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Valverde/Vuelta/Any else lost intrest...

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Mar 10, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:

And guess why... Because Spain, in the near future, wants to organise the Olympics again, and whithout a tough stance on doping - or at least an imagined one - they would never get it.

Did 1992 Barcelona have anything to do with the lax anti-doping laws in the country. I posted it somewhere else, but wasn't it Voet who got his dope for the Festina team from Portugal and Spain, because he could purchase huge quantities without questions asked from labs?
 
Escarabajo said:
+1. This is one of the best explanations I have read about Valverde's situation.

It boils down to what the law dictated at that moment in Spain.

The LAW is not some monolithic entity sent down from the Almighty.

The Almighty doesn't exist. And as with everything human, until proven otherwise, the LAW is relative and, therefore, subject to revision. In modern society the LAW must be assessed based upon the rationalist and democratic principles upon which it is based. When these criteria are not met, the LAW is modified. And right away.

There is nothing rationalist nor democratic about why a Spanish rider should go unpunished for the same offence commited by an Italian cyclist who served his ban, when their profession transcends the boundries of national juristiction.

On the one hand the guilty is guilty and punished accordingly, on the other the guilty is guilty for the same offense, but because of a legal technicality continues he is proclamed "innocent" and continues his profession practically as if he had commited no offense.

So I don't give a damn about Spain's legal position at the time OP come out, and not because the guilty go unpunished, but because some guilty have been punished whereas others have been given impunity for the same crime.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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rhubroma said:
The LAW is not some monolithic entity sent down from the Almighty.

I think you are getting a little too excited here, because isn't a doping violation a violation of a code, not a law? I can't remember any country that had/has laws that specifically say 'thou shalt not use PEDs, namely x,y,z, to enhance your performance in a sport', although that seems to be gradually changing...

Can doping actually be considered a crime? That was an ongoing discussion, namely if people actually are in favour of seeing doping criminalised, punishable by law, passing out legal sentences up to or including jail time to offenders?
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
I think you are getting a little too excited here, because isn't a doping violation a violation of a code, not a law? I can't remember any country that had/has laws that specifically say 'thou shalt not use PEDs, namely x,y,z, to enhance your performance in a sport', although that seems to be gradually changing...

Can doping actually be considered a crime? That was an ongoing discussion, namely if people actually are in favour of seeing doping criminalised, punishable by law, passing out legal sentences up to or including jail time to offenders?

A couple of thoughts....

1. I think doping could technically be described as fraud. Especially in regard to winners receiving prize money etc. that they didn't earn honestly

2. Distribution of pharmaceuticals without prescriptions is against the law in many countries. Though, I expect, receiving them from team doctors is probably not against the law. However, if there was a paper trail of prescriptions it may be a lot easier to prosecute, and also prosecute doctors for prescribing drugs inappropriately.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Galic Ho said:

I don't really disagree with much of what you said, except to add that once you get international, the law is not the law, because there is not only one law at that juncture, and how the law interacts with sporting rules is also a bit of a hazy situation (take a look at the recent NFL cases in the USA for an example).

My 2 cents - with OP, a lot of people who were implicated suffered quite a bit, while AV has really had no sanctions or issues with his team. So, other than having to defend himself ever deeper into a hole, he has not really had to deal with the repurcussions of this matter. I think if there is hard proof that you doped (or intended to dope ;) ), then you should be sanctioned.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Sure. Those Spanish authorities are just dying to ban him; and the Vuelta organizers, along with organizers from other races he has won this year, all of whom could have refused to let him race, are just dying to vacate his results.

Wow - someone pi$$ed in your cornflakes yesterday. Let's revisit your reply in a couple months.
 
Aug 17, 2009
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rhubroma said:
The LAW is not some monolithic entity sent down from the Almighty.

The Almighty doesn't exist. And as with everything human, until proven otherwise, the LAW is relative and, therefore, subject to revision. In modern society the LAW must be assessed based upon the rationalist and democratic principles upon which it is based. When these criteria are not met, the LAW is modified. And right away.

There is nothing rationalist nor democratic about why a Spanish rider should go unpunished for the same offence commited by an Italian cyclist who served his ban, when their profession transcends the boundries of national juristiction.

On the one hand the guilty is guilty and punished accordingly, on the other the guilty is guilty for the same offense, but because of a legal technicality continues he is proclamed "innocent" and continues his profession practically as if he had commited no offense.

So I don't give a damn about Spain's legal position at the time OP come out, and not because the guilty go unpunished, but because some guilty have been punished whereas others have been given impunity for the same crime.

Once you get to the stage the Italians did where you dont follow correct procedure to provide a conviction you create eternal uncertainty.
The Puerto case was a disaster all around the UCIs anti doping controls were exposed as ineffective so they used Coercion and accusation to try and cover their ineffectiveness, as a result we will never really know what is fact and fiction some innocent got a hard deal some guilty got away with it.

Corruption has been suggested a lot of times with LA and the UCIs anti doping program. It could be suggested Italian authorities could be involved in corruption the same could be said of the Spanish in protecting Valverde.

A fair case has not been heard so as a result of another UCI blunder the sport has lost credibility and debates will go on about who is guilty and innocent. Valverde could be innocent or guilty and he may never be punished and may always be tainted

Because the UCI were so ineffective it provided an opportunity for riders to deny everything make people reasonably believe that weren't treated unfairly and continue the uncertainty and make others believe they can get away with it or believe it is okay to do.

If they acted professionally while some guilty would get away there would be little sympathy for those that are caught.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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Cobber said:
A couple of thoughts....

1. I think doping could technically be described as fraud. Especially in regard to winners receiving prize money etc. that they didn't earn honestly

2. Distribution of pharmaceuticals without prescriptions is against the law in many countries. Though, I expect, receiving them from team doctors is probably not against the law. However, if there was a paper trail of prescriptions it may be a lot easier to prosecute, and also prosecute doctors for prescribing drugs inappropriately.
This has caused some trouble for authorities who wanted to investigate doping rings - what law was actually broken? Option 1) didn't work in practice, but 2) did in some cases. But still, there's a reason Italy adopted a ´sports fraud´ law. Spain didn´t.

Overall, I think arguing that the different treatment of Valverde is some big violation of international democratic principles is uncalled for. Different countries have different laws and attitudes: that's not against democracy, it's a consequence of it. This sometimes causes situations that don't fit well with our sense of rightenousness, but on the other hand, upholding laws is the best way to preserve democracy.
 
Bala Verde said:
I think you are getting a little too excited here, because isn't a doping violation a violation of a code, not a law? I can't remember any country that had/has laws that specifically say 'thou shalt not use PEDs, namely x,y,z, to enhance your performance in a sport', although that seems to be gradually changing...

Can doping actually be considered a crime? That was an ongoing discussion, namely if people actually are in favour of seeing doping criminalised, punishable by law, passing out legal sentences up to or including jail time to offenders?

The issue isn't whether or not doping should be considered a criminal offense beyond the confines of sport, that is in cilvil society (I actually believe it shouldn't be and remain a sporting offense exclusively), but how the LAW can ensure equal treatment for all parties within a given profession for breaking the rules of that profession (a crime under such jurisdiction) based upon culpability or innocence. When such a professions' protagonists operate physically within the international arena and from a variety of States.

That is simply democratic. All should be held to the same standards.

By contrast what we have gotten with OP is one nation's legal set-up/perspective making unpunishable for its athletes, that which is certainly a breech in the ethical (and legal) standards of a profession, and therefore punishable, for athletes in every other nation within the same field. Two identical weights, two diferent means of weighing them.

Usually in cases where a single nation behaves in such a manner as illbefitting of the democratic and human rights standards of the civilized international community, it becomes punished by that international community with economic sanctions, if not war.

And given that economic sanctions and war are neither appropriate nor relevant to a sporting case, it would be terrific to witness the other major cycling nations (France, Belgium, Holland) in addition to Italy, use their national sovereignty to ban all Spanish athletes from performing within their territory until OP is dealt with by Spain in the appropriate democratic fashion which the profession of cycling demands. Above all, in these times. Regardless of the UCI's compliance or not.

Such would be a message of true solidarity against the omertà which has dragged the sport down into the mire of drug abuse and illegitimacy.

Oh, but wait, now I really have gotten "too excited" as you have claimed. ;)
 
Jul 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
That is simply democratic. All should be held to the same standards.
But this involves different countries. Democratically, they have been unable to determine what the same standards should be.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cobber said:
A couple of thoughts....

1. I think doping could technically be described as fraud. Especially in regard to winners receiving prize money etc. that they didn't earn honestly

2. Distribution of pharmaceuticals without prescriptions is against the law in many countries. Though, I expect, receiving them from team doctors is probably not against the law. However, if there was a paper trail of prescriptions it may be a lot easier to prosecute, and also prosecute doctors for prescribing drugs inappropriately.

Let me say beforehand, I am trying to play the devil's advocate.

Concerning 1.

Possibly. But when you pull it into the criminal sphere, higher standards of evidence apply. Some considerations:

-who is duped, and who is the offender? Are the organizers of races, or ones own team and colleagues or other teams defrauded? Are teams complicit, or other even teams doing the same, or other riders? What if a rider dopes, but doesn't win, did he dupe someone? (Can you prove) a rider did it for personal gain, or the team?

-Can one contend that doping is more like any action witnessed in the market (since teams have become much more similar to 'companies'/'businesses') to get ahead of other major competitors, like 'misrepresenting advertisments'? If someone dopes, he enhanced certain features that were already there, like blowing up the size of a big McWendy'sBurger on TV...

-who then will bring legal proceedings against the offender. Other cyclists? The ASO or other organisers, UCI, his team? Other teams?

-The ensuing investigation will have to be left to the police. What role would the blood passport then play? How would the police prove someone frauded others...

-if they start legal proceedings, they have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he actually doped. The blood passport, at this time, seems to be insufficient for this type of scrutiny.

Concerning 2.
The distribution (or production) of (certain) products is, as you said, already sanctioned by law. In that case, you can already use existing law to prosecute. Sometimes riders, like Rasmussen, who sold drugs, and in many cases labs/doctors/medical personel/DS etc. Look at the war on drugs, some pharmaceutical companies had to alter the content/composition/ingredients of medications, to pass certain drug laws.

You don't need laws that prohibit the intake of certain products, because you'll be entering a very murky, and quite possibly, irresolvable area. Can you ever indiscriminately prohibit the use of EPO?
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Let me say beforehand, I am trying to play the devil's advocate.

Concerning 1.

Possibly. But when you pull it into the criminal sphere, higher standards of evidence apply. Some considerations:

-who is duped, and who is the offender? Are the organizers of races, or ones own team and colleagues or other teams defrauded? Are teams complicit, or other even teams doing the same, or other riders? What if a rider dopes, but doesn't win, did he dupe someone? (Can you prove) a rider did it for personal gain, or the team?

-Can one contend that doping is more like any action witnessed in the market (since teams have become much more similar to 'companies'/'businesses') to get ahead of other major competitors, like 'misrepresenting advertisments'? If someone dopes, he enhanced certain features that were already there, like blowing up the size of a big McWendy'sBurger on TV...

-who then will bring legal proceedings against the offender. Other cyclists? The ASO or other organisers, UCI, his team? Other teams?

-The ensuing investigation will have to be left to the police. What role would the blood passport then play? How would the police prove someone frauded others...

-if they start legal proceedings, they have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he actually doped. The blood passport, at this time, seems to be insufficient for this type of scrutiny.

Concerning 2.
The distribution (or production) of (certain) products is, as you said, already sanctioned by law. In that case, you can already use existing law to prosecute. Sometimes riders, like Rasmussen, who sold drugs, and in many cases labs/doctors/medical personel/DS etc. Look at the war on drugs, some pharmaceutical companies had to alter the content/composition/ingredients of medications, to pass certain drug laws.

You don't need laws that prohibit the intake of certain products, because you'll be entering a very murky, and quite possibly, irresolvable area. Can you ever indiscriminately prohibit the use of EPO?

Concerning 1: I agree with all your points. It would be very difficult to do. It may be more appropriate to write stiff penalties into riders' contracts, as many teams/sponsors are now doing. I also agree that the burden of proof makes prosecution extremely difficult.

Concerning 2: One possibility would be to add PEDs to restricted drug lists (like Opiates now belong to). In the case of these drugs, it is illegal, I believe, to possess them without a prescription, and there are registers of people they have been supplied to.
 
Jonathan said:
But this involves different countries. Democratically, they have been unable to determine what the same standards should be.

Let's not confuse what is rational from what is democratic.

Simply because one nation has democratically placed a criminal bafoon in the Prime Minester's office (Italy), doesn't make him a non-criminal and a non-bafoon.

What I meant by democratic, though now I realize I should have used the term rationalist, was, in the idealist, philosophical sentiment, equal and fair punishiment for the same offense. Otherwise we get the reign of either caos or tyranny, which, by the way, is what we have now in this case. The problem is that with Spain Valverde's "offense" was not legally sanctionable, according to the current legal structure at the time. However, in other cases, with non-Spanish nationalists, the same "offense" was sanctionable not only on home soil, but also internationally. And was recognized immediately as such, in Basso's case, by the international sport community. By contrast, Valverde's conviction in Italy has opened up the doorway to the type if intercene feuding based on special interests and legal posturing which is lethal to the credibility of the UCI and cycling in general.

Thus according to the logic of Spanish law, presented here by some, why was Basso's sanction not applicable to Spanish races? Given that he commited an offense that in Spain was not punishable under the particular legal considerations of OP, which has allowed the Spanish nation to protest vigorously against Valverde's condemnation in Italy for the same "offense." Why did Spain not put up an equally vociferous protest against Basso's incrimination? Or indeed the accusations which ended Ullrich's career, for instance?

Had they, at least they would have been consistent and, in this sense, rational and democratic in their approach.

They didn't because, from the begining, OP has been brushed under the carpet by the Spanish authorities to save the nation's sporting face. But at the unjust expense of athletes from other nations. And again I couldn't care less about the LAW here, but real justice, agianst which Valverde's lawyers and the Spanish court stands in direct opposition.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
What I meant by democratic, though now I realize I should have used the term rationalist, was, in the idealist, philosophical sentiment, equal and fair punishiment for the same offense.
I really don't understand how you could be thinking of 'just and rational' and come up with 'democratic' as a term.

If you think the situation is unfair to Basso, I would agree.
 
Jonathan said:
I really don't understand how you could be thinking of 'just and rational' and come up with 'democratic' as a term.

If you think the situation is unfair to Basso, I would agree.

"Democratic" as "fair and rationilst," meant as critical comparison/principal within the post-Enlightenment socio-political construct, as opposed to unfair classicism, the tyranny of the first two Estates, etc.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Some very good and interesting posts here - which is why I enjoy this forum so much.

Even though Galic Ho & Rhubroma have slightly opposing views I find myself agreeing with both.

Some points here though - OP was instigated because of Menzanos confessions. The laws were not in place to prosecute riders - however I feel that part of the reason for photographing athletes etc was to highlight their roles and seek an amendment to the existing laws.
This was done, however it was not allowed to be applied retroactively - this was a political decision.

CONI had a disgraceful reputation in particular through their [url="http://www.playthegame.org/knowledge-bank/author-profile/sandro-donati.html']treatment[/url] of Sandro Donati. So a large part of the credit goes to Ettore Torri.

The reason CONI can get their hands on Bag no. 18 for comparison is because it is a public institution and part of the State.
UCI, WADA etc are private organizations.

CONI was able to work through the Italian judiciary and Interpol to request the bags from Judge Serrano.

What this case highlights is the difficulties that sporting authorities have in gaining access to evidence so as to apply sanctions and penalties.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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VALV-Piti, the whole Spanish media, who are entirely uncritical of their hero, as well as the Spanish gouvernment just kind of make me want to vomit a little bit. Those are my feelings towards this year's vuelta ...
 
A

Anonymous

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i put my original comments.. the only thing i will add, is this is the first grand tour since oh god, about 1986, (that has been shown on tv, and ive had eurosport since the days of the 4 foot dish) that ive not bothered watching the last five or six stages of (although we did watch the TT for obvious reasons)
 
Jul 12, 2009
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What would have been more interesting to me in this years Vuelta would be the stories of the 3 weakest riders in the GC and how they are coping.
 
Dr. Maserati said:
Some very good and interesting posts here - which is why I enjoy this forum so much.

Even though Galic Ho & Rhubroma have slightly opposing views I find myself agreeing with both.

Some points here though - OP was instigated because of Menzanos confessions. The laws were not in place to prosecute riders - however I feel that part of the reason for photographing athletes etc was to highlight their roles and seek an amendment to the existing laws.
This was done, however it was not allowed to be applied retroactively - this was a political decision.

It always boils down to politics now doesn't it...and also where the injustice (and brushing under the carpet) begins.

Thanks for the good info. Dr.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Ah... 10 years of Vuelta:

1999 Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom
2000 Roberto Heras (ESP) Kelme – Costa Blanca
2001 Ángel Casero (ESP) Festina
2002 Aitor González (ESP) Kelme – Costa Blanca
2003 Roberto Heras (2) (ESP) US Postal
2004 Roberto Heras (3) (ESP) Liberty Seguros
2005 Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank
2006 Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) Astana
2007 Denis Menchov (2) (RUS) Rabobank
2008 Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana
2009 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne

lovely list...

Can't wait to watch Pat McQuaid hand Valverde the rainbow jersey though, when incompetence and deception will shake hands ;)
 
Jun 19, 2009
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BroDeal said:
My lack of interest started when the second week did not live up to expectations. It does not really have anything to do with doping. The race just has not been that good.

True. Aside from the Biopassport effect the teams seem more conservative. Prior Vueltas had everyone attacking. They also looked like jackrabbits on crack they were so fortified; that's me admitting drug-fueled racing can be more exciting. I still watched, though.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Ah... 10 years of Vuelta:

1999 Jan Ullrich (GER) Team Telekom
2000 Roberto Heras (ESP) Kelme – Costa Blanca
2001 Ángel Casero (ESP) Festina
2002 Aitor González (ESP) Kelme – Costa Blanca
2003 Roberto Heras (2) (ESP) US Postal
2004 Roberto Heras (3) (ESP) Liberty Seguros
2005 Denis Menchov (RUS) Rabobank
2006 Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) Astana
2007 Denis Menchov (2) (RUS) Rabobank
2008 Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana
2009 Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne

lovely list...

Can't wait to watch Pat McQuaid hand Valverde the rainbow jersey though, when incompetence and deception will shake hands ;)

Maybe some expose' will now finally come out revealing the UCI's slack governance. Oh wait, that already happened in that other big race...3 or 4 times.
 

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