Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Roundup

The CyclingNews today reports that Pedro Delgado, 1988 winner of the TdF, is concerned that the very public fight against doping by WADA and the ASO is hurting the Grand Tours by alienating sponsors, and that the fight , though important, needs to be a quiet one:

"Nobody says that it is not necessary to fight against doping, but I do not believe it is the high-priority thing in this sport," he continued. Delgado declared that "doping must be fought without any publicity, because all of that hurts sponsorships."

Interesting comments, and seemingly against what most others feel is imperative for the sport of cycling to survive: transparency.

Scientific American "Ask the Experts" tries to address the "would one dose of T do anything" theory, and doesn't provide much illumination. It mistakenly says that 4:1 is considered "proof" of doping by WADA (it isn't), and takes the reported CIR result as being the final word with nary a peep about the controversy. They don't think a one time dose would have a physical affect, but speculate it might have had a psychological boost.

UltraRob has uploaded more pictures from this year's Leadville 100 held on August 11, he says there will be more to come as well. There were at least two more riders wearing Smith and Nephew jerseys with numbers also in the 1200s.

You Can't Say That does a quote-without-comment from The Outcast:

“I’ve never cheated once in my career.”

Floyd Landis, New York Times, August 19, 2007.

Jacob Christensen links to The Outcast in an otherwise Scandanavian political blog.

Holtman wonders why in the world the verdict from the Landis arbitration hearings is taking so long. He read "The Outcast" and thinks it's hard to really know if Floyd is guilty or not, and what kind of person he is. Holtman allows that Floyd seems like a nice normal guy.

Pinch Flat News has links to three NYT articles published recently including "The Outcast", and they will turn to pumpkins in 7 says so read them now. But has cycling jumped the shark, or not?

The Kenny Report says that not only has there been a downgrade in Office Space but then on Saturday he did the covered bridge century ride in Lancaster Co. PA riding past Floyd Landis' parents Paul and Arlene and through Farmersville -- and the Landises were out front clanging a cowbell for the riders.

Bike World has been on vacation and goes over what may be old news for some.

Onefortypoinysix read "The Outcast" and feels Floyd Landis, and his sense of humor, has been stretched to the point of being brittle. Still the fairness issue is a problem with the athletes of more privileged nations and resources perhaps having an unfair advantage in competition.

PJ wonders how Alexander Vinokourov defends himself the way he does, and PJ also ponders just how TBV continues, day in and day out as we still see black smoke in the Landis arb ruling watch. We wonder that as well PJ, thanks for thinking of us, and the glass starts out full but winds up empty each day.

Bicycling Blog discusses the "pain train" that is the Leadville 100, and those lucky/talented enough to have ridden it all the way to the end.

The post-race comments were happier than this look. (photo: Rodale/Jeff Cricco - click for fullsize)

The Verbal Abuse I think but Have Trained Myself not to Speak
takes on the Scientific American answer linked above, and thinks the "tesosterone for anger" theory is absurd. He also thinks that current rules seems to encourage sabotage-by-patch.


The Mt Diablo Challenge that Landis might ride on 7-Oct has a BBS too, and registration is open.


wschart said...

The Delgado blurb was rather brief and it is a bit hard to determine exactly what he means "without publicity".It certainly is true that all the publicity which has come from both the Landis case as well as the various happenings this year. To what extent this can and should be controlled, I don't know. Certainly many here have argued against premature release of A sample test results, but eventually at least some of those A tests will be backed up with a positive B result and action will be taken against the rider involved. WIth somebody well down on GC it would be possible perhaps to keep this under cover for a while, perhaps releasing some BS about he had a cold or whatever and had to quit, but eventually it will be necessary to release the fact that the rider had tested positive and is now banned.

However, I think those involved could have done a better job this year in controlling things to reduce adverse publicity. As I understand, SInkowitz' failed test dated from June; if the German federation had been more timely in conducting the test and/or acting on the results, he could have been withdrawn from the Tour before the start and perhaps this could have resulted in far less publicity. Same thing regarding Rasmussen, far less damaging publicity had he been held out, per the rules regarding missed tests 45 days prior to the Tour, then to be pulled a few days before the finish while in the lead after several days of publicity about the situation, with various people spouting off.

One thing I think should be done is to have some sort of statute of limitations: a certain time after a race no allegations of doping will be supported or investigated. This would tend, IMO, to cut down on some of the attempts to convict past riders, like Armstrong. Also, a double jeopardy rule should be in place: once cleared regarding a certain incident, nothing further could be done against a rider. If this was in place, there would be less reason for someone like Franke to make allegations against Contador concerning the Operation Puerto case, which AD had been cleared off.

Of course, if no double jeopardly was allowed, if Landis were to be cleared by the arbitration panel, the UCI, WADA or whatever could not appeal to CAS.

In regards to publicity, there has been some comparison of the rather common condemnation of cycling in the press with the much less negative press surrounding drug use in American sports like baseball and football. I think part of the reason for this is the fact that MLB, NBA, NFL have the publicity situation will under control, although drug related suspensions are eventually announced, the body involved controls when and how the results are announced as well as comments by anybody officially involved, like the team or league. Compare to the TdF, where ASO, UCI, and WADA are all involved and both leaks as well as un-controlled comments (like, for example, McQuaid's comments about Ras) are common, and perhaps in some cases are knowingly made by one organization to cast bad light on another.

We do need more transparency in the matter, but we also need everybody involved to be on the same page.

Thomas A. Fine said...

Transparency is one thing, but having the "leaders" of the sport and of WADA beating the drums for the press is another thing entirely.


Michael said...

Interesting article on ESPN regarding the battle going on between the players Union and retired players regarding injuries sustained while playing. Daryl Johnston called teh Players Union to the mat with the following statment:

Johnston noted that if the union was doing as much as it says, why doesn't it hold news conferences to counter ones like this.

"Where is the positive spin?" Johnston said. "It doesn't exist."

I found it strange how this relates to Floyd's case. You'd think the USADA would be screaming to everyone how exact their science is. But all we hear from the USADA is they can't say anything because of the gag order.

The URL for the article is:

hughw said...

TAF: "having the 'leaders' of the sport and of WADA beating the drums for the press is another thing entirely"

Spazzing is the chief problem. The "authorities" don't employ procedure to prosecute doping offenses. They just spaz.