EWS Doping Thread Disappearance

Create New Tag

2/7/2019 1:59 PM

watchcwgo wrote:

Anybody hear anything more about court date? Couldn’t dig anything up.

Shhhh, it's almost forgotten

|

@jason_gainey

2/7/2019 11:47 PM

It has... Rude still on Red Bull and all his other sponsors still on board...What bull sh!t is that!!

Graves, everyone is on the recovery trip and wont call him out for fear of being branded as satan!

I am pretty saddened by the mountain bike community. It appears that top level riders are now bigger than the sport.

I cant see the EWS taking this further, which is weak as f@ck!

So on the basis that drug taking is acceptable, lets all get on the programme!

|

2/8/2019 4:04 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/8/2019 4:05 AM

That is a silly idea. It just takes time to investigate.

And I actually like the idea that not every sponsor drops athletes before a proper investigation result has been presented. And even then I hope that the sponsors will carefully reflect in what are their options and for what reasons.

Droping athletes just to show the world that you are a brand that wants a clean sport is more Festina and the 90s than 2020is

|

2/8/2019 5:11 AM

Sorry, but you do realise that both of them have admitted to doping. Forget the bull sh!t they are pedalling about it being a mistake. They failed the drug test!

No sponsor should or can stand by them as it sends the wrong message.

What is 2020's... support them through their problems! BULL SH!T!

I feel sorry of the boys that didn't cheat. They missed out on the podium, the bonus' etc.

I ain't got time for those two... fake kings of the sport!


|

2/16/2019 11:00 AM

|

2/17/2019 5:34 AM

Forked Tongue wrote:

It has... Rude still on Red Bull and all his other sponsors still on board...What bull sh!t is that!!

Graves, everyone is on the recovery trip and wont call him out for fear of being branded as satan!

I am pretty saddened by the mountain bike community. It appears that top level riders are now bigger than the sport.

I cant see the EWS taking this further, which is weak as f@ck!

So on the basis that drug taking is acceptable, lets all get on the programme!

Completely agree. Surprised that there hasn't been more of a backlash from sponsors, most of the media (Pinkbike basically gave the guys a free pass) and the MTB community at large. Will be very interesting to see what punishments (if any) are dished out. I share your cynicism and will be not surprised if it's just a slap on the wrist, which would be an opportunity missed and completely the wrong message to send... Would be hard not to consider the EWS a 'dirty' discipline of MTB if this turns out to be the case.

Sounds like their day in court may be after the first EWS round this year. Wonder if Rude will be allowed to race???

|

2/17/2019 9:26 AM

I imagine he will. I assume you are familiar with the phrase 'innocent until proven guilty'? No one can possibly levy sanctions or take action before a ruling really. It's a slow process.

|

2/17/2019 2:42 PM

neil.carnegie.1 wrote:

I imagine he will. I assume you are familiar with the phrase 'innocent until proven guilty'? No one can possibly levy sanctions or take action before a ruling really. It's a slow process.

I thought that both riders accepted their positive tests. Does that not prove their guilt, and now they are contesting the results or waiting for their punishement?
If they are waiting for their sentence, shouldn’t they both not be allowed to race until their sanctions are handed out?

|

2/17/2019 7:51 PM

Forked Tongue wrote:

Sorry, but you do realise that both of them have admitted to doping. Forget the bull sh!t they are pedalling about it being a mistake. They failed the drug test!

No sponsor should or can stand by them as it sends the wrong message.

What is 2020's... support them through their problems! BULL SH!T!

I feel sorry of the boys that didn't cheat. They missed out on the podium, the bonus' etc.

I ain't got time for those two... fake kings of the sport!


Oh, you again, hunting people, not knowing anything but thinking you already figured it out. Go ride a bike, you will do better yourself.

|

2/18/2019 12:07 AM

Forked Tongue wrote:

Sorry, but you do realise that both of them have admitted to doping. Forget the bull sh!t they are pedalling about it being a mistake. They failed the drug test!

No sponsor should or can stand by them as it sends the wrong message.

What is 2020's... support them through their problems! BULL SH!T!

I feel sorry of the boys that didn't cheat. They missed out on the podium, the bonus' etc.

I ain't got time for those two... fake kings of the sport!


Kusa wrote:

Oh, you again, hunting people, not knowing anything but thinking you already figured it out. Go ride a bike, you will do better yourself.

No hunting, just never been a fan of cheating and believe in a fair sport.

I have been at a few races with these boys... and I have direct access to the industry bat phone... so yes, I reckon I do have it pretty figured out!

....And I do, do better myself, everyday, when I say NO to drugs!!

The big question is, what next...

|

3/9/2019 7:30 AM

EWS changes from ‘that other website’:

“Anti-Doping and CADF
Following the start of the UCI and EWS partnership in January 2019, we are a registered partner of the Cycling Anti-Doping foundation. EWS will also follow and expects all athletes and teams to follow the UCI Anti-Doping rules (Part XIV). All information on Anti-Doping and CADF can be found on www.cadf.ch. All rules (EWS, UCI, CADF), documents and links are hosted on the new page;”

Hmm. Wording seems to suggest that if you were caught prior to 2019, it doesn’t really matter...

Still waiting to hear if Rude will be racing in the first round.


|

3/9/2019 7:33 AM

already posted here - complete EWS 2019 rulebook, which includes the anti-doping section
https://www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/List-of-2019-Enduro-World-Series-Teams,10461#post_40608

|

3/9/2019 7:38 AM

carll wrote:

EWS changes from ‘that other website’:

“Anti-Doping and CADF
Following the start of the UCI and EWS partnership in January 2019, we are a registered partner of the Cycling Anti-Doping foundation. EWS will also follow and expects all athletes and teams to follow the UCI Anti-Doping rules (Part XIV). All information on Anti-Doping and CADF can be found on www.cadf.ch. All rules (EWS, UCI, CADF), documents and links are hosted on the new page;”

Hmm. Wording seems to suggest that if you were caught prior to 2019, it doesn’t really matter...

Still waiting to hear if Rude will be racing in the first round.


As far as I remember, the wording prior to 2019 was "if any athlete is caught in violation of any anti-doping policies anywhere, they're out." They've now made their policy more specific by linking it to the UCI which potentially could actually make it less effective or less strict (assuming that they would actually have applied their 2018 blanket ban policy in the first place...).

|

3/9/2019 8:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/9/2019 8:33 AM

carll wrote:

EWS changes from ‘that other website’:

“Anti-Doping and CADF
Following the start of the UCI and EWS partnership in January 2019, we are a registered partner of the Cycling Anti-Doping foundation. EWS will also follow and expects all athletes and teams to follow the UCI Anti-Doping rules (Part XIV). All information on Anti-Doping and CADF can be found on www.cadf.ch. All rules (EWS, UCI, CADF), documents and links are hosted on the new page;”

Hmm. Wording seems to suggest that if you were caught prior to 2019, it doesn’t really matter...

Still waiting to hear if Rude will be racing in the first round.


iceman2058 wrote:

As far as I remember, the wording prior to 2019 was "if any athlete is caught in violation of any anti-doping policies anywhere, they're out." They've now made their policy more specific by linking it to the UCI which potentially could actually make it less effective or less strict (assuming that they would actually have applied their 2018 blanket ban policy in the first place...).

thats what it was before- EWS was not going to test you itself, but if you were suspended by anyone, anywhere, you were out of EWS forever... i never thought that was a realistic policy though... and they certainly dodged a bullet by aligning themselves with the UCI/CADF...now, nobody is looking at Chris to sort out Rude and Graves.... they can serve their probable ban and come back when its over and he doesnt have to deal with the legal side at all... its one of the many reasons EWS went for help to the international community to manage their growth and meet their responsibilities...

|

I am the founder of Memory Pilot I make MTB Fenders and have an awesome sock.

3/9/2019 8:48 PM

Forked Tongue wrote:

It has... Rude still on Red Bull and all his other sponsors still on board...What bull sh!t is that!!

Graves, everyone is on the recovery trip and wont call him out for fear of being branded as satan!

I am pretty saddened by the mountain bike community. It appears that top level riders are now bigger than the sport.

I cant see the EWS taking this further, which is weak as f@ck!

So on the basis that drug taking is acceptable, lets all get on the programme!

carll wrote:

Completely agree. Surprised that there hasn't been more of a backlash from sponsors, most of the media (Pinkbike basically gave the guys a free pass) and the MTB community at large. Will be very interesting to see what punishments (if any) are dished out. I share your cynicism and will be not surprised if it's just a slap on the wrist, which would be an opportunity missed and completely the wrong message to send... Would be hard not to consider the EWS a 'dirty' discipline of MTB if this turns out to be the case.

Sounds like their day in court may be after the first EWS round this year. Wonder if Rude will be allowed to race???

Wow I am pretty surprised by this strong of a reaction (and some of the others in this thread). I get that they were technically cheating, but I personally don't see it as as big of a deal as you've made it out to be. In my view a 'slap on the wrist' seems appropriate for a few reasons:

1. The Substance - The substance they were using doesn't sound (to my non-scientist) ears to be that much of a performance enhancing product. If they were using something that gave them superhuman strength and endurance, I would probably be a bit more upset, but my understanding was that one was a product that basically gives you a strong caffeine-like boost, improving focus, and the other is basically like the drugs in an asthma inhaler. Maybe they provide a greater performance advantage than I am giving them credit for, but my understanding is that the benefits wouldn't be huge. I guess that doesn't seem as severe of an offence to me than something like EPO. Are the benefits gained by these drugs going to be vastly more significant than the differences and inequalities between riders that permeate all other aspects of the sport, such as being on a fast bike vs. a slow bike, riding terrain you're more familiar with, having local knowledge, or having access to a mechanic? I don't know, but probably not. That isn't to say I am fine with people taking these drugs, but it is to say that I don't think it is worth ruining riders' careers over, especially when it is a first offence.

2. The Nature of the Sport - Yes, enduro is a physically demanding sport, but we all know that no one would be in the position Rude and Graves are in without absolute mountains of bike handling skill and hard training. Sure, they may have gained a certain advantage by using these drugs, but both men are World Champion-level bike riders, taking these drugs didn't move them from 50th to 1st. If a 50th place rider all of a sudden started winning EWS races and we found out they were using banned substances, I'd be upset, but I have no doubt Graves and Rude can perform at the highest level with or without banned substances. I guess that fact, plus the relatively minor benefits of these substances makes me think that this shouldn't be viewed as a major infraction, especially given their explanation of unintentional ingestion.

3. It is Bike Racing - I love bike racing. Like, too much probably. I spend of the much of the day during EWS races aggressively refreshing the stage results in a fit of nervousness hoping my favourite riders are doing well. But at the end of the day, it is simply people racing bikes (mostly) down hills. I don't think this is an incident that is worth ruining someone's career, discrediting an incredible series, and denigrating the mountain bike community over.

|

3/10/2019 4:49 AM

Forked Tongue wrote:

It has... Rude still on Red Bull and all his other sponsors still on board...What bull sh!t is that!!

Graves, everyone is on the recovery trip and wont call him out for fear of being branded as satan!

I am pretty saddened by the mountain bike community. It appears that top level riders are now bigger than the sport.

I cant see the EWS taking this further, which is weak as f@ck!

So on the basis that drug taking is acceptable, lets all get on the programme!

carll wrote:

Completely agree. Surprised that there hasn't been more of a backlash from sponsors, most of the media (Pinkbike basically gave the guys a free pass) and the MTB community at large. Will be very interesting to see what punishments (if any) are dished out. I share your cynicism and will be not surprised if it's just a slap on the wrist, which would be an opportunity missed and completely the wrong message to send... Would be hard not to consider the EWS a 'dirty' discipline of MTB if this turns out to be the case.

Sounds like their day in court may be after the first EWS round this year. Wonder if Rude will be allowed to race???

EBlackwell wrote:

Wow I am pretty surprised by this strong of a reaction (and some of the others in this thread). I get that they were technically cheating, but I personally don't see it as as big of a deal as you've made it out to be. In my view a 'slap on the wrist' seems appropriate for a few reasons:

1. The Substance - The substance they were using doesn't sound (to my non-scientist) ears to be that much of a performance enhancing product. If they were using something that gave them superhuman strength and endurance, I would probably be a bit more upset, but my understanding was that one was a product that basically gives you a strong caffeine-like boost, improving focus, and the other is basically like the drugs in an asthma inhaler. Maybe they provide a greater performance advantage than I am giving them credit for, but my understanding is that the benefits wouldn't be huge. I guess that doesn't seem as severe of an offence to me than something like EPO. Are the benefits gained by these drugs going to be vastly more significant than the differences and inequalities between riders that permeate all other aspects of the sport, such as being on a fast bike vs. a slow bike, riding terrain you're more familiar with, having local knowledge, or having access to a mechanic? I don't know, but probably not. That isn't to say I am fine with people taking these drugs, but it is to say that I don't think it is worth ruining riders' careers over, especially when it is a first offence.

2. The Nature of the Sport - Yes, enduro is a physically demanding sport, but we all know that no one would be in the position Rude and Graves are in without absolute mountains of bike handling skill and hard training. Sure, they may have gained a certain advantage by using these drugs, but both men are World Champion-level bike riders, taking these drugs didn't move them from 50th to 1st. If a 50th place rider all of a sudden started winning EWS races and we found out they were using banned substances, I'd be upset, but I have no doubt Graves and Rude can perform at the highest level with or without banned substances. I guess that fact, plus the relatively minor benefits of these substances makes me think that this shouldn't be viewed as a major infraction, especially given their explanation of unintentional ingestion.

3. It is Bike Racing - I love bike racing. Like, too much probably. I spend of the much of the day during EWS races aggressively refreshing the stage results in a fit of nervousness hoping my favourite riders are doing well. But at the end of the day, it is simply people racing bikes (mostly) down hills. I don't think this is an incident that is worth ruining someone's career, discrediting an incredible series, and denigrating the mountain bike community over.

you know that rude in fact won that race, even if it gives little diference in performance it will be something none the less, so an advantage.
when you are on the top of the sport you don't have big diferences, so some marginal gain will help a lot.
Even though it isn't a big dopping scandal as some in road or xc, it is still something. and as it was the first on this sport it should care some kind of example

|

3/10/2019 8:39 AM

Forked Tongue wrote:

It has... Rude still on Red Bull and all his other sponsors still on board...What bull sh!t is that!!

Graves, everyone is on the recovery trip and wont call him out for fear of being branded as satan!

I am pretty saddened by the mountain bike community. It appears that top level riders are now bigger than the sport.

I cant see the EWS taking this further, which is weak as f@ck!

So on the basis that drug taking is acceptable, lets all get on the programme!

carll wrote:

Completely agree. Surprised that there hasn't been more of a backlash from sponsors, most of the media (Pinkbike basically gave the guys a free pass) and the MTB community at large. Will be very interesting to see what punishments (if any) are dished out. I share your cynicism and will be not surprised if it's just a slap on the wrist, which would be an opportunity missed and completely the wrong message to send... Would be hard not to consider the EWS a 'dirty' discipline of MTB if this turns out to be the case.

Sounds like their day in court may be after the first EWS round this year. Wonder if Rude will be allowed to race???

EBlackwell wrote:

Wow I am pretty surprised by this strong of a reaction (and some of the others in this thread). I get that they were technically cheating, but I personally don't see it as as big of a deal as you've made it out to be. In my view a 'slap on the wrist' seems appropriate for a few reasons:

1. The Substance - The substance they were using doesn't sound (to my non-scientist) ears to be that much of a performance enhancing product. If they were using something that gave them superhuman strength and endurance, I would probably be a bit more upset, but my understanding was that one was a product that basically gives you a strong caffeine-like boost, improving focus, and the other is basically like the drugs in an asthma inhaler. Maybe they provide a greater performance advantage than I am giving them credit for, but my understanding is that the benefits wouldn't be huge. I guess that doesn't seem as severe of an offence to me than something like EPO. Are the benefits gained by these drugs going to be vastly more significant than the differences and inequalities between riders that permeate all other aspects of the sport, such as being on a fast bike vs. a slow bike, riding terrain you're more familiar with, having local knowledge, or having access to a mechanic? I don't know, but probably not. That isn't to say I am fine with people taking these drugs, but it is to say that I don't think it is worth ruining riders' careers over, especially when it is a first offence.

2. The Nature of the Sport - Yes, enduro is a physically demanding sport, but we all know that no one would be in the position Rude and Graves are in without absolute mountains of bike handling skill and hard training. Sure, they may have gained a certain advantage by using these drugs, but both men are World Champion-level bike riders, taking these drugs didn't move them from 50th to 1st. If a 50th place rider all of a sudden started winning EWS races and we found out they were using banned substances, I'd be upset, but I have no doubt Graves and Rude can perform at the highest level with or without banned substances. I guess that fact, plus the relatively minor benefits of these substances makes me think that this shouldn't be viewed as a major infraction, especially given their explanation of unintentional ingestion.

3. It is Bike Racing - I love bike racing. Like, too much probably. I spend of the much of the day during EWS races aggressively refreshing the stage results in a fit of nervousness hoping my favourite riders are doing well. But at the end of the day, it is simply people racing bikes (mostly) down hills. I don't think this is an incident that is worth ruining someone's career, discrediting an incredible series, and denigrating the mountain bike community over.

The problem is that you aren’t looking from the standpoint of the other riders and you are wanting too much to elevate to hero status some riders and minimize the impacts of the actions on the sport.

1) The substances they used are of a certain class with certain penalties, so they will get what they get based on this. If they can show it’s reasonable they ingested unknowingly they can get some reduction, but they have to actually show it not just say it. The system general works and the science is used to create a hierarchy of substances and penalties that seem reasonable to me. Sports are full of ways to game an advantage, but we’ve decided that we do not accept that athletes game a pharmaceutical advantage. If you want to preride a public trail to know the course, it’s accepted. Taking drugs is not.

2) you are sort of arguing that drugs dont work in enduro, and then that they didn’t take enough drugs. Drugs do work (specifically the ones they took), and they took enough. And when one rider takes them it puts a pressure for all the riders to take them. The other riders who would compete clean lose results, lose money, lose prestige and that’s a huge part of the unfairness. There is also the loss of trust in the quality and truthfulness of the results, and the loss of spirit of goodwill in competition. In the end, a lot of great riders don’t even join the sport or attempt the highest level if its understood that drugs are a part of that. In this specific example if you have great skill, but are fatigued and lose mental acuity, that skill is of less use. If you take amphetamines to regain mental accuity, then it’s not your skill first, it’s the drugs first. And like you siad without saying, enduro needs mental acuity to apply skills. So pretty damning in the end. I don’t need them to move from 50 to 1st. If they move from 5 to 3 that’s enough. And if they move from 1st by 5sec to 1st by 15sec that’s enough to make the #2 guy think about what help he needs.

3) The careers ruined are the careers of the riders who don’t cheat. Their careers are ruined by the cheaters. By removing cheaters from the sport you are protecting the careers of the riders who play by the rules and respect a more fair competition. If dopers are suspended and lose sponsors good. It frees up prize money and sponsorships for the riders who can manage somehow not to take drugs

|

I am the founder of Memory Pilot I make MTB Fenders and have an awesome sock.

3/10/2019 11:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/10/2019 11:57 AM

One thing to mention is that till the moment of Richie and Jared testing positive EWS was on a rapid rise with Sam switching to race proper courses, Martin showing that he soon will be the best gravity rider , increasing "awareness" of how gnarly the enduro racing has become, in stark contrast to perception of UCI DH and taking more and more from sponsorship pie.

With the Richie and Jared debacle I think the momentum will be lost. Regardless of what EWS does, it will lose and will lose badly, not only as a business/race series, but also as community/riders as well.

Fans seem to be split into to camps. One regards both Richie and Jared as crooks, which are to be banned for life, as Roskopp said in one of his very early interviews. No legal and PR (Pinkbike "interview" anyone) maneuvering from either EWS or both guys will convince them. The second group is trying to play down the situation and are 100% behind their heros. If EWS bans/suspends them former will be satisfied, but the latter will be seeing red... and vice versa.

To add insult to injury one of the top racers comes to social media and brags how he saw EWS top riders use all kind of strange substances in Colombia, but he didn't snitch on them... just started to train harder... You just can't make this s**t up. What was he trying to accomplish, besides scoring bro points with his fans?

This certainly will impact how EWS is perceived by sponsors and what share of the pie EWS and riders get. The question just is by how much it will shrink.

From what I see it seems that EWS will try to sweep it under the carpet. The change of "rules" to create loop holes, rumors that Richie will start the first round etc suggest that. Also the video of Richie overtaking Damian on a steep climb, which bares many similarities to Armstrong's performance vs. Ulrich, and was used by Jerome and others as a clue that Richie's performance was suspicious, got purged from youtube.

Personally I look forward to how Chris Ball is going to deal with fans heckling "Doped!" on stages. This will be rather entertaining :D




@ EBlackwell ad point 1.

I got prescribed Ventolin after coming out of a severe case of flue just before a week long bike trip... And I used it on a few rides after a long, heavy climb... this shit is a magic in a bottle, it's like having a new set of lungs just before the descent. Try it! You will understand why it's a banned substance :D might got hooked though


|

3/10/2019 12:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/10/2019 12:27 PM

EBlackwell wrote:

Wow I am pretty surprised by this strong of a reaction (and some of the others in this thread). I get that they were technically cheating, but I personally don't see it as as big of a deal as you've made it out to be. In my view a 'slap on the wrist' seems appropriate for a few reasons:

1. The Substance - The substance they were using doesn't sound (to my non-scientist) ears to be that much of a performance enhancing product. If they were using something that gave them superhuman strength and endurance, I would probably be a bit more upset, but my understanding was that one was a product that basically gives you a strong caffeine-like boost, improving focus, and the other is basically like the drugs in an asthma inhaler. Maybe they provide a greater performance advantage than I am giving them credit for, but my understanding is that the benefits wouldn't be huge. I guess that doesn't seem as severe of an offence to me than something like EPO. Are the benefits gained by these drugs going to be vastly more significant than the differences and inequalities between riders that permeate all other aspects of the sport, such as being on a fast bike vs. a slow bike, riding terrain you're more familiar with, having local knowledge, or having access to a mechanic? I don't know, but probably not. That isn't to say I am fine with people taking these drugs, but it is to say that I don't think it is worth ruining riders' careers over, especially when it is a first offence.

2. The Nature of the Sport - Yes, enduro is a physically demanding sport, but we all know that no one would be in the position Rude and Graves are in without absolute mountains of bike handling skill and hard training. Sure, they may have gained a certain advantage by using these drugs, but both men are World Champion-level bike riders, taking these drugs didn't move them from 50th to 1st. If a 50th place rider all of a sudden started winning EWS races and we found out they were using banned substances, I'd be upset, but I have no doubt Graves and Rude can perform at the highest level with or without banned substances. I guess that fact, plus the relatively minor benefits of these substances makes me think that this shouldn't be viewed as a major infraction, especially given their explanation of unintentional ingestion.

3. It is Bike Racing - I love bike racing. Like, too much probably. I spend of the much of the day during EWS races aggressively refreshing the stage results in a fit of nervousness hoping my favourite riders are doing well. But at the end of the day, it is simply people racing bikes (mostly) down hills. I don't think this is an incident that is worth ruining someone's career, discrediting an incredible series, and denigrating the mountain bike community over.

What a load of shit! I gave up after slap on the wrist. Clearly either you don’t have a clue or have never raced at a high level. I’m going with both!

|

3/10/2019 12:38 PM

It's very simple. They used something that's banned. Unknowingly or knowingly, doesn't matter. They are paid and are paid well enough that this is their job and taking care of what you're eating or drinking is a part of it. Cheating is cheating and there have to be consequences. Anything else gives a completely wrong precedence to the sport in its entirety.

I was a fan of Jared (and it's unfortunate with his illness and everything), what Richie does on a bike is amazing (the Red Bull sound of speed video), but sorry, like i said, cheating is cheating.

If they got caught and others didn't but do the same, it's unfortunate and the control needs to get better. But that is in no way reason enough for them to get a pass or anything.

And the consequences need to be like defined in the rules. If it's a one race ban, so be it. If it's a 5 year ban, so be it as well. Those are the rules these guys have to play at.

As for the whole MTB scene, if i had a kid that had chances to become a pro in any cycling discipline, i think i would advise against it. So few people make it from the whole thing, the competition is cut throat, there's tons of doping (and no chance to make it without it in some disciplines), the careers can be cut short with injuries and all, etc. Yeah, risk and reward and all, but i kind of think a smaller reward with a higher chance is the safer option - go to a good school, get a good job, keep the bike as your hobby and enjoy it.

|

3/10/2019 6:43 PM

carll wrote:

Completely agree. Surprised that there hasn't been more of a backlash from sponsors, most of the media (Pinkbike basically gave the guys a free pass) and the MTB community at large. Will be very interesting to see what punishments (if any) are dished out. I share your cynicism and will be not surprised if it's just a slap on the wrist, which would be an opportunity missed and completely the wrong message to send... Would be hard not to consider the EWS a 'dirty' discipline of MTB if this turns out to be the case.

Sounds like their day in court may be after the first EWS round this year. Wonder if Rude will be allowed to race???

EBlackwell wrote:

Wow I am pretty surprised by this strong of a reaction (and some of the others in this thread). I get that they were technically cheating, but I personally don't see it as as big of a deal as you've made it out to be. In my view a 'slap on the wrist' seems appropriate for a few reasons:

1. The Substance - The substance they were using doesn't sound (to my non-scientist) ears to be that much of a performance enhancing product. If they were using something that gave them superhuman strength and endurance, I would probably be a bit more upset, but my understanding was that one was a product that basically gives you a strong caffeine-like boost, improving focus, and the other is basically like the drugs in an asthma inhaler. Maybe they provide a greater performance advantage than I am giving them credit for, but my understanding is that the benefits wouldn't be huge. I guess that doesn't seem as severe of an offence to me than something like EPO. Are the benefits gained by these drugs going to be vastly more significant than the differences and inequalities between riders that permeate all other aspects of the sport, such as being on a fast bike vs. a slow bike, riding terrain you're more familiar with, having local knowledge, or having access to a mechanic? I don't know, but probably not. That isn't to say I am fine with people taking these drugs, but it is to say that I don't think it is worth ruining riders' careers over, especially when it is a first offence.

2. The Nature of the Sport - Yes, enduro is a physically demanding sport, but we all know that no one would be in the position Rude and Graves are in without absolute mountains of bike handling skill and hard training. Sure, they may have gained a certain advantage by using these drugs, but both men are World Champion-level bike riders, taking these drugs didn't move them from 50th to 1st. If a 50th place rider all of a sudden started winning EWS races and we found out they were using banned substances, I'd be upset, but I have no doubt Graves and Rude can perform at the highest level with or without banned substances. I guess that fact, plus the relatively minor benefits of these substances makes me think that this shouldn't be viewed as a major infraction, especially given their explanation of unintentional ingestion.

3. It is Bike Racing - I love bike racing. Like, too much probably. I spend of the much of the day during EWS races aggressively refreshing the stage results in a fit of nervousness hoping my favourite riders are doing well. But at the end of the day, it is simply people racing bikes (mostly) down hills. I don't think this is an incident that is worth ruining someone's career, discrediting an incredible series, and denigrating the mountain bike community over.

erik saunders wrote:

The problem is that you aren’t looking from the standpoint of the other riders and you are wanting too much to elevate to hero status some riders and minimize the impacts of the actions on the sport.

1) The substances they used are of a certain class with certain penalties, so they will get what they get based on this. If they can show it’s reasonable they ingested unknowingly they can get some reduction, but they have to actually show it not just say it. The system general works and the science is used to create a hierarchy of substances and penalties that seem reasonable to me. Sports are full of ways to game an advantage, but we’ve decided that we do not accept that athletes game a pharmaceutical advantage. If you want to preride a public trail to know the course, it’s accepted. Taking drugs is not.

2) you are sort of arguing that drugs dont work in enduro, and then that they didn’t take enough drugs. Drugs do work (specifically the ones they took), and they took enough. And when one rider takes them it puts a pressure for all the riders to take them. The other riders who would compete clean lose results, lose money, lose prestige and that’s a huge part of the unfairness. There is also the loss of trust in the quality and truthfulness of the results, and the loss of spirit of goodwill in competition. In the end, a lot of great riders don’t even join the sport or attempt the highest level if its understood that drugs are a part of that. In this specific example if you have great skill, but are fatigued and lose mental acuity, that skill is of less use. If you take amphetamines to regain mental accuity, then it’s not your skill first, it’s the drugs first. And like you siad without saying, enduro needs mental acuity to apply skills. So pretty damning in the end. I don’t need them to move from 50 to 1st. If they move from 5 to 3 that’s enough. And if they move from 1st by 5sec to 1st by 15sec that’s enough to make the #2 guy think about what help he needs.

3) The careers ruined are the careers of the riders who don’t cheat. Their careers are ruined by the cheaters. By removing cheaters from the sport you are protecting the careers of the riders who play by the rules and respect a more fair competition. If dopers are suspended and lose sponsors good. It frees up prize money and sponsorships for the riders who can manage somehow not to take drugs

I think those are good points. Couple things I would add or clarify:

1. I totally agree with the idea of their being a hierarchy of substances and penalties that are weighted accordingly. To my knowledge these drugs provide some performance benefit, but not a massive one. What I was responding to (and probably didn't convey clearly enough) was what I saw as people calling for disproportionate penalties, specifically stripping a rider of all their sponsors. I would be in favour of sponsors dropping a rider if they had tested positive two or more times, but to strip a rider of all their sponsors after one test (when they may have accidentally ingested the substances) seems to me to be a disproportionate punishment. Banning the riders for a season or part of a season seems to me to be more in line with the level of the offence they committed.

Also, to your point about proving unintentional ingestion--how would you go about proving something like that? (Not being sarcastic, actually curious)

2. I would say I am not arguing that drugs don't provide an advantage, I am more arguing that these particular drugs do not appear to provide a benefit so great that they would overcome many of the other parameters that make a racer fast. Are they cheating? Absolutely. But are they cheating that sponsors should be willing to end a rider's entire career ? No, I don't think so.

I also don't think I agree with your argument where you conclude "it’s not your skill first, it’s the drugs first". I think it really is the skill first. If a 50th place rider started using these substances, they aren't going to shoot into the top 5. Likewise, you take these substances away from Richie Rude, and he isn't going to drop from being a top 5 rider to a 50th place rider, he is likely going to be in the top 5 or 10 regardless of these substances. If these substances improve his body's ability to use oxygen by a few percentage points, there are so many other factors that make him fast (cornering, jumping, pumping, reading terrain, bike set up, etc, etc). So these substances definitely provide an advantage, but I think our collective response to someone cheating should be somewhat in line with the benefits they gained through their cheating. Pushing a rider's sponsors to drop them, effectively ruining or seriously impeding their career, seems disproportionate to the benefits they gained from their use of banned substances.

3. This idea is am definitely sympathetic to. I think it would definitely be a huge disservice to the sport if we had riders getting factory rides because they were cheating, while others who played by the rules were not. But as I alluded to earlier, from my understanding of the benefits from these drugs, it wouldn't have made such a difference that it would drop a top 5 level rider like Richie Rude out of the that top tier. Following from that, I don't think Rude would be taking a spot away from another rider, as he still would be in that top tier level with or without these banned substances. It would be interesting to know more of the 'behind the scenes' contract info, as I could definitely be wrong here. Jared is also a bit of an interesting case, as he was not getting the top-level results he has proven he is capable of. That said, I think it would be a pretty poor move for Specialized to drop him while he is undergoing cancer treatment.

Bottom line for me, both riders should be punished, but they should be punished in proportion to the offence they have committed. If they were found to be cheating again (or multiple times like Jon Jones in the UFC for example) then I would certainly be in favour of really harsh punishment like a lifetime ban. I guess I think it is worth giving these riders the benefit of the doubt for a first time offence, given that it could have been unintentional (or even just a case of good people making bad decisions) but a harsh punishment if they reoffend (which clearly shows they are acting in bad faith and intentionally cheating).

|

3/10/2019 6:49 PM

KMBNT wrote:

One thing to mention is that till the moment of Richie and Jared testing positive EWS was on a rapid rise with Sam switching to race proper courses, Martin showing that he soon will be the best gravity rider , increasing "awareness" of how gnarly the enduro racing has become, in stark contrast to perception of UCI DH and taking more and more from sponsorship pie.

With the Richie and Jared debacle I think the momentum will be lost. Regardless of what EWS does, it will lose and will lose badly, not only as a business/race series, but also as community/riders as well.

Fans seem to be split into to camps. One regards both Richie and Jared as crooks, which are to be banned for life, as Roskopp said in one of his very early interviews. No legal and PR (Pinkbike "interview" anyone) maneuvering from either EWS or both guys will convince them. The second group is trying to play down the situation and are 100% behind their heros. If EWS bans/suspends them former will be satisfied, but the latter will be seeing red... and vice versa.

To add insult to injury one of the top racers comes to social media and brags how he saw EWS top riders use all kind of strange substances in Colombia, but he didn't snitch on them... just started to train harder... You just can't make this s**t up. What was he trying to accomplish, besides scoring bro points with his fans?

This certainly will impact how EWS is perceived by sponsors and what share of the pie EWS and riders get. The question just is by how much it will shrink.

From what I see it seems that EWS will try to sweep it under the carpet. The change of "rules" to create loop holes, rumors that Richie will start the first round etc suggest that. Also the video of Richie overtaking Damian on a steep climb, which bares many similarities to Armstrong's performance vs. Ulrich, and was used by Jerome and others as a clue that Richie's performance was suspicious, got purged from youtube.

Personally I look forward to how Chris Ball is going to deal with fans heckling "Doped!" on stages. This will be rather entertaining :D




@ EBlackwell ad point 1.

I got prescribed Ventolin after coming out of a severe case of flue just before a week long bike trip... And I used it on a few rides after a long, heavy climb... this shit is a magic in a bottle, it's like having a new set of lungs just before the descent. Try it! You will understand why it's a banned substance :D might got hooked though


Haha, funny you say this, I actually have Ventolin prescribed for asthma. I actually didn't find it helped very much at all, and more than that, I found it made me really jumpy, almost an 'ADHD' kind of feeling. When I used it I found it really hard to focus as it seemed to make me ride significantly worse, maybe just different people react differently to it?

|

3/10/2019 10:59 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/10/2019 11:16 PM

I don't think anybody said that the punishment itself would be for the sponsors to drop them. It was more of a question what the sponsors will do. By themselves.

As for top 50, top 5, etc., both Jared and Richie had very medicore seasons in 2017. Richie bounced back in 2018, but still, far from previous performances. For both.

As for 'it only improves the lungs' spiel, have you ever gone all out on a descent for 5, 10 minutes? Do you even know how tired you get? Performance enhancing drugs could be a huge boost to this as well. Instead of riding at 90 % for the whole stage you could go 95 %. Quite a difference, don't you think?

And for someone saying 'i don't know what the impact is', why don't you do some research? I'm sure there are studies done about the effect of these drugs on athletes. Just as there probably is regarding EPO. Which is not used as widely as in the golden era of road cycling EPO use. The mechanism of using it has changed. And it's hard to detect on drug tests actually.

EDIT: as for the unintentional use proof, i have no idea how that would be done, but it's on the rider. Banned substances were used and found, the effect on the rider is the same, intentional or not. I suspect the best case would be if there was a prescription behind it, that was given due to an illness or something. Though on the other hand most of the ProTour peloton 'has asthma'... So much for Ventolin not giving any benefits

|

3/10/2019 11:20 PM

EBlackwell wrote:

I think those are good points. Couple things I would add or clarify:

1. I totally agree with the idea of their being a hierarchy of substances and penalties that are weighted accordingly. To my knowledge these drugs provide some performance benefit, but not a massive one. What I was responding to (and probably didn't convey clearly enough) was what I saw as people calling for disproportionate penalties, specifically stripping a rider of all their sponsors. I would be in favour of sponsors dropping a rider if they had tested positive two or more times, but to strip a rider of all their sponsors after one test (when they may have accidentally ingested the substances) seems to me to be a disproportionate punishment. Banning the riders for a season or part of a season seems to me to be more in line with the level of the offence they committed.

Also, to your point about proving unintentional ingestion--how would you go about proving something like that? (Not being sarcastic, actually curious)

2. I would say I am not arguing that drugs don't provide an advantage, I am more arguing that these particular drugs do not appear to provide a benefit so great that they would overcome many of the other parameters that make a racer fast. Are they cheating? Absolutely. But are they cheating that sponsors should be willing to end a rider's entire career ? No, I don't think so.

I also don't think I agree with your argument where you conclude "it’s not your skill first, it’s the drugs first". I think it really is the skill first. If a 50th place rider started using these substances, they aren't going to shoot into the top 5. Likewise, you take these substances away from Richie Rude, and he isn't going to drop from being a top 5 rider to a 50th place rider, he is likely going to be in the top 5 or 10 regardless of these substances. If these substances improve his body's ability to use oxygen by a few percentage points, there are so many other factors that make him fast (cornering, jumping, pumping, reading terrain, bike set up, etc, etc). So these substances definitely provide an advantage, but I think our collective response to someone cheating should be somewhat in line with the benefits they gained through their cheating. Pushing a rider's sponsors to drop them, effectively ruining or seriously impeding their career, seems disproportionate to the benefits they gained from their use of banned substances.

3. This idea is am definitely sympathetic to. I think it would definitely be a huge disservice to the sport if we had riders getting factory rides because they were cheating, while others who played by the rules were not. But as I alluded to earlier, from my understanding of the benefits from these drugs, it wouldn't have made such a difference that it would drop a top 5 level rider like Richie Rude out of the that top tier. Following from that, I don't think Rude would be taking a spot away from another rider, as he still would be in that top tier level with or without these banned substances. It would be interesting to know more of the 'behind the scenes' contract info, as I could definitely be wrong here. Jared is also a bit of an interesting case, as he was not getting the top-level results he has proven he is capable of. That said, I think it would be a pretty poor move for Specialized to drop him while he is undergoing cancer treatment.

Bottom line for me, both riders should be punished, but they should be punished in proportion to the offence they have committed. If they were found to be cheating again (or multiple times like Jon Jones in the UFC for example) then I would certainly be in favour of really harsh punishment like a lifetime ban. I guess I think it is worth giving these riders the benefit of the doubt for a first time offence, given that it could have been unintentional (or even just a case of good people making bad decisions) but a harsh punishment if they reoffend (which clearly shows they are acting in bad faith and intentionally cheating).

1.
- Taking not one but TWO banned substances really starts to stretch the plausibility of 'accidental ingestion'.
- RR and JG are sponsored by Ryno Power, who stake their whole business on supplying supplements to elite athletes who get regularly drug tested. Clearly, the Ryno Power supplements weren't tainted. Why were these guys taking other supplements containing the banned substances?


2.
- These guys reaped the benefits of two PEDs, which taken on their own may only have marginal benefits but in tandem would prove significant. Remember that Rude only beat Dailly by about 5 seconds in the round he tested positive for. Even if the drugs only account for a few seconds worth of advantage on each stage, it adds up.
- No one is seriously suggesting that PEDs alone can you from 50th to 1st place - strawman argument.
- When determining the punishment for taking a PED surely you have to take into account not only the performance gain from the drug but also the health risk. Health risks of these particular drugs include high blood pressure, haemorrhagic stroke, irregular heartbeat etc.

3.
- No doubt RR would be fast without using drugs but would he have won? In the case of Olargues, we don't know. What about the other rounds that he wasn't tested at?
- While the difference in salary and bonus may not be that great if you get first or second place but ultimately people want to win for the sake of winning. Look at the amount of cheating in amateur road cycling events with no financial incentives on the line.

I think reason you're seeing such a strong reaction from some of the public is because it seems like the EWS and those with vested interests are trying to sweep this whole thing under the carpet. The EWS went public with the doping allegations because they HAD TO, not out of any sincere interest in cleaning up the sport. RR and JG were given very sympathetic coverage on Pinkbike, which just so happens to be the media partner for the EWS... The fact that RR is still listed as the winner of the Olargues race on the EWS site speaks volumes. Why wasn't he DQed for that race?

I think if these guys are given too light a punishment then it sets a dangerous precedent and sends the wrong message. Why wouldn't other racers risk 'accidentally ingesting' PEDs and then demand an equally soft punishment if caught? The EWS has an opportunity to send a strong message and deter this behaviour but only if it takes a strong stance. I'm not sure that a lifetime ban is appropriate but at least a season or two with suspension of sponsors would probably be fair IMO.



|

3/10/2019 11:46 PM

Again, sponsor dropping is not something that can be given as a punishment.

Also, i think one of the drugs was found in a nutritional supplement from Ryno there was a picture of Graves mixing it or something.

|

3/11/2019 12:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/11/2019 12:26 AM

Primoz wrote:

Again, sponsor dropping is not something that can be given as a punishment.

Also, i think one of the drugs was found in a nutritional supplement from Ryno there was a picture of Graves mixing it or something.

Sponsors can elect to suspend sponsorship. Has happened to track and field athletes such as Tyson Gay who failed drug tests. Companies have some responsibility in cleaning up the sport (and not supporting drug cheats) IMO.

No, the photo with Graves is definitely not Ryno Power. The supplement is on page 5 of this thread and it's called "Alphamine" by PEScience. It's a fat burner - pretty odd thing to take in the middle of an enduro race, no?

|

3/11/2019 12:32 AM

Primoz wrote:

Again, sponsor dropping is not something that can be given as a punishment.

Also, i think one of the drugs was found in a nutritional supplement from Ryno there was a picture of Graves mixing it or something.

Any link with Ryno power is rubbish... though what does make me laugh is check out their Instagram post from November and who commented... wasn’t this around the point at which they said in an interview they hadn’t spoken to RP!

I say it again... those two are full of shit

|

3/11/2019 6:29 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/11/2019 6:31 AM

Primoz wrote:

Again, sponsor dropping is not something that can be given as a punishment.

Also, i think one of the drugs was found in a nutritional supplement from Ryno there was a picture of Graves mixing it or something.

carll wrote:

Sponsors can elect to suspend sponsorship. Has happened to track and field athletes such as Tyson Gay who failed drug tests. Companies have some responsibility in cleaning up the sport (and not supporting drug cheats) IMO.

No, the photo with Graves is definitely not Ryno Power. The supplement is on page 5 of this thread and it's called "Alphamine" by PEScience. It's a fat burner - pretty odd thing to take in the middle of an enduro race, no?

Yeah, they can be dropped, but the governing body can't mandate that the sponsors drop the athletes as part of the punishment. That's what I'm saying.

Dropping or not is a decision completely in the hands of the sponsor.

EDIT: at the risk of poking the wasp nest, Jared and Richie training together and failing the drug test together does nothing to raise the look or probability of this being a mistake.

|

3/11/2019 8:01 AM

Often times as is the same in many companies, there are “morality” clauses built into contracts. If an employee (sponsored rider in our case) does something inappropriate (doping), the employee can be fired or their sponsorship revoked.

|

3/11/2019 9:04 AM

The sponsor that surprises me the most is red bull. Aren’t they trying to portray a clean image, so standing by Rude directly contradicts this....

|