“The longer I’m involved in this, the more I marvel at how widespread doping is.”

A few of these links are getting a little long in the tooth, but the story just keeps unfolding in front of us. Another iced latte? Sure. And bring me a donut as well. This may take a few minutes.

From: bgw
….ettore torri, italy’s anti-doping prosecutor ain’t pulling his punches…just telling it like it is…nice…

…as someone used to say “how do ya like them apples”…


You’re damn right he ain’t pulling punches. And why should he? You’d have to believe in the god damn tooth fairy to not see the truth.

From the article:

ROME (AP)—Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor is convinced that all cyclists are doping, a belief reinforced by four years of work as one of the world leaders in the effort against drugs in sports.

“I’m not the only one saying it. Lately, all of the cyclists I’ve interrogated have said that everyone dopes,” the 78-year-old Ettore Torri told The Associated Press on Tuesday in his first interview in two years.

Torri has been at the forefront of the anti-doping fight since he took over in 2006, prosecuting Giro d’Italia champions Ivan Basso and Danilo Di Luca and other Italian standouts, such as Alessandro Petacchi and Riccardo Ricco, on behalf of the Italian Olympic Committee known as CONI.

“The longer I’m involved in this, the more I marvel at how widespread doping is,” Torri said. “And I don’t think it will be eradicated. Because it just evolves continuously. There are new substances coming out that can’t be tested for.” Id.

The take-away point:

“As long as doping is a viable economic option, it’s always going to exist,” he said. “It needs to be made so that it’s no longer worth it economically.” Id.

You can spell that “lifetime ban”? As it stands currently, the cost-benefit ratio seems to support drug use.

McQuaid responds to Torri’s doping accusations
In a statement issued to Italian media in Italian, McQuaid said Torri’s comments caused profound disappointment and dismay. But said they would not deter the UCI from fighting doping in the sport.

“At a time when cycling is paying a very high price for its determined and constant commitment in the fight against doping, the allegations by the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) prosecutor Ettore Torri can only spark a reaction of profound disappointment and dismay in all of those who practice and who love this sport,” the statement reads.

McQuaid claimed the UCI has taken a lead in the fight against doping.


Taken a lead in the fight against doping? How ’bout pulling up your big boy pants and taking the lead on this one, chief? The status quo cannot stand. As soon as I found out L. Armstrong donated $100k… Look, the UCI must be above reproach. The men who fun the organization must be above reproach. The money must be returned and Pat McQuaid should resign. Full stop.

David Walsh weighs in on Contador case
Walsh wasn’t surprised with the UCI reaction to the news that Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol either, arguing that their stance suggested that the governing body were reluctant react.

“It’s the usual UCI. They’re totally uncomfortable with it and they want to believe that he didn’t dope because it’s damaging for the sport but that shouldn’t be a factor. What they should be saying is if this guy has been cheating we really want to sanction him,” Walsh said.

What happens to Contador now is open to debate. While the rider himself has threatened to retire if a conclusion is not swiftly reached, an element of confusion reigns over the likely outcome of his case. While he could be banned for the levels of Clenbuterol found in his body, the levels of plastics possibly found within his blood could lead to a precedent as no verified test has been legalised.

“It’s almost there though,” Walsh said. “And it’s gone far enough so that the people conducting the disciplinary can assess the weight of evidence. So they could say we can’t say it’s a positive test but that there’s a very high level of probability and this fits with our feeling of where the Clenbuterol may have come from.”


This last part hits the hardest:

“It’s terribly sad because there are some great riders out there that don’t want to dope and who are not doping. They are getting screwed. Your heart goes out to young riders who you believe in but you also think that they face a really difficult challenge in terms of ever finding out how good they are because as they climb that ladder they will meet more people who are doping and the battle becomes an unfair one.

“The one thing that really should bother right minding thinking people is that no one cares for honest men getting screwed. The journalists don’t care, the race officials don’t care, the sponsors don’t care, and sadly you have to say that the public don’t care. That’s always been the issue for me.” Id.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

18 thoughts on ““The longer I’m involved in this, the more I marvel at how widespread doping is.”

  1. …here’s a little more fuel for the fire…

    …headline – “Howman suspects the Armstrong investigation could be as significant as the BALCO case”…but don’t let that tag line get your hopes up too high…

    …from the transcript: – “The Associated Press reported Howman as saying that he suspects ‘some information will come out of the current inquiries that will be equally as significant as BALCO.’

    Howman refused to back up his comment with details of the ongoing investigation but said WADA had agreed to pass on any information it may have.”…sounds good so far…sounds like “we’re ready to throw the smack down” BUT, then there’s this…

    “Speaking more specifically about doping problems in cycling, Howman said, ‘I think that’s a matter for the sport to address.’

    ‘Our job is to make sure the anti-doping program is OK,’ he said. ‘If, after that, we still find people who are cheating, they’ve got to sit back and say, ‘What do we do now?’ “

    …in other words, don’t, as i suggested, get your hopes up if you think the lance-ster is actually going down…this may become ‘balco-esque’ & facts n’ figures may get spilled that will make people once again change their doping ‘techniques’ but i’ll bet a good beer that our main protagonist will have nothing “proven” against him…with that, it will get spun once more that he’s as pure as snow on a mountain top pass & life will go on, status quo intact for our boy…

    …pointed fingers, insinuations & innuendo haven’t actually, on a world wide scale, tarnished him yet & i honestly don’t think, despite everyone’s best attempts, that this will amount to more than a hill of beans…

    …texas chili beans perhaps…but when ya got lemons……


  2. I like the idea of a lifetime ban for dopers. I’m also in favor of offering disincentives to the mad scientists behind the evolution of these drugs that keep the robbers one step ahead of the cops. If they were facing the prospect of hard time in a fuck-you-in-the-ass prison, at the very least the compensation that the lab rats would demand for the increased risk would alter the economic model as well.

  3. Every man’s sin is no sin at all. You gotta question if there can be any legitimacy in a law if no one obeys it.

    There is entirely too much belief in the deterrence effect. If you increase the cost of doping with a lifetime ban, it will probably cut back on dopers. Does that mean dopers won’t be winning – not necessarily, if most of the peloton is clean than doping will reward just that much more.

    I do agree that the goal should be to limit cheating. I just think that a lifetime ban is way too harsh of a punishment for something that essentially everyone is doing. More systemic punishment is probably the answer – fine the doctors, team directors and teams. Fine the management companies. Maybe then, these people will stop assisting and encouraging cheats. Rob them motherfucking blind.

  4. How about we act like grown ups when it comes to drugs and just legalize them and let them race.

    It’s kind of silly to pretend to be shocked that cyclists dope. It’s like being shocked that teenagers are having sex.

    Some people will get caught and just like drugs in the real world people get caught with drugs…. but is the war on drugs solving anything in the real world? It’s not going to solve anything in cycling…

    As Peter Tosh said…”Legalize it.”

  5. legalize it and let them race…
    stop viewing it as sport and instead as entertainment. it was way more exciting watching riis – doped to the gills – pummel indurain and pantani made watching races way more exciting.

  6. “The take-away point:

    “As long as doping is a viable economic option, it’s always going to exist,” he ( Ettore Torri ) said. “It needs to be made so that it’s no longer worth it economically.”

    You can spell that “lifetime ban”? As it stands currently, the cost-benefit ratio seems to support drug use.”

    So, the question becomes how do you take away the viable economic option. To whom is it “economically viable?” The rider? Yes. The team? Also yes. The sponsor of the team whose rider is winning the races? Well, that’s what they pay the big bucks for isn’t it? The exposure and publicity of getting their brand in front of a large consumer base is what they expect. So if you want to make it economically inviable does the lifetime ban on the rider really do the trick? I mean, there are more riders waiting in line. The supply of athletes hoping to make it big, both in terms of results and money, is pretty much inexhaustible and a lot of them will do it at all costs.

    Do we hand out lifetime bans to the sponsors that can claim total ignorance of the machinations within the sport? After all, they’re just putting their names on the jerseys, they don’t know what the teams are doing. Do they? Obviously, this kills the sport as we know it. However, this is the economic viability factor. We’ve seen the results of corporations that are truly conscious of the ramifications to their image this presents. It’s increasingly difficult to find sponsors. In turn, because of this, legalizing doping is not economically viable. In addition to the fact that it is morally reprehensible.

    I know I’ve raised questions without providing any sort of options or answers. It’s a complicated issue. I don’t believe doping should be legalized. You can argue the point about adults, and knowing the consequences, but I worry about the message it sends to the kids that want to pursue a cycling career. They do not appreciate the long term hazards that come with the practice, all they see is the result.

    I’ve read reports of high school kids, kids ranging in age from 14 to 18, that were undergoing doping regimens that were approved by the parents, and administered by their physicians. The well meaning intention being that if they were going to do it, better that it be supervised than leave the CHILD to their own devices. Is this the road we really want to travel down as a society?

    But, I digress. I was speaking of the economic viability of doping in cycling. Lifetime bans probably won’t do it alone, unless there is a way of forcing the riders to pay back ALL of the winnings they’ve accumulated throughout their careers. I’m not sure that’s viable, or even fair considering the pressure that’s put upon them by their employers. Employers being both team and sponsor.

    However, this still punishes only the rider. Ultimately, I suppose, the athlete is responsible for their choices, but I don’t think we can ignore the outside influences. If, indeed, they can be considered outside influences. It’s been well documented, or at least pretty damned obvious, that certain organizations are complicit in these acts. Do not these entities deserve to be sanctioned along with their employees, the athletes? I think they do. If cycling is truly serious about being clean, then they need to hold not just the riders responsible, but the teams and the sponsors.

    Teams continue to exist under different names that have been scandal ridden their entire existence. Largely due to their “success.” Sponsors come, and sponsors go. They do not, for the most part, go until the spotlight shines too brightly on the questionable practices within “their” team or among “their” rider(s). You want to make doping economically inviable? Hold sponsors monetarily responsible for their athlete’s actions. They’ll either make damned sure their athletes (employees) are legal, or they’ll get rid of them… or there will be no pro cycling. Given the current state, would that really be such a bad thing?

    Sorry for the rant. Just my two cents worth.

  7. Would Jesus dope? I think yes. He says it’s too much of the culture. He thinks just dope everyone up and send them off. That would be a level playing field.

  8. Michael Shermer (one of original competitiors in RAAM) offered good suggestions in a 2008 Scientific American article. I paraphrase his conclusions:

    -Grant immunity to all athletes for past cheating. former dopers can make system better if the are not scared of getting sanctioned.

    Increase the number of competitors tested–in competition, out of competition, and especially immediately before or after a race–to thwart countermeasures.

    -Establish a reward for scientists to develop tests that can detect currently undetectable doping agents.

    -Increase substantially the penalty for getting caught: one strike and you’re out–forever

    -Disqualify all team members from an event if any member of the team tests positive for doping. Compel the convicted athlete to return all salary paid and prize monies earned to the team sponsors.

    the article can be found at http://tinyurl.com/m3p5b8

  9. Let ’em dope. I’m tired of it. Its partially our (the fans) fault anyway. or the media…or the sponsors…or Jesus…I don’t fucking know.

  10. …leif…

    …two key & revealing paragraphs from that story…

    “One difference is the fact that the German claimed that his positive occurred as a result of his visit to the China Open this year, where he contends that he ate contaminated meat. There is a far higher incidence of Clenbuterol use in farming there; in Europe, the substance was banned in 1996.

    According to AP, it tested 83,203 animal samples in Europe between 2008 and 2009; just one of those was positive. During the same period, Spain tested 19,431 samples in those years. No traces of the drug were found.

    …’berto is grasping at straws constantly trying to spin things in his favor but two irrefutable facts have always been there…the traces of clenbuterol & the ‘8 to 10 times higher than normal’ elevated levels of plasticizers…

    …what happened to the team astana ‘source’ & that little finger pointing scenario ???…it was news one day with a perfectly legitimate explanation for “what happened” & there hasn’t been word one of it since…

    …even if wada steps in to expedite matters, with ‘spanish foot-dragging’, appeals to cas & whatever other bullshit is gonna cloud this issue, it’s still gonna be a long damn time before anything is resolved…

    …just sayin’…

  11. Gnome, re: iced latte. Yeah, we all know me finding form is like a blind pig finding a walnut.

    Seriously unlikely to happen.

    That said, damn I’m thirsty.