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ACE or Damsgaard

iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
edited March 2008 in Pro race
Who do you take more seriously?

ACE

Damsgaard
Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.

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ACE
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Damsgaard
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  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    You did see who wrote the interview with Damsgaard? At least the editor flagged the connection.

    ACEs approach looks interesting but they seem to be on as dodgy a financial footing as Slipstream.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Both are sort of good ideas but they're like a private police force, you're paying them for a service you're supposed to get in the first place.

    There is a massive conflict of interest, if ACE or Daamsgard suddenly delare Rider X is using a banned substance, it could panic the sponsor ("you promised me clean riders") and cause the team to collapse, which in turns means ACE or Daamgard lose money. I hope they're ethically beyond this but when large sums of money are at stake, the system needs to be beyond question.

    In an ideal world, the UCI should restart the Pro Tour and get ASO on board by using a large share of the licence fee revenue to go to the world's most stringent anti-doping program. There's no point having a few teams paying for extra services, every rider should be offered the same monitoring and health protection.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    I was interested to read ACE are an ethics for profit concern.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72 wrote:
    I was interested to read ACE are an ethics for profit concern.

    Are you insinuating that profit is unethical?

    Who do I take more seriously though? Well Damsgaard as the ACE tests do not sound as rigorous. But you can't believe everything you read now can you...

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    iainf72 wrote:
    I was interested to read ACE are an ethics for profit concern.

    Are you insinuating that profit is unethical?

    Not at all. But having "ethics" in your name and working for profit strikes me as odd. If they called themselves Indepedent Agency against Doping in Cycling I'd be perfectly happy with them earning money. Putting ethics in the name makes them sound more noble than they are.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    Kléber wrote:
    Both are sort of good ideas but they're like a private police force, you're paying them for a service you're supposed to get in the first place.

    There is a massive conflict of interest, if ACE or Daamsgard suddenly delare Rider X is using a banned substance, it could panic the sponsor ("you promised me clean riders") and cause the team to collapse, which in turns means ACE or Daamgard lose money. I hope they're ethically beyond this but when large sums of money are at stake, the system needs to be beyond question.

    In an ideal world, the UCI should restart the Pro Tour and get ASO on board by using a large share of the licence fee revenue to go to the world's most stringent anti-doping program. There's no point having a few teams paying for extra services, every rider should be offered the same monitoring and health protection.

    Is that how it works, then? do the results go straight to Damsgaard?
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    The first thing to state is that both are half-measures in response to a situation that never should have been allowed to develop.
    However, there is, as has been pointed out above, a potential conflict of interest. Furthermore, there is a de facto conflict of interest if ACE are publicly owned. There is a huge weight of law to say that their first interest has to be making money. As Iain points out, this is a bit odd when they have ethics in the name & are forbidden by law from having any. They also, regardless of ownership, will have to maximise the perception of the size of the problem in order to increase income. They also need their teams to appear clean. So they need positives, in other teams. They offer race testing, which is an absurd conflict of interest. If doping lowers it's head as an issue, ACE go to the wall: you still want to trust them with testing?
    At least Damsgaard comes at it from the perspective of a concerned & interested individual.
    Again, as mentioned above, there needs to be a level playing field, which would mean all pros being subject to the same testing. We don't have this now & it allows all sorts of discussion, insinuation & general silliness. All of which will continue whilst the UCI continue to faff about.
    Och well, nothing'll all change for a few years 'til they work up how to f*ck it up further, then....
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    If only the Agency for Cycling Ethics could slip an "M" into their name. Preferably between the "C" and the "E". That would be good.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    Agency for Cycling Mondo Ethics?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • micronmicron Posts: 1,843
    ACE just because Damsgaard says it's a stop gap til the UCI can put a 'biological passport' in place - any programme that's prepared to be a stop gap whilst the UCI tries to find their a*se with both hands doesn't have any credibility
  • Richrd2205 wrote:
    As Iain points out, this is a bit odd when they have ethics in the name & are forbidden by law from having any.

    You make some valid points so I snipped them out to criticise this singular point.

    If a for profit organisation is forbidden by law from having ethics how can you explain "Fair trade" and companies such as Traidcraft. Traidcraft is a plc and as such responsible to its shareholders, but at the same time it does charitable aid work. Could the same model not apply to ACE? Or do you think Traidcraft is actively exaggerating poverty to maximise sales?

    And which law is it exactly that says you are not allowed to be ethical if you are making money? Is it a US one?

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    ContrelaMontre
    My post was an oversimplification of a more complex argument, with at least one fudge in it (which is the bit you pulled out). The argument applies primarily to publicly owned companies, but also to a lesser extent privately owned ones.

    The quote in your post applies to only to plc's. Their only allowed motivation is the maximisation of profit, anything else is a tort. This is from case law taken under the laws enabling corporations, both in the UK & US. Plc's can have ethics, only whilst they maximise profits: when the market changes so must the ethics, consequently, I'd suggest that these are temporary, transient, not beliefs per se, but presentation of information in order to make more money, rather than something that could be described as ethics. Plc's can do charitable work only where it maximises profits. Traidcraft is a fantastic example of this, if their actions were actually to solve the issue of exploiting poor producers of goods, they would go to the wall & could be sued for breach of trust. They, therefore, have a legal duty to maintain inequity in order to profit from their "ethics."

    If this sounds dodgy & left wing, then read either Milton Friedman or Adam Smith, who both make the same points, albeit in very different ways.

    This isn't really about cycle racing, so we might want to move the argument to Cakestop if it goes much further...
  • Richrd2205 wrote:
    ContrelaMontre
    My post was an oversimplification of a more complex argument, with at least one fudge in it (which is the bit you pulled out). The argument applies primarily to publicly owned companies, but also to a lesser extent privately owned ones.

    The quote in your post applies to only to plc's. Their only allowed motivation is the maximisation of profit, anything else is a tort. This is from case law taken under the laws enabling corporations, both in the UK & US. Plc's can have ethics, only whilst they maximise profits: when the market changes so must the ethics, consequently, I'd suggest that these are temporary, transient, not beliefs per se, but presentation of information in order to make more money, rather than something that could be described as ethics. Plc's can do charitable work only where it maximises profits. Traidcraft is a fantastic example of this, if their actions were actually to solve the issue of exploiting poor producers of goods, they would go to the wall & could be sued for breach of trust. They, therefore, have a legal duty to maintain inequity in order to profit from their "ethics."

    If this sounds dodgy & left wing, then read either Milton Friedman or Adam Smith, who both make the same points, albeit in very different ways.

    This isn't really about cycle racing, so we might want to move the argument to Cakestop if it goes much further...

    Or soapbox!! :twisted: Cor, I've not been there in a while.

    I understand what you're saying but a company cannot act recklessly or illegally as in the long run that behaviour will destroy shareholder value. So there is a balance between maximising profit and maintaining good corporate governance standards.

    How does that apply to ACE?

    If they knowingly cover up doping and get found out they will go down faster than a lead balloon or a hooker in a massage parlour as they say! Whether that's through convictions for acting illegally or more likely through their clients dumping them because of the bad reputation.

    If they exaggerate and knowingly mislead people then they'll also get in trouble, but not of the same magnitude. But it will cause problems when people realise. What they need to be is open and honest and when every team signs up to this sort of monitoring they need to diversify - into other sports or providing more services to their clients to continue growth.

    I'm not disagreeing with your point of view exactly. I'm just trying to give a bit of balance - a different perspective perhaps.

    Both of our views are slightly naive IMO - I expect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. As it's not uncommon for companies to over-promise, under-deliver and mislead about the state of their company, the market etc. So I wouldn't be at all surprised if ACE fell into that habit.

    I hope that was enough about cycling and ACE to be relevant to this forum!! :P

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    DaveyL wrote:
    If only the Agency for Cycling Ethics could slip an "M" into their name. Preferably between the "C" and the "E". That would be good.
    The Agency for Real Sporting Ethics would perhaps be more appropriate.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    There's nothing wrong with paying for a service. People buying cars pay the AA or a mechanic to scrutinise the car, you employ a surveyor before buying a house and companies use security guards to watch warehouses and offices.

    But like I say, the UCI shouldn't sit back. That some teams have to resort to private controls is a crushing blow to the UCI's antidoping program. It's like hiring a private detective because the local cop shop can't catch a criminal, it's humiliating for the UCI. The UCI needs to put in place some real anti-doping measures instead of the half-hearted measures we currently have (blood passports included), to make sure all Pro Tour teams are monitored properly.
  • Kléber wrote:
    There's nothing wrong with paying for a service. People buying cars pay the AA or a mechanic to scrutinise the car, you employ a surveyor before buying a house and companies use security guards to watch warehouses and offices.

    But like I say, the UCI shouldn't sit back. That some teams have to resort to private controls is a crushing blow to the UCI's antidoping program. It's like hiring a private detective because the local cop shop can't catch a criminal, it's humiliating for the UCI. The UCI needs to put in place some real anti-doping measures instead of the half-hearted measures we currently have (blood passports included), to make sure all Pro Tour teams are monitored properly.

    I agree, but if the regulator is doing such a bad job then perhaps it is a good thing that the private sector - Damsgaard and ACE - plug the gap.

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Kléber wrote:
    There's nothing wrong with paying for a service. People buying cars pay the AA or a mechanic to scrutinise the car, you employ a surveyor before buying a house and companies use security guards to watch warehouses and offices.

    But like I say, the UCI shouldn't sit back. That some teams have to resort to private controls is a crushing blow to the UCI's antidoping program. It's like hiring a private detective because the local cop shop can't catch a criminal, it's humiliating for the UCI. The UCI needs to put in place some real anti-doping measures instead of the half-hearted measures we currently have (blood passports included), to make sure all Pro Tour teams are monitored properly.

    As far as I can make out, thats not how this works. ACE or Damsguard look at the trends in a riders blood profile and will point out "something is not right". AFAIK their tests are not (yet) sanctioned by WADA as definitive proof of doping nor are the results being submitted to UCI or WADA as the formal basis for sanctions. ACE have "offered" to submit their data to the authorities, but it doesn't say in what format (general trends, specific rider profiles) - all the UCI could do under the cirumstances is target the rider for futher formal tests.

    I think the crunch will come when a rider is passing the formal (WADA) control tests but is showing some strange trends on the internal team testing. It may turn out to be very difficult to dump a rider in such circumstances as the basis for the suspicions may not yet be scientifically robust enough to withstand a court challenge.

    The analogue is having security cameras above till to make sure that the staff aren't stealing. It doesn't mean that the police aren't functioning - sometimes you just don't want things to get that far.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    Kléber wrote:
    There's nothing wrong with paying for a service. People buying cars pay the AA or a mechanic to scrutinise the car, you employ a surveyor before buying a house and companies use security guards to watch warehouses and offices.

    But like I say, the UCI shouldn't sit back. That some teams have to resort to private controls is a crushing blow to the UCI's antidoping program. It's like hiring a private detective because the local cop shop can't catch a criminal, it's humiliating for the UCI. The UCI needs to put in place some real anti-doping measures instead of the half-hearted measures we currently have (blood passports included), to make sure all Pro Tour teams are monitored properly.

    I agree, but if the regulator is doing such a bad job then perhaps it is a good thing that the private sector - Damsgaard and ACE - plug the gap.

    I think Kleber's point is very sound here & was fairly close to the point I originally tried to make (before I got derailed :oops: ). The services need to be paid for somehow, obviously, so it's likely that someone will benefit. It's not that I don't trust the private sector, but that I like to examine motivations whilst looking at situations. We need a situation where all teams are monitored in the same open, thorough & fair way. I think where Mr LaMontre & I disagree is that I feel that the existence of such a gap creates insoluble problems & that bringing in whomever creates more inequity & creates more questions & doubts: that "plugging the gap" in this way merely opens up other gaps.

    If I were an ACE shareholder, I'd be laughing just now, as a cycling fan, I'm not, is the best summary I can manage.

    For the record, I'd have no objection if the UCI brought in a plc to oversee the sport as long as the contract was sound & didn't give motivation to misrepresent.

    (& I'll leave any discussion of corporate social responsibility for another time (& part of the forum :wink: )
  • I can agree with most of what you are saying rich and am too a supporter of a much improved universal monitoring system.

    However, until such a system is in place I think ACE or Damsgaard are creating a much needed market-based regulation, which;

    a) serves to highlight the deficiencies of the UCI,
    b) pressure other teams to commit to monitoring regimes, and
    c) is better than the free for all before.

    I disagree that this is creating inequity and gaps. I think it is creating an acceptance that regular testing and profiling is viable.

    And yeah we can leave the CSR stuff for now.

    Rule No.10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    Something I posted yesterday sort of put a flag up with me - Aren't we generally taking a leap of faith with either Damsgaard or ACE? Do either of them have the science to back up what they're talking about at all?

    Something along the lines of a double blind test to see if they could detect changes?

    You'd think it was the least a sponsor would demand from them before signing up.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Surely the point is to buy cleanliness? The idea that Spartacus is clean makes me laugh but so long as teams can say "look, we pay this Danish bloke loadsa money", they can cloak themselves in the mantle of klean.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Richrd2205 wrote:

    If I were an ACE shareholder, I'd be laughing just now, as a cycling fan, I'm not, is the best summary I can manage.
    I'm not sure that you would. The following is an extract from an ACE article:

    It is an independent agency formed by Paul Scott, a former chemist and client director at
    the U.C.L.A. Olympic drug-testing lab, with people dedicated to antidoping.
    The agency pays for the collection and testing of the blood and urine samples. But money
    is running out, and it is looking for sponsors for the costly enterprise.
    Testing each rider each season would cost about $20,000, a price tag of $400,000 for a
    team.
    Ideally, there would be no financial relationship between the agency and the teams it
    tests, Scott says, so the entire process remains impartial. If money does run out, Ellis said
    he would pick up the cost of the frequent testing.


    The idea seems to be that some benefactor sponsors the testing so they don't have to charge the clients for it. Interesting business model, but as long as Daddy Warbucks Ellis is signing the cheques, who cares

    The Agency for Cycling Ethics is a subsidiary of The Agency for Sporting Ethics, with essentially the same board. The ACE website refers to them being "partially supported" by the Cycling Ethics Foundation. (Are you still paying attention in the back?). The CEF is a registered not-for-profit organisation that would appear to take in donations and use them to support ACE and ASE. The CEF has the same board as ACE and ASE with the addition of one Frankie Andreu as Chairman.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    LangerDan wrote:
    It is an independent agency formed by Paul Scott, a former chemist and client director at
    the U.C.L.A. Olympic drug-testing lab, with people dedicated to antidoping.
    The agency pays for the collection and testing of the blood and urine samples. But money
    is running out, and it is looking for sponsors for the costly enterprise.
    Testing each rider each season would cost about $20,000, a price tag of $400,000 for a
    team.
    Ideally, there would be no financial relationship between the agency and the teams it
    tests, Scott says, so the entire process remains impartial. If money does run out, Ellis said
    he would pick up the cost of the frequent testing.


    Ahhhh, Mr Scott. I hope all the ACE believers are comfortable with some of his previous work
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    I know ACE and Slipstream are Mr LangerDan's beat, but I thought this was interesting

    What is going on over at ACE? So the founder has left and formed his own shop?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    iainf72 wrote:
    I know ACE and Slipstream are Mr LangerDan's beat, but I thought this was interesting

    What is going on over at ACE? So the founder has left and formed his own shop?
    Mr. LangerDan? I didn't spend $5.00 on a mail-order doctorate in street pharmacology so that people could call me Mister. It's "Doctor" to you!

    Scott is still listed on the board of the Agency for Sports Ethics, the parent organisation of ACE and also on the board of the Cycling Ethics Foundation, the charitable-stsus funding arm of ASE / ACE.

    Looking at the whole set-up, it may not be that Scott as had "differences". Maybe the same group of individuals have found yet another financial teat to suckle at.

    ACE / ASE develop the programmes
    CEF fund the exercise
    Scott Analytical do the lab tests

    (Just like the old rhyme:
    My mother sells rubbers to sailors
    My dad pokes the the heads with a pin
    My sister performs the abortions
    My Lord, how the money rolls in")
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Six days on from the announcement that Scott Analytics are to be performing the testing programme for Rock Racking and still no sign of Paul Scott "departing" from the boards of either the Agency for Sporting Ethics or the Cycling Ethics Foundation. I'm increasingly convinced that this is another nameplate exercise under the ASE structure - none of the associated press releases indicate that Scott is "formerly of the ASE" or somesuch.

    The Cycling Ethics Foundation notes on its website that it will receive contributions from a supplements manufacturer "Dedicated Athlete" (who make the "EP-NO" that sometimes appears in the ProCyling ads). There is a nice line in the accompanying press release about CEF

    "The Cycling Ethics Foundations works independently but closely with the Agency for Sports Ethics, parent company of the Agency for Cycling Ethics.

    I like the "independantly but closely" bit - when both bodies have the same board of directors, the same phone number and the same postal address, the "closely" bit isn't a problem.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    LangerDan wrote:
    I like the "independantly but closely" bit - when both bodies have the same board of directors, the same phone number and the same postal address, the "closely" bit isn't a problem.

    Whoa. It's becoming difficult to take these fellows seriously. Is Frank "Tour of America" Arokiasamy on the board?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    This is interesting. Good detective work LangerDan.

    The odd thing is that it's taking bloggers and forum posters to point this out. The likes of cyclingnews.com just seem to copy 'n paste press releases. without asking questions Journalists, they ain't. Perhaps I am wrong but it feels that way.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,782
    Kléber wrote:
    This is interesting. Good detective work LangerDan.

    The odd thing is that it's taking bloggers and forum posters to point this out. The likes of cyclingnews.com just seem to copy 'n paste press releases. without asking questions Journalists, they ain't. Perhaps I am wrong but it feels that way.

    It's probably the usual old thing - Ask too many questions and get your access to riders removed.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    this whole external anti doping agneyc thing is so in vogue now, it's a marketing battle really...which brand can appear cleanest.....also nice little earner for agencyes who provide anit-doping tests to teams..if they find a + though...? am cynical...Festina 10 years ago...need anymore be said about what they really think?
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