bullies

2012 Anti-V Moment of the Year: Bullies are really just pussies

2012 Anti-V Moment of the Year: Bullies are really just pussies

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As referenced in the 2012 V-Moment of the year article and ensuing discussion, it was a most Vawesome year for cycling. It’s been hypothesized here and on cycling sites with more integrity that the fantastic racing of 2012 may be, at least in part, attributed to a cleaner peloton. Unless you watched the Tour de France you’d think the days of foregone conclusions and three week coronations are quickly becoming a thing of the past. It is in this vein we bring to you the Anti-V Moment of 2012: Lance Armstrong’s ceasing to fight the charges against him.

Now usually, we try our best not to delve into the seedy side of cycling. There is just way too much cool about our sport to focus our collective energy and attention on asshats. Besides, we’ve got bikes to ride. But the COTHO‘s public announcement that he would no longer fight, er, defend himself against allegations of systematic doping, money laundering, blackmail, intimidation, and international douchebaggery has to be the biggest Anti-V moment of the year, if not in the history of pro cycling.

The COTHO could have feasibly taken one of three tacks as the winds of pressure, evidence, and public opinion continued to blow against his house of cards. Tack one would have been to continue lying, bribing, and digging an ever deepening hole as he steadfastly proclaimed his innocence. This obviously hadn’t been working for the past 10-odd years but at least it allowed him to maintain his base of supporters. Even as it became more difficult for him to maintain the façade he still had a sizable group of survivors, apologists, journalists, and mis-guided cycling fans who believed.

Tack two would have been to come clean (pardon the pun) and admit to the whole sordid mess he created but he didn’t have the ball to do this either. Who knows what his reasons are for not being honest? Best guesses are he’s rationalizing a set of excuses ranging from mitigating his financial liability, evading criminal implications, and blaming the corruptness of the sport. Maybe he’s trying to save face in some twisted way. But for as cliché as Tyler Hamilton even admitted in his tell-all; the truth will set you free. The COTHO could have stood in front of those microphones and cameras and said “Hey, you know what, I doped. I made some poor choices and lied to everybody and for that I’m deeply sorry.” Had he done so his detractors would probably still be his detractors and he would have given his supporters a legitimate reason to continue supporting him but at least everybody could say he fessed up and there is some integrity in doing that.

Alas, he took the Anti-V tack. He stopped defending himself, er, lying without admitting to anything and seems to be hoping to just fade into the background. In essence, he’s taking his toys and going home. What’s striking about this is that it is contrary to what we’ve come to understand about the guy. If anything, we’ve come to know him as a fighter, both in life and on the road. But this latest, and hopefully last maneuver was just plain weak. (Notice I’ve added the categories of “Evanescent Riders” and “In Memoriam” to this article in addition to “Awards”. The first two are much more fitting.)

Perhaps it belies the true nature of the man. A nature that involves intimidation, serial emotional and physical aggression and even violence. A nature that includes socially isolating his victims, arguing them into submission, and propagating rumors, gossip, and lies about them to sway public opinion in his favor. A nature that involves amplifying the mistakes of others in order to strengthen his own self-image. A nature whereby there are many innocent bystanders who are too fearful of repercussions to come forward themselves. The nature of a man who may be trying to compensate for his own insecurities and feed his own narcissism and megalomania. The nature of a simple bully who ultimately shows himself to be a big pussy.

// Awards // Evanescent Riders // In Memoriam

  1. @mouse Great articles. Imagine if they tested the winning team of the Stanley Cup right after the game. Pop goes the weasel! Like Parkin says in Dog in a Hat, some guys do drug for sports, some guys do sports for drugs! Paraphrasing of course…

  2. @Mikael Liddy

    @mouse that Simmonds article is equal parts brilliant & scary…the AFL has been a joke for years when it comes to drugs (PEDs or recreational), remember it just kindly asking Brisbane to stop hooking their players up to drips during half time in the early 2000′s?

    How has the AFL been a joke?

    The Brisbane episode you refer to (where players had shunts so IV fluids could be quickly administered in the heat) was not against the rules. They asked them to stop because they had no way to tell them. And then they changed the rules to prevent it.

    Compare them to other team sports domestically across the globe? Are you aware of standards generally, especially when it comes to protocols around illicit drugs? Or are you just another consumer of the current newspaper hysteria?

  3. @Marcus

    @Mikael Liddy

    How has the AFL been a joke?

    The shorts, the singlets, the whole nature of the game, really…

  4. @Marcus

    @Marcus

    @Mikael Liddy

    @mouse that Simmonds article is equal parts brilliant & scary…the AFL has been a joke for years when it comes to drugs (PEDs or recreational), remember it just kindly asking Brisbane to stop hooking their players up to drips during half time in the early 2000′s?

    How has the AFL been a joke?

    How about an illicit drugs policy that allows a player that knows he’ll test positive, to admit to that fact & thus avoid a test or any sanction?

  5. @Mikael Liddy so how does that compare to other sports buddy? Not convinced you arent just spouting newspaper guff.

  6. @Dan_R

    @mouse Great articles. Imagine if they tested the winning team of the Stanley Cup right after the game. Pop goes the weasel! Like Parkin says in Dog in a Hat, some guys do drug for sports, some guys do sports for drugs! Paraphrasing of course…

    Well I can confidently state that The Leafs do not dope, given the record over the last decade. Maybe they should try it.

  7. I don’t think you can really single out the AFL as a sports organisation which is better or worse than any other. The policy Mikael mentions is anachronistic and backwards but I reckon it might be more to do with doctor-patient confidentiality than protecting arses.

    All that aside professional athletes should know whether (or not) the ‘supplements’ they’re being injected with are illegal or not regardless of what their doctor or sports scientist says. All the Essendon players seem to be crying ignorant at the moment but it would be terrible for the sport if an entire team was banned for something like this.

  8. The difference between cycling and other sports is that no one else cares, or wants to know.

  9. @Benj

    I don’t think you can really single out the AFL as a sports organisation which is better or worse than any other. The policy Mikael mentions is anachronistic and backwards but I reckon it might be more to do with doctor-patient confidentiality than protecting arses.

    All that aside professional athletes should know whether (or not) the ‘supplements’ they’re being injected with are illegal or not regardless of what their doctor or sports scientist says. All the Essendon players seem to be crying ignorant at the moment but it would be terrible for the sport if an entire team was banned for something like this.

    Is it not about institutionalised cheating?

    The issue is that it is sport. Sports are funded by governments as they see it as a good investment for the greater public good vis a vis, entertainment/escapism/aspiration, etc. The basic tenant of all sport is that it should be fair.

    The reason that the AFL is in deep shit is that they take a huge subsidy from the Australian government to keep the sport developing. This money is used to fund stadium infrastucture as well as other good grass roots initiatives that keep the game developing. Be under no illusion that the AFL has a huge lobbying presence with government and sporting policy.

    Suddenly, due to the USADA decision re Lance, ASADA has had the remit from the Federal Minister of Sport to fully investigate Cycling Australia and their links to a possible involvement in past doping practices, with the suggestion that ALL funding could be cut from cycling if it is found that they were complicit in cheating.   Now that they have a head of steam, ASADA is finding skeletons in a whole bunch of closets, and if the government has suggested cutting funding from one sport, it follows that they would likely hold other sports accountable to the same degree.

    So, yeah. It would be terrible for the sport. Who knows. Maybe it will make them more accountable and make for a better and more fair spectacle in the future. In the mean time, there’s a whole bunch of football royalty around that’s going to be pretty fucking uncomfortable to discover that their gravy train might just dry up.

  10. @Marcus why does it have to be compared to the way other sports operate to opine that it’s a shit policy that appears designed purely to ensure the league isn’t tarnished by yet another illicit drug scandal?

    Just because it might be industry standard doesn’t make it good policy.

  11. @Mikael Liddy

    Yup – we know Tom Boonen tested positive for cocaine. Am I mistaken in believing that that was the first positive test he had for cocaine? In the AFL he’d get two strikes before they told his team and three before it was made public. That’s a joke.

  12. @Blah you are betraying your ignorance. Boonen did test positive to Charlie but didn’t cop a sanction from WADA or the UCI because it was not a banned PED. In fact his test should never have gone public as I recall. He only copped a team sanction of being suspended for a few races. So not that jokey

    @Mikael Liddy As I say to many people who bag the AFL illicit drugs code, what’s a better alternative? Keep in mind a number of codes have a strike system. English rugby has 2 I believe. Keep in mind this is illicit drugs. Most sports dont even test for them…

  13. Addition to the above -Charlie not a banned PED outside of competition…

  14. @brett

    @Marcus

    @Mikael Liddy

    How has the AFL been a joke?

    The shorts, the singlets, the whole nature of the game, really…

    This sums it up for me…thugs in bad kit…

  15. @Marcus

    Addition to the above -Charlie not a banned PED outside of competition…

    You call it “Charlie?”  I have lost all hope for your country.

  16. @Tobin certainly not the finestmoment in the game’s history. Don’t know whether you know much more about it, but the ball movement and all round athleticism of the players makes it a prett good sport in my mind. I like all sports (pretty much). Don’t know of many others that have running players covering 20ks in a few hours whilst getting tacked etc. 
    The real thugs are in rugby league – they punch properly

  17. @Marcus Being a retired proper punching rugby player (openside flanker), I actually appreciate the ball movement and the skill required to bounce it off the deck and keep moving at full sprint.  Given that I still play hockey I don’t have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to taking the piss out of a sport that has punch ups and high hits!

  18. Shit is getting real in Aussie sport right now. Live coverage here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-07/4505884

    ASADA report is available on that site too.

  19. @Marcus It’s worth noting that Barry Hall – the bloke in red and white – went on to a relatively unsuccessful boxing career after footy.

    Regardless of any other aspects of the game, AFL players are incredibly athletic (players running 12-14km in a 2 hr game) not to mention the ball handling, kicking and passing skills.

  20. @Benj Seriously? If by relatively unsuccessful career, you mean that he went to the gym for a few months and then before having a single bout, decided not to forge ahead, then yeah i guess you are right.

    On-ballers run a lot more than 12-14ks. But as of today’s report, we know why!


  21. I cant see how people could think Aussie Rules players ever took PEDs. I mean those arms don’t remind me of any veins i ever saw in cycling…

  22. @Marcus He needed veins like that to make the injections easier!

  23. By the by, here’s a photo I took at the 2004 TdF. It’s 500m before the finish of Stage 15 in Villard du Lans.

    From the left, it’s Levi, Ivan, Lance, Jan and Andreas. What a fine group of sportsmen (even allowing for Kloedi “never testing positive”).

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