Whatever happened to ... All the heroes

Discussion in 'Doping in Cycling' started by nonns, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Seriously folks. So USADA finds L.A. guilty of doping. They strip him of his TdF victories and whatever other palates he's won. So who are the TdF winners? Merckx? Anquetil? Lemond? Fig non? Hinault? Roche? Induration? Delgado? And whoever else I've forgotten. It calls into question everybody who's ever cycled professionally. One begins to question what the point is of the anti doping. They will never catch all the dopers. New drugs will come along. Cyclists will dope. Some will be caught and some not. Ultimately we will never know who is clean. We will just know that we caught some cheats and that others escaped Dope or not it takes training, focus and determination to win a Tour. Lance may have been doping but he was competing against other dopers. Surely the drugs just level the playing field so they all get a bit faster. Do I condone doping - no but neither do I feel that USADA is achieving much by there stance. Can they actually guarantee any rider who was clean in the races they fell that Lamce was doping in?
     
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  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Riis wasn't stripped of his 1996 Tour de France title.

    But Riis admitted his guilt.
     
  3. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    My point was not that they'd been stripped of their titles but ... as seemingly most if not all have doped (even if not found positive due to anti doping technology at the time they were racing/official attitudes to doping etc.). My point was that as one should probably strip every TdF winner between the race beginning and present day of their titles and the second through perhaps the top 50 riders of there positions it makes something of a mockery of the concept of racing doesn't it. We will never know who is doping or not. You either accept the winner or you don't. If someone wins and hasn't been found positive then they may be clean or they may have found a drug which isn't on the banned list or which isn't detectable as yet.

    Clearly there is an endemic problems with the thinking behind doping and the whole anti doping thing also. What is the goal of anti dopign and and is it achievable? If not then one needs to think again and stop persecuting individuals who in spite of drugs may well have had to work exceptionally hard to achieve what they've achieved. I would rather see great sporting spectacle and none can deny that theTdF and the other big stage races are great sporting spectacles with a winner who may or may not have been doping than to see every winner dragged through the mud. Its already started for Bradley Wiggins and he hasn't won yet - this is becoming ridiculous.

    When it comes to LA well the fact that Lance may have doped doesn't mean that USADA should deny him access to evidence or allow him to defend himself. Frankly if they truly believe he is the low life they make him out to be why are they lowering themselves to his level?

    I am becoming one very jaded fan and am slowly but surely going off cycling. When I was a kid Bernard Hinault was my hero. Now I'm not so sure - he probably doped to the gills. Frankly the whole thing sickens me - both the doping and the anti doping.

    I think a better approach would be to draw a line in the sand and say everyone who dopes come forward now. You have 3 months to admit guilt. Come clean submit and submit to rigorous ongoing testing. You keep your palmares and winnings. All riders will be subject to testing as they are now. If anyone tests positive and it sticks then they are banned for life with no hope of appeal. No announcements will be made to the press until such time as guilt has been established. Any leaks by riders will result in immediate loss of right to appeal and immediate lifetime ban. Any leak by lab or drugs administration will get the slate wiped clean for the rider.

    Make it simple and very strict.
     
  4. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Lemond is widely regarded as a clean rider.
     
  5. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Widely regarded? By who? Perhaps he just wasn't caught. LA, Bernard Hinault etc are all widely regarded as being clean. Trouble is they're just as widely regarded as not being clean. Your answer is precisely what I was getting at ... whatever happened to all the heroes? Greg Lemond was riding in the days when drugs testing is not as developed as it is now. Fignon was doping so can you be sure that Greg wasn't? Again I'd like to think that he wasn't but the continuous and ongoing witch hunting makes me doubt all the riders. Were they clean or were they simply not caught? The drugs testing and catching of cheats appears to be relatively arbitrary and thus ineffectual.

    Personally I think we should be giving all the riders credit for training hard, being focussed and sacrificing a whole lot and yes that includes the dopers who may well be sacrificing long term health also. Lets face it a couch potato would still be a couch potato even with drugs. Even Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Jan Ulrich and so forth had to work damned hard and if the entire peloton was doping then they were still the best of the best.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    We will never catch all the thieves, murderers etc. The fisherman will never catch all the fish. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
     
  7. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Mate I was just stating what I know, it may or may not be right. I don't buy the crap about rider xyz is more focused or trains harder, watches nutrition, doesn't chase women or drinks beer and prefers to train in the snow, rain and hail blah blah blah.....while miraculously no other rider in the peloton has discovered this secret. We obviously agree with each other.
     
  8. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Doesn't it? What happens if you catch and execute innocent people. Hey if he burns he's innocent if he doesn't he's a witch. What happens when you catch all the fish(this is happening which is why fish stocks are being depleted). You destroy an industry or a sport Surely one should consider alternatives - though what those are may be difficult to ascertain. More of the same isn't necessarily working properly and nor is it necessarily fair. If they are prepared to go back 16 years on Lance why not go back further for Greg Le Mond or Indurain or Hinault and others. Chances are they were all cheating and stealing the palmares of others who may or may not have been cheating also. Sorry I'm just being argumentative for the sake of it. I am not a lance fanboy but neither do I hate him and I do feel that drugs or no drugs he did a fantastic job. Let's face it Ulrich never managed to beat him and neither did many other notable drug users so whose to say his titles weren't legit and that's assuming that he was doping in the first place.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I never bought the explanation for Armstrong's improvement. It didn't make sense in 1998 and it made even less sense in the subsequent years with what has been disclosed about him, his team and his competitors.

    We're being asked to believe that in a sea of doping, Armstrong was the only clean rider?/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
    It's laughable.

    I know from having followed the sport for several decades and having read widely about the sport that the effect from EPO for example, is far greater than the effect of the stuff taken in 1960's, 1970's and 1980's.
     
  10. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Fair is concept best forgotten after 1st grade grammer school. Fair doesn't exist except in FairyTales. Justice is perception and hit and miss at best.
     
  11. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Presumably you feel that the Bradley Wiggins outburst was entirely fatuous and without grounding because clearly he wants us to believe the same thing that LA does?

    Note I'm not being sarcastic. I'm just discussing cos I'm interested. LA could well be guilty but the way USADA is going about things does smack of witch hunting. Even their gathering of witnesses appears to have been accomplished through threats of some sort. So LA is going to be denounced by people who have not only been proved to be notable drug takers and liars but by others who have been given the choice between either having nasty things happen to them or testifying against LA.

    When they strip him of his victories who will the winner be someone else who they choose to claim is clean. Ultimately the sport loses as it shine gets dulled because no matter how hard they try they will never catch all the the dopers and some of those dopers will become champions.
     
  12. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    It would be nice to know all the facts and have the ability to come to a unimpeachable conclusion, unfortunately people lie to save their own hides so it is necessary to sort throughthe evidence and draw a conclusion. It has always troubled me that the sport gets dragged down with every scandal. I really don't have a good answer.
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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  14. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Brilliant song :-> and a good link - thank you.

    Its all a tragic state of affairs.
     
  15. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Whoops should have said that whilst I recognise that whilst the theme of the song alludes to the fact that the heroes are all flawed the fact of the matter is that they were romantic heroes. This ghastly process in cycling strips away the romantic nature of competing and winning in the worlds greatest cycle race. There is no romance any more and the spectacle is significantly diminished.

    How sad.
     
  16. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I'm a Stranglers fan!
     
  17. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    Yeah me too. Lets face it LA can look on the bright side. At least he wont get an ice pick ... that makes his ears burn
     
  18. slovakguy

    slovakguy Active Member

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    just to satisfy my curiosity, how is what the usada are doing "witch-hunting?" be specific.

    as for their witnesses, unless you serve in some post within the usada, that roll has not been released. we have all been speculating that these witnesses are the same as those who were called before a grand jury (which in itself was speculation) and gave testimony under oath. that information, as has been reported, was passed along to usada.

    as for the consequences their actions will bring, again, are you privy to information the rest of us have not heard? if you were in the witness stand under oath and asked about your knowledge, would you willingly perjure yourself and risk imprisonment or tell the truth and suffer a two year ban? it would be wonderful if armstrong doped with a convent of racing nuns who could provide unimpeachable testimony and character, but often one has to turn to drug dealers to find out who sold them the drugs.

    as an aside, ask yourself this one question; if these witnesses are all such no account cheats and liars, how is it that they managed to stay in the postal/discovery/astana organisation? bruyneel fired very few, but several left of their own accord--and they were caught doping.
     
  19. nonns

    nonns New Member

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    I was under the impression that in essence USADA was buying witnesses. When some of the witnesses are folks who are not exactly known for their honesty in what way can they be considered suitable witnesses. Essentially you're stacking one actual liar and confirmed cheat against an alleged liar and cheat. The difference is that you've provided the confirmed liar and cheat with a reason to lie further in order to mitigate the damage to his own skin. To me it seems that they are raising the likelihood of getting themselves in to a situation where they are hanging the wrong guy.

    Its not exactly a great situation and I don't think it provides a particularly clean or admirable basis for destroying the reputation of someone who may not be perfect or that likeable but who has done may good things. It provides a blinding opportunity to further damage the reputation of the sport and spoil its romance further.

    As for your question
    if these witnesses are all such no account cheats and liars, how is it that they managed to stay in the postal/discovery/astana organisation? bruyneel fired very few, but several left of their own accord--and they were caught doping.

    Simple answer, dunno. I have seen many organisations where people manage to maintain their positions in spite of the fact that everyone knows they should lose them and potentially end up being severely dealt with. Perhaps thats whats happened here. I have to admit though you have asked a very good question. I don't have a definitive answer. I don't think one can prove or disprove LA's guilt from the fact that there might have been some bad guys in the team. Would you strip the man of 7 TdF's on the basis of that thinking? I'm not sure I could?
     
  20. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I once had to decide to term an employee because two female accused him of sexual harrassment which he denied. I asked him if he could explain why the two girls would lie. He had no answer and since he had been warned from a previous incident I fired him.
    Several years later he asked for a second chance and admitted his guilt stating he had changed.
    Sometimes you just have to consider all the evidence that is available and make a call. This one will of course not be mine although I probably have heard more stories from professional riders than many.
     
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