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The double standard in cycling - Confirmed

Just days after Alejandro Valverde gets suspended for his involvment in Operacion Puerto, guess who Caisse D'Espargne names in their tour squad?

Ruben Plaza

Has he done exactly the same as Alejandro Valverde? Yes. Is he just as guilty? Yes. But while he will ride around France this summer, Valverde will be suspended

Who decides these things in the cycling world? Who is picking out riders to be suspended? It just doesn't seem fair to the athletes that only Ullrich, Basso, Scarponi, Valverde is being punished, while 10-15 other riders are riding on.
 
Goldberger said:
Just days after Alejandro Valverde gets suspended for his involvment in Operacion Puerto, guess who Caisse D'Espargne names in their tour squad?

Ruben Plaza

Has he done exactly the same as Alejandro Valverde? Yes. Is he just as guilty? Yes. But while he will ride around France this summer, Valverde will be suspended

Who decides these things in the cycling world? Who is picking out riders to be suspended? It just doesn't seem fair to the athletes that only Ullrich, Basso, Scarponi, Valverde is being punished, while 10-15 other riders are riding on.

Was it fair for Valverde to be winning races while Basso was suspended?
 
Apr 26, 2010
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Goldberger said:
No it wasn't. My post wasn't meant to defend Valverde, but just point out how ridicoulous the cyclig world is in picking out just randomly who to go after in doping cases.

It's all the UCI and WADA and all the other organizations are able to do. They are trying to make an example, usually suspending some no-names to show everyone that they are fighting doping, while once a year they suspend a big fish to make sure that the other big fishes don't do it.
It doesn't work. And you are right, it is ridiculous.
 
Goldberger said:
No it wasn't. My post wasn't meant to defend Valverde, but just point out how ridicoulous the cyclig world is in picking out just randomly who to go after in doping cases.

In any case, I completely agree that the UCI is an absolute disgrace to the sport for many reasons. However, part of the problem is the lack of a uniform code. Each nation has its own code and agenda.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Goldberger said:
Just days after Alejandro Valverde gets suspended for his involvment in Operacion Puerto, guess who Caisse D'Espargne names in their tour squad?

Ruben Plaza

Has he done exactly the same as Alejandro Valverde? Yes. Is he just as guilty? Yes. But while he will ride around France this summer, Valverde will be suspended

Who decides these things in the cycling world? Who is picking out riders to be suspended? It just doesn't seem fair to the athletes that only Ullrich, Basso, Scarponi, Valverde is being punished, while 10-15 other riders are riding on.

If you are referring to Operation Puerto he was acquitted of any involvement (his name was intiailly involved based on team). Is there something else you know to make such statements?
 
goober said:
If you are referring to Operation Puerto he was acquitted of any involvement (his name was intiailly involved based on team). Is there something else you know to make such statements?



Many names were removed from the investigation as i remember, that doesn't mean that there isn't evidence in the report that they did dope. The fact that he was a part of Kelme while Fuentes was team doctor, we can atleast think for ourself that he did the same as Valverde.

But your right, i don't have new information on Plaza, so maybe he was not involved at all, who knows?

But here we have another problem, riders getting acused of being involved in the scandal, and the having nothing to do with it. I remember Plaza had to ride in Portugal some years because no Pro Tour team would touch him, even if he's certainly talented enough. Riders like Koldo Gil, Joseba Beloki got their careers destroyed because of this, and also Allan Davis and Contador missed a year when it seemed none of them where involved.

The same is happening with Ballan now in Italy. Either way you look at it, the whole cycling world including the UCI, have NO clear way of how to deal with doping and doping rumours.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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Moose McKnuckles said:
In any case, I completely agree that the UCI is an absolute disgrace to the sport for many reasons. However, part of the problem is the lack of a uniform code. Each nation has its own code and agenda.

It's not exactly like that. UCI and WADA codes are uniform everywhere. The problem is that they are unable (or unwilling) to catch everyone with the means they have. Their unability to catch everyone makes them willing to piggyback on the public laws and public resources of nations (judges and police), and this is where they face the difficulties due to the lack of uniform code.

I know self-regulation doesn't work, but the current scenario is essentially a private organisation (UCI) asking public authorities to help them enforce the fulfillment of their private rules (anti-doping code) to run their private business (cycling races). And this doesn't work better, especially if they don't want to be accountable to public authorities in their application of their private code.
 
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Goldberger said:
Many names were removed from the investigation as i remember, that doesn't mean that there isn't evidence in the report that they did dope. The fact that he was a part of Kelme while Fuentes was team doctor, we can atleast think for ourself that he did the same as Valverde.

But your right, i don't have new information on Plaza, so maybe he was not involved at all, who knows?

But here we have another problem, riders getting acused of being involved in the scandal, and the having nothing to do with it. I remember Plaza had to ride in Portugal some years because no Pro Tour team would touch him, even if he's certainly talented enough. Riders like Koldo Gil, Joseba Beloki got their careers destroyed because of this, and also Allan Davis and Contador missed a year when it seemed none of them where involved.

The same is happening with Ballan now in Italy. Either way you look at it, the whole cycling world including the UCI, have NO clear way of how to deal with doping and doping rumours.

Someone knows :)

As for the rumors, those are hard to deal with because the media loves them and for many it is guilty until proven innocent and if presumed innocent you are a fanboy.

As for the doping itself, I think the UCI and WADA are actually doing OK - trying with passport, etc.

As for Valverde, I have not followed his role in Puerto close enough to understand the bag of blood and how it was tied to him and what other evidence they had. Based on what I had read if it was truly his blood, and they confirmed it, that is pretty strong evidence...
 
May 30, 2010
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life bans

life ban is the only way.

seriously.....if lads were banned for life after a doping conviction, not to mention a blatently obvious one (Vino), then the directors would have nobody to play with.

lets face it, these guys are savage, skillful sports people who make the GTs very exciting. Life bans would create one of to scenarios....

1. Create a massive hole in standards, eliminating the top pros due to positive tests, making cycling a less attractive thing to watch

2. Clean up the sport and hang on to the pros who decided to do it clean, thereby hanging on to the exceptional athletes but have a huge crevasse next to them i.e life ban so they dare not dope up.

Lets face it, directors cant do siht without star athletes.

One of my questions is, are these guys now addicted to doping? can they even contemplate riding a clean race? Do they still take drugs when they are not racing because they have an addiction??? I am speaking here about opiates and amphetamine based drugs.....i have plenty of non athletic mates who freely admit phet addictions recreationally........what stops a doped cyclist having the same issues?

Scary stuff really...especially for the bottle carriers
 
enrecul said:
life ban is the only way.


The argument of the threadstarter is that it it unreasonable to investigate and suspend one rider (valverder) and not investigate and suspend another rider (Plaza) even though the initial data from the o-p case doesn't seem to give any reasons to differentiate between both.

Your solution (life ban) doesn't adress the problem of double standards and randomness of who is getting investigated/suspended and who not. The problem isn't the punishment (although it might influence it), but it is that the stakeholders who decide don't fight the dopingculture.

Imo from a businesspoint you either do not do anything (like the nfl) so that the stars are untouched, or you fight all out based on having the power to do it, thereby having a negative situation for a couple of years but end up with a cleaner sport. But not this half-half situation, in which riders and teams still have enough incentive to dope, but due to somewhat of a fight you end up with stars getting busted each year, killing the sport.
 
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Goldberger said:
Either way you look at it, the whole cycling world including the UCI, have NO clear way of how to deal with doping and doping rumours.

It's too easy to criticise them

Try the hard option and offer a solution?


Here's mine:

Amnesty day to reveal past doping without punishment
Then lead to solid retrospective testing
with life bans for anyone busted after amnesty
And finally, results completely wiped off the record - rider underneath gets bumped up - if that means LeMevel won the Tour - so be it

Alternative:

Let them dope, and let them talk about it publicly - they have a right to do whatever they want to their body, no?

As you've suggested - there shouldn't be the middle ground where one or two big names are targeted every couple of years.. I say, choose an end of the spectrum and role with it
 
The problem is that for as long as discipline is devolved down to the national federations there will always be double standards and contradictions. However, the UCI is too weak and too dependent on the national feds to do anything about weakening their power. The likes of McQuaid depends on the support of the Spanish fed etc for re-election, if he takes away their power then he will likely be out of a job - and as we know Pat McBribes' interest first and foremost is himself and his bank balance not cycling.
 
May 31, 2010
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Goldberger said:
No it wasn't. My post wasn't meant to defend Valverde, but just point out how ridicoulous the cyclig world is in picking out just randomly who to go after in doping cases.

Hmmm.. Are you Guiterrez's ghost writer?? Only stirring, I do agree with your sentiment.

One thing to consider though is that, is every criminal in prison?? Not every crim gets caught and quite often it's cruel how some are caught and others who are worse keep getting away with it.

So if we step back and look at the big picture of today's society (and it's lawfulness) and then apply it to the cycling world... Is it really that disproportionate?


enrecul said:
life ban is the only way.

seriously.....if lads were banned for life after a doping conviction, not to mention a blatently obvious one (Vino), then the directors would have nobody to play with.

lets face it, these guys are savage, skillful sports people who make the GTs very exciting. Life bans would create one of to scenarios....

1. Create a massive hole in standards, eliminating the top pros due to positive tests, making cycling a less attractive thing to watch

2. Clean up the sport and hang on to the pros who decided to do it clean, thereby hanging on to the exceptional athletes but have a huge crevasse next to them i.e life ban so they dare not dope up.

Lets face it, directors cant do siht without star athletes.

One of my questions is, are these guys now addicted to doping? can they even contemplate riding a clean race? Do they still take drugs when they are not racing because they have an addiction??? I am speaking here about opiates and amphetamine based drugs.....i have plenty of non athletic mates who freely admit phet addictions recreationally........what stops a doped cyclist having the same issues?

Scary stuff really...especially for the bottle carriers

I can think of one glaring example for you.. Frankie Vandenbroucke.

May he RIP, he was a doper but also a victim of his addictions.
 
rikdewy said:
Hmmm.. Are you Guiterrez's ghost writer?? Only stirring, I do agree with your sentiment.

One thing to consider though is that, is every criminal in prison?? Not every crim gets caught and quite often it's cruel how some are caught and others who are worse keep getting away with it.

So if we step back and look at the big picture of today's society (and it's lawfulness) and then apply it to the cycling world... Is it really that disproportionate?

I can think of one glaring example for you.. Frankie Vandenbroucke.

May he RIP, he was a doper but also a victim of his addictions.

I don't know another sport which celebrates an average performing, mid-pack athlete as their poster child like cycling does. It's strange. It's not a strategy that's built for the long-term. I think a lot of people are just plain bored of it all. Including the riders. *