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Monday, November 27, 2006

Landis, doping, and peeing on things

i dunno.


So, i really don't have much contact with the non-racer world of cycling ... and even the racer world of cycling only extends to those few around me that a) are fabulously dressed; and/or 2) giggle more than sane people in spandex should be allowed. You know the score.

So the crowds that surround mags like "Bicycling" and flood forums with multi-thousand yard posts about which chamois soothes backsides and who's bikes carve sick lines - they are as familiar to me as ... Monday Night football analysis.

No - my time online is swept through VsNooze in the hopes they'll cover anything ... anything other than the Boulder-centric Euro-Poofter Disco-scene. And, i pretty much mainline Cyclingnews like it's liquified crack. hell, i've never even seen mountain bike review dot whatever (but happily ate all the food they supplied up on top o' Kennedy for the dirtyturkeyday ride).

- - -

Anyway ~ there's this cat trustbutverify who looks to be diving full steam into defending FLandis' honor. It's a good bit of rah-rah that i haven't had the time to fully investergate. But, the dude (or dudette) seems bright and organized and all hardworkey-like ... so, there's that.

One of the links he provided is this yay-hoo named 'rant.' With too little of his spittle read (disclaimer), my thoughts are this wagdog needs a slap in the fo'head. But, I'm biased. This Ranter yelps on about how our doping penalties are too harsh already. 2 years suspension for a positive is too harsh?

makes me ill.

He also points out that if there is a one in a thousand chance in error slamming down a wrongly accused doper ... that percentage is too high. Now, here's my opinion on the subject:


LIFETIME BANS

That's right - lifetime bans from competing in the sport for positive tests of performance enhancers like steroids, epo, testosterone, and all those spark-charger substances that allow truck drivers to wild-eye the midnight runs (not to mention can give you a wicked personal-best in your local TT ... hmm, ring any bells?).

Should there be a tiered system of penalties? maybe. If some wankwad tests positive for a poppyseed muffin or has a 'tainted' supplement or maybe misses the pee test because of a shitty race organization's finishing shute gone stupid ... ok, maybe there should be some wiggle room in the rules for that action. But, i ain't got the brain to work out that wording in the bylaws ... so, i reckon WADA should earn some of the dollars they get sent and hammer that crap out.

And, if there is one thing I think we've learned ... it's that even cute nicey-nice riders can lie their frickin' mouths sideways. Hamilton.

BUTT, for the big-easy tests ... steroids and the like ... caught once = lifetime ban from competing in the sport. Full stop. To my mind, that is the only way we have a chance at killing the dopers off in sport. Will it stop all? Of course not. But, it's a serious and amputative way of stemming off what seems to be a viral growth of doping in sport.

Caught with dope in your car, hombre' Saiz? outta here.

Found a bit of epo in your frigidaire young DaveyBritMiller? no bikey-bikey for you. try acting.


Lifetime bans.

- - -

But what of the poor bastard who gets nailed through a "false-positive" or maybe even a malevolent frenchy lab?

Rant says one-in-a-thousand is too high of an error ratio.

I say, let's pay the price. I say, we MUST pay the price. If we have one poor bastard get his or her sporting life ruined because of a lab error or a misjudgment in what they ate that morning ... well, i'm afraid we have to accept it and work damn hard to not have it happen again. But, I'd rather one rider's sporting life get ruined than 100 'roided up kids LIVES become ruined because they fell victim to their own youthful ambition - or worse, to the wicked ambitions of crooked, fukked up old men who have too much power in sport.


boot 'em all, work off the karma in hell.

them's my views ... in this moment of time.

30 comments:

Grey said...

Whadyou think of Moninger? Tested positive, then went straight to the store where he bought his supplements and bought out their entire stock of what he uses and had it tested...and it tested positive for stuff that shouldn't have been in there.

It's stuff like that that puts a hard to chew slice of difficult bummer into the simple sandwich.

Trustbut. That's a funny url.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

'xactly.

wiggle room.


sucks.

Velo Bella said...

I stopped at the Portland hot tub photo....did you say something else.

I just can't get enough photos of that action.

And 1 in 1000 is too high a risk. Just as there should be pressure on the athletes to clean up the sport, there should be pressure on the labs to work under the most strict examples of scientific method.

you said wiggle

Ippoc Amic said...

Lifetime bans - yes, monetary penalities and/or some type of restitution to your team/teammates too who get screwed when they take away the NRC points of the banned rider...

shawndoggy said...

I'm all down with draconian penalties, but we know that they aren't a good deterrent, right? How many murderers have reconsidered because of the death penalty?

The real issue is the tacit approval of doping by the riders themselves. Let's have a South African style truth and reconcilliation everybody gets in free if they spill the beans period. The fact that the penalties are so severe now, but riders continue to dope (and to support doping, Senor Saiz), suggests that within that group it's tacitly OK. Let's see the riders themselves come clean without fear of reprisal in an effort to change the whole paradigm. Seems to me that if the whole peloton truly sees doping as cheating, that the cheaters could be prohibited from prospering. And let's see a patron with some nards who lays down the peer pressure like that.

PAB said...

how's this theory?

Teams need to be held MORE accountable if their riders test positive. Hell, they know what is going on. Put the pressure on them to make sure their riders are clean. Let them perform their own in house testing. They should have contact with their riders year round, performing out-of-competition testing, random tests, etc. Then, if a rider tests positive at an event, the whole team should be sanctioned (as well as the rider getting the boot).

Seems like I remember hearing through the grapevine about a local pro who got kicked off a team for failing an in-house test. And I dodn't recall that team ever having positives at races. Maybe just a coincidence...

I dunno, there are probably lots of reasons NOT to punish a whole team for one rider's positive....but I am sick of seeing just the riders punished while the teams and directors continue merrily along...

Flandria said...

the doctors that are getting paid the big bucks should be penalized...they are the ones who distribute dope...

or whoever funds the labs that make and sell them...

sounds like a food chain...

Chris said...

The argument can be stretched way back....what about banning the fans who want to see dramatic racing? Why not ban them?

Slippery slope, my friend. I woodna wanna be in charge.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

vb ~ you just get your ride in, today. as for 1-in-1000 ratio ... i call it acceptable and hope we can improve it.

but we must ban, in my opinion.


ippoc - dunno about money/compensation. i didn't like getting my prize money grabbed by doper Fuentes a couple years back ... but somehow my personal bias against damages of that sort stops me from backing the idea. I'll have to step outta that debate, i reckon.


shawnyDog - i know you aren't going to compare death penalty with sporting bans. that's not even apples and oranges. that's apples and shadows.

draconian penalties, in my opinion, are the refuge of the powerless. and, i believe we are powerless to stop drug usage in sport at this point. all we can do, again - in my opinion, is kick out those few we catch and hope we don't catch the wrong ones.

... and hope the culture of clean racing builds in coolness and profitability and thusly, realistic to occur. But, I believe that banning riders caught is the necessary step towards that goal.


PAB - teams? only if caught red-handed with the dope, in my opinion. anyone can be held guilty by association. hell, you hang around with me, afterall.


Flanderina - food chain analogy ... so appropriate, i reckon.


ChrisB - reductio ad absurdum, baby.

You know what doping is. We all do. Let's clap the nutsack tight and take the consequences of dealing with the ills that people do.


I am in favor of lifetime bans for drug usage in sport. I am not knowledgable enough to know what substances should qualify for it, but sure as fuck can point out a few that should be. I'm not experienced enough in policy/procedure to write the rules to allow falsely accused individuals chance to acquit themselves. i am not wise enough to know how to judge whether they have acquited.

but, people who spit in the faces of their fellow competitors of sport by taking performance enhancing drugs ... should be kicked out of the game.

'cuz it's just a game. and not worth the debasement of themselves ... or it.

shawndoggy said...

I'm just saying that the currently draconian penalties (few come back after a two year ban) aren't detering the behavior.

There's some kathartic benefit to tarring and feathering, and we should keep punishing the transgressors. But to just hope that increasing penalties will change behavior... it hasn't worked so far, so why will the next escalation be the magic bullet?

Catching cheats will just turn into a higher and higher stakes game of cat (spendy doping doc who can avoid detection of his clients' drug use) and mouse (clueless and ever-behind enforcement bureaucracy).

X Bunny said...

i think that we need to test at lower levels

i think it is too easy to get away with it early on in sports

weed out the problems before they become big and famous

too expensive, i know

Anonymous said...

I'm still wondering what the percentage of dopers is tho? Is it 5%? or closer to 85%?

I agree with lifetime banning once their due process is completed. Also hold the UCI, and WADA to their rules? Mess up and you're out.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

hamilton, o'bee, pert'near the entire Festina squad, meirhaghe, bergman, millar, etc ... all racing after serving suspensions.


no. we do not have anything close to draconian penalties for drug use right now in cycling.

poor barely pro amateur chumps who don't see their names on the random pee test board get a year suspension.

bergman takes epo and gets 1 year more?

that's stupid. stupid, stupid, stupid.


Hamilton dopes up to his gills and gets 2 years.

I'm sorry, but there is no draconian system in place. besides, i wonder if ... while under suspension, there is any testing taking place. No racing license = no listing with UCI = no random testing protocol = take a year to build yourself some muscle mass and come back stiff and ready to race, baby!

shawndoggy said...

I'm not arguing against draconian penalties. Sure let's go with lifetime bans for first offenses.

Just don't count on fear of penalty to be a great motivator. These guys have already made the conscious decision to cheat because they are afraid they aren't competitive if they don't. The fear of failure in competition is a far greater motivator than the fear of getting caught. It's obvious that for more than a few getting caught has actually come as a bit of a relief (i.e. Mancebo: "I'm hanging up my bike").

Anonymous said...

You said stiff

Anonymous said...

We don't need to stop the riders from doping, we just need proper categories.

Stock: Clean
Modified: Dopes a little
Super Modified: Fiend

Kind of like auto racing. Then when a Modified or Super Modified wants to race down with the clean riders, they have to use a restrictor plate, or breath through a straw.

X Bunny said...

maybe we should stop watching them on tv so the ratings go down and the sponsors complain etc

while we need to up the penalties
maybe we need to decrease the rewards

as long as the french still idolize virenque and we still value barry bonds and tyler hamilton then it will continue

that's it
i'm thinking about chocolate chips now

PAB said...

once again, xbun is right.

-

i'm all for lifetime bans of dopers.

and if some get caught who are actually innocent, well, that will be one of the many risks involved in the sport.

but in cases like Moninger's and many others, they could have reduced their risks by not ingesting a bunch of stuff sold by "health food" stores. Yeah, I'm talking about the supplement industry--i am more than skeptical about the value of a lot of that stuff.

and i just really hate seeing the guys who employ the riders, who know their riders cheat, who encourage them to do so and in all liklihood help them cheat in some cases, get away with it. How many of Saiz's riders have tested positive through the years, yet he still draws a salary from the sport...

sticky said...

Things in Europe don't seem to be getting any better. I know a kid (20 years old) who was on the U-23 Quick Step team this year - he decided to quit the sport because of the drug use required to be competitive at the U-23 level. He is really talented too, he won the Junior Tour of Flanders a couple of years ago. He said that he was not prepared to "do what it takes" to be a ProTour rider. That's just sad...

PAB said...

i've heard that kind of story before, too...

Anonymous said...

Olaf Vanderhoot,

Actually, what I was referring to with the one in a thousand comment was the whether or not that would be an acceptable rate of false positives or false negatives for the AIDS test. I never said what an acceptable rate of false positives or false negatives for the testosterone testing should be.

- Rant

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

implied  [im-plahyd]:

–adjective
involved, indicated, or suggested without being directly or explicitly stated; tacitly understood.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps. But you could use that same argument to say I suggested that one in a million or one in a billion was too much, too. But all of that was a discussion of the AIDs test and DNA testing for murder cases. And it was intended to illustrate that it's pretty tough to determine what the cutoff should be.

The real problem is that the certainty for the tests used by LNDD and the other labs is much less than that. WADA's own research shows that diet alone can cause a false positive in about 3 percent of all CIR/IRMS tests (the test used to confirm a positive testosterone finding), about one in every 31 administered.

Would you agree that that's too high a false positive rate?

My point is that the science needs to be more precise and the tests need to be more precise. When you've got a higher level of precision such that it's a statistical impossibility that the person accused might actually be innocent, then impose draconian sanctions. Until then, to use your term, there needs to be some "wiggle room."

- Rant

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

ach...

brain too big ...

submission hold complete.

- - -

again, i defer to larger minds and more complex processors to spread clear the lay of the land.

however ... and I say this as one who has peed in a cup and made his own tosses at glory ...

we must pay the price.

lifetime bans ~ even with existing flawed protocol, even with existing 'false-posivity,' even risking a Flandis on the cross.


but ... i'm goin' to hell for more than one reason. why not add this to the burner.


poor Floyd. poor Hamilton. poor all of them for having to sour their milk with it all.

ah well. we hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

For anyone caught providing banned substances to minors, mandatory prison time, at least 10 years. Life if the kid dies of unnatural causes by age 25...

McSassy said...

I never gave a shit until my kid started spewing all his ProTour knowledge. Now I'm concerned.

As for me, I'm clean and thats the best place to start, at least in my hick viewpoint.

20 sum years and I have only been tested once and I laughed all they way cause I knew I was clean and I was getting to prove it.

Now that said, I'm always amazed how much talk of gearing up I hear on local rides and in geezer races. Just ride your bike, that works.

MS

Chris said...

Looks like Vaughters is talkin bout this very thing on Cyclingnews

McSassy said...

Vaughters in my opinion is just part of the problem.

He is well recorded as saying if he knew he could get away with it he would have doped (more)

A side to the problem are parents like those at Nevada City this year having a 15 year old pound 3 RedBulls before his race so he would be "ON". Watched it go down with my own dirtly lil eyes and just shook my head.

Whats that whole tangled web saying again?

MS

Eclectchick said...

Thank you for this VERY interesting post and discussion!

I needed that. I can now make it through the rest of a dull, dull, rainy Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

who's that guy who posted a blistering time at the local Swanton TT this year. Amazing and truly remarkable!