race leader Kevin Pauwels (BEL/Sunweb-Napoleon Games) flying over the sand

Jaarmarktcross Niel 2015  Elite Men & U23 race
  • jules

    harsher penalties are rarely if ever a solution to changing ingrained behaviour. the US loves to execute people, on the basis that it will deter criminals. it does not – or at least, no more than other less severe methods. it sounds logical that harsher penalties would work, but experience shows otherwise. why would it be different in cycling?

    • Steel

      That’s right. Penalties need to be applied right through the chain from riders to teams to sponsors and organisers if they are to be effective. Riders need the fear of being caught, of course, but teams also need the fear of losing viability of they transgress.

      • Dave

        The rule introduced this year where a team gets a suspension of 30-45 days (to focus their attention on sorting out their internal anti-doping measures instead of focusing on racing) after getting a second positive in twelve months is potentially a big positive step. It’s been successfully applied to the Androni team, and a couple of WorldTeams are sweating on one strike each.

        In the case of Cannondale-Garmin, another positive in the first half of 2016 could well wipe out the team completely. They are fully dependent on private sector sponsors who would not easily tolerate the team being benched for six weeks.

        • jules

          what would be the point of suspending Cannondale-Garmin, a team with what appears by all accounts to have one of the stronger internal anti-doping policies and controls? assuming it’s not a big charade – what would team mgt. do differently as a result of a team suspension, or the threat of one?

          my complaint is that a lot of anti-doping measures/penalties are just going through the motions. “damn, another positive test. OK, we’d better hand out some penalties or everyone will think we’re tolerating doping.” the real point of penalties should be to change behaviour.

          • Dave

            The fact that Cannondale-Garmin is one of the teams sweating on one strike should serve to dispel the perception that they have one of the strongest internal anti-doping cultures. I would hope they are already having a good hard look at themselves and not waiting for the second positive to come.

            I think the difficulties being experienced by Horner and Pozzatto in getting professional contracts now this rule has been introduced is not a coincidence. It’s simply not worth betting your team’s future on ex-Bruyneel or ex-Ferrari riders.

            • jules

              it’s entirely possible Danielson was doping on his own, and without C-G’s knowledge. we all know that the tests can be defeated. this is likely the reason that teams get 2 strikes – but who’s to say there’s not another team rider doing a ‘Danielson’?

              in OH&S law, for example, an employer can have 10 separate deaths in his workplace. while that would bring a lot of scrutiny from the regulator, it’s entirely possible that the employer could demonstrate having implemented a robust safety management system – and that the workers in each case just acted on their own to break the rules. (unlikely in 10 different cases, but possible).

              my point is that the objective should be to identify who is responsible for doping, or for allowing it, and penalties applied accordingly. the classic error in anti-doping is to penalise athletes when their coach or DS was administering the drugs.

  • Steel

    Matt de neef owes Peter Sagan a beer I reckon. He’s a one man daily news content machine. Justifiably so, too.

    • Sebastian

      World champion sneakers…..gimme gimme

    • Ha! He is entertaining, that’s for sure.

  • Simon

    I like the photo of Calvin Watson and the other Trek riders. Captures the nervousness pre race and is in his case a portent perhaps of the anxiety and associated demands expected of a member of a pro tour team.

  • ed

    Haha – I dont think Carlos Betancur should become a marriage counsellor with that approach. If Movistar can keep him off the cheeseburgers he may go ok


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