Suhsuhsuhmthin' from the comments ~
As far as BJM's comment is concerned... As an example, raceclean doesn't have phil zajicek up on the black list. There is just not quite enough info to say if his ephedrine metabolite in his tinkle means he is a part of doping culture, or just a dumbass who didn't read the rules. We also haven't smeared him, because frankly nobody has informed us that he is a participant in that culture. That's the thing, tests are so unreliable, that asking around to find who dopes is simply much safer. It's not about being fast, it's about being a doper. Just becaue a rider is fast doesn't mean they dope, just look at the heroes page - they're all fast, and all clean.
That's the real beauty of a system like raceclean, we are willing to tread the gray areas and tread carefully on issues like Zajicek's positive. But organizing bodies can't really do that, because they have hardline "official" rules. They had to give him three months based on the infraction - it wasn't like they could publicly humiliate him for being a dumbass but not give a punishment. The only rules raceclean MUST follow are basic logic and being skeptical of tips - hence the need for multiple distinct, reputable sources of information. -
raceclean- Mr. Clean
well ... ok, then.
Again, I cringe a bit at the way Monsieur Lavage dives into personal attacks against his prey. And, my fairness meter crackles geiger-ific with the system of "asking around" as confirmation of a rider's dopage, or not. But ...
I do recognize that having someone out on the edge of reason like this does push the problem into the consciousness of those who might never get involved otherwise.
... so, maybe it's a good thing? Dunno.
Anyway you slice it, the site's language and format speaks for itself and I shall refrain from commenting further on it other than to wish him luck and that he keeps his anonymity ... cuz, some o' the shit he spouts would be fightin' words where i come from.
- - -
I really wish USA Cycling would get rid of the current NRC format. To have so bloody many races all over the country? It just waters down the quality and luster of each event and has these under-funded American teams scrambling to attend as many as they can ... frankly, wasting resources on travel, housing, meals, etc... (that shytes expensive, yo). My suggestions?
- Have a very limited number of NRC-level events throughout the year (2 per month max, in my opinion). These events would be open to licensed professional riders only.
- Require promoters to, in order:
- secure housing for each participating team (men and women)
- secure race venues with proper tent areas to give each team set-up and work space (there is NO need to see a professional rider changing spandex in a car). These tent spaces should profile the teams and give them an opportunity to promote their advertisers, while also giving them privacy for attending to cycling's bodily needs. [please note, i also prefer the term advertiser to sponsor ... we, as athletes are offering advertisement to a company's product - that's a different relationship than this outdated, inapplicable sponsor relationship. A company purchases a service from us.]
- no traditional entry fees for teams
- prize money only allowed if the above requirements were met.
- Instead of entry fees, Teams would be required to pay per rider to cover costs of doping tests, at each event - 15 tests per day.
I would love to see the top 10 of each day's racing tested, as well as 5 'randoms'.
With fewer races, teams would spend less on travel and perhaps (oh perhaps!) more on rider wages. It's a dream, I know - but that is the goal. Higher (MUCH higher) wages for riders. Higher wages for riders would assist in promoters worries over providing substantial prize purses. Though, we can be sure that promoters would still offer purses because that would be a negotiating point in whether a race made this proposed and far more selective NRC schedule. Also, those races not on the NRC schedule might offer prize money to draw teams to their event, even though their race is not on the NRC schedule. And, of course, non-NRC races would be Pro-Am events to allow all us glory-holes a shot at rubbing shoulders.
At heart, the shift of economic burden would go to the promoters - to establish quality, high-profile events. With fewer events we might also see more actual media coverage from VelosNooze and other such publications. I'm so sick of seeing a 1 paragraph sum-up of some NRC race in wherever, USA. No, with the limited number of races on the calendar - media outlets would also be able to budget their staff to attend these events and really put some effort into adding to the prestige of each event and the teams attending.
I really believe that having mandatory, broader testing procedures at all NRC events would make a dent in drug usage in cycling. Yeah, there are always going to be the folks who nip out on the tests and squeak by ... but, you can't rely on 'asking around' forever. We've got to have some science here.
Say each test costs $200. So, for a days racing at 15 tests, that's $3000. If we have 100 professional riders signed up for the race ~ that's $30 a rider ... to be paid up front by the teams as their 'entry fee.' For stage races ~ the teams must incur the cost, as well. That's their part of the bargain. And so, a 6-day stage race would need $180 per rider as entry. I say it's fair. Though, to be honest - I wouldn't mind seeing a cap of $100 per rider for all teams for all races, with USA Cycling covering the remaining costs. With only 20 - 24 races per year ... that seems like a reasonable and moderate expense from the governing body (and don't even get me started on out-of-competition testing).
Testing the top-10 of each day's racing will catch dopers. Not all, but it will catch some. But more importantly, in my mind, it will put the cheats on edge that they could be caught at any time ... and who knows ~ maybe that would be incentive enough for them to ... raceclean.