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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

carvin' lines

from the UCI, regarding the Dutch 'anti-doping' investigation into the recent Armstrong EPO fiasco:

The UCI firmly deplores the behaviour of Mr. Vrijman, who has prematurely voiced, offending the agreements that foresaw that all parties implied would be informed before any public comment on the report content would be done. [VN]

so ... apparently, Vrijman (who, let's not kid ourselves ~ is quite the rider's advocate when it comes to doping investigations) leaked out to the Dutch press his findings on the Armstrong EPO bruhaha from last year.

As I understand it, this investigation headed by Vrijman was focused on determining the rightness/wrongness/legality, etc of the leaking of information and investigative processes regarding test results of Armstrong's frozen urine - not whether the urine actually was his and/or contained EPO?:

The International Cycling Union appointed Dutch lawyer Emile Vrijman last October to investigate the handling of urine tests from the 1999 Tour by the French national anti-doping laboratory, known by its French acronym LNDD. [VN]

I just don't know. But, what does it all mean? What are the ramifications if Armstrong is somehow exonerated from or nailed for EPO use?

For me personally, of course, it means next to nothing. My love for the sport, like many I would say, transcends any specific golden calf of the moment. But, there is the impact on ... marketing of the sport. How sad that ... the true health of any modern (western?) endeavor relies more on its marketing presence than it's substance.

I can't help but think that is the case.

And so, if Lance dies or flies ... it will have a huge impact into the dollars and sense being pushed or not into our minute-man American attention span.

So be it.


shawndoggy said...

cycling is such a peripheral unimportant sport that it's not even a blip on the radar. How many people show up to a given race.... 500? How many people show up to the local 10K? or Tri? Loads more. Loads. We're like sailing or barrel racing or darts. A silly little pastime to outsiders.

So if the marketing goes kaput, it's not really going to have a huge impact. It's the rare person who geeks out on this stuff. The smell of Phil Wood grease, the feel of a well adjusted hub, the subtlety of a well played sprint. That's not going to change if Lance is burned in effigy.

But it will probably mean that the boatloads of bikes being sold to the folks that ride them 10 times and hang 'em up in their garages will decline.

Anonymous said...

I think it all sucks.

As a father of a young boy who loves riding and knows more about the Tour than most adults I have to think twice about how much to encourage him.
Cycling for Fun = good times. Cycling for a living = F'd up.

All he knows is he wants to race like Dad, Ok ok Like MOM. OV knows the story behind that :)

But you get the idea

Merkeley Bike said...

Ethics aside, the reality is that professional sports are about entertainment. I wonder what impact the controversy has on general audience interest.

I can't help notice that many people still like watching Barry Bonds hit homers, doped or not. There have been doping scandals in European cycling for years but the fans still line the course every year for the big tours.

Labor Strikes (baseball, hockey, etc) -> Not entertaining -> bad for professional sports.

Home Runs, 7 Tour victories -> Entertaining -> Good for pro sports

So, do performance enhancing drugs make sports more entertaining?

Anonymous said...

I was always one to say Dance for me monkey Dance. But when your child says I want to be a bike racer it makes you change your position.

Or it could just be me.


Olaf Vanderhoot said...

shawndiggity = "So if the marketing goes kaput, it's not really going to have a huge impact."

don't like sayin' that to the 28 year-old supporting his wife n' child with an American pro-contract.

Maybe there are only a few dozen Americans getting paid a decent wage through the sport ... still don't wanna see them get kicked in the groin over it.

And, as you said, there are a boatload of folks have bought themselves a Lance-machine. That's an impact ... on the Asian economy.

But, let's move outside our own land of the free and home of the wire-tapped. In Europe, the sport is baseball. And Lance getting boiled or the Spaniards cracking down on the bad eggs ... what effects will we see?

Already, a Kazakh gas company is stepping up to give Vino and the x-liberty boys a ride in the Tour (if the ASO doesn't yank the invite). The Festina machine survived and thrived under a different name-plate.

Is it, as Merkeley says, good entertainment?


I think it is.

... and no matter what, if McSassy's boy/girl go for a pro signing on wheels, I'd support 'em.

Because dope or no, needles or not ... this is the most grueling, beautiful, poetic sport ever moved upon my man and woman.

marscat said...

Personally, I found the Giro a little boring
this year because Basso was riding a lot like Lance...but he's still nicer to look at
than Lance.

Anonymous said...

Because dope or no, needles or not ... this is the most grueling, beautiful, poetic sport ever moved upon my man and woman.


shawndoggy said...

Because dope or no, needles or not ... this is the most grueling, beautiful, poetic sport ever moved upon my man and woman.

But let's face it... in these parts, the fans are the cyclistas. I know lots of people who are big sports fans (and have the bud light guts to prove it), and to them, cycling is hella boring to watch. Not having had to venture into the pain cave themselves, 'merican sports fans don't really "get" cycling (and go figure why the Euros do... but then they don't get NASCAR, so I guess we're even).

Yes, it'd suck to be an american pro whose livelihood gets tossed because of a shift in public opinion/perception. But that already happened in the MTB circles.

And what comes around goes 'round too... whowhoulda believed in 1992 that Tony Hawk would be sitting on top of a skateboarding marketing empire? Public perception and whimsy are fickle and anyone who casts his fate on them has to know that it ain't like working for the water company.

With the opportunity for great reward, there is great risk.

Merkeley Bike said...

All things being equal, I'd rather watch clean athletes in fair races but as OV has asked before 'Where do you draw the line?'.

As for the little ones, doping seems like part of the guidance we need to give them when it comes to 'Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll' (and bike helmets).

shawndoggy said...

As for the little ones, doping seems like part of the guidance we need to give them when it comes to 'Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll' (and bike helmets).

And if my kids are anything like I was, they'll promptly throw out all parental advice, "experiment" their asses off, and hopefully live through it and have the benefit of a stronger moral compass. Or not.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps now, in the age of Bush, we keep in the beaten confession, because that's what really matters.

But I remember a time when misbehavoir under color of authority mattered more, when we asked the people who policed to actually obey laws.

But now it's assumed the cops who beat the confession out of the suspect would never plant dope on them too. They're good people.

U S A !!! U S A !!!

Le'Quaff paid good money for information to a highly ethical individual who would never spike a sample or two to thicken the envelope.

And the Pound, Dick has already used his telepathy to determine the report is bogus, though he admits to not having read it.

And somewhere, while the Jabas from the UCI, WADA, and ASO argue about naming rights to the new blimp over champagne and caviar, some 18 year old neo pro living on ramen is wondering if he can get another ride out of that worn through chamios.

And so it goes.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

and that's the word.

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