Skyfall

October 29, 2012

Announce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes  to hiring people with a doping past and you get ridiculed. That’s the position Team Sky’s Dave Brailsford finds himself in. Just think about that for a second.

Don’t think about how easy or difficult it is to implement, on whether it helps or hurts the omerta, or on what ex-dopers have to offer. Just think about the mere notion of trying to only hire people without a doping past and being ridiculed for it? That’s fucked up, I have no other words for it.

Now, I’ve been unkind to Team Sky on some occasions, and I have my doubts about their direction, but let’s face it; NOBODY has any clue how to fix cycling, not Pat McQuaid, not Jonathan Vaughters, not Brailsford, not me and not you.

So in such a situation, it should be applauded that various people try various things and we’ll see what sticks. Just think of cycling as one enormous sociological experiment right now.

Now to the nuts and bolts of the zero-tolerance policy:

  1. Some are concerned that especially in the support staff, a zero-tolerance policy means there isn’t much choice and the quality of your support staff will suffer. Really? The average level of sports directors – doped or clean – is pretty mediocre. Do we think that Slipstream has good sports directors because they hire ex-dopers? Did we see the now-exposed ex-doping Sky directors make brilliant tactical decisions this year? I don’t think so.
  2. In fact, one could argue that in most sports, the stars don’t make good coaches whereas the struggling players turn into coaching stars. Well, it’s hard to deny that clean riders have been struggling since the advent of EPO!
  3. Additionally, so much of a sports director’s job in cycling is organizational rather than strategical/tactical that racing experience and success (including the doping associated with it) is even less important. In fact, I’m not sure why ex-riders qualify for that job at all. I think I’m with Paul Koechli on this one.
  4. Then the recurring argument of ex-dopers having so much to give to the sport. I don’t get it. Of course they may really love the sport, but more than those clean ones they pushed out? They might really have an insight, but more than the clean rider or the die-hard fan or the journalist or the mechanic? As Arigo Sacchi used to say: You don’t have to have been a good horse to be a good jockey.
  5. To me (and confirmed by Sean Yates who explained that as a sports director he was just driving a car and not much else), the sports director is not a crucial role, at least not during a race. Do we think that sports directors make a race more exciting? I’m sure very few people would think that’s the case. And since in the end the only point of professional cycling races is to be exciting to fans (so that they watch, see the teams, love the sponsors, buy the products and indirectly pay the riders’ salaries), let’s get rid of the sports director and simply eliminate this issue of whether or not they are a positive influence on riders and whether their past helps or hurts.

However, where Team Sky’s zero-tolerance backfires is in what it is trying to prove. The stated goal was that Team Sky wanted to be a clean team with no reason for doubt. And that they could only erase all doubt if their staff had no doping background.

So following Sky’s own logic, now that some of its people turn out to have a doping background, there is doubt. Their logic, not mine. This doesn’t mean they were dirty, but again, by their own logic, there is now doubt.

In other words, they either now say “hm, we had some ex-doping staff, so now we can’t be sure about our performances in 2012″ or they say “we’re still sure about our 2012 performances, so apparently it is very well possible to run a clean team with a staff of ex-dopers, and you don’t need a zero-tolerance policy to ensure a clean team”.

Maybe it is time for everybody to realize the Sky isn’t blue, white or black; it’s grey. Having a 100% clean staff never guaranteed a clean team just like having some ex-dopers on staff never meant a team definitely doped.

Note: Just to be abundantly clear, I have no problem with a zero-tolerance policy, teams should be free to restrict the pool of candidates for various positions as much as they see fit. I just don’t see it as “proof” of being clean.

38 Responses to “Skyfall”


  1. The problem with firing people who admit to having used doping in the past, is that there is the real possibility that the hardcore cheaters remain in the peloton. They’ll stay in place, until the truth catches up with them. In that case this move will be counterproductive.

    To bad that some of cyclings cleanest looking team (Rabo/Sky) are taking such reckless decisions.


    • Yes, I did not address how a zero-tolerance policy reinforces the omerta, but others did that already quite eloquently.

      As for Rabobank, I don’t think their decision is reckless but rather brave. They continue to put their money into the team but are walking away from getting any exposure out of it. At the same time, they publish a scaving indictment of the UCI’s policies, something no other team has dared to do anywhere to the same extent.

      • Nadav Rudnik Says:

        Hi Gerard,
        Not directly related:
        Was Sastry “clean” in your assessment, when he won the Tour?

  2. Mark Phillips Says:

    Completely in agreement that Sky deserve some credit for at least trying something to clean up the sport. It may be extreme but it’s mad that they get criticised for setting tougher standards – then again those critics mostly appear to be those who would themselves have been cast aside…

    I’m also not too bothered by the shades of grey that Sky are currently going through with their clear out – starting a zero tolerance policy in such a sick sport inevitably means there will be rounds of refinement needed when starting something new, but once it’s up and running, it should be able to put its teething problems behind it and make a positive difference.

    Bear in mind that the black and white approach is mostly needed for the media – grey doesn’t reproduce well in newsprint…

    The one thing I’ve really struggled with is those who argue that ex-dopers should not be cast aside as they’re needed to stop this happening again.

    In the real world, I can’t see why having a judge with a criminal record would make them a better judge or why a doctor that’s been criminally negligent and killed several patients deserves to keep on practising… Has cycling’s understanding of right and wrong got that twisted?

    Where it can all fall down though is if the team culture and testing process allow it to happen. Bravo for Sky for trying their part. Now it’s up to UCI and WADA to do their share…

  3. Evan Shaw Says:

    Indeed! Cycling is unique in that it was a small sport, that became somewhat bigger right with the O2 drugs. NO other minor or major sport has had dopes dope in such a brazen way as the governing bodies, sponsors, teams, unions, etc can’t keep it under wraps and things just go on as if it is not happening, with a few blips like in MLB and NFL time to time.

    So Gerard, you are so right, if it works here it will be the first place actually have a clean or nearly clean sport.

    We might look at how any societal institution works or does not work well and see why to guide this. Actually pretty simple really. The response cost of being clean for ALL involved must be lower than the response cost for cheating.
    If not, will happen again 100%

    Right now it suits everyone for cheating to happen beneath detection, and appear as if better. This is the UCI methods.
    Hell, they feel fantastic using that model! Still do, plan to use it again too lol

    Personal level-as a forensic evaluator, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, nothing else comes close. So don’t have bank embezzlers in the peloton staff managers UCI

    Testing, bio passport, and whistle blower rewards, and very stiff penalties will definitely reduce doping. Three years first offense no reduction, save major naming of others. And then one year off only. Second offense gone forever. Managers second offense same team in two years, they are banned from sport.

    Decrease the points for assigning teams to major races to individuals, keep it with teams. The incentive to cheat is mammoth for the elite and the less than great trying to not be fired is too great.

    Sponsors must be clued in that clean competitive exciting races sell MUCH MORE THAN WINNING. Those sponsors will demand clean teams and managers and racers will notice that BIG TIME.

    Look at the crappy attitude of Valverde, Boonen, Schlunk brothers, and Contador who evidently now thinks LA Is a god and nice team mate too! And they are just not respected and victimized. Gotta go! NO room for guys whose talk says to sponsors, hey i dope want me to win for ya?????

    • Millard Baker Says:

      I think you give other major sports too much credit. They have also dealt with exposure of widespread steroid and PED use. Cycling is just dealing with it in its own unique way – with a little more piousness and a lot more hysteria.


      • And also, it must be said, cycling has proven much less adept at covering up its dark side.

        Even in the case of Lance; he may have evaded official sanction for a long time, but that didn’t mean his misdeeds didn’t hurt cycling’s image along the way.


        • Also, it seems to me that road cycling is a sport that is particularly suited to the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED): it requires little skill (not none, but not skills like hitting a ball 1cm over a net at 200kmh etc) however it does require huge physical output.

          The effect of that is that a 10% increase in your power output (or recovery or stamina) translates pretty directly into a 10% improvement in your results – especially in the time-trial discipline and in climbing. Of course those are the places that the grand tours are won.

          Compare that to a sport like tennis, golf, basketball or soccer – or any other sport that emphasizes technical skills, precision movement, and much more intense and active team-work. In those sports, a 10% increase in power may make no difference at all to your results if you still can’t kick the ball straight, or figure out how to get around that defensive player.

          Of course I am not saying that cycling is a sport that isn’t professional, or that it’s boring etc – I am an enthusiastic fan and participant. Also, I am not justifying the use of PED in cycling (did I need to even write that?).

          What I am trying to understand and/or explain is why cycling’s drug problem seems so much worse than other sports.

          To take that further, what are other similar sports that require lots of physical strength and not much skill: off the top of my head, marathon, weight lifting, rowing, XC skiing. I wonder what the level of PED use is in those sports?

  4. Ben Thompson Says:

    Great article. To those who criticise Sky’s hard line: how are new sponsors supposed to be attracted to the sport without a similar statement from the team seeking sponsorship that they will never hire ex-dopers? Ok, Vaughters managed it, but only because of his personal story. Garmin is the exception.

  5. Quentin Says:

    Garmin and Sky have both tried to show they were clean by strictly adhering to a set of rules they set for themselves. The problem for Sky was that some of their internal rules were a bit unrealistic right now (which isn’t to say that they won’t become more realistic over time). I also think allowing extensive access to reporters helped Garmin a lot, and hurt Sky when they changed their mind about doing the same. I don’t have any reason to believe Sky has anything to hide, but incidents like that needlessly raise questions.


  6. Well, I’m on the side of ex-dopers participating in a Slipstream Sports-style cycling team. When it comes to zero-tolerance policies, however, in a philosophical sense I’m generally against that sort of unilateral approach with one exception.

    My own sense of this comes largely from Non-Violent Communication in that I need to be able to accommodate another even when they might be acting in violent or underhanded ways.

    However, even in NVC we have something called Protective Use of Force, which is essentially having to do with your survival. It may be appropriate to then use such a zero-tolerance policy as a way to ensure the survival of the sport.

    Even so, all such idealisms are bound to fail in some respect or another, which you have rightly pointed out by using Sky’s terminology of “doubt” as your inflection point.

    It seems to me that Jonathan Vaughters is a good manager of cycling teams because he regards people in an inclusive way, and as human beings FIRST, instead of some object with which to merely fulfill sponsor obligations; it seems so with especially those who know the shared difficulty of past doping he also participated in.

    It’s a balancing act between all this, but one aspect of really good management and people (it seems to me) is transparency and appropriateness. Jonathan has bided his time and been quite appropriate and transparent as it will advance the cause of clean, guilt-free pro cycling.

    In his approach he seems to consider the implications a bit more humanly and thoroughly in this respect, with a long-term view. In this, he seems quite unique. A lot of people can, however, create a utopia of ideals and ask people to abide in there. Many will do well and some will simply not. How you handle these exceptions is for me the key.

    A good measure of the character of a person is how they respond to challenges. Clearly Jonathan and David are approaching their viewpoint of those pressures and challenges of the EPO era differently. They themselves are also responding to this challenge differently. David seems more a technocrat to Jonathan’s informed wisdom.

    David Brailsford could be responding in a way that is unilateral and unthinking, but my read of David Millar’s book doesn’t lend me to think that this is the case. I believe he feels he’s using Protective Use of Force, both for his team and the the sport in general.

    It’s up to the individual to decide what is the best approach, but I do feel Jonathan Vaughters’ approach is more nuanced and includes more people, so for me, he wins out. My definition of good things are inclusive things, and my definition of evil are exclusive things, philosophically speaking. So, this is why I have come down on the Garmin/Sharp side of this approach, as I do not know David Brailsford or Jonathan Vaughters, so it’s difficult to say TRULY what is happening, but based on what I can read about in the cycling media, Jonathan for me has the edge.

  7. Radek Says:

    Would you hire for your company outside the sport field manager with criminal record?

  8. Evan Shaw Says:

    After working 31 years and evaluating thousands of offenders, I say humbly that it is frequently not predictable who will reoffend to any scientific degree of confidence.

    Witness JV and Matt White. They profess regret. They say they are know anti doping proponents. And they continue to be overly entitled willing to bend and break rules, and self centered, i.e. Matt White takes his charge to Fuentes and tries to make himself look like a fantastic coach. Goes to Australia, and it is called BAD JUDGMENT, and given authority big salary and lots of freedom. Oh brother where art thou?

  9. targetsports Says:

    Amnesty, now, for a limited period. We need to get all the shit out on the table and hit our ground zero. Then implement life bans for anyone caught in future, or via retrospective testing through advancements in testing technology. No mercy for anyone not falling in line right now.

    I believe in zero tolerance, but it should not be the responsibility of a team – sport needs to be strong and make it impossible to hire anyone with a doping conviction. We need to forget the concept of the reformed doper being a legitimate career path. There is no place in sport for these people. They cheat, get the results, get the contract that sets them up for life, then get caught, or confess, repent, blame the system and play the victim, then make a living as poacher turned game-keeper. Give me a break. If we continue to accept this we can’t be surprised when athletes continue to do it. They have no devine right to be an athlete or coach or whatever. Let them go and shovel shit somewhere, if the other shit shovelers will have them…

    I’ve worked with individuals that believed in order to have success you needed to hire winners. And that meant hiring winners who won in a period when it seems likely a little extra assistance may have been required to win. So define Winner. Would these people have been “winners” had they not had this assistance? We won’t miss them when they are gone.

    Moreover, define success. What exactly are you winning? The approach seems so short sighted, it perpetuates an environment which means this sport will never fulfil its true potential. It will continue to survive, but its massively under-performing.

    Are Team Sky being ridiculed for having a zero tolerance policy? Or are people asking legitimate questions about the credibility of embarking on a zero tolerance policy which assumes that the only dopers are the ones that have confessed or been caught, and the apparent lack of appreciation of risk that such an approach may bring.

    At best its naive. But in this sport, in this era – is anyone really that naive? So why were those questions not asked before the Armstrong shit hit the fan if zero tolerance is a genuine philosophy? To only ask questions of staff when media and the public show an interest is a strange brand of zero tolerance. Team GB is not Team Sky, but they are happy to have a confessed doper on board when the rules permit. It does not feel like this is about not hiring people that have doped, it feels like trying to be too clever, hiding behind the rules and technicalities to conjure up a positioning that has minimal effect on recruitment but sounds “cool”.

    It feels like PR. Bad PR, that is rapidly unravelling…and they really only have themselves to blame. Isn’t it all a little knee-jerk at the demand of a sponsor who needs to see some action to back up what was ultimately a fairly hollow claim? I have sympathy for anyone that genuinely wants to do the right thing, but if you are the kind of individual or organisation that allows yourself to be dictated to by the moral authority that is News Corp, you kind of forfeit your right to be upset if someone is curious about your motive…

    • Tim Says:

      Bear in mind Sky/NewsCorp isn’t just the sponsor of Team Sky; it’s the owner.

      David Brailsford and the riders are employees of News Corp, so really they don’t have any choice in being dictated to by the moral authority of News Crop, because they work for it. Now you can make the same argument about forfeiting the right to be upset because Sky is part of News Corp, but on the other hand, you could argue its genuinely trying to the right thing here, even if you disagree it is the right thing!


      • The riders are not employees of News Corp. In fact the team barely has any employees (I think there are five or so). Virtually everybody is an independent contractor.


  10. My issue with SKY is they’re purging the ex-dopers AFTER they’ve handed Uncle Rupert the big prize – the first TdF win by a Brit. It’s more of the same ol’ sh_t….use ‘em up and spit ‘em out once your goal has been achieved. Most of the time it’s the riders..”Oh shock and horror, Rider X doped, he’s fired!” while all the time the team docs were running the the doping program. Why should we believe the SKY program is much different when they toss all these guys out after their big win – weren’t they anti-doping from the start? NO…they were and are anti DOPING-SCANDAL, just like the UCI and all the rest. As ol’ Gino Bartali used to say, everything’s wrong and it all must be done over – pro cycling is certainly in this category.

  11. Evan Shaw Says:

    Good posts. Another myth is a corollary of the one Armstrong pedaled. The hero is someone who wins at all costs. I say being a decent person you can finish first but how you play is what truly counts. Like Harry potter. He could have left his competitor die and win but did not.

    Remember when Armstrong went down on a musette bag and they waited. Tyler asked. Armstrong jumped back to them on jet fuel and flew away.

    We don’t need maniacal self centered people to be on teams for the glory of true competition. Remember Chariots of fire. They ran for different reasons both honorable.

  12. Evan Shaw Says:

    JV cites this article as the most accurate view of cycling today Cycling The Cleanest Sport

    http://www.tnr.com/article/109212/cyclings-secret-it-may-be-the-worlds-cleanest-sport#

  13. @dwbeever Says:

    I have no problems with the Brailsford ‘ideal’ but only problems with its implementation and also the bigger problems and issues it could ultimately pose.

    First off let’s remember that sky has had a zero tolerance since its inception – so something has clearly gone very wrong. This needs to be addressed and made public.

    Brailsford is also head of team GB, and there is clearly a big contradiction here in philosophy – if TeamSKY is zero tolerance then by definition TeamGB is not – and I have a real problem with this as a Brit.

    How Sean Yates has been allowed to ‘leave’ TeamSKY has completely undermined the integrity of his ideal, and the statements that he has issued regarding this only underline the fact that he still hasn’t grasped the extent of the problem with which he is faced.

    Aside from the pledge all team members are now having to sign up to, I want to now what new contractual mechanisms have been put in place to help prevent this – claw backs, penalties etc.

    There are many more points I could make, but the one I want to end on, and its before any riders have been forced to leave TeamSKY in this purge, is I want to know what has changed for Brailsford since he stated he would have left TeamGB had one of his riders had been found doping (this was an incident surrounding a particular rider who has since retired by the way)?

  14. BC Says:

    We can argue for ever. BUT, unless the UCI shows somw balls, and their silence since the Armstrong announcement, suggests they will bunker down and again do nothing.

    I suggest it would help if the teams were shown some leadership and direction from the top – but not holding my breath !

  15. channel_zero Says:

    Here’s an idea to clean up Pro Cycling.

    Grant WADA the authority to open anti-doping cases and do it in 30 days. Give WADA the budget to test 5 year old samples and the authority to open current cases on them.

    The IOC and the UCI both would be sh!tting bricks. There would be a backlog of positives for 10 years and sudden retirements of 1/4 of the Pro peloton. But, bike racing would be more human scale.

    It doesn’t fix the UCI though. Get Patrice Clerc in Hein’s job for 5-10 years and no more would be a start. End World Cycling Productions scam too.

  16. Moonax Says:

    What about the implicated riders such as Rogers who seems to be flying under the radar despite being named as being at a Ferrari training camp?

    The cynical would say that all those who have been kicked out were ‘doping in the past’ which fits with the PR narrative that Wiggins has been pushing (he even claimed to have only ridden once in 2004 against Armstrong despite finishing 4th behind him in 2009 TDF). Whereas, some of the riders have ‘recent’ doping histories, which brings them much closer to the current Sky riders and calls into question their performances this year.

    The cynical would say that it is selective ‘zero tolerance’ get rid of those whose doping can’t be linked to the current team performance, but keep those whose doping does overlap with the current team on the roster.

  17. coinneach Says:

    All Sky can do is manage their own team.
    The cycling world has changed, post Lance: Skt’s own aims and objectives were not being met, so they have gone back to basics. It remains to be seen how this will play out next year and beyond. I’d be less worried about loosing 2 DS’s as I would about the evidence from the Vuelta, which is that other teams are catching up with whatever it is Sky have been doing (weight loss, staying healthy, good recovery). In a few years time we’ll know more of the detail and be able to judge its success, but I for one wish them (and Garmin) well

  18. Evan Says:

    Increase the costs to all involved for doping, decrease the benefits to all for doping equals less doping. Even with sociopaths, criminals, and greedy driven men, wannabes, and management regulatory power mongers.

    Gotta go with criminalizing doping and all who accessories to the facts. Jail, perjury, and fines, no profiting from it while in jail, etc. Makes cover ups very costly.

  19. Dear Wiggo Says:

    Sky’s timeline:

    2009:
    “We’re going to win the Tour clean with a zero-tolerance policy within 5 years.”
    Hires a bunch of ex-dopers

    2010: Come 24th at the Tour

    2011:
    “We’re going to relax our zero tolerance policy a bit”
    Hires Geert Leinders
    2nd & 3rd at Vuelta

    2012:
    1st at every multi-stage race Feb – Aug.
    50% more CQ points than derided dirty teams like Katusha.
    USADA decision handed down.
    Some Sky team members mentioned in USADA decision.
    “We are a clean team with a zero-tolerance policy”.
    Fires or does not renew contracts of ex-dopers.

    And for this people want to give Sky credit?

    Is Movistar a known doping team?

  20. Evan Says:

    Is SKY the future Gerard, I fear so. Not to say they dope, OK? But Gerard, have we not heard this refrain over and over, LA included. Lost weight, trained smarter, recovery secrets, nutrition, secret training methods, high cadence(made possible by altitude training of course). Results whole team rides at front spring thru TDF. Does no one else know how to train efficiently?

  21. IdeaStormer Jorge Says:

    Well if an ex-doper never ever pays the price then those still doping will know they can continue as they’ve always have and even if they confess years later they are still welcomed in cycling. Which equates to keeping the Omerta alive and feeding off the fat of cycling for years to come. There are no consequences so why would they need to change their doping ways? More testing? Well they can just increase their anti-getting-caught practices as they are now and its the same game, doping.

    Sky firing anyone associated with doping is good because now those doper know there is a consequence even if they do not admit to it now. Those harboring ex-dopers are just keeping the Omerta alive and well.

    For those who are so anti-doping now then they know they are doing the right thing to admit and leave cycling to clean it up. Are they the best for what ever job they have now, maybe but everyone is replaceable that is how life exists one person leaves another replaces them, they may not know or be able to do everything the other person did but life moves on.

    Kill the Omerta, don’t keep it alive.


    • Omerta is caused by punishments. Punishment and rewards are inherent in the system of competition, and thus it will always be this way- morals have little to do with competitive systems, sorry to say. Only inclusive approaches will humanly solve this issue.

      What we need is a governing body who acts like a truly concerned parent rather than a detached uninterested one, who responds to the needs of the children in a timely manner.

      The governing body’s contribution is to discipline the sport and it’s participants, all the while understanding the fact of a desire to game a system is inherent in it’s participants. Nothing the good outraged cyclists who participate will EVER change this.

      Don’t believe me? Read “Punished By Rewards” by Alfie Kohn if you’d like to understand the nature of this better.

      It is simply a FICTION that punishments work. They just don’t. An once of prevention is worth a ton of cure. What is most evident of the level of failure of the UCI and other punitive reactions to doping is simply the staggering consequences.

      Frankly, this is quite similar to the obesity epidemic, the disasters of DDT, phosphate laundry detergents, and radium watch dials. Catastrophic failure must occur for change to happen societally. In the meantime, the UCI has needed to be a concerned parent from about 50 years ago and THEY should have pushed the boundaries of doping awareness; but it took ex-dopers and their managers who are ex-dopers to create a system that is understood to be fatally flawed.

      The current biological passport wasn’t started by the UCI, it was adopted from ex-dopers and their teams populated by ex-doping managers like JV and Bjarne Riis.

      You can see evidence of the total lack of prevention on the part of the UCI who has had AT LEAST 80 years of warning that doping was going on in cycling.

      • @dwbeever Says:

        Regís

        Well said – finally a view I can relate to re punishments.

        At a time when lifetime bans are being touted nobody seems to understand that they are not the deterrent they would appear to be. Emphasis has to be on detection, swift judgements and then ‘right sized’ punishments incorporating much shorter bans in many cases – the notion that a fixed term blanket ban of 2 years is appropriate in all cases is a nonsense, and if you don’t believe me just look at the perverse anomalies we get at the moment (eg offredo v leipheimer, zirbel v contador etc etc)

        • Evan Shaw Says:

          Completely wrong. If the cost is little and the benefit big doping. Good god people what world do you live in.

        • Regis Chapman Says:

          Well, deterrents are the biggest myth since Santa Claus. I have a whole book of data to back that up. If you read the book I mentioned, it’s literally impossible to not be affected by the sheer volume of data that shows punishments simply do not work as intended.

          That book has the same effect as the USADA report had on the Lance Armstrong myth regarding punishments and rewards.

          In other words, my world is one in which I actually educate myself about the facts are behind what I say, never mind abiding in a principle of inclusion with appropriate boundaries.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Evan – ever stolen anything as an adult from a high street store? Most probably not. Why not? Did you believe it’s the punishment stopping you? Almost certainly not.

          Now put yourself in Leipheimers shoes – whose statement probably represents the greatest economy in the truth of all the affidavits – do you think any length of ban was ever a deterrent to him doping? However, threaten his liberty and it’s a different story – it’s all about the right sized penalty – and the whole history of professional cycling would suggest that no length of professional ban has ever banished doping – or feel free to name

        • Anonymous Says:

          ….a clean year in our sport!

  22. Nick Evans Says:

    “In other words, they either now say “hm, we had some ex-doping staff, so now we can’t be sure about our performances in 2012″ or they say “we’re still sure about our 2012 performances, so apparently it is very well possible to run a clean team with a staff of ex-dopers, and you don’t need a zero-tolerance policy to ensure a clean team”.”

    Isn’t there a 3rd option: they can say “we’re sure about our 2012 performance, but recognise that the doping past of some of our staff gives outsiders reason to doubt them”?


  23. [...] (BTW I recommend Gerard Vroom-Sieyes’ blog on the logic behind Sky’s words – Skyfall) [...]


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