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Friday, July 27, 2007

Cycling and Doping IV

Haha, "four" in Roman numerals is spelled IV, like, as in, drugs. So this year's Tour brought more doping scandals, and I'm just shocked. Yesterday, Jean-Francois Lamour, vice president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, suggested that the cycling could be withdrawn from the Olympics. I think that's a good idea, actually, but I doubt it will happen. WTF, its just crazy. I went over to LA's website, and looked at his response to Walsh's recent book, From Lance to Landis, which I've read, and which in my opinion confirms the allegations of LA's doping beyond a reasonable doubt. Lance has posted a caustic response directed at Walsh, a threatening letter to Steffen Prentice (not surprisingly followed by Prentice's public retraction of his statements), and transcripts of testimony that demonstrate how LA's legal team badgered them until they couldn't say anything for certain. I'll tell you what I want to hear. I want to hear from his ex-wife, and his kids. Where the hell are they? Anyhow, here's a reasonablely balanced look the story: http://boulderreport.bicycling.com/2007/06/looking-for-the.html I hope this German kid, Linus Gerdemann, isn't on the sauce. The reality is that now, whenever someone wins, that's the first thing I wonder. I can't even say that his stance as an anti-doping advocate makes it less likely that he's doing it, because the governing bodies aren't on the level, the testing is never as good as the doping, and most doper aren't getting caught. This is funny though: http://www.tmz.com/2007/03/18/lances-ladies-look-alike/ --------------------------------------------- To the NYT, Vaughters denied that the IM exchange with Andeu was reported accurately. I like JV, and in particular, I like this quote, from cyclingnews:

"This message has to stop in cycling. This is a sport, not a Roman-conquered land. Directors and sponsors and fans have to be OK when their team doesn't win techanically on the day they want. We need to be OK with the tax being paid a few days late. "And you, as the press and fans, need to allow for that too. If a rider under-performs, don't say, 'he looks a bit fat' or whatever, like Manolo Saiz commenting on how 'fat' all the French riders looked. Just say, 'better luck next time'. "Part of the testing regimes like ACE is doing with us, and like T-Mobile is doing internally, is that it changes the riders' behavior, not just tries to catch them. It makes doping a bad choice as opposed to 'getting the job done'. If the peer pressure is to 'get the job done' because that's the implicit message, it will get done - in a bad way. "'Get 'er done' is for digging a five meter ditch or changing a light bulb. Anyone can do that without drugs given enough time, unless they are lazy. Riding a bike at 50 kph for hours takes a unique talent. It only happens on a good day for even the most talented athlete, and none of them are lazy. Let's not take away from the beauty of that once-in-a-lifetime natural achievement by saying 'get 'er done.' to these guys. "But if the message is, 'do your best to try and win', that is totally different - and human. Managers, fans, press, everyone needs to look at what they ask of riders. Think about it. You loved Tyler Hamilton getting fourth in the Tour and winning a stage with a broken collarbone. Think about that. What message does that send? He got the job done. He didn't let anyone down. "And now? Maybe he did make a ton of money, but believe me, most of his motivation was to not let down his family, his fans, his sponsors, the press and on and on. He didn't want anyone to be disappointed in him. He wanted you guys to love him and he wanted to be the nice guy. He wanted to 'get his job done'. "He wanted to make you guys happy and cheer! I know - that's what I wanted. And now? Tyler is still the same guy.

"People and the press need to remember, athletes tend to be very self-conscious and they want to do what makes the crowd happy. Don't criticise and push hard and then act shocked when doping scandals erupt. "Athletes are humans - entertainers - and very fragile humans at that. Think of them as shivering greyhounds on a cold day. All they want is to go fast so they can see the smile on your face."

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