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Old 08-15-06, 06:56 AM   #1
El Diablo Rojo
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Phonak Folds

iShares has pulled the plug on it's sponsorship for next season, so the team is no more.


http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/10712.0.html
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Old 08-15-06, 06:59 AM   #2
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Yea it's all Floyd's fault. Oh and those other 9 riders caught doping in the last 2.5 years.
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Old 08-15-06, 07:04 AM   #3
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Yea it's all Floyd's fault. Oh and those other 9 riders caught doping in the last 2.5 years.
It's always the last guy that gets blamed...
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Old 08-15-06, 07:04 AM   #4
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D@mn - I was watching Floyd defend himself in one press conference and he had an "Ishares" hat on. Kinda wondered about that.
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Old 08-15-06, 07:15 AM   #5
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So if Floyd's name is cleared by WADA/UCI (just a hypothetical--let's be real here), is it reasonable to say that iShares jumped the gun on this one?

It would seem that firing Flandis as soon as the result became official would be an OK way to go, but I guess the PR damage has already been done.
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Old 08-15-06, 07:37 AM   #6
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I think it's a good thing. The team was obviously cursed, and everyone involved (including fans) could use a fresh start. Not only that, but you can't blame iShares for pulling out. Landis is the new Tyler Hamilton- he just won't shut up and go away. Instead, he's coming up with a crazy new excuse every week. Even though Landis isn't on the team now, he will still be associated with it and each new excuse equals bad publicity for iShares. And let's face it, the team isn't very strong without Landis, so you're not going to see enough race wins to outweigh all of the bad publicity. You can say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but obviously iShares disagrees.

BTW, the VeloNews article is fair and doesn't pin all of the blame on Landis.
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Old 08-15-06, 07:49 AM   #7
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Looking at the VeloNews article a second time, I'm a little bothered by Rihs. He seems to be willing to sell his athletes up the river depending on who's interviewing him. I recall an article not long ago (don't remember the link--help?) where he was talking about the fact that even with doping scandals his company's bottom line has done well, and he hopes that bigger companies aren't drawn to cycling so that companies like Phonak can continue to sponsor teams and get publicity. Now he's talking about how he, passionate cyclist that he is, is deeply saddened by doping and the bad image it projects on cycling.

Which one is it, buddy? Take one and stick with it...
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Old 08-15-06, 08:02 AM   #8
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So Rhis is following the lead of Liberty Seguros in just getting fed up with the bad publicity getting tacked to their corporate names. If they are going to play stupid when their own employees (read: riders) get tangled in drug messes, then they deserve the bad publicity and the scandal it brings to their companies.

Good.

It's time the accountability starts where the dollars, euros, francs, etc., begin.

Maybe team owners and sponsors will start to know how their riders are winning and start to take an active roll in policing their own.
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Old 08-15-06, 08:03 AM   #9
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Ultimately, I think this is a good thing. Lots of us have been saying that the Team managament needs to be sanctioned for doping offenses. Losing sponsorship money is about the biggest sanction.
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Old 08-15-06, 08:05 AM   #10
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I agree that it's a good thing too--If enough sponsors pull out, it would be the only message that the athletes and DS's would listen to.
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Old 08-15-06, 08:30 AM   #11
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Ultimately, I think this is a good thing. Lots of us have been saying that the Team managament needs to be sanctioned for doping offenses. Losing sponsorship money is about the biggest sanction.
No the biggest sanction is for the DS and Doctors to get banned from the sport. Guys like Rhis can still go out and get new sponsors and continue the same bad behaviour. Bottom line until someone like Landis stands up and says "Yes I doped and my DS, team Doctor and teammates helped me". Until this happens the wheel will continue to turn.

I say one of two things must happen. Either let them dope and let's get on with it. Or we need draconian measures to rid the sport of drugs (to the best of technologies ability). Lifetime ban's for anyone caught. You want a two year suspension? Give up the facilitators, the doctors and the DS's.
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Old 08-15-06, 04:32 PM   #12
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You want a two year suspension? Give up the facilitators, the doctors and the DS's.
That is an excellent point.

Everybody complains about how Landis/Hamilton/Heras and so on ad infiniteum never "just come clean." Well, why should they? Other than the somewhat naive (sad but true) notion of owning up to a misdeed.

Other than that there's no incentive to confess and with the additional 2 year Pro Tour ban there's even more disincentive. Keep fighting Maybe the lab makes a mistake (Hamilton & the Olympics) or your defense creates enough doubt (Indigo Landaluze recently beat the "sure thing" isotope test with the help of a lawyer that Landis has hired). Worse case you take the exact same punishment you'd get if you confessed right after the A sample.

I know Millar is used as the "right" sample but it's not like he gave anybody up and since he'd obviously beaten a load of tests he has something to give up.

Maybe a 1 year or 18 months suspension w/o the additional Pro Tour suspension if the confession includes sources and techniques?
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