Sunday, February 17, 2008

How convenient

Michael notes in a comment:

Although Ball received letters from the riders' national federations of Colombia, USA and Spain confirming that the three riders were not involved in any open investigations, Messick clarified by stating the UCI's direct confirmation was enough to exclude the riders from starting. "The letters are irrelevant, and whether the athlete is eligible to race in UCI races has no bearing on what all seventeen teams agreed to about the eligibility of riders for this race. Every team agreed that no riders who were under an open investigation would participate; it's different from UCI eligibility. Every team agreed the UCI and USA Cycling would tell us about any riders who are currently under investigation and that is the criterion and the basis – that's the rule."

It appears to us this "confirmation from the UCI" showed up after the press conference, and before the Rock team meeting reported by Ruibal.

We wonder how planned this was. The late timing makes it difficult to refute, and it seems magically pulled out of the hat just as Rock appeared to be willing to to press the point.

The general technique offers quite the escape route for all sorts of interesting behavior. Now, to exclude riders, all that appears necessary is for promoters to add an "open file" rule, and get a fax the night before a start to axe anyone they don't like. No due process, no recourse. It reminds us of the USADA "we'll test the B's anyway" gambit, hinting at the influence of Richard Young. Whatever you thought the rules were, they aren't.


bostonlondontokyo said...

This is a very confusing story - Rock Racing, the 'open file' rule, the pull out, then the back-down. Clearly much of these decisions on both sides were made behind the scenes, and I doubt we'll find out anything about it for at least a few days.

If the contractual agreement stated 'no open cases', then there should never have been any confusion. But, if the three riders did not know that they were still considered to be under a cloud of suspicion because of open cases, then it's just a shame - someone could have at least had the courtesy to let them know that they were still ineligible.

Again, still very confused - what was this all about?? Who benefited from this last minute scramble?

bill hue said...

This confirms what I said earlier about cyclists not being in the clear as a result of OP being reopened, as the press reported, a few days ago. The UCI has an "open case" on all riders who have been linked to OP through a code system that WADA claims has been "broken".

It remains to be seen if the coded identities will be confirmed by DNA comparison of riders' DNA to the blood in the bags.

Hamilton has been linked to a Code at OP as have Botero and Sevilla. Valverde continues to ride. Same as it ever was.

It is clear to me that the opening of OP saved the butts of USA Cycling officials. Dumb luck? I doubt it.

bill hue said...

In the movie "Fight Club", there is a cult called Project Mayhem. That cult vows to bring down civilization. It lives by 5 Rules.

Considering LeMond's notion that WADA is "bringing cycling to its knees", I think WADA is "Project Mayhem".

I have slightly modified the 5 Rules of Project Mayhem. They are;

1)You don't ask questions.
2)You don't ask questions.
3)No excuses,we have already decided.
4)No lies, because we already know the truth
5)You have to trust us.

Given this monolith, the riders must form a club of their own. It is called a union.

jrdbutcher said...

Judge Hue made the call correctly. He knows his stuff.

Suh is an intelligent guy too. He was very close to making the exclusion of Hamilton, Sevilla, and Botero an issue the ToC/USA Cycling/USADA/UCI couldn’t resolve to their liking. Suh may still make their lives difficult over the incident? Also, he still has the “John Doe” case in play, so houses might yet be forfeited.?!?

This isn’t over, not by a long shot. While Suh is a pro, he’s angry and wants to win this thing after being jerked around. Ball is pissed and looks like he’ll bankroll some of Suh’s efforts. I’m not a fan of Ball’s clothing line and he seems to be too concerned about being cool, to actually be cool. However, he’s made some excellent points in a very public sort of way. He’s trumpeted the riders needing a real Union that actually works to protect their interests. Maybe he can help get an effective one started if the riders can see the forest for the trees and put aside the need to pick up the scraps offered by the race organizers/UCI that keep them indentured? If he can be a catalyst for positive change, then he is cool in my book, for what little that’s worth.

woody said...

A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

So...If you could fight anyone, who would you fight?

bill hue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beeble said...


What car company do you work for so I don't buy one? ;)

bill hue said...

Since X=0 in WADA land there is no cost to their shenanigans.

Of course, 0 is less than anything/everything. Using your well thought out formula, WADA will never change its ways as long as there is no cost to them for acting as they do.

The riders need to raise the cost (X) to something much greater than 0 in order for change to occur. It is up to them.

Trust But Verify is more than a slogan.