The United States of Omerta but what about CN during the Armstrong years?

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If CN was complicit in some sort of cover-up, the likes of Mrs Murphy would have been banned long ago.
In addition to reporting on races, CN are a repository for cycling news in general.
Regardless of what a reporter for a cycling publication knows, they have a job to do: report on a race. Their editor didn't send them to a finish line to accuse the race winner of doping.
There are plenty of others to do that, and CN has done a good job of making sure their voices are heard--Mrs Murphy included.
 
May 3, 2010
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And at certain points in time those critical of Armstrong were shut down on the forums (especially in the early days here). The CN forums were for a long while regarded as something of a joke because of the attitude of moderators towards criticism of Armstrong or discussions of doping. Certainly at places like the BBC any suggestion of doping by Armstrong was immediately deleted, the same goes for discussion on the Guardian. Places like Justcycling were set up in 2006 as a response to the fact that we weren't allowed to critically discuss Armstrong.

Have things changed? I don't know but I'm pretty sure that if you went on the BBC and suggested that Wiggins/Cavendish was dirty or tried to discuss Sky hiring dopers like Yates etc you probably wouldn't last very long there and the same goes for the Guardian as well.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Given the number of winners who are doping do you not think it wise to approach the winners with a healthy amount of scepticism? Reporting does not mean massaging the story to give it a positive spin or burying the potentially difficult questions about 'how' a rider was able to win a particular race. We're not 5 years old, we don't need to be shielded from the unpleasant truth that rider X produced a power output that was above and beyond what is normally expected, or that a riders run of form has coincided with him recently visiting a particular doctor. It isn't Pravda where the news of the latest of Garmin reaching their production targets as dictated to by the glorious leader must be reported to the grateful masses. You can report the news, you can also provide critical analytical commentary alongside it. It isn't either or.

Just reporting the race results and not asking questions is just upholding omerta and is no different than the riders who won't speak out against Armstrong.

Burying the truth by not asking difficult questions means you end up storing up problems. Who knows, maybe if more people had had more guts in 1999 and called Armstrong for the failed test etc then perhaps the UCI might have kicked Armstrong out of the TDF. Maybe Armstrong might just be a footnote in TDF history, maybe we wouldn't be asking ourselves 'how did it come to this?'

CN ultimately failed in its journalistic responsibilities during the Armstrong-era. It claims that things (and it) have changed. We shall see, I don't want to be back here in 5 or 10 years having the same discussion about Sky/Garmin or whoever is the next big doping scandal. We've had promises of new era's of cycling so many times that I'll believe it when I see it. How will I know if things have changed - the next time a team tries to do what Armstrong did it won't take 13 years for the team to fall. When people blow the whistle on the team they'll be supported by the media and the authorities, when riders start producing suspect performances the media questions how those performances were achieved and doesn't take the teams press releases as gospel, that when teams start employing dubious doctors, or hiring dodgy riders or support staff that the media starts questioning and hopefully as a result of the tougher coverage the authorities and others will be compelled to investigate and bring the dopers down.
 

the big ring

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Jul 28, 2009
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hiero2 said:
I plead ignorance. Who or what is MJM?
The poster known as Mrs John Murphy: http://forum.cyclingnews.com/search.php?do=finduser&u=11893

Keeping in mind, ebandit responded to MJM's OP with the following:

ebandit said:
easy to find fault but i must ask................what stance did you take?
were you 'on to' cn pointing out fault and requesting the truth to be told?

easy in retrospect when so much more is known
And hence the exhortation to "go see for yourself".
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Race Radio said:
Before everyone piles on Dan remember he did write one of the all time great comebacks to Wonderboy

Lance was complaining about spelling errors on a CN article, something that is especially comical now after reading his legal filings, Dan replied



He was promptly blocked by lance

it is possible some readers views on CN may have been poisoned by this fool, who used to be their European editor
http://roadbikeaction.com/Most-Popular-Stories/content/69/5939/Racy-Language-One-Mans-Opinion-On-Lance-Armstrong.html
Another Wow! That Maloney fella is sure one fanboy! Talk about buying into all the hype and baloney! There has been only one presentation that I thought was more partisan - Phil. And we know where that interview stands.
 
May 20, 2010
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the incentive to change and rate thereof

Societal changes take place over time...almost like an osmotic effect. The greater the difference between current status and acceptable/expected state the more rapid the change.

Pro-cycling can reasonably be regarded as a microcosm of society.

To expand:

Cycling has a history of drug taking. The efficacy of these drugs has ebbed and flowed, depending on:
. who has had access
. the degree of health risk chanced by the user
. the degree of detection risk chanced by the user
. performance difference doped vs undoped.

As discussed at length: blood products, EPO...created an enormous elephant. An elephant that HAD to be addressed by all. In some cases that included ignoring it...but even that action drew attention.

And now the osmotic effect is at an all time high. While at an all time high, such effects are by their very nature delayed. Therefore we, Clinic denizens and others, seek a clean industry now...BUT human nature/normal societal functioning dictates that goal is sometime off.

So we have? better media perspective on doping, hopefully it is not a false dawn. Seems more of the peloton (still a minority) are prepared to speak out and not just against the pariahs (Ricco). An increase in the backroom staff that are prepared to support a clean?er? peloton.

The problem is the backroom staff need specific skills and the pond for such fish is small. Therefore some/most? of those fish are tainted. I don't think that we can reasonably toss out all the fish without a huge cost to the sport.

Aside: we cannot prove, to any great extent, a negative. That is we cannot prove which backroom staff: have not doped; have no association with doping; have not been complicit in allowing doping; are not closet doping apologists. Backroom applies to: Team staff, administrators, officials, journalists....expand as you see fit.

Back on track: Therefore I advocate we take people on present performance. Question rigourously and as occasion arises encourage those with a "clean" background to take over the reins at the earliest opportune moment.

Unfortunately this all means that the progress from "dirty" to clean is going to take time.

Some last thoughts. We, Clinic denizens have some very insightful, informed, ethical members. As such, a significant burden falls on us to implement/encourage change. I, as a former fanboy, plead guilty for ignoring/not questioning the obvious in a truly timely manner.

This is hopefully not the false dawn. The end of the beginning? I sure hope so!
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Sh!t, brothers and sisters. It would take me a year to wade through MJM's post. But I get the idea pretty quick.

In MJM we have an erudite, educated, articulate, and intelligent poster. We also see a very strong personality - just as we did in LA. {Bet that raises some hackles!} Perhaps we see an "early adopter" - in that MJM was on the "they doped" line well before the larger populace.

Now, I have to tell you it is interesting to me, that we recently have a new poster "LauraLyn", who displays a similar personality - take charge, tell the other folks what's what, you know?

I'm glad to see MJM speaking up here, especially since MJM so often (historically) turned out to be right. From the MJM posts I have browsed, MJM seems --- hmmm --- prescient. But you all remember the housing and banking collapse a couple of years ago? I am sure you do. The people who forecast THAT were pretty way out - it is more like they were right just because every doomsayer is right at least once. Listen to them now -and they are so far out we still don't believe them. And they are probably wrong.

Well, I take all the opinions and arguments here with a grain of sceptical salt. I am less likely to check on certain authors than others, but MJM certainly seems like an interesting author on these forums.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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JA.Tri said:
Societal changes take place over time...almost like an osmotic effect. The greater the difference between current status and acceptable/expected state the more rapid the change.

Pro-cycling can reasonably be regarded as a microcosm of society.

flaw in this post is the fact that doping and willingness to dope, and ethic fluidity, is a price of entry.

The "barrier to entry" dilemma.

So we can remove or filter out, riders (see: athletes <generic>) and we have left a Red Queen Effect, where all buy in, and dope to maintain a semblance of the level playing field. It wont be level I know that.

The arms race exists for those like Riis and Armstrong who will treat their bodies as vessels for glory and riches, and stick whatever pharmaceuticals in their veins that might facilitate that aim

less microcosm
more subculture
 
May 20, 2010
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blackcat said:
flaw in this post is the fact that doping and willingness to dope, and ethic fluidity, is a price of entry.

The "barrier to entry" dilemma.

So we can remove or filter out, riders (see: athletes <generic>) and we have left a Red Queen Effect, where all buy in, and dope to maintain a semblance of the level playing field. It wont be level I know that.

The arms race exists for those like Riis and Armstrong who will treat their bodies as vessels for glory and riches, and stick whatever pharmaceuticals in their veins that might facilitate that aim

less microcosm
more subculture
Sorry for the lack of clarity.

The central points I wished to make were:

the difference between where we are and a desired outcome is a long way
significant delay in changing support staff and associated behavioural changes
that there is a spectrum of support staff from "good" to "bad"
that WE all have a role to play and should encourage/assist all support staff to do the right thing
that the "bad" staff should be encouraged to depart active roles sooner rather than later.

I acknowledge that the sport will likely only EVER, be cleaner, rather than clean, due to human nature etc.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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Great debate, lets hope this becomes part of the future direction of cycling, it needs it now more than ever!
Naive maybe but when are the cycling commentators going to start approaching this stance? How can Harmon & Kelly continually spout words like 'unbelievable' or 'amazing' about performances that at best look suspicious; Cobo in 2011 Vuelta on the Angliru, Purito taking minutes off his TTing and dropping Berti at the end of climbs??

Realise they have a job to do and an audience to entertain, but when are they going to start asking the difficult questions we'd all like to hear??
 
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This is a cracking good thread.

I felt exactly the same about the Omerta piece in CN. I had exactly the same opinion as MJM about it, that cycling journalists need to do a large amount of soul-searching in light of the past weeks events. I appreciate the author coming into the Clinic to answer criticism – but the uncomfortable truth for Cyclingnews is that the have been part of that same omerta for years now.

I realise that to have gone it alone and to have criticized Armstrong from 1999 to 2012 would have amounted to career suicide, but that doesn’t escape the fact that ALL the cycling journalists knew what was going on yet cravenly allowed themselves to be strongarmed both by the UCI and by Armstrong. When you read the reports of the treatment OTHER JOURNALISTS gave people like Walsh for having the guts to stand up for the truth – well – that’s why articles such as this ring so hollow.

Where were you during the omerta years? What are you going to do now about the UCI? Are you going to sit back and allow their complicity in the Armstrong case go unchecked?

There’s serious questions around cycling that ALL the teams need to answer (yes, Sky, you too!).

We’ve seen these “new beginnings” before. If you’re going to be a proper journalist you need to **** a few people off, and often too. You need to do some digging and ask some proper searching and uncomfortable questions. Otherwise you’re not journalists. You’re PR.

CN. It's late in the day to be coming clean on Armstrong. But let this be a lesson that your readers/viewer want you to ask the searching questions in the future. Get your hands dirty.

Mark
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Real good opening post concerning the press omerta followed by a real good response by Benson who was in high school during the LA years.

Lets just hope Benson and his 'contemporaries' will be as critical over the current peloton as he is of LA. That means, call out when you see performances that are too good to be true and don't build up a hype around certain teams. Question their backroom staff, investigate. Be a journalist in other words, don't be a slave of the UCI.

Given his article on the peloton where only a handfull of riders have spoken out on the LA situation he seems to be given this quote
and it’s time for that reporter in Colorado to turn the camera around and ask himself the tough questions
 
May 3, 2010
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So basically here we have a journalist who openly admits to upholding omerta and vows to continue to do so. And then some nonsense about Wolves at the end which makes no sense.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/opinion/rip-lance-time.html?smid=tw-share

What you have at the moment is a lot of journalists trying to work out how they can square the circle - on the one hand some continue to drink the Armstrong kool aid (Jenkins, Liggett), some deny responsibility (Benson), some seek to find some moral justification for Armstrong (Abt - everyone was doping).

I do think that the current Vuelta and Sky do provide a test case. Froome is as well noted pretty suspect in the eyes of many for his sudden improvement. But the coverage shows no sign of articulating the suspicions or concerns. In the Vuelta we have Contador under the management of Riis, partying up the mountains with Rodriguez like it is 2008. (2008 is significant because it took a journalist to blow the whistle on Rasmussen - albeit by accident). What do the power numbers look like for these guys and where do they sit compared to others? How do they compare to some of Armstrong's more supercharged performances or even 2008? Where is the tougher and more critical coverage?
 
Jul 28, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
Go search MJM and you'll see one of the toughest stances taken on here.
Really, anyone can be tough but credible would be good. I don't mind this thread but that one about heads was a clinic low point.

Personally I think MJM is being a goose. By all means discuss the lily livered attitude of many cycling journos but bashing Benson just because he triggered some train of thought is juvenile. Now all of a sudden Benson is the face of CN for the last 10 years???? CN has been pretty good lately and if you're not subtle enough to work out why CN happily hosted the morass of innuendo and accusation which is the clinic for many years then try harder.

If you want some targets go over to SBS and bash those grand equivocators like Tan and Tomolaris.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Mrs John Murphy said:
(2008 is significant because it took a journalist to blow the whistle on Rasmussen - albeit by accident).
That was 2007 but when we see Riiis boys suddenly rock the mountains there could be a journalist making questions.
 
May 19, 2012
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They were too busy....

Mrs John Murphy said:
The right wing columnist Woodrow Wyatt self-styled himself 'the voice of reason'. Private Eye styled him as the 'voice of Alzheimer's' owing to his ability to forget the things he had previous said and done.

We have this piece by Benson with no sign of a mea culpa.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/the-united-states-of-omerta

It is all well and good for Benson to criticise others, but he should really be a bit more up front and self-critical here and CN itself ought to think about a mea culpa. CN's coverage of Armstrong over the years has been hagiographic for the most part. Uncritically reporting on his every move and thought and dismissing any critics.

At no point does Benson hold his hands up and say 'we got it wrong' or even reflect on how CN played its part in building up and maintaining the Armstrong myth. Remember those articles about Armstrong and Sheryl Crow, Armstrong doing some running, if Armstrong had opened an envelope CN would have sent someone along to report on it.

Benson talks about how whistleblowers should have been supported but he seems to forget how CN facilitated the personal attacks on Landis and others by David Millar. CN gleefully repeated all of these attacks uncritically.

Benson talks about how the media has been complicit in omerta. Who can forget the irony of this when Laura Weislo went onto twitter to cry about how journalists were being blamed for maintaining omerta.

Benson talks about how journalists 'are now asking tough questions' is this going to extend to CN? Are they going to start grilling Sky and Wiggins on their lack of transparency and hiring dopers? Or asking David Millar about the contradictions in his comments and actions? Or is it going to be more of the same - hagiography until the balloon goes up and then hand wringing and saying we knew all along? Is it going to be more fawning puff pieces from Westemeyer, Friebe?

Is new 'tough' journalism merely going what its been in the past - namely piling onto the whipping boys like Ricco and now Armstrong, or is it actually going to put its head above the parapet and go for Brailsford, Cavendish, Wiggins, Phinney and all the latest golden boys of cycling?

Will Benson's new 'tough' journalism survive when Sky or Saxo threaten to cut access to Wiggins or Contador? When the invites to those training camps in Spain in February dry up, when the invites to the new team kit launch or bike launch stop coming, or when its a slow news day and they need something to pass off on the newsfeed?

It's hard to take Benson's article serious given CN attitude and coverage over the years and the lack of self-reflection or criticism suggests that Benson and the other CN journalists don't think that they've got anything wrong, all which doesn't really bode well for the future.
banning guys like this loose cannon!

buckwheat said:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/sports/cycling/24cycling.html

“The sport of today is a completely different sport than it was five years ago, than it was 10 years ago, that I’m sure,” McQuaid said. “It’s unfortunate that Landis, a rider with some sort of an agenda, has chosen to try to diminish all the work we’ve been doing.”

Let's see, 2010 - 5 years = 2005, OK.

2010- 10 = 2000.

He's sure that the sport is completely different than in 2000 and 2005? ;) I'll bet he is.:rolleyes:

Another ringing endorsement of Pharmstrong from Stapleton.

For Stapleton, delving into the past to finger riders who may have doped has only hurt the sport’s tattered image.

“I believe that these guys that Landis named are playing by the rules and you have to judge them by the standards of today, and not look back to things that may have happened years ago,” Stapleton said. “I don’t think a witch hunt will serve any purpose.”

He added: “I’m all for the older generation racing and succeeding and passing the drug tests, but they don’t define the sport anymore. Lance Armstrong doesn’t define the sport anymore. There’s a new generation of riders and teams who operate under a whole new set of rules. I think the fans should stay tuned for that.”


Damn Bob, you're getting all twisted up in your own logic.

YOU seem to be saying that the older generation passing the drug tests doesn't mean a heck of a lot.

If they passed the drug tests, why should you be concerned that they "don't define the sport anymore?"

Then to single out Prance? But wait Bob, he passed the drug tests.

Dear Bob,

There is a statute of limitations on these matters. Why don't you and all the other frauds in Pro Cycling stop with your Mark McGwire routines and just

STFU!

Where were you Bob, when good people like Betsy, whose only "crime" was that they told the truth; were getting smeared by scumbags like Lance and when this *** Hincapie sat idly by, and watched LeMond get smeared?

Where the fcuk were you friggin hypocrites then when people's reputations and careers were being ruined?

EFF You!
TexPat said:
Thanks for that. I feel the tide turning. It's the start of the day here in rainy Wellington, NZ, and that statement just made my day.
My name is Mike Anderson.
I'm proud of what I did and said. I'm tired of hiding. As engraved on one of the buildings at the University of Texas where I took a degree, "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free."
 
May 26, 2010
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Jeremiah said:
banning guys like this loose cannon!
yeah Buckwheat called it the right way!

I miss his posts.

Time to be asking hard questions of Bjarne Riis, Brailsford and the DS currently working.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Benotti69 said:
yeah Buckwheat called it the right way!

I miss his posts.

Time to be asking hard questions of Bjarne Riis, Brailsford and the DS currently working.
Why do you miss his posts? He is still here right? ;)

Why Riis????? just because he sends cyclist to see a gyno? :D
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Benotti69 said:
Time to be asking hard questions of Bjarne Riis, Brailsford and the DS currently working.
Time to get rid of all the mtf's who have been involved with dope one way or the other. I want to see guys like Cataldo and the Gendt dying on the slopes, not some idiot doped up Spanjards sprinting uphill at 15% gradients.
 
Aug 10, 2010
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ebandit said:
it's a start but hardly pro-active

so many take a tough stance in the clinic

we should be undermining the sponsorship potential of guilty parties
Um, you mean we should stop being fans of professional cycling? Because that, or the certain threat of it, is the only thing that will ever induce change in this filthy sport.

Stop visiting all the cycling websites and buying cycling publications? Dry up their advertising . . .. Stop buying high end bikes? Kill their sponsorship of the sport . . .. Start ridiculing doped-up geeks instead of idolizing them?
 

the big ring

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Jul 28, 2009
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Curious if there's interest in a thread (or if the thread already exists) of tough questions we would like asked - of people in cycling.

With a format along the lines of

<Link / reasoning of question>
<Person to ask question of>: <Question>

eg: --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

"I categorically, 100 per cent say that there's no risk of anything untoward happening in this team since he has been with us," said Brailsford. "I've seen nothing and neither have the full-time medics. I'd put my life on it. He's done nothing wrong here, but we have a reputational risk. We have had discussions with him and once we've established the facts, we will take the appropriate action."

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cycling/rival-takes-swipe-at-wiggins-for-showing-lack-of-respect-as-tour-leader-again-hits-out-at-critics-20120712-21x1y.html#ixzz25NQ23m3e
David Brailsford: what did your investigation of Leindeers reveal, and what action, if any, have you taken?

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

This may make journalists job easier, but if the questions end up getting asked, all the better for it.

A valid journalist response to a question may be:
* we've been blacklisted therefore cannot ask anything
* Sky have warned people about asking doping related questions
etc

Reasns like this helping to make the journalistic arena more transparent - ie not that we didn't want to ask the question, but we were blocked from doing so.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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JA.Tri said:
Sorry for the lack of clarity.

The central points I wished to make were:

the difference between where we are and a desired outcome is a long way
significant delay in changing support staff and associated behavioural changes
that there is a spectrum of support staff from "good" to "bad"
that WE all have a role to play and should encourage/assist all support staff to do the right thing
that the "bad" staff should be encouraged to depart active roles sooner rather than later.

I acknowledge that the sport will likely only EVER, be cleaner, rather than clean, due to human nature etc.
yours was a good post JA. I just thought I had something to add.

Unfortunately, I think it trends to a dope status quo. Because of incentives and the barriers to entry denying a different ethic.

I think even the ideals of sport, are lost in current iteration of the ParaOlympics. Where glory supercedes competition, everyone loses.
 
blackcat said:
...the ideals of sport, are lost in current iteration of the ParaOlympics. Where glory supercedes competition, everyone loses.
Yup, look at what a fool Pistorious has made of himself and the paralympics, by going to CAS for admittance to Olympics then *****ing about competitors unfair prosthetics.
 
May 3, 2010
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It is easy to be critical of Armstrong now that the dam has been broken.

I do think that Landis when he first spoke out was very badly treated by CN. It was only when people realised that the Feds etc were taking him seriously that the media started to treat him seriously.

And like I say - where is the tougher, more questioning coverage about the climbing performances in the Vuelta? There are plenty of things going on in cycling at the moment that are ripe for the promised tougher, more critical, questioning coverage, but so far no sign of the promised improved journalism.
 
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