Benjo Maso's Book

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Tom Kunich, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    Benjo, I finally finished your book, "Sweat of the Gods".

    I noted with some relief in your discussion of doping that you in fact
    had precisely the same thoughts about doping that I do - that although
    we desire to stop doping, if we apply too strict a policy there's a
    much worse case that we could deny a winning rider the credit that he
    deserves.

    That wasn't clear in some of our earlier discussions and I see now you
    were speaking more from an academic point of view than one of claim and
    counter-claim.

    I enjoyed your book and hope you have more coming.
     
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  2. benjo maso

    benjo maso Guest

    "Tom Kunich" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Benjo, I finally finished your book, "Sweat of the Gods".
    >
    > I noted with some relief in your discussion of doping that you in fact
    > had precisely the same thoughts about doping that I do - that although
    > we desire to stop doping, if we apply too strict a policy there's a
    > much worse case that we could deny a winning rider the credit that he
    > deserves.
    >
    > That wasn't clear in some of our earlier discussions and I see now you
    > were speaking more from an academic point of view than one of claim and
    > counter-claim.
    >
    > I enjoyed your book and hope you have more coming.



    I don't think I changed my opinion much in the last few years, but of course
    it's quite possible that in the course of a discussion I made another
    impression. I am really deploring the fact that doping exists and is used so
    widely that in the last twenty years it has become almost impossible to
    compete without using them, but I'm afraid it's a fact of life that we have
    to accept. Hoping that a more and more harsh anti-doping policy can be
    succesful is IMO a pure illusion. Forty years ago, when this policy started
    the use of doping was child play compared with now. I think the anti-doping
    policy has much in common with the Prohibition. full of laudable intentions
    (up to a point at least), but practically impossible and doing much more
    harm than good. One of these harmful effects is that question of doping is
    completely dominating the way bicycle racing is seen (rbr is a nice example)
    and IMO it's terrible that it has become impossible for a rider to perform a
    spectacular exploit without being immediately suspected of having used
    illicit products. Very often rightly so, I'm afraid, but if it's not, it's a
    tragedy indeed.

    Benjo
     
  3. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    You made the point that doping revelation will cause sponsorship to
    dwindle and I think that you have a correct assessment.

    But what that means is that professional bicycle racing will disappear.
    With doping so easy to get now won't amateur bicycle racing go the same
    way and the majority of people who would race but nope dope simply
    think that it isn't worth the effort of playing with cheaters?

    My suspicions of mountain bike racing is that it reflects this
    attitude. Why would US racers totally dominate for so many years and
    then simply disappear completely from the results?
     
  4. Tom Kunich wrote:
    > You made the point that doping revelation will cause sponsorship to
    > dwindle and I think that you have a correct assessment.
    >
    > But what that means is that professional bicycle racing will disappear.





    Dumbass -

    You've got your head up your ass.

    All professional sports have the doping issue. Spectator sports are not
    going away. People like watching.

    thanks,

    K. Gringioni.
     
  5. benjo maso

    benjo maso Guest

    "Kurgan Gringioni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Tom Kunich wrote:
    >> You made the point that doping revelation will cause sponsorship to
    >> dwindle and I think that you have a correct assessment.
    >>
    >> But what that means is that professional bicycle racing will disappear.

    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Dumbass -
    >
    > You've got your head up your ass.
    >
    > All professional sports have the doping issue. Spectator sports are not
    > going away. People like watching.



    That's one of the reasons I think that at the end doping will be allowed.
    But the popint is that bicycle racing on the road is very vulnerable. First
    of all, it is completely dependent of the goodwill of the authorities who
    has to be willing to stop the traffic on an extensive road system, to put
    the police at its disposal, etc.etc. Impossible to organize a race without
    the active support of the national and local government. In the second
    place, the UCI has always been very weak, because it's has never organized
    something important, except the worldchampionship (which isn't that
    important). That's one of the reasons why bicycle racing had always been the
    main target of the anti-doping policy. If the UCI wpuld have had the power
    to resist it, as the FIFA, the NBA, etc., etc. have done, it never would
    have happened.

    Benjo
     
  6. benjo maso wrote:
    > >
    > > You've got your head up your ass.
    > >
    > > All professional sports have the doping issue. Spectator sports are not
    > > going away. People like watching.

    >
    >
    > That's one of the reasons I think that at the end doping will be allowed.
    > But the popint is that bicycle racing on the road is very vulnerable. First
    > of all, it is completely dependent of the goodwill of the authorities who
    > has to be willing to stop the traffic on an extensive road system, to put
    > the police at its disposal, etc.etc. Impossible to organize a race without
    > the active support of the national and local government. In the second
    > place, the UCI has always been very weak, because it's has never organized
    > something important, except the worldchampionship (which isn't that
    > important). That's one of the reasons why bicycle racing had always been the
    > main target of the anti-doping policy. If the UCI wpuld have had the power
    > to resist it, as the FIFA, the NBA, etc., etc. have done, it never would
    > have happened.




    Dumbass -

    I agree that the UCI is weaker than the other sports, but you left out
    the biggest reason: $$$$$$$$.

    Cycling is a smaller sport from a $$$$ perspective. The Europeleton
    pays out, what, $150-200 million/year? in rider salaries. Compare that
    to a big American TV sport like the NFL, where the total payout is $2.5
    billion. I don't know the figures for FIFA, but it's gotta be huge.
    More $$$ for a sports federation=more political clout.

    thanks,

    K. Gringioni.
     
  7. benjo maso

    benjo maso Guest

    "Kurgan Gringioni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > benjo maso wrote:
    >> >
    >> > You've got your head up your ass.
    >> >
    >> > All professional sports have the doping issue. Spectator sports are not
    >> > going away. People like watching.

    >>
    >>
    >> That's one of the reasons I think that at the end doping will be allowed.
    >> But the popint is that bicycle racing on the road is very vulnerable.
    >> First
    >> of all, it is completely dependent of the goodwill of the authorities who
    >> has to be willing to stop the traffic on an extensive road system, to put
    >> the police at its disposal, etc.etc. Impossible to organize a race
    >> without
    >> the active support of the national and local government. In the second
    >> place, the UCI has always been very weak, because it's has never
    >> organized
    >> something important, except the worldchampionship (which isn't that
    >> important). That's one of the reasons why bicycle racing had always been
    >> the
    >> main target of the anti-doping policy. If the UCI wpuld have had the
    >> power
    >> to resist it, as the FIFA, the NBA, etc., etc. have done, it never would
    >> have happened.

    >
    >
    >
    > Dumbass -
    >
    > I agree that the UCI is weaker than the other sports, but you left out
    > the biggest reason: $$$$$$$$.
    >
    > Cycling is a smaller sport from a $$$$ perspective. The Europeleton
    > pays out, what, $150-200 million/year? in rider salaries. Compare that
    > to a big American TV sport like the NFL, where the total payout is $2.5
    > billion. I don't know the figures for FIFA, but it's gotta be huge.
    > More $$$ for a sports federation=more political clout.



    Money and power are of course closely connected. And it's true that cycling
    is right now rather small from a $$$$ perspective. But the first anti-doping
    legislation and first anti-doping controls are from the 1960's when cycling
    was the second biggest european sport (the first was soccer). And of course,
    pro cycling outside of Europe was more or less non-existant. And yet,
    cycling was the main and in several ways the only target of the anti-doping
    brigades. The proposed statute introduced in the Belgian senate in 1965
    began with the statement that is was "prohibited for participants in bicycle
    races or other sports competitions to avail themselves of stimulating
    agents". It was only after vigorous protest against the implication that
    cyclist were the chief sinners, that "in bicycle races or" was removed from
    the final draft.

    Benjo
     
  8. benjo maso wrote:

    > "Kurgan Gringioni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >
    >>benjo maso wrote:
    >>
    >>>>You've got your head up your ass.
    >>>>
    >>>>All professional sports have the doping issue. Spectator sports are not
    >>>>going away. People like watching.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>That's one of the reasons I think that at the end doping will be allowed.
    >>>But the popint is that bicycle racing on the road is very vulnerable.
    >>>First
    >>>of all, it is completely dependent of the goodwill of the authorities who
    >>>has to be willing to stop the traffic on an extensive road system, to put
    >>>the police at its disposal, etc.etc. Impossible to organize a race
    >>>without
    >>>the active support of the national and local government. In the second
    >>>place, the UCI has always been very weak, because it's has never
    >>>organized
    >>>something important, except the worldchampionship (which isn't that
    >>>important). That's one of the reasons why bicycle racing had always been
    >>>the
    >>>main target of the anti-doping policy. If the UCI wpuld have had the
    >>>power
    >>>to resist it, as the FIFA, the NBA, etc., etc. have done, it never would
    >>>have happened.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>Dumbass -
    >>
    >>I agree that the UCI is weaker than the other sports, but you left out
    >>the biggest reason: $$$$$$$$.
    >>
    >>Cycling is a smaller sport from a $$$$ perspective. The Europeleton
    >>pays out, what, $150-200 million/year? in rider salaries. Compare that
    >>to a big American TV sport like the NFL, where the total payout is $2.5
    >>billion. I don't know the figures for FIFA, but it's gotta be huge.
    >>More $$$ for a sports federation=more political clout.

    >
    >
    >
    > Money and power are of course closely connected. And it's true that cycling
    > is right now rather small from a $$$$ perspective. But the first anti-doping
    > legislation and first anti-doping controls are from the 1960's when cycling
    > was the second biggest european sport (the first was soccer). And of course,
    > pro cycling outside of Europe was more or less non-existant. And yet,
    > cycling was the main and in several ways the only target of the anti-doping
    > brigades. The proposed statute introduced in the Belgian senate in 1965
    > began with the statement that is was "prohibited for participants in bicycle
    > races or other sports competitions to avail themselves of stimulating
    > agents". It was only after vigorous protest against the implication that
    > cyclist were the chief sinners, that "in bicycle races or" was removed from
    > the final draft.
    >
    > Benjo
    >
    >


    It's true that I don't remember hearing much about doping in other
    sports until the 1976 E. German womens' swim team was moonlighting as
    the baritone section of the Mormon Tabernacle choir.
    But I figure swimming must have been in there pretty early. I had a
    patient who swam competitively in high school in northern California in
    the early '60s, whose mother pulled her off the team after the coach
    gave her "vitamins".

    Steve

    --
    Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
    http://www.dentaltwins.com
    Brooklyn, NY
    718-258-5001
     
  9. benjo maso

    benjo maso Guest

    "Mark & Steven Bornfeld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > benjo maso wrote:
    >
    >> "Kurgan Gringioni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]
    >>
    >>>benjo maso wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>>You've got your head up your ass.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>All professional sports have the doping issue. Spectator sports are not
    >>>>>going away. People like watching.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>That's one of the reasons I think that at the end doping will be
    >>>>allowed.
    >>>>But the popint is that bicycle racing on the road is very vulnerable.
    >>>>First
    >>>>of all, it is completely dependent of the goodwill of the authorities
    >>>>who
    >>>>has to be willing to stop the traffic on an extensive road system, to
    >>>>put
    >>>>the police at its disposal, etc.etc. Impossible to organize a race
    >>>>without
    >>>>the active support of the national and local government. In the second
    >>>>place, the UCI has always been very weak, because it's has never
    >>>>organized
    >>>>something important, except the worldchampionship (which isn't that
    >>>>important). That's one of the reasons why bicycle racing had always been
    >>>>the
    >>>>main target of the anti-doping policy. If the UCI wpuld have had the
    >>>>power
    >>>>to resist it, as the FIFA, the NBA, etc., etc. have done, it never would
    >>>>have happened.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Dumbass -
    >>>
    >>>I agree that the UCI is weaker than the other sports, but you left out
    >>>the biggest reason: $$$$$$$$.
    >>>
    >>>Cycling is a smaller sport from a $$$$ perspective. The Europeleton
    >>>pays out, what, $150-200 million/year? in rider salaries. Compare that
    >>>to a big American TV sport like the NFL, where the total payout is $2.5
    >>>billion. I don't know the figures for FIFA, but it's gotta be huge.
    >>>More $$$ for a sports federation=more political clout.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Money and power are of course closely connected. And it's true that
    >> cycling is right now rather small from a $$$$ perspective. But the first
    >> anti-doping legislation and first anti-doping controls are from the
    >> 1960's when cycling was the second biggest european sport (the first was
    >> soccer). And of course, pro cycling outside of Europe was more or less
    >> non-existant. And yet, cycling was the main and in several ways the only
    >> target of the anti-doping brigades. The proposed statute introduced in
    >> the Belgian senate in 1965 began with the statement that is was
    >> "prohibited for participants in bicycle races or other sports
    >> competitions to avail themselves of stimulating agents". It was only
    >> after vigorous protest against the implication that cyclist were the
    >> chief sinners, that "in bicycle races or" was removed from the final
    >> draft.
    >>
    >> Benjo

    >
    > It's true that I don't remember hearing much about doping in other sports
    > until the 1976 E. German womens' swim team was moonlighting as the
    > baritone section of the Mormon Tabernacle choir.
    > But I figure swimming must have been in there pretty early. I had a
    > patient who swam competitively in high school in northern California in
    > the early '60s, whose mother pulled her off the team after the coach gave
    > her "vitamins".



    In 1865 Dutch papers wrote that some swimmers (of course only foreigners)
    participating to a series of races in Amsterdam were using drugs. About 1900
    boxers and soccer players were using strychnine, alcool and cocaine. And it
    seems that the word "doping" was introduced in 1899 by the famous American
    jockey Tod Sloane.

    Benjo
     
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