Marco Pantani

article in Sunday Times

18 messages
24/02/2004 at 09:29
Did anyone else read it? What did you think?
cougie    pirate
24/02/2004 at 09:31
OOooh. Bought it, but not seen it yet. I'll read it tonight.
24/02/2004 at 09:32
not seen it - can you precis it spans??
24/02/2004 at 09:37
urmmm... basically it was questioning whether we ever saw the real Pantani and that were his daring rides through the alps part of his 'pirate' character or due to the EPO (which makes you a little crazy) and therefore can he really be held up as an icon of the sport... also said that the sport has to clean up its act and that Pantani was made into a scape goat...

I think that is what it said... will see if I can find it on the web, if not I cans end it to you if you would like
24/02/2004 at 09:41
found it.. will see if I can fit it on here... nope... if you go to the Times on line it brings it up for you... is titled:

Cycling: Curse of the pirate


24/02/2004 at 09:43
cheers spans - suspected that was the drift of it and will have a look online myself.

sounds like it's a continuation of the saga of drugs and sports to which there is no real answer apart from continual testing and ennforcement.

never had rugby players taking stimulants in my day - drinking after shave was about the closest to taking drugs!!!
24/02/2004 at 09:47
I think whilst he makes some valid points David Walsh has a real bee in his bonnet about cycling. He wrote an article a couple of years ago accusing Lance Armstrong of doping and his only evidence was the speed he rode up the mountains....I don't think it's a good example of unbiased journalism..

I'm not in anyway condoning the use of drugs but I think David Walsh perhaps gets a bit carried away in throwing dirt at everyone connected with cycling...
cougie    pirate
24/02/2004 at 09:59
OK read it.
As Chris says - he's accused every mountain stage winner of doping. With no evidence other than they are going fast. That's pretty harsh.

Also, the levels at which they say EPO use is probable aren't very precise. I've heard of ordinary people over the 50% level, and dehydration of cyclists is extreme, and that also varies the results.

I'm sure a great deal of doping goes on in cycling, but they are also the most tested group of athletes around. It would be naive to think that other professional sportspeople aren't doing the same things.

How much of Pantanis performance was down to artificial means we'll never know. That's the disappointing thing.

I doubt that doping played too big a part in his actual death. He'd climbed the heights of winning the Giro and the Tour.
Now he's yesterdays man - where does he go from there ? Very sad.
24/02/2004 at 10:25
Pantani was a wonderful bike rider. He trained hard and raced hard. He had flare and agression. For these reasons he is/was an icon of the sport.

Because of drug problems in the sport, the UCI carries out more tests and controls than any other sport. Ergo more positive tests.

The sad thing is, any cyclist that dies for whatever reason is tarred with the drug brush.

RIP Marco Pantani
24/02/2004 at 10:34
I found the facts about the Spainish view to dope testing interesting, surely all nations should be practising the same way? Or am I living in a dream world?!?
cougie    pirate
24/02/2004 at 10:39
Weird about Spain - I'd not heard that before. And isn't that where Lance relocated to ? I wonder if that's another dig.

I wonder how long the benefits of EPO last though - maybe its enough to test in competition ?
24/02/2004 at 13:44
there are somer wild accusations without any proof or evidence laid out.

even the 'revelation' of panatini's addiction to crack and cocaine (crack is not separable from cocaine) is a bit full on. i had heard he liked recreational drugs but was a registered addict. if not then it shouldnt be mentioned.

That is slander really, unless you are going to quote the doctor, and i'm sure family wouldnt want it in the papers.

I think this is sensationlist journalism at its worse.

I am intrigued to know what sports david walsh likes and beleives are drug free.

cougie    pirate
24/02/2004 at 13:49
I also doubt a lot of that stuff about drugs being the cause of cyclists dieing early. Just the immense exertions that they put their bodies through is probably enough reason.
24/02/2004 at 13:57
Youd be suprised how much influence the Team itself has on the riders.

A couple of guys i know were racing abroad as juniors (under 21 at that time)and one told me that he would just take what he was given, he did'nt ask questions he just got on with the job.

His cycling did'nt reach the age of 21, he's back here now getting drunk!!!
24/02/2004 at 14:01
as I understand it

EPO and all other peerformance enhancing drugs, effectievly allow you to train harder.

you still have to win the race and you still have to get up the mountains, you may have trained harder but you still have to be pretty special to endure that.

Something like the tour de france is as much mental as physical as well. EPO wont help you with that.

Pantani is no lesser a bike rider in my eyes, and for the record he was never actually proved to use EPO. He was thrown of the Giro beciuase of suspected EPO use.

cougie    pirate
24/02/2004 at 14:09
I'm sure the team does exert huge peer pressure on riders. And as the Festina case showed - they organised it !

Worried me when they talked about Boardman being acknowledged as 'clean' - so the other riders weren't ?

And I don't think Lance has done enough to show himself 100% anti-drugs. He told that French guy who wanted to talk about drugs to shut up about it.
24/02/2004 at 14:30
and as the athletics world knows, there is a very grey area between banned drugs and nutritional suppliments.

I dont know if you read anything about the 'genetic enhancement'in the paper recently? this will be untraceable.


The whole thing is a shame as certain freinds of mine totally dismiss cycling and athletic. As far they are concerned EVERY one is on drugs and therefore any acheivement is cheapened.

you guessed it - they only watch football

they assume that 99% of footballers are clean and dont accept that the statitics are so low because there is very little enforced drug testing


BTW this just came in on BBC-

Drugs offenders to be named

Every sports star who fails to give a sample or tests positive for a banned substance will be named under a new policy to be introduced by UK Sport.
The scheme, which comes into place from 13 August, will identify anyone who has tested positive and whose case has gone through the testing and appeal process.

"We want to make the process as open as possible without compromising it," said UK Sport's John Scott.

It will not apply to positive test results from before August 13, however.







24/02/2004 at 22:23
An interesting article, was saddened to hear that Thierry Claveryolat had committed suicide - didn't know this.

I can't see why Armstrong would risk his life by taking drugs after what he's been through but as we all know what those guys have to put themselves through just to finish races is obscene. Done a few of the TDF Alpine & Pyrenean climbs as one offs and it nearly killed me.

I think the Kimmage book spells it all out though.

I hope Pantani was clean as I loved to watch him but the more you read the more you have to doubt unfortunately.

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