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Ullrich - The German perspective.(32 posts)

Ullrich - The German perspective.EJC
Jul 5, 2002 5:15 AM
I have a friend who is living in Bonn, Germany right now and I spoke with her yesterday. I was asking what the "person-on-the-street" in Germany thought of the current Ullrich situation.

The common sentiment seems to be that our fair Jan took some Exctsasy in a club and had the traces of amphetamine in his system. They also seem to think that a suspension, as he was not competing, would be unfair (and remeber this is coming from Germany - the home of strict rules, fair-play etc...). Also, the common knowledge of young Jan is that he has some turmoil. The prevalent semtiment is he needs some psych help and not legal penalization (I agree. Why treat troubles of this sort as criminal, instead of as a social problem? Just my editorial two Euros...)

So, she was saying that essentially, the German populace believe he most likely DID have some amphetamine is his system, and that his B-sample will come back non-negative as well, but that he is still a German hero, and should be allowed to "play in the sandbox."

While true, cycling's third in popularity in Germanyboneman
Jul 5, 2002 5:30 AM
Football reigns supreme and Grand Prix is second. You'll find this situation in much of Europe and when we're talking third, it's a distant third. Unfortunate but true. Just pick up the local papers and you'll be struggling to find any cycling news except in the scores section. I was surprised when I first moved out of the States but the Europeans make up for it in the amount and frequency of TV coverage for cycling.

As for Jan, I hope everything turns out well. I was at the 2002 World's in Lison when he won the TT and he's very popular and outgoing with the fans.
What is cycling ranked in North America?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jul 5, 2002 8:52 AM
Lets list the sports that are more popular than cycling:
-nascar, F1, whatever other motor racing
-wrestling (between WWF... don't get me started on this and real wrestling)
And the list goes on... and on... and on. If it weren't for Lance Armstrong the average American wouldn't even know about the Tour de France. Heck... with Lance Armstrong most people forget pretty quickly anyway.

So in short my arguement is yes... cycling is 3rd in Germany. But thats a heck of a lot higher up the list than here so I don't understand your arguement. Yes, they don't cover cycling a lot in their papers but Ullrich has how many Olympic, World Championship, and Tour podium finishes to his credit? So of course the German population knows what he's doing. Its like if Lance got caught on drugs... all of America would be in an uproar.

Nick Corcoran
No suspension? I agree...TJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 5:47 AM
I don't see why Ullrich should face sanction for testing positive. It was a drug with a short term effect and it was taken out of competition. It certainly wasn't performance enhancing, at least not cycling performance enhancing. He wasn't trying to cheat anybody.

If it were EPO or some other drug with long term effects or training aid effects, it would be a different story, but can't a guy have a good time with amphetamines these days?
How did he get caught since he's not racing now? (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 5, 2002 6:39 AM
'Out of competition testing'TJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 7:04 AM
Anti-doping authorities show up on your doorstep one morning and take a blood sample. You don't have to be anywhere near a race to fail an OOC test.
that strikes me as pretty invasiveColnagoFE
Jul 5, 2002 8:11 AM
kinda like you leave your civil rights at the door when you become a pro cyclist i guess. sad that it has come to this.
that strikes me as pretty invasiveTJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 8:33 AM
It actually has less to do with cycling than it does the country in which you happen to reside and be licensed by. Germany does OOC tests on quite a few German athletes. We wouldn't stand for this sort of thing in the US, so we don't typically have them.
Actually we do...NJRoad
Jul 5, 2002 9:13 AM
Most of the current papers this week have been running stories on doping due to the WTA (World Tennis Association) considering OOC testing for it's Female atheletes, the WTA is already doing this for it's Male atheletes. BTW check out the guns on Capriati.
Note who's running it though,TJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 9:21 AM
The WTA is behind the initiative, not the USTA. Many countries have a sport anti-doping office that actually does something, here, we're on the (dis)honor system.
Note who's running it though,NJRoad
Jul 5, 2002 9:26 AM
Your comment was that American atheletes wouldn't stand for it but apparently they do.
Not to nitpick,TJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 9:32 AM
But my comment was that American athletes typically won't stand for it. Some, obviously, do: Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, any Olympic athlete. My point, perhaps not made clearly enough, is that the group of people most Americans consider pro athletes, NHL, MLB, NFL and NBA players, have unions that would prevent consideration of such testing.
Not to nitpick,NJRoad
Jul 5, 2002 9:37 AM
Agreed, although the Player Unions will soon be the downfall of the professional sport leagues here in the US.
is ignorance bliss?ColnagoFE
Jul 5, 2002 11:15 AM
i mean does joe public really care if their favorite NBA, MLB, or NFL player takes roids?
Simoni got tossed for cocaineMcAndrus
Jul 5, 2002 6:56 AM
I'm not sure I agree. Simoni got tossed from the Giro (and Saeco from the Tour) for what was probably recreational use of cocaine. I've not seen anyone defending Simoni's actions.
Simoni got tossed for cocaineTJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 7:02 AM
It may have been recreational, but it was in or near competition. Ullrich wasn't tested at a race, and hadn't raced any time nearly before or after he tested positive. His drug use didn't have any effect on his racing.

Simoni used near enough to a race that the drug may have had an enhancing effect.
thats bollocks ....Spirito
Jul 5, 2002 7:26 AM
to think that snorting C would be in any way advantageous is a ludicrous concept - even during a race let alone prior to. the uci and race organisers are intelligent and have the resources to distinguish this. their ban was more to promote an image rather than to curb what you may consider an advantage.

that they set a precedent with simoni in admonishing professional cyclists from using recreational drugs then they should be consistent and tell herr ullrich to take a holiday as well.

would they ban a racer because he had cognac in his water bottle and was drunk during a race? NO. would he have an advantage on his competitors? NO. its legal and therefore considered "wholesome".

were simoni or ullrich very drunk in public it would not be a big deal but society deems the use of recreational drugs illegal and the sport has an image to uphold. they are no different to others in sport and many of us who are tested by our employers for the same.

ban one - ban them all.

i think it's sadColnagoFE
Jul 5, 2002 8:13 AM
it must be hard to keep up with all the banned substances. i imagine there are plenty of over the counter meds that can cause a positive. then you have the 3am raids by police. no wonder some cyclists are paranoid.
I would agree with youTJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 8:40 AM
If Ullrich were racing, or in any way acting as a professional cyclist, I'd say he should be suspended. But he's not racing, he hadn't raced in months, he didn't intend to race for months.

And, actually, cocaine is used as a performance enhancer in competition in a mix commonly known as pot belge, which is a mixture of amphetamines, caffine, cocaine, and heroin.
i still say the same....Spirito
Jul 5, 2002 9:41 AM
any athlete wont perform better using "pot belge"

great lungs, strength, stamina, plenty of rest, proper food intake, hydration, not being hot or cold, being supple/flexible, etc etc

all those are needed to race well. recreational drugs affect one or more of the above and will decrease performance. you might be able to raise or lower the heart rate but this wont make you faster or make an athlete produce power more effeciently. i would imagine the efects to be psychological but to definately not translate into actual improvements.

any athlete taking that concoction to go faster is clearly in a time warp and it sounds like a 70's theory rather than something that any would use today. i dont have facts to back my arguement but common sense overides me from beleiving its effect could in any way be positive in a performance enhancing way.

i agree that jan was well and far away off the bike but drugs be they performance enhancing or recreational is not something governing bodies are prepared to tolerate or condone in order to raise the public perception of professional cyclists.

its sad jan got busted but he seems at a loss for direction and focus as is - one nights partying isnt the end of the world but it aint going to help him at all come time to ride again either. its evident he's lost his desire to win and isnt prepared to sacrifice in order to regain his form or do what it takes to avail his talent in a competetive sense. wisdom will have him regret that he didnt wait to party till his career was over.

that said, i personally dont think Jan doing X is as bad as merckx getting fat through beer and bad diet. in fact eddy should know better and his life risk from his actions is far worse. that Jan partied for one night aint gonna shorten his life. his driving whilst drunk is something society should see in a much worse light and should shun him for it. for this alone i dont see why he deserves sympathy from the public and have pity and benefit of doubt bestowed upon him.
Fair enough,TJeanloz
Jul 5, 2002 9:55 AM
I don't know enough about drugs to know whether or not 'pot belge' would truely be performance enhancing. Or EPO for that matter- I just take the UCI's word on it. I don't really have any idea what they do.

But I do know that a group of Belgian cyclists was arrested for dealing in pot belge, and it caused a huge scandal within the last 2 years or so. And that they were using it to improve their race performance. I don't know if it worked, but the drugs are banned for a reason.

Note that marajuana is not banned...
I believe he is being suspendedNJRoad
Jul 5, 2002 9:16 AM
Germans on X? . . . . . . . nothing newSpirito
Jul 5, 2002 5:47 AM
maybe the UCI actually banned Jan for his choice of outfit at the time.
Germans on X? . . . . . . . nothing newamflyer
Jul 5, 2002 6:28 AM

Just wanted to say that while I repect your lifestyle choices, I will never understand them.


LOL . . . .Spirito
Jul 5, 2002 7:00 AM
perhaps i spent too many summers in Ibiza. i did witness what an eyesore, Germans that would normally listen to music by david hasselhoff, then be under the influence of X - let me tell you their choices of outfits still surface in my nightmares.

then again, ive yet to go to atlantic city or florida. i hear that they are places where style is evident but by no means tastefull. :-)

steve - whilst i consider any topic opportunity or possible for a slight in tawdry taste i doubt that any could really make out what my lifestyle choices really are by my posts. take it from me they border on the conservative side . . . . well, at least now they do. (that is if you dont count what i consider to be a normal obsession with lurid hawaiian shirts).

there is nothing to read between the lines that isnt intended to confuse - perhaps my humor doesn't convey :-)
The reply was...amflyer
Jul 5, 2002 2:11 PM
...meant to be relayed with tongue firmly in cheek.

Understated humor does not transfer well on the web...


looks like he's been taking some dianabol as well :) (nm)ColnagoFE
Jul 5, 2002 6:40 AM
re: Question: how to encourage Jan?richpierce
Jul 5, 2002 11:20 AM
I think he's just a young guy with a lot of pressure and disappointment and scrutiny, with some bad judgment and so on thrown into the mix. Any way to send him a message of encouragement? I think he's a clean and hugely talented and hard working racer. If not for Lance's recent success, Jan would be tops now. I think that must drive him nuts- to be so good but not as good as Lance and US Postal.
You can ask Jan this question: (not intended for uptight people)elviento
Jul 5, 2002 12:48 PM
Are you willing to trade your nuts for 2 tour wins (remember he already has one)?
How bout I ask you this question...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jul 5, 2002 2:24 PM
Are you willing to trade your nuts for a tour win (remembering you already have none)?

Lance is a friggin cancer survivor. He has a wife who is veru pretty, is soon to be the proud father of 3 and has more money than most of us would know what to do with. Leave Lance out of this arguement and quit ragging on him for having 3 tour wins and only one nut. His one nut can go faster than anyone on here. #$%^!

My 2 cents,
Nick Corcoran
Should I remember having Mrs "friend who is living in Bonn" ...Markus_B
Jul 5, 2002 3:36 PM
elected spokeswoman of the nation?

Tell your story but don't claim it to be more than your individual opinion (or maybe the opinion of your imaginary friend).

Says the "person-almost-in-the-bed" in Germany.
Jan, drugs, the context taken, and the problems that come withpeloton
Jul 5, 2002 6:33 PM
We really do have a problem with drugs in a lot of pro sports. Cycling gets a bad rap understandably due to it's past sins, but at least there is some effort to clean things up. Who knows in what context Jan took any drugs, or if at all, or what they were. If Jan wan't competing and he took some cough medicine he could be banned for drugs like ephidrine, which is classified as a stimulant. This could be the case with Jan, or it could be x at a club, or maybe he was taking speed with the plan to control his weight while not training intensively. If it was the first he should probably get a slap on the wrist for not knowing better. If the second, then he is just plain setting a poor example for the youth that look up to him and perhaps there should be ramifications for that. The third is purely cheating, and a ban is in order. Who knows now though without an investigation and finding all the facts. I wouldn't want to judge Jan without knowing what happened.

I do feel though that athletes who use drugs should be dealt with severely. An athlete who uses drugs for the purpose of enhancing performance (cheating) is simply a common thief. The doped athlete steals from the clean ones. If a doped athlete takes a place on a team, a podium position, or a lucrative endorsement in help from illicit drug useage then they have stolen. A deserving clean athlete was robbed of their livihood and what they rightfully should have earned. Pure and simple. These people should be held in the same category as someone who would break into your house, a crooked accountant moving funds around, or someone stealing credit card numbers off the net. An athlete who would cheat to win using drugs is someone who feels that they are so deserving that they should win even if they aren't the best. What sort of person is this? No one who should be allowed to continue in their current profession. It's BS.

And for recreational drugs, maybe it doesn't matter for a college athlete who goes and drinks a little and smokes some pot. Their performance will suffer, and that should be enough in that sort of setting. The pros are a different breed though. As a professional athlete you represent the team and endorsements that you are paid by. They pay to use your image. People and children will look up to you. If you are using recreational drugs while in the public spotlight than you are setting a p!ss poor example for those who respect your accomplishments or who look up to you. It would be nice if all athletes realized that they ARE role models if they like it or not. Kids will look to them and emulate the behavior. If they can't control themselves enough to set a good example, then maybe they should be banned as well.

We don't need to look at cheats, thieves, and idiots who act like fools. If the athletes won't do it themselves, then maybe people should speak up. It isn't right any way it is justified or rationalized.