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Cycling media response to doping.

NoodleyNoodley Posts: 1,725
edited November 2007 in Pro race
What can the cycling media do to genuinely combat doping in pro cycling? Or perhaps it is more appropriate to ask "can" they do anything?
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  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    It's not their job. The cycling media should tell me what is happening, not influence what is happening.

    The fight against doping should be undertaken by the teams, the riders and the UCI, not the media. Did ZDF or ARD achieve anything by their stance in the Tour de France? Nope.

    What does someone like Paul Kimmage actually hope to do with his crusade? If you ask me, he doesn't help cycling in the slightest. I'm not saying he should bury the truth or cover things up, but his one-track focus on all things doping is not good for the sport.

    The media should be independent and focus on reporting the facts, and not get waylaid by an agenda.
  • NoodleyNoodley Posts: 1,725
    afx237vi wrote:
    It's not their job....The media should be independent and focus on reporting the facts, and not get waylaid by an agenda.

    But if the "facts" point towards doping where does their responsibility lie? And can they, as our source of information, change things. Surely "influence" is an important part of journalism. Staying silent is as influential as speaking out.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    If the facts point towards doping, then of course they should report it. That's their job. But what else do you think they should be doing? Cyclingnews put a "name and shame" section right under the race results? Put an asterisk next to the name of every dodgy rider on the start list page?
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    And another thing... I once read a Kimmage article where he criticised Kelly and Harmon for not talking about Bjarne Riis on the day he confessed. I watched that day (the Giro) and they spent the whole frickin' afternoon talking about it, mainly condemning Riis for being a liar and a cheat. What more did he want? Live Eurosport coverage of Riis being put in stocks and having rotten fruit chucked at him?
  • NoodleyNoodley Posts: 1,725
    I'm not saying what they should do, merely asking opinion and responding to the reply given.

    In the first reply you stated it's not their job, then when I followed up your reply you stated they should respond. I am merely trying to develop opinion and ideas, not forwarding opinion as I am a "fence sitter" :wink:
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    German cycling media is trying very hard to combat doping by threatening to stop coverage on telly - and they carried it through as well. Short term effect was that Eurosport's viewing figures went up in Germany but iI do believe that their stance had an effect.

    I doubt such a move would make any difference in the UK somehow...

    Didn't Cyle Sport have some wristband-related scheme? It was pretty lame as I recall and it seems to have been quietly shelved.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    The problem is that with the Hello-style publications that dominate the market, you get hagiography dressed up as hard reporting. I think the Continent is a little better served in that cycling is significant enough for newspapers - which are possibly the better repository for investigation- to have full-time cycling journalists.

    The teams and the sport know that they have much of the media in their thrall and can limit access to those most favourable. I suspect it would be commercial suicide for anyone to talk out of place. ProCycling, in fairness, did have one sentence in this months edition that is ever so slightly critical of Bettini, which is a vast improvement on the doe-eyed piece in CS.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Noodley wrote:
    I'm not saying what they should do, merely asking opinion and responding to the reply given.

    In the first reply you stated it's not their job, then when I followed up your reply you stated they should respond. I am merely trying to develop opinion and ideas, not forwarding opinion as I am a "fence sitter" :wink:

    OK, in your initial post, you asked what the cycling media can do to combat doping. Reporting doping and combating doping, in my view, are not the same thing.

    Would you expect Sky News to try and help reduce crime levels in the UK? No, of course not, that is the responsibility of the government. But if there is crime, Sky News should still report it. It's the same with doping. The cycling media should report on the true state of cycling, but the actual fight should be undertaken by the UCI and WADA etc.

    I don't believe the German boycott actually achieved anything. The only people that affected was the fans and the sponsors - which is misguided, because the fans and the sponsors are not the ones to blame.

    No team is going to stop doping because of the threat of a TV boycott, simply because they know they can away with it - and the possibility of a high TDF placing vastly outweighs the slim chance of someone getting caught.

    And as for the other campaigns like the "I support drug free sport" censored , don't make me laugh.

    The only way to effectively combat doping would be foolproof testing, where the science and the labs are above reproach. And that is the responsibility of the UCI, not Cycling Weekly.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    afx237vi wrote:
    And another thing... I once read a Kimmage article where he criticised Kelly and Harmon for not talking about Bjarne Riis on the day he confessed. I watched that day (the Giro) and they spent the whole frickin' afternoon talking about it, mainly condemning Riis for being a liar and a cheat. What more did he want? Live Eurosport coverage of Riis being put in stocks and having rotten fruit chucked at him?

    That did happen but Eurosport didn't show it as they'd cut away to world superbikes for the rest of the day...
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    DaveyL wrote:
    afx237vi wrote:
    And another thing... I once read a Kimmage article where he criticised Kelly and Harmon for not talking about Bjarne Riis on the day he confessed. I watched that day (the Giro) and they spent the whole frickin' afternoon talking about it, mainly condemning Riis for being a liar and a cheat. What more did he want? Live Eurosport coverage of Riis being put in stocks and having rotten fruit chucked at him?

    That did happen but Eurosport didn't show it as they'd cut away to world superbikes for the rest of the day...

    I know, I set my Sky+ for the highlights but got bog-snorkelling and teleshopping instead :D
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I know, magazines should start a campaign, giving everyone a naff plastic wristband with some cheesy slogan about Drug Free Sport and then we can wait and 6 months later it'll be dead in the water....














    Sorry, it's already been done. I agree about media giving good honest reporting, but then again we have to rely on newspapers providing their own biased agendas based on pay-per-view TV coverage..which they also own.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • A wristband is not going to clean up the sport any more than a yellow wristband is going to cure cancer. But it's a statement of intent, like a red ribbon or a poppy. Paper poppies don't stop war, but that doesn't seem to stop people wearing them.

    I remember reading the articles in the magazine when Cycle Sport had this campaign. They didn't just tell people to wear wristbands, they made some suggestions which included profiling athletes, hitting cheaters in the pocket and having an amnesty, all of which have been high on cycling's agenda this year. It was opinion as well as reporting the facts, but I'm OK with journalists occasionally expressing an opinion.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    edited October 2007
    "Journalists" know full well what is going on, but either have little evidence, only hearsay, or they don't want to upset the applecart.

    But using the word journalist is wrong. Some of the writers from CycleSport or cyclingnews.com are not trained in journalism or independent, they depend on access, not independent writing. In the past, someone asking Armstrong about his links to Dr Ferrari would soon find they had no access to the Texan, no interviews, hastily arranged press conferences would be arranged but they'd not get invites: I've got this in very similar words from a Cycling Weekly guy who I swapped some emails with, saying he knows a lot of what is going on but can't afford to speak out.

    But when someone does speak out, look at the flaming they get. When the Vino 'n Kash (directed by Manolo Saiz) show stomped all over the 2006 Vuelta, some coach said the rates they were climbing at were indicative of significant blood doping. He got flamed, attacked for spreading rumours, depicted as a bitter loser. In other words, most fans don't want to know what's going on, they just want interviews of smiling riders at home and those "I won the Tour because I trained in the Pyrenees when it was raining and had a film crew to record it" fairy tales.

    Watch out for Jeremy Whittle's new book.

    [Edited "The writers from CycleSport" > "Some of the writers from CycleSport"]
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Which mag said it would show contempt for dopers by not putting any dopers on the cover ?
    Which rules out a hell of a lot of riders !

    Erm - the comic seems to have their production team on the cover most weeks. Photogenic and non-threatening - probably good for sales. Hope they have EPO tests in the office.
  • Not only is it not our job to campaign against doping, but the notion assumes some sort of consensus that we should do so.

    If I were to be involved in a campaign it'd be the 'let's stop wasting our effort tilting at windmills' campaign.

    Anti-doping has failed. It's time for a new model.
    John Stevenson
  • timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133

    Anti-doping has failed. It's time for a new model.


    Pro-doping?
    It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Anti-doping has failed. It's time for a new model.

    Such as?
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    "Inconsiderate testing methods"?
    Kash should sign this guy up for his defense team.

    I noticed the good professor had no practical alternative.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Anti-doping has failed. It's time for a new model.
    That's because the authorities have done precious little to stop things, preferring to cover up and hush up the issues. Instead, many involved in the business (pro cycling = show business) have been complicit in covering up the scandal. 101 things could have been done to reduce (but not prevent) doping.

    And I think the media have been complicit here. Perhaps some in the media don't want to remind us that those who they build up as heroes are often cheats and liars. Sometimes we expect champions to be great men, often they're normal; but many pro cyclists are liars dicing with their health. But bad news doesn't help circulation and all those ads with champions like Bettini and Basso endorsing Sidi shoes look lame, not aspirational.

    PS - in my earlier posting, I said writers at Cyclesport were not journalists, they've been onto to me and indeed I should correct this, some of them are indeed trained and experienced journalists.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Kléber wrote:
    PS - in my earlier posting, I said writers at Cyclesport were not journalists, they've been onto to me and indeed I should correct this, some of them are indeed trained and experienced journalists.

    Did the local chapel of the NUJ send a couple of heavies around to your house?
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • NoodleyNoodley Posts: 1,725
    Not only is it not our job to campaign against doping...

    In the OP I did not state "campaign against" but asked what, if anything, the media could do to "combat" doping.

    Not the same thing.
  • Noodley wrote:
    In the OP I did not state "campaign against" but asked what, if anything, the media could do to "combat" doping.

    Not the same thing.

    How can publications combat doping except by campaigning against it? Sounds like semantic nit-picking to me, but then we are in a forum so of course we'll see that rather than get into the substantive issue.

    The anti-doping movement hasn't failed because the authorities haven't done enough, as someone claimed. It's failed because it's a lost cause. With far greater resources the 'war on drugs' in society in general has failed to make a significant dent in the use of recreational drugs.

    If you can't stop people taking drugs for fun, it's a fantasy to believe you can stop them taking drugs for money and glory.

    So, first we have to ask what is the underlying objective of the anti-doping movement as it stands, then figure out if that objective is achievable and how it can be achieved.

    If the objective is simply 'stop people taking performance-enhancing drugs', then it's time to pack up and go home, because that's never going to happen.

    If the objectives are 'keep the playing field level' and 'stop people harming themselves' then there may be ways to do that other than the doomed tactic of strict prohibition.
    John Stevenson
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    It may be a difficult fight but whilst the likes of the Dr Ferraris of this world are still allowed contact with cyclists and guilty cyclists are still allowed to ride after a ban.
    If it came down to it, I would also include the use of private investigators to check out and gather evidence against strongly suspected riders. Until these sort of deterrants are intorduced then you can't say enough is currently being done. Just that those carrying out the drug taking are against it and many of those charged with preventing it are simply incapable of doing so (because the cheats will bully them).

    Taking drugs is simply wrong. Just because society in general has a problem, it doesn't make taking drugs or condoning their use in sport, correct.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    Taking drugs is simply wrong. Just because society in general has a problem, it doesn't make taking drugs or condoning their use in sport, correct.

    No but there comes a point when someone has to realise it's a battle that cannot be won. Remember the much talked about "War on Drugs" in the 80's, especially in the US? Well, drugs won.

    I don't believe we'll get a sensible debate on it in a sports context from the authorities until it's accepted it's a massive issue is ALL sports. At the moment cycling is a handy whipping boy - I now expect to hear cries of "who cares about other sports" but if cycling is just part of a giant cesspit how is it expected to sort itself out when all around it there is doping.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Comparing recreational/addictive drugs to doping is a red herring thanks to the word "drugs".

    Crack or heroin abuse can't be stopped but it affects a tiny minority of the population and aside from second-order criminality, if someone takes heroin, they don't harm me.

    Contrast this to cycling, certainly in the past decade, the majority of the peloton has been on EPO, it's the majority behaviour. And as a result of this, innocent riders who didn't dope lost out, people have been cheated out of their living.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Kléber wrote:
    Contrast this to cycling, certainly in the past decade, the majority of the peloton has been on EPO, it's the majority behaviour. And as a result of this, innocent riders who didn't dope lost out, people have been cheated out of their living.

    [Iain puts his devils advocate wig on]

    That's a fairly large assumption. Perhaps riders who won't dope just don't have what it takes to be a winner.

    Look at Boardman, he won clean in an era of rampant EPO use. Maybe the other were just not good enough?

    [Hat off]

    And that's the real problem, you just don't know.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    LangerDan wrote:
    Kléber wrote:
    PS - in my earlier posting, I said writers at Cyclesport were not journalists, they've been onto to me and indeed I should correct this, some of them are indeed trained and experienced journalists.

    Did the local chapel of the NUJ send a couple of heavies around to your house?

    Holy moly.

    I've got the fear of Bob Stapleton coming round to my house now to correct me on things.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    iainf72 wrote:
    LangerDan wrote:
    Kléber wrote:
    PS - in my earlier posting, I said writers at Cyclesport were not journalists, they've been onto to me and indeed I should correct this, some of them are indeed trained and experienced journalists.

    Did the local chapel of the NUJ send a couple of heavies around to your house?

    Holy moly.

    I've got the fear of Bob Stapleton coming round to my house now to correct me on things.

    I have this vision of Stapleton as Amon Goth (Ralph Fiennes) in Schindlers List. (Apparently its not a real topic until we get the reference to the Nazis in)

    He'll say "Iain. I forgive you"

    He'll then shoot you from the balcony of the T-Mobile directors lounge
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • slojoslojo Posts: 56
    If, by 'levelling the playing field' and 'stopping people harming themselves' you mean allowing some form of medically supervised doping, then what makes you think people will stick to those rules anymore than they stick to the rules at the moment?
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