Monday, August 18, 2008

Irregular Report 12

The CyclingNews flashes a "truce" between the ASO and UCI:

The long-running political battle between the UCI and the Grand Tour organisers appears to be moving closer to an end following the announcement on Monday of a new "UCI World Calendar" system.

Under the proposed terms, participation in the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France will be governed by the agreement signed by the teams and ASO on 18 June. From 2011 onwards, the classifications of the UCI World Calendar would confer the right to participate, with either seventeen teams of 9 riders or eighteen teams of eight taking part

Reaction to the announcement can be found here.


Bill Dykes writes about the upcoming Audi Best Buddies Challenge cycling charity ride in which Floyd Landis is apparently taking part.

Pommi unfortunately joins the "injured reserve list". Get well soon!!!

Racejunkie reminds us all of why we should still love cycling, despite all of the recent crap. Thanks for the kind blurb RJ, and yes, just to be able hear Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin is enough of a reason to still watch cycling!


Russ said...

Is Being Honest Brave?


Ohio State Research

I wonder if this information is actually typical of the peloton?

I happened on a relevant article on technocrat. I include that link below which has links to the research report.

I am posting the technocrat link because some of their comments are interesting and so they get the credit for the find.
Of course the article (clink link there) is well worth the read.



wschart said...

On the subject of cheating, a sports writer from the Orlando Sentinel opined yesterday that NASCAR is the most cheating sport, a change from the usual cycling bashing we are all to used to. Link to the column:,0,7436621.column

PEM said...

From the links Russ posted:

“Moreover, those students who reported less cheating were also less likely to believe that their fellow students regularly committed academic dishonesty.”

“People who don’t cheat “have a more positive view of others,” said Sara Staats, co-author of the research and professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s Newark campus.”

“In contrast, those who scored lower on courage, empathy and honesty - and who are more likely to report that they have cheated -- see other students as cheating much more often than they do, rationalizing their own behavior, Staats said.”


I feel the position you take on whether to believe Landis cheated or not, is a reflection of your own level of honesty. If you believe the entire peloton is cheating, then you yourself would cheat at something if you could get away with it. Or to put it another way, your life experiences has made you the bitter and cynical person you are today.

I once gave a stranger some money for a train ride. It was late at night, raining, and the person was in a wet trench coat and business suit when he approached me in a parking lot. He asked me for $2 and I asked why. His car broke down and he wanted to get home. He would have to go around and ask at least 6 more people to raise enough for the ride. I gave him all he needed to get home. He wanted my name and number to pay me back. I simply told him to do something nice for others.

I did not know this guy. I did not see his car. He did not approach me for much. I simply believed his story. Similarly, there is no proof, but I believe Landis when he says he did not cheat. Landis’ initial floundering with the media, saying the wrong things (and right things), putting his foot in his mouth, going online and allowing others to challenge him, publishing his results not knowing if it will help or implicate him, all have adhered me to simply believe him.


wschart said...

You may be on to something here Peter. I won't go so far as to say that everyone here who believes that Landis is guilty is a potential doper, but then there are many forms of "cheating" in many areas. The person who speeds on the freeway, blows through the light as it changes to red, doesn't report all his income on 4/15, submits work that others have done as his own, etc. etc. are all forms of cheaters too.

We all probably engage in this type of behavior from time to time. Sometimes there may be good reason for it and little if any harm done. If at 2:00 in the morning you're sitting at a red light and you can see no one is coming the other way, why not proceed? Does it really matter all that much if you don't put down the couple of hundred bucks you made on Ebay? But other people are more into this, and indeed, some areas of endeavor seem to demand it. Big business tends to have a problem distinguishing between proper competitive business practices and illegal activity. Politics as well. As a retired teacher, I know all to well the prevalence of academic cheating, which doesn't always have to be students. There are professors quite willing to take credit for work done by their grad students. NASCAR has developed a philosophy of "if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying." People from Salt Lake OOC were willing to bribe in order to get the Winter Olympics; I'd bet that other cities have also bribed Olympic officials and just haven't been caught.

TiGirl said...

NOthing to do with honesty or doping, but if you're a Cervelo owner, better check this out...

Wolf fork recall.

Be safe

Bill Mc said...

Basically what the study Russ referred to is saying is that people whose escutcheons have been smudged with moral or ethical shortcomings are more likely to believe that others are guilty of similar lapses. When I took Psychology centuries ago this was called projection. I.e., people project their moral and ethical issues onto others - its nothing new, we see politicians (and lawyers) doing it all the time. To paraphrase it into economists' terms, guilty people have a higher marginal propensity to believe ill of others than do innocent people. Or in Shakespearean term, methinks he doth protest too much.

wschart said...

Basically, the old saying has been twisted aroung: it's not how you play the game, but whether you win or lose. Results are all that matter, whether it's the corporation's bottom line, the team's won-loss record, or a student's grade.

Remember early this year when the then Team Slipstream said they were willing to accept less than top results, with the (I believe) unstated qualifier that this would be a result of running a clean team? Many people really jumped on them, saying things like "isn't the goal to win?".

Then we wonder why athletes dope, college coaches violate recruiting rules, and NASCAR teams put magnets where they don't belong.

Eightzero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eightzero said...

Birth certificate doping:

If your parents ain't cheatin'...

TiGirl said...

Don't forget the doping horses....

whareagle said...

The recall is what it is, but I still stand behind AQ and their product.

As for the a certain company I was once attached to, well...

Ali said...

I've a lot to say on this topic (as you may imagine). Slagging off the doping hystericals now becomes easier than before.

Unfortunately, I'm waiting to hear whether I got a new job I went for, so my bile is being reserved incase it doesn't come through.

If it does ... man alive ! I'm, going to give it to those anti-doping apologists with both barrels ! (bad news ... it will be like the good old days - Ali against the world)

Russ said...

Building on what PEM and Bill MC and WSChart said, still I'd like to bring more from the Ohio State Research article here.

The sample group was roughly twice the size of TDF peloton.

This part had me wondering about the pelaton and if the same (human) race of people were in both occupations, maybe some applicability?

When the researchers asked students if they intended to cheat in the future, nearly half -- 47 percent -- said they did not intend to cheat but nearly one in four -- 24 percent -- agreed or strongly agreed that they would cheat.

The remaining 29 percent indicated that they were uncertain whether or not they would cheat.

“These 29 percent are like undecided voters – they would be an especially good focus for intervention,” Staats said. “Our results suggest that interventions may have a real opportunity to influence at least a quarter of the student population.”

And if this is realistic, the sport world may be not even half bad after all, with regard to cheating.

Ali!!! Hope you get that new job!


Russ said...

The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.

Elaine Agather

The part about intervention had me thinking about leadership in the peloton. I mean to some degree, we all are leaders, what we do influences the others around us to some degree.

Years ago, I took high school choir and a refrain of one song comes to mind.....

"give me some men who are stout hearted men and I soon will give you ten thousand more"

If even a few of the racers start talking and carrying the flag of clean sport, in or on the field, together with the increased pressure of EFFECTIVE, GOOD QUALITY TESTING (sorry for the yelling), things can only improve.


bostonlondontokyo said...

Interesting article - I did find myself wondering a lot about 'context' - I recall the rather rueful line from a House of Pain rap song that said 'It ain't a crime if you don't get caught' - which has a strange truth to it (something like the sound of the tree falling if there's no one there to hear it...) Of course there is no question about what is cheating and what isn't, and ultimately cheating is about the individual.

Joe Papp's revelations about what was asked of him while he was competing really scared me... are sportsmen and women quite literally forced to cheat in order to stay competitive (and to keep a job)? No one will ever say, of course, and that's the kicker. Cleaning up doping would mean tons and tons of confessions, and who's willing to do that?

I want to end with a great anecdote. When at art school in NYC, we were all forced to take a Western Civilization course that was more dry than burnt toast... it was dreadful to get through. On the final exam, there was a question: 'Who was Louis Blanc?' - at the time, NONE of us had ever come across this name in our studies, and there was a general dismay as to why he ended up on the exam. A friend later told me that he was tempted to look over a few shoulders to find the answer, but instead simply wrote 'Maker of Fine Chocolates.'