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What is the Real Reason Cyclists Lie When Caught Doping?

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May 14, 2009
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the test

How well tested are the tests for doping? Who came up with them? Did they ever try to test what can create a false positive? Is that not part of science and testing a theory to move it to fact? (I think I am right on that but then again my 20 year high school reunion is this year:))

I was not a big Landis fan but I had a hard time believing that a guy who rode for one of the most tested guys in the support didn't realize he would be tested every time he won a stage. Knowing that, why would you still do it? The same with Vino. That year I looked forward to watching the tour. Once again why would a cyclist who knows they are going to be tested frequently the minute you look like a contender go and do it?

And something else I was thinking about....... At the TtF they use the same lab everytime. Why? At least why that lab? The minute that lab leaked info to the press before the rider is notified their contract should be broken and another lab sought out.

The lab brings me to one last thought. The ASO & UCI. What if it is finally discovered that the testing maybe flawed and not as accurate as first thought? I say that because I read an article about a professor from a Texas university John Hoberman and his comments on the doping tests. What do you say to a rider who's career has been destroyed because the labs didn't really know enough about the tests or accidently flawed the test through three samples because they were testing wrong or misread results? Why are all the samples tested at the same lab? How many millions in lawsuits would that present? Do you re-instate an athletes title? Is there a book out there from Miss Manners on how to repair an athletes destroyed life caused by mistake?

Yes athletes dope. Do all dope? No. Are some accused wrongly of doping? I think the odds are pretty good that yes some people have been falsley accused due to human error. I also think that sports organizations, labs & even the press do not want to spend the money or the time to find out how many times it may have occured because it would open up to big of a can of worms.
 
Jul 10, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
To a large extent, isn't it just human nature? A child whose face is coverd with cookie crumbs will deny having taking the cookies. Someone charged with committing a crime will automatically deny it. Why should cyclists be any different?

Nor is it just cyclists. Didn't Marion Jones deny ever having doped?

Susan

Exactly. It is not only sports and it is definately not only cycling. It is not even only humans. Even apes are found lying and cheating. It is one of the features that helped primates and human race to the "top" of the animal kingdom.

Being ashamed and covering it by lying is just a natural continuation to avoid consequenses (all of which of course doesn't justify anything).
 
Mar 18, 2009
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gwessel2 said:
How well tested are the tests for doping? Who came up with them? Did they ever try to test what can create a false positive? Is that not part of science and testing a theory to move it to fact? (I think I am right on that but then again my 20 year high school reunion is this year:))

I was not a big Landis fan but I had a hard time believing that a guy who rode for one of the most tested guys in the support didn't realize he would be tested every time he won a stage. Knowing that, why would you still do it? The same with Vino. That year I looked forward to watching the tour. Once again why would a cyclist who knows they are going to be tested frequently the minute you look like a contender go and do it?

And something else I was thinking about....... At the TtF they use the same lab everytime. Why? At least why that lab? The minute that lab leaked info to the press before the rider is notified their contract should be broken and another lab sought out.

The lab brings me to one last thought. The ASO & UCI. What if it is finally discovered that the testing maybe flawed and not as accurate as first thought? I say that because I read an article about a professor from a Texas university John Hoberman and his comments on the doping tests. What do you say to a rider who's career has been destroyed because the labs didn't really know enough about the tests or accidently flawed the test through three samples because they were testing wrong or misread results? Why are all the samples tested at the same lab? How many millions in lawsuits would that present? Do you re-instate an athletes title? Is there a book out there from Miss Manners on how to repair an athletes destroyed life caused by mistake?

Yes athletes dope. Do all dope? No. Are some accused wrongly of doping? I think the odds are pretty good that yes some people have been falsley accused due to human error. I also think that sports organizations, labs & even the press do not want to spend the money or the time to find out how many times it may have occured because it would open up to big of a can of worms.

Some good questions. In regards to false positives, they occur with any test. One of the reasons why there are not more officially positives is because the standard of error is so high so as to ensure that false positives do not occur. Many doped riders are not reported because of this laxity in the system.

Fully agree with your lab comments. A "B" sample should be sent to a different lab, preferably with a few other unrelated samples to ensure anominity, to prevent any extraneous circumstances influencing the testers. This is why there was so much controversy with Mayo's samples.
 
Good points Roninho. What I always wondered about Floyd is why he didn't just blame his cortisone/painkiller shots for his hip and say "I don't remember the last time I got a shot. I think it was about two weeks ago. They're painful, and I try to forget about them". This doesn't mean the carbon isotope analysis would not have found synthetic testosterone in his system, etc., but he could have made a very good argument in the court of public opinion that the tests were showing this, not synthetic T, and been in a much better position I think than he ended up.

Recall that when Ben Johnson confessed, he almost casually noted that it was a different steroid in his system than what he officially tested positive for.

oldbikerdude said:
Don't laugh but maybe, sometimes, they didn't dope: - still not convinced in Floyds case
Look deeper. Floyd did what everyone else pretty much did.

Mainerider said:
Does anyone even remember that Andy Petite did steroids, while Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have been dragged through the media for months/years.
This is American Baseball you're talking. Apples and oranges here. Andy was definitely a lot smarter than those two though, that's for sure.

The mea culpa tact is an interesting one for cycling for those at the end of their career or out of the sport. The Musseuw defense if you will. And I think this is something we're going to see more of in the months and years to come. Let's just hope that when in the future a rider like Musseuw (or Papp, Kohl, etc.) says they want to help, the governing body in charge at the time takes them seriously and works with them.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
To a large extent, isn't it just human nature? A child whose face is coverd with cookie crumbs will deny having taking the cookies. Someone charged with committing a crime will automatically deny it. Why should cyclists be any different?

Nor is it just cyclists. Didn't Marion Jones deny ever having doped?

Susan
I think you are just trolling - this is just another wild claim that assumes the worst in everyone.

Just because the child has a cookie on their face does not mean they ingested that cookie- think Basso.
Also was it indeed a cookie? Perhaps it was just a digestive biscuit.

Your claims are rather outrageous - many of these children are earning little to no income- how can they afford theses expensive cookies?

There may be anecdotal evidence that many kindergartens have a systematic and controlled use of a variety of biscuits but that does not mean all children are cookie abusers.
It is a wild claim on this innocent child as many other kindergartens are promoting the values of things like fruits.

BigBoat will back me up here - eating cookies is no more harmful than taking 6 glasses of orange juice.....fact.

IMO - the kid walks...
 
Jul 29, 2009
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I think this is just a problem with all sports. I think it's human nature to save face. No body wants to admit they did something wrong. Look at all the baseball players that have failed tests and said I didn't take or do anything.

Look at the case in MN with the NFL players and a failed test for a banned substance last season. They only took it to lose weight. The NFL didn't inform the players that what they took had an ingredient in it that was on the banned list. So they sued the NFL in MN state court and so far it looks like they won't have to sit for the four games they should sit for.

I just think every sport has its problems with dopers, and none of them will come out and just say MY BAD! Well, ok....Andy Pettitte did admit to taking HGH.
 
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Dr. Maserati said:
I think you are just trolling - this is just another wild claim that assumes the worst in everyone.

Just because the child has a cookie on their face does not mean they ingested that cookie- think Basso.
Also was it indeed a cookie? Perhaps it was just a digestive biscuit.

Your claims are rather outrageous - many of these children are earning little to no income- how can they afford theses expensive cookies?

There may be anecdotal evidence that many kindergartens have a systematic and controlled use of a variety of biscuits but that does not mean all children are cookie abusers.
It is a wild claim on this innocent child as many other kindergartens are promoting the values of things like fruits.

BigBoat will back me up here - eating cookies is no more harmful than taking 6 glasses of orange juice.....fact.

IMO - the kid walks...

someone help me out.. what the hell does all that mean...

as for the denial thing.. human nature, its very hard to admit when you are wrong.. i also think there is a certain amount of "everyone else is doing it, why should i take the rap for it" mentality..

It all comes down to the initial reaction, when the news first breaks of a positive, how the rider reacts then is how he has to go forward.. without a b sample every rider is going to deny it, once youve started down the road to denial you are stuck on it, because by the admiting it would mean no only admiting you doped, but also admitting you lied about it..
 
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Dr. Maserati said:
It was an attempt at humour Dim - this side of the forum often gets a bit serious!

i shall read it again in the morning when my brain works.. it just completely threw me.. was majorly lost.. :D
 
Jul 16, 2009
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Deny it, then write a book about your moralistic upbringing and all your junior successes, add photos of podiums as an 8-yr old,
Then say the labs have poor systems and security
Then say it's a French conspiracy

Then watch all your fans write a review on it on Amazon saying yada yada lab yada yada never busted before throw I'm some obscure name and small fact of ambiguity, then have rusted on RCGers come here and post those bits on threads such as this

In the meantime you show the community you don't rat

Start the lie and others will perpetuate it for you

Or you can admit it and be an outcast and a pariah.....oh, and admit it and then see your B-test come back negative

It's not lying, it's damage containment
 
Jul 21, 2009
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The boy who cried wolf

A problem I see is that with so many cyclists claiming innocence when caught out doping, IF a cyclist is innocent and makes the claim of innocence after being caught, we won't 'hear' him ...
 
Ozzie2 said:
Or you can admit it and be an outcast and a pariah.....
It doesn't work like that, no problem in admitting to it as long as you say you did it on your own and don't give any names of suppliers and/or teams/teammates involved.

Dario Frigo was sacked by his Fassa Bartolo team in 2001 after dope-products were found by police in his room in the final week of the Giro (in which he was 2nd). After a year with another team he was signed back by Fassa Bartolo for 2003..... He stayed with the team untill the TDF of 2005 where he was arrested because his wife had doping products ...

Raimondas Rumsas wife had her car full of dope when he had finished 3rd in the TDF of 2002 riding for Lampre. Lampre didn't do anything about it and Rumsas finished 6th in the 2003 Giro for Lampre, but was later found to have used doping in this giro. He was suspended, and joined Acqua & sapone for 2004.

You are on your own when you get caught, but as long as you keep your mouth shut about other people's involvement you can come back.
 
wpsracing78 said:
So this Omerta... So you come completely clean and get 'ostracized' by it.

...... ? ...... ? what, they don't let your breakaway succeed or something?
Lots of the dopers won't talk to you?

The doping doctors will hate you?

Bricks come through your window?

haha, clearly I'm asking you what does this mean?

Surely it would be a good thing to come completely clean, then by seeing this ridiculous omerta in action we could see who is truly a douche and who are legit clean?

Well first of all if you indeed break the omerta you won't get back in the peloton.

And one could wonder what other pressures there are, in the end the cyclist do get their drugs out of an illegal/criminal circuit. I don't want to sound like i watch the godfather-movies everyday, but seems to me you don't want to rat on someone from that circuit.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
It was an attempt at humour Dim - this side of the forum often gets a bit serious!

If your got crumbs on your face, it's like being caught with your hand in the cookie jar. You've obviously had at least 1 cookie and going for more. All this cookie talk is making me hungry.:D
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Why do they lie? Faced with their options, lying probably seems like the best shot. We're talking about people who face been singularly focused on one goal since they became adults. Their entire income-generating power involves cycling. It is also the culture that they know best. Facing the possibility of losing this income, exposed as a cheat, and being banned from this culture would be terrifying. So they lie. It is a dishonourable practice, but you have to think that admitting to their sins is an extremely difficult thing to do, especially when there are legal experts who tell you that they can defeat your accusers. So human nature prevails.

And what lies! We haven't yet touched on the quality of their stories:

"Oh wait, now I DO have a TUE."
"I don't know how my blood got into those bags"
"That blood came from my long dead twin"
"I am already an elite stage racer, I just absolutely crushed my opposition in a very hard Giro, but my blood is there only because I intended to dope in the future"
 
Jun 16, 2009
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pedaling squares said:
"Oh wait, now I DO have a TUE."
"I don't know how my blood got into those bags"
"That blood came from my long dead twin"
"I am already an elite stage racer, I just absolutely crushed my opposition in a very hard Giro, but my blood is there only because I intended to dope in the future"

When i heard ivan basso say that it made me want to puke. he thinks everyone is dumb enough to believe that he only was thinking about doping and had never doped before. Come on ivan were not all as vague as you are.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Well I think the real reason is that if you lie you still have a slim chance to win (in court) and get off on a technicality. If you admit it right away you have no chance and are looking at 2 years. For a guy like Landis he was fighting for a tour that he won (on drugs). after lying for so long what can you do after you lose the case turnaround and admit it, I think you would end up in jail if you purged yourself.

Ricci was smart (cunning) he is young, two years he can come back and still have a full career, if a team wants him.

Of course, people lie. Who wants to admit that they were cheating. But I think people here are too hard on cyclists. Ask yourself this "Would you be tempted to do PEDS?" and "What would you do if you got caught?" Be honest at least to yourself and the next time you call a Pro a bone head think about the dumbest thing you have done.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Susan Westemeyer said:
To a large extent, isn't it just human nature? A child whose face is coverd with cookie crumbs will deny having taking the cookies. Someone charged with committing a crime will automatically deny it. Why should cyclists be any different?

Nor is it just cyclists. Didn't Marion Jones deny ever having doped?

Susan

And didn't George Bush, **** Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld lie to the American people and Congress to start a war in Iraq? and continue to lie about it to this day.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Good points Roninho. What I always wondered about Floyd is why he didn't just blame his cortisone/painkiller shots for his hip and say "I don't remember the last time I got a shot. I think it was about two weeks ago. They're painful, and I try to forget about them". This doesn't mean the carbon isotope analysis would not have found synthetic testosterone in his system, etc., but he could have made a very good argument in the court of public opinion that the tests were showing this, not synthetic T, and been in a much better position I think than he ended up.

Recall that when Ben Johnson confessed, he almost casually noted that it was a different steroid in his system than what he officially tested positive for.


Look deeper. Floyd did what everyone else pretty much did.

This is American Baseball you're talking. Apples and oranges here. Andy was definitely a lot smarter than those two though, that's for sure.

The mea culpa tact is an interesting one for cycling for those at the end of their career or out of the sport. The Musseuw defense if you will. And I think this is something we're going to see more of in the months and years to come. Let's just hope that when in the future a rider like Musseuw (or Papp, Kohl, etc.) says they want to help, the governing body in charge at the time takes them seriously and works with them.

It could be that Floyd got caught because he forgot. Perhaps earlier in the season he was using anabolic steroids for power and recovery. Blood was taken and frozen before the steroids cleared his system. Come July when they infused his blood on the night after the crack, he was showing and didn't know it. He won the stage the next day and was tested and then the sky caved in on Floyd. If this is the case, Floyd's pushers let him down, and were probably urging Floyd to fight to the end as well as providing money for his defense.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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podilato said:
There is plenty of evidence of corruption by officials in other sporting bodies but I don't think there is any other sport that is as corrupt (morally if not in the legal sense) from top to bottom; from officials, managers, riders, doctors etc; than cycling.

Oh yeah there is: NFL
 
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When these great philosophical questions arise I look to my youth heros for the answers. I am of course speaking of those great Punk Rock bands of the late 70's, early 80's;

Innocent until I'm proven guilty
Deny everything, Deny everything

I'm being framed, it's all a set-up
Deny everything, Deny everything

I'm just a spoke in a wheel, just a part of the puzzle
A part of the game, I'm being framed

Innocent until I'm proven guilty
Deny everything, Deny everything
Deny everything, Deny everything


- Circle Jerks, 1981

Pretty catchy tune...:D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Its pretty clear that you would be a fool to admit anything until after the B comes back. Mind you, that does NOT mean that its a good idea to deny either. Just say nothing other than 'I am waiting for the results of the B sample and will talk about it then'.

But I really find it interesting how some of the supposedly 'good' dopers are treated now.

For instance David Millar: UK media in particular seems to want to forget about it all because he was so good to just be honest and say 'yes I doped and I was a fool' and then work to get rid of doping.

But one very famous cyclist said publicly (I paraphrase a lot because I am doing this from memory) when asked about his respect levels for David,

'I have no respect for him, he doped!'

and then when asked for a comparison against known dopers like Landis said,

'I see no problem with Floyd, how can I think badly of him when he says he didn't do it?'
 
Jul 16, 2009
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Sheltowee said:
And didn't George Bush, **** Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld lie to the American people and Congress to start a war in Iraq? and continue to lie about it to this day.


It is a very important point you raise. While completely off topic in regards to cyclists- although I’m sure there is a youtube of Dubya falling off his bike- there is something to a society and its standards and a person caught out telling the truth.

Take downloading for instance.

The same people who set exorbitant prices for media (ie the media mafia) tell us we’re criminals for doing it. And at the same time our dear leaders tell us that they are going to blow the schmuck up of some irrelevant 3rd world country because of the local war lord or whatever- (seriously- I have no idea why we are in frakmentistan or whatever it’s called), anyway. We know they lied about WMD. We know they lie about everything else. They bail their mates out of broken banks and bad CDO’s and load that burden upon us and our children. They steal half our pay in taxes. They put weird sh*t in vaccinations and we know someone is gonna cop it bad and end up dead or with autism. We know they lie to us all day every day
And they turn around and tell me im a criminal for downloading some cr@p some from metallica? Oh brother. I’m immune to what they say. I hardly even know the truth anymore

Now take that to the peleton.

Why lie? No. I think the trickle down message which comes from our leaders and has permeated EVERY level of society, is “why tell the truth”

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Revolutionaries are shot. If anyone knows that, I’m sure it’s a cyclist from a peleton.