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  1. #1
    Don't ban me, bro! Deamer's Avatar
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    How to fix the tour (and every other major race for that matter)

    warning: Rant follows

    <begin rant\>
    I've been fed up with all of it for a long time. As soon as anyone anywhere in the world accuses any rider of cheating, it's suddenly up to the rider to prove their innocence, rather than the accuser to prove guilt.
    I have never raced and I never will. I have no desire to be "stripped" of my "title" because I took an antihistamine that morning, or a tylenol, or coffee, or whatever other idiotic concoction is next labeled "performance enhancing".
    The only way anthistamine ever "enhanced my performance" was that I didn't have to blow my nose every 5 seconds. I've ridden my bike while toking a joint, even in a group, and I don't think it enhanced my performance one bit. Back when I was younger and dumb enough to smoke cigarettes I don't think they helped any either. Yet any one of those things, in this day and age, would most likely get me kicked out of a race.
    I watch the tour, even though every year, halfway into it someone yells "cheater!" and suddenly half the field is gone, and I swear never to get sucked into it again. Will I watch it again in 2008? Probably. Will I get angry halfway into it because of some fool and vow to never watch it again? Probably. Will I be hopelessly hopefull and tune in yet again in 2009? Probably. Will history repeat itself once again? I'll put money on it.
    </end of rant>

    Now that I'm done ranting I will propose my new system.

    For those who like to use drugs:

    Take away the support.
    Make them race like back in the day.
    Spare tires wrapped around their shoulders, no team mechanics, no spare bikes, parts, tools, clothes, etc. in the car. You want to bring it? You figure out how. For the sake of distributing water, we will let them keep the car itself. Those riders who choose to be self-supporting will be allowed to take any and all the drugs they want. Want to show up drunk? Have at it! EPO, testosterone, steroids? Go for it! Pocket full of cocaine, amphetamines, and joints? How big are your pockets?

    And for those who like it the way it is:

    They get to keep it that way. All their spare parts in the car, no need to have any idea how to fix their own bike in case of mechanical problems, etc, etc, etc.
    They will also be expected to submit to random drug testing, perhaps even testing after every single stage, regardless of their placing.

    And if they fail their drug test- they will have the choice of quitting, or joining the other group for the rest of the race. Maybe we'll even put them in the other group for the rest of the season. Maybe we'll kick them out of that particular race, but allow them to join the other group for what's left of that season.

    The only way any of the "drug racers" can ever be ejected from a race is if they are caught (and I mean CAUGHT, like on film, not accused) accepting (or soliciting) outside help, other than water bottles, which they can have as many of as they want.


    So that's my system that I propose with a wild gleam in my eye.

    Discuss
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  2. #2
    Senior Member serpico7's Avatar
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    Get a clue. Plenty of riders are beating the tests already (e.g., Contador), how does your system help?

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I just don't think there's a good solution.

    There's been some news lately about how banged-up NFL players are. I think it's a similar issue there. When you have tremendous rewards for a particular accomplishment, many people are willing to do otherwise unreasonable things to try to win. So that includes cheat in whatever way possible, or do whatever drugs or other agents they thing they can get by with.

    The only real solution is to de-emphasize the event. Take it off TV, cut out the bazillions of dollars in advertising and all, make it where it's just not worthwhile to do a lot of the things that get done. And that just isn't going to happen.

  4. #4
    Newbie Pas Souci's Avatar
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    See this is our problem Deamer.
    We are losing hope.
    Sure there are those who jump on the band wagon, then jump off and simply smash our sport, but what your saying is ridiculous. You are obviously a true fan, because like you said, you can't stop watching. Whether you like it or not, you have a passion, but a frustrated passion at that.
    We must continue to fight, we musn't give up, we can't let them ride and we can't let the sport die.
    Zero Tolerance - first offender out for life and in jail. Yes, Doping needs to be criminalised, it is sporting fraud; Deception.
    I live in the land downunder and hear a lot of crap from people who don't anything about the sport on this exact topic.
    We can not aid the stereotype Deamer.

  5. #5
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    Actual, there is a simple solution, and one that has worked for 90% of the Tour's history: stop paying so much attention to the drug use. Many of the big stars essentially admitted to doping -- Pellisier, Anquetil, Hinault... --- and nobody really cared. It's not that riders started doping more; it's that for some reason we started making a big deal out of it.

    The bottom line is that the riders have been doing what they've been doing from the beginning. It's the organizers that turned it into something harmful to the sport.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Intheloonybin's Avatar
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    The problem with allowing drug useage is where do you cut it off?

    Pretty soon the JR's will be doping to get ahead.

    And if you look at above mentioned stars, how many had serious physical problems resulting from the drug useage? Quite a few (don't want to say all, but...). It is ok for us to let athletes ruin their body for a sport? You can say "it's their choice", but if some use, all have to use in order to compete with those that do. The sport is just too close now, unlike the old days.

    I like that the op posted this. The proposed system is a little whacked (no offense deamer, I do like it), but that they care enough to want something done is admirable.

    There is no good answer. I think that they do need to standardize the test process so that one certain lab does not end up holding the extra vials for back-up testing. And I agree that it should be innocent until proven beyond doubt that they did dope.

  7. #7
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    It's not "allowing" so much as just giving it a wink and a nod. Occasional testing to keep up appearances, maybe catch somebody once in a great while, but mostly let sleeping dogs lie. It doesn't exactly have a noble ring to it, but it did work well enough for a hundred years or so.

    Of course, the current folks in charge may be perfectly happy to destroy the sport in order to save it. It doesn't really matter to me one way or the other.

  8. #8
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    BTW, when juniors are posting 200 meter times in the 10s, there's no real question whether the doping has gone that far.

  9. #9
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    THEY have set the precedence!! If u wanna dope , then do so..........Just dont whine and snich when u get caught!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Road Nazi Hunter Donegal's Avatar
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    Drugs and Racing

    I am not fed up w/drugs and cycling. I'm fed up w/Politics and Bull@#$% If you read history, the Tour de France was rife w/drugs even back in the early 1900's. Amphetimines, Cocaine, Strychnine, pot bilge, etc. In the 50's and 60's wives were used to mule drugs back and forth to the riders. One wife who sampled her husbands concoction, did a strip tease for the entire tour crowd.

    Today, consider the French Lab. The joke of a lab in Paris, seemingly catching doper afte doper. Look at Iban Mayo's samples. The French lab finds a definite positive. The belgian and swiss labs find nothing. The French lab retests the samples for two more months to get the desired results. Obviously, he must be guilty.

    Look at Landis. I read the transcripts, I follow the elements. This miraculous ride of his was not even on par with many of his training rides. The evidence used to destroy his reputation was flimsy enough that I would have littered the French countryside w/bodies for stupidity if my name had been used. If the UCI is so afraid of The Tour Organizers that it will back such fraud, I am losing interest in the professional side of the sport. It's easy for armchair quarterbacks to sit back and talk about how these guys must be doped. Understand the level of their commitment, the effort just to get a chance to ride at that level.
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  11. #11
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    Not that I am pro-drug or anything, but if a substance is not on the "banned" list, and it helps an athlete, why shouldn't that athlete use it? Wouldn't you take each and every non-illegal method necessary to win.


    Assuming this is true, what happens the next year when that previously "legal" substance is now banned. Is the athlete a cheater because he used something that was legal at the time but now illegal?



    I'm just saying its not all black and white like people make it out to be

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by skanking biker View Post
    Assuming this is true, what happens the next year when that previously "legal" substance is now banned. Is the athlete a cheater because he used something that was legal at the time but now illegal?
    Ask Pedro Delgado.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by serpico7 View Post
    Get a clue. Plenty of riders are beating the tests already (e.g., Contador), how does your system help?
    Has Contador failed a drug test? I think I remember some accusations before he joined disco, but I could wrong.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Green Jager's Avatar
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    First we need to decide if we are going to be anti-dope or not, and if we are going to really going to do something about it.

    If we are not serious -then do not worry about it.

    If we are- then lets really do something about it.
    1. 1st Offense your are caught you are out period no questions.
    2. Any team that gets lets say three riders that get caught in a five year period, they are out period.
    3. Have real procedures not the half-baked ones that they used on Landis. (He may be guilty or not), you cannot with straight face say someone is guilty when the evidence was so mishandled.
    4. If they are caught with illegal drugs turn them over to the local law enforcement and let them make sure they are prosecuted.

    But you know sadly there will always be someone trying to cheat as long as there is money to be made at it. If you could take the profit motive out of it there would be less reason to dope. But that is not going to happen so we can only do the best that we can do.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Matt Gaunt's Avatar
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    Shoot me down here by all means, but even if the money element were removed from the Tour, I think the riders who dope now would still dope. It's the most coveted prize in cycling if not the world of sport. To just get round the Tour route in one piece is an achievement, regardless of the time it takes, so why would the competition be any less fierce? Just my 0.02.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Jager View Post
    First we need to decide if we are going to be anti-dope or not, and if we are going to really going to do something about it.

    If we are not serious -then do not worry about it.

    If we are- then lets really do something about it.
    1. 1st Offense your are caught you are out period no questions.
    2. Any team that gets lets say three riders that get caught in a five year period, they are out period.
    3. Have real procedures not the half-baked ones that they used on Landis. (He may be guilty or not), you cannot with straight face say someone is guilty when the evidence was so mishandled.
    4. If they are caught with illegal drugs turn them over to the local law enforcement and let them make sure they are prosecuted.

    But you know sadly there will always be someone trying to cheat as long as there is money to be made at it. If you could take the profit motive out of it there would be less reason to dope. But that is not going to happen so we can only do the best that we can do.
    Unfortunately, if you have rules this strict you need to have laws that allow riders to sue labs and race organizations for unethical testing procedures and unethical conduct. Because laws this strict give authority agencies too much power to abuse who ever they want for money or political reasons. It is too the point now that they are banning riders with slim to no convincing evidence and the authorities are not held accountable for thier actions.

  17. #17
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
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    take away the advantage the drugs would give a rider and let the Trek, GT Cervelo make the fastest bike they can.

    Wow now that Hincapie is on a Giant that must mean a Madone is a POS beater now. Of crouse not the top TdF bikes are SOOO similar it doesnt matter what bike you ride. By giveing the OEM the freedom to Race what you bring you will give incentive to the OEM to get more involded with sponcership that equates to big sales at the LBS.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member mezza's Avatar
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    Here's the solution.

    Just have two TDF's. One for the clean guys and one for 'others'. Just juice em up and watch them go!!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mezza View Post
    Here's the solution.

    Just have two TDF's. One for the clean guys and one for 'others'. Just juice em up and watch them go!!
    Nobody's going to want to watch a clean TdF. Imagine the ghastly look on the riders faces as they push their bikes up the Alpe D'Huez or ride into Paris after 9 weeks of struggle and strife...

  20. #20
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    Richard_Rides - Not all riders who finish a stage on L'alpe d'huez are doping - come on. The race IS plenty interesting with LESS dopers .. just watch this year and all subsequent years.

    There will always be a bit of cat/mouse between riders/DS trying to push the envelope and organizers/Governing Bodies trying to keep things pure - adds to the drama.

    Cyclings real issue is they haven't defined what is "no go" and put in place the right mix of tests/physiological controls to stop bad behavior.

    Think about it ... how can you ban something when you KNOW YOU CAN'T DETECT ITS USE? That's like setting speed limits but taking the speed guns away from the cops. Imagine in the US if they issued you a ticket at the end of a turnpike when, having checked your ticket, they calculated it wasn't feasible for you to have made it from point A to point B in that amount of time since a reasonable person would have stopped for food or a nature break, etc? Guilty by reasonable inference?

    But that is the modus operandi for Cycling - that and publicizing findings before full tests have been run - or even when tests are being reviewed for unknown reasons (what if the lab tech had sneezed near that "irregular sample" ... do you think L'equipe would hold the story just to be sure they've checked the facts?!?).


    Give cycling a chance - it is the leading sport in the world right now in defining what is wrong and how to stop it. Compare it to baseball, football (aka soccer), the NFL ... think about how RIFE those sports are! Cocaine use by atheletes bother you ... then we should shut down the NBA because that was COCAINE CENTRAL through the 70s, 80s, 90s ...?


    Bio passports are the way to go - along with a BETTER random testing program. Better meaning:

    1) the riders have to have something of their lives back (imagine having to stop planning your son's funeral because the tester came and you must piss in a bottle RIGHT NOW OR GET FIRED),
    2) the control of evidence must be tighter, more independence brought to the testing regime (how many times are French labs finding irregular samples vs. the Swiss? No one thinks it odd that the French can find stuff NO ONE ELSE can?), and
    3) the ways that irregular samples are treated must be completely overhauled ... no press leaks and make it a crime to print a story prior to a Governing Body issuing a report of a failed test.


    Even with the UCI/ASO mess, all of these points are being addressed. And progress is being made. Ask the riders - look at the way Kloden took on the other teams and knocked them for lax testing. These guys are proud to be cyclists again.

    Can't say the same for a MLB pitcher, an NBA guard, an NFL receiver nor a PGA golfer can you?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by luxroadie View Post
    Imagine in the US if they issued you a ticket at the end of a turnpike when, having checked your ticket, they calculated it wasn't feasible for you to have made it from point A to point B in that amount of time since a reasonable person would have stopped for food or a nature break, etc? Guilty by reasonable inference?
    Not to stray off topic, but that's how speeding tickets *are* issued in the US. Many years ago I was a cross country truck driver and can attest to the fact that if you show up "too early" to scale houses and other check points, you will be cited for speeding.

    The US is not the bastion of liberty that we like to claim it is.

  22. #22
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    i truly do not care if the riders use drugs. i love the sport either way, and i just don't care.

  23. #23
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Even if they didn't pay anything for cycling, people would still dope for the pride. Although not common, there are people who use EPO and testosterone who don't even race, just to be the best in their local group ride, or to keep up with younger riders. It's called pride.

    Drugs and sports are inseparable...unfortunately.
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  24. #24
    Duathlete indygreg's Avatar
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    Not sure it can be fixed. Like it or not, pro cycling is a lab for sports around the world. What do I mean? The stuff that ends up in pro sport (baseball, football, etc) was tested in cycling and running. Here is why:
    #1 You can see if something works. Extreme endurance sports will simply test the key aspects of a PED. Can it make you strong, go longer or recover faster?
    #2 These sports are rigorously tested. That is bad for those that fail, but it is good for the makers of these drugs and for athletes in other sports. They can find out what can be found by what tests.
    #3 You have an endless supply of lab rats. This is key. History has taught us that riders and runners will not stop taking these just because they might get caught. Every year people get caught. They are willing to risk trouble and health risks for glory. That will never go way.

    As JP said above me - drugs and sports are not going to split. People have been willing to do whatever it takes to get an edge since sports started. Those who say 'baseball players or cyclists back in XXXX years did it the right way' and that is total BS. They never had the choice of PED's. Many would have taken them to be the best. Athletes used to shot up with pain meds to fight through injury . . . that is the same damn thing in the big picture. Using science to allow them to perform when they would not, even if it hurt them later in life. The best have always looked for an edge. It is just that there are illegal edges now. When they figured out that protein helped build and repair muscles, athletes drank eggs. When gatorade testing proved what electrolyte replacement in a carb beverage could do, every athlete started to use it. These are not illegal, but they can improve performance.

    The idea of two tours is dumb. Why? People will cheat to win the non-cheat version - that would have the most glory. That is essentially an honor system which is clearly not working these days.
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  25. #25
    Duathlete indygreg's Avatar
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    Also . . . I tire of hearing the comments about controls and standards. Yeah, all the cyclists, runners and much of the MLB players are all innocent . . . just a flaw in the testing. Our love of our heroes has made us totally deaf dumb and blind. Wah . . . my over the shelf hammer suppliments were full of PED's, I would never do it myself. Wah . . . I thought it was a B12 shot. Wah . . . I had no idea what I was taking . .. Wah . . . the French lab had my urine at 87 degrees and not at the required 86.90 or whatever.
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