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Is past doping worth noting?(20 posts)

Is past doping worth noting?TJeanloz
Jul 11, 2002 9:08 AM
I have to say that it bothers me a little (tiny) bit that commentators don't give more mention to the past doping issues of particular riders.

For me, nothing Richard Virenque ever does will be legitimate, as he's about as dishonest with regard to doping as anybody. But the slate seems to be wiped clear- we don't hear anything about his role in "the Festina affair".

And it's not just him. There are at least a dozen riders in this year's Tour who have served suspensions for doping, and I would like to think that it would haunt their credibility for the rest of their careers, but it apparently hasn't.

Do we forgive and forget, and move past the doping scandals of the past? Or if we forget history, are we doomed to repeat it?
The commentators have selective memoryMcAndrus
Jul 11, 2002 9:14 AM
As do the sporting press, it seems. As you say, there are many other riders who've been caught in the past and once they've served a suspension, it's never mentioned again.

Virenque is the most famous but Cassagrande sticks in my mind. He tested postive for testosterone a couple of years ago and this year he plows another rider off the road. Yet, I read race results of his and they never say things like, "Cassagrande, former doper and assault-cyclist, won a stage today."

Well, if I expected a perfect world then I should be a baseball fan, I guess. No, wait .....
re: Is past doping worth noting?mr_spin
Jul 11, 2002 9:15 AM
Often, the only way to end a corrupt regime is to offer amnesty to those who took part. It's the only way to ensure stability.

I say make the penalties from now on very harsh, but let everyone start with a clean slate.
what are you looking for ?DougSloan
Jul 11, 2002 9:24 AM
Are you saying that they are just "bad" guys, and we should ignore them? Or, should they have been banned for life?

They might make a plea that they screwed up, paid their penalties, and now are just as legit as anyone else.

I don't think we are doomed to repeat past scandals just because the reporters don't mention that so-and-so was a doper. I'd want to rely on the testing to take care of that.

Do you think they should be banned for life for doping? That might be a better deterrent.

Nonetheless, I'd bet the reporting, at least in France, would be different if it were an American who has previously been a doper.

Doug
I want a comment like....TJeanloz
Jul 11, 2002 9:30 AM
I want Phil to say:

"We haven't seen Dierckxsens on this good form since he was thrown out of the 1999 Tour after testing positive for synacthene."

Or:

"Virenque has never quite been back to his 1997 form, when he won the Polka-dot jersey, but was later found to have been doping."

Or:

"Zulle is going well, but he likely will never forget the night he spent in a French prison."

Just little barbs, that's all I want, just so that these guys don't get put too high on a pedestal.
I like that!DougSloan
Jul 11, 2002 9:36 AM
You should be a color commentator.

Maybe, like the "lantern rouge" number plate, they should have some designation of past drug offender on their numbers? That would help them and the folks at home.

Doug
LOL how does one say "scarlet letter" in French?!? (nm)RhodyRider
Jul 11, 2002 9:39 AM
listen bettermr_spin
Jul 11, 2002 9:43 AM
I've heard Phil and Paul make comments just like those (except for the prison one). They just don't dwell on it because Phil and Paul are pros. It would sound quite petty and get really annoying to point out all the faults of the riders all the time. Viewers would get turned off real fast. They are calling a race, not a lineup.

During the Giro they mentioned it quite a bit. With all the scandals, how could they not? They seemed to enjoy telling the story of how in 2001 Frigo had purchased what he thought was EPO (or whatever) and it turned out to be fake!
I want to hear it when it matters...TJeanloz
Jul 11, 2002 9:50 AM
I don't want to hear these things in passing, as the camera flips by one of these guys. I want to hear them make reference as soon as one of these clowns wins a race, effectively putting an asterisk behind any victory they ever get.

"That was a powerful climb to the line by Pantani, this should help put all of the questions of past doping behind him..."
I want a comment like....grandemamou
Jul 11, 2002 9:49 AM
They haven't beaten it into the ground but they do or have mentioned it, at least they did in the Giro. But then again drugs were the story of this years Giro.

I think most cycling fans are well aware of Virenque's past crimes and at some point you have to let it go if he is allowed to continue competing. I'm not defending him. In my mind is results will always be in question.

You rarely see a journalist in any sport rip into a player or team. To do their jobs they need access and I doubt they would get that if they ripped into them. I could see the bump "now here's Frankie Andrau with comments from mister EPO himself, Richard Virenque". On second thought, it would be pretty funny to see his reaction.
I want a comment like....Skip
Jul 11, 2002 1:16 PM
Shoot, Let's just make them ride every race for the rest of their careers with a big red "D" on the front and back of their jersies.
O.K.; That seems reasonable.TJeanloz
Jul 11, 2002 1:27 PM
Pay The Price And Move On.BigLeadOutGuy
Jul 11, 2002 10:27 AM
There comes a time when you have to let past mistakes go as hard as it may seem. It would be ridiculus to hear the commentators bickering about how so and so got caught with a syringe 10 years ago. These guys are human, and as all humans do...they make mistakes. I am not saying that its ok to dope, but they got caught and they served their punishment and I am sure they have all been tested plenty of times after they have been caught and results have shown them to be clean. So put it in the past...move on. Imagine what the world would be like if you were never forgiven for your mistakes. I doubt any of us would like it. On the other hand if they are a repeat offenders than the punishment should be alot more severe.
There's something to be said for a clean slate.scottfree
Jul 11, 2002 10:30 AM
Unless you intend to ban someone for life, or brand him with a scarlet 'D' on his forehead, or cut his nuts off, you just have to say, he got caught, he paid his penalty/did his time, and now he's back and presumed innocent until nailed again. Maybe he'll never be nailed again. Maybe he'll never dope again. WOuldn't it be unfair to keep hammering someone for a past sin, if he worked his ass off and won a big race clean? Man.

It's just sport, after all; it's not life and death. Give the poor sap a break.

Of course, there are incorrigibles, and we need to allow for that. Maybe after a stated number of nailings, he DOES get banned for life, or forehead-tatooed or whatever.

And whatever position you want to take on it, I'd take it a WHOLE LOT MORE SERIOUSLY if the definition of 'dope' was a little saner. If bee sting medicine be dope ...
followup questionET
Jul 11, 2002 10:59 AM
Is there any evidence that the benefits of doping carry through even long after one stops taking them (and the ban is lifted)? If so, keep 'em banned.

Also, how do you view those cases where, e.g., a cyclist (claims he) inadvertently took a medication for the flu prescribed by a doctor that contained a banned drug? I'd think it is their responsibility to question just about everything that enters their mouth (it's crucial to their careers and they and the rest of the world know it) rather than have an excuse after the fact that no one believes.
Having thought a little bit more about it...TJeanloz
Jul 11, 2002 11:08 AM
I'd be satisfied if everybody who served a doping suspension in their career were tested after every race and bi-weekly in out-of-competition controls.

I just find it hard to believe that these guys have gone clean, and that the UCI is taking doping seriously.
so you're saying it's not the Litespeed after all? :-) (nm)ET
Jul 11, 2002 11:17 AM
.
Well, I'd say they're taking it more seriouslyscottfree
Jul 11, 2002 11:37 AM
than just about any other sport. Those jackbooted 6 a.m. wakeups for out-of-competition testing are pretty draconian. Name the governing body of another sport that's even a tenth as drug-obsessed as the UCI.
I agree.......Len J
Jul 11, 2002 11:21 AM
look at Sammy Sossa in Baseball. When he came into the league, he was 160 lbs. After his second year (I think) he came to spring training 60 lbs heavier than the end of the season. I have read that even if he stops now, he won't lose the muscle mass & hence the strength he gains by the use of drugs.

If a cyclist gained capability from doping, that exists after he stops, he shouldn't be allowed to compete. Either that, or make everything legal & let them fight it out.

Len
They were all over him today (quasi spoiler)DougSloan
Jul 21, 2002 7:34 PM
They mentioned Virenque's doping about 50 times today (Ventoux). Maybe OLN listens to our rants. :-)

Doug