Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

The LA Times posts an article by Patrick Brady which in light of recent doping confessions and the Landis hearings, proposes that cycling institute its own "truth and reconciliation commission":

But as Landis' case shows, cycling's anti-doping system pursues the athlete as the root of the problem. In fact, if riders are the users, it's the team managers and doctors who are the corner dealers.

So cycling is at a crossroads. These initial admissions could finally turn the tide against the omerta — the sport's code of silence. But Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme has called for anyone who admits doping to be banned. Confessing in exchange for unemployment isn't much of an incentive

The Bangor Daily News in the editorial "Wining Prescription," proposes that with all of the recent admissions of doping by cyclists, and the steroid problem in major league baseball, the commissioners of the various sporting bodies should develop safe use levels of PEDs and enforce those rather than continue an ineffective effort at a total ban.

The CyclingNews
presents an interview with Dave Zabriskie at the Giro in which he extends his hopes for a good outcome for friend Floyd Landis after his recent USADA hearings.

Hawkes Bay Today NZ in an op-ed piece, feels we have Floyd "the flawed" Landis to partially thank for the recent outbreak of doping confessions in cycling.

The Independent Online
relates the reality of a summer of discontent and scandal for American sports fans, and Floyd Landis is surely part of that reality.

Parish the Thought is still not ready to weigh in on the Landis hearings.

VisitorsLockerRoom points to an audio clip of radio guys riffing on Landis talking about The Call, and then goes back to excuse of the day history and weener jokes, before moving on to Spanish lawyers.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Brady's article. I think there are a lot of us here who have been hammering that point for a while that doping is not an isolated incident. I'd say in the case of most doping situations there is indeed a grassy knoll with a second shooter. The drugs come from somewhere, someone figures out the dosing, someone helps mask, someone transports . . . Something tells me that an elite cyclist doesn't just walk around with a mobile pharmacy in his suitcase. If they want to fix it, they need to stop going after the recipient and deal with the whole system.

Anonymous said...
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DBrower said...

The deleted comment above made the claim that TBV is "paid to play", among others.

Answering that only, this is strictly volunteer.


strbuk said...

No one on this site is being paid anything, period. Of that I can assure you.


Anonymous said...

This just goes to show how members of a team may not know everything that's going on with every other member on the team.

I have to admit that, yes, I allowed a reader of this site to pay for my lunch recently. I was ready to pay for my own lunch, but in fact I didn't.

I'm so ashamed. But it feels good to confess. Do you think the Mr. Prudhomme is going to take my jersey away?


strbuk said...

Marc, I think the shame you obviously feel is punishment enough :-)


Anonymous said...

When will Floyd Landis confess to doping?

After Jan Ulrich or before?

Anonymous said...

<< strbuk said...
Marc, I think the shame you obviously feel is punishment enough :-) >>

nah, i'm going to let him treat me for the next one.


Cheryl from Maryland said...

Just be glad Mr. Prudhomme wants the jersey instead of the lunch.

Anonymous said...

The Bangor DN didn't say who would do the testing. Is there any doubt that it would be the same guys who got us into this mess in the first place? Take away their (heavily bloated) meal ticket? I don't think so.

And isn't that sort of how EPO tests work? Set a "health" limit for hematocrit, which in fact encourages cyclists to get as close to the number as they can without going over. Obviously it would be very, very expensive to monitor everyone, and it would never happen in a sport with a union with any power at all. And now we've got the newest chapter in the soap opera that is pro cycling: True Confessions.

Anonymous said...

I'd be surprised if somebody has not aready proposed this theory already (probably have, but can't be bothered trawling all the sites to find out).

It relates to the recent flood of spontaneous doping confessions from many ex-pro riders (some still very successful in the cycling world). It strikes my as uncanny that this mass unburdening of their guilt should occur at the very time when the arbitrators are deliberating the Landis case. Really, what are the chances of that ?. For many of them, this means the end of a very lucrative and prestigious career.

It's certainly not going to do Floyd's chances any good as it will inevitably turn the public's opinion toward the conclusion that all cyclists dope, making the arbitrator's job that much easier.

Scene 1: Floyd is approached by the anti-doping authorities and effectiveley offered a pardon if he spills the beans on Lance Armstrong (if you believe those beans exist - I don't). That's wrong on many levels, the main being that the doping authorities would let off someone they thought guilty of doping (?) if it meant that their 'target' was snared (this raises too many questions to list here).

So, given that we know the anti-doping authorities are quite happy to deal under the counter, is it not reasonable to suspect that they are behind the recent mass hysteria that has gripped the cycling world. It would serve their purposes on (again) many levels to portray cycling as a drug riddled sport (nail in Floyd's coffin being just one).

If they had the dirt on a cycling doping insider, who in turn had the dirt on many of the cyclists who have doped, then it would be logical for them to start pulling a few strings at this point. Remember that the prospect of them losing a case is simply unacceptable as it would destroy their already tattered reputation.

There it is. I don't need to join up the dots. I'm sure you get the general thrust of my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

EPO tests only worl when the doper over-doses.

Blood tests are seldom ever done---so the hCT test is another Red Herring.

The urine test will not detect daily dosing or a blood transfusion.

Floyd Landis proved that nicely.

Was Sally Jenkins the tipping point for the genral public?

Anonymous said...

For those too busy to join up the dots ...

If you had doped in cycling and were confronted with two options:

Confess under the banner of trying to cleanse the sport


Be confronted by supportable media accusations as a secret doper

Which would you choose ?

Anonymous said...

While we have had some pro cyclists (RIjs, Basso) confess, and Pierio (sp?) make would could be interpreted as an admission, out of the total population of current and recent pro cyclists, it dosn't strike me as that statistically significant. The TdF peloton is around 180 riders at the start, and of course there are many pros who don't make it to the TdF any given year.

What may be happening is that, here in the US of A, cycling is not standard sports page fodder. However, the hearing/letter business put cycling/doping back in the public eye. Hence now a doping confession makes the sports page.

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Anonymous said...

What i cant believe about this whole case is how difficult it is to detect this doping. You would think the sciene would be that clear, like an alcohol test when you've been driving can check for alcohol in 30 seconds. Or is it just that the science of evading these tests really is that big a business in sport that they can keep ahead of the testers?

Anonymous said...

All I know is if as many top level cyclist's have been doping as suggested, confessed, and accused. WADA and its labs sucks even worse than I thought.
Even a blind squirrel gets a nut some times but these guys are the 3 stooges of the antidoting movement.

Not that I condone breaking the rules. But if this many have done it for that long, totally undetected, with out health problems. is doping really as dangerous as they say it is? Maybe the article linked hear is right. better to regulate than try to eliminate something you can't even detect. because it's only going to get harder as technology and drugs advance.

All I know is the recent confessions puts WADA in worse light than I previously thought. They are as worthless as a tit on a bore hog.

Atown, Tx.

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Anonymous said...

I don't see how regulating helps. The definition of cheating would change, but it would still be hard to catch cheaters.

For that matter, aren't we regulating now? Certain substances are permitted; certain athletes have dispensations; etc.

Anonymous said...

Atown @ 5:46 a.m.,

>totally undetected, with out health problems...

Actually, eight young Dutch cyclists died in their sleep of "natural causes" back in the '80s, presumably before they knew how to properly administer EPO. Ask their widows if there are health problems. I suspect there will in fact be long-term negative impacts on the health of athletes who use PEDs (hard to believe putting hormones and other peoples' blood--oops-- in your body isn't bad for you, not to mention that it probably allows you to push your body beyond its natural limits, possibly stressing certain muscles like, say, the heart).

Anonymous said...

good point at which to renew my suggestion that there be two divisions: Doping and non-Doping. Only the non-doping division would require attention and economic forces would see which was the most lucrative.

I suspect that the leap in confessions by undetected dopers illustrates a couple factors. One is that testing has gotten better (that's a relative term). Another is a relatively low incidence of testing - looking at cycling alone I suspect that there are members of the TdF pelaton that have never been tested. They don't finish high enough in competition and don't get out of competition testing. I suspect that the "random" testing in fact focuses on riders that the WADA pwers suspect. I would like to see how many times Armstrong was tested out of competition versus a domestique on a second rank team.

Every competitor in a major event should be sampled every day. The samples don't have to be tested, but the possibility would be there.

Here in the U.S. it is hard to live in an area that does not have a urine collection site. Make regular donations part of the training regime. An expert can comment, but it seems to me that the samples could be collected and held for a period of time. If someone tests positive in competion or at some point, then the stored samples could be pulled and a statisxtically significant number analyzed giving a picture over time.

A similar system could be put in place for blood samples. In cycling someone believes that the exposure of sponsorship is worth a lot. Make the testing expense one of operating a team. It would help ptotect the sponsor.

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