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In light of today's revelation about 1996 ...
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TOPIC: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ...

In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16500

  • kraig
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...what do you think Bjarne Riis's sponsors will do?

Some of Riis Cycling A/S big name sponsor's have gone on record as saying they have written into their contracts verbiage to the effect of "you dope, you're out and we reserve the right to take whatever other action we feel appropriate" :

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi? ... 056#358056

Do you think this statement will be honored in this situation that was brought to light today?

What would you do if you were calling the shots as a sponsor?

I think if I were a sponsor, I'd make my opinion clear - and then, I'd put my sponsorship $ where my mouth was. But that's just me.

PS - the one thing I think I remember about the 96 tour was that stage where Riis took the yellow jersey, I think - shortened stage due to cold/bad weather, didn't he just ride away from everyone about a minute after the gun went off?

Pretty crazy that Jan was second that year!
-kraig

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16502

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kraig wrote:

PS - the one thing I think I remember about the 96 tour was that stage where Riis took the yellow jersey, I think - shortened stage due to cold/bad weather, didn't he just ride away from everyone about a minute after the gun went off?



No. We had some unseasonably icy/snowy weather in Seattle this year, so I just watched that stage on DVD a few months ago....

On the final climb, he dropped to the very back of the dwindling group (when EVERYONE was on the rivet) to see who was left in the group?? Then he immediately rode away from everyone like they were on a bike tour. Anyone who as actually been in a bike race knows that you don't drop back--at all, in that situation, unless you're feeling pretty good.

What I remember about that stage is that a good friend of mine was in the Mavic team car right behind him (he won some rep sales contest, pretty cool, huh?), and he saw Riis right after the stage. He said the whites of his eyes were glowing bright yellow, and that he looked like an alien.....on crack.

Going forward it seems that a 'no tolerance' policy on the part of the sponsors makes sense. However, I'm not sure of the real utility of punishing guys for the past. It seems it would discourage more people from coming forward, and at this point, full disclosure (with some details about how the doping programs were implemented) can only be a good thing.

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16503

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Jack Watts wrote:


On the final climb, he dropped to the very back of the dwindling group (when EVERYONE was on the rivet) to see who was left in the group?? Then he immediately rode away from everyone like they were on a bike tour. Anyone who as actually been in a bike race knows that you don't drop back--at all, in that situation, unless you're feeling pretty good.


Yeah he basically rode to the side of the group as if he were a cameraman dropping back to get a shot of each guy in the line (who were on the rivet and stacked nuts to butts), rode fast for a bit, then slow, then fast, then dropped everyone. Crazy even when you see it today.


I think Riis is going to have some problems going forward. Not only for the stuff from 96 but also the stuff with Hamilton and Basso. I lived in Denmark for a while and they were very critical of him before Hamilton broke and without the confession and without Basso. Also there is more legal over there than in the US which can make life difficult if you start getting into claims of fraud and the like.

I don't think it'll affect sponsorship to a huge degree. 10 years, 6 months ago #16507

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It was a long time ago, past the statute of limitations, when he had no links with the current sponsors and in an entirely different role in the cycling world.

It's disappointing but I think everyone knew it already. Maybe coming out like this, without a gun to his head, will put more stock into his anti-doping program now.

The sponsors are getting great coverage with the team and this style of confession can be seen (spun) in a positive light, which covers the company’s image. The sad fact is that if it’s not hurting sales then it’s not really hurting.

I put even more stock in Zabel now. He's the only one that is now facing direct fallout but he still confessed.

btw, looking at the results from the 1996 tour, I have to go a looooooooong way down to find a rider that I find likely to be clean. Not so far in recent tours which is a good sign, although I'm still pretty sceptical.

Re: I don't think it'll affect sponsorship to a huge degree. 10 years, 6 months ago #16510

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Cinnamon wrote:
It was a long time ago, past the statute of limitations, when he had no links with the current sponsors and in an entirely different role in the cycling world.

It's disappointing but I think everyone knew it already. Maybe coming out like this, without a gun to his head, will put more stock into his anti-doping program now.

The sponsors are getting great coverage with the team and this style of confession can be seen (spun) in a positive light, which covers the company’s image. The sad fact is that if it’s not hurting sales then it’s not really hurting.

I put even more stock in Zabel now. He's the only one that is now facing direct fallout but he still confessed.

btw, looking at the results from the 1996 tour, I have to go a looooooooong way down to find a rider that I find likely to be clean. Not so far in recent tours which is a good sign, although I'm still pretty sceptical.


he's not comming out so nicely here in Spain, all the press today talks about how Riis stole the 96 tour from indurain... pretty comical IMO

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16511

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Riis and Aldag cheated their whole careers, and now get to play major roles in Protour Teams? How is that fair. They should get the same ban from serving in a ProTour Team as a rider does.

Remember Riis and Aldag only confessed after being backed into a corner, not out of their free will.

Given the amount of cheaters in and out of the CSC program (like Basso, Hamilton et al) their reputuation for a "amazing" career recoveries for riders looks a little fishy(er) then before huh?



Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16513

  • Fat Robert
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confession is the new silence

100% BS...

being "honest" about the past (note that Riis mentions nothing about Ariostea or Geweiss...he was on the 94 team fer cryin out loud...or Ferrari...or anything real about Cecchini) just amounts to feeding the press some half-truths to make it look like you're contrite, and then you say the usual about how the current reforms have made it all cleaner...

what a joke...
You gonna finish that?

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16516

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If I were a sponsor, I probably wouldn't bother with cycling. The risk of bad association is just too high.

I'm frankly a little depressed about the state of the sport. Aside from what goes on at the pro level, I see cheating all the time at the amateur (masters) level. The drafting at SCNCA championships last year was obscene. I mean people drafting for miles and literally bumping each others wheels for crying out loud!! At Worlds, I saw a half dozen people cut corners across the centerline -- not by inches, but by meters. I nearly got in a head-on collision with one of these people.

With the minimal drug testing there is for Masters, there have nevertheless been cheaters detected, which suggests that there's a lot going on. Maybe I'll switch to golf. At least honesty and integrity are valued.


-jens

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16517

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jkheycke wrote:


I'm frankly a little depressed about the state of the sport. Aside from what goes on at the pro level, I see cheating all the time at the amateur (masters) level. The drafting at SCNCA championships last year was obscene. I mean people drafting for miles and literally bumping each others wheels for crying out loud!! At Worlds, I saw a half dozen people cut corners across the centerline -- not by inches, but by meters. I nearly got in a head-on collision with one of these people.

With the minimal drug testing there is for Masters, there have nevertheless been cheaters detected, which suggests that there's a lot going on. Maybe I'll switch to golf. At least honesty and integrity are valued.


-jens


Maybe this will make you feel better about our sport!

[url:1x8e0kza]obra3.blogspot.com/2007/05/ttt-centerline-violations.html[/url]

I, for one, was pretty happy about this--it seemed to reduce the never-ending debate over Washingtonians 'stealing' Oregon medals....

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16518

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Jack Watts wrote:
kraig wrote:

PS - the one thing I think I remember about the 96 tour was that stage where Riis took the yellow jersey, I think - shortened stage due to cold/bad weather, didn't he just ride away from everyone about a minute after the gun went off?



No. .


here's the stage I remember (especially those gray knee warmers!)




Now, I'm not 100% sure if he took off from the gun, and my memory sucks for little details, but I do remember the shortened stage and Riis riding away from everyone.

here's a link after googling it to refresh my memory:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/arch ... tage9.html

thanks for your thoughts on the sponsorship topic!
-kraig

Re: I don't think it'll affect sponsorship to a huge degree. 10 years, 6 months ago #16519

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alvarov wrote:
he's not comming out so nicely here in Spain, all the press today talks about how Riis stole the 96 tour from indurain... pretty comical IMO


I can imagine that. But really, he stole it from Ullrich, who stole it from Virenque, who stole it from Dufaux, who stole it from Luttenburger, who stole it from Lebanc, who stole it from Ugrumov, who stole it from Escartin, who stole it from Olano, who stole it from Rominger, who stole it from Indurain... Who likely stole it from Jonker, who stole it from...etc.

Oh, look down in 17th place, Piepoli. Who is riding great now in the "new" era.

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16521

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They need to give it to Bo Hamburger. Mostly because he had to go through life as Bo Hamburger.


Everything's coming up Milhouse!

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 6 months ago #16522

  • Mr. Boots
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kraig wrote:
...what do you think Bjarne Riis's sponsors will do?


From cyclingnews.com:
"Since [Riis] still has the support of his sponsors, it seems unlikely that he should be forced to leave. 'The most important sponsors were informed beforehand, and I am glad about the support I have got from their part.'"

I guess they have an 8-year statute of limitations just like the UCI. Lets see... 8 years ago was... 1999...
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<a class="postlink" href="shop.ebay.com/merchant/himalayanharvest&...ant/himalayanharvest

Re: I don't think it'll affect sponsorship to a huge degree. 10 years, 6 months ago #16524

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Cinnamon wrote:

I put even more stock in Zabel now. He's the only one that is now facing direct fallout but he still confessed.


"I only tried EPO once and didn't like it, and I never doped any other time" Call me a cynic, but I think that is about as slimy of a half admission as Basso's "yes I intended to cheat but never did".

If only Riis would have admitted this long ago, it would be really easy to spin it as a positive with CSC and the fight against doping... like the way software companies hire hackers for security, etc... but now hard to come out of it in a good light at this point.

A possible solution 10 years, 6 months ago #16526

  • Ron Ruff
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jkheycke wrote:
With the minimal drug testing there is for Masters, there have nevertheless been cheaters detected, which suggests that there's a lot going on.


Doesn't surprise me at all... and Masters don't have a good excuse...

But I think the pro riders do. What's obvious from all these confessions, is that doping is very widespread and has been for a long time. The dope obviously works. Testing can limit the extent of the doping but it can't prevent it. How many of these long term dopers have failed a test? Since the system can't ensure that their competitors are *not* doping, the riders need to dope just to stay in the game. You can't just give away a significant competitve advantage and expect to stay at the top of the sport.

I can't think of any sane way to get rid of doping. If scare tactics are used that will reduce the number a bit, but it will also make doping more beneficial. Lifetime bans, public hangings, etc will never work. I think it's time we admit that doping isn't going to go away, and think about how to best proceed.

I propose that they make a positive test the *only* violation... ie stay out of hotel rooms and doctor's offices. Increase the number of tests, and as science allows, improve the testing methods. If a rider gets a positive, then DQ them and ban them for a month or two. Why so little? Because their real crime was being careless. Also, it will avoid big expensive court battles, scandals and other BS.

Will this stop doping? No... but nothing else will either. And at least this way we can get on with it.

I'm happy that Riis confessed, and I hope more riders do the same. I don't think any of them should be punished in any way for admitting doping regardless of their current position. They could just keep lying, you know...

Re: A possible solution 10 years, 6 months ago #16527

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"I can't think of any sane way to get rid of doping."

I think the slipstream program is pretty good - monitor all the physiological variables of interest over an extended period of time and investigate when they are out of line. It's pretty expensive but it seems like the only real way to do it. There's a doctor from UCLA (I believe, I can't remember his name, he might be retired) who proposed that system originally for antidoping in sport in general, although in his system it wasn't mandatory but voluntary with the idea being that those who didn't volunteer were implicit dopers, so everybody would end up volunteering. or something like that. Anyway some kind of comprehensive system like Slipstream and the "new" t-mobile are doing seems to be the only sane way.
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Re: A possible solution 10 years, 6 months ago #16529

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Mr. Boots wrote:
some kind of comprehensive system like Slipstream and the "new" t-mobile are doing seems to be the only sane way.


The problem with that is the teams have the same motivation to dope as the riders. Some may do it honestly, but others won't.

Re: A possible solution 10 years, 5 months ago #16531

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Ron Ruff wrote:
I don't think any of them should be punished in any way for admitting doping regardless of their current position.


That's an interesting perspective - I'm intrigued enough to try and understand how you reached this conclusion.

What's your opinion about Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling?

If those two were to have confessed to using illegal practices to defraud the public, should we have just let them go on about their business?
-kraig

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 5 months ago #16532

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In the business world, every transaction is watched over with computers. It is easy to cook the books within one company’s computers, but the companies on the other ends of those transactions will be watching over your math with their own systems. Obviously sometimes there are situations that a company has the chance to get away with the tactics that Enron used, but even that can readily be watched over with outside sources that have enough vested interests to watch over millions/billions floating around. On the other hand, cyclists would have to be tested every day of the year for the entire duration of their careers and even then, it wouldn’t be as effective as a computer watching over every little mathematical corruption. The cost of manually watching over all of the top cyclists would be extremely tough and invasive to their lives, but likely effective enough to stop them from cheating. The cost of watching over billions of $ at big companies, unquestionably worth doing and it’s done, for the most part, extremely effectively with computers. The question of to punish or not to punish, well my opinion is that punishment is a must as long as the system is effective. Otherwise, you have the majority of top cyclists making big $’s and getting a lot of glory for cheating while the unfortunate few who get caught get nailed really hard. That system (our current setup) is really messed up and I can completely understand why people would say just what Ron said – if we don’t have the means, we are forced to give in to the wide spread corruption that is not fixable through smacking up the few who get caught. The only fix is to test every pro cyclist every day all year long. When that is in place, I’m all for extremely harsh punishment. As for the Ken Lay’s of the world, I say nail em’ extremely hard! I have a harsh perspective on people like that and would have no problem with capital punishment (death penalty) in that case.

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 5 months ago #16533

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mcw2109 wrote:
<snip>


If Lay and Skilling were to have confessed to using illegal practices to defraud the public, should we have just let them go on about their business?
-kraig

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 5 months ago #16534

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My answer is: it depends. Depends on the system governing watching over them. If everyone is doing it and getting away with it, why be severe on the limited people who get caught. If the system is watched over tightly and yet they still cheat, realizing that they will very likely get caught sooner than later, the punishment should be much much stiffer. This method would prove that the systems works and that if you go against it, there will be repercussions. So basically what I'm saying is that if everyone doesn't agree that there has to be a system in place to stop the problem, the problem becomes the norm and we have to deal with the norm because everyone agreed upon it.

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 5 months ago #16535

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ok, so the guy on Cheers named Norm Peterson just changed his name to Virtual. What I meant in that place was the standard, average, normalizade (sp on purpose)

Re: In light of today's revelation about 1996 ... 10 years, 5 months ago #16536

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mcw2109 wrote:
My answer is: it depends.


So, we should have just let Lay and Skilling go on about their business edit: if they confessed?
-kraig

Re: A possible solution 10 years, 5 months ago #16537

  • Ron Ruff
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kraig wrote:
What's your opinion about Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling?


Absolute skum... but I don't see a valid comparison. They committed crimes and were already caught. Confessing was part of their court deal I'd imagine. Was Enron's cheating necessary to stay in business? Were they just doing what every other company was doing? It does happen sometimes in business where laws are commonly bent by your competitors, and if you don't do the same, you will go bankrupt... but Enron can't use that excuse.

An example that comes to mind is industries that rely heavily on illegal workers. If you have a similar business but refrain from hiring illegals then you can't compete... so what do you do? Either you hire them too, or you quit.

Racers are faced with a similar dilemma. The present system of testing is incapable of detecting who is doping and who isn&#8217;t. Also, the dope apparently works. So since the rules can't be enforced, most of the riders end up doping... they actually *have* to to stay in the game.

That's what I like about these confessions... it gives some indication of the extent of doping, and yet we see how few of the riders test positive. These guys are in a bind... really victims of the environment.

I don't expect to see a lot of confessions though, since everybody has something to lose. I can't see Lance ever confessing even if everyone he raced against did, because he has stated so many times that he was clean.

Why would you want to penalize rider's for confessing? AFAIK, Riis wasn't about to be prosecuted for anything, so why punish him for being honest? I prefer to have the truth come out (or at least a little of it) so that we can hopefully do something intelligent about the doping mess.

Re: A possible solution 10 years, 5 months ago #16538

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Ron Ruff wrote:
kraig wrote:
What's your opinion about Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling?


Absolute skum... but I don't see a valid comparison. They committed crimes and were already caught.


Consider my thought experiment to be assuming a confession prior to being caught just as is the case with Riis.
-kraig

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