Ban them for life

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by tcklyde, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    I confess: I wish the doping issue would go away. Or maybe I wish I could just ignore it. I love cycling. I've never admired a sport like this; never had so much respect for the strength and tenacity of atheletes like I do for the men who fight up mountains that I would be happy just to summit. The beauty of a strong break on Ventoux or the Tourmalet is one of the most exhilerating things I've ever seen. Or the speed and danger of a bunch sprint after, like MSR, 250+ kms.

    But, as Flyer continually points out -- as much as I think some of his evidence fatuous -- doping is a continuing cancer. I know doping will always be a step ahead of tests. But I don't think that we need to be so forgiving.

    Take Tyler Hamilton. I'm American. I've followed Hamilton for years and I remember him bouncing in and out of the elite group in 1999. Or the Giro in 2002. Or his stage in 2003. But frankly, after 2004, he is dead to me.

    Neither sponsors, nor managers, nor atheletes themselves seem ready to accept the reality that most of their fans might not really believe them. Do they really think cycling is ready for 1998 redux? Did Millar really think he had to take EPO? Was Zulle clean in 1999? Why was Virenque such a liar? And yeah, me, who considers Amstrong a hero, has to wonder why chasing down Simeoni mattered.

    Maybe nothing will stop dope. Yes, cycling is one of the heaviest tested sports in the world. But the punishments need to be commensurate. No more 2 year bans for cheats. Kick 'em out. Forever.

    When I was in college, cheating on an exam would get you kicked out forever. It should be the same for cycling. I'll hate myself if I ever find out that I rooted for a scumbag cheater. Time to stop apologizing for cheaters and their lame excuse that everyone does it. Kick 'em out and maybe they'll understand that us fans count on them, want to believe in them, and won't tolerate it if they don't play fair.
     
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  2. Flyer

    Flyer Banned

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    Harry:

    I support your Zero-tolerance suggestion and also share your sentiments.

    I posted the Major League Baseball hearing, in all of its bizarre non denial, denials to illustrate that it mirrors professional cycling----perfectly.

    MLB has more profits, a larger echo-system of employed people (players, trainers, coaches, accountants, agents, attorneys, owners, Union reps, and support staff to those direct beneficiaries)

    Don Fehr has all but announced that the new (improved) antidoping policy is complete. They reluctantly agreed to delete the (or up to $10,000 fine option), but nothing else that I am aware.

    So, at least MLB is honest when it supports a ZERO discussion of actual doping---and will continue with juiced players in order make more profits.

    If we did have a Life-time ban-----you would get massive legal disputes (more expensive than we already have) using TUEs as the basis for explanation. Examples:

    'my client required an IV of Hemopure because that climb to Sestiere made him anemic'

    'Or, we needed the Viagra, because, well you know....'

    'Or, the corticosterids were for my saddle sore---at 50 milligrams per day'

    'Or I need 1,500-2,500 mls of testoserone each week, because I am getting older---and my testicles aren't working normally, or I only have one remember....'

    'The clomid helps the testosterone Easter Eggs metabolize quicker, it's explained in part 3 of my TUE'

    'I need corticoids to trun off my adrenal glands, casue I am already fully mediciated by 10:00 pm'

    In this manner---nobody would actually be banned---but perhaps the medicine disclosures I seek could be posted publicly.

    Thank you for the excellent post.
     
  3. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I share your views entirely.
    That was the attraction of this sport - man overcoming his limitation sthrough talent, hardwork, sacrifice.
    That's what attracted me, anyhow.

    But I've got to confess when I watch the pros - all of the pros - the first question that always hits me is "are they clean ?".
    Isn't it terrible ?
    Why should it be this way ?

    I suppose part of me has the Corinthian attitude to sport - you take part because you enjoy it.
    You enjoy testing yourself and you want to see can you achieve something under your own steam.
    You take part (or follow the sport) because you want to believe that it's pure and clean.
    I can remember seeing my first bike race and I can still recall the beauty of it
    today.
    The jerseys, the speed, the bikes - are as vivid today as they were, then.

    I still like to think that there are pros who are clean - maybe I'm naive.
     
  4. OLMO

    OLMO New Member

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    I agree.

    But if you know the history, such as it is laid out in the books (perhaps Wheatcroft's is a decent intro) you'll know le boucle from the start was a circus act invented as an advertising stunt. Of course, it has even gained mythic or cultural status (see Barthes), but mainly such an endeavour is a freak show.

    They were "doping" from the start. That is, of course, no license to relax our convictions regarding doping, but it is a wake up call: in order for cycling to be clean we would have to both change our expectations drastically and perhaps even alter the nature of the sport itself.

    I'm all for it, but the question is how. I'm not sure that a lifetime ban is the right solution. An atmosphere of fear and a catalogue of punitive measures isn't likely to be the right formula for candour.

    Just a thought. :cool:
     
  5. Flyer

    Flyer Banned

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    Yes, understood.

    The commercial beliefs are that drugged athletes are essential for premium pricing/advertising success.

    The simple truth is: very few fans would watch an organic TDF race.

    And organic race over 21 days would naturally result in attrition rates of 50% or more---unless, the riders declared a truce. If they did that, it would become boring for TV fans.

    The GC leaders would swap positions as they imploded on a day to day basis---unless, a clear endurance star ---relative to the rest emerged. Then he would win by 1-3 hours, not 5 minutes.

    It's fun to speculate----but it ain't going to happen. The doping will remain firmly in place.

    The pretence will continue despite the ugly disclosures.
     
  6. wolfix

    wolfix New Member

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    This sums it up .................
     
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