My take of the Chuck Coyle deal as of now….

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Velonews printed this article on the Chuck Coyle EPO suspension today. I think Neal Rogers is a pretty good writer, but this article is bullshit and totally biased.

To sum up the article, Chuck says that he was duped by his team mates. They used his computer, email, and credit card to order EPO and other stuff off the internet without any of his knowledge of the act.

A lot of the substance of the article makes no sense. Come on, let’s ask some real questions after the stupid answers.

Like when Chuck says, “As far as I can tell (with the evidence USADA presented), we were at a race, and someone used my computer, had access to my email, and bought dope with it. I was none the wiser.” The next question would be, “did all your team mates have your credit card number and charge things all the time without your knowledge?” Because, I don’t have anybody else’s credit card number and no one has mine to use carte blanche. And I’ve never known that to be the case of anybody I’ve ever known.

And the line “none the wiser”. That implies he has no knowledge of the whole affair. So, a guy uses your computer, your email, your credit card, and I assume, your address, to buy and receive Performance Enhancing Drugs and you are “none the wiser”. WTF?? I guess Chuck just pays those credit card bills and doesn’t really care what he’s paying for.

Chuck also is quoted as saying, “I don’t have $20,000 to fight it, and these (former teammates) have ghosted, just disappeared. I can’t find them. USADA was threatening me with a four-year or lifetime ban, and in the end I had no choice but to sign their document and accept a two-year suspension.” Then he goes on to say, he was “explicitly told” not to name them for fear that he would be slapped with a defamation lawsuit.”

So, this/these former team mates that have mysteriously disappeared off the planet Earth will suddenly reappear and sue Chuck for defamation if he just says what he knows concerning them. Maybe Neal or Chuck or whoever, should have looked up the definition of defamation. I did.

def·a·ma·tion
   /ˌdɛfəˈmeɪʃən/ Show Spelled[def-uh-mey-shuhn]
–noun
the act of defaming; false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel; calumny: She sued the magazine for defamation of character.

I believe the key to defamation is that the claim is false. If Chuck is telling the truth here, then I’m pretty sure he’d be alright. Especially since these “ghost” riders don’t have computers, credit cards or addresses. I’m not even sure how they would ever hear of the topic. Either way, I guess Chuck is more worried about his $$$ than his reputation and honor. Obviously, $20,000 means more to him that those.

Let me say, I don’t really know Chuck, other than calling him Chuck and racing with him a few dozen times. He seems to be a pretty nice guy. He definitely has a bunch of guys in Boulder willing to vouch for him. Chris Baldwin for one. Chris says in the article, “I know Chuck, and he is such a nice guy, if someone asked to use those things, he wouldn’t even flinch, he would hand them over no questions asked.”

I wonder how many times Chuck has just handed his computer and credit card over to Chris and let him charge away? Maybe Chris never asked him. Maybe he has.

In the Velonews article, Chuck is quoted as saying that he has “no resources to counter the evidence”. The media is a resource. The result of the media involvement is usually transparency. Truth is a defense. The only line in the article that rings true is when Chuck says, “I don’t expect anyone to believe me.” I don’t from this interview. Chuck squandered his best resource, the press, if his explanation has any credence.

So, here’s how I see it, using the information of this one Velonews interview with Chuck. I don’t believe that all these things could have happened without a person’s knowledge. It is too far fetched. No one says where the drugs were delivered. That is important, but you’d have to assume that they went to his address or it would have been mentioned. But, whatever the answer to that, nothing else much adds up.

So, if I believe that Chuck had knowledge of the purchase, then it is over. He either cheats his friends and other riders by using drugs, or he is a facilitator, ie drug dealer. A drug dealer that is covering up for his buyers. Either way, until something more believable comes out, he is pretty guilty in my book. And about the only thing more believable is if Chuck decides to “take the big financial risk” and name the guys that bought the stuff. If that doesn’t happen, there is virtually nothing you can do to convince me of his “innocence” in this instance.

If you happen to believe Chuck’s version of the situation, you can pick someone out of the guys listed below to try figure out who has the war chest to sue Chuck for telling the truth and exposing a doper. I know a bunch of these guys, so you’ll have to solve the “mystery” on your own.

2007 Team Successful Living Presented by Parkpre USA

New for 2007
Alessandro Bazzana (ITA – Zalf Desirè Fior)
Chuck Coyle (USA – Vitamin Cottage)
Dusan Ganic (SER – GS93 Promosport)
Ricardo Escuela (ARG – C.T. Ormesani Panni)
Christian Valenzuela (MEX – Monex)

Returning Riders:
Curtis Gunn (USA)
Alexi Martinez (USA)
Daniel Ramsey (USA)
Ryan Yee (USA)

23 thoughts on “My take of the Chuck Coyle deal as of now….

  1. H Luce

    I think it’s a plausible explanation:
    ““There were several guys on my team that didn’t have bank accounts,” Coyle told VeloNews. “They didn’t have anything — no laptop, no credit cards. They literally cashed their paychecks at the bank and paid for everything with cash. Whenever they needed to buy something online, they’d ask to use your credit card and pay you back in cash. As far as I can tell (with the evidence USADA presented), we were at a race, and someone used my computer, had access to my email, and bought dope with it. I was none the wiser.”

    People who sell dope online may not be on the up-and-up, and may give cryptic billing info which doesn’t reveal the nature of their business. He claimed to let his teammates use his credit card number if they’d pay him back in cash, and this makes sense if they had no bank accounts. If he had no knowledge that drugs were being bought, he shouldn’t be held liable. The fact that an attorney asks for a $20,000 retainer in what looks likeva criminal case isn’t out of reasonable expectation, since Pedro Irigonegaray, one of the better criminal defense lawyers in the state, routinely asks for and gets $15,000 retainers up front and in cash. Doyle chose not to pay but instead took the suspension, which makes economic sense, since he doesn’t win races and doesn’t bring in enough money (and probably won’t do so) to justify the expense, guilty or not. As for the defamation suit threats, yeah, they might not win, but you might end up spending $100,000 defending yourself. In the US, the parties usually bear their own costs, so the threat is credible, especially to someone who doesn’t have the money to hire the legal help needed to succeed in these matters.

     
  2. Vincent

    I have always wondered why there is no market for protection(insurance) against false doping charges. I assume there is no market because 99.9% that get caught are truly guilty and therefore would not buy the insurance. Maybe wada/USACycling/UCI should sell this insurance it would be a great business for them, you would only get tested if you did not buy the insurance 🙂
    This is just another reason why the punishment for doping should apply to the entire team. Not saying they should be suspended for 2 yr but maybe for 1 month. If I was on a team (it will never happen) and I new I was eternally at risk of a 1 month suspension is a teammate got caught doping I would what to make sure I had the right teammates. There would need to me some type of informant option so you could avoid punishment if you new about doping.

     
  3. PackFill

    Ok some sketchy teamates on “UNSUCCESFUL LIVING” for sure. What happenend to Ricardo Escuela?? I assume he is one of the foreigners who didn’t have a bank account, credit card etc… Heard he was kicked off or rather mysteriously disappeared from Type 1 team I think last year?? I heard a rumor he had failed or violated internal team policy. Anyway not defending or incriminating anyone..just throwing it out there for added discussion.

     
  4. Flyin' pharmacist

    Its not my dope man, this is my friends car dude!
    Seriously, read the warning information at the site for Epogen or Procrit. These medicines are very regulated for use by doctors. I’m surprised there are not more deaths of cyclist and other athletes using EPO. The funny thing is that there is a lot of counterfiet EPO on the market. Theres is also alot of uplabeled EPO. (they change the label from a weaker strength to a stronger strength) A 2 year ban is probably better than the death penalty.

     
  5. Gary

    If someone is to good to be true, shoot em just to be sure. LOL. sometimes being a nice guy is a big red flag.

     
  6. Josh

    I would like to offer a different perspective and that would be what it might be like to be Chuck Coyle then and now. Here’s a guy who was a lifer in the sport. To my knowledge, he did not grow up with wealth and apparently did not get a significant degree and to my knowledge did not have an inheritance, to the point where he could commit his life in the world of cycling care free. Which from my perspective is quickly becoming a wasteland of a ton of wannabe pros, with little money, huge sacrifice and significant cost, little glory. So without the benefit of wealthy parents (buying his way) or super natural god given talent, chuck is like 99% of the wannabe pros out there today. He’s a guy who believed at one point that he could be good. He probably trained hard, ate right, slept right, took legal supplements and gave it his all, won a few races, but ultimately found out that he is just one in about 1000 after all that sacrifice. It most likely took him many years to figure all that out and by that time it was 2007 and by then he knew he was not going to trade in his bike to get a job. Because no typical job would have given him the freedom to do what he had come to love with the freedom of being on the road with the wind in his face. Most probable was also the fear of failure to his dedicated supporters and believers which combined with all of the other fears of failure made him do the only logical thing a person in his position might do. Remain a local / regional racer for life and sell out. As a sell out at that level, he could most likely enjoy the freedom of never being caught and since he is in Colorado he is not even under USA Cycling for most races so “who cares” is what he may have thought. Big Fish, Small Pond theory in full force and no one is watching! In his case, he was probably caught in the trap of a bigger mess, so his information was seized. Otherwise he would be right alongside local racers today. Piling up prize money and killing it at the lowest level his ego might allow. So unless a rider has an inheritance or a good job or a legit degree, which many do not usually have after an attempt at being a pro cyclist or during, then a person might find themselves in Chuck Coyle’s shoes today. Chuck is serving his sentence in more ways than one and he will never feel the same as a human being again. Of course he is going to limit the damage and defer as much focus as he can, it’s human instinct. Chuck Coyle will need everyone in the world now, just to have any sort of life after all this is said and done. He’s done for, let’s not dig a grave for him.

     
  7. Jim

    I could not have stated it better. I asked the same questions when I read the story. I wrote and asked a Boulder pro rider, that I know, if he knew this guy.
    His response was “I do know that guy pretty well. It is such bullshit. Him plus a few other guys who just got busted took spots on pro teams when myself and other good riders couldn’t get on teams. Such bullshit.”
    I am amazed that Coyle wouldn’t come up with a better story than this. I think I could.
    I am pathetic and have no results to speak of either but at least I got there clean.

     
  8. H Luce

    Well, if your credit card statement has a lot of charges from “Enhanced Performance Online” then I’d be on the lookout…

     
  9. Billy Dean

    Thanks for being the “voice of reason” Steve… I loved my years as pacmeat but… The more I read this stuff… the happier I am as a Triathlete…

     
  10. Rod Lake

    I wouldn’t trust my teenage daughter with my credit card. So, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t give it to a teammate who doesn’t have a bank account. Again, Steve’s BS detector called this one perfect.

     
  11. VC Slim

    I recently had $15k of fraudulent charges removed from my card (dumb bank). Perhaps Chuck can get a refund.

    Rod: Long time now see since you were in SanTone.

    Happy trails all,
    Greg Hall

     
  12. Neal Rogers

    Steve: You bring up some good points.

    But keep in mind, USADA’s press release went out I called Chuck, he gave me his version of what happened, and I wrote it. This wasn’t a collaborative research project conducted by a team of investigative reporters. Chuck was understandably upset, and I got what information I could from him. I’m not going to get in to whether or not I believe him or not other, than to say I honestly have no idea. Clearly it is a hard story to believe, and Chuck admitted as much. But I will say I don’t understand why so many people feel that giving him a platform to tell his story equates to a VeloNews bias with him. USADA has its case, Chuck has his version of what happened. He said he didn’t buy dope or use dope, and I reported that. If Chuck is lying, and I report his lie, that means my story is bullshit? I know Chuck, and that might have played a role in his returning my call, but beyond that, I was just reporting his story, and the reaction of several people who know him. If I had the chance, I’d write the same story again, and I’d give any other rider who is accused of doping and denies it the same opportunity to stake their claim.

     
  13. Reader

    Where were the drugs delivered? If they were delivered to teammates I’m sure Coyle wouldn’t said “The drugs weren’t even delivered to me!” He’s conspicuously silent instead. Maybe his teammates didn’t have mailboxes either.

     
  14. ac

    ‘His response was “I do know that guy pretty well. It is such bullshit. Him plus a few other guys who just got busted took spots on pro teams when myself and other good riders couldn’t get on teams. Such bullshit.”’

    Um, yeah. I lived in Boulder from 97-05. I raced with Chuck on an amateur team. All due respect to your buddy, but if he was beaten out of a pro team spot by Chuck, then your friend was never going to go pro. Chuck was always a domestique-level racer as a pro. Period. Every Cat 2 in Boulder thinks they’re about to be a pro, b/c they’re a cat. 2 in Boulder….
    Here’s the bottom line: Chuck is going to take a 2 year vacation. The rest of us will burble about this online for 2 weeks. End of story.

     
  15. X

    @ Neal Rogers

    You can’t honestly look at yourself and say that you didn’t scramble to save some dignity for your friend.

    You asked no hard hitting questions. How much EPO did he or his old teammates buy? How much IGF did he or his old teammates buy? Where was the package sent?

    Instead, we get nothing. Yet, with the other master, you guys have not problem burning him with a little joke about sucking. Well deserved, sure. But that shows the polar opposite handling of the two VERY similar cases made public on the very same day.

     
  16. Mayor of Longmont

    Chuckie, sorry still hard to believe.
    What about billing address for your credit card info??? Usually if you ship to someplace other than billing address, shipments get delayed or there is a delay in processing orders…especially from a foreign website like Papp’s Chinese epo store.
    Anyway sounds like a lot of logistics for a guy with no credit card, no bank account, no address to figure out on his own. As others had mentioned, my guess is the stuff was shipped to your house. Can we get an answer to that?

     
  17. Pingback: EVERYDAY RACER » Blog Archive » Chuck Coyle Affair

  18. Jim

    AC,
    “I raced with Chuck on an amateur team. All due respect to your buddy, but if he was beaten out of a pro team spot by Chuck, then your friend was never going to go pro. Chuck was always a domestique-level racer as a pro. ”

    I hate to break it to you but the guy I know (not a buddy but I do know him) is currently a domestic pro and has been for at least the last 4 years. Maybe he is a domestique-level pro (some people are and they are fine with that) but he is making a living as a pro rider today and will again in 2011.
    By your own admission, Coyle was a domestique-level pro so he was taking work from someone who wasn’t cheating, right?
    Maybe he got to that level ONLY because he was using something? Is that a possibility?
    Cheating is still cheating. After 1998, if you get caught, too damned bad.

     
  19. Steve Jones

    The past couple of years the journalist quality of VeloNews has been slipping. I’m not sure if it’s just complacency or bad writing. Probably both. I never look at their on-line site anymore and this biased buddy piece regarding Coyle is another example. Rogers should have known how to do his job better.

     
  20. ac

    Your friend “is currently a domestic pro and has been for at least the last 4 years.”
    Simple math says that Chuck *didn’t* take away his spot from a pro team…?

    These incriminating emails came from 2007; so your buddy was already employed and Chuck never hurt him.
    Sounds like “scars that never felt a wound.”

    People who race domestique-level pro even in the US should be proud of that. An honest congratulations for your friend. I wouldn’t wish that life on anyone. It’s hard, the pay is poor, and the hours are ridiculous. I want to see an NFL wussy go out to put in 6 hours of base in the rain in January. Sorry, I”m side tracked.
    Back to domestiquing:
    Often people get hired for that job b/c they are uniquely suited for it (lead out sprinter). Other times domestiques happen to be in the right place and know the right person at the right time–this happens more often in Boulder where there is a juncture between a huge cycling population and people/corporations with disposable income. Chuck is a personable guy, and I think Chuck may be closer to the latter camp. He certainly wasn’t “slaying people” when he was racing pro (especially in 2007 when he was supposed to be doping…hmm.)

    Whether or not Chuck is guilty; he signed the doc and he will take his punishment. Yep, you’re right: cheating is still cheating. The USADA is doing it’s job. Going forward, cycling will (hopefully) be more transparent. Although we can have doubts; let’s not muddy the waters by making accusations about other points in time. Chuck signed the doc about 2007.

     
  21. Marc

    Neal Rogers’, “I just let him tell his side of the story” response reveals volumes about what kind of publication Velonews actually is. Don’t get me wrong, I read Velonews.com every day and I do appreciate what they offer. But I have a certain set of expectations when reading their stories. A traditional newspaper would have printed Chuck Coyle’s uncontested response to the doping charges as an editorial. Not a news item. As such, and in absence of such a section, I think it would have been more editorially sound to place this article along with the “rider diaries” section. Neal points out that “this wasn’t a collaborative research project conducted by a team of investigative reporters.” Since when does asking follow-up questions to some foul-smelling explanations require a team of investigative reporters? Of course, Rogers’ apparently didn’t need a team of investigative reporters to talk to other Boulder riders to get their opinions. He even reports, “Sources close to the case confirmed that Coyle’s suspension was related to information Papp provided to USADA.” The problem with Rogers’ article and his subsequent response on this blog is that he clearly wants it both ways. He does some legit reporting here, but then turns around and tells us that he didn’t have the resources to ask Coyle any hard questions. So there you have it, a clear mission statement from a representative of the top US cycling publication for racers. Rogers says, “If I had the chance, I’d write the same story again, and I’d give any other rider who is accused of doping and denies it the same opportunity to stake their claim.” So fine, allow them to stake their claim in a guest editorial or the rider diaries’ section, but half-reporting a news story, and then claiming, “I got what information I could from him” strikes me as either disingenuous or lazy or both.

     

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