Monday, October 15

Dope Show

I would blog about the race from this past weekend, but I have shit in my head that I want to get out... my take on the whole USADA/Lance thing from a guy who was a yellow bracelet wearing Lance fan.  Well, at least until I was able to put 2+2+2+2+2+2 together enough on my own to form an opinion that would make me feel otherwise.

As much as we've heard about the case, there are so many folks we haven't heard from.  People who should say something... say anything.

Keep in mind, I did my best googling Sunday morning to try to find anything I could on the internet about the following:
TREK, more precisely John Burke.  It was heavily inferred that they dropped Greg Lemond's line of bikes due to his outspoken stance on Lance's relationship with the evil doping doctor.  TREK saw huge profits tying themselves to the Lance Train for all those years.  A month and a half ago, they were still standing behind him. Maybe nobody at TREK had any idea of what was going on but why not say something?  Say anything.

Chris Carmichael.  He "trained" Lance for all those years, yet the most recent thing I could find was this statement.

“I’m convinced Lance won his Tour de France titles because he was the best athlete,”

This from a guy who settled out of court when he was sued for doping junior riders without their knowledge back in the early 90's.  A guy who built his entire business empire not only by tying himself to Lance, but with actual financial assistance from the big guy.  He takes a decent amount of credit for Lance's success and has been close to him since he (Lance) was a teenager.

“In 20 years, I never saw him use any banned substances, and in my eyes, seeing is believing.”

Now what?  Say something, say anything.  I know people who are Carmichael athletes and coaches.  I'm sure they might want to know what you're thinking.  Doping built your house.

Non-doping riders in the pro cycling world.  If I was one of them, I would find the internet and voice my opinions as loudly as I could type them.  These actions affected them more than anybody.  It was the clean riders getting blown out of the back of the field by the insane pace set at the front.  Imagine someone at work clocking out early every day leaving you to do their work, thus making your life that much harder.  Your supposed to have a manager making sure that doesn't happen, but he doesn't care because everybody loves what he's selling.

Races you mighta won, teams you were on that mighta had a chance at more money/better sponsors, more opportunities... all taken away.  At least some riders like Adam Myerson are being vocal. Steve Tilford has been on a roll.  There should be more.

Fuck that.  If I had absolutely ZERO skeletons in my closet, I would have something to say... anything.

But if I did have some skeletons?

I saw something, I knew something, I did something... I'd probably be pretty quiet right now.  There's a lot of riders being quiet.  There's no telling who's going to roll on whom.  Making leniency deals with the authorities in exchange for information is nothing new.  I'm all for an amnesty program right now.  Tell us everything you know about anybody and anything.  If you keep your mouth shut and there's enough corroborating evidence/testimony against you?  Sorry, lifetime ban.

The whole "level playing field" and "everybody was doing it" doesn't sit well with me.  Was Bassons the only clean rider of the entire era?  I doubt it, and evidently the playing field was obviously more level for the ones with the best funding.  Thank you sponsors of the USPS, Discovery Channel, and Radio Shack cycling teams (not that they were all complicit).  After all, Nike still sponsors Micheal Vick.  I'm sure when Phil Knight made a pair of shoes with a waffle iron this is where he hoped it would all go.

And the UCI.  Good Lord, they are screwed... but only in the way that people at the top with nobody to answer to are ever screwed.  Sure there's the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Can they do anything? How big would that case be? How much evidence would they need to kick Verbruggen out and punish McQuaid?  Sticky mess.

Assuming I'm not an egomaniac addicted to power, fame, or money, I would run.  Run like the wind.  Cash out, get some plastic surgery, and hide in some other country living off all the money I schiestered away from a corrupt system.  Then again, I'm not an egomaniac, and I would look for any excuse to live in a bungalow and sip on boat drinks all day.

And to all those folks that thought/think it was waste of time, money, and resources going after Lance?  No one benefited more from all this shit.  Wanna change to system?  Fry the biggest fish.  This is what this is about.  Bringing down a corrupt system and hopefully restoring some kind of (relative) order to a sport we all still love.

Who knows, maybe I'll start watching the Tour de France again.

That's all I got for now. 


Anonymous said...

Yep. Good post. There is a long line of folks who have some 'splainin' to do.

Tomi said...

you wanna get lost in some background for a while, surf thru the Captain's musings:

pretty sure he had posted a link to the affadavit/interview thingy Kristin Armstrong gave when Trek was in the process of screwing over Lemond, or maybe that was on the Doucheblog...

The Inner Ring is good reading also.

Also former riders, Brian Smith, formerly of Motorola had some interesting things to say, particulary about how he couldn't get on the TDF team at the time because he refused to dope...

And yeah it sure would be nice to be hearing more current riders speaking up.

Mike said...

It will never be clean. I'm sorry, Rich, but it's naive to think that teams and riders won't continue to use team doctors and chemical cocktails to try and cheat. Honestly, I'd rather they at least have doctors helping them rather than winging it on their own...

Mike B.

Tomi said...'s the direct linky to some background on the Trek/Lemond spat:

make a couple clicks and you should find the deposition transcript with all the lawyers present.

John Parker said...

"Carmichael was a beard" says Floyd Landis

I bet 90% of the living pro peloton has the same feeling a john dose when the local whore house get's busted

Trek, Nike, Oakley etc....not with my money (did not that I liked them before mind you but all the more reason now, smaller suppliers like Chris King I would have to say were duped)

If they can't re boot the UCI and offer amnesty/truth and reconciliation there may not be hope for cycling as a "sport"

if you did not think Lemond was a tragic figure before....

Tyler said...

Well said...and I agree. I don't care about racing news and such, but having this come out is good for the sport's perception, good for the riders and racers that are clean and, well, good entertainment, too.

Factor in each individual taxpayer's actual contribution and it's far less than going to a movie. Heck, it's less than a Redbox movie.

Rob said...

I think it's just the over-competitiveness of sports has gone too far.

In just US Sports we can look at tons of examples of where the top guys just aren't clean. Baseball? Football? Hockey? Uh Wrestling??? Scholarships are a big deal these days, getting your kid in and getting them competitive in a sport or two is huge.

Lets start drug testing regularly in college football and see how that goes.

Cycling has been damaged hugely by this especially Road in my opinion. Is there a way to clean it up? Build a new system and put in place smarter rules. Go back to our roots. Get rid of team cars, radio's, etc. Hell lets go back to square wheels.

Big E said...

A few of thoughts...

The reason even clean riders aren't saying anything right now is because there are still enough of the "old guard" with in the sport that if they say something that gets taken exception too they may not be able to get a gig next year...

The UCI is as guilty as any other group in this whole mess. They are at the very least turning a blind eye and the worst out right corrupt. And the only way to run them out isn't through CAS, it's a voting system through representatives from all the national federations. And we sure have heard a lot from those guys huh (What a crock.)? It's too much of a good ol' boys club that watch out for each other and no one else...

And as much as I hate to say it. I tend to agree with a couple of the other guys here. I don't think cycling will ever be totally clean. I would consider 95% clean a real victory. The sport has always been dirty. ALWAYS. And I don't really see that changing.

But I do think that a good cleansing by fire would be good. A little revolution now and again...

Thanks for the thoughts Dicky.

Will Repsher said...

Perhaps they are waiting for the UCI to make the next move. Former US Postal rider Scott Mercier seems to suggest that there is still fear of backlash from the UCI ( )
Given the UCI's track record of inaction and denial followed up by civil lawsuits, I tend to think this fear is warranted. That is unless enough people, companies and cycling federations stand up and push back...