Why go after the Junkies?

Apr 1, 2009
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I have had this idealistic thought for a while but why is it that we keep punishing the end users of PEDs? Does it make sense to fill jails with heroin,crack and crystal Meth addicts? Don't we tend to jail the pushers/dealers and even then try to turn them so we can get the really big fish? If WADA was seriously trying to clean up cycling and other sports they would give riders clemence or reduced sentences in exchange for names and by names I mean the doctors that supply the drugs and the others that are key in distributing them. Wouldn't this have more of an impact on drugs in our sport? Instead it seems that they publish names of the users before the second test comes back, how does this help? IMHO Wada is not really serious about the drug problem and happy enough to catch the odd user which doesn't make any sense to me at all.

Is it just naivete on my part or is this a valid way of approaching this problem, Thoughts?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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St. Elia said:
I have had this idealistic thought for a while but why is it that we keep punishing the end users of PEDs? Does it make sense to fill jails with heroin,crack and crystal Meth addicts? Don't we tend to jail the pushers/dealers and even then try to turn them so we can get the really big fish? If WADA was seriously trying to clean up cycling and other sports they would give riders clemence or reduced sentences in exchange for names and by names I mean the doctors that supply the drugs and the others that are key in distributing them. Wouldn't this have more of an impact on drugs in our sport? Instead it seems that they publish names of the users before the second test comes back, how does this help? IMHO Wada is not really serious about the drug problem and happy enough to catch the odd user which doesn't make any sense to me at all.

Is it just naivete on my part or is this a valid way of approaching this problem, Thoughts?
Many athletes do name suppliers and tell all. The problem right now is that there is no test for properly dosed HGH or IGF-1...WADA cannot get you blood doping with your own blood. Its that simple, they cannot test for those things with the way its being run. Certain steroids & now gene doping...

Also, money drives the world and most of the sports are not "tested" by WADA but the sporting governance bodies which of course run on commercial marketing...The more popular the winning teams the more money flows in and the more the governing bodies HAVE! The UCI tests cycling in competition by collecting the samples, not WADA. WADA has nothing to do with Pro Cycling from sample collection to transport. Although they probably dont want to catch "Lance" or any top footballer in Europe for that matter. Anybody with money could destroy them.

If WADA was running cycling with reckless abandon they'd catch 50 guys blood doping with their own packed cells on the TDF...I'm telling ya Contadope would have been whisked away immediately after his opening TT ride for a total body hemoglobin test and his "a$$ woudl have been grass". If they did this type of testing the $hit would hit the fan big time! Can you imagine the German TV networks not hesitating one moment to dump the TDF for some soap opera...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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As someone who grew up cycling in the "golden age" of doping (mid 60's), I'm alternately amused, distressed, and perplexed by the entire issue. Anquetil was on amphetamines (we found out later) but no one seemed to care. Indeed, the French haven't gone after his 5 jerseys. Because he was French or because Poulidor was juiced as well? Personally, I think we've lost sight of the fact that this PROFESSIONAL CYCLING. Before pro's were allowed in the Olympics, doping in pro cycling was pretty much a non issue. Pro cycling was (and is) about making money not sport in the "Olympic ideal." As such, I kind of consider it a fact of life. Am I in love with the idea? Of course not. Do I believe that tests and "passports" will stop these guys from doing whatever they think they can get away with to get even the slightest edge? Uh, excuse me, if you believe that nonsense you need a course in economics. We are talking about MONEY here! If you think it's tough to catch "cheats" now, you ain't seen nothin' yet. As gene research progresses a whole new world is going to open up.
So what to do? I certainly don't have the answers but I tend to think you have to take one approach or the other and both would be extreme.
A) WADA and the UCI get some guts and put real bite in fight. Draconian measures. Lifetime bans for 1st offense. 20 year jail sentences for doctors, dealers and "facilitators." Countrywide bans for those countries that are illicit suppliers (China comes to mind).
B) Cut the cr*p and call a spade a spade and be done with it. Take cycling out of the Olympics, tell WADA and the UCI to go sh*t in their hats and let professional cyclists do what professional cyclists have always done. In my estimation, Pro cyclists mostly could care less about the Olympics. Being Pro's, they care about money.
Given a choice, I'd take option A but the pragmatic old b*stard in me says that B what works.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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St. Elia said:
If WADA was seriously trying to clean up cycling and other sports they would give riders clemence or reduced sentences in exchange for names and by names I mean the doctors that supply the drugs and the others that are key in distributing them.

Maybe a 1 -2 year ban for talkative cyclists and a life ban for any cyclist who isn't prepared to say where they got it from?

A big problem at the moment seems to be that the payoff for staying silent is higher than the payoff for talking. Most posters on this forum seem to believe that if cyclists talk they are rejected by the cycling community and can't get a new contract.....while silent cyclist can do their time and then come back to the sport (at least as a coach or DS or something)

There are other ways for the silent payoff to be lowered, and the talking payoff to increased though. The fans need to save their vitriol for silent riders and any team who employs them later.........talking riders should be given the fans' forgiveness/moral support. Joe Papp's posts indicate public reaction really can make a difference.

Bernard Kohl is my hero?
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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St. Elia said:
I have had this idealistic thought for a while but why is it that we keep punishing the end users of PEDs? Does it make sense to fill jails with heroin,crack and crystal Meth addicts? Don't we tend to jail the pushers/dealers and even then try to turn them so we can get the really big fish? If WADA was seriously trying to clean up cycling and other sports they would give riders clemence or reduced sentences in exchange for names and by names I mean the doctors that supply the drugs and the others that are key in distributing them. Wouldn't this have more of an impact on drugs in our sport? Instead it seems that they publish names of the users before the second test comes back, how does this help? IMHO Wada is not really serious about the drug problem and happy enough to catch the odd user which doesn't make any sense to me at all.

Is it just naivete on my part or is this a valid way of approaching this problem, Thoughts?

As BigBoat said it is the UCI that do the testing - not WADA - and the UCI's primary concern is getting the money in to the sport and keeping the show on the road.

The UCI have it within their power to look for a 4 year ban - but it has never been used.
If they did use a 4 year ban - which is a major chunk of a professional athletes career - and allowed for a reduction of 2 years for an athlete who secured a conviction against a team or Coach, that could be a good incentive.

Remember too, that a lot of European countries now have laws against doping in sports. In Italy at present there is an investigation involving riders, coach's and significantly people from the pharmaceutical industry.

I also think that athletes who dope will soon be hit with sporting fraud- and could get hit with significant fines and even jail time.

But the first course of action is that the UCI has nothing to do with looking after the anti-doping control and testing.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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grumpyphil said:
We are talking about MONEY here!
Given a choice, I'd take option A but the pragmatic old b*stard in me says that B what works.

The pragmatic old b*stard in me says that if the fans are a pack of wowsers, pro cycling needs to change it's business model or it's stuffed.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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grumpyphil said:
Personally, I think we've lost sight of the fact that this PROFESSIONAL CYCLING. Before pro's were allowed in the Olympics, doping in pro cycling was pretty much a non issue. Pro cycling was (and is) about making money not sport in the "Olympic ideal." As such, I kind of consider it a fact of life.

This has definitely lost its way in today's perception of what professional sport should be. Honestly, I am glad it is changing. But NO ONE should be surprised at what was happening up through the end of the 90's and how we got there. Just because something doesn't seem right now, horrific in some minds, doesn't mean it wasn't perfectly acceptable with previous sporting generations. The powers that be would only act to control certain drugs if they were found to be harmful to the athlete's health. Otherwise, it was all just good business.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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first off, as far the 'let them all dope' argument, that seems to ignore the reason a lot of people cheat. It's so they can gain an advantage. Legalize cheating will result in, guess what, other ways of cheating. Where do you draw the line? We don't let guys get in cars and drive to the finish line, after all.

The rules are clear: doping=cheating.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but the draconian penalties against single riders really aren't the answer in my opinion. I think the culture has to be changed from the inside out.

The US domestic team Kelly is a good example. The director made things pretty clear. One positive, and the team is gone, period. At that point, you pretty much have to become your brother's keeper. If the governing bodies were serious about ridding doping, they'd start imposing real penalties against teams. First offense, team is suspended from all racing for 3 months. Second offense, the entire team is suspend for a year. No paychecks for anyone. This would change the attitude of 'go get yourself prepared, but don't dope <wink...wink>.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Who said let them all dope? and wada or the UCI is not the point. The point is the current way of dealing with drugs in our sport does not seem to be working. Why don't we go after the source is my point. I realize that you can't go after the big names in the sport, it would destroy the sport as we know it. But if we start going after the doctors and remove the drugs that way wouldn't that be a more effective way of cleaning it up?

Regarding the riders being seen as squealers, well they could be contacted in privacy instead of being outed in the public like a john and his hooker.

Who here can say, in all honesty, that they would not be tempted to use PEDS? I just don't see why we go after the athletes and don't start going after the doctors. Think about it, are doctors really going to risk jail time to make 100 000 Euro? It's not worth the risk if they look around and see other doctors getting busted and being sent to jail.


I do agree that there needs to be harsher punishment for riders to give them the incentive to give up the people in charge and they need to set the people up so that there is proof that they were involved in doping.

In the end the more I look at this problem the more I think Wada and the UCI are doing it bass ackward
 
Apr 24, 2009
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I agree with LeMond when he says it is only the riders who are punished. Until you punish the doctors, coaches, directors then nothing will change.

Also, noone knows what the long tern effects of taking PED's are. I think a lot of cyclists from the last 15 years will be lucky to be see 55.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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pound interview 99' - "Like you said, the whole thing got its start with the Festina scandal. During the Tour de France (Samaranch) is there in his room in Lausanne watching it on television and he says something to the effect that "To me this is not doping. The IOC list is too long." He had apparently forgotten that he had some reporter with him – following the IOC president around to see how hard he was working, that sort of thing – sitting right there in the room. The guy was unable to believe what he was hearing. So out it came in the paper the next day and there was a firestorm that descended on Samaranch over this."
 
I think BigBoat's explanation is spot on. You need to look at the whole picture and how the UCI operates to know the answers.

Podilato is correct from Lemond's statement. When they really want to clean up the sport they'll go after the doctors, managers, etc. They are doing that a little now, witness the recent eastern Euro bust (Serbia I believe). But the network is much larger than that. Much larger.

There are a huge amount of unknowns regarding long-term doping use. Taking some of these drugs have very little short-term issues. But who knows what's going to happen to these guys who are jacked on HGH, IGF-1, various carriers, expanders, peptides, etc. in 20-30 years? There certainly aren't any clinical trials, as these drugs were designed for sick and infirm people in need of care. But logic would indicate it's not going to be for the better. Berospenner once made a post alluding to some serious long-term side effects he suffered. I do have a hunch we will see a lot of heart failures, strokes, organ failures and such in former athletes in their 50's. People we'd normally think would live to be healthy into their 80's.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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131313 said:
First offense, team is suspended from all racing for 3 months. Second offense, the entire team is suspend for a year. No paychecks for anyone. This would change the attitude of 'go get yourself prepared, but don't dope <wink...wink>.

Good idea. It's pretty similar to one of the recommendations in http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-doping-dilemma, although this article only recommends banning the whole team from event if someone is caught.

It's interesting that ASO actually did this to Astana in 2008 after Vino tested +ve. It might be more difficult legally for UCI. Does anyone know if they would need a rule change to do this?
 
Jul 25, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
You need to look at the whole picture and how the UCI operates to know the answers. Podilato is correct from Lemond's statement. When they really want to clean up the sport they'll go after the doctors, managers, etc.

+1
Until UCI puts in place systems that will work, then enforces rules impartially and is seen to be impartial, then riders will have the unenviable choice of doping, or performing below their 'level playing field' ability.

The way the system works currently, its irrational to subject individual riders to character assassinations for 'cheating', and I hate seeing it happen. However, I do think it's important to distinguish between riders who protect their suppliers etc, and riders who talk.....so the doctors and managers get caught too.

As 'Dr Maserati' pointed out, UCI already has the option of 2 or 4 year bans. It's a practical step they could take now, and I think cycling fans should be calling on them to do it in the DiLuca and Asterloza cases. (In addition to clamoring for independent testing, but that goes without saying...)