Truth Commission Needed, More Consequences Too

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This article at Velonews quotes Travis Tygart, CEO at USADA, that a truth commission is imminent and that the “process’ will “happen very soon”. I’m all for it.

But don’t get me wrong here, but the people that step up and admit their involvement in the dark side of the sport are not volunteerily coming in. As far as I can tell, only a hand-ful of riders have come forward, confessed to doping, without having their arms twisted. A couple I can think of are Frankie Andreu and Jérôme Chiotti. These two were the brave ones. The “honest” guys that were sick of lying about their past. From now on, it will be a step removed from their bravery.

I think that Travis Tygart has mostly good intentions. He seems to have taken his stance and picked his friends to try to accomplish this. I personally don’t think it will work as well as hoped.

Until the sanctions are changed, I don’t see any reason that riders will confess or stop using PED’s. This whole discovery about all the past has just shown me that the testing is pretty valuless and the chances of getting caught are very small. Plus, the penalties don’t fit the “crime”. They need to addres this, along with other things, to try to deter athletics from getting “caught up” in doping in sports. It will never completely stop, it’s human nature.


12 thoughts on “Truth Commission Needed, More Consequences Too

  1. Clay Moseley

    OK, this is not so much about the “TRC” as Lance and co. call it now. But I gotta make a comment about the I-25 exit sign to “the Butte” and “T or C,” as we call them here in the Land of Enchantment. Chris Yenkey used to say that I must have been hired by the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce =)

    Ha ha…where did you find that? I was just there back in September for our big “Elephant Man” triathlon. There is SUPER awesome bike riding there, btw, if you’re ever around there. From where this picture is taken, it is not too far from NM-152, which is a ride over the most amazing road (Emory Pass, over the Black Range) to the Mimbres Valley, where many of the Tour of the Gila stages take place. There’s also great riding just in the Rio Grande Valley, and to all the many ghost towns in the mountains of that area.

    Here is a link (and an attempt to embed a youtube video) of someone who took a time lapse video using a GoPro, sometime in the spring, it looks like. Check out the ride…it’s pretty cool. One year, we actually used this crazy pass in the Tour of the Gila, but it was logistically too difficult, I think. For years, it was used in the Hillsboro RR (where the people stop to sit down and eat in the video):

  2. Dr. Achille Brioschi

    Perhaps your emotions would not allow you to do this, but I think when you mention Andreu and Chiotti you should also include Vaughters in the list. Nobody twisted his arms while he has been spilling the beans for a decade.

  3. SB

    Nobody seems to mention the sponsors and related contracts in all of this T&C talk. Lance is getting his ass sued off.

    What rider who hasn’t come clean yet is going to think his sponsors, past and present, won’t sue him also? Regardless of what Tygart or anybody promises, you have people’s livelihoods at stake here.

    The dopers have already decided that income is more important than honesty. That’s why they doped. Why would that change because of a some bureaucratic powerless, meaningless commission?

  4. Matias

    Hola Steve:
    Not sure if you were aware, but tomorrow will the opening of the documentary that one our teammates here in LA (Helens Cycles) Matt Tolmach, has spent the better part of 10 years working on about Lance Armstrong. This is a fascinating film that really tries to dig deeply into the psyche of LA and some of the choices he and other cyclists have made. Fan or not, this is a great look behind the curtain at the world of competitive cycling as well as a metaphor for all drugs and sports.

    The footage is amazing, the interviews have many “whoa” moments and there are some humorous moments as well. Sorry, no nudity.

    Sony Pictures Classics is releasing the ARMSTRONG LIE and it will be out in theaters tomorrow. Go out and show your support. You won’t be disappointed.

    Check out the trailer below.

  5. JP Partland

    I don’t think any TRC will work. If people got away with it already, there’s little incentive to come forward. So many pros raced without distinction and retired to humble circumstances and the little they have to hang onto was that they were in the big show. If they out themselves, they reasonably fear that their fans, friends, coworkers will not take it well.

    I wrote about it here:

  6. channel_zero

    The bio-passport does not do what you think it does and that means it is working great.

    The IOC was shamed into creating WADA and never intended the system to catch anyone. The casual Olympics viewer are lead to believe much more is going on with the bio-passport when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Test scores lay idle in the APMU. As Horner’s suspicious values, and Armstrong’s red-hot 2009/10 positives still do today.

    WADA’s leaders have plainly stated the sports federations are hiding positives. They just don’t process anything for their “important” athletes.

  7. Skippy

    A Date needs to be set for Compliance ! Cross the line and be FOUND OUT , you get the ” Ankle Tag ” with 4 years home rest ! No excuses , no comeback ! Society will be caused to stay away BUT Will not have to pay the $55k pa , that prison costs !

    WADA wants 4 year Sanctions from 2015 , for me 1 Jan 2014 , is not too early :–oly.html

    YOU DO THE CRIME , you do the time ! Some old blogs cover this in more detail .

  8. Oldster

    those calling for Truth and Reconciliation are the ones that are already busted – most without ever testing positive. Lance, JV, Barry, CVV, turd Hincapie and so on. you can’t put lightning back in the bottle. After a career made on cheating they suddenly develop a conscience? They only want the opportunity to continue to milk the system

    there is no motivation if they haven’t been busted yet, just the lesson to make sure they keep a lower profile and choose their friends a little better. If a current rider hits their head and suddenly start talking, the “truth” will be conveniently parsed out so as to incriminate themselves the least. Ryder is a case in point

    You are so right about 2 things. Testing doesn’t really work and the consequences need to be more severe – this goes for the coaches, directors and the other staff, too. Severe consequences is the only thing that will really “fix” the issue of doping in the sport

  9. Old School

    Mr. Tilford you are welcome to make your way to Frederickburg, VA . . . . to ride the rock quarry trails. Could not say if it would really interest you sir, as the new heads in the game seem to be focused on getting awards, trophies, gold medals, etc etc

    Folks around here ride for transportation . . . to save money on gasoline and bus fares . . .

    The man to beat around the trail system in FredVegas was Mr Matthew Bailey, a strong rider whom was known to whoop Mr Joe Dombrowski (sp?) in the Maryland (local) events.

    Please come to VA and teach the riders a thing or two sir before the whole mindset of cycling goes to the new heads PLEASE!!!

  10. Don Lowe

    I don’t pretend to know what the answer to what I believe is still a problem in competitive cycling (amateur as well as pro) but a truth telling process is definitely a positive. Not because we need to continually flog the horse but because it can be useful as a first step in turning it all around. It can be useful if it’s done in conjunction with a new policy toward future penalties that drastically increases the penalties for violation. For instance, offer a once and for all time amnesty for a riders full and complete disclosure of any and all doping in the past and present. This would allow everyone to start from that day forward with a (granted imperfect) clean slate. Require that everyone name names and share not only their own complicity but all others that were involved. This obviously has a snowball effect but then offers those named the opportunity to start fresh as well. Make it clear that once a deadline comes to pass, the opportunity for any amnesty will be gone and future penalties will apply. I don’t know enough to have the answers on how that should happen but perhaps a tiered system based on the substance involved. Say if a rider tests positive for a trace substance such as a masking agent, they receive a two year ban and a probation period upon return with lifetime ban for a second offense. A positive test for a primary substance such as a steroid, blood booster or transfusion brings a lifetime ban. Period, final, end of career. This does away with the constant dribble of half assed confessions (always after someone else outs them) that magically always involve no guilt within the statute of limitations.


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