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#51 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:14

I think you'll find the USADA authority is really the only organisation that has come out of this with any integrity.

Agreed. If there is a reason why Armstrong wasn't caught until USADA came gunning for him, it's because there is a code of silence in the whole sport. When everyone inside the system is guilty, either by commission or omission, the number of people in the know who are willing to kick the beehive is surprisingly small.

This wasn't like an Agatha Christie detective novel, where the challenge was to solve the mystery. This was like an investigation into a reputed mob boss. This is one of those cases where the truth was known beyond any doubt by those who weren't willfully blind long before the legal case could be put together.

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#52 desmo

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:23

If your chosen line of work involves a 'code of silence' of misconduct you aren't a professional, you are involved in organized crime.

#53 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:26

I have no idea wether Armstrong is truly guilty or not.


BUT, this investigation stinks to high heaven. It's guilty-until-proven-innocent, which is NOT the way it is done in America. And, if Lance was to be found innocent, then it would be another trial -- rinse, repeat.

To me, the integrity of the governing body is more important than the integrity of the athletes. This is where the USADA has failed.



What level of evidence would satisfy you though? The USADA has a lot of evidence that seems to condemn him.

#54 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:33

I think you'll find the USADA authority is really the only organisation that has come out of this with any integrity.

I don't know, this Taggart guy comes across like another Ken Starr, one of these guys who just keeps digging well after no one else really cares.

I can't think of any one person or entity who gains anything out of all of this.



#55 ensign14

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:39

No-one gains out of prosecuting a one-off murderer, but we still do it. The world of cycling and clean cyclists however will gain.

#56 Youichi

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 13:18

I think you'll find the USADA authority is really the only organisation that has come out of this with any integrity.


I think that anytime you give witnesses immunity to get them to say what you were after, you've lost your integrity.

I suspect that Lance did cheat, but to pretend that the USADA has any integrity is a bit much.


#57 Fat Boy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 17:04

I was talking about the Lance thing with a very good, young driver last weekend. He was saying how stupid of him to dope when there was such a chance of getting caught. I put it to him like this. Let’s say you have a pill that you can take which will give you a ½-second of laptime. You know that all of your major competitors are taking it, but it’s illegal. Now you have to make a decision. Are you going to take the pill or are you going to go out into the real world and find an 8-5 job. That’s really your only two options. A ½-second a lap isn’t enough to make a wanker the next world champ, but it’s enough to make a good driver a race winner and a top echelon driver unbeatable. He agreed that he would be taking the pill.

Lance is not the disease, he’s a symptom of the disease. Riders have been taking PED’s since they started racing bicycles. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking Coppi, Anquetil, Merkx, Hinault (who gives the common “I never failed a test” refrain), Indurain, Armstrong or Contador. It has long been part of the culture of this particular form of racing. The UCI, which is the sanctioning body, has gone from completely ignoring the issue to wrist slapping and now to actually enforcing the WADA (and USADA) decisions. I believe there is a genuine movement to stop the drug cheats, but it’s been a long time coming. If you believe the USADA was out of place, you need to read the report. They weren’t. Their entire reason for being is to catch drug cheats. They were faced with a guy that everyone suspected of cheating who retired. That guy then came back in 2009 & 2010 still cheating. It’s not that the USADA wouldn’t let the sleeping dog lie, it was Lance that actually gave the mutt a kick. If he would not have had his last comeback, I highly doubt if would have ever been made an issue.

I can’t really blame Lance. I’m no angel. I’ve done things with cars that I’d prefer not to talk about. Not a lot. Certainly not on the endemic scale that doping was found on the US Postal cycling team. It’s one thing to be an amateur sportsman, but it’s an entirely different kettle of fish when your livelihood rests on your next performance. I get why the NASCAR guys cheat their cars up. I get why road builders short-sack a concrete highway. I get why salesmen lie to their customers. I get why politicians take bribes. I don’t like it, but I get it.

The UCI is leaving those 7 Tours titles vacated. That’s really the only route to take. In many of those years, I would venture to guess that there was not a single completely innocent rider in The Tour. Those guys simply never got the opportunity to ride on the world’s biggest stage. I don’t know if purging Lance is a step in the right direction or not. It doesn’t do a lot of for the present crop of guys, many of whom I believe are completely clean. The steps forward have to be with the sanctioning body. Governmental involvement is not the answer, in my book. The government has plenty of stuff to screw up without getting in the middle of sports management.

Ultimately, the culture of the racing has to change. I think we’re seeing that in NASCAR. It’s certainly not the same as when Smokey Yunick or even Dale Earnhardt was racing. In those times, cheating was not only an accepted part of the culture, but a ‘good’ cheat was looked highly upon. Like I said earlier, how many of AJ Foyt’s wins would we have to remove if we were to discount his ‘cheater’ races? Probably damned near all of them! Would that make him any less of a figure in racing history? There is no political will to do this and there is upside to doing this if there was. I don’t know if removing Lance from the sport of cycling will help the sport, I suspect not. What I do know is that there are people who are genuinely trying to make the sport better and if they can continue with their work, then we’ll get a better situation in the long run.

Edited by Fat Boy, 23 October 2012 - 17:05.


#58 John Brundage

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 19:41

I was talking about the Lance thing with a very good, young driver last weekend. He was saying how stupid of him to dope when there was such a chance of getting caught. I put it to him like this. Let’s say you have a pill that you can take which will give you a ½-second of laptime. You know that all of your major competitors are taking it, but it’s illegal. Now you have to make a decision. Are you going to take the pill or are you going to go out into the real world and find an 8-5 job. That’s really your only two options. A ½-second a lap isn’t enough to make a wanker the next world champ, but it’s enough to make a good driver a race winner and a top echelon driver unbeatable. He agreed that he would be taking the pill.

Lance is not the disease, he’s a symptom of the disease. Riders have been taking PED’s since they started racing bicycles. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking Coppi, Anquetil, Merkx, Hinault (who gives the common “I never failed a test” refrain), Indurain, Armstrong or Contador. It has long been part of the culture of this particular form of racing. The UCI, which is the sanctioning body, has gone from completely ignoring the issue to wrist slapping and now to actually enforcing the WADA (and USADA) decisions. I believe there is a genuine movement to stop the drug cheats, but it’s been a long time coming. If you believe the USADA was out of place, you need to read the report. They weren’t. Their entire reason for being is to catch drug cheats. They were faced with a guy that everyone suspected of cheating who retired. That guy then came back in 2009 & 2010 still cheating. It’s not that the USADA wouldn’t let the sleeping dog lie, it was Lance that actually gave the mutt a kick. If he would not have had his last comeback, I highly doubt if would have ever been made an issue.

I can’t really blame Lance. I’m no angel. I’ve done things with cars that I’d prefer not to talk about. Not a lot. Certainly not on the endemic scale that doping was found on the US Postal cycling team. It’s one thing to be an amateur sportsman, but it’s an entirely different kettle of fish when your livelihood rests on your next performance. I get why the NASCAR guys cheat their cars up. I get why road builders short-sack a concrete highway. I get why salesmen lie to their customers. I get why politicians take bribes. I don’t like it, but I get it.

The UCI is leaving those 7 Tours titles vacated. That’s really the only route to take. In many of those years, I would venture to guess that there was not a single completely innocent rider in The Tour. Those guys simply never got the opportunity to ride on the world’s biggest stage. I don’t know if purging Lance is a step in the right direction or not. It doesn’t do a lot of for the present crop of guys, many of whom I believe are completely clean. The steps forward have to be with the sanctioning body. Governmental involvement is not the answer, in my book. The government has plenty of stuff to screw up without getting in the middle of sports management.

Ultimately, the culture of the racing has to change. I think we’re seeing that in NASCAR. It’s certainly not the same as when Smokey Yunick or even Dale Earnhardt was racing. In those times, cheating was not only an accepted part of the culture, but a ‘good’ cheat was looked highly upon. Like I said earlier, how many of AJ Foyt’s wins would we have to remove if we were to discount his ‘cheater’ races? Probably damned near all of them! Would that make him any less of a figure in racing history? There is no political will to do this and there is upside to doing this if there was. I don’t know if removing Lance from the sport of cycling will help the sport, I suspect not. What I do know is that there are people who are genuinely trying to make the sport better and if they can continue with their work, then we’ll get a better situation in the long run.


There is a difference between a car that has been altered to give a driver an advantage and the driver taking drugs to make him attain something that he cannot attain with-in his natural ability. Altering the car would be more akin to altering Lance's bicycle. I don't mind the cat and mouse game between creative crew chiefs and tech inspectors. The car still needs a good driver to take advantage of the alterations. I don't condone the use of PEDs that make someone attain something that is not possible by natural ability.

#59 Magoo

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 20:56

Hmm. Perhaps we are using AJ only as a hypothetical example, but he had "only" seven NASCAR victories in his career. We might be thinking more of his open-wheel career, where he had 67 victories. However, most of his wins took place in the era where it would be pretty hard to cheat in a meaningful way. For example, in 1964 when he won 10 USAC races, there were no aero, engine, tire, fuel, etc rules to speak of. Essentially, everything was legal. Run what you brung. It's possible he could be cheating the min. weight or displacement limits but that seems doubtful.

I only raise this point because it would be inaccurate and unfair to attribute Foyt's success in racing to cheating, especially in the manner that seems to be the case with Armstrong. That's pretty cheesy, we must admit. Foyt may be a skunk personally but he doesn't deserve that.

Even Yunick did not regard himself a cheater in the same sense as Armstrong. If a particular feature or modification were prohibited in the rulebook, Yunick considered that off-limits. He saw himself as operating in the area of the rulebook that was not defined, as in: "it doesn't say you *can't* do it."

To me, Armstrong's moral position seems closest to that in F1 a few years ago, where if a car could be engineered to pass through the scrutineering regime in place at that moment, then it was at that moment legal. That could be part of Armstrong's moral rationalization, if any.


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#60 Canuck

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:14

IMHO - there's a fundamental difference between making the decision to dope (or cheat up the car), and Armstrong's "Dope or you're history" tactics on the team combined with his absolute vilification of anyone who dared tell the truth. Even noting to the media that Doctor X was known to provide doping support was enough to bring his considerable wrath. His cheating makes him the same as the rest of the cheaters - the remainder of his actions are what make him the *******.

#61 Fat Boy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:26

IMHO - there's a fundamental difference between making the decision to dope (or cheat up the car), and Armstrong's "Dope or you're history" tactics on the team combined with his absolute vilification of anyone who dared tell the truth. Even noting to the media that Doctor X was known to provide doping support was enough to bring his considerable wrath. His cheating makes him the same as the rest of the cheaters - the remainder of his actions are what make him the *******.



Completely agree.

#62 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:29

Yeah I think that was the Step Too Far. Although there is an argument for the best place to hide is in plain sight. I wondered for a while that even if there was knowledge if it would be kept quiet, such is the reputational damage it would do to cycling and possibly even Livestrong.

Plus confronting everyone who challenged him with ridiculous aggression. I don't know if he was just insane or it was a tactic to overreact to eveything to keep the murmurs down. But it may have been his undoing. He definitely wasn't someone you could root for on personality.

#63 Fat Boy

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:34

Hmm. Perhaps we are using AJ only as a hypothetical example, but he had "only" seven NASCAR victories in his career. We might be thinking more of his open-wheel career, where he had 67 victories. However, most of his wins took place in the era where it would be pretty hard to cheat in a meaningful way. For example, in 1964 when he won 10 USAC races, there were no aero, engine, tire, fuel, etc rules to speak of. Essentially, everything was legal. Run what you brung. It's possible he could be cheating the min. weight or displacement limits but that seems doubtful.

I only raise this point because it would be inaccurate and unfair to attribute Foyt's success in racing to cheating, especially in the manner that seems to be the case with Armstrong. That's pretty cheesy, we must admit. Foyt may be a skunk personally but he doesn't deserve that.

Even Yunick did not regard himself a cheater in the same sense as Armstrong. If a particular feature or modification were prohibited in the rulebook, Yunick considered that off-limits. He saw himself as operating in the area of the rulebook that was not defined, as in: "it doesn't say you *can't* do it."

To me, Armstrong's moral position seems closest to that in F1 a few years ago, where if a car could be engineered to pass through the scrutineering regime in place at that moment, then it was at that moment legal. That could be part of Armstrong's moral rationalization, if any.



I used AJ as an example for a couple reasons. One, because of his overwhelming influence on the sport in a given era (hell, a couple of them...). Two, I know a guy that drove for him at Indy and according to him, AJ was all about cheating the car up. What he did or did not do is completely hypothetical, but the tech guys were certainly not above giving out a special pop-off valve to help out their boy.

Maybe a better analogy is Chad Kanouse, who has gotten a couple smacks for giving JJ a car that was a little more equal than the rest.

Dan Gurney called it 'Pioneering'. He didn't invent that term after *not* doing it.

Edited by Fat Boy, 23 October 2012 - 21:34.


#64 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 18:42

I was talking about this to a friend of mine and I was talking about how in NASCAR, they don't vacate victories. I think I remember reading somewhere that they feel that is is too damaging to have a fan leave the track not being absolutely sure that when they open the paper tomorrow, the headline will have the same winner they saw in victory lane.

Why doesn't UCI say the same thing? "OK, you got us. The victories stand. But rest assured this type of cheating or anything like it will EVER succeed again."

Edit: I know NASCAR has changed the winner in the past (Wendell Scott). Also I'm not saying this is what they should do, I'm just talking out my butt.

Edited by OfficeLinebacker, 24 October 2012 - 18:43.


#65 Fat Boy

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 19:53

Why doesn't UCI say the same thing? "OK, you got us. The victories stand. But rest assured this type of cheating or anything like it will EVER succeed again."


That makes wayyyyy too much sense.

#66 Kalmake

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 19:57

One big difference to cheating up a car: lot of the PEDs are illegal not just within the sport but in the law. It kind of ruins the fun when police are arresting competitors.

#67 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 19:59

Because most of the time one NASCAR race is just one race. So if someone completely BS's their way to a win, you let it slide and then massacre them in points and fines. A severe points penalty could hurt the rest of your season. Though if someone cheated their way to a Daytona 500 win, with something like a big engine, it'd be interesting to see their response.

In soccer they tend to demote people to lower leagues, strip them of TV money, etc.

#68 pugfan

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:09

Why doesn't UCI say the same thing? "OK, you got us. The victories stand. But rest assured this type of cheating or anything like it will EVER succeed again."


So you're proposing to remove a strong incentive to not dope. In fact you're proposing a strong incentive to dope.

I think it should be the other way with things like retrospective testing. Would Armstrong have doped if he knew his 1999 sampes where going to be retrospectively tested for EPO? Some people will always cheat regardless of the outcomes like Riccardo Ricco but I think retrospective testing would deter a lot of people.

The aim is not to eliminate doping but make it difficult enough to evade that it makes little difference to the performance.

I don't think using automotive racing is a very good analogy because doping in cycling can cause such a marked differece to performance. Actually scratch that, imagine the most capable, talented Nascar team fielding a legal car and being lapped by everyone else, this is what was happening when doping was rife in the elite peleton.

Greg LeMond, possibly the most naturally gifted cyclist ever, thought he had developed an underlying physiological condition that had turned him from a 3 times Tour winner to an also-ran. It was the only way he could rationalise his drop in performance.

#69 Ben

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:45

It's certainly been a crazy few weeks for cycling. My personal perspective comes as a cycling fan who fell in love with the sport aged 8 watching LeMond destroy Fignon in the final ITT to win the 1989 Tour. I was always suspicious of the Armstrong story and I've been 100% convinced he doped since the Simeone incident in the 2004 Tour. I also spent a flight last week reading every page of the USADA report.

I think the pragmatic reality presented by Fat Boy is pretty much a reflection of the situation. It's also the point made by Tyler Hamilton in Secret Race (basically the USADA report but better prose) and by Jonathan Vaughters in his NY Times article. If you present young athletes with a corrupt sport and ask them to dope or give up their dreams people will dope period. There's no point demonising the athlete and ignoring the system.

If Armstrong was currently being contrite and accepting this was the case it would be infinitely better, but it's the fraud and bullying that I find worse than the doping in many ways.

I'm about 30% of the way through this book: http://www.amazon.co...-...3620&sr=8-7

It's fascinating and discusses the nature of sport and the naive moral view of the positive qualities of sport which leads to the evil doper against a pure sport narrative. The point being developed seems to be (and rightly in my view) that the pharmaceutical industry, sports governing bodies and medical staff need to be made as responsible for this situation as the fallen heroes of the sport.

Ben

#70 Ben

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:42

Depressing...

http://www.siab.org....ongTriangle.pdf

Ben

#71 Tony Matthews

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 12:40

...but also fascinating.

#72 Ben

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 13:10

...but also fascinating.


True. Twitter is a great news source once you know the right people to follow :-)

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#73 Canuck

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 04:04

True. Twitter is a great news source once you know the right people to follow :-)

Ben

Agreed

#74 paulrobs

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 20:01

I was talking about the Lance thing with a very good, young driver last weekend. He was saying how stupid of him to dope when there was such a chance of getting caught. I put it to him like this. Let’s say you have a pill that you can take which will give you a ½-second of laptime. You know that all of your major competitors are taking it, but it’s illegal. Now you have to make a decision. Are you going to take the pill or are you going to go out into the real world and find an 8-5 job. That’s really your only two options. A ½-second a lap isn’t enough to make a wanker the next world champ, but it’s enough to make a good driver a race winner and a top echelon driver unbeatable. He agreed that he would be taking the pill.

Lance is not the disease, he’s a symptom of the disease. Riders have been taking PED’s since they started racing bicycles. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking Coppi, Anquetil, Merkx, Hinault (who gives the common “I never failed a test” refrain), Indurain, Armstrong or Contador. It has long been part of the culture of this particular form of racing. The UCI, which is the sanctioning body, has gone from completely ignoring the issue to wrist slapping and now to actually enforcing the WADA (and USADA) decisions. I believe there is a genuine movement to stop the drug cheats, but it’s been a long time coming. If you believe the USADA was out of place, you need to read the report. They weren’t. Their entire reason for being is to catch drug cheats. They were faced with a guy that everyone suspected of cheating who retired. That guy then came back in 2009 & 2010 still cheating. It’s not that the USADA wouldn’t let the sleeping dog lie, it was Lance that actually gave the mutt a kick. If he would not have had his last comeback, I highly doubt if would have ever been made an issue.

I can’t really blame Lance. I’m no angel. I’ve done things with cars that I’d prefer not to talk about. Not a lot. Certainly not on the endemic scale that doping was found on the US Postal cycling team. It’s one thing to be an amateur sportsman, but it’s an entirely different kettle of fish when your livelihood rests on your next performance. I get why the NASCAR guys cheat their cars up. I get why road builders short-sack a concrete highway. I get why salesmen lie to their customers. I get why politicians take bribes. I don’t like it, but I get it.

The UCI is leaving those 7 Tours titles vacated. That’s really the only route to take. In many of those years, I would venture to guess that there was not a single completely innocent rider in The Tour. Those guys simply never got the opportunity to ride on the world’s biggest stage. I don’t know if purging Lance is a step in the right direction or not. It doesn’t do a lot of for the present crop of guys, many of whom I believe are completely clean. The steps forward have to be with the sanctioning body. Governmental involvement is not the answer, in my book. The government has plenty of stuff to screw up without getting in the middle of sports management.

Ultimately, the culture of the racing has to change. I think we’re seeing that in NASCAR. It’s certainly not the same as when Smokey Yunick or even Dale Earnhardt was racing. In those times, cheating was not only an accepted part of the culture, but a ‘good’ cheat was looked highly upon. Like I said earlier, how many of AJ Foyt’s wins would we have to remove if we were to discount his ‘cheater’ races? Probably damned near all of them! Would that make him any less of a figure in racing history? There is no political will to do this and there is upside to doing this if there was. I don’t know if removing Lance from the sport of cycling will help the sport, I suspect not. What I do know is that there are people who are genuinely trying to make the sport better and if they can continue with their work, then we’ll get a better situation in the long run.


Some good stuff in here, I find myself agreeing with a lot you have said

#75 ensign14

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 22:32

Mike Lawrence in "Four Guys And A Telephone" strongly hints Foyt had nitrous in his driving suit for qualifying...and Mario once congratulated AJ on his "speed" in qualifying (he was 10mph up or so in a straight line). But that was in Twilight Foyt days. More Indy PR than actual race performance distortion - AJ qualifying 2nd was a bit better for the heartwarming story than him qualifying 22nd and by raceday it was all gone.

#76 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:40

Mike Lawrence in "Four Guys And A Telephone" strongly hints Foyt had nitrous in his driving suit for qualifying...and Mario once congratulated AJ on his "speed" in qualifying (he was 10mph up or so in a straight line). But that was in Twilight Foyt days. More Indy PR than actual race performance distortion - AJ qualifying 2nd was a bit better for the heartwarming story than him qualifying 22nd and by raceday it was all gone.

Most of the rumors about AJ are probably that. Maybe getting the 'best' pop off valves has some merit but lets face it he was getting old with less stamina.Especailly after all the crash injurys! Putting in a few quick laps in qualifying is not a race where he often faded. Though was still around the pace and not being an embarrasment. His team did engineer good cars too, though again like the driver they faded too. Good initial pace but the tyres go away etc faster than some others.

#77 Anthem

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 00:39

Good info from a man who provided the "goods" and went to prison. If you follow any athletic sport you should watch this:

*contains adult humor and language*



Also can be found via iTunes pod cast.

#78 Canuck

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:06

That was interesting - Victor is an interesting interview despite some reaching sometimes (55% hematocrit target).

#79 Fat Boy

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 22:01

That was interesting - Victor is an interesting interview despite some reaching sometimes (55% hematocrit target).



Mr. 60%

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#80 Ben

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 20:06

The story that just keeps on giving... http://www.cyclingne...epo-makers-feud

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#81 Canuck

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:00

Ya gotta like how Armstrong's backer Weisel was the backer / founder of the company that brought EPO to market.

It's stories like this that make me shake my head in wonder and disbelief at people who say "oh, but corporations are self-policing - they wouldn't do anything that would harm their client base as that's bad for business". Really? REALLY? Are people still that self-deluding? Big Tobacco, Big Sugar, Big Pharma...

#82 gruntguru

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:29

It's stories like this that make me shake my head in wonder and disbelief at people who say "oh, but corporations are self-policing - they wouldn't do anything that would harm their client base as that's bad for business". Really?

. . . but the client base were doing fine - some doctors were making $100,000 per year in kickbacks and . . . . . OH you mean the patients. Naaaahhh they're not the clients.

#83 desmo

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 15:45

Ya gotta like how Armstrong's backer Weisel was the backer / founder of the company that brought EPO to market.

It's stories like this that make me shake my head in wonder and disbelief at people who say "oh, but corporations are self-policing - they wouldn't do anything that would harm their client base as that's bad for business". Really? REALLY? Are people still that self-deluding? Big Tobacco, Big Sugar, Big Pharma...


It's the magic of the capitalist free enterprise system. Unbind the entrepreneurial spirit from government red tape and regulation and watch the blossoming of wonderfulness. Except in practice it winds up more like evil cartoon super-villain tycoons, kickback scams, false advertising, serfdom, monopolies, corruption and graft.

#84 Powersteer

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:02

Its becoming like F1, the driver's championship and the doping championship, who has the more potent variant or technology, maybe thats why it is difficult to do a Olympic 'who ever came next' selection of a winner because the one came 2nd had a lousier 'car' but harder to detect banned traction control. F-1 hidden traction control open loop days.

:cool:

Edited by Powersteer, 08 November 2012 - 06:03.


#85 Magoo

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:31

I believe I related this story before, but some years back I was asked to look into the OE sponsorship possibilities in cycling and do a report. After doing my checking I submitted my brief, which was essentially Run! Run Away!

Not that it was difficult but seldom has a judgement call been so completely vindicated, do you think?

#86 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 14:32

I believe I related this story before, but some years back I was asked to look into the OE sponsorship possibilities in cycling and do a report. After doing my checking I submitted my brief, which was essentially Run! Run Away!

Not that it was difficult but seldom has a judgement call been so completely vindicated, do you think?

OE? Original Equipment?

#87 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 14:49

Im assuming in this case it refers to the car companies and/or their suppliers, depending on the year(s) the report was done.

#88 Fat Boy

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 17:49

I believe I related this story before, but some years back I was asked to look into the OE sponsorship possibilities in cycling and do a report. After doing my checking I submitted my brief, which was essentially Run! Run Away!

Not that it was difficult but seldom has a judgement call been so completely vindicated, do you think?


US Postal was a team rife with doping. However, if you look at the advertising ROI on their cycling program, it was a clear winner. So...

#89 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 17:58

Hmm...

In media impressions, most likely. At least with Armstrong/winning, but did people *use* the post office on the back of it? It almost would have been a better business case for FedEx, because they could do lots of corporate networking(and have an international market too).

I wonder what the original justification was for that deal, because it started pre-TdF wins so would have needed a textbook argument to support it. Anything post-cancer comeback makes sense, ignoring the issues surrounding whether personal endorsement deals actually work.

#90 Powersteer

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 23:24

I wonder what Alain Prost has to say now that is a commited cyclist.

:cool:

#91 Fat Boy

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:48

My experience is that most cyclist should be committed...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have some problems with any government agency spending money in racing. That's more of a philosophical thing, though. At the time, Fed Ex was sponsoring a racing series if memory serves and UPS has put plenty into NASCAR. Assuming that the USPS needed advertisement, I think it's fair to say they got about as much out of their money spent on the bike team as they were going to get anywhere.

#92 gruntguru

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:10

I suppose posties still ride bicycles in some areas?

#93 Fat Boy

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 16:55

I suppose posties still ride bicycles in some areas?


You mean pro racers? Yep, there are still a couple riding. One, in South Africa, just got popped for EPO. Others are actually very anti-doping.

#94 TC3000

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 17:21

Hmm...

In media impressions, most likely. At least with Armstrong/winning, but did people *use* the post office on the back of it? It almost would have been a better business case for FedEx, because they could do lots of corporate networking(and have an international market too).

I wonder what the original justification was for that deal, because it started pre-TdF wins so would have needed a textbook argument to support it. Anything post-cancer comeback makes sense, ignoring the issues surrounding whether personal endorsement deals actually work.



According to the book "Capital Instinct" (biography of Thomas Weisel), it was the brain child of a guy called Mark Gorski (a top American cyclist, a gold medalist in the 1984 Olympics),
who, after retiring from racing approached Weisel's for a jop at his investment company Montgomery Securities. He was offered a good position, but declined out of personal reasons ( don't wanted to relocate with his wife). He went to work for another bank, but did not liked the job too much, and wound up working for US Cycling, trying to get sponsors on board.
He watched him (Weisel) trying to get his team (Subaru-Montgomery) going/competitive and towards the TdF, but it was difficult, as Subaru pulled out.
After a chance meeting at a race meeting, he thought about the prospect and pent a multi year plan which he presented to Weisel, who liked it, and took Gorski on board to execute it.

...........
On May 15, 1995, Gorski went to work for Montgomery Sports, joining Dan Osipow to lead the team to new heights.
In 1996, the team won its second U.S. Pro Championship. Soon Gorski was pounding the road in search of sponsors, explaining their goal.
For several months he was traveling five days a week. He figures he talked to over 100 companies over three or four months.

At the end of it, the two best prospects were the U.S. Postal Service and United Parcel Service.
They liked the idea of being associated with speed, especially in these days of overnight deliveries and instantaneous e-mail.
Gorski spent another couple of months going over the benefits: advertising opportunities, promotional events, even employee morale.
A big part of the plan was to help the Postal Service get the attention of Europeans, with the hope that more could be enticed into using its international services.
They signed an agreement with the U.S. Postal Service in September 1996.

Loren Smith, who was chief marketing officer at the USPS at the time, was a strong champion for the sponsorship.
He began an ad campaign for Priority Mail that included the cycling team.
But in the process of trying to get real traction out of it, he overspent his budget significantly, and had to resign just a year after the contract was signed.
Gorski had gotten a three-year contract, but it was reviewed once a year. As soon as he heard that Smith had resigned, he figured that the USPS cycling team was toast.
He sat down with the marketing staff at the USPS and discussed ways of salvaging the situation.
They decided that the international focus was not going to be successful. But, the USPS agreed, if the team sponsorship could demonstrate significant success in raising sales of
its services domestically, the Postal Service would stick to the contract.

Gorski hit the road again to find more sponsors. He even visited as many Montgomery clients as possible, not only to solicit money but to try and convince them to use USPS services rather
than Federal Express or UPS.
Sometimes Weisel even helped out. He personally called up Tom Stemberg, the cofounder and chairman of Staples (a company Montgomery helped take public in 1989), and convinced
him to switch his delivery business from Federal Express to the U.S. Postal Service.

This plan, working in conjunction with the Postal Service’s sales team, was a success. Every year, Gorski had to justify the sponsorship again by itemizing the business that came in because
of their efforts.
Gorski estimates that the cycling team brought the USPS new business worth about four times the amount it was spending on the sponsorship
.........



#95 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 21:36

Interesting. But couldn't they have done that just with the dude pounding the pavement to drum up new business? Even if it was from within Montgomery he didn't realy need the cycling team?

And before anyone thinks the return on investment for USPS Cycling was 4x, bear in mind savvy sponsors(or those having more than two braincells) will determine ROI off profit not sales. So if you've got a 4x return on the sponsorship you'll probably need at least a 25% profit margin to make it bullet proof.



#96 Ben

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 21:38

Ahhh, the 1984 olympics where blood doping was fully legal.... And practiced by the US track team :-)

Ben

Edited by Ben, 09 November 2012 - 21:38.


#97 gruntguru

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:10

You mean pro racers? Yep, there are still a couple riding. One, in South Africa, just got popped for EPO. Others are actually very anti-doping.

No, I mean postmen. Just searching for some sponsorship relevance. :)

#98 Fat Boy

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:40

100 metres 10.62 Florence Griffith-Joyner United States (USA) 1988 Seoul September 24, 1988 [33]
200 metres ♦21.34 Florence Griffith-Joyner United States (USA) 1988 Seoul September 29, 1988 [34][35]
400 metres 48.25 Marie-José Pérec France (FRA) 1996 Atlanta July 29, 1996 [36]
800 metres 1:53.43 Nadezhda Olizarenko Soviet Union (URS) 1980 Moscow July 27, 1980 [36]
1,500 metres 3:53.96 Paula Ivan Romania (ROU) 1988 Seoul September 26, 1988
Shot put 22.41 m Ilona Slupianek East Germany (GDR) 1980 Moscow July 24, 1980 [28]
Discus throw 72.30 m Martina Hellmann East Germany (GDR) 1988 Seoul September 29, 1988 [29]

Check out these women's Olympic track and field records. We know Flo-Jo was juicing. Some of these records are from 1980. Take, for instance, the shot put. This year in London, the gold medal throw was 21.36m. Over a full meter shorter that what was thrown by Ilona Slupianek over 30 years ago! ...and the winner, from Bulgaria, got popped for steroids. It's more than just cycling.

I'm convinced that Usain Bolt is dirty as hell. The top 5 sprinters in the world right now are all from Jamaica. They all train together and have the same coach. Sorry, that doesn't pass the sniff test.

Edited by Fat Boy, 10 November 2012 - 03:40.


#99 Catalina Park

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:30

No, I mean postmen. Just searching for some sponsorship relevance. :)

I don't think my postman would pass any sort of drug test.

Advertisement

#100 Ben

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:34

100 metres 10.62 Florence Griffith-Joyner United States (USA) 1988 Seoul September 24, 1988 [33]
200 metres ♦21.34 Florence Griffith-Joyner United States (USA) 1988 Seoul September 29, 1988 [34][35]
400 metres 48.25 Marie-José Pérec France (FRA) 1996 Atlanta July 29, 1996 [36]
800 metres 1:53.43 Nadezhda Olizarenko Soviet Union (URS) 1980 Moscow July 27, 1980 [36]
1,500 metres 3:53.96 Paula Ivan Romania (ROU) 1988 Seoul September 26, 1988
Shot put 22.41 m Ilona Slupianek East Germany (GDR) 1980 Moscow July 24, 1980 [28]
Discus throw 72.30 m Martina Hellmann East Germany (GDR) 1988 Seoul September 29, 1988 [29]

Check out these women's Olympic track and field records. We know Flo-Jo was juicing. Some of these records are from 1980. Take, for instance, the shot put. This year in London, the gold medal throw was 21.36m. Over a full meter shorter that what was thrown by Ilona Slupianek over 30 years ago! ...and the winner, from Bulgaria, got popped for steroids. It's more than just cycling.

I'm convinced that Usain Bolt is dirty as hell. The top 5 sprinters in the world right now are all from Jamaica. They all train together and have the same coach. Sorry, that doesn't pass the sniff test.


It destroys your faith in sport, but I can't argue with a word of that.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Sandro_Donati
http://www.chrisharr.../journalism/_3/

"I watch sport, but I watch it like it's a show," he says. "I watch the Olympic Games but I don't bother to remember the names of the athletes anymore. It's like theatre - but I prefer the theatre because the relationship between actor and spectator is clear. In sport's theatre, both are still pretending it's real."


Ben