And so it begins...

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Steve McGinty, Feb 15, 2004.

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  1. Hard hitting article on Pantani's death by David Walsh in the London Times

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-1002875,00.html

    including:

    "...those victories came at a terrible price as Pantani paid for each one with a part of his life.
    He had been an unwell man for much of the last 10 years and while we await the official cause of his
    death, we already know where and when it started to go seriously wrong for Pantani."

    and

    "Speaking from Rome last night, Professor Sandro Donati expressed his sorrow at Pantani’s death and
    his disgust at those who contributed to it. This night, he said, there are some doctors in Italy who
    should not sleep easily. Journalists, too, played their part. They knew what he was doing and they
    urged him to go faster and faster. When he won, they said he was a legend, when he was very
    unhealthy."

    Regards! Stephen
     
    Tags:


  2. On 02/15/2004 03:30 AM, in article
    [email protected], "Steve McGinty"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Hard hitting article on Pantani's death by David Walsh in the London Times
    >
    > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-1002875,00.html
    >
    > including:
    >
    > "...those victories came at a terrible price as Pantani paid for each one with a part of his life.
    > He had been an unwell man for much of the last 10 years and while we await the official cause of
    > his death, we already know where and when it started to go seriously wrong for Pantani."
    >
    > and
    >
    > "Speaking from Rome last night, Professor Sandro Donati expressed his sorrow at Pantani’s death
    > and his disgust at those who contributed to it. This night, he said, there are some doctors in
    > Italy who should not sleep easily. Journalists, too, played their part. They knew what he was
    > doing and they urged him to go faster and faster. When he won, they said he was a legend, when he
    > was very unhealthy."
    >
    >
    > Regards! Stephen

    Right ... I'm not going to spend $5.00/3.00 UKP to read one article.

    Can someone please post the entire thing?

    --
    Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at worldnet dot ay tea tee dot net bellum
    pax est libertas servitus est ignoratio vis est ess ay ell tea ell ay kay ee sea aye tee why you ti
    ay aitch aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-yew double-ewe
    dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash
     
  3. On 02/15/2004 09:37 AM, in article BC54EE6F.236AB%[email protected],
    "Steven L. Sheffield" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 02/15/2004 03:30 AM, in article [email protected], "Steve McGinty"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Hard hitting article on Pantani's death by David Walsh in the London Times
    >>
    >> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-1002875,00.html
    >>
    >> including:
    >>
    >> "...those victories came at a terrible price as Pantani paid for each one with a part of his
    >> life. He had been an unwell man for much of the last 10 years and while we await the official
    >> cause of his death, we already know where and when it started to go seriously wrong for Pantani."
    >>
    >> and
    >>
    >> "Speaking from Rome last night, Professor Sandro Donati expressed his sorrow at Pantani’s death
    >> and his disgust at those who contributed to it. This night, he said, there are some doctors in
    >> Italy who should not sleep easily. Journalists, too, played their part. They knew what he was
    >> doing and they urged him to go faster and faster. When he won, they said he was a legend, when he
    >> was very unhealthy."
    >>
    >>
    >> Regards! Stephen
    >
    >
    >
    > Right ... I'm not going to spend $5.00/3.00 UKP to read one article.
    >
    > Can someone please post the entire thing?
    >

    Never mind ... Yes I will pay the money.

    But here's the article so the rest of you can enjoy it:

    February 15, 2004

    Cycling: Dead at 34 DAVID WALSH

    Marco Pantani was first kicked out of cycling in 1999, but he had pushed the self-destruct button
    long before being banned

    The news agencies reported that the 1998 Tour de France winner Marco Pantani was found dead at his
    apartment in Rimini last evening, and an Italian friend said he was in a hotel and was discovered
    dead by the manager. What is certain is the sadness at Pantani¹s premature death and the suspicion
    that it was utterly avoidable. Modern sport, in all its hypocrisy, has claimed another victim.

    Italian police said the cause was as yet unknown, but that he had not died a violent death. A
    police team was conducting inquiries at the scene and medical tests were due to be carried out.

    In Italy last night they showed clips of Pantani soaring away from his rivals in the Alps and
    Dolomites. They presented him as he desperately wished to be seen. And although they dared not say
    it, those victories came at a terrible price as Pantani paid for each one with a part of his life.
    He had been an unwell man for much of the last 10 years and while we await the official cause of
    his death, we already know where and when it started to go seriously wrong for Pantani.

    He was a very talented bike rider, maybe the purest mountain climber since Lucian Van Impe or,
    before him, Charly Gaul. It was his bad luck to arrive on the professional cycling scene at around
    the same time as the dangerous blood-boosting drug, erythropoieitin. No matter how gifted, no
    rider could compete with those on EPO unless he, too, used the drug. When Pantani began, it wasn¹t
    even banned.

    But from the earliest days of his career, it was clear that he had a problem. He crashed during
    the 1995 Milan to Turin race and when taken to hospital, it was discovered he had an haematrocrit
    level of 60. The average level of male athletes is around 42 or 43 but Pantani¹s blood was so rich
    in red cells, and consequently so thick, that the medical people treating him knew that something
    was amiss.

    After a few days in hospital, his haematocrit level dropped to 16, an even more alarming situation
    than the abnormally high 60. But then a couple of doctors came from another town to visit Pantani
    and his haematrocrit level rose to 38. What was obvious back then was that the rider¹s body was not
    always capable of producing its own red cells and that Pantani needed to be protected from himself.

    But he had miles to ride and a Tour de France to win. What a travesty of a sporting event that 1998
    Tour de France was. The police found drugs pretty much wherever they looked, five Spanish teams
    pulled out because they didn¹t like the police presence and cycling¹s No 1 team, Festina, was
    kicked out of the race because it was found with the biggest drugs cargo of all. And that was the
    race Marco Pantani won. He climbed the mountains at a speed that had never before been seen in the
    race and he took his place among the Tour¹s champions.

    Only recently a woman who worked with one of the teams in that race remarked that even in the midst
    of an overwhelming police presence, the cars bringing the drugs were still arriving at Pantani¹s
    hotel. But what did anybody care as long as the man we called ³The Pirate² continued to climb like
    an angel? The following year he was again dominant in the Tour of Italy but with two days to go his
    haematocrit level was 53 and he was banished from the race.

    Cycling¹s authorities say that an haematocrit level of 53 doesn¹t prove a rider has used EPO but
    they knew about Pantani. Everybody did. Even that day, he showed up 15 minutes late for the drug
    test and they knew he had been using a saline drip to thin his blood and get his haematocrit down
    below the 50 threshold.

    But everybody stayed quiet and waited for Pantani to come and animate the next mountain race. He
    was a fiercely aggressive rider in the mountains and loved by the tifosi. In cheering all the way
    to the summit, we hastened his descent.

    There are a few good men and one of them, Professor Sandro Donati, tried to make the authorities
    see sense. Donati works for the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) but has rarely had that body¹s
    support and when Donati said Pantani should not be allowed to compete in Sydney he was overruled.

    Donati had asked his medical commission to test all Italian athletes going to the Olympics; they
    found that Pantani¹s body was not producing red cells at that time and that what the rider needed
    was medical help, not more competition. Pantani went to Sydney and the madness continued. His
    health further deteriorated but he clung onto the belief that he could again be the great climber.

    Maybe it was the realisation that his health just wasn¹t getting better that brought on
    depression last year, when he spent two months in a psychiatric hospital. Speaking from Rome last
    night, Sandro Donati expressed his sorrow at Pantani¹s death and his disgust at those who
    contributed to it.

    ³This night,² he said, ³there are some doctors in Italy who should not sleep easily. Journalists,
    too, played their part. They knew what he was doing and they urged him to go faster and faster.
    When he won, they said he was a legend, when he was very unhealthy. Marco Pantani could have been a
    legend by telling young people what he had done and how it had affected his life.²

    It would be easy to recall the majesty of Pantani in full flight, but it would another piece of
    hypocrisy. Better to remember that Pantani was destroyed by his ambition and by a sport with no
    will to police itself properly.

    It is also worth remembering another great climber of this era, Jose Maria Jimenez. He was a
    Spaniard and they called him ³Chaba², an affectionate nickname for a man who thrilled the fans with
    his daring in the mountains.

    Every other year, he would win the mountains jersey in the Tour of Spain and in 1998, the same year
    Pantani won the Tour de France, Chaba achieved his best placing by finishing third in the Vuelta.

    Chaba Jimenez died two months ago, found dead in a psychiatric hospital. There was talk of cocaine
    but cycling people knew what it truly was. Another grim reminder of the carnage caused by a sport
    that has long been out of control.

    Belgian cyclist Johan Sermon has been found dead from apparent heart failure in his sleep. He was
    21 and rode for the Daikin team.


    --
    Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at worldnet dot ay tea tee dot net bellum
    pax est libertas servitus est ignoratio vis est ess ay ell tea ell ay kay ee sea aye tee why you ti
    ay aitch aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-yew double-ewe
    dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash
     
  4. Smmb

    Smmb Guest

    Thanks for posting the article, and for showing that the art of spiteful innuendo remains alive
    around our sport.
    --
    Bonne route,

    Sandy Paris FR

    "Steven L. Sheffield" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de :
    news:BC54F90C.236B9%[email protected]...
    > On 02/15/2004 09:37 AM, in article BC54EE6F.236AB%[email protected], "Steven L. Sheffield"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > But here's the article so the rest of you can enjoy it:
    >
    > February 15, 2004
    >
    > Cycling: Dead at 34 DAVID WALSH
     
  5. On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 17:23:10 GMT, "Steven L. Sheffield"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On 02/15/2004 09:37 AM, in article BC54EE6F.236AB%[email protected], "Steven L. Sheffield"
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> On 02/15/2004 03:30 AM, in article [email protected], "Steve McGinty"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Hard hitting article on Pantani's death by David Walsh in the London Times
    >>>
    >>> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-1002875,00.html
    >>>

    >>> Stephen
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Right ... I'm not going to spend $5.00/3.00 UKP to read one article.
    >>
    >> Can someone please post the entire thing?
    >>
    >
    >
    >Never mind ... Yes I will pay the money.
    >
    >But here's the article so the rest of you can enjoy it:
    >

    Sorry, Steven, I didn't think it was a subscription site or I would have posted the article - I
    didn't have to subscribe.

    Regards! Stephen
     
  6. B. Lafferty

    B. Lafferty Guest

    Thank you, Steven. Excellent article that really highlights the role the sporting press has played
    in this. I haven't seen Donati's comments yet on any major site devoted to cycling.

    "Steven L. Sheffield" <[email protected].com> wrote in message
    news:BC54F90C.236B9%[email protected]...
    > On 02/15/2004 09:37 AM, in article BC54EE6F.236AB%[email protected], "Steven L. Sheffield"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > On 02/15/2004 03:30 AM, in article [email protected], "Steve McGinty"
    > > <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >> Hard hitting article on Pantani's death by David Walsh in the London Times
    > >>
    > >> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2094-1002875,00.html
    > >>
    > >> including:
    > >>
    > >> "...those victories came at a terrible price as Pantani paid for each one with a part of his
    > >> life. He had been an unwell man for much of the last 10 years and while we await the official
    > >> cause of his death, we already know where and when it started to go seriously wrong for
    > >> Pantani."
    > >>
    > >> and
    > >>
    > >> "Speaking from Rome last night, Professor Sandro Donati expressed his sorrow at Pantani's death
    > >> and his disgust at those who contributed to it. This night, he said, there are some doctors in
    > >> Italy who should not sleep easily. Journalists, too, played their part. They knew what he was
    > >> doing and they urged him to go faster and faster. When he won, they said he was a legend, when
    > >> he was very unhealthy."
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> Regards! Stephen
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Right ... I'm not going to spend $5.00/3.00 UKP to read one article.
    > >
    > > Can someone please post the entire thing?
    > >
    >
    >
    > Never mind ... Yes I will pay the money.
    >
    > But here's the article so the rest of you can enjoy it:
    >
    > February 15, 2004
    >
    > Cycling: Dead at 34 DAVID WALSH
    >
    > Marco Pantani was first kicked out of cycling in 1999, but he had pushed
    the
    > self-destruct button long before being banned
    >
    >
    > The news agencies reported that the 1998 Tour de France winner Marco
    Pantani
    > was found dead at his apartment in Rimini last evening, and an Italian friend said he was in a
    > hotel and was discovered dead by the manager. What is certain is the sadness at Pantani¹s
    > premature death and the suspicion that it was utterly avoidable. Modern sport, in all its
    > hypocrisy, has claimed another victim.
    >
    > Italian police said the cause was as yet unknown, but that he had not
    died
    > a violent death. A police team was conducting inquiries at the scene and medical tests were due to
    > be carried out.
    >
    > In Italy last night they showed clips of Pantani soaring away from his
    > rivals in the Alps and Dolomites. They presented him as he desperately
    > wished to be seen. And although they dared not say it, those victories
    came
    > at a terrible price as Pantani paid for each one with a part of his life.
    He
    > had been an unwell man for much of the last 10 years and while we await
    the
    > official cause of his death, we already know where and when it started to
    go
    > seriously wrong for Pantani.
    >
    > He was a very talented bike rider, maybe the purest mountain climber
    since
    > Lucian Van Impe or, before him, Charly Gaul. It was his bad luck to arrive on the professional
    > cycling scene at around the same time as the dangerous blood-boosting drug, erythropoieitin.
    > No matter how gifted, no rider could compete with those on EPO unless he, too, used the drug.
    > When Pantani
    began,
    > it wasn¹t even banned.
    >
    > But from the earliest days of his career, it was clear that he had a problem. He crashed during
    > the 1995 Milan to Turin race and when taken to hospital, it was discovered he had an haematrocrit
    > level of 60. The
    average
    > level of male athletes is around 42 or 43 but Pantani¹s blood was so rich
    in
    > red cells, and consequently so thick, that the medical people treating him knew that something
    > was amiss.
    >
    > After a few days in hospital, his haematocrit level dropped to 16, an
    even
    > more alarming situation than the abnormally high 60. But then a couple of doctors came from
    > another town to visit Pantani and his haematrocrit level rose to 38. What was obvious back then
    > was that the rider¹s body was not always capable of producing its own red cells and that Pantani
    > needed to
    be
    > protected from himself.
    >
    > But he had miles to ride and a Tour de France to win. What a travesty of
    a
    > sporting event that 1998 Tour de France was. The police found drugs pretty much wherever they
    > looked, five Spanish teams pulled out because they
    didn¹t
    > like the police presence and cycling¹s No 1 team, Festina, was kicked out
    of
    > the race because it was found with the biggest drugs cargo of all. And
    that
    > was the race Marco Pantani won. He climbed the mountains at a speed that
    had
    > never before been seen in the race and he took his place among the Tour¹s champions.
    >
    > Only recently a woman who worked with one of the teams in that race
    > remarked that even in the midst of an overwhelming police presence, the
    cars
    > bringing the drugs were still arriving at Pantani¹s hotel. But what did anybody care as long as
    > the man we called ³The Pirate² continued to climb like an angel? The following year he was again
    > dominant in the Tour of
    Italy
    > but with two days to go his haematocrit level was 53 and he was banished from the race.
    >
    > Cycling¹s authorities say that an haematocrit level of 53 doesn¹t prove a rider has used EPO but
    > they knew about Pantani. Everybody did. Even that day, he showed up 15 minutes late for the drug
    > test and they knew he had been using a saline drip to thin his blood and get his haematocrit down
    > below the 50 threshold.
    >
    > But everybody stayed quiet and waited for Pantani to come and animate the
    > next mountain race. He was a fiercely aggressive rider in the mountains
    and
    > loved by the tifosi. In cheering all the way to the summit, we hastened
    his
    > descent.
    >
    > There are a few good men and one of them, Professor Sandro Donati, tried
    to
    > make the authorities see sense. Donati works for the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) but has
    > rarely had that body¹s support and when Donati
    said
    > Pantani should not be allowed to compete in Sydney he was overruled.
    >
    > Donati had asked his medical commission to test all Italian athletes
    going
    > to the Olympics; they found that Pantani¹s body was not producing red
    cells
    > at that time and that what the rider needed was medical help, not more competition. Pantani went
    > to Sydney and the madness continued. His health further deteriorated but he clung onto the belief
    > that he could again be
    the
    > great climber.
    >
    > Maybe it was the realisation that his health just wasn¹t getting better that brought on
    > depression last year, when he spent two months in a psychiatric hospital. Speaking from Rome last
    > night, Sandro Donati
    expressed
    > his sorrow at Pantani¹s death and his disgust at those who contributed to it.
    >
    > ³This night,² he said, ³there are some doctors in Italy who should not
    > sleep easily. Journalists, too, played their part. They knew what he was
    > doing and they urged him to go faster and faster. When he won, they said
    he
    > was a legend, when he was very unhealthy. Marco Pantani could have been a legend by telling young
    > people what he had done and how it had affected
    his
    > life.²
    >
    > It would be easy to recall the majesty of Pantani in full flight, but it would another piece of
    > hypocrisy. Better to remember that Pantani was destroyed by his ambition and by a sport with no
    > will to police itself properly.
    >
    > It is also worth remembering another great climber of this era, Jose
    Maria
    > Jimenez. He was a Spaniard and they called him ³Chaba², an affectionate nickname for a man who
    > thrilled the fans with his daring in the mountains.
    >
    > Every other year, he would win the mountains jersey in the Tour of Spain and in 1998, the same
    > year Pantani won the Tour de France, Chaba achieved his best placing by finishing third in the
    > Vuelta.
    >
    > Chaba Jimenez died two months ago, found dead in a psychiatric hospital. There was talk of
    > cocaine but cycling people knew what it truly was.
    Another
    > grim reminder of the carnage caused by a sport that has long been out of control.
    >
    > Belgian cyclist Johan Sermon has been found dead from apparent heart failure in his sleep. He was
    > 21 and rode for the Daikin team.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at worldnet dot ay tea tee dot net
    > bellum pax est libertas servitus est ignoratio vis est ess ay ell tea ell ay kay ee sea aye tee
    > why you ti ay aitch aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-
    > yew double-ewe dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash
     
  7. Steven L. Sheffield <[email protected]> quoted:

    > Cycling: Dead at 34 DAVID WALSH

    > Marco Pantani was first kicked out of cycling in 1999, but he had pushed the self-destruct button
    > long before being banned

    I think this is the kicker, and the kicker writer may have got it more correct than Walsh here.
    Pantani self-destructed. It is sad and like I said in another thread I don't think anyone's hands
    are clean. But Walsh goes on ...

    > Maybe it was the realisation that his health just wasn¹t getting better that brought on
    > depression last year, when he spent two months in a psychiatric hospital. Speaking from Rome last
    > night, Sandro Donati expressed his sorrow at Pantani¹s death and his disgust at those who
    > contributed to it.

    When I read a reporter saying "Maybe ..." and something that fits into his thesis, a red flag goes
    up. Donati has a good point, but Walsh is using the occasion to bang his usual drum.

    > Chaba Jimenez died two months ago, found dead in a psychiatric hospital. There was talk of
    > cocaine but cycling people knew what it truly was. Another grim reminder of the carnage caused by
    > a sport that has long been out of control.

    WTF? Again, another example of innuendo disguised as hardheadedness. Walsh wants you to fill in
    "what it truly was" with the worst thing you can imagine (EPO side-effects? Not likely, and,
    Berzin and others don't look anything other than fat.) Depression caused by pressure to perform in
    a sport that encourages drug abuse? Okay, but saying "depression kills people" is too pedestrian
    for Walsh. And you don't just catch depression from being around Willy Voet etal. It isn't the
    goddamn common cold.
     
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