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« Say It Ain't So | Main | Hero »

May 08, 2007

Comments

Adam

Sara,

This whole Basso thing surely is a mess. I'd leave a lengthy comment, but it might just end up as a repeat of what I wrote on my blog. If you're interested, check out what I had to say:

http://bikes-brew-and-banter.blogspot.com/2007/05/why-ivan.html

theresa

Hey, Adam, nice blog! I have a problem with wholesale sweep of all cyclists names that came up last summer, since the investigation originally named cyclists that were not involved. Remember the ASO pushed for cyclists names even before the investigation was complete. But I do think DNA samples need to be given, that's the only way this is going to get cleared up.

catherine

Welcome Adam, thanks for the link to your blog. I disagree with a sweep of any kind. If you have been following the Landis doping investigation and read the presentation on his FFF site or TBV, you have to admit there is a lot of housekeeping to be done within the governing bodies residences before the process can even be considered fair!

the issue I keep struggling with, has to do with the culture of selecting athletes to punish. I think an open process, by impartial parties is the only way to go. Certainly the sponsers and Team owners need to seriously buy into a non cheating environment and accept human performance without demanding the super human. It is a collossal mess, and punishing the individuals without revamping the system is bound to fail and drive the doping underground.

Owlie

I'm sorry, Sara, but I'm with Susie on this one. Basso knew the authorities had bags of his blood in their possession, and he still signed with Discovery. There is not an ounce of class or grace to that. It's nice he left the team before this week, but he never should have been there in the first place. He was trying to hide it and get away with it, and only "came forward," when he realized he wasn't going to.

Finally fessing up was difficult, to be sure; I was moved by the account of him shaking at yesterday's meeting. But as Susie said, "brave and courageous" is a bit much.

And I am trying, trying, trying to keep an open mind on his slithery statement about only planning on it, but it's really hard to think he's really coming clean. He lied to the authorities, he (presumably) lied to Discovery, he lied to the fans. The evidence points to previous transfusions. If the evidence that he is Birillo and that it's his blood is confirmed, why wouldn't the evidence that he previously transfused?

And yes, the statement is in stark contrast to Floyd's, but that's not good for Basso, IMO. I've always been of the opinion that Floyd's ineptness at the start was one of the stronger arguments for his innocence. He didn't know what to say because he didn't know what they thought they found, because he hadn't done anything. He was blindsided because he had never spent sleepless nights coming up with excuses to use if he ever got caught. Basso comes up with a smooth statement that makes him look like a good confessor, but doesn't taint or put in jeopardy any of his accomplishments. It's too convenient, too contrived, to have the ring of truth that Floyd's confusion did.

I imagine Floyd's too wrapped up in his preparations this week to spend too much time being pissed at Basso, but that day may come. If Floyd gets suspended for four years, and Basso is lining up for the Giro next year as some are speculating, there is no justice in the world.

susie b

Don't worry, I won't go off on Basso again except to state - he had 10 MONTHS to think about what he would say. And you believe him because....? I mean it's not like he's been LYING all this time...

If you want a peek inside my psyche, you should read my last comment on MD's "Basso, Horses, & Trespassing" post. I started off ranting on Basso again & ended up writing about my time in "prison" twentysome years ago. Ok, NOT really prison, but that's how I think of it. (I can laugh now). I didn't plan to write about my "sordid past" (lol), but in trying to explain how just doing the right thing does NOT make you freakin 'brave', it just trickled out. And despite my possible pent-up anger at being 'forced' to work with liars & cheats many years ago, I DID give Ivan & Jan & the rest of the OPers the benefit of the doubt for 9 friggin months. Although, apparently & pathetically, I seem to have learned NOTHING as I'm STILL hoping Tyler had nothing to do with it...

Yes, I'm worried about the future of pro-cycling and ALL of sport, actually. And I'm frustrated & furious that I can't think of a solution to the sport doping problem myself! I absolutely believe "genetic doping" is right around the corner & then what?! Do we just fling off ALL the rules & every/any thing is allowed? Whoever LIVES is the winner?

Switch gears.

Here's what I'm hoping. That Matt confesses to owning a 3-piece white suit back in the day. That Matt somehow convinces his brother GregC to watch AI tonight so he too can "relive" his teenage/childhood years. And that we can all laugh & cringe at watching people who were not even ALIVE back in the 70s try to sing & move around tonight while wearing platform shoes & who will desperately be wishing to be the ones 'Stayin Alive, Stayin Alive' tomorrow night! :)

That's the way, unh, uh, unh,uh, I'd liiike it!

CMehl

I'm not sure what people thought Ivan was going to say today, but the press release yesterday was saying he would explain his level of involvement--what we got today was exactly what I thought we'd get. He was banking blood, he was associating with Dr. Evil, he was going to cheat if he needed to for the 2006 TdF. I'd be very surprised if he named many names, but perhaps something on the management level will be shared that can shed additional light on the doping process. Afterall his blood had no additives to it, so was it only going to be to increase his red blood cell count or just what was Dr. Evil up to?

Back in the time of Tyler's case I pretty much gave up on looking to cyclists to be any sort of hero or role model to me. I started looking at them as incredible sources of entertainment for me, and then as I got to know some of them I also discovered how interesting elite athletes are to talk to and interview...even more entertainment for me! But after TH could never clear his name I realized that there would be more disappointments down the line if I held any one rider up as above the possibility of doing something illegal. So I changed my attitude and approach right then and I've enjoyed the show much more since making that decision.

My heros are not cyclists, they are family or mentors or the likes. The cyclists are entertainment! It's as simple as that. And as such I can see the pressures they put on themselves as well as those from sponsors and teams, I can see the temptations of the world that draw them in, I can see the weaknesses and mistakes they end up making and having to pay for. But that's what makes the entertainment so bloody awesome for me, watching these humans perform at elite levels that I have no comparison for in my own life and then seeing how they do with all of it.

I don't have any idea how management at DC feels about him right now, but if you will look back at the press during the time of the signing everything from DC and from Ivan was carefully worded and clauses included in his contract--he'd give DNA if required by official investigation, etc. etc. At that point he was a cleared rider, free to be signed. I don't think any of this makes DC look bad truthfully--if they weren't looking for a sponsor at this particular time I don't think it would even be a major area to look at. And I think DC covered all the angles along the way just in case things played out this way--it was always a possibility, wasn't it?

Ivan has a hard row to hoe now, and he's trying to do that with his confession, his acceptance of responsibility, etc. You might want more from him but this is what you're going to get, love it or hate it. Personally I think he's doing a good job for a person who has lived a lie for 10 months. Repenting and asking for forgiveness isn't easy, but I think it makes us better people to be able to extend our hands in support rather than continue to feel like we were personally cheated. I sent him a personal note of support last week before his confession and I'm happy to say I could re-send the same exact words today after the past two days: Ivan, it was a tremendous pleasure to meet you and to interview you. I consider you a great champion and I sincerely hope everything works out for you."

Camille

Cathy, you really expressed very much how I feel about the "sports figure as hero" phenomenon. I can't have them up on pedestals personally, just because they do amazing things athletically. Thanks for summing up my feelings so well. And -- disclaimer -- even Lance isn't up on a pedestal for me, as someone who could "DEEPLY" disappoint me. I give him credit for when he makes me proud but beyond that... I'm not waiting for him to ride in on a big white horse (on Cathy's Santa Barbara trail). My personal happiness is too important to me to waste time agonizing over what personal choices athletes make. Unless they choose white spandex shorts... that's an unforgivable choice. Sorry I just can't join in on the ohhh-WOE-is-MEEEE! party. Uh-oh, y'all are gonna owe me one on that now, aren't you? Well, Cathy won't at least :)

Just watched Idol.... boring. I'm not into it any more I don't think. Just want Melinda to win. The songs were all mostly slow and too changed. It was a disappointment. Okay, I was DEEPLY disappointed! ;) Jordin's first song was pretty good though. The rest... blah.

Theresa

They changed the songs?!!! Crap, I wanted 70's style!!
Oh well, it doesn't take long to ff thru the commercials and see the actual show!

Cathy, you did a great job of summing things up with perspective. I got over my Lance worship pretty fast, you can always tell someone who doesn't follow cycling when they still refer to Lance. It's the only cyclist they know!! Floyd is the only cyclist I've actually invested faith in. And I decided that after last summer, no one is perfect; they are all human beings and fine athletes. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! I don't care how much I doped or juiced, I would NEVER perform even close to that level!! I'd probably be able to ride a century without dying, but that's all I'd expect.
And Floyd's mother put said exactly how I try to feel, if he did something wrong, he should pay the price. But that's true of all human behavior! So once they've paid for their crime,and done the time, I'll welcome all of them back to the peleton with open arms!!
And they are my entertainment; I have to remember that!! But that does not turn me away from the sport! I just want them to get their act together! Maybe there are to many old white men in charge!! That's always been the problem with everything else!! lol

Janann

Wow, Cathy!! WELL put!!! And, as someone else who rides both horses and bikes, I appreciated your post on MD yesterday!

I felt the same way about Floyd's initial response to the doping charges, Owlie. I thought the fact that he was completely unprepared to deal with anything like that spoke volumes about his integrity.

On to AI.........
I was a bit let down tonight, as well. I LOVED Susie's vision for the evening, but we didn't even get the platform shoes. The songs were slow and I didn't "believe" most of the performances. Jordin's first song was really good and Melinda rocked the end of her second round. I usually LOVE Blake, but he didn't inspire me tonight at all. I'm voting for Melinda and Jordin, but GOSH its going to be a tough call as to who goes tomorrow.

Welcome Adam :)

Theresa

Oh, know that doesn't mean I might "swoon" a little if I get to met my favorite cyclists!! And my initial impulse would be to HUG Floyd, if I ever get to meet him face to face! That might upset his bodyguard! lol And even last summer, when I met Brad Huff, I had to touch his arm!! I'm one of "those" people....LOOK OUT Catherine!!!!

Theresa

Oh, and regarding the Horse vs bike/running trails, I personally like riding on the road. I don't know if I'll ever ride off-road, and I'm afraid of horses, cause they are so big!! And doggy poop must be picked up, they are meat eaters!! That would be like leaving our poop sitting around!! Of course my dogs never went out into the "woods"; I didn't want them to get ticks!!

Camille

Waaahhhhh!! Theresa made fun of me, waaaahhhhh!!! No really, Theresa, you've got my number -- Lance is my Brad Huff :D Well, give me some credit -- one time I actually clicked on a Brad Huff link you sent me and saw him in his little Daisy Dukes. But you had to bribe me by telling me what I was going to see:) Well... at least I admit to being basically a Tour de France fan -- mostly a blank slate until it arrives and then I try to dive in head first on all of it. So sue me! :) Hey, I'm really just a runner, cut me some slack. Although I DID finally buy a road bike a week ago and am waiting for my daughter to bring my bike pump back home. Then I'll try it out. (*****CRASH!!!!*****)

BTW, hi's all 'round to Adam, Pommi and LindaLoo.

LindaLoo

Sara your title He "almost" doped reminds me of a certain president who "didn't inhale".

Owlie

I agree, cyclists generally aren't my heroes either (although, you gotta give me George at the ToC, that was heroic by any standard!), and I don't feel personally cheated. I see them as great athletes, and I love to watch them do great things. Lance can be a real jerk, and that's fine, 'cause I don't have to live with him, I just love to watch him ride or fight cancer, works for me. I was just disagreeing with all the praise being heaped on Basso, and trying to put a more realistic light on it. I don't want to vilify him, he's a person with both good and bad in him, and I felt compassion for him yesterday. But he made a show today of coming clean, and then made a highly implausible statement that contradicted the reported evidence, evidence that he in part agreed to. It's not about loving it or hating it or what I want, it's just about calling it like it is.

Owlie

LindaLoo - you have to read O'Grady over at VeloNews, if you haven't already, he leads off with the Clinton line.

Owlie

AI - that Stayin' Alive video on charity night was really cute, but if tonight was the penance we had to pay for it, no thanks! Forget song choice, let's talk mentor choice! I think the producers shot themselves in the foot with this one, egads. I love my Blake, but all that power in his voice last week was just gone, gone, gone, wahoohoo. It would be a punishable offense if he has to go out on one of those songs, but he chose 'em, so let the chips fall where they may.

catherine

Damn, you guys are sooo good today. Lovin all the new blood too. We are fleshing out as a buchna blog devotees, aren't we?

About the horse versus bike etc deal (begun at the MD ranch), does anyone remember that funny video Ms T linked us to a coupla months ago? The one where a horse entered the road in front of a Peloton? Now that is competition! (Dang, I just cleaned out my mailbox on Sunday and deleted it.)

Yvette

Wow, looks like I didn't miss much on AI.

What I often look for in an athlete (besides looks, unashamedly) is inspiration. I often like to watch sports that I like to be involved in myself, and when I see a certain sport played at it's best, it motivates me on my own level (obviously not even close to theirs). Of course athletes are going to screw up. But it's hard to be INSPIRED when their "talent" may not be so amazing in and of itself after all. I've been a sports fan (too many to name) all my life, and the luster those sports used to have has also rubbed off because I can't be sure anymore where the purity is (remember MD's post on that?). Doping/drug use is one factor in my general disappointment; I won't even start on the whole money issue.

woofdawg

I dunno Sara, Ivan may be slick, but as a kid who had had to resort to taking liberties with the truth to keep his little ass outta the fire, I can spot a well-engineered lie from many, many metres away. And Signore Basso's tale is just a little too convenient, and a little too late, and well, what the f@#$, Barry Bonds is soon going to pass Hank Aaron, Nikolas Sarkozy is the next president of France while Karl Rove is still president of ours and love doesn't always work out and the planet's all hosed up and that's still not any goddamned reason to give up on the stuff that locomotes your train.

So, bite your lip, swallow hard and when it's just a little too distaseful, go ride yer bike. Because that's what it's always been, and always will be about. Sorry, and about that Santa Claus thang...

Whatever. Sorry, I'm on performance-wrecking beverages... What th' hell...

theresa

Gosh, you guys are up late!! And Camille I wasn't making fun of YOU (silly girl), you know more than just Lance; plus his your home state hero! Like my Brad Huff!! (Even though he did fall off the podium at the announcement of the Tour of Missouri!!) I need to find that link for you guys to see!!lol

I'm not a "sports fan". I was a Royals fan in the 70's and early 80's, a Packer's fan because my tribe is up there, and we have our own entrance to the stadium in Green Bay! I liked going to games when I was in HS, and I watch the Olympics....but I love cycling!!!!!!!!

theresa

Okay, just watched AI. Gosh, I didn't think it was as bad as you guys said!! I did know that song that Blake sang, "This is were I came in"; His technic distracts me, but it's not bad, he just loves to do it! Matt, you'd better have voted for our girls, Melinda and Jordin!! I love Barry Gibb 's songs, and tho it wasn't the best night for all of them; I enjoyed the songs.
Lakisha may be the next to go, if Blake has all the kids votes.IMO

theresa

Okay, you guys are going to hate me!! I found the entry on the blog Brad Huff Sucks! this is posted by Butthead (one of the cyclist on Slipstream, not sure which one, I know that Meatball is Mike Friedman! Please excuse the language, but basically the story is a riot!! And if you don't read it, I understand!!

hey butthead, any interest in posting this to Brad Huff Sucks?

Yet another example of how much Brad Huff Sucks. October 17th was the press conference to introduce the new Tour of Missouri and there were several current and former top-notch pro cyclists in attendance, including ‘Fast’ Freddy Rodriguez, Kevin Livingston, Russ Murphy, and Mark Gorski. For some reason Fat Boy Huff was in that group. No, not just in attendance, but actually sitting on the stage. And they introduced him as ‘Pro Cyclist from Springfield, Missouri, Brad Huff.’ I guess they f
e
lt bad saying ‘first loser but still National Crit Champion’. They put him up on the stage, sitting right next to Fast Freddy and Kevin who have their suit jackets on and looking all nice and here’s Huffy with his little mullet sticking out and goofy white sunglasses sitting on top of his head. He’s got a pressed blue shirt on, I guess he stopped at Wal-mart on the way in, and it’s open at the collar just enough to let the tip of his gay chest hair arrow peak out.

If only he was satisfied with displaying his suckiness through just his appearance. If only… Instead, Brad had to prove the full depth of his suckiness. Being the no-name Pro Cyclist from Springfield, they appropriately stuck him at the end of the table. Trying to hide his degree of suck by being a ‘gentleman’, Brad kept scooting his chair back and forth to let other people out. Little did he know, or care, that all he was doing was pissing people off with the constant scritch-scratch, up

down, look at me, I’m a pro-cyclist. His constant need for attention, really it’s just sad. The capper was when he moved just a little too far and FELL OFF THE STAGE flat on his back, instantly hopping back up and waving it off. ‘I’m ok! I’m ok!’ The way he jumped up, I expected him to do a couple of hand-springs and a flip, wave the ‘spirit hands’ and lead us in a cheer.

How can there be any more proof of the amount of suck that Huff has. He’s a pro cyclist? He can’t even sit in a fucking chair without falling. How can he ride a bike? What a complete suck-fest. I feel sorry for that National Champion jersey. It must shudder every time he slips it on.


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posted by Butthead at 11:42 AM 0 comments

Camille

I just reread a lot of the viewpoints on the Basso situation written by everyone. Maybe I'm just too jaded to let myself get all emotionally involved. But I want to ask everyone... think about it... Ivan rationalized this most likely thinking "this is MY blood, just pumped up with more of my own red blood cells" and it's not like he even necessarily took any drugs that we know of. I honestly can see how a rider could rationalize that. Have none of you ever bent any rules that you considered ridiculous? Never? Good. Very good, I admire you! I can't say the same for myself, and therefore I can't be all CRUSHED because someone made a choice that wasn't the most straight-and-narrow one to make. I'm done looking for perfect people so I have a reason to get up in the morning. But I guess I've said enough on this... probably had already made my point before. But... it's not like Ivan went out and raped a little old lady or something. On the relative scale of things-we-go-to-hell-for, I call that a very MINOR no-no that he did/might have done. VERY minor. I can't be up on my high horse judging him harshly like I've never done anything iffy such as that.

Rant over.

Debby

For Yvette re: Paris:

'Role model'

In a message on a MySpace website, Ms Hilton apparently endorsed the online appeal, saying: "My friend Joshua started his petition, please help and sihn it (sic). I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!"

The petition paints Ms Hilton as a role model who "provides hope for young people all over the US and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives".

It also draws parallels between other high-profile US figures who were forgiven for their misdeeds.

"If the late former President Gerald Ford could find it in his heart to pardon the late former President Richard Nixon after his mistake(s), we undeniably support Paris Hilton being pardoned for her honest mistake," it says.

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