German TV's decision
So let me get this straight. German TV has decided to quit covering this year’s TdF due to some dopers getting caught? Will someone please explain the logic of this to me?
Why are they not then suspending coverage of most all other sporting events that have obviously been tainted by drugs? It seems that they (German TV) are attempting to punish the race because they (the race organizers, and others in the cycling community) are taking the novel approach of actually attempting to catch dopers.
This seems hypocritical, and just plain stupid to me. What do you think????
Originally Posted by bac
and the danish team gave ras the boot because he wouldn't comply with its rules. if you are against doping you should applaud these actions.
It was a stupid move. The only thing I can think is that the German TV felt that they were paying for a product that they could not sell to the German public (it should be noted that cycling in Germany is hitting a low point due to Ullrich and the entire T-Mobile scandal).
It could be that the networks felt that if ASO and UCI started to worry about the future coverage of the event, that maybe, the teams would see their financial futures at risk, and would clean-up the Tour.
In some ways, I agree. I mean, it is pretty clear Rasmussan was willfully toying with the rules regarding training location. These rules are extremely important to the monitoring of athletes and the potential for doping. If Rasmussan can essentially push the boundaries of these rules, win the KOM or Yellow and financially gain from it, and receive a free pass from the media (essentially the story is over now, and we are back to celebrating Rasmussan's sudden "improvement" in the TT), we are not going to clean up this sport.
UCI and ASO should have immediately kicked Rasmussan out of the Tour. Since they did not, all the other athletes now know the drill. Evade the authorities up the maximum allowable errors (2 failures to communicate your training location is allowed, a 3rd and you are presumed to have been doping), and you will not lose out of anything.
The ASO and UCI cannot clean up the tour.
Unless you removed all financial incentive for a rider or their employer to dope, it is simply impossible.
There is not enough money in the system as it stands to test frequently enough to catch dopers. Weekly testing year round of all the tour riders would make it much harder to cheat, but is not likely to ever happen.
History has shown that doping technology has remained ahead of testing technology for the last few decades that they have been doing testing. Sure, every now and then they improve the tests and manage to nab a tiny fraction of the people cheating with a certain technology (be it a PED, or blood doping, or whatever). The dopers (or rather their doctors) simply move on to a new, better form of doping.
Cases like Operation Puerto, where multiple world class athletes are implicated, who have NEVER been caught for cheating, really highlights the absolute futility of the current testing regime.
With these forms of cheating offering huge advantages, essentially denying non-cheaters the opportunity to compete without fighting a hugely uphill battle, can you really expect athletes to remain clean? It's their paycheck. If you're 5% slower, you're a domestique. Or maybe you don't even make the team.
Are dopers cheaters? Yeah, sure. Should you let them off the hook? No way. Can you stop them? Nope, not really.
I see two options which will eliminate this type of cheating:
De-'criminalize' the doping, bring it in the open and make it as safe and fair as possible. Tailor the 'program' that riders are on to maximize safety and health of the riders. Try to keep them as healthy as possible by minimizing their recovery times, choosing drugs with the smallest side effects (not solely for the ease of masking them) etc. This may mean 'managing' riders hematocrit levels by putting them on EPO. It might mean giving them some steroids after nasty crashes or tough climbing stages. Don't tell kids to 'Be Like Lance/Jan/Miguel' unless you're willing to include 'and sacrifice your body and long term health in a form of modern day gladitorial combat'.
Take the money incentive out. Don't have corporate sponsored teams. The races can be sponsored, but not the riders. Maybe have teams based on bike clubs? Team's financial books should be completely open and audited. If a rider cheats, the club is penalized for the year. If the team cheats, the club is penalized for a decade. Give the riders a fair salary, a pension, and save the financial bonuses for winning until the day they retire. Make sure that neither a team nor a rider can afford a $20,000/year human growth hormone program, or whatever Dr. X is pushing these days.
I'm suspicious that every big cash pro sport with a physical element is rotten with doping, as there's hints of it everywhere you look. The world (and the cycling world itself) has gotten obsessed with the doping issue, and it's getting a black eye over it. I think professional sports as a whole is probably to blame. If you're 'worth' thousands and thousands of dollars a day in competition, it's basically irresponsible to not take every step you can to 'ensure peak performance'.
You have to change that equation. You have to make it illogical to engage in illicit doping.
Originally Posted by erader
I am against doping, that's why this decision (German TV) is so very silly to me. They have no problem showing sports that have doping controls set up as window dressing - just as long as nobody gets CAUGHT. To me, German TV is punishing a sport BECAUSE it is attempting to clean up the doping. Why would I applaud that level of hypocracy?
i think thats UCI's, WADA's, NADA's etc. job. to make doping as hard as they can.
Originally Posted by Jinker
thats what they do actually. not pushing your hematocrit level above 50 doesnt mean, you didnt dope. you might just have been doping intelligent.
Originally Posted by Jinker
back to this thread's topic: i think german public television just needed someone to blame and to show up being concerned about fairness in sports. (their role in the whole doping problemacy by hunting for new records going faster, greater, bigger is all forgotten by now) it was no suprise someone being doped in this year's tdf, so i think this scenario was long time planned. with valverde and other fu***es clients showing up, having riis' csc and team astana racing, it was much likely things would happen like this. being all suprised and taking the harshest decision for us watching tdf in germany it seems they're just trying to keep their clean record at our expense.
by the way, one large german newspaper decided not to report from this year's tdf and i heard a swiss paper also quit reporting. maybe someone knows a bit more exactly.