banned anyway. As if a team can actually prevent it (in the real world) if a rider is dead set on cheating.

This is yet another aspect of why it is wrong to assign all the points to the riders, and not (at least) spread it between the riders and the teams it was earned for. There is something fundamentally wrong with this system on all sorts of levels, and all the more if this is how they are gonna tie it up to other "punitive measures" that are invented on the spot.

I am ignoring the angle that Vacansoleil was pretty much backed into a corner by the way they were wholesale ignored by the system when they were earning spots on merit, but not getting starting places. They were told how to secure a starting place for 2011. They followed the book. And now face a rewrite when nothing can be undone. Obscene.

So what if now they now play the system like all/most teams do, as they were shown that that was the only way to secure your position. A direct consequence of the UCI's own policies and race organisers attitude last year, I'd argue.

They made team changes based on budget and further ambitions, securing the status that they had earned anyway. They took prolific riders on that were not officially suspect or given the all-clear for redeployment by the UCI, wrote contracts that were meant to deter the easily tempted. They were facing teams that are peppered with high-point scoring riders, and support crews, that are at least equally suspect.

And just because it suits the UCI to fry a fish just small enough at this point in time, they now face a reinvented rulebook and a back-flip on standard practise, after the facts. And might lose their status as a consequence.

It's like telling hospitals that they would lose their status if an employee is found to steal from patients. You can do a lot to try to minimise it, but you can never guarantee it won't happen.

And what if we as mods take a gamble by bringing any suspended member back after a suspension, hoping to get just the constructive side and none of the disruptive one, hoping that their punishment was a wake-up call, and still issue a stern warning that any further transgression will be a red flag offence, just in case, with a financial iou written into their return conditions, just in case, but would be kicked out of our posts when one of those posters goes and transgress again, abusing our goodwill and risk taking?

If that is your attitude UCI, you might as well do away with this 2-year ban charade, or the principle that someone who served his time can be reintegrated into the system, and declare all of the known dopers permanently unemployable.

With the UCI, I far too often end up "what were they thinking" for my liking.

They are poor stewards for our sport, poor partners in crime for the riders, teams, and sponsors, whose interests they also should take into account, and have responsibilities for.

You know. Sponsors like Vacansoleil are exactly what cycling really needs if it wants to build a sustainable and healthy sport. Sponsors that care about the sport and are willing to stand by a team and invest more even if they get a cold shoulder from the UCI and race organisers. That say it doesn't affect our commitment once the team has 2 positives on its plate. Sponsors that care about cycling, are not hung up on a single rider, but have a love for the sport, besides seeing an publicity opportunity. Instead we embrace vanity investors and sponsors that throw tantrums and run away the moment it is looking like they don't get the piece of pie that had the tastiest cherry on top, in year 1.

For some reason committed sponsors like Vacansoleil are placed in the hands of baffling ill-thought-through UCI policy makers. Are kicked about by UCI ambitions that state sound principles but show that the opposite attitude is often far keener embraced. That appear to have less and less to do with the genuine well-being of our sport (on a sustainable financial level, and on a sports level). Less and less with doping rules that work. And are more and more about power grab and public impression management.

Go ahead, show how strict you are with doping, toss 'em a sacrificial lamb. Words are starting to fail me with this lot. [Bet you couldn't tell].