Good Guys don’t always do the Right Thing

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A couple people emailed me and said that I was kind of hard on Jonathan Vaughters yesterday. One asked if I didn’t like the guy.

Exactly the opposite. I think Jonathan is a super nice guy. He always has been. Just because I think that he has ulterior motives for many of his actions doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like him.

That is one of the problems with the sport and drugs. Nice guys take drugs too. Most of the people I’ve met through the sport of cycling are generally nice people. And nice guys don’t always do the right thing. History judges what people do at certain points of their lives.

I didn’t like the op-ed piece that Jonathan wrote. I thought it was too full of misinformation.

I’m a numbers guy. I have to disagree with his 2% thing. He’s full of shit. I watched Floyd Landis go from an okay MTB semi pro to the winner of the Tour de France. That isn’t a 2% increase in anything. I’ve personally witnessed it dozens of times. He is doing the clean athletes a disservice by spewing such a ridiculously low number.

More numbers. It is being a little particular, but his 20,000 miles a year for 10 years just to get to the point to start the Tour de France. Huh? I believe he rode the Tour in 1999, so he was 26. That means for 3 years when he was in high school he was riding 55 miles per day, 365 days a year. Didn’t happen. I’m not saying Jonathan didn’t have a 20,000 mile year, just not 10 of them.

And more. Antidoping enforcement is 1000 times better now than 10 years ago. I don’t necessarily disagree with this, but he makes the case that the sport is clean enough to win races clean. Over and over. I don’t agree with that. I think that it is very easy to avoid getting caught taking drugs in sports. The biological passport is a joke. And the tests catch stupid or lazy athletes. Maybe he should of used the number 1 million X’s?

I hate that he made excuses for himself and every other doper with the statement, “Almost every athlete I’ve met who has doped will say they did it only because they wanted a level playing field.” That is complete bullshit. You think Riccardo Ricco wanted a level playing field? How about Vino? And the 100’s of others that were caught. This doesn’t even address the other 10x as many riders that never got caught.

Jonathan might be one of the good guys now. One of the good guys trying to get the sport to a better place. I don’t know for sure. His tactics and methodology isn’t so obvious to me right now. And his timing and actions tend to detract from his stated mission. I’m not sure if it is because of the USADA thing coming to a head or because Tyler is publishing his tell-all book on September 18th, Lance’s birthday, or what. But, there is some urgency for him to be addressing this with the general public now. Like I said yesterday, if he wants credibility, he needs to quit talking in such a vague and misleading ways. We all aren’t stupid.

Much of the reason Jonathan got to this point in his life and career is because he made the choice to dope in cycling. Tell me he would be running the Garmin team if he had just said NO and quit before his European results. I think not. So, he has this platform and big voice because, according to him, he “made the wrong decision”.

So now he gets a 2nd chance. For me, he’s not doing so well with it so far, in my opinion. But, hopefully it is early in the game and he is going to use his good morals to make up for his “wrong decision” he made in his past. After all, he is a good guy.

Jonathan, back when he was happy with no pressure to dope.

49 thoughts on “Good Guys don’t always do the Right Thing

  1. Dale

    Level playing field? Reminds me of the statement, “If just want a fair fight your tactics stink.”

    They dope to get an advantage just like I’d want a gun in a knife fight.

     
  2. Nate

    Agree and disagree. As a former national class swimmer and pro triathlete (in the 90s, ranked top 10 in the world at the Olympic distance), I have been exposed to the pressures of doping. To me it was always an easy choice — don’t do it; not ever. My college swim team was the first team to be targeted by the NCAA when it started drug testing college athletes. When you’ve got nothing to hide, you don’t sweat doping control.

    I like what you say, Steve, in that the timing of his cathartic purging is suspect and self-serving in some way(s). In “From Lance to Landis”, the texts between Vaughters and (if I recall) Andreau speak to Vaughters doping, but this is the first time he actually comes out and admits it. To your point, why now? Why at all?

    However, I don’t call into question what he’s done with Slipstream, Garmin and helping clean up the sport (I do agree with your comments about HOW he got there, tho). It appears he made the decision to dope to prolong his cycling career, his conscience got the best of him and guilt drove him from the sport. Hindsight being 20/20, I don’t necessarily doubt he’s trying to make “today’s generation” of cyclists avoid having to hit that T-intersection — go left if you want to be clean and irrelevant; go right if you want to dope and win.

    Totally agree on the numbers. That final 1-2% is what takes you from national class to world class. It’s not what takes you from obscurity to the pinnacle of a sport. Riis is another example like Landis — journeyman to TdF “winner”.

    Anyhoo…enjoyed the post!

     
  3. Bernd Faust

    I like Dale’s point of view! Sports and fair competetion is the last Bastion where men and women can compete against each other with no prejudice, hate, etc.. as long as it is fair! When drugs , doping, cheating come into play the essence of sport is destroyed…for someone who destroys himself and also effects others , it’s game over! No second chance, when you dope you are out…
    As a german I think nothing of Ullrich, Zabel and Co…they all took something at one point…
    so you are no example for any young kid…if I would be Cavendish I would not even listen to an ex Doper like Zabel period….
    but nobody has guts anymore…..
    That’s why Ali is the only sportsicon who was and is the Greatest, because of his outside the ring rhetoric!

     
  4. Chris-ESP Podcast

    Steve, it is pretty clear that JV was getting ahead of the story on this. It was an open secret he doped; I was told in 2004 by someone who knew, and he implied it many many times since. His whole team set up (and im not criticizing him for it) smacks in part of guilt and obligation. I think you’re mostly right here, but You may be nitpicking his training numbers; he’s probably offering his version of the the 10,000hrs rule for elite athletes. Still, I agree with you’re assessment of the 2% thing. This maybe true when comparing the elite of the elite, but EPO can make a mediocre rider into a winner, just ask Joe Papp.

    The problem JV failed to talk about is exactly the one thing that drives doping; money and fame, and to a lesser extent, opportunity. JV would not be where he is, if he had been a cat 3, or even Joe Parkin – don’t hate me for saying, bc I like Joe, but he wouldn’t have been able to get the backing. Moreover, just look at the state of coaching in the US. Any ex pro can pull in clients easier than any non pro, even an established coach. USAC and other Feds also preferentially higher for pros. Honestly, it appears better to dope and beg for forgiveness immediately, tell all and move on than not dope and definitely not deny it endlessly; Tyler’s a nice guy but he’ll always have a large group of haters, and Vino…well find me someone who likes that guy!

    Good points all around. Im glad he came forward but lets not blindly believe his motives.

     
  5. JV

    Steve,

    JV here. Listen, of course 2% isn’t an accurate number for power output. More like 5-12%, depending on a person’s natural red cell count. But 2% is accurate for the time between 1st and 100th place in the Tour of a 9.8 vs 10 in 100m. I was demonstrating a point to a broader audience that isn’t going to be familiar with hemoglobin mass and it’s impact on o2 carrying.
    I’m happy to talk exact power differences based on incremental increases in hemoglobin due to EPO use if you are interested. Funny enough, NYT was not interested.
    Seriously, your blog shows a serious lack in ability to read an interpret things correctly outside of a bike racer’s bubble mind set. Wake up, there’s a whole world of people that don’t understand this issue at all, but if they aren’t engaged, the problem never gets solved.

    Thanks, JV

    PS- You’re right, I only averaged 20,000 miles a year for 5 yrs. The other 5 were more like 17,000. Again, was trying to demonstrate a point. Happy?

     
  6. JV

    Actually, more I think about it, maybe like 13,000 -15,000 in the lead up 2-3 yrs, then 17,000, then 20,000 miles for a 5 years in there… Not that I even have this info any more, honestly. Again, was trying to make a point, not sate “numbers guys”

    But since you require exact numbers…That’s my best guess…

     
  7. Chrs

    A sub elite rider will clearly gain more from doping than a super elite. One of the issues we face with modern doping is that the drugs truly can make someone a champion. EPO will improve performance even without training, Anabolic steroids, not really.

    All that aside, I still say that JV’s model is a positive step. As an exercise physiologist, I believe science can compete with pharmacy. Garmin and HTC have shown the pieces that need to be included into a whole team to keep the riders healthy and improving.

    I wonder if JV’S could estimate if it costs more or less to run a good clean program (outside if testing) than say a Festina operation. IE, would it be mo cost effective to dope?

     
  8. tilford97 Post author

    Jonathan-I’m not trying to pick on you. I understand your plight, believe me. I’m not inexperienced. You’re in a shitty situation.

    I understand that trying to bring the general public up to speed is very difficult, you need to talk “down” to their level.

    That being said, the educated public, ie. cycling community, is sick of the whole thing. There isn’t a good enough excuse to give anyone a get out of jail card now.

    My blog isn’t an uneducated readership. They are very familiar with the whole doping issue.

    Do you honestly think the “problem” is going to be “solved” by educating the readership of the NY Times? I think not. The readership of the NY Times doesn’t give a shit whether bike racers take drugs, unless it’s Lance.

    The only solution to the problem, in my opinion, is internally, by the inside people. And most of them don’t have any incentive to address it. Actually, the opposite.

    I know a ton of information is going to hit the headlines the next few months. It is going to be really ugly. Uglier than most anyone can imagine.

    It is going to be hard to convince the true critics that your timing is anything other than covering you ass. I get it. If I were in your position I would probably do the same thing.

    But, you are in a unique situation to really instigate a huge shift in the way the sport deals with doping. I know you realize this.

    It’s been going on so long, that many think the shift needs to be drastic and complete. I can see their point. You seem to be doing it more methodically. Much too slow for many.

    I wish you the best of luck.

     
  9. JV

    Then why not say, ” I would prefer more drastic action, than methodical” ? As opposed to ranting in a non-constructive way?

    You’re right, i am methodical with this. Been methodical about it for years and years. Drastic has proven to be ineffective. I’ll take slow and steady over ineffective.

    JV

     
  10. Bri

    Glad JV decided to discuss his prior involvement in PEDs however I was left wondering why it had to be after the lastest round of news that JV,CV,DZ, GH, and LL had been interviewed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Garmin was formed on the belief of creating a team that was competing clean. There was some nice discussion of this on Blood, Sweat + Gears by Millar. It would seem like it would have been the perfect time to discuss prior mistakes by their leader (JV) but it didn’t happen. Come to think of it…when was the last time a professional ever came clean prior to being caught? Ownership is lessened or insincere when you are doing it when there is no choice. Admission for taking a cookie with your hand stuck in the jar by my account isn’t coming clean. Good article Steve and thanks for not watering it down.

     
  11. Wheelman61

    What Steve said about the bad news to come in the next several weeks really struck a chord with me. When the public’s perception of any cyclist, or even any rider that resembles a competitor, is tarnished by the bad news that is sure to come…then we are all diminished and degraded in their eyes. Think for a minute about how that disdain and disrepect manifests itself on the roads we share. If you think the non-cycling world has a bad attitude about you and your bike now wait ’til it gets really ugly in a few more days. Maybe that’s what Mr Vaughters hasn’t got his arms around yet. His actions, despite his hand-wringing justifications, have painted us all with the same pharmacutical tarbrush. What he and all the cheaters have done is damage what we all love and torn bricks from the walls of the house we all live in. It’s all so ugly I could cry

     
  12. Bill Laudien

    Excellent, if over the top post by JT, but perhaps even a better response by Vaughters.

    This sort of exchange is missing from more traditional sources of cycling media. Hats off.

     
  13. tilford97 Post author

    Jonathan-Yeah, those numbers didn’t make sense. And I am kind of a numbers guy. I assumed you went to high school, so it would of been a stretch doing that.

    I was racing for Wheaties/Schwinn, some in Europe, during those years and was barely getting those kind of numbers with lots and lots of stage racing.

    I have no idea how you have enough time to keep up with all this electronically. Maybe you’ve just blocked off this whole week to keep it all going in the right direction? To me, it seems like you might have to start again on a “program” to have enough energy to deal with it all.

     
  14. orphan

    Steve,
    If you had a kid that was getting ready to sign a pro tour contract what team would you want him to ride for and why.

     
  15. Bill K

    Steve, you said..”he needs to quit talking in such a vague and misleading ways. We all aren’t stupid.”
    Along with pointing fingers at the top guys, it would help to point at the suppliers, the “helpers”, and all the little guys who made this possible. We need to hear, Who, what, where, and when.

     
  16. Chrs

    We would like to hear all dirt but we don’t need to hear it move forward. JV tattling won’t do much more for anything. Besides Floyd, Tyler and Joe have told us plenty. Then there’s Voet…what more do you need to hear Bill to satisfy you?

     
  17. Bill K

    “what more do you need to hear Bill to satisfy you?”

    The source, the bagman, the deliveryman, the doctor…..That’s who.

    Pulling junkies off the street, doesn’t prevent future junkies.
    .
    .
    .

     
  18. Mike Rodose

    JV

    Please go away or at least shut your trap.

    You are wide open for picking. Nobody, especially Tilford, needs to defend their criticism of you. Get used to it, you sanctimonious Cheater. It’s only just begun.

    Seriously. Your babble is silly. Shut up already.

     
  19. Thomas

    This JV drug thing is a real downer. Drug news is every where and I am tired of reading it. Steve talk about your garden or some thing more uplifting. Cross is just around the corner. Share a story about europe.

     
  20. tilford97 Post author

    Jonathan- I know you think I was knit picking, but here’s the deal.

    When I try to judge whether something is credible, I use observations and knowledge of things I know about. Here I looked at the objective facts that I had personal knowledge, to see if the other statements made sense.

    When the numbers aren’t reliable, exaggerated, or fudged, even just to make a point, then it makes me question the reliability and the credibility of everything else written in the article that I have no knowledge of.

    When I check the accuracy of simple facts, and that fails, then it makes me question the authors ability to make accurate statements and observations in general.

     
  21. Dave

    Tilly,

    Quite an energized exchange you’ve incited!

    And now to the stuff with which you can really make a meaningful difference: What are your recommendations for promising juniors (and their parents) looking to take it into the U23 ranks?

    Best Wishes,

     
  22. Dave

    Addendum to the former post:

    …into the U23 ranks while minimizing or eliminating the exposure or pressure to dope?

    Who is running legit U23 programs that serve the athletes rather than the adults looking to capitalize on promising talent?

     
  23. tilford97 Post author

    Dave-I may be naive, but I think that most of the U23 programs in the US are legit. Racing in the US is, in general, not super polluted. The way the UCI has set up D3 Pro teams with more than 50% of the riders having to be under 27, then a lot of good young riders get their chance to show case their talent because the teams “need” them because of age.

    Cycling is a strange sport because it takes a long time and a certain amount of maturity to be able to handle the work load stresses.

    So, why I think it is very important to keep our young guys motivated, there are some incentives already in place for the sport to keep them in the loop.

    Much of the doping on the road came from foreign riders coming to the US and domiciling on US teams. I’m not sure if that is still the case. I think that is still the case, but have no personal knowledge of it.

    My suggestion for juniors, when they are turning elite ,is to go to school while they are getting enough miles to see if they will be good. A good option is to go to college during the fall semester and then take the spring semester off. That way, worse case, they have a college degree by the time they are 26. Best case, they are great cyclists and make enough it. That is what Ron Kiefel did when I was growing up. I couldn’t understand how he graduated from college racing, but he said it was really easy.

     
  24. Chris

    College is relatively easy and teaches discipline and time management. Too many kids forego college to race. Maybe the pro need a system where kids finish school first. Data are clear on the pay disparity between education levels. Beats goIng back when you’re 28.

     
  25. Wild Weasel

    re: “A good option is to go to college during the fall semester and then take the spring semester off. That way, worse case, they have a college degree by the time they are 26”

    Get real, Steve. That is an option not based in reality, as a parent I would beat you with a stick and flat the tires on your van for even suggesting it to my kid. Have you priced a college education lately? Serious investment. You do have a point, the best time to develop in the US happens to be college age, Collegiate cycling is a great option to get lots of miles and experience for relatively cheap, but don’t forget why you’re there – hit the books. If you are going to college to be a bike racer, I would suggest working on your golf swing as it is likely to pay better

     
  26. tilford97 Post author

    Wild-The “problem” with the sport is that is attracts a bunch of independent thinking kids, which are usually pretty stubborn. So many bike racers completely forgo college to live the life, which is a pretty good life.

    Of course you’d want you kid to go to school full time. But, statically, that doesn’t happen. Just 53% of kids entering college graduate within 6 years. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the majority of high school graduates that don’t go to college at all.

    So generally, the odds aren’t in the parents favor. Throw in the enticement of becoming a professional bike racer, then as a parent, you should be stoked if your kid gets a degree in 8 years.

     
  27. Chris

    A better option would be to take a lot o f credits in the Fall and take the minimum for full time in the spring. That way you graduate on time or early and keep your financial aid. A good schedule can allow you to train plenty and race. Many schools have financial support cycling clubs as well. My last 3 years of school we never paid for anything including spring break. I think a lot o f kids get bad advice. The ones that are really good could and should still be encouraged to go to school. One bad crash…

     
  28. Wild Weasel

    so why add to the distractions? living the life is the $10k dream, it is really not all that great – I would suggest hitting the books as the large majority of us are going to be hobbyists at best and regret not making more out of an opportunity that isn’t getting any cheaper. Being a cart wrangler or sammich maker at 26 is not all that cool – especially to be pack fodder if you’re lucky. Its way easier to get a real job than it is to be a domestic whatever on the bike. Work on the golf swing, if you don’t make it as a PRO you can always network the heck out Chamber of Commerce golf outing

     
  29. Ronde Champ

    The 10K dream was upgraded to $16K in 2009. Please try and stay current.

    Thank you,
    Ronde Champ.

     
  30. Jules

    Bottom line we need more Steve’s running cycling team’s. A Guy who has been doing it right for so long, who has real passion for the sport.

     
  31. Fred

    Easy to throw rocks from bridges, but it seems to me that JV really has put his ass on the line and in the real line of fire, not like some little cult blog down some singletrack road somewhere. Who gives a shit if JV rode 15k or 20k miles a year? He and Millar have been quietly leading the charge for years now to change the pervasive culture of doping in procycling. Let’s not lose sight of what’s really important going on here.

     
  32. Stuart

    This all strikes me as a classic case of the best being the enemy of the good. Would a full admission from JV have been better 5 years ago? Maybe. But why would he have done that? He was trying to get a team off the ground – a team through which he hoped to transform the whole culture of cycling – and why would he choose to make that harder on himself? You can say he compromised his principles but not making a full disclosure at that time, or you can say he optimized his ability to change the world around him. The glass is either half empty or half full, and each how you make that interpretation is a reflection of *your* state of mind. In other words, what you think of JV’s decisions relative to making admitting he doped, and the timing thereof has a more to do with what you think of the broader issue than it does with JV. The fact of the matter is that the world is a messy place. We are always making choices about what to do, when to do it, how to do it, etc… and we are generally making those choices with an eye towards what makes the most sense in this moment, relative to the goals and objectives I have now. It’s far too easy to dismiss JV’s op-ed as a timely piece of CYA. While in part it may have been just, it was also not ONLY that, and refusing to acknowledge the broader complexity that envelopes any discussion of doping is foolish. If JV’s motives for making that point were less than pure, does that undermine the validity of the point he’s making? Surely the merit of the idea is independent of the messenger who delivers it, no? Until we get passed the notion that everyone who speaks out about doping needs to be lily white with unquestionable motives and impeccable timing, we will never get anywhere. As a society we have an unbelievable ability to find one flaw, one misstatement, one error or shortcoming in what a person says or does and, as a consequence, dismiss the entirety of that person’s actions. That practice is a huge obstacle in the way of progress. JV is not a perfect person, but I think the evidence is overwhelming that he’s trying to make a positive change in cycling. He’s also trying to make a profit, secure his future, win some races, court sponsors, develop riders, etc… If we can’t deal with the fact that sometimes those multiple demands present him with competing priorities that must be balanced with each other, often in ways that are less than perfect for one aspect of the broader enterprise, well – that’s our failing, not his.

     
  33. Formerly Jim

    Interestingly JV addressed part of Steve’s points but not the timing of the nytimes piece.

    Do what you need to do, JV; you’re still a funny guy. The past is the past, though I’m sure you will never publicly speak about how riders are getting under the bio passport guidelines now.

    Anyway, good show by Ryder in the Giro and the team in general. You guys have come a long way.

     
  34. Mike Rodose

    Lots of words pointing out how we failed, not JV.

    Shut up. JV is a cheater and I assume he still cheats. And always will.

     
  35. Daniel Russell

    I like JV’s comment for you on Twisted Spoke “But I’ll leave you with this: You might want to ask Floyd about his old boss. See if that leads to your doorstep?”. It will be interesting what light Tyler’s book sheds on Rihs and Och during their Phonak days and what that says about BMC today. September will be very interesting for all those involved. I can’t wait.

     
  36. Travis Burandt

    I raced in Europe on the 17-18 and U23 National Team and to my knowledge there was no doping within the team while we were in Europe. Of course, you would have to be an idiot for me to walk into your room while your shooting it up.

    But, in my opinion the UCI or who ever needs to make the punishments harsher. A 2 year bad is a slap on the wrist joke. Make it a lifetime ban and suspend the entire team for the rest of the year. There needs to be ZERO tolerance and the risks need to outweigh the benefits. Its obviously not working at its current state.

     
  37. Stuart

    @Mike – “JV is a cheater and I assume he still cheats. And always will.”

    You’re an idiot. There are so many things wrong with this way of thinking that I don’t even know where to start, other than to say that unless you’ve lived a perfect life, you might think twice about condemning JV for all eternity based on mistakes he made 10 years ago. Glass houses and all, ya know….

     
  38. e-RICHIE

    @Stuart above –

    Vaughters may have written a lovely Op-Ed piece and truly regret his choices from earlier in life. He can spend the rest of it steering folks in a better direction than the one he took. He can give seminars, go on Oprah, write a book, or work with local clubs to jump start another generation of kids who may be the next Tom Danielson (sic). But he shouldn’t be permitted to own a team, manage a team, or even advise a team based on his past. Had he stayed mum on the ordeal – fine, we would not even be discussing it atmo. But he has copped to the use and abuse, and it reads as though he was a routine (ab)user rather than someone who tried it but never inhaled.

    Really – isn’t there some reg, rule, or policy that keeps these cats away from the sport? Many have been sanctioned or had to take time outs despite never having tested positive. Even the association with the “wrong people” has been used as a reason some pros sat out a season or two. I see this story as no different.

    Let JV find forgiveness and redemption on the sideline.

     
  39. Stuart

    Whatever, eRichie. You’re the person my original post was about. There’s ample evidence out there that not having failed a test is in no way whatsoever an indication that someone didn’t dope (I don’t think JV ever failed a test). So what’s your standard? JV admitted his failings. Are the guys who were cheating just as much as JV did but who never got caught and never gained a conscience OK to run a team because they choose to keep their lies a secret? Or is there some other random standard by which you judge someone’s fitness to run a team? Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to see who would fail your ‘once a doper, gone for life’ test….

    Fausto Coppi; Charly Gaul ; Jacques Anquetil; Tom Simpson ; Eddy Merckx; Roger Legeay; Bernard Thevenet; Erik de Vlaemink; Joop Zoetemelk; Freddy Maertens; Francesco Moser; Pedro Delgado, Laurent Fignon; Sean Yates; Sean Kelly; Stephen Roche, Marco Pantani; Rolf Aldag; Bjarne Riis; Erik Zabel; Levi Leipheimer and on, and on, and on….

    The first thing you need to do is get over the idea that doping is a recent phenomenon. It’s not. It’s been going on as long as there’s been racing. The second thing you need to do is get over the idea that everyone who has, at one time or another, been on the wrong side of the issue is forever excused from an opportunity to be on the right side of the issue. JV screwed up in the same way that virtually everyone from his generation screwed up. Now he’s working hard to try to change the culture in a way that keeps kids coming up in the sport now from facing the choices that he faced. He’s not perfect, and he may not always go about that goal in the perfect way, but for crap’s sake the guy is working pretty damn hard to make a difference. Can’t he at least get credit for that?

     
  40. e-RICHIE

    Yes, Stuart – I am one who has, from day one, said that it’s part of the sport since the beginning. That means since the Six-Day era, and since the first Tour, and every season in between. None of my points of view have been formed since Breaking Away, the Red Zinger, or any era that begins with the Bike Boom of the early 1970s. Again, the sport and the use of PEDs have been in bed with each other all along. I know that.

    You can summon up any name you want in order to make a list of famous pros. But this conversation is about a famous pro who admitted to doping throughout his career. Like I wrote, he can have forgiveness and I hope he gets it. But I don’t think he (or anyone who would gets caught, tested positive, associated with a “bad doctor”, missed a test…) should be given a hall pass. Others have faced penalties or time outs for far less. This man owns a team!

    I know all those cats you listed doped, were caught, or are associated with PEDs. I wouldn’t bothered in the least if the sport imploded as a result of the public’s rose colored glasses being ripped off.

    The most important point in all of this discussion atmo is that the doping pros end their career and find jobs shepherding the next in line. Dopers guiding dopers. Lather, rinse, repeat. Here we have a chance to sideline one in real time. I think it would go a LONG WAY to help change the culture of the sport.

     
  41. JimW

    Why is everyone missing the most obvious circumstance regarding the admission.
    The crooked BUMS at the UCI are on the ropes and do not have the ability to put the wood to JV and his team right now. Until the USADA stepped up the accountability in the guilty party chain(conspiracy) speaking out would invite all the fun complications of a vindictive figurehead protecting his most profitable interests. Essentially throwing away his platform and vehicle for change. The wind is changing and for a guy who, by all accounts, didn’t hide his past it makes sense for him to clarify previous statements now.
    There was also another more detailed interview in bicycling.com for bike people that may help calm some of you down or get you even more worked up. Enjoy accordingly.

     
  42. Frank E.

    Just curious if the above folks will sing the same tune and apply the same standards for the crowd favorite George when he comes clean. Sure JV is CYA and he would not be where he is today without the foundation of his results.

    To me the bigger issue is what I sense from a great number of posters- including some highly visible folks from the cycling community. That it is better for cycling to keep quiet (omerta) that to ever speak the truth about the past.

    Take JV out…fine. He is a whiney, PR focused, calculating businessman that owns a bike team. Big deal. Get used to it. Form your own opinions on people from what they say, and move on. Has his formal admission and influence been better or worse for professional cycling than someone like Bruyneel’s influence on the sport?

    I digress. take JV out and without good guys like Stapelton gone, where is a team that you would want to send your young impressionable son to race with? And yes, while in the 20s all males are very impressionable regardless of how well parents think they brought up their “johnny”

    Rant off, and Steve thanks for letting me stand on your coffee table and spout my drivel.

     

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