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Old 04-03-07, 02:02 PM   #1
Vinokurtov
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Merckx and the free pass

With all the ridicule that's been/going to be heaped on the various riders who have been busted for doping (Let us now start another vanishing twin ate Tugboat's strudel before Der Kaiser could get to his EPO thread) there is/was/and continues to be a deafening silence whenever Merckx is brought up.

So here's my giant, stinky, and incredibly loud fart in church, my Sinaed O'Conner tearing up of the Pope's picture, my Keith Richards showing up at the blood bank to donate:

How in the world can a guy who failed several dope tests be considered the greatest cyclist of all time by the same people who are so disdainful of the "modern" dopers, with such a blind eye? And no, they ALL didn't fail dope tests during Merckx's era. Some did, some didn't. Conjecture aside, the facts are the facts. He rode dirty. And his excuses were every bit as pathetic as Tyler Hamilton's.

I get that he won a lot of races. I get that he was doped for some of them too. And understand that my personal opinion is pretty much along the lines of Willy Voet's "Dope doesn't turn a mule into a race horse" comment. My panties are seldom in a bunch over the latest doping scandal.

So 'splain it to me Lucy...
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Old 04-03-07, 02:08 PM   #2
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imo some uppers and 'roids are not the same thing as HGH, EPO, etc...

to be honest, if a newbie posted this thread, i'd call 'troll'.

why call out merckx, when there's a bevy of other riders of the past who also were juiced up?
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Old 04-03-07, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botto
imo some uppers and 'roids are not the same thing as HGH, EPO, etc...

to be honest, if a newbie posted this thread, i'd call 'troll'.

why call out merckx, when there's a bevy of other riders of the past who also were juiced up?
Because none of them get the free pass that Merckx gets. Bring up his doping and it's a deafening silence. So certain types of dope are OK in people's book?

It's not a troll, it's a confusing bit of seeming hypocrisy that I just don't get.

And steroids are the worst of the doping products for long term health implications and side effects.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:15 PM   #4
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Of course there's always The Cypress and his THC....
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Old 04-03-07, 02:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by botto
imo some uppers and 'roids are not the same thing as HGH, EPO, etc...
...
They are only different because the "doctors" are better at what they do now than they were then. At the time, it was thought that the uppers and 'roids were as good as they got.

I give him a free pass because I hold the belief that "they all do it." To the extent that all the top riders are doping, and doping with people who know what they are doing, it evens the playing field and the difference between winning and losing is how the ride is executed and the difference in training, which is what should determine the winner/loser. By that measure, Merckx was the best rider there has ever been.

I know people will say my premise is incorrect, but it works for me.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:23 PM   #6
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So the view that "they all dope, so the winner is still the best of the dopers" holds true then.

Edit: I just read DogBoy's comment, what he said then.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:28 PM   #7
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Someone please enlighten the unenlightened (aka, me). I'm aware that Merckx used "uppers". But what other substances/ dope did Merckx test positive for?

*edit* -- and what happened when he tested positive? Was he stripped of any wins?
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Old 04-03-07, 02:30 PM   #8
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Has LeMond ever jumped on Eddy for juicing the way he did Lance?
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Old 04-03-07, 02:31 PM   #9
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But what other substances/ dope did Merckx test positive for?
Human flesh.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:34 PM   #10
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Has LeMond ever jumped on Eddy for juicing the way he did Lance?
He's too fat to jump now.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:34 PM   #11
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I think part of it is that the introduction of epo dawned a new age or generation for endurance sport doping and things before that are forgot even though the amphetamines and steriods that were previously used were way more harmful especially considering the fact that most epo use is Dr. monitored.

The way out of this mess lies in the future not in the past and want to dig up possible old crimes.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:35 PM   #12
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Why should I care what Merckx did 40+ years ago? I don't care what Armstrong did 2 years ago. I do agree that Merckx gets left out of many doping discussions, but then again so does Fausto Coppi (not that I know anything about him and doping) and other long retired riders. I don't think it has much to do with Merckx but rather his age.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Because none of them get the free pass that Merckx gets. Bring up his doping and it's a deafening silence. So certain types of dope are OK in people's book?
Bernard Thévenet tested postive the same year he won his 2nd TdF, and IIRC he may have even admitted to juicing for the Tour.

He's a commentator for French TV, seems like he got a pass.

Pantani, doper and junkie that he was, seems to have been become a saint in many peoples eyes after he OD'd.

What about Museuuw and his 'weespen'? Landuyt process, or not, he got a pass.

And what about the rider who inspired me to get into the sport: Greg LeMond? While it wasn't breaking any rules, his 'iron injections' seem a tad dubious when you look at them with contemporary eyes.

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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
It's not a troll, it's a confusing bit of seeming hypocrisy that I just don't get.
i know it's not, that why i wrote "if a newbie posted this thread".

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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
And steroids are the worst of the doping products for long term health implications and side effects.
Perhaps, but in my eyes (and I'll readily admit that my scientific/medical knowledge is key-rap) they don't seem as ominous as HGH, or whatever current crop of designer drugs there is out there at the moment.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by celticfrost
Someone please enlighten the unenlightened (aka, me). I'm aware that Merckx used "uppers". But what other substances/ dope did Merckx test positive for?

*edit* -- and what happened when he tested positive? Was he stripped of any wins?
the only positive that i'm aware of (sorry but i don't go out of my way to follow the history of doping) was during the Giro, before Merckx won his first tour.

IIRC that's been cited as a reason why he won all the Jerseys - he wanted to make a statement.
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Old 04-03-07, 03:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov
Because none of them get the free pass that Merckx gets. Bring up his doping and it's a deafening silence. So certain types of dope are OK in people's book?

You're right, it's hypocritical. But I think it's wrong to equate a deafening silence with a free pass.

People will jump on the latest doping scandal, and have comments and opinions about it, because it's news. But Eddy, who retired before a lot of us could ride a bike, all people know about him is that he was the best ever.

Maybe since we never rooted for him, we don't feel cheated. It's all history, just facts in a book, not something we feel like we were a part of.
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Old 04-03-07, 03:13 PM   #16
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What about Jacques Anquetil, he admitted his drug use and still he is considered one of the TdF greats. Many have doped and basically escaped without tarnished reputations. Pre-Festina the riders seem to be given a free(er) pass, post Festina not so much.
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Old 04-03-07, 03:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botto
the only positive that i'm aware of (sorry but i don't go out of my way to follow the history of doping) was during the Giro, before Merckx won his first tour.

IIRC that's been cited as a reason why he won all the Jerseys - he wanted to make a statement.
Well I couldn't find much info as to what he tested positive for. Wikipedia (and a few other sites) mention that he tested positive twice, but it doesn't mention what for.

Yep, all the jereys and winning his 1st Tour by nearly 18 minutes. Merckx from http://www.cyclingnews.com/riders/20...=eddy_merckx05 :

"...They dropped me from the Tour of Italy in 1969 when I was very strong. [He pauses, referring to the doping positive he always denied.] I was very mad with what happened to me in that Tour of Italy. I was more motivated than ever. So I went to the Tour de France and passed the tests every day. I won that race by 17 minutes and 52 seconds. For me, that was important."


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Originally Posted by same time
You're right, it's hypocritical. But I think it's wrong to equate a deafening silence with a free pass.

People will jump on the latest doping scandal, and have comments and opinions about it, because it's news. But Eddy, who retired before a lot of us could ride a bike, all people know about him is that he was the best ever.

...
Agreed, I don't think it's exactly a free pass (nor should he be given one), but he doesn't get 1/1000,000th near the amount of flack as a Hamilton, Jan, etc. But if today's riders are doping, then why can't any of them come close to the way Merckx dominated? --- because Merckx was simply the best ever, unless he was the only one using banned substances back then, which is highly doubtful.
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Old 04-03-07, 05:20 PM   #18
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When Merckx was racing back in the 60's and 70's there wasn't the righteous indignation about doping you get now. It was even accepted from the public up to a point. It was a different world then, so any excuses from riders in that era are not as bad as what you get from the current crop of riders. Besides all that, you can't give dope to a donkey and expect it to win.
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Old 04-04-07, 02:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vinokurtov

And steroids are the worst of the doping products for long term health implications
there is absolutely not a single ounce of proof of that in the world.
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Old 04-04-07, 05:02 AM   #20
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there is absolutely not a single ounce of proof of that in the world.
Lyle Azado

Mike Webster

Two that come to mind.

This kinda refutes G60's statement. I think, anyway. They probably don't know what they are talking about. There's a little linky thing on the right side of the page about the health consequences of steroid abuse.
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Old 04-04-07, 05:06 AM   #21
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there is absolutely not a single ounce of proof of that in the world.


I think s/he would disagree with you.

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Old 04-04-07, 05:36 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior
Lyle Azado

Mike Webster

Two that come to mind.

This kinda refutes G60's statement. I think, anyway. They probably don't know what they are talking about. There's a little linky thing on the right side of the page about the health consequences of steroid abuse.
Incorrect.

Steroid use has been linked by studies to negative health effects in adolescents and women. But NOT in adult males, according to a rather throrough investigation by HBO's Real Sports. Scientists simply cannot verify these anecdotal claims, and thousands of men have taken large doses of steroids without negative health effects that can be linked to steroids for decades. They even had Lyle Alzedo's oncologist interviewed saying 'I don't know where Lyle got the idea his cancer was linked to his steroid use, I never told him it was'.

This is an entirely separate issue from whether steroids should be allowed in sports. For many reasons they should not be in my view, the biggest negative being the tendency of adolescents (for whom steroids are quite harmful) to emulate their heroes.

As usual, please don't let the facts stand in the way of rampant BF speculation and hype.
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Old 04-04-07, 05:53 AM   #23
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because Merckx was simply the best ever
if you include this: *
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Old 04-04-07, 03:27 PM   #24
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Incorrect.

Steroid use has been linked by studies to negative health effects in adolescents and women. But NOT in adult males, according to a rather throrough investigation by HBO's Real Sports. Scientists simply cannot verify these anecdotal claims, and thousands of men have taken large doses of steroids without negative health effects that can be linked to steroids for decades. They even had Lyle Alzedo's oncologist interviewed saying 'I don't know where Lyle got the idea his cancer was linked to his steroid use, I never told him it was'.

This is an entirely separate issue from whether steroids should be allowed in sports. For many reasons they should not be in my view, the biggest negative being the tendency of adolescents (for whom steroids are quite harmful) to emulate their heroes.

As usual, please don't let the facts stand in the way of rampant BF speculation and hype.
Cool.

I guess I'll go with cable TV's HBO over the National Institute of Drug Abuse's study. The little linky on the right side of the page about what happens when one abuses this stuff.

BTW, Webster died of a heart attack. One of the things that HBO alledges does not occur when one takes anabolic steroids, and something that Webster freely admitted he did during his career.

Now you won't need a power tap.

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Old 04-04-07, 03:38 PM   #25
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The problem with drug use in the peleton is that we will never be 100% sure of who is doing what as long as WADA and the UCI continue to use labs that don't follow their own protocals. For all we know Landis was juiced to the gills but the way that his samples are/were reportedly handled we can never know with 100% certainty either way. Personally I think the majority takes some sort of banned PED's during the stage races. I can accept that these guys can ride like they do on any given day but to do it day after day without any apparent decrease in performance is a bit hard to accept.

As for Lyle Alzado's situation an ex co-worker of mine was a part owner in a gym that Lyle worked out at. The rumors at the time were that he was suffering AIDS not cancer.
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