Retroactive Drug Testing

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I’ve written a ton about cheating in cycling with drugs.  Now people are cheating with motors.  I wonder what these people missed growing up learning about sport and accomplishments? Anyway, yesterday I saw that the UCI has been retroactively testing previous urine samples have handed out sanctions to the riders they caught.

One guy they caught was Slovenian Jure Kocjan.  He caught my eye because he has been racing here in the US recently.  Jure was racing for Team Type 1 when he gave the sample that was positive for EPO.  He did a one year stint in Europe and then was back here racing for Smartstop.  He is currently signed with the Lupus Racing Team, a Continental US squad.

I was looking around the internet and I can’t remember where I was, but one forum poster said he wished that the UCI would pay more attention to the top end of the field and quit wasting resources on these small fish.  That bugged me.

This small fish won a stage of the Tour of Utah in 2014.  And he was 2nd in Philly.  So he isn’t such a small fish here.  And I don’t like Euro cheaters beating up on our domestic pros.   It’s one reason I hold a bigger grudge against Levi than I do Tyler Hamilton or Hincapie.  For the most part, they stayed in Europe to do their fantasy racing.  Levi didn’t even care if he beat up on MTB racers here.  It was all fair game.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Retroactive testing is a super way to discourage guys starting doping.  Or quit maybe.  Having that hanging over your head years after you did it would be pretty uncomfortable I’d think.

I applaud the UCI for this tactic.  And I hope the list of guys they catch keeps growing and growing.   I don’t care if it a Mongolian racing in Thailand.  We, as a sport, deserve to be able to believe in the results.  And this hasn’t been the case in decades.  Whatever we can do to get back to that basic level, I’m all for.

I was on a longish ride a couple days ago in California.  Robin Carpenter, the Hincapie rider from behind, is the guy that finished 2nd to Jure at stage in the Tour of Utah.  Think he is happy now, knowing he should have won that stage.  Totally different experience.

I was on a longish ride a couple days ago in California. Robin Carpenter, the Holowesko rider from behind, is the guy that finished 2nd to Jure at the stage in the Tour of Utah. Think Robin is happy now, knowing he should have won that stage? Totally different life experience for him.  That’s what these guys are doing, stealing other’s life experiences.  Shame on them.  I think Jure owes Robin an apology.

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Retroactive Drug Testing

  1. The Cyclist

    For decades!!!? Has it ever been the case? Just look at the Anquetil vs Poulidor for example. Pou-pou is still going strong and might very well be the best cyclist ever with more TdF wins of all if it wasn’t for this and that.

     
  2. Bolas Azules

    “…stealing other’s life experiences.” They steal more than that. I actually think these are junkies with a racing problem and there is no stopping them. And Levi, in his heart he knows without the full program he would at best had been US pack filler.

    Here’s a question for the old timers and about your statement – “We, as a sport, deserve to be able to believe in the results. And this hasn’t been the case in decades.” Are you curious in the least as to why so few of the predominant US riders from the ’70’ and ’80’s ever speak out against doping? With the exception of Tilly, Hampsten and Mount I don’t recall a peep ever coming out about the sports problem(s).

    A bit curious don’t ya think?

     
  3. Krakatoa East of Java

    I’m remembering back to 1984 (again, I know). Just before the big “blood boosting” scandal that became the father of modern blood doping.

    Does anyone remember Phil Guarnacia? He was a fairly old guy (he claimed to be in his 70’s or 80’s) who did a fair amount of ass-whooping to the SoCal (and national championship) masters scene (then known as “veterans”). A weightlifter and bodybuilder. Huge muscles. He had a standing offer to pay $5,000 to anyone (of any age) that could follow him and replicate just one of his daily workouts. Many tried, but no one could. He didn’t always win his events, but he was always competitive. Too big and heavy to win hilly road events.

    Anyhow, I remember the day that the news was revealed that he’d been lying about his age for so many years. He’d won so many races. So many championships. He was kicked out of the sport. I doubt he returned. USAC still keeps a tally of his last reported age on the results website (no results are displayed). Current age listed? 91. I doubt that was his real age. It’s just the last date he ever gave them.

    Why am I bringing this up? Everyone was devastated when Phil was revealed to be a fraud. And I mean EVERYONE. It was a “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” (IE, the film “Eight Men Out”) situation. Everyone wanted to believe that this old guy routinely won against guys half his age. They were so disappointed in their fellow man. If we had a “culture of cheats” going on back then, I certainly wasn’t aware of it. I suppose it was brewing in the background, but still…

    Yes, I remember when guys like Alexi would periodically get popped for stimulants, other weird herbals, etc. It wasn’t “uncommon” for it to happen then. The suspensions then were usually pretty short (weeks, perhaps a couple of months). Why? The advantage wasn’t nearly as extreme as it is for the drugs of today. And it didn’t seem to be systemic like today.

    But EPO, HGH, transfusions… FUCKING ELECTRIC MOTORS? I mourn the loss of my fellow man. I only won one event in all of my years racing. A time trial. I podiumed numerous times. Went to nationals (when you actually had to qualify) as a junior. Had a good run. I wanted to win in the WORST way. But really. If someone had handed me an electric motor and said it would give me a 50-100 watt boost (when I’d often lost by mere inches), there’s still no way I would have considered it. Because it wasn’t the culture of the day. I had far too many friends. And no way they would have believed that I could outsprint guys like Sean Tulley, Dominck Felde, Greg McNeil, Geoff Doyle, Scott McKinley, Mike McCarthy, etc. They’d expect to see me be able to repeat it (consistently). I’d need that motor every day. And there is no way I could live with myself. No way. I just don’t “get it.”

    It pisses me off. I want my old sport back again.

     
    1. Spinner

      Yes I remember Phil Guarnaccia! I took his workout challenge, once, and made it 26 minutes. Phil considered that an OK performance. He was a good rider and had been 1955 Mr California (bodybuilding) if I remember everything correctly. He was a VERY strong guy!!! Does anyone know what happened to him after the “wrong age” mess he got himself into????

       
  4. L.

    Steve – I totally agree. Although, I’d go one step further. Cycling needs a rule that makes *both* the athletes and directors responsible for riding clean. I’m so sick of individual riders or even multiple riders from the same team – KATUSHA, ASTANA – testing positive and the rider suffers, but the team directors carry on completely unscathed. I’d say if a single rider returns a positive, that rider suffers the current ban (whatever it may be). If another rider from that same team returns a positive any time within the next 365 days, the director is removed from any involvement in professional cycling for 1 full year.

    Make doping an effective career-death sentence.

     
  5. The Cyclist

    Leipheimer should been banned at least twice as long as Armstrong. For doping, and for being a joke on a bicycle. At least Armstrong could ride his bike with grace (minus socks). Levi couldn’t even descend properly.

     
  6. Krakatoa East of Java

    Here’s what I dream about seeing happen sometime. Perhaps with Kayle Leogrande, or some other “reformed doper” who has never openly (or adequately) apologized to his or her peers:

    When the starter starts the race, everyone just lets that guy go off and ride. All out there by themselves, solo. Perhaps with enough advantage to “win” all by themselves. Show them that when they dope, they win alone.

    Of course, it’d never work, as some opportunist would see it as an opportunity to join up and possibly win.

     
  7. C4

    I was in a Masters race recently with KLG and that’s exactly what happened! Although i don’t think we were “letting” him do it.

     
  8. mike crum

    steve… enough with the doping posts.. fuck man.. they all cheat.. what if they made a lifetime ban on all caught??? put EVERY bmc pro racer on a lie dictator and i bet they all flunk.. then wheres your girl gonna work? you know they all cheat the last 50 years, she does as well as do i and every sensible person…

     
    1. AKBen

      Wow, somebody’s got issues! If you don’t like what Steve writes about, then don’t read his fucking blog! What is a “lie dictator”, anyway?

       
  9. Bring on the tongue lashing

    I hate to be the one that brings this up, but cheating in sport is just a small part of the big-picture problem. There are cheaters everywhere and it will never end simply because people will rationalize that if one person cheats, in order to keep the playing field even, everyone must cheat. Cheaters win, plain and simple. Be it in cycling, tennis, Wall Street or anywhere else in the world. Which begs the questions, are they really cheating or have they not bought into the anti-cheating rhetoric. I am not saying it is right or wrong. I am just saying it is never going to end and the only way to create a true even playing field is to allow everything and anything. Think about it from a “life or death” situation. If your life were on the line and you were told you couldn’t do something to keep your life, would you do it or die? We can debate write, wrong or indifferent all day long. But find me a politician that hasn’t cheated, or a CEO of a major corporation that hasn’t put aside his “values” to get where he/she is or a stock broker (that isn’t broke) who hasn’t used “insider” information to make money. Jimmy Johnson, one of NASCARs greatest drivers has been caught cheating so many times it is absurd. His crew chief has been suspended and his team fined. Do you think he has stopped? Doubtful. Using a risk-reward analysis, which every competitor does, the reward it too great not to take the risk. In cycling if I cheat I win races. With technology being what it is, the likelihood of getting caught is not that great. The reward, a pro contract worth 100s of thousands of Euros. If one person cheats, everyone must cheat to keep the playing field even and history has proven across sports, industries, etc. that there is always at least one person willing to cheat. The only logical and sensible solution therefore is to remove cheating from the equation. Not what everyone wanted to hear and I’ll probably take a beating for this, but as a good friend once said “it is what it is”.

     

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