The positive positive

July 16, 2013

Rarely have I welcomed a positive doping test as much as Mustafa Sayar. Here comes a rider out of nowhere and starts winning races like he’s Asafa Powell. I mean, it was crazy. And how he got busted for EPO.

This is great news for cycling for two reasons. First off, while Sayar was winning the Tour of Turkey, several riders openly expressed their disgust. What they saw simply couldn’t be real. Kevin Seeldraeyers said:

“I exploded myself trying to follow the Turkish guy”

Marcel Kittel’s tweet was more explicit:

“I was not often in my life so angry about a result of someone else. And I see many people around me feeling the same.

I have a dream!, in which riders actually refuse to take the start when they are in a situation like this. And in which they do this not just with small Turkish riders, but with any rider, including teammates. But it’s a good start.

The second piece of good news is that Sayar doped and WON. Just think about that, all these talented riders could not match a doped Sayar. So the peloton can’t be very doped if Sayar can handily “outdope” them.

Sure, you may argue that Sayar outdoped them by using so much he was caught, and maybe in a peloton of micro-dopers, the macro-doper wins. I’m not pretending this is definite proof of anything, but I certainly take it as positive (ahum) news that for Sayar to win, he must have been competing against a peloton significantly cleaner than himself.


15 Responses to “The positive positive”

  1. Dan Says:

    Agreed, but why do these tests take so long for results?
    Keep up the solid work, it is appreciated.

    • Luis Oliveira Says:

      The DiLucca and Santambroggio results came quite swiftly, but it was the Giro. Sayar positive came in a small Tour of Algeria or whatnot. I’m actually surprised he’s tested at all.

  2. I am also happy that the cheaters are being caught by the system and they cannot get away with what they have done. Although we still need to mention the time needed to process the test, 4 months! This is way too long! If his team was participating in Giro, he might already have raced the entire Giro, which would be quite sad.

    But I couldn’t agree much with your dream. I might understand the fact that riders decide to take a stand and refuse to take the start when guys like Di Luca, who did tested positive a couple of times before and still are racing & rocking the mountains. But if you start refusing to take the start every time you have some doubts, when where this will go, when will it stop? For instance, if some riders or teams believe that Froome’s performances are unreal, then they should just refuse to take the start and DNS if required? Or guys like Cobo when he was winning the Vuelta 2011?

    It is OK to be outspoken and explicitly comment but refusing to take the start might not be the solution here. There is also this case, let’s say they refuse to take the start and then left the race, later it turned out that the guy they were doubting was racing clean, wouldn’t they be kicking themselves, or how would they explain this situation to their sponsors?

    • Skater Says:

      No, only the stupid ones are caught. And sometimes those who’ve overplayed their hand.
      Like Lance (arrogance, making one enemy too many) and Contador (a full month of bargaining the UCI, WTF? Just pay them their asking price you stupid!).

      The system barely allows for cheaters to be caught. The rate of new dopers entering the sport is far greater than the amount of positives, obviously. And because the sport doesn’t grow much, many get to retire uncaught. How does such a system “work”?

  3. beev Says:

    with all the endless discussion about suitable ban lengths i have often pondered other ways to take away the “oxygen” from drug cheats if/when they do return. so, how about this (given fines and ban length have had arguable success) – if you have a doping ban (of any length) in your career you can can never step on a podium again! this may be a more subtle deterrent. as it stands, this guy can serve his time (if he is indeed banned) and return – and do it all again, like so many others before him….

  4. Skater Says:

    So, will TdF riders refuse to chase Froome to the line in Paris? No, they only throw outsiders under the bus.
    And they’re angry of jealousy. They don’t want someone to get away with doping they can’t get away with. However in the case of SKY, too much money is involved. No way you can point your finger there and expect to have a job as a rider next year. SKY is the new US Postal.
    And nothing has changed. Just no-one granted a Turkish rider his moment of glory. Because he’d been doping for such a short while only. Had not done the “work”.

    • Martin W Says:

      That’s verging on conspiracy theory: “Don’t you think it’s weird how there’s NO accusations from riders at all? Isn’t that SUSPICIOUS?”

      And as for “not granting him his moment of glory” – here’s a big picture of that moment:

      Are you suggesting other riders let him win (when they could have won), then gave the doping authorities the OK to bust him for samples from a different, earlier race because he was a little-known Turkish rider and not part of the inner circle?

      Seems like a lot of hard work. Why not just push the guy off his bike?

      • Skater Says:

        Not sure you got out of that what I meant.
        (Many of) us fans think Froome is über-juiced to ride like he does. But rider seem to think it’s cool, best man wins. Why not with the turkish guy? Can’t he train his whole childhood in the mountains, conquer the snow and heat, all to have his early season win? It’s not like he won the TdF, just his local stage race. Yet, riders are outraged. Did he not pay the winners fee to the losers, as sometimes causes unhappy faces at crits?
        Why would a turkish guy be totally doped to win, when we have a long string of Westerners, basically all of the over the past 20 years, turning out to have doped. Everyone says cycling is clean now. Then, why couldn’t a Turkish guy win? It doesn’t add up to me. Well, I think I understand the reasoning, but it insults every fan’s intelligence.

  5. Nancy Says:

    Maybe Kittel and Seeldrayers were cleaned for Turkey (not started the doping) and that guy was supercharged? For the big races, maybe they start their doping too?

  6. VeloHope Says:

    I was also really happy to see him get caught for the reasons Mr. Vroomen mentions. The part that’s harder for me to feel good about is that, while he was clearly doped at Turkey, he didn’t get caught. He rode away from Turkey as the winner despite turning in a dirty sample a month before it. The reports say he tested positive March 11 but then went ahead to win Turkey in late April? Seems like part of the reform that needs to happen may need to include all races testing samples as quickly as the Giro did this year.

    And the Tour of Turkey’s website still opens up to a picture of him on the podium…

  7. Rp Says:

    I agree with you that it is a ray of hope, but isn’t it a shame that we have to look for these faint glimmers of hope to bolster our sporting fix for honest riders?
    It would be better if there was actually a system that worked for doping controls. Is that too much to ask?

  8. 900aero Says:

    The timing of tests/results/announcements is probably a tricky thing but it still seems like it could be better than this. ToT need to get this guy off their site as a matter of high priority too – no matter how much they love having a Turkish winner.

    WRT what is a valid suspension:
    in my view all of a riders (or officials) professional results should be scrapped following a conviction of cheating (doping or otherwise). They should lose their entire palmares. Get caught once, how can we tell any different about the past? We can’t. If people stand to lose their entire career, they will think twice.

    Furthermore, following the conviction if would suggest they can only re-enter the pro ranks following a rehab program and a cool-off period of 24 months. People can reform but they need to acknowledge the seriousness of their actions.

    The record books are full of nonsense right now. Asterisks and known cheats holding titles. Its laughable.

  9. […] Gerard Vroomen expresses my thoughts exactly once again; The positive positive […]

  10. A decade or more ago , when i would visit the Lausanne UCI Office , i proposed that ALL Racers Winnings went into a ” Trust Fund ” until their retirement . The Idea was that , should they ” Cheat ” in anyway during their Career , they LOST those ” Winnings “! With Racers being on a Salary , there was no real need for them to have those ” Winnings ” ASAP !

    Just as Lawyers in the UK , used to have their ” Fees ” , taxed in a ” different way ” , so too would the Racers be able to ” Adjust their Tax Liabilities over their Career “!

    Another of my proposals was to have the ” Doping Inspectors ” collect samples , whilst riding pillion on M/cycles , but that too was TOO CONTENTIOUS !

Leave a Reply to Luis Oliveira Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: