Dopers, Come Forward, We Offer Treats

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The UCI inquiry commission into doping released a statement “asking” for witnesses to come forward in exchange for, maybe, a reduced punishment. The commission chief, Dick Marty said, “We will treat all witnesses fairly and so I urge anyone in the cycling community with information that can help our investigation to come forward.” Wow, that is some offer to these guys. I bet they come crawling out of the woodwork for that great deal.

It says later on that the commission has the power to propose, “case-by-case” for a reductions in suspensions of anyone currently suspended, although these deals will have to be approved by the original sanctioning body, the UCI, and the World Anti-Doping Agency. All three. Wow again. I think that is such a good offer that Lance probably has already signed up and is ready to spill his guts.

Obviously, this is more than a little disappointing to me. I was hoping that this commission would be the catalyst to get as much of the doping culture and facts exposed and then we can all start at square one with a clean slate. I will be very surprised if any current rider takes them up on their offer.

The offer is so subjective and wishy-washy. I don’t understand why they didn’t come up with something more enticing, and maybe, fair? No one wants to walk in and testify before that commission and then get an offer. It would be like going into a pawn shop to sell something and tell the guy you were going to sell it before he even gave you an offer. Once you spill your guts, you’ve spilled your guts. That is all you have to negotiate with.

If I were a rider, or support staff, that had an issue, I’d hire someone to negotiate for me, anonymously, and work out the deal before I went in. My negotiator wouldn’t tell the commission my name before the deal was done. And if I was currently serving a suspension, there is no way I’d participate before the 3 bodies had approved a reduction of my suspension. It doesn’t make any sense to do it any other way.

Anyway, I very much doubt this is going to work. Maybe if the rumor gets out that they are giving out very lenient deals, then they might get the ball rolling. But I don’t see that happening.

I’m not exactly sure how the UCI came up with this commission, but unless they go back and regroup, come up with a plan that makes a little sense, then it is just going be another 3 guys that fly around the world on a budget, getting nothing accomplished. I hope that isn’t the case, but it seems to be as of now.


11 thoughts on “Dopers, Come Forward, We Offer Treats

  1. donkybhoy

    So the UCI has set up a commission that has terms that are not favourable to whistleblowing?

    And when no one turns up to whistleblow they can claim the sport is clean!

    I am not surprised.

  2. Rod

    Since Tilford is so” attached at the hip” with Lance recently, let’s
    look at the Lance scenario. Is there any possible way USADA, UCI
    and WADA would all agree to reduce Lance’s sentence? Travis Tygart,
    for one, has said 8 years is the very best he will offer. Lance has
    repeatedly said this is not good enough for him.

    The bottom line is that getting all three agencies to agree on any
    punishment reduction would be a miracle. Especially for anyone
    who has a sentence greater than the two year punishment currently

  3. Torgo

    You are making a mistake in thinking this was set up to expose doping or help things from a rider’s perspective. It was set up to move the UCI forward. Any evidence of complicity by the UCI in past doping will be blamed on the previous regime. Also such evidence can be used to consolidate power by getting rid of those aligned with Verbruggen. Most of the effort will be spent combing through UCI records and e-mails. The riders are immaterial.

  4. H Luce

    OK, since the proceedings are in camera and confidential, LA comes forward, does a limited hangout, some underlings get tossed to the winds with lifetime suspensions – nobody with big ad money behind them but relative small fry, LA has suspension reduced to a year, UCI whitewashes the rest, declares the sport to be “clean”, and it’s back to business as usual until a couple more big guys (like Pantani) drop dead. Then it’s wash, rinse, and repeat. The only way to clean up the sport is to get the big money out of the sport, otherwise the incentives of millions of dollars and so forth will still be present. Professional cyclists are for the most part professional entertainers, and if the top of the heap offers huge rewards, it will be worth the gamble to do whatever it takes to get there.

  5. Rod

    “The only way to clean up the sport is to get the big money out of the sport, otherwise the incentives of millions of dollars and so forth will still be present. Professional cyclists are for the most part professional entertainers, and if the top of the heap offers huge rewards, it will be worth the gamble to do whatever it takes to get there.”

    H Luce, I can’t disagree more. Why does pro hockey struggle and pro football thrive?
    Big money. What does EVERY professional sport need (not just want) to survive? Big money.
    Pro cycling will die if it does not have big money.

    There is a tremendous irony to the financial aspect of all of this. Big money in the modern era
    of cycling came in with Greg LeMond. Greg was the first millionaire cyclist and he opened the
    door for a lot of wealthy cyclist who followed. He also opened the door for a lot of big money
    sponsors who fed the greedy to “win at any cost”. Now Greg is the champion for cleaning up
    a corrupted sport that,very ironically, his success helped start. Not blaming Greg, just the financial
    juggernaut he introduced to the sport.

  6. Bill K

    The commission looks like it was setup by a group of recreational riders who were “shocked” to learn that euro-pros were doping.

  7. Robo

    Steve – What about your convo with Lance? I’m dying to hear about it. Please share a post on it.

    @Rod & @HLuce – I agree with Rod that big money is a necessary evil. But it raises an interesting question: Which is more important, the success and growth of the sport, or the purity of it? Purity is a romantic notion, but I would rather the sport grow and thrive. I don’t think looking into the past will have any beneficial impact on the success of the sport going forward. The UCI needs to do what it can to promote and manage a clean culture, and let bygones be bygones. It sucks for guys who may have negatively been impacted by doping, but it really won’t help promote the races that are currently being raced or broadcast in the US. The UCI should focus on growing cycling. Period.

  8. mike crum

    “we can all start at square one with a clean slaten if caught on drugs”.. been hearing this forever.. and it isnt working!!!! very simple, the people in charge just put a lifetime ban on the cheaters. first time caught on drgs, your out forever..

  9. Max

    I agree with Mike Crum. Doping is either completely forbidden or it is not. Right now it definitely is not! The punishment should be a death sentence from competitive cycling!


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