Just Because Speech Is Free …

by Rant on August 29, 2007 · 20 comments

in Doping in Sports, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong

One of the great things about living in a society that values free speech is that it allows for an exchange of ideas. Got something on your mind? You can pretty well say whatever it is, within a few limits. (Yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater will get you in trouble — unless the theater really is burning.) These days, it’s even easier to put your ideas out there. Without the Internet, people wouldn’t be speaking their minds on blogs, or in numerous small, Internet-based publications.

Some of what’s out there is bizarre, ridiculous, and even hateful. And some of what’s out there is useful — at least to some people. Some of what our public figures say is truly bizarre, too. And some of those public figures have a way of taking their good reputation and standing, based on whatever their achievements in whatever pursuit has made them famous, and bringing scorn and abuse upon themselves.

Some of those people are easy targets. Which brings me to Greg LeMond. When the subject turns to doping in cycling, LeMond has a way of saying things that get a lot of media attention (being the first American Tour winner and all) and that draw a fair amount of ridicule, too.

For the media who don’t go beyond his claims, he’s a voice crying out from the wilderness, prophesying the doom and downfall that will be heaped upon the wicked sinner — professional cycling — unless the sinner’s evil ways are changed. The vast majority of writers on the subject never go beyond questioning LeMond (and to be fair, any other prominent athlete or official depending on the story). They just parrot his words as the gospel truth.

Some of what he says even manages to be true. There’s doping going on in professional cycling. Always was, and I suspect there always will be. How much went on in the past, how much is going on in the present are open questions. And the debate over the anti-doping system might (and only might, because we’re also talking about human nature) change how much goes on in the future.

Certainly, there was organized doping going on in the past. The Festina scandal in 1998 (which led to the formation of WADA, among other things) is a prime example. The Operacion Puerto scandal looks like something organized going on, too.

And cyclists using various drugs, despite the various scandals that have consumed cycling over the last year or more, shows that they’re still willing to risk getting caught, even when they ride on teams with prominent anti-doping stands (Sinkewitz for T-Mobile and Moreni for Cofidis).

But when LeMond starts talking and it begins to sound all conspiracy-theory, or it’s based on allegations unsupported by any solid evidence, then he starts crossing the line. And when he gets to sounding like a psychologist or psychiatrist talking about how things will eat away at you, well — to put it politely — he’s out of his realm. He starts sounding more like a nutjob than a serious person. And he reveals more about himself than many are comfortable seeing.

After I saw his interview in the Denver Post, I read the following to a psychologist I know:

It’s proven throughout psychotherapy and (with) psychologists and psychiatrists that trauma or lying or not being true to yourself has a dramatic effect on self-destructiveness.

You know what the reaction was? “That sounds like something Greg LeMond would say.” I’m not kidding. And this person hadn’t even seen the interview in the Post at that point. Yes, but is it true? Well, came the answer, no. Not like he’s saying.

Plenty of people lie every day and never suffer (emotionally) from it. Some of them even make it to positions of prominence in politics, for instance. And some of those folks, by all appearances, are OK with the behavior. Think Karl Rove. Then again, maybe it’s better not to think about him.

And there are plenty of people who suffer trauma and go on to live productive, happy lives never needing the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist. Not being true to yourself, that may be a different matter, but it’s not a guarantee of needing psychological help there, either.

Now people who suffer childhood trauma may need some help — but even then there are some who manage to survive and thrive despite the trauma. Unfortunately (in more ways than one) Greg LeMond is someone who suffered trauma as a child. He sounds like he’s got some serious issues to deal with there. If he hasn’t already done so, he should get help. Really. That’s not a snark.

His interview is all over the place, and it’s a sad spectacle to see. First he says Floyd Landis is entitled to justice and to defend himself, and then he criticizes Landis for going out and trying to defend himself. You can’t have it both ways there, Mr. Greg.

“Everybody’s entitled to justice,” LeMond said. “Everybody’s entitled to defend themselves. But the reality is to go out into the public, like the Floyd Fairness Fund, and be asking people who are so gullible and who really don’t know what’s going on? I don’t know how, in a morally conscious way, that he’s able to do that.”

So here’s a question: LeMond has not raced in 13 years. Granted he may be a bit better plugged in to what’s going on than Joe Couch-Potato, but how much does he really know about the inner workings of the sport these days? How is it that he has been blessed with the omniscience to know what is going on?

“I know what’s going on in the sport, and it’s despicable,” he said. “It’s criminal, actually. Organized blood doping. Secret motorcycles. … Hiding places. Doing human growth hormone, testosterone, cortisone, insulin growth factor, EPO.”

Those last bits — about what people are using — that I’ll agree with. There have certainly been enough stories about what people dope with. The organized blood doping, too (Operacion Puerto by another name, perhaps?). But drop the “secret motorcycles” reference, man. That just sounds like the anti-UN nutcases who think that there’s secret black helicopters just waiting to attack us and destroy our country and our liberties. If you’ve got proof, show it. Otherwise, let that one go.

And then there’s Greg, the armchair shrink:

“I told him, ‘Floyd, you may think you can get away and hide your lie, but it’s always there and it works on you and it works on you,”‘ LeMond said. “‘And in 15-20 years it manifests itself. It’s proven throughout psychotherapy and (with) psychologists and psychiatrists that trauma or lying or not being true to yourself has a dramatic effect on self-destructiveness.”‘

Of course, Landis denies that he admitted to LeMond that he cheated. So admitting to something he didn’t do would hurt himself and those around him. LeMond seems to relish the role of father/confessor, however. What he was told (by both Lance and Floyd) and what he thinks he was told may well be two different things. I find it hard to believe — even if both other US Tour winners did dope (which I doubt) — that they would admit such actions to Greg LeMond or anyone else outside of their inner circles. That would be plain stupid, and whatever else you might think about Lance or Floyd, neither one is that stupid.

And then there’s:

“People misunderstand me,” LeMond said. “I’m not against Floyd. I’m not against Tyler. The only thing I’m against is a guy who’s not an honest person and who lives a façade, that he’s really not a good person. That’s my only issue with them. But Floyd and Tyler, you don’t see European riders who get busted and who go out on this PR campaign and try to tell everybody, ‘Believe in me.”‘

Yes, we don’t see any European riders standing up and saying, “Believe in me.” Not Basso. Not Rasmussen. Nope, it’s just an American thing. I must’ve been imagining that press conference Rasmussen had before his undoing. Or the one Contador held not long after the Tour.

I will also partly agree with one other thing LeMond said to the Denver Post, on the effect of a Landis victory over charges of doping at the 2006 Tour de France:

[I]t would be a big blow to the anti-doping movement.

Actually, it would be a big blow to how the anti-doping movement is currently structured. That’s all. Most people are against doping in sports. But they’re also against systems that don’t allow for due process, have officials who don’t respect their own rules, and don’t offer any real justice. And one thing the Landis case has exposed is just how far the system can run amok. A victory by Landis would go a long way towards restoring (or creating) balance in the unbalanced anti-doping system.

But back to free speech. LeMond is certainly free to speak his mind. And he could even be useful to the fight against doping. But there are times and situations where the biggest and loudest statement is made by those who know what not to say.

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Jason Schifo August 29, 2007 at 7:40 am

The phrase “plugged in” seems to me to be the most appropriate for this post. From what I read into the Denver Post article Lemond wants badly to be “plugged into” the sport of cycling but he is not. Through his misguided commentary over the past decade the tour has kind of turned its back on Greg. That is why we get the conspiracy theories of secret motorcycles and such. Its all so vague. Give us some concrete evidence Greg. He talks about having people open the sport up and speak the truth but then he goes on to do exactly what he criticizes.

Furthermore as McQuaid did in his interview late yesterday I would call out Lemond on what he does know. Greg goes so far as to list what riders are using, and how but then backs off of making a full admission. He says that in his day he knew of this use – then why not call it out? Why talk the talk? By taking that high moral ground that he seems to like to flaunt Lemond knows that he may put himself into suspicion, and as McQuaid points out noone is above suspicion. I am not saying that Lemond doped – but in my experience when you dont talk the talk you most likely are not walking the walk either.

His reputation has been further diminished through his countless smackdowns by Armstrong in the media when he tries to call the texan to the carpet. Proves that Lance is not only the patron in the peleton but in the media too. Now dont attack me for this reference because Lance haters love to latch onto this. I think though that when we talk about “The Pathology of Lemond” you have to look at Armstrong also. He is the big brother that comes home with the “A” every year while the other gets a “B”…

This is most evident in the treatment of Lemond at the Trek dinnertable where he was given a slap on the wrist for his comments on younger brother Lance. Notice that it wasnt until after Armstrong retired that Lemond bikes were allowed to re-enter the market in a proper fashion (They were always there but it seems that Trek forgot about them in advertising and R&D)

bill hue August 29, 2007 at 7:54 am

When you think of “liars” in politics, piling on Rove seems too easy. They are ALL liars as far as I can tell and every one of them is comfortable with it, as far as I can tell. This transends any and all political party lines and all geographic locations.

When I think of “liars” in politics who are also comfortable with lying, I also think of Bill Clinton. He was disbarred from law practice after having been found in contempt of court for lying under oath on a subject the Federal Judge felt was material. He was Impeached for that offense but not convicted by the Senate, which concluded lying and more importantly, lying under oath is neither a high crime nor a misdomeanor, at least as far as Impeachment is concerned. I also got the feeling they were afraid to look too much in the mirror as far as lying is concerned, considering their job and his seemed to implicitly require lying and its tough to condemn a trait required of all of them.

From the time President Clinton lied under oath to this very day, my day to day activities in placing people under oath, their attitude and reaction to that oath has changed for the worse. The fall out from that may continue until our moral compass changes and I’m not holding my breath for that.

The Lemond case is much different. He seems to HAVE to be the center of attention and justify it in a way that rationalizes his need for attention. Whatever he says and does must be evaluated through an understanding of the tremendous and hidious psychological trauma he suffered as a child. That explains much about what he has done and said in the past and what he does and says today. I tend to give him a pass but I am not the brunt of his focus, either. You can also easily understand how those he focuses on have animosity toward him.

Bill Hue

Rant August 29, 2007 at 8:13 am

Bill,

Good point about politicians in general. Rove was the easy example, but Clinton and a bunch of others provide case studies in politicians and what happens when they get caught in it. Politicians are a good example of people who lie, but don’t seem to suffer any emotional damage from it. I doubt that very many of them have lost much sleep over most of the whoppers they’ve told.

What happened to LeMond years ago may well explain his behavior today. It just sounds hideous, and the trauma he felt must have been truly hellish. I think the animosity toward him is a two-way street. He says things that get attention, and some of those things are attacks — or perceived attacks — on others. They react, and it becomes a vicious cycle. It’s really pretty sad, all the way around.

– Rant

Jean Culeasec August 29, 2007 at 8:19 am

I am back…
What is saying Greg is just what everyone involved in cycling (or close) knows ! Nothing more. Mc Quaid, Verbrughen, Prudhomme, Lance, Hinault or Landis could say the same, but they don’t dare or they minimize the truth.
And you are right, it’s certainly worst in major sports like football,.. where money is bigger.
To fight against doping it’s not easy, everyone is against the anti-doping crowd because they have all interest to cover doping (Organizers, federation, athletes, sports media, fans, ….).
Easier for everyone to put the head in sand… til a football player died from heart attack in Sevilla. Strangely some links with Sevilla players were done in OP! An other player in UK has an other attack but with a better ending.
Roman liked Coliseum plays and gladiators… maybe 2.000 years later we are not so far of them.

Jeff Adams August 29, 2007 at 10:25 am

What I think is most revealing about GL’s comments is how on-target they would be if he were accusing himself of all of the things that he’s projecting onto others.

Wouldn’t his last TdF victory fit into the timeframe that he says not being true to one’s self would start to “manifest” itself?

Projection is a pretty common defence mechanism – when someone attributes their own unacknowledged feelings onto others – the signs are high levels of jealousy, hypervigilance to real or imagined external dangers, collecting “injustices” and making them into a tapestry of clothing that is worn daily, and unfairly accusing those that are felt to be competitors without evidence.

Very “auto de fe” – ironically the aftermath of another Spanish “investigation” also with a paper-thin veneer of moral rightousness.

The most interesting thing to me though, in the context of the anti-doping house of cards that’s been built, is that nobody is immune from those tactics and strategies.

It’s really telling also that the anti-doping regime has been used to fire a shot across his bow – for McQuaid to say that GL himself is not above suspicion is a prime example and evidence for anyone who thinks that the authorities don’t use anti-doping as a weapon. McQuaid’s comment was in reaction to GL saying some pretty damning things about the UCI and cycling – and the first thing the head of the UCI does is to make a very general and indefencible accusation to discredit him.

It is of course easier to destroy than it is to build.

Morgan Hunter August 29, 2007 at 10:43 am

Jason -I can’t agree with the “sibling rivalry” positioning of Armstrong and LeMond. I also find it interesting that the “public” is fascinated with LeMonds’ “dark secret” which they use indirectly to ridicule him NOW in the present. In one time, LeMond is the victim – in the other time LeMond is a “public accuser” – how exactly are we to mix these two and work with it?

Bill – I think being a person of “integrity” is damned hard daily work. My ancient grandmother thought me when I was 4 that to “know the truth” we must “look at what is done and seldom to what is being said.” – If the politician wants to be the leader – okay by me – if he wants me to vote for him – and I find that his words do not back his actions – I cross him off…The true Reality of the cycling world has yet to reveal itself to us – what we know now is nothing but what the media puts out and what the notorious “grapevine” produces…so let me just say – I found a lot of people doing things other then they have been saying…I know they be liars…

Jean good to have you back fella. You say – “To fight against doping it’s not easy, everyone is against the anti-doping crowd because they have all interest to cover doping (Organizers, federation, athletes, sports media, fans, “¦.)”…I can’t agree with that Jean. But perhaps there are some people who may feel that way.

People are upset with the “Doping movement” because it is unfair! It is unfair in France as it is unfair in the USA or Zimbabwe – because it is unfair.

If we are to have doping controls – fine. But it is up to us to figure out how to swiftly police the controls, keep them up to the minute and cutting edge, because if the tests are not 100% correctly done, or one lab has one set of standards while another uses another standard – some joker is going to get yanked and his life and name in the society and the cycling world will be mud. I find their rationale flawed, and applying such rationale would produce a flowed out come, no better then what we have now.

You are right Jean – 2000 years ago – people went to the Colesium – a lot of people…in their day – watching animals battle with humans was acceptable…The Tour is not the Colesium – Yes the Tour has its dangers but the intent is not to kill anybody or thing.

Do people dope – yes. Does everyone dope? How am I to answer when I have no real info? Yes there are many, many articles and brochures written. Now though is the time to look directly at the problem child itself…no one is arguing that there is doping going on in all sports; more then likely.

William Schart August 29, 2007 at 10:46 am

The abuse Lemond suffered in his youth may or may not explain his behavior today, however, at the risk of being branded heartless, I will offer the opinion that it does not excuse his behavior today. I have known people who suffered sexual abuse as children and they in no way exhibit any of the behavior that he does.

If Gl actually has any good evidence that any current or recent riders doped, he should come forth with that. His allegations about what Armstrong or Landis or any other rider might have told him (which are denied by the person accused) are nothing more than hearsay. Now I know that one of the exceptions to the hearsay exclusion in the US criminal justice system are statements made against interest, but I think that how reliable any such allegation is has to be based in the total circumstances involved. Do we believe that both Armstrong and Landis, who otherwise vigorously deny any accusations of doping, run and confess to Lemond, who they both otherwise have little if anything to do with?

And Jean, I am sorry but there is no one, repeat, no one, who actually knows the nature and extent of the doping problem in pro cycling (or any other sport, for that matter). We may guess at it, we may hold opinions about it, but even the riders in the peloton can’t really say anything for sure, except what they actually have witnessed. Has Lemond or Dick Pound or any one else personally witnessed the vast majority of riders actually take a prohibited substance? No, they haven’t, nor had anyone. The argument thus goes like this: we know riders a, b, and c doped, because they either were caught in a test or have admitted it. Riders x, y, and z and suspected because either they have done well, and or have been accused by someone. Therefore, everybody must dope. Sorry, that is not a valid conclusion from the evidence we have before us at this time.

Look at it this way: for a number of years I was a teacher. During that time I caught several students cheating on tests and assignments. I suspected a few others without actually being able to uncover clear evidence that would warrant taking action, and I would suspect that there were a few students who cheated and remained undetected. But it would a far stretch to assume the vast majority of students cheated.

Debby August 29, 2007 at 12:00 pm

I agree that Greg LeMond is battling some real pain from his childhood experiences, as evidenced in his need for attention from the media, and that everyone handles that pain in a different way. I have not read the book myself, but there is a new cycling biography out this summer called Ten Points, where a daughter challenges her father to win points in training races to help him combat his own childhood abuse. Greg LeMond might do well to get a copy of this book, and perhaps contact the author, and see if they can’t help each other. Perhaps if Greg had some positive examples of people going through the healing process, it might help him with his own healing.

All of these interviews may help to feed his recognition, and combat the feeling of unworthiness that abuse must surely generate, but when they stop focusing on his own career and start making accusations and assumptions about others’ careers, that is where the line should be drawn. This blog has identified champions in sports other than cycling, who chose to refrain from comments when past records in that sport were broken, which I personally find an honorable thing to do. Greg must realize that whether or not his comments on doping have any substance (sorry, bad pun), that without providing evidence, it can only continue to make him appear to be a “sore loser.” Why not channel that energy into helping young athletes train without dope? The Greg LeMond Camp for U23s…a more positive way to change the future of the sport.

I think cheating and politics is human nature, all the way back to the Garden of Eden. We must come up with solutions that take this into account. To think that there would be a way to completely eliminate doping and the politics of cycling is too idealistic. We must come up with the best system we can, but then know that even then there will be individuals who will break the rules of that system, or try to use it for their own agendas and promotion. A good system will call those people to account for their actions, but will continue to live on for its own sake, even if it is stretched to its limits. The U.S. Constitution comes to mind (other countries’ constitutions may be great also, but since this is where I live, it’s the best example I’ve got). Our constitution takes into account those who break the law, and occasionally parts of it go through extreme challenges. We have amendments for things that need to be corrected through time. But that Constitutional system, with all its flaws, still lives on. Occasionally people are wrongly accused and even sent to jail for things they didn’t do. Some, and I do hope many, are eventually cleared of wrongdoing. If we had a bad system, they’d never be able to appeal and would still be incarcerated years later. The system errs on the side of the citizen/athlete…the two individuals who were let out of jail in my state recently, only to commit a murderous home invasion, never should have been let out again, and now our state is working to correct that law while still protecting the innocent.

Yes, I know this is all obvious. I’m just trying to look “big picture” to make sure we are realistic in our expectations of any new anti-doping system. The Powers that Be seem to think they are so powerful that they’ll be able to inflict such penalties and bans on doping athletes, that they’ll be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. I hate to burst their bubble, but as you all have said above, there are still going to be athletes who will try to get by the rules, and perhaps agencies and individuals that will assist them. The threat of a two year or four year or twenty year ban is not going to change that.

What I would like to see is a cyclists’ union that truly protects & supports them. It seems to me that everyone in the current pro peloton is afraid to say anything about anything, because then the UCI will turn on them. If cyclists had a strong group voice (and maybe a union fee that then is used to help with court costs if a cyclist is found innocent), maybe more of them wouldn’t be afraid to speak out. Floyd Landis had some good relationships with his teammates and other riders, yet I was surprised that none of them were quoted in interviews in defense of his character. “I’ve been on Floyd’s team and he’s always been an honest guy…” etc. That tells me that they are scared into silence. Only Lance (and apparently Greg) seems to be a little more free in what he shares with the press. Why don’t the riders band together, or beef up the union they’ve got?

Jean Culeasec August 29, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Morgan,
Yes the system is unfair because all dopers are not caught, because some countries are too permissive,…. But I know a lot of athletes who don’t find it unfair.
When a system is unfair people are doing strike even in cycling, just go back in the past to see how riders have protested against travels between stages even on TDF!

William,
How veterinaries could detect diseases when their patient could not speak? Of course there is extern manifestation. Many doctors can say what are using some athletes when they just show them! In France, steroid are not authorized for beef, but in Belgium it was, and you can easily the difference between the steers along the border.
Imagine what you can obtain when you have access to blood profiling ! Have you had a look on the recent study on the blood of riders from Lausanne’s lab?

Have you recently heard Riis saying that there was no one from cycling who believed he was clean?

Morgan Hunter August 29, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Jean – I have nothing against catching dopers – you say many have been not caught – what I find unfair is the part of the doping/catching/enforcing part – the way it is – it is not really fair to the riders. Whether some riders think it fair or not – it is not. Events in the recent past has proven this to a large number of people.

I happen to feel that Floyd is innocent – you think he’s guilty. I think I have a hard time with information I am being handed and told that these are the only truths, when my own thinking shows me that there is something wrong with the system.

Whether you or I or anyone have personal feelings about LNDD – it seems that what we have learned in public testimony – leaves us to question the Lab – and not only this lab – we are questioning all the labs…as long as they are all on different standards – it is not possible to use data that is so contaminated. Whether a lab is in France, Mongolia or Colorado, USA – they should be ALL following the same world standard. it cannot be acceptable that they have different standards from one another. Thge very “idea” of using labs is because we all assume that the labs are following a “hard science set of rules.”

It would appear that, while this interpretation is encouraged – we find it to be not true.

The Peleton “strike” while visual – is not effective – today. The riders need their own union – a group that is there to protect and look out for their rights. A union who would “speak-up” for the development of the cycling to as close to “clean” as humanly possible…The UCI was put up originally that there was “cohesive” actio0n from promoters on the media stage – it is not a sacrilege to accept that the riders, who are the “performers” in the organizers show.

Jean Culeasec August 29, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Morgan, the reality of lab and science is that it’s not possible to have the same equipement (or version) in all labs… it’s a problem of money! Do you think that all hospitals have the same equipement as our health is more important than doping problem? What about different countries?

What have you find unfair with Floyd? The leaks and Pound maybe? Did he not receive a fair hearing?
Why would Floyd close WADA when he think that WADA is not doing a perfect job?
Why not request more money for them to Congress?

Look at the whole story with the supposition that Floyd is a doper and all of his statements, behaviour and his PR are clear.
And when we look at his case with a clean Floyd we will see a lot of incongruities

just bitch slap me please August 29, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Rant you said:
**
But there are times and situations where the biggest and loudest statement is made by those who know what not to say.
**
Is this like Larry Craig saying he didn’t do it, and he isn’t gay?

Morgan Hunter August 29, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Jean it is not a question of what “brand” of equipment the labs use – it is rather that if we have “certified labs” – this means that the labs ALL follow the same protocols – I personally don’t know if you can get better results with Swiss made equipment or if this matters. If WADA is certifying a lab – then its basis of certification should be that each lab can do eqeually well the work.

If the labs doesn’t or can’t follow a protocol Then their results cannot be compared as “fair or not” – if just to be sure we want to go and do a control test in one lab and this lab is not following the protocol – then no result from it can be used to verify the answers they come up with.

Medical and health sciences cost money – Is cycling more important then health care – no it is not more important, but if we are testing someone or some group – then we have to establish a standard for such testing. If WADA is responsible for creating standards and rules governing such testing, then WADA is responsible to make sure there is an across the board standard that each certified lab meets.

I am not interested in having an “American” system as compared to a “French” system at work. I am expecting that both – French and American labs that have been certified follow the same rules and protocol procedures – otherwise if their results cannot be compared – how are we to know what, in this case may or may not be true?

William Schart August 29, 2007 at 7:49 pm

Jean:

Forgive me, I am not trying to be an a**h***, but I fail to follow your vet analogy. Are you trying to say that there are experts who can watch a cycle race and tell from what they see who is doping? Even a vet examines closely a sick animal, observing symptoms, checking heart rate, breathing. perhaps taking samples of various fluids for lab analysis.

As far as I am aware, there never has been any scientific study done that would allow someone to reasonably conclude that the majority of pro cyclists dope. It could be done, perhaps using statistical sampling techniques to do detailed tests of randomly selected riders that would allow making reasonable statements about how wide spread doping is. But that would not allow making statements about particular riders, other than those actually tested. You could maybe say that 25%, or 50%, or 95% of cyclists dope, but you couldn’t come up with a detailed list of exactly which riders were clean and which were dirty.

However, I stand by my original statement, there is no one today who knows how many riders are dopers, simply because the evidence to make such a statement does not exist.

To change the subject slightly, what could the UCI do to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of its critics, that the sport is as clean as can reasonable expected (given that there will always be some who attempt to cheat) and that most riders who attempt to dope are caught?

Scot August 29, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Unlike other crimes, doping criminals are linked. A guy who steals a car in NJ is not connected to the guy who does the same in CA. If you catch one and not the other, that’s ok. In cycling, you must have a system that is fair and equitable to all cyclists in the race. An out-of-competition investigation that snares a few cyclists, but leaves other cheaters in the race is not fair to anyone. I loved cycling in the 80’s and 90’s when everyone was doping and we just didn’t know. I didn’t care. I’m sorry, but I’d rather watch cycling where everyone micro-doses EPO or testosterone (neither practice would be considered unhealthy or unsafe) than now when they pick and chose who they want to throw out.

Morgan Hunter August 29, 2007 at 8:01 pm

As to Floyd receiving a “fair hearing” Jean, NO I do not think he did. The arbitration hearing was held under very different rules then what I am used to – Floyd’s side was not allowed to cross examine a prosecution witness – the arbitrators gave very specific rules what may or may not be introduced -“hearsay” was introduced as fact – if you rule out evidentiary sources and procedures – you are limiting looking at the whole picture. If you are ready to take away a man’s way of earning his living – you had better have an iron clad reason and proof why you should be able to.

Perhaps Jean where we see this differently is that you see it from the French law point and I the American law point. In the French system, I believe a “person is guilty until proven innocent” in the American system it is ” you are innocent until proven guilty” – now I have no wish to argue systems of law – what I do think is that if you are TESTING in a laboratory for the “truth” that this test should be able to be reproduced following the same protocol…in this case this is not possible – in France or in America.

You seem to want to wipe out doping in sport – I have nothing against this. I do not think that doping is used today to do anything but “cheating”. BUT I do feel also that if we are accusing someone of doping – we must be able to know absolutely that the facts are indisputable – cannot be argued. Because if the test is repeated – you would always get the same results…Therefore you cannot have a test that is true in Kenya but not true in Kathmandu..do you see?

At the same time Jean – you can also try to look at Floyd as if he WASN’T a doper. You may also find that there is real issues at work . Floyd’s case has just brought them out into the light. I am trying to come to understand your side of things – I would like if you tried the same with my side. We both want a dope free Tour. So we want the same thing maybe? No?

The solution to our present problem isn’t to do with money. So “asking congress for more” is not appropriate. These problems with the UCI, WADA, IOC – is a problem of people not doing their jobs with much intelligence. Unless you think that throwing a huge chunk of money at some of the players in this game is all of a sudden cause them to be intelligent and fair minded?

Rant August 29, 2007 at 8:19 pm

Jeff,

Well put. When LeMond criticizes the UCI, Pat McQuaid seems to have no problem slinging veiled (and not so veiled) allegations right back. You’re absolutely right. It is easier to destroy than build.

Jean,

Welcome back. Your presence has been missed.

Debby,

We definitely need a real cyclists’ union. The UCI is a union of federations, despite a name that makes it sound like it’s a union of cyclists.

JBSMP,

I was wondering who would pick up on that, and what example they’d use. People need to take responsibility for their actions and own up to them. When your hands are caught where they’re not supposed to be, it’s best to just come clean. There’s less overall damage in the long run when one follows that advice. What the Senator didn’t say spoke more volumes about him than what he did say.

– Rant

Micky August 30, 2007 at 4:21 am

EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another technique that helps people revisit and reprocess trauma. Clinicians take a history of the client to determine (a) what earlier life experiences have contributed to the symptoms of PTSD, (b) what present triggers elicit PTSD episodes, and (c) what preparation does the client need for the future. Reprocessing the earlier, negative experiences with EMDR allows the client to change her thinking and respond with more appropriate reactions. When considering this therapy, it is important to find someone who has experience treating young children. Most literature and studies about EMDR relate to adults who have suffered from environmental trauma, such as car accidents, or war veterans. The family and their coping styles are critical in helping a child recover from trauma. It is important for parents to overcome avoidance and denial and the desire to overprotect their child against thinking about their trauma. The goal of treatment is to help the child regain her sense of security by validating the child’s emotions, anticipating situations which bring up the trauma again and decreasing secondary stresses such as overstimulating events, absence of mother, or excessive changes or transitions in daily routine. Treatment may need to be repeated at later developmental stages, such as adolescence, when hormonal changes may cause PTSD to reemerge. Internationally adopted children who are abandoned and spend their earliest months in an orphanage or foster care, and then are adopted by strangers are at high risk for PTSD and subsequent RAD. The physiological response to trauma alters the brain so that a child may become hyper- or hypo vigilant. Further, neglected children tend to develop disorganized/disoriented attachment relationships. The symptoms that children with PTSD exhibit to regain control of environmental stimulation may be misinterpreted as oppositional defiant behaviors or hyperactivity, and therefore mistakenly treated with ineffective behavioral management techniques or medication. It is important for adoptive parents to understand the earliest months and/or years of their child’s life, so that they can respond correctly to their child’s behavior. Obtaining professional help in a therapeutic setting while our children are still young will help re-wire the neuropathways in the brain, and allow them to live happy, productive lives.
PEACE BE WITH YOU
MICKY

Morgan Hunter August 30, 2007 at 5:07 am

Thanks Micky – (°L°) – why are you presenting us with this example of disfunctional behavior due to possible past life experiences and or results of abandonment in infancy – how is this pertinent to what we are discussing? I present myself as one who does not understand your attempt.

bill hue August 30, 2007 at 9:05 am

I think Micky is adding to the discussion concerning Lemond’s childhood trauma, the seemingly unconnected manifestations of that trauma to his adult behaviors and the misinterpretation other adults apply to his behaviors because most people don’t make a connection between childhood trauma and the way it can and does wire a person differently.

He/she suggests that a technique called EMDR is useful to “rewire” the neuropathways so that more appropriate responses to certain “stimuli” through therapy as an adult (Lemond might benefit from this treatment) but that the technique is most effective while the child’s neuropathways are still developing. Parents might be aware of all childhood trauma their biological children endure but adoptive parents might not appreciate events their children went through prior to living in their homes.

Having just recently received the benefit of this treatment as a 49 year old man for events that occured in childhood and having benefited tremendously from that treatment, I appreciate Micky’s insight. Should Greg read this blog, he might consider EMDR as an option.

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