/ Kimmage and Sky

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JLS on 02 Jan 2013
Yikes! Baby thrown out with the bath water?

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/kimmage-unconvinced-by-sky-and-wiggins

Or are you worried he might know something?
steev on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

Good on him, I say. Not saying I agree with him, but history shows us that voices like his are useful for turning the spotlight where its needed.

I doubt he has any actual evidence though.
GrahamD - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

It reads as a bit of mud slinging to me. He really needs to present a bit more research if he isn't going to lose the credibility he's regained.

For a start he could look at Sky's high recruiting power and what that could do for a team (a la Man City and Chelsea in the premiership)
Dave Kerr - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

"Kimmage pointed in particular to the presence of Dr. Geert Leinders on Sky's medical staff in 2011 and 2012. Leinders was previously a doctor at Rabobank during a period when doping is alleged to have been tolerated on the team."

Basically he's saying 'there was a team that might have doped and now someone from that team is on another team so I think that team is doping too.'

Pretty thin stuff.
Chris the Tall - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:
There is a story I've heard about Stalin and the Siege of Leningrad. The siege lasted 900 days, and only half of those not evacuated survived. Stalin regarded the dead as heroes, but was deeply suspicious of the survivors. How had they out-lasted the heroes ? Were they more selfish, less brave, less prepared to lay down their lives for Mother Russia. Furthermore had they been complicit with the enemy ? Over the next ten years many of the survivors found themselves in the Gulags.

Strikes me that Kimmage's logic, if you win the TDF you must be a cheat, is as flawed, or paranoid, as Stalins.

I thinks he's been a very useful voice in cycling, but at the same time he lacks credibility - for example he seems to believe all of Landis's (latest) story and was full of praise for his TDF performance. And whilst happy to cast aspersions all over the place, particularly at British riders, he still won't talk about the Irish heroes.
Loughan - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS: This story from Road.cc indicates there are new doping products being used which are not dectected with the current anti-doping tests:

"Roberti recounted how cyclists interviewed as part of his investigation revealed that a type of EPO called EPO Z, for which there is currently no test, was being widely used, while in 2012 a Chinese variant of EPO had been launched which he described as the “Queen of the Games” at London 2012."

http://road.cc/content/news/72609-doping-padua-magistrate-says-nothing-has-changed-cycling

After all the revelataions of dopers past i just can't be confident someone is riding 100% clean but of all the teams surely Sky has to be the cleanest

Kimmage definitely needs some sort of evidence rather than just pointing the finger at Wiggins which is a bit unfair. From the affidavits and biographys of Millar & Hamilton of wanton doping it wouldn't be hard for an undercover investigation to get some cameras on the affair and blow it open.

Mutl3y - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: It's not that thin. Team Sky launched with a mission statement espousing values of transparency - they even said they would not hire professionals from within cycling so as to avoid hiring those with a suspicious background.

Things turned notably more opaque over time and hiring Dr. Leinders, who came from a very dodgy team (let's not forget Rabobank were the team that in 2007 had to withdraw the yellow jersey holder Rasmussen from the tour for cheating drug controls - widely acknowledged as a dirty team), was entirely against the spirit of the endeavour that they launched. This hiring received little or no attention (I'm not saying it was a secret but I didnt' know about it) until Kimmage raised it last year during the Tour.
Sky then said that they would not be extending Leinders' contract and he has since left the team.

Hiring Leinders therefore stinks. Not as much as finding a box of PEDs in the team bus of course, but it stinks.

Chris the Tall - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:

> let's not forget Rabobank were the team that in 2007 had to withdraw the yellow jersey holder Rasmussen from the tour for cheating drug controls

Let's not forget Rabobank are the only team to have withdrawn their rider whilst he was wearing yellow, and did so not because he'd failed a drug test, but because he'd lied to the team about his whereabouts.

I'm not saying Leinders, or Yates for that matter, were good choices, but I don't believe Sky ever said they wouldn't hire anyone who had worked on teams whose riders got caught for drugs.
subalpine - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Loughan:
> (In reply to JLS)
>
> After all the revelataions of dopers past i just can't be confident someone is riding 100% clean but of all the teams surely Sky has to be the cleanest
>
the trick is the appearance of being clean by never failing drug tests, and money helps..
Hephaestus - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) It's not that thin. Team Sky launched with a mission statement espousing values of transparency - they even said they would not hire professionals from within cycling so as to avoid hiring those with a suspicious background.
>
They set a pretty high bar for themselves, though, didn't they? Brilliant from a moral point of view, but in pro-cycling the aim of having a completely clean team and management looks an ever more difficult objective. Wasn't it because of new revelations that they let a number of people go at the end of the tour?

I would hope that Braillsford's Olympic background means that at management team level, Sky is a clean team. I think they do a lot of work with the cyclists to monitor blood and performance throughout the season with the aim of spotting performance peaks/blood patterns that would indicate doping.

Not saying that it's foolproof with new drugs and techniques, but the team seems committed to being clean.

Kimmage's war on doping has been going on for 20 years or more, so he must feel pretty cynical by now! Can't blame him for questioning everyone and everything, but maybe there are better targets than Sky at the moment.

Lord of Starkness - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

It's easy for Kimmage to sling mud, without backing it up.

Yes - Sky's tactics on the road were remarkably like those of Armstrong / US Postal/ Discovery / Astana / Brunyeel teams, however what appeared to be different was the absence due to injury or suspension of many of the favourites from previous years, ( Contador, Schleck and no other team had been able to assemble such a strong core of climbers who were dedicated to a single goal.

Just finished reading Wiggo's book. It gives a remarkably detailed insight into Sky's training methodology, and he contrasts what Sky do against other teams he's ridden for in the past. His wins were very much a case of riding to limit losses against the super climbers, then wiping them out in the long time trials. This years TDF is a less favourable course for Brad, with more summit finishes and fewer ITT km

This years grand tours will be very interesting when other teams will doubtless try and emulate Sky's performances, and the likes of Contador and the Shlecks will be back - not to mention the young guns like Sagan.
Liam M - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Lord of Starkness: Do you think Sagan will be looking at the GC? I more expected him to focus on the classics and maybe a few stages in the Grand Tours. Of the newer riders I'd probably expect Pinot or Van Garderen to be the ones to watch for gc places. Dependent on what he's allowed to do I wonder if JTL may even spook a few folks.

Though this is getting away from the op. I'm reminded of when Brailsford said he'd understand it if people were rather reluctant to believe any rider was clean after the LA revelations came out. It's almost impossible to feel completely convinced Sky have done it blemish free; I don't believe they've done anything wrong, but there will always be that niggling question.
danm - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

Sky brought a world beating methodology over from the track to a moribund road scene which other than its adoption of extreme doping had failed to progress in sports science terms for decades. Timed with a slump in the opposition due to banning/injury, this resulted in them cleaning up.

Until Kimmage et al come up with some salient facts rather than rhetoric and supposition, I'll continue to ignore him (which is a shame, as Kimmage was a hero of mine, once)
Hat Dude on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

Any clean winner of the Tour is/will be a victim of the dopers as their achievement will be doubted.

To a certain extent Paul Kimmage will keep stirring the doping pot to stay in the limelight & make a living.
Mutl3y - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Mutl3y)
>
> [...]
>
> Let's not forget Rabobank are the only team to have withdrawn their rider whilst he was wearing yellow, and did so not because he'd failed a drug test, but because he'd lied to the team about his whereabouts.
>

Lying to avoid drug controls is as serious an infringement as failing a drugs test. Rabobank had no choice in the matter and to stand behind someone who had said he was in (from memory) Mexico when he was actually in Italy would have been ridiculous.

> I'm not saying Leinders, or Yates for that matter, were good choices, but I don't believe Sky ever said they wouldn't hire anyone who had worked on teams whose riders got caught for drugs.

They did say so and it was widely reported. Just google zero tolerance team sky.
danm - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:

I'm still completely bemused by this. A team says they won't hire anyone who has been convicted of drugs offences. Everyone else interprets this to mean that they shouldn't hire anyone with any connection with anyone who may have taken or facilitated/turned a blind eye to drugs. Pretty tricky that, would make a team of nobody.

We're at the point now where people won't be swayed by simple things like facts, it's become a dogmatic stance, just read the cycling forums - there's no actual debate just continual rehashing of entrenched opinions. It's tired, old and frankly extremely boring.
Chris the Tall - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to danm:
> (In reply to Mutl3y)
>
> I'm still completely bemused by this. A team says they won't hire anyone who has been convicted of drugs offences. Everyone else interprets this to mean that they shouldn't hire anyone with any connection with anyone who may have taken or facilitated/turned a blind eye to drugs. Pretty tricky that, would make a team of nobody.
>
Thanks for saving me the effort of explaining that !!

Wiggins and Cofidis is the obvious example
Mutl3y - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to danm: I don't have an entrenched opinion. I proudly wore a team sky replica bib while cycling around Belgium in July last year.

But it is a fact that Team Sky had a very well publicised "zero tolerance" policy. Paul kimmage wrote last July very specifically that in 2009 Brailsford had said/written that team sky would employ "only british doctors who had never worked in cycling before" and "the team would not employ anyone who had been associated with doping". I'm sure there must be another source to back up these stated aims - it can't be that Kimmage was the only person who knew about it.

Importantly, it was not the case that the team only had a ban on, as you have said, those "convicted of drugs offences". That would have mean that all sorts of very dodgy characters were fair play.

This isn't the case of misinterpretation. The policy was very clear on these issues. It changed.

I'm open to facts though. If you think I've got something wrong here then I am genuinely all ears.
bouldery bits - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to danm)
> [...]

>
> Wiggins and Cofidis is the obvious example

Are you insinuating wrong doing at Cofidis???? I am shocked and appalled at such an unfounded accusation.
Lord of Starkness - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

I'm part way through Tyler Hamilton's book, and 'post Festina' doping became much more clandestine affair with individual riders seeking to outflank the rules as opposed to systematic doping by the team management -- hence the involvement with the likes of Dr Ferrari and the whole of the setup uncovered by Operation Puerto.

With regard to the ex Rabobank doctor who worked with Sky last year, I don't think he was directly implicated in the Rasmussen case - but had to leave Sky once Brailsford announced a no tolerance policy for anyone associated with past offences.

It's of interest to note that during the years of EPO use, average speeds at the Tour went up from around 37kph to over 42 kph. The past 2 years average speeds are back below 40kph even when you factor in improvements in equipment and aerodynamics - and typically shorter stages that produce more exciting racing - which points to Evans and Wiggo winning 'clean' It will be interesting to see what happens this year with the likely involvement of Contador and the Shlecks.
Hephaestus - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Are you insinuating wrong doing at Cofidis???? I am shocked and appalled at such an unfounded accusation.

Wasn't Millar at Cofidis when he was banned? He felt that the team failed to monitor or attempt to control doping, and that some managers encouraged him to dope even if the team didn't give active, practical support to him to do so.

One of Millar's main points is that the teams should be proactive in preventing doping - I think Sky are, but Millar said Cofidis and Saunier were not.
Mutl3y - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Lord of Starkness: Agreed! This tour is going to be amazing wiggo v Froome v Contador v Andy (prob no Frank though) v Cuddles etc. And with Cav in what is hopefully a more supportive team at OPQS there should be that added interest too...
danm - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Mutl3y:

Brailsford openly admits to changing the policy, as the team realised that it would prevent them from hiring anybody from within cycling over the age of 40. The experience needed to win the Tour would be denied them. This isn't a grand revelation, it was reported in a Guardian interview back in 2011. I don't see any evidence of duplicity, just a sense of a team finding that some realism needed to factored in.

The fact that this has since been used to batter Sky with a stick says a lot about how much they've upset the road cycling applecart
danm - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS: more positively, who's peoples outside bet for a podium finish, Hesjedal is mine
Ian Black - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS: I'm reading Kimmage's book at the moment. On chapter 8 and quite a good read so far.
Mutl3y - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to danm: Yep, no more argument from me. I think we can amicably agree to differ.

Could make a separate thread about early tour predictions but my v outside bet would be on JVDB finally delivering - he's been quietly plugging away the last few years and has to get his chance soon.

Forgot hesjedal was going to be there, yeah he must be in with a chance too. Surely the most open tour for years?
bouldery bits - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to Hephaestus:

I may have had my sarcasm lock on mate
nowler - on 03 Jan 2013
In reply to JLS:

maybe eurosport will have a ban on former cyclists/presenters who have failed dope tests in the past and we won't have to listen to certain people prattling on with their insight and experience again this year.....
Hephaestus - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to bouldery bits:

Oh yeah. I guess my serious discussion alert must have misfired...
bouldery bits - on 04 Jan 2013
In reply to Hephaestus:


Hahaha!
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