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July 27, 2017
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  • Whammy

    Wanted. Whistleblowers. Great pay (deferred, not necessarily money), prestige (again, delayed), will meet great people and make many new friends (usually the same people who previously will try to destroy you). Pariah status long term, subject to asinine legal action from bitter and retired management. See message board moderator to apply.

    • bigstu_

      Not forgetting businesses destroyed. An unfortunately because of recent changes to Whistle blower legislation in the US, the odds have intentionally been stacked against you. So jail time can be expected unless you are intending to live out your days in a non-extradition country.

  • jules

    the older I get and more experience I gather, the more I realise life isn’t fair and those in power are more likely than not to have got there by cutting corners or at least turning a blind eye to others’ wrongs. or just blatantly cheating their way to the top. ironically sport is probably the closest we get in society to a meritocracy – which probably explains its popularity.

    why is cheating rewarded? and whistleblowers punished? because, subconsciously, we like it that way. there’s an order to be maintained. humans are hard-wired to look up to dominant, alpha personalities. it’s not easy having that expectation on your shoulders – cut them a break.

    I love how Cadel won the Tour. there was a guy who might have been cast as a loser. awkward personality, outwardly seemed to lack confidence. didn’t take his opportunities (EPO). effectively cast aside by Telekom and Lotto. but underneath he had a burning desire, persistence, freakish physical ability and a team that finally worked out how to get a win with him as leader.

    whistleblowers are disliked as they upset the natural order of things. don’t make the mistake of blaming only powerful villains.

    • P. Bassons

      Oh, the assumptions here are conspicuous!!

      • jules

        give it a rest Phil!

  • Robert Merkel

    Great topic.

    The issues regarding whistleblowing in sport seem to me to be a microcosm of the issues in society. Sadly, whistleblowing is never easy, and often has huge personal costs for the whistleblower. For that reason, it’s incredibly rare.

    Look at the case of Volkswagen’s emissions “defeat device”. Not a single engineer blew the whistle, despite the fact that the exhaust emissions from those cars is, quite literally, lethal.

    • antoine

      True, I’m a modest whistleblower at work and most of the time it turns against me

    • Nard dog

      Oh my god I was at that meeting! So glad I work at Cornell now.

  • Cynic

    In order for a Whistleblower to be effective, you need people in power who will listen and act. Most sports don’t, because the money and power is too hard to give up. The IAAF is going through that now, with scarey similarities to cycling and its doping (including Nike funding links to senior officials and support of athletes).

    Pat McQuaid and Hein Verburggen allowed drugs like EPO to flourish, whether through incompetance, selfish personal gain, or sheer corruption. Their bullying of Kimmage, using UCI funds to do so via the courts, was only allowed to happen by a compliant international cycling bodies – Australia, UK, USA, are all equally as guilty. They all form part of that cabal. Just because Cookson is now at the top doesn’t mean all those other country reps have changed.

    Sporting bodies have allowed corruption and doping to flourish, FIFA a prime example. Arab oil money bought the World Cup from FIFA, and now the UCI are selling out to them as well. Bribes and mistreatment of people is stock in trade there, there are any number of reports on the Qatar Royal Family bribing to win, while thousands die on their stadia construction sites. The same with cycling, you have Eddy Merckx screaming abuse at the riders for stopping in a sandstorm. The officials are easily bought and will dance to whatever tune their master says.

    Those in power on the road in cycling too haven’t changed, the team cars are full of ex dopers. Why would they give up their careers or suddenly become honest?

    The type of doping will change, that’s all. Thinking things will change is fantasy. Whistleblowers only work when the officials are not corrupt.

    • jules

      ‘Whistleblowers only work when the officials are not corrupt.’

      lol. reminds me of a presentation I attended once on whistleblowing, where we were advised that it was possible to take complaints to an external body (blow the whistle), but that an option was to take the complaint internally, and that the latter was preferred. OK… if someone trusted internal handling of ‘issues’, there would by definition be no need for whistle blowing at all.

      I tried to politely point this out and was called ‘cynical’. you couldn’t make this stuff up sometimes.

  • Kendb001

    Conner would shutdown a whistleblower. Crooks are crooks….. Like Froome using the cheapest cheat method. An inhaler. Most small teams try to this low level of doping. Right Conner?

  • The Landis – Armstrong whistleblowing didn’t actually quite go down as described in this article. The case against Armstrong was not just Landis’s testimony, but it was the fact that many of Armstrong’s team-mates, who were active and successful in the pro peloton at the time also testified against Armstrong. This was unprecedented, and made up a body of corroborating evidence to support Landis’s claims that was irrefutable. At the time, Landis and Hamilton were dismissed as cranks, jealous of Armstrong’s success. As Armstrong once famously said “It’s his word against ours, and we like our word”. It was only the collected evidence of other cyclists and other people around the pro peloton that convinced anyone that Armstrong had indeed doped.

    A few of the cyclists who testified did fall victim to Omerta, and lost their jobs, but many of the cyclists, especially the first few that testified that did so after assurances from their boss that their job would be safe after serving their penalty.

    The man who gave them those assurances, and more importantly followed through on that promise, was Jonathan Vaughters. Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson all were able to testify safe in the knowledge that they weren’t imperilling their livelihood by blowing the whistle. Their testimony, as well as that of Hincapie, and Levi Leipheimer, who fell victim to the omerta of the peloton and was never able to get a job in cycling after that, and the 20 or so other people, is what really nailed the case against Armstrong.


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July 27, 2017
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