Which approach to doping confession - Sky v Garmin?

Which approach doping histories and dealing with revelations is the correct one?

  • Vino & and full blown in your face we do what we want approach

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May 26, 2011
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Which approach do you feel is the correct one given the history of the sport and that many riders appear to have secrets in the closet. This covers both current riders, and those graduated into management roles.

Sky and their ZeroTolerance Policy vs Garmin's more liberal approach to confession.
 

martinvickers

BANNED
Oct 15, 2012
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a Garmin+ approach. Riders should pro-actively and publicly co-operate with authorities, take their ban with the support of the team, and a guarantee of a contract at the end with ZTP going forward, but not backward.

Manning up and taking the hit when there's no 'need' to is the best way to give fans some hope you are being honest.

Never happen mind.
 
Nov 2, 2013
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A zero tolerance policy is an absolute must. There is no other way. This zero tolerance policy should be adopted by all teams including Garmin Sharp who are soft on past dopers. In order for the sport to move forward all riders who are currently active in the peloton who are known dopers should be exiled from the sport and never be allowed to participate in the sport ever again in any capacity. No statute of limitations should apply. Jonathon Vaughters and Riis should also be exiled from this sport and any other individual within this sport who has had any affiliation with the distribution and use of performance enhancing drugs. Cookson needs to change the current UCI rule that has effectively allowed past dopers and managers etc to continue to scourge the sport with their cancerous alcoholism(whether still actively participating in doping practices or not). Cycling needs to take an unprecedented step and introduce mandatory lifetime bans for and individual athlete who tests positive without the possibility of appeal once a case is irrefutably proven beyond all doubt.
 
It depends really. Garmin need to have the approach they have, because their roster is built on foundations of "reformed dopers". No team in the World Tour in 2013 had more publicly known dopers than Garmin. Not Astana, not Movistar, not Katyusha, but Garmin, believe it or not (Danielson, Dekker, Millar, Rasmussen, Vande Velde and Zabriskie, plus Klier confessed mid-season and now Hesjedal post-season too). A Sky-styled ZTP would not be possible for Garmin.

Sky's ZTP is a very noble idea if stuck to, but is nigh on impossible to stick to, because you never know when dirt could arrive on somebody who's been around the sport, and the need to have riders and staff with experience was made painfully obvious during their growing pains in the 2010 season. However, at the same time, there's a difference between picking up riders who dirt subsequently appears on, and picking up a rider like Mick Rogers, who had been named as a Ferrari and as a Freiburg client prior to signing, and was subsequently named as a Ferrari client in the Reasoned Decision. As a new team, however, they at least had the option of setting up a ZTP; if a team that has been in the péloton for decades, like Lotto or Movistar, were to set one up, it would be absolutely ludicrous, as almost the first thing that would happen would be the entire team top brass get fired due to their participation in the dodgy old days of the 90s. I just think that a genuine zero tolerance policy is absolutely not possible in today's péloton, even if Sky were genuine about it, which is in retrospect difficult to believe when they hired people like Sean Yates.

The problem with both approaches is as spalco acknowledges - they are fine as long as they are genuine, but both carry the whiff of being disingenuous at present; a number of Garmin's confessors are only confessing when their names would be being made public anyway (Hesjedal, Klier) or when fingered by others, accidentally or deliberately (Danielson, Zabriskie, Vande Velde), and also the confessions have been typically very limited in scope and not wholly believed, whereas Sky's zero tolerance policy has proven to be as impermeable as a sieve and has seen some hasty backtracking and jettisoning of riders that don't fit it, and the layman could have told them didn't fit it and if the team had conducted due diligence as they say they do (attention to detail, guys, attention to detail) they would never have hired them in the first place, which makes the Sky management seem either disingenuous or incompetent.

The Astana "we hire who we want when we want" approach may be repulsive from an anti-doping perspective, but at least what you see is pretty much what you get and you don't get all these BS rationalisations or tearful "I was lied to" and "I only did it once, outside the statute of limitations, and I didn't like it" Paul McCartney-talking-about-drugs like confessions.
 
May 26, 2011
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Zaamar said:
A zero tolerance policy is an absolute must. There is no other way. This zero tolerance policy should be adopted by all teams including Garmin Sharp who are soft on past dopers. In order for the sport to move forward all riders who are currently active in the peloton who are known dopers should be exiled from the sport and never be allowed to participate in the sport ever again in any capacity. No statute of limitations should apply. Jonathon Vaughters and Riis should also be exiled from this sport and any other individual within this sport who has had any affiliation with the distribution and use of performance enhancing drugs. Cookson needs to change the current UCI rule that has effectively allowed past dopers and managers etc to continue to scourge the sport with their cancerous alcoholism(whether still actively participating in doping practices or not). Cycling needs to take an unprecedented step and introduce mandatory lifetime bans for and individual athlete who tests positive without the possibility of appeal once a case is irrefutably proven beyond all doubt.
Sky intern? ;)
 
Zaamar said:
Cycling needs to take an unprecedented step and introduce mandatory lifetime bans for and individual athlete who tests positive without the possibility of appeal once a case is irrefutably proven beyond all doubt.
That's never going to hold up to judicial review. Even cheaters have rights.
 
Eyeballs Out said:
Sky's approach seems to be working pretty well. Keep winning everything with pretty much all media and most general public onside. So that must be the "correct" approach
Not every team is able to have the kind of media presence that Sky has though. They are sponsored by a company that owns a large amount of media which gives them a headstart in keeping the media - and subsequently the general public - onside, and they are also one of those national project teams like Katyusha, GreenEdge and Astana which helps them be kept in a positive light in their target market (not to mention that the same architects behind Team Sky are behind the Olympic cycling success which enables them to appeal to patriotism as well). This luxury isn't afforded to Slipstream, or in fact many teams at all. It's only the 'right' approach if you have the resources to do so, and few teams have the money that Sky do.
 
Jun 25, 2013
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Sky - there shouldn't even be a debate.

Also Ryder needs to serve his time on the sidelines - he shouldn't be given a reprieve based on his reported transparency with USADA as without the impending Rasmussen book I doubt he would have come forward the way he did.
 
May 26, 2010
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Eyeballs Out said:
Sky's approach seems to be working pretty well. Keep winning everything with pretty much all media and most general public onside. So that must be the "correct" approach
It was also the 'correct' approach at USPS ;)
 
A two pronged approach is what i suggest.
Garmin approach with Amnesty( Limited or full depending on the severity of doping) & rehabilitation & limited/no punishment now. As the culture in cycling was full doping, 98% of the riders would get eliminated by Sky approach or would lie to protect themselves.
As the goal is elimination of doping, the Sky approach should ultimately be taken up in 3-5 years of time with severe penalties and a anonymous line for whistleblowers to out the dopers/facilitators.
 
Jan 18, 2010
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Sponsors are more likely to respect the Sky approach so that's probably the best way forward.
Vino's team is state sponsored so not likely to be in trouble from getting cash to continue running.
 
The way I see it the problem with Sky's approach, at least when we're talking about the confession of doping in the past situations, is that who the heck would want to confess to having doped maybe up to ten years ago if they know that doing so will only result in them losing their job?
When it comes to testing positive now, well...

 
Mar 10, 2009
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darwin553 said:
Sky - there shouldn't even be a debate.

Also Ryder needs to serve his time on the sidelines - he shouldn't be given a reprieve based on his reported transparency with USADA as without the impending Rasmussen book I doubt he would have come forward the way he did.
Garmin's approach is the only real way to cope with the sports past but once on the team there should be Zero tolerance for new offences. IE you past is past but on this team doping gets you fired. a Second chance team not a 3rd.

Sky's policy is just an extension of most teams we hear you doped and you look for a new job. nothing like that kind of policy to keep your mouth shut. Sky's policy promotes secrecy.

As for Ryder. He has not committed a doping offence that is covered under the rules so he has never doped legally. If the T & R commission ever forms then we might get a real surge of ex dopers with much more recent offences to forgive and forget. Expect to learn how many teams are just like Garmin. Full of ex dopers. Faced with unemployment or forgiveness and support which team has the best chance to hear the truth from their contracted riders? You are the rider who doped. What team are you wishing you were on?
We may wish for revenge or punishment but that is not necessarily the environment to get cooperation or honestly. What riders are going to Brailsforg to say I have a dark past.
 
Master50 said:
Garmin's approach is the only real way to cope with the sports past but once on the team there should be Zero tolerance for new offences. IE you past is past but on this team doping gets you fired. a Second chance team not a 3rd.

Sky's policy is just an extension of most teams we hear you doped and you look for a new job. nothing like that kind of policy to keep your mouth shut. Sky's policy promotes secrecy.

As for Ryder. He has not committed a doping offence that is covered under the rules so he has never doped legally. If the T & R commission ever forms then we might get a real surge of ex dopers with much more recent offences to forgive and forget. Expect to learn how many teams are just like Garmin. Full of ex dopers. Faced with unemployment or forgiveness and support which team has the best chance to hear the truth from their contracted riders? You are the rider who doped. What team are you wishing you were on?
We may wish for revenge or punishment but that is not necessarily the environment to get cooperation or honestly. What riders are going to Brailsforg to say I have a dark past.
Exactly what has these Garmin "confessions" contributed (other than nailing LA + JB)? The output has been ridiculously low compared to Rasmussen's confession which probably reflects the real level of information a typical doper collects after 10 years "in service".
 
The proverbial cheatin' line.

Being a fan of professional bicycle racing requires observing with one eye closed. There are pro-racers in every nook and cranny who are cheating now or have cheated in the past, whether it is during the season or during the off-season to bump up percentages. Sky included. There may be a lot less cheaters today. In the back of the mind of pro-bike racing fans has to be the fear of having fewer races and or fewer racers to enjoy if zero tolerance policies are enforced. Zero may even include suspicion. Suspicion may be manipulated for advantages in itself.

Epitome of not getting caught. The science and business of cheating clean. For some people the gamble is a welcome high in it’s own right.

Lifetime bans make sense because the dope may affects performance many years into the future. When I use gels early into the season to power up mountain passes, it helps Me throughout the rest of the season. Now replace gels with illegal substances during the off-season and a pro’s usage may last more than half a year alone.

Make a wish and p - o-o-f, the cheaters are gone; in the next minute what do We have? It’s not a p-o-o-f, but rather a transition and that requires teams like Garmin.

And at the same time, there’s no talk about what is illegal that should be legal. Cannabis should be RE-legalized throughout the rational world, in part (along with countless other reasons), so athletes can gain benefits from that relatively safe God-given plant. Ever think about how much CONTEMPT derives from cannabis prohibition, which then extends to many other drug laws? As an example think of young people who have contempt for cannabis laws and ignore them as a result and now face the question of illegal performance substances; should they treat them like cannabis laws because they are controversial as well??? As an example, consider how much cannabis prohibition has contributed toward honest hard drug addiction rates. It all needs to be rational rather than manipulated.
 
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