Chris Froome Testifies to CIRC about What ???

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I saw an article that said that Chris Froome testified to the UCI doping investigation and said, to sum it up, that you didn’t have to choose to dope to excel at the sport now.   I don’t quite understand anything about this.

I don’t understand, if he doesn’t or doesn’t currently know anything about doping in the sport of cycling, why he would go and testify.  And two, if one is the case, why he should have any input or comments about it at all.  I was thinking that maybe I didn’t understand what the commission was all about.

From the UCI’s webpage-  Essentially, the CIRC’s mission is to investigate the problems that our sport has faced in recent years, notably the allegations – particularly damaging to our image – that the UCI was implicated in wrongdoing in the past. On this basis, the CIRC will make recommendations for change so that as far as possible those mistakes are not repeated. 

I sort of didn’t.  I thought the commission was mainly set up for doping eradication ideals.  But, whatever the reason, I hope Chris Froome has no knowledge of anything information the commission is looking for.

Since he has never participated in doping and never observed doping, I don’t think he has the credentials to testify.  Just because Chris is one of the best stage racers in the world isn’t enough to qualify him.

That being said, I wonder if he paid much attention to the all the doping positives recently or the whole Astana situation.  17 guys on that team visiting Dr. Ferrari.  I wonder if he read the interview with Smartstops new rider, Juan Pablo Villegas.  Here is a great interview with him.  In it, the question is

…..what percentage of the peloton would you say was doping at those races?
I can’t give you an exact number, but it would have to be very, very high.

And then he goes and names all the Colombian riders that he raced with that have “graduated” to the Pro Tour level by winnning races in Colombia.  He doesn’t name anyone specifically, but if he says that it is very common to dope in Columbia and the best Colombians are now racing, and winning Grand Tours, then you make the connection.

Even the current Tour de France champion, Vincenso Nibali said that Astana is no worse than anyone else in the regards to doping.  I wonder if Chris Froome pays any attention to what Vincenzo says?

Okay, let’s just say that Chris Froome is a genetic freak.  And he doesn’t have to dope to win the races he does.  Does that mean that his opinion that the peloton is relatively clean, or more accurately, riders don’t have to choose to dope to win races, means anything more than any other observer.

There are way too many things going on right now in the sport to say that the sport is clean.  Greg Van Avermaet ozone usage is just the tip of the iceberg.  Do you think if he was breaking the rules by using ozone to treat his blood that it would stop him from manipulating it in other ways.  When Bart Wellens just decided to quit cyclocross at the old age of 34, it shows that all the guys involved when Dr. Chris Mertens are going to have problems explaining themselves to the Belgian Federation.  I’m thinking most of these guys are going to have to “sit out” 2 years.

For Chris Froome to declare that the sport is fine and dandy, that all the drug cheats are being caught,  just rubs me the wrong way.  I don’t think that it does any good when someone of Chris Froomes stature, in the sport, says ignorate things like this.   He needs to check out the history of the guys he’s currently racing with.  And pay more attention to how many guys are turning up positive.  Guys that don’t even win consistently.

We still have a big problem.  In theory, CIRC is releasing their report today.  Or at least that is what was reported.  I guess they are going to redact the names of some riders in the report, or people in the report, for legal reasons.  I’m not sure why they do that, but they do.

We’ll see how ugly of a state the sport is according to the UCI.  I’d be very surprised if it is as hunky dory are Chris implies it is.


Maybe he can come over here more often to train with Levi.

Maybe he can come over here more often to train with Levi.  At least Levi thinks he might.

28 thoughts on “Chris Froome Testifies to CIRC about What ???

  1. Ken

    Watching Froome’s Sky teammate Stannard ride away from three Etixx guys in the Omloop has me suspicious about doping on Froome’s own team.

  2. donkybhoy

    In case people are not aware, the CIRC report is apparently with UCI’s legal team to take out anything litigious.

    Now if this report if truly independent the UCI would get it after publication not before and get their chance to ‘edit’ it.

    Another day another fine mess this sport proves itself to be.

  3. Voice of Reason

    Has Och testified? Something tells me he knows all about a whole bunch of stuff. Why is it when Flandis wanted to come back with the Shack Och was who showed to broker the deal?

  4. Voice of Reason

    Funny how this all rang true:

    “Landis implicated other cyclists, including longtime Armstrong confidant George Hincapie and Olympic medalist Levi Leipheimer, and acknowledged using human growth hormone starting in 2003. The Wall Street Journal reported that another e-mail from Landis also linked another top American racer, Dave Zabriskie, to doping.

    Landis said he was asked at one point to stay in an apartment where Armstrong was living and check the temperature in a refrigerator where blood was being stored for future transfusions. “Mr. Armstrong was planning on being gone for a few weeks to train [and] he asked me to stay in his place and make sure the electricity didn’t turn off or something go wrong with the refrigerator,” Landis wrote.

    Hincapie said he was “really disappointed” by the allegations. Jim Ochowicz, a former top USA Cycling official — who also was implicated by Landis — defended himself and Hincapie.

    “These allegations are not true, absolutely unfounded and unproven,” said Ochowicz, now the president of BMC Racing, Hincapie’s current team.”

  5. Touriste-Routier

    Just because Etixx rode like “dopes”, doesn’t mean Stannard’s performance is suspicious.

  6. Voice of Reason

    “The officials Landis named as encouraging doping — including the former USA Cycling board president Jim Ochowicz, who is known as the “Godfather of American cycling” and the Swiss businessman Andy Rihs — are also gearing up for cycling’s most glamorous event. Ochowicz and Rihs are co-owners of the BMC Racing team, which will compete in its first Tour.

    Ochowicz, who in 1986 took the first American team to the Tour de France, said Monday by telephone that he had not been contacted by investigators and that the federal fraud inquiry did not worry him.

    “It has no effect on me whatsoever,” he said from BMC Racing’s European headquarters in Belgium. He added that his initial reaction to Landis’s claims had not changed. The allegations against him were untrue, unfounded and unproven, said Ochowicz, who is one of Armstrong’s closest friends.

    “The authorities should absolutely stop it,” Ochowicz said, referring to cheating in the sport. “But I have no clue what went on. I wasn’t a part of it.”

  7. Doubting Thomas

    Looks like bullshit, smells like bullshit, big bull standing over it- probably bullshit. Can anyone explain how Talansky and Gardener can compete clean? I think not…

  8. Voice of Reason

    an excerpt from The Wheelman, lest you forget

    “Anguished and desperate, Landis again reached out to Jim Ochowicz. He figured Ochowicz was one of the few people who would understand the situ-ation he was in and be able to advise him about what to do. Ochowicz had been there in St. Moritz when Landis and Armstrong were training with Michele Ferrari. And Ochowicz knew everything there was to know about the cycling world. Not only was he still the president of USA Cycling, and still an employee of Thom Weisel’s, but he knew all the key players, including of course Lance Armstrong, with whom he was close.

    When Landis called, Ochowicz was staying in the Hollywood home of Sheryl Crow. She was a good friend, and had remained so even after she and Armstrong split up. Ochowicz invited Landis to come and talk. Landis drove his Harley- Davidson up from Temecula. Crow brought the two men drinks and sandwiches, then left the house about ten minutes later. As they sat on her veranda overlooking downtown L. A., Landis said, “Listen, you know what’s going on in cycling. You and I both know about the doping programs on every team you’ve ever run, certainly the US Postal team.”

    “Yeah, yeah,” Ochowicz responded.

    “I can’t fight it anymore,” Landis said. “I don’t want to be broke and feel guilty, and that’s what’s about to happen. I don’t mind being broke, but I’m not going to feel shitty anymore,” he said. “My two choices here are either fight this or just admit to it and clear my conscience. I’ll tell you what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to take the fall for this sport and walk away and just get beaten up the rest of my life. At the very least, I’m going to clear my conscience.”

    Ochowicz gave Landis some firm advice: He should say nothing. Nobody would believe him anyway. The allegations would drag down the entire sport and ruin not only his career but the careers of others. The only option was to fight the charges in every way he could, Ochowicz said. Floyd didn’t explicitly ask Ochowicz for money, but it was clear that was what Floyd needed if he were to continue his denials. “Look, I need some support,” Landis pleaded.

    “Let me make some phone calls and I’ll let you know,” Ochowicz said.

    A few days later, Landis got a call from Bill Stapleton, who demanded to know why Floyd had asked Ochowicz for money. Floyd explained that he was short on cash and could use some help. Over and over, Stapleton kept asking him, “Why should we help you out?” Landis felt that Stapleton was trying to goad him into threatening them with extortion if they didn’t give him money.

    Despite Stapleton’s call, Armstrong did arrange to help Floyd. Not directly — Armstrong couldn’t risk the association — but he connected Landis to some of his own wealthy backers, like Thom Weisel and John Bucksbaum. Tiger Williams, whom Landis already knew, also helped out. If Landis stayed quiet about the doping, there was an enticing carrot: money to help him fight the US Anti-Doping Agency.

    But if he came clean in order to clear his conscience, he knew there was a giant stick: the wrath of Armstrong. Lance, Stapleton, and their powerful friends would try to discredit and destroy him.”

  9. Tanner

    Its a wormhole. There is no way to find the bottom. We ‘want’ the truth as fans and participants, but I feel that the corruption goes much deeper than just the team and its DS’s. I think if we knew the real truth, cycling as a whole might crumble (at least the competitive side).

  10. channel_zero

    Particular to Froome, there’s no way the guy is clean. If he were, he would have had amazing results in lower ranked races. When he was tested by the UCI they would have identified a grand tour winner. The guy is a responder. There is no other explanation for a sudden grand tour podium. It seems obvious the UCI have chosen Froome like they chose Armstrong.

  11. channel_zero

    The UCI (Cookson) have already announced what they will publish.

    It will be old stories already published in books, populated with characters who aren’t around any more. They should be funny reading though as I’m sure the UCI’s “lens” will distort the stories.

    I am looking forward to disparaging stories about any characters they don’t like that still might be around. Vinokourov would be a likely character that appears.

  12. Kevin Lyons

    good article, saying the king has no clothes is not easy and always right.

  13. Voice of Reason

    138. Jim Ochowicz was part of that “team.” Thomas Weisel Partners employed
    Jim Ochowicz, the President of the Board of USA Cycling, during the period relevant to this
    complaint. Jim Ochowicz was the President of the Board of Directors of USA Cycling from
    Case 1:10-cv-00976-RLW Document 42 Filed 02/22/13 Page 36 of 6536
    2002 to 2008. Ochowicz was also a broker at Weisel’s investment bank between 2001 and
    approximately 2011. After Thomas Weisel Partners was acquired by Stifel Financial in or
    around 2010, Ochowicz moved to work for Stifel, Nicolaus and Company, a subsidiary of
    Stifel Financial.
    139. In or around late 2006 or early 2007, Mr. Landis had a conversation with Jim
    Ochowicz about how Mr. Landis should respond to the adverse analytical finding he had
    received in the 2006 Tour de France. The two met at Sheryl Crow’s house in California but
    Armstrong was not present. At the meeting, Mr. Landis openly referenced the doping program
    of the U.S. Postal Service team and the fact that he needed help to fight the pending doping
    charges against him. Mr. Ochowicz did not express any surprise regarding Mr. Landis’
    references to doping on the USPS Team, implicitly indicating he already was aware of the fact,
    nor did he give any indication in the conversation that he planned to refer the matter to USADA,
    WADA or UCI for further inquiry. To Mr. Landis’ knowledge, Mr. Ochowicz took no such
    action to inform USADA, WADA, or UCI regarding his conversation with Mr. Landis. Mr.
    Ochowicz just indicated to Mr. Landis that he would have Lance Armstrong call Mr. Landis.
    140. Mr. Weisel’s “team” also included the President of UCI.
    141. Thomas Weisel Partners managed funds for Hein Verbruggen between 2001-
    2004 when Verbruggen was President of UCI. Jim Ochowicz was the employee at Thomas
    Weisel Partners who handled the account.
    142. Hein Verbruggen and UCI failed to enforce anti-doping rules against Armstrong
    during the period relevant to this complaint, including 2001-2004.

  14. Ron

    Big money is the main problem in pro cycling. The backers don’t care about cycling or its riders. It’s about making BIG money off of the sport itself. You have guys that are just getting by trying to live out their dreams and they are made well aware that they are expendable if they don’t perform. What are they left to do to become/remain competitive? Pro cycling is pretty much Alice in Wonderland.

  15. Sidamo

    You need to re-read that Villegas interview.

    In it he says he was happy to be riding for a clean team on Colombia, then names his teammates, incl. Quintana, Chaves, Henao, e.g. Implying that they are also CLEAN, which is the complete opposite of what you’re implying.

  16. orphan

    Sidoma has it right. In fact he says the opposite saying most he saw doping in columbia have nothing now but bad health.

  17. Lionel

    Since Steve can say “We still have a big problem.”, it sounds like Steve has information that the CIRC can use. Froome may plead ignorant, but Steve is stating the opposite for himself. Whatever evidence supports this statement should be shared with the CIRC. If the evidence is just hearsay and media hype, then that’s not more compelling than Froome’s statements that he gave when the CIRC requested his testimony.

  18. El Jabón

    I think Froome is VERY qualifies to give testimony. He’s asked more questions than any rider. His opinion on this is vital to the sport. Thank god we have riders like Froome to represent cycling, a great sportsman and yes-a genetic freak (I’m jealous too but I wouldn’t go as low as to accuse him!.
    Also, the article on the bitter columbian guy is complete trash. If you’ve just lost your job and are very angry, don’t you think it is possible to try and discredit others??
    Sad that people have sunk so low

  19. Pepsi Frank

    And Froome can climb faster clean than Pantani or Armstrong could doped. That is simply unbelievable.

  20. Your mamma's laundry

    “Clean team” meaning, someone did their laundry, made their beds and gave them a bar of soap every day.

    This is all a big fat joke.

    In any existential crisis, man will do anything (even break rules) to exist.

    Governments do it. Corporations do it. Sportsmen do it.

    Get over it.

  21. channel_zero

    Yeah, it’s not going anywhere. Remember that the UCI is a federation of national federations. The national federations aren’t all shutting down because of the widespread corruption and doping.

    Some of this goes back to the IOC permitting the doping and is itself rife with corruption. As an example, Sepp Blatter is one of the few voting members of WADA. His seat is permanent, like an American supreme court justice.

  22. GOS

    I must admit, I think the Voice of Reason raises an important issue.

    It’s easy to rail against Astana and Vino. But Vino’s involvement in Astana is basically equivalent to Ochowicz involvement in BMC or Riis and Tinkoff involvement in Saxxo-Tinkoff.
    You want Vino gone – great, I agree. Let’s get rid of Vino.
    But then you also must take similar stand regarding Ochowicz, Riis, Tinkoff and basically most other DS or team managers/consultants – including Zabel, White, Holm, O’Grady etc.
    You think Hincapie shouldn’t make a cent from external businesses, such as his clothing line or his hotel business, but you stay quiet on whether Ochowicz and many like him should continue to benefit from direct involvement in the sport?

    Steve, your stand against doping and hypocrisy in cycling is admirable. Yes, a lot of riders and people around them stay quiet and don’t speak out about doping simply because staying quiet is benefiting them financially and professionally. That’s hypocritical and despicable.

    HOWEVER, I have not seen you address BMC issues with guys like Ochowicz publicly on this blog. You rail against Vino, but never address Ochowicz. Why not? My cynical side says because doing so will jeopardize you benefiting financially from your relationship (however indirect it may be) with BMC. Which is precisely the same type of hypocrisy you may be accusing current riders and their managers of.

    So what hope do we have if even most vocal anti-doping crusaders like yourself only attack selective, convenient targets while also conveniently ignore similar involvements of people close to them?

    Again, it’s very easy to attack Vino/Astana. It’s a popular stand, everyone goes rah-rah, yay for Steve, but this is so easy as it cost you absolutely nothing, since you have no skin in the game. How about doing something painful and uncomfortable and perhaps even courageous – address the problem in your own household first? Because if we are blind to our faults but quick to accuse others of the same behavior, well, this is precisely the definition of hypocrisy and the reason why the problem of doping can persist for another 20 years with people pointing fingers only when it is convenient to do so.


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