Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘joe papp’

This Sad Day in Doping: Joe Papp deserves medal, not prison

In This Day In Doping on February 17, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Reformed doper Joe Papp, familiar on this blog, Twitter and via his own writings for being one of the only pro cyclists to come clean and tell the truth about doping, has guilty to being a person he no longer is.

“Having escaped a corrupt system in which doping was a practice as accepted and normal as brushing one’s teeth, I strongly believe in clean sport and for several years have been fighting against doping both publicly and in ways that I simply can’t comment on…” Papp said.

What Joe did — both his own doping and acting as an international pimp of sorts for other pro cyclists — was wrong and should not be excused. But in the context of his extensive work to bring doping problems to light and his own campaign for cleaning up the sordid state of pro cycling, his past transgressions hold little relevance today.

We wish Joe well and hope this works out for the best — for him and for the sport. Although he faces possible prison time, it’s obvious his presence can do far more good outside of jail.

This Day in Doping: Lance backs off self-testing; Rasmussen returns

In Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on January 18, 2010 at 11:28 am

Lance Armstrong is dropping the idea of personal doping tests (our impression was that he never began them). And why not. He isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about the past by testing clean now. And as Joe Papp and others have revealed, there are so many ways to beat the system’s drug testing that it hardly makes sense for a pro to test himself. When so many pros in all sports lie about doping (see entries under “McGwire, Mark” and “Rodriguez, Alex”) with impunity, who is going to believe an athlete’s self-sponsored testing?

We continue to wonder why Lance does not join the BikePure pledge. It would be huge PR for him, and for the organization.

At 35, Michael Rasmussen is on the comeback trail. But tell me how a guy who was never found out, only suspected, in the first place is going to stay clean this time around.

This Day in Doping: Joe Papp on Cozy Beehive

In This Day In Doping on January 12, 2010 at 2:20 am

Over at Cozy Beehive, former pro cyclist Joe Papp unveils the secrets pros use to defeat anti-doping controls. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the cycling world’s subterfuge.

One point I’d like to see Joe or someone else close to pro cycling address: Just how much looking the other way goes on. I’ve discussed this before, that even if Tour officials found Contador or Lance doping, would they take action? The consequences to the sport would be beyond devastating. Better to just look the other way and beat up on the smaller guys in an attempt to 1) show you’re doing SOMEthing about doping and 2) present an illusion of cleaning up the sport.

We remain convinced that doping is a political and financial, not physical or athletic, issue, and must be dealt with on those terms.

This Day in Doping: The Joe Papp story

In This Day In Doping on December 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Great post on BikePure re Joe Papp’s reformed doper saga. We linked to Papp recently for perspective on the Kenny Williams fall from grace. Kenny could do worse than follow Joe’s lead in taking the pledge. And thanks to BikePure for providing an alternative vision to our doping-besotted sport.

This Day in Doping: Kenny Williams joins the fallen

In This Day In Doping on November 16, 2009 at 9:02 pm

So now the doping scandals are making their way into the amateur ranks. Kenny Williams, a household name in Seattle-area cycling for years, a cycling instructor and top Masters competitor, is caught using DHEA and owns up to it (be sure to read comments queue).

What to say? There’s no point in being naive or righteous about doping at the amateur level. Anyone who goes to a high school football game these days knows that performance enhancers are as easy to find and ingest as a double cheeseburger with fries. Drugs permeate our culture, to the point where enforcement has become so politically manipulated and selectively rendered that any deterrence factor is utterly lost.

Kenny’s heartfelt apology, in this context, is pointless. No one with any experience in the sport will take him at face value. See comment queues in Drunkcyclist and Papillon. Cyclists testing positive these days have only two credible options: 1. To own up to all their past misdeeds while noting, as Bernhard Kohl did, that in order to win these days you have to dope. We repeat, you have to dope. 2. Or to just STFU, serve their time and let the chips fall where they may.

Denial is ludicrous. Abject admission in a context of greater denial — the Kenny Williams path — invites scorn, cynicism and disbelief.

Williams has been a role model and comported himself well by all accounts over the years. It’s sad to find him in these circumstances. But shock and outrage serve no point.

If I were him, I’d take the BikePure pledge and really truly mend my ways (which would undoubtedly mean a fall from the top ranks he’s dwelled in over the years). Go on the lecture circuit about the poisoning impacts of drugs on health, self-respect and sports.

It’d be a departure from the norm. I can’t think of many banned athletes who have fessed up and crusaded on doping, because let’s face it, they want to get back to the top once their suspension is served.

But it’s the only path that would allow Kenny Williams, who raised the hopes and fed the dreams of so many fellow cyclists, to live the rest of his life being able to look others straight in the eye.

Notes:

How bad is doping corruption in cycling? So bad that Team Elk Haus’ manager, noting that the taint from doping kept his team from finding sponsorship, suggests cycling should simply look the other way like swimming, football and other sports. He has a point: No steroids user, even those admitting it, has ever been penalized in baseball, and the last time I checked two of the most famous juicers just led their team in the World Series. But is covering it all up really useful — or sustainable?

Joe Papp lays it on the line about his own doping, the way a true confession should read.

BikePure teams up with a BMX bike maker to get its point across. Not a bad idea — reinforce the anti-doping message with the younguns when it can still make a difference.