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Vaughters on Senate report: The findings are more important than the names

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
July 24, 2013, 15:17,
Updated:
July 24, 2013, 16:18
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 25, 2013
Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

  • Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
  • Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Sharp)

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Calls for standardization from WADA with stripping results

Jonathan Vaughters has warned that focusing on the names of the positive and suspicious athletes listed in the French Senate’s report from the 1998 Tour de France detracts from the main essence and findings within the actual dossier.

On Wednesday morning, the  French Senate delivered their report after having interviewed over 83 individuals including Pat McQuaid, Travis Tygart and Laurent Jalabert in a time frame going back to February. The report wasn’t a singular expose into systematic doping from that year’s race, instead the committee branched out into several sports, including cycling, and asked several key questions before making recommendations for the future.

“I suppose that knowing that these tests can be done years later is a good deterrent and a good lesson for current riders. In 1998, they thought that EPO was never going to be detectable so it’s an interesting angle that your samples can be tested years later. That’s a good thing,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

“I find it a little disappointing that people are concerned with or looking for some definitive list because the reality is that if you look at the stats, probably less than one third of riders in the race were even tested for it. I don’t really think the list has any particular validity in terms of who was and who wasn’t.”

The list of names including the 1998 Tour winner Marco Pantani and second placed rider Jan Ullrich, the latter who has already admitted to doping during his career. Third placed rider Bobby Julich was listed under suspicious but admitted to doping during the race in October last year. However the names listed are best described as a collection of doped riders than a complete picture or resister of those that cheated.

“You don’t have to look much further than Tyler Hamilton as a example. He raced the 1998 Tour. He was second place in the time trial to Jan Ullrich and he’s admitted to doping during that period and he wasn’t on the list. It’s a bit of a futile exercise to assume that the guys who are on the list are naughty and the guys not on the list are good. That’s just not understanding the issue and it’s a considerable oversimplification of the issue too,” Vaughters said.

“Once the police raids started many of the team threw away or stopped doping. I would say after three or four days after the Festina scandal broke you would have a large number of riders who would test negative but that doesn’t eliminate the large probability that they doped up to the start of the event. Again, I’m not accusing anyone, that’s just my observation from that time.”

“People are more interested in the names than the content of the report and what the report is looking at. To overlook the entire report and everything it delved into and all the recommendations for change and how to prevent it happening again, that’s unfortunate. It clearly states that there’s been a lot of progress and that’s something that people should pay more attention to.”

The Senate ruled that they had no powers to strip any of the results from the race with the winner and podium positions set to remain, at least in the short term. That’s a contrast to the next seven Tours, which have no winner after USADA stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven wins from 1999 to 2005.

“The way that all of these cases need to be treated, they probably need to be standardized by WADA. There are all kinds of circumstances that play a part in each individual case. I think that those individual circumstances need to be taken into account each and every time.”

chechu More than 1 year ago
I bet they all keep their ill gotten gains though, and that's all that they ever wanted....money
Micachin Z More than 1 year ago
that is why they were/are there on the first place...to make a living by entertaining you. The livelihood of entertaining actors (cyclists, rock stars, etc) is on the line when they are hired to provide exposure to their sponsors. Unlike sitting in the office and typing comments here (and cheating your employer/client) they have to perform on one of the toughest jobs.
goggalor More than 1 year ago
Come on, being a pro athlete is not "one of the toughest jobs".
marginalgain More than 1 year ago
yeah at least i'm not a pro cyclist said no member of the military, any policeman, fireman, ambulance officer, school teacher, doctor, nurse or whatever ever.
Radegem More than 1 year ago
I'm with you, Micachin Z, very well put.
vrusimov . More than 1 year ago
No, they are there to pursue their own ambitions, leave their mark on the sport or simply feed themselves and their families. These guys are not heroes, angels, demons or saints. They are simply men on bicycles. There are many amateurs who toil on bikes for many thousands of kilometers every year, so pro cyclists don't hold the monopoly on the pains and trials of racing a bike. I would say their job is easier and more monastic than most. I would also say that it is selfish and all-consuming where families are concerned. We have to stop putting these guys on pedestals and put away all the myths surrounding them.
Motophoto11 More than 1 year ago
Kinda of like that baseball player and Aaron Rodgers who bet this year's salary the doper was clean eh? going after money after the fact is pointless if thy are still active ban dopers for life if they retired bar them from managing or owning a team...
Murali Parameswaran More than 1 year ago
what is the "rest of the report" JV is referring to? Expecting a detailed article from CN indicating all aspects of the report, and not just a few names.
Dr_Stav More than 1 year ago
I'd suspect it's in French, but I have been looking for the same answer. I haven't seen a link to the report yet unless it is only released in advance to certain media outlets.
Dr_Stav More than 1 year ago
Vaughters has the right outlook - this shouldn't be a document to blame, but a look forward and a warning to those currently cycling. For the future, then this is a valuable lesson from the past. So lets get this moved into action for the future. Personally, I'd like to see the projected future risks are brought into professional contracts now. I'd like to see written into contracts the full awareness that if a rider has a professional contract, then they are obliged to have their samples stored for a time period after retirement for historical testing - say selected samples from each active career year stored for a period of 15 years from the year of retirement. To prevent excessive amounts of storage, ml's of blood and urine, cryogenically frozen for retrospective testing as seen here. Where the research labs should be leading, is in dual analysis methods - sufficient rigor to allow detection from fresh samples and samples that have come from long term storage. The objections I have seen have been in regards to the method by which the samples have been handled or tested. As each doping control improves, the anti-doping agencies have the obligation to validate the test (the 2005 test would have been less advanced than the current detection methods, but far greater than the earlier versions). Anti-doping test will only develop if they can be tested against real samples. WADA test validation or support is critical here. To prevent what has happened happening again, then the riders have to make the sacrifice of both physical and meta data that may come back after their career, weather this is within or out of the sanction time limits. To a clean rider, then this will be no hardship. To a doped rider, then they will have to hope that for the next 15 years or so after retirement, that there is no test developed. If a rider is fully aware of this in their contract from day one, and knows the sanctions they'd expect should anything be found out, then I'd suggest that there would be a hesitation in deciding to dope. By extending the sample holding and analysis period, then the likes of Jaja and others who are finding career paths tarnished due to their previous methods would be highlighted. Many of the scandles appearing now are from riders who are in media or management positions, gained by sporting fraud. If the average retirement age is in the mid-30's from active roles, than a 15 year period would impact their post active careers and hopefully lead to greater career management both on and off the bike. The Lance Armstrong apologists have discussed and defended at length the damage Lance has done to the sport, but the current process of revelations is giving a clear message to what happens post active career - "it's not all about the bike." By using today's publications and using it to develop the science of anti-doping and the policies to both support and sanction riders, Vaughters is right.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Agreed. Something about JV - everything he says just makes sense. With the whole sport in the toilet, we need more voices like his. and for more to listen. The "he cheated. so he is scum" attitude will be a greater loss to the sport than the fact he actually doped.
dslacker More than 1 year ago
Hope everyone reads Vaughter's comments - chance are you have if you're reading this. But, he makes a lot of sense. There was massive doping during this era - this list is far from complete. Today's dopers now know they're likely to found out in the future, and hopefully that's an additional deterrent. Enough with the LA apologizers crying about he's the only one being punished. If he hadn't been such an ***h*** by suing and intimidating everyone who crossed him, there wouldn't have been such an effort to get him.
Gavia Pass More than 1 year ago
So it is okay to nullify the results from the 1999 tour but not 1998?
dslacker More than 1 year ago
Yep - it's OK.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
Its the year before lance even won the tour... obviously that he had to use EPO to even make a chance.. Its time for some apologies to Lance, and giving him back his 7 tour titles.
skr213 More than 1 year ago
You really only know about half the issues, I guess. Lance wasn't just busted for cheating. He was busted for enforcing the omerta. He was busted for going after any rider who dared cross his pass, whether fellow cheater (Floyd, Tyler) or clean and simply speaking out about being clean (Simeoni, Basson). He deliberately ruined people's careers. Sure, everyone doped with EPO throughout the 90s - that's not news - but it was Lance who took up the mantle of being big boss enforcer man from 1999 - 2009. If he hadn't done that, he would have walked away from the sport without any problems.
doperhopper More than 1 year ago
and that's why a relatively decent guy like Ullrich (who did not go into the "I'm the overlord" mode) is not that hated and Indurain can still enjoy his "big champion" glory
Taxus4a More than 1 year ago
Not everybody, but the big majority.
anatomy34 More than 1 year ago
Did USADA strip Lance of those titles? Or was it it the Tour de France organizers?
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
It was WADA on advise of USADA..
bikerbruce More than 1 year ago
UCI
terrygdillon More than 1 year ago
If I were Lance I would feel like there was a double standard at play here ... the issue for me is the way that Lance conducted himself before during and even after all of this ... he never did anything quietly! This one will likely run and run for a while yet...
Latvian More than 1 year ago
what about those spanish blood bags then ?
skr213 More than 1 year ago
Leave it to JV to always have the smartest outlook. This guy should be UCI president. He probably doesn't want the job, but we'd all be better off if he had it!!
Rosedale More than 1 year ago
Not with his record.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
agree 100%.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
sorry I meant agree with skr213 100%.
skippy More than 1 year ago
REGRETABLY only 42 " Voting delegates " can bid for the job of UCI President , under the EXISTING Constitution ! This has to CHANGE , but with 2 " Incumbent Delegates facing off with each other , it is a choice of " THE LEAST DAMAGING CANDIDATE " for the next 4 year Term ! WHEN Cycling Fans , get together and VOTE OUT " the deadwood " , get into place NEW " Voting Delegates " , then & ONLY THEN can the UCI be reconstitututed to do wHAT IS NEEDED , by the RACERS , Sponsors and Cycling Community !