t-72

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Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
« Reply #60 on: July 02, 2018, 22:30 »
ASO threatened to kick up a storm and suddenly we have a verdict. It's like magic!

With Froome is cleared to start on Saturday it is time to get those rules sorted.

I much prefer a short process with riders losing their right to start.

Much prefer a shorter process too - but in the case of scientific doubt short processes can't fix it. In that case, resolving the case can obviously take months and that has been the case with more than this asthma-drug related finding (i guess I can call it finding if it is not adverse and analytical..)

What Sky/Froome cannot be blamed for in this case is that information about the test results was leaked by *someone* at a point in time where it is supposed to remain confidential, precisely because sometimes when the dust settles it turns out it is hard to be sure about the substances that are allowed in limited concentrations, and it is not an unlikely outcome that the athlete gets blamed for something that isn't considered sufficient evidence of a rule violation.

If the information about the sample and the analysis had been treated according to the rules, this discussion would not take place. That probably doesn't mean that no-one, nowhere would be accusing Chris Froome of doping.

For one day I was really looking forward to seeing Geraint Thomas charge the cobbles with no strings attached, get a huge time gap and set up all the climbers to try "Froomestre" attacks on every mountain stage, until someone suddenly forgets where Nibali is and he is way ahead on some unlikely flatland no one expected anything and the rest of the race to become pure chaos!  :shh

Turns out I was way too sleepy after a weekend with too many too long parties and it was just a dream.  :P

Anyway, now that we see the rules make sense after all, how about some journalists looking at who leaked the info and why?
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  • Francois the Postman

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #61 on: July 03, 2018, 03:47 »
    Much prefer a shorter process too - but in the case of scientific doubt short processes can't fix it. In that case, resolving the case can obviously take months and that has been the case with more than this asthma-drug related finding (i guess I can call it finding if it is not adverse and analytical..)

    Has it been made public why Froome was cleared? It might have been given, but all I have read from the UCI and Sky is dripping in vagaries.

    Has Froome delivered a controlled pharmacokinetic study that proved his test was the result of normal usage? As afaik that was the only acceptable way to violate the limit as it was written down.

    If he hasn't, and the (reported) argumentation that the test itself is too flawed (and/or suggested kidney failure) trumped the discussion, then the decision to clear Froome, let him retain the Vuelta win and allow him to ride the TdF by extension, was a political one, not a scientific one.

    Ignoring rules as written is always political, and in politics, all pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.

    What we have learned is that ASO raised the stakes a good two weeks ago (and not this weekend as initially reported) with the explicit intention to force the UCI to make a decision before the TdF would have its grand depart. For bloody good reasons, if you ask me.

    Which also suggests the process suddenly got political urgency, not a purely legal and scientific due-process one.

    And you are not going to convince me that a ruling the day before we could trigger another potential clusterflip, the one in which the TdF-start-ruling would go against Froome, to be followed by a clearance of Froome before or during the actual TdF, is not all about poltics, rather than legalities and procedures.

    That the rule for this will be up for a thorough rewrite at some point in the future is clear, whichever way this went. But the rules now are what they are, you cannot be cleared to ride by the rules that yet have to transpire.

    I am curious what the argumentation was to clear Froome.


    Related, I am quite happy that the awareness of the behind-the-scenes issue was put firmly in the public eye. I used to be a strong fan of the innocent until proven guilty dogma, and it seemed only natural and just that the process protected riders by not letting anyone know what was being investigated, for those who were later proven to be innocent.

    To me, the riders themselves have frittered away any right of such protection, through a decade or two of rather effective institutional sport-wide substance abuse, all in collusion with an equally corrupt UCI who went through great lengths to hide what it knew from the public. Especially the deafening silence from the individual riders, the obscene riders protests against testing when at last some outside authority was trying to confront the problems head-on (showing the hollowness of the claim that anything anyone did was purely because of the rotten and unfair environment already in place around poor wee me as an aspiring drugfree racing bunny, and there is simply nothing I can do about it), the unbelievable charade of everyone involved blows away any argument to tolerate backroom procedures and protection.

    And anno 2018, the ongoing smoke and mirrors TUEs, ongoing and questionable associations with people with well-known dodgy track records by far too many riders and teams, it all has convinced me that for the good of the sport, it ought to be a long time before the right of the rider to be trusted first and foremost until proven guilty becomes the overriding argument for lenghty below the radar backroom investigations. Likewise for the right of a rider to have his or her professional image placed above that of the sport as a whole.

    I'd like riders to have that right, but i think that as a sport, for now, everyone has lost those privilages. Right now, to me, for the so-called greater good it should all be about public and transparent openness around amber light situations.

    Sorry, blame those who went before you (and who at times are people you still chose to tolerate around you) for my desire for short procedures during which anyone investigated is no longer able to ride competitively. I am all for riders right to draw out the procedures to make a better case for themselves, feel free to write that into any rulebook, but only if they also do that from the side-lines. For the innocent that will be harsh.

    I certainly see the logic of your argument t-72, but it is a generous attitude to processes, riders and rules that I think was partly the reason why it took so long for joe-public to realise how rotten our sport had become. The protection granted and the backroom culture was instrumental in keeping it hush-hush. Painting this as a “if only we had let the process ran its course it would have been so much better and cleaner” case is ignoring 2 decades of arguments why we shouldn’t trust or adopt that attitude to begin with.

    As far as I am concerned the sport and riders associations can come back in 10 years when we have a decade with less scandalous incidents before we can look at protective rules with a straight face again. Earn that right, as a collective. But as long as elite riders knowingly chose to ride for a team that was wilfully employing people that had knowledgeable fans frothing in forums across the globe, whilst pretending to have turned a page to fans and sponsors... sorry, take your eye-drop free crocodile tears elsewhere. Far too many riders are still utterly reluctant to criticize any issues in the peloton. For me, writing protective and generous rules is no longer good enough.
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  • « Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 04:25 by Francois the Postman »

    M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #62 on: July 03, 2018, 04:53 »
    It's late at night, and I don't want to be doing the things I SHOULD be doing - too much like work - so I was wondering if I could find something to read for a bit. And lookit at what I got! Haleluja!

    . . .

    For one day I was really looking forward to seeing Geraint Thomas charge the cobbles with no strings attached, get a huge time gap and set up all the climbers to try "Froomestre" attacks on every mountain stage, until someone suddenly forgets where Nibali is and he is way ahead on some unlikely flatland no one expected anything and the rest of the race to become pure chaos!  :shh

     . . . too many too long parties and it was just a dream.  :P

     . . .

    The fat lady hasn't even come on stage yet, dude, she's not even been on stage. Hope remains alive. BTW, I love your idea of "What I'd Like to See"! AMOF, I'm drinking Dutch beer lately. I might be able to find a Pironi or a Moretti at one of the local stores, just to round out my support a little, eh?

    . . .the decision  . . . was a political one . . .

     . . . always political, and in politics, all pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.

     . . . the process suddenly got political  . . .


    Related, I am quite happy that the awareness of the behind-the-scenes issue was put firmly in the public eye. I used to be a strong fan of the innocent until proven guilty dogma, and it seemed only natural and just that the process protected riders by not letting anyone know what was being investigated, for those who were later proven to be innocent.

    To me, the riders themselves have frittered away any right of such protection, through a decade or two of rather effective institutional sport-wide substance abuse, all in collusion with an equally corrupt UCI who went through great lengths to hide what it knew from the public. Especially the deafening silence from the individual riders, the obscene riders protests against testing when at last some outside authority was trying to confront the problems head-on (showi . . . the ongoing smoke and mirrors TUEs, ongoing and questionable associations with people with well-known dodgy track records by far too many riders and teams, it all has convinced me that for the good of the sport, it ought to be a long time before the right of the rider to the right to be trusted ought to be the overriding argument for backroom investigations, rather than public openness around amber light situations.

    Sorry, blame those who went before you (and who at times are people you still chose to tolerate around you) for my desire for short procedures during which anyone investigated is no longer able to ride competitively. I am all for riders right to draw out the procedures to make a better case for themselves, feel free to write that into any rulebook, but only if they also do that from the side-lines. For the innocent that will be harsh.

     . . .why it took so long for joe-public to realise how rotten our sport had become. The protection granted and the backroom culture was instrumental in keeping it hush-hush.  . . .

    As far as I am concerned the sport and riders associations can come back in 10 years when we have a decade with less scandalous incidents before we can look at protective rules with a straight face again. Earn that right, as a collective. But as long as elite riders knowingly chose to ride for a team that was wilfully employing people that had knowledgeable fans frothing in forums across the globe, whilst pretending to have turned a page to fans and sponsors... sorry, take your eye-drop free crocodile tears elsewhere. Far too many riders are still utterly reluctant to criticize any issues in the peloton. For me, writing protective and generous rules is no longer good enough.



    Protective rules are good, so long as they ARE protective. When they are no longer protective, then other rulesets need to be employed.

    A few thoughts come to mind. For instance, earlier today I saw a retweet of the good Dr Ferrari's tweet. Seems Michele is commenting on the current brouhaha to say that everybody is STILL doing whatever they think they can get away with.

    I saw another comment - noting that cycling is not really any dirtier than other sports - but rather our cycling organizations have done a spectacularly bad job at managing it. I do find thinking of a few other sports useful in this regard. E.g., horse racing, dog racing. weight lifting, boxing, WWE wrestling, MMA, track and field. All spectacularly dirty. EPO is still even a thing in long-distance running.

    Horse and dog racing, and boxing, have been, if anything, dirtier than cycling. MMA is way dirtier, but the fans don't care and won't believe it. And the only reason it hasn't been dirtier longer is because it hasn't been around that long. Boxing manages to avoid the worst of the drug problems, even though their regulatory agencies make Hein look like a choir boy. I suppose an argument could be made that cycling, during the period of their greatest drug violations, the sport was also breaking into TV as an entertainment. And thus under greater scrutiny. And, our fans and adherents DO care about doping and honesty about it (in opposition to the attitudes of MMA watchers). As Michael Porter so clearly pointed out - a discriminating market makes a world of difference to the business model.

    I don't bring any of that up to excuse our cycling sport. Not at all. Rather, a thought to keep a rational and realistic "eye" out while we yet work through this soap opera drama.

    Very interesting commentary gents. Thanks. I'd "like" both posts a few times - but that's not allowed, eh?
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    LukasCPH

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #63 on: July 03, 2018, 13:23 »
    Anyway, now that we see the rules make sense after all, how about some journalists looking at who leaked the info and why?
    About that, speaking as a journo:
    No journalist will ever give up their sources to anyone. Ever.
    It's simply not done. Ever.
    And that includes giving up sources to law enforcement; journalists - like doctors or lawyers - have the privilege of not having to divulge information.[1]

    While it's not impossible that the leaker whistleblower source would give themselves up, it's unlikely. Especially in this case where they'd probably be chased down by Froome's legal team and sued for damages and whatnot.
     1. At least where I live they do, and I think it's a very important right.
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    M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #64 on: July 03, 2018, 17:16 »
    . . .
    No journalist will ever give up their sources to anyone.  . . , and I think it's a very important right. . .

    Transparency has always been associated with democracy. And the lack of it has always been associated with other forms of government. Since this leaker brought transparency to the situation, I have to agree that the right, in this case, is indeed very important. Personally, I was glad to see this leak. Even though it showed up the UCI and WADA pretty badly, making both appear toothless and/or corrupt, I feel pretty strongly that, in the long run, this will be a positive turning point. It has made apparent that the UCI and WADA need to work on their procedures.

    It could be argued that transparency would now mean that the leaker should reveal themselves. But this is exactly what protective rules are for. When the greater good of the community is served by protective regulations - regulations which protect the weak - then they should be in place.  A very good example of when such protections do NOT work would be the Russian Soviet, with their numerous levels of neighbor-watchers. Or the French revolution, for that matter. Or the McCarthy era in the US. Those were times when the ability to accuse became so strong that, ultimately, the community suffered rather than benefited. All of the accusers thought they were doing the right thing.[1] To some degree, I think the accusers in the Clinic have reached this level - or, perhaps more accurately - OVER-reached. Yet, as Francois points out, the peloton has, in a way, given up any rights, due the massive abuse of trust that was perpetrated.
     1. Well, in general. Surely there were selfish people, with self-centered reasons, but I think you get the point. At some general level, there was a tacit agreement that the actors in each situation were doing something morally right.
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  • Flo

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #65 on: July 04, 2018, 14:39 »
    UK newspaper Daily Mirror's TDF preview almost seems like a parody. Almost :P
    https://twitter.com/ukcyclingexpert/status/1014026587283623936
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    M Gee

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #66 on: July 05, 2018, 15:32 »
    UK newspaper Daily Mirror's TDF preview almost seems like a parody. Almost :P
     . . .

    It does! Somebody must be having somebody (else) on - that can't be for real. I like the response tweet https://twitter.com/bicycal_life/status/1014032207634227200

    “Oy, you, making the tea, you cycled in this morning, that cycling thing’s happening soon, write something we can put in the sports section!”
    “I don’t know ‘nuffin ‘bout cycling!”
    “Make some sh*t up, no one will read it anyway!”
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #67 on: July 05, 2018, 19:18 »
    Should anyone ever wonder why cycling struggles to be understood as a sport in the U.S., this official TdF preview from NBC Sports might explain a few things.



    I can't believe that someone was actually paid to produce and edit that. I also can't imagine what their target audience is. Any seasoned cycling fan would only end up scratching their head; any newcomer to the sport would hardly be any more informed after watching this poor excuse of a promo.

    So let's see: The Tour apparently jumps to Stage 12 after some sort of clipping-in session with Wiggins and Cancellara. OK.

    Then the video morphs into an inexplicable feel-good story about Steve Cummings' stage win...in 2015.

    This is NBC Sports. The largest and most influential network in America with the rights to cover cycling. Yet there's zero contextual continuity in this piece, and nowhere do they mention just when coverage will begin or end, and how the viewer might follow along.

    I'd say that if your official Preview video only garners four (4!) total comments on Youtube after being up for a week, perhaps you should lose the privilege of covering the event in the first place.

    NBC has ruined pro cycling in the U.S. Step-by-step, year-after-year, they have systematically taken over other networks and websites that were effectively covering the sport, only to bury it with weak coverage, poor representation, confusing options, and total disregard for the informed fans. Why they spent any money at all to acquire the rights is beyond me.

    Even on the main NBC Sports website, and with the TdF just days away, cycling is not mentioned anywhere on the top of the homepage banner. The links to other sports are prominent—even the ones that are currently out-of-season—but cycling is relegated to the drop-down menu of "More." And even then, they somehow can't be bothered to spell more than "CYC" for cycling.

    The first few times I went to their site, I didn't even catch the abbreviation. It seems they couldn't try harder to obscure the sport altogether.

    These are the options:

    OLYMPICS
    CYC
    TENNIS
    MOTORS
    HORSES
    NCAA FB (?)
    NCAA BK (?)
    RUGBY
    DOG SHOW
    SAILING
    BOXING

    Brilliant effort, NBC. Bravo.

    No wonder Liggett and Sherwen are still employed by them. Nobody is minding the shop.
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  • « Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 19:36 by Drummer Boy »

    Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #68 on: July 05, 2018, 23:30 »
    Dog show's a sport in the US? That's reaching a different audience!
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  • Francois the Postman

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #69 on: July 06, 2018, 00:21 »
    Dog show's a sport in the US? That's reaching a different audience!

    No, that's the NBC TdF shortcut. Anyone knows it's the greatest show on earth starring Froomedog!

    :froomepup
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  • Leadbelly

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    Re: Tour de France 2018 General News
    « Reply #70 on: July 06, 2018, 19:15 »
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44576490

    Cavendish's analysis on the twenty one stages.

    He has either himself, a team mate or a fellow Brit winning ten of the stages. :lol :fp
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