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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jonathan Vaughters: Modern Day Tartuffe

Jonathan Vaughters disgusts me truly.  Bitten by some bug and swelling up like a melon that freak refused to accept a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling and continue to race; touted as a shining example of a principled man who refused to compromise his integrity in the prevalent steroid cure all culture of Grand Tour racing.  But sadly when the affidavit is examined, Jonathan Vaughters pretense and the subsequent media hoopla turned out to be nothing more than a thin facade designed to mask the fact that the man was flying high on a whole pharmacy of prohibited substances.  Thus Jonathan Vaughters joins the expanding club of past professional cyclists who used disinformation to manipulate the media and cycling fanatics into thinking that he or she is the personification of a person prone to resist temptation in the name of moral purity, a mirage that vanishes upon further examination of the factual evidence that these clowns try so hard to suppress and deny. 

Then there were the days when Garmin Slipstream were anti-doping pioneers, employing Rasmus Damsgaard to test team riders and setting a precedent as a no tolerance anti-doping team.  Garmin tried to set a principled example of creative initiatives to be emulated by other cycling teams; to create a permanent log of biological parameters that could be suggestive of a high probability of doping, which could result in warnings, fines, suspensions or termination from the team.  Of course, in highly egregious cases the evidence could be forwarded to the relevant national cycling governing agencies for further action.

These pioneering efforts prompted other teams to initiate no tolerance anti-doping programs and indirectly prompted the UCI to formulate the UCI Biological Passport; physiological data collected from riders in random in-competition and out-of-competition tests that would establish baseline parameters that could be used as a control sample and compared to test scores of a population of people who were established abusers of dope; or against ranges of physiological values that would be deemed normal of the entire population of elite cyclists: if performance enhancing drug use was suspected. Of course, even though this system is touted as having high validity and reliability, in reality there have not been enough comprehensive scientific studies done to effectively calculate the effect of random events such as heat, dehydration, exhaustion, stress, uncommon variations in diet; disruptions of circadian sleep/wakefulness cycles, or other predictable variables that may effect individual rider physiology and performance; variables that directly result from a hectic schedule of racing, travel, road accidents, medical interventions or other causal factors.  Then there are issues of micro-dosing of performance enhancing drugs to establish false baseline values; values that could be detected and circumvented if only the UCI and WADA would invest enough money in scientific research to resolve these issues.

After all a three week Grand Tour is not a laboratory.  In a laboratory the idea is to control all of the variables you are interested in studying by manipulating the environment and then seeking a causal relationship; for example, heat could be examined as a variable and different temperatures could each be regarded as variables that may effect physiological values. If heat value x only accounts for twenty or thirty percent of the variance of a fluctuation in a specified biological parameter, then the experiment must be continued at all temperatures until one hundred percent of the causal relationship between temperature, and these specific physiological fluctuations are accounted for.  Of course, these experiments could be expanded indefinitely.

But the alphabet soup cycling management signatories can shout, bah humbug!  Who wants to expend that kind of cash in establishing the truth when the Court of Arbitration of Sport does nothing but rubber stamp all of our results and verify all of our accusations?  Of course, this scenario only applies if the athlete has enough gumption to challenge our accusations in arbitration: otherwise we have enough loopholes written into the anti-doping process to do an end run around the judicial process.  Obviously, the prosecution should never be allowed to write a decision without a mandated automatic review by an independent commission that has no stake in the outcome of the review process.  But alas, protections that were formerly adhered to in the World Anti-Doping Code, such as the statute of limitations have now been rewritten, excluded, and discarded by the USADA  Reasoned Decision; protections that were written expressly to prevent prosecutorial abuse of power.

But so what?  Jonathan Vaughters has no business having any contact with cycling and he should be run off with a stick!  Johathan Vaughters, the pretentious, pardoned, and amnestied cosmic anti-doping pioneer is, like Pat McQuaid, an intolerable embarrassment to cycling and the sort of person that you don't want your children exposed to: much less emulate!  Nevertheless, some people need more evidence to be convinced as to the truth of their folly, as Elmire sarcastically opined to Orgon in Tartuffe, because they are so blinded by their delusions that they can not understand that it is impossible to fool everyone and that some of us are wise to their perfidy!  This blatant disrespect of cycling can not be tolerated and must end, the deterrence value of punishment of dopers and their adherents is being undermined by fools who subject the anti-doping process to a blatant ridicule that is an exact duplicate of the methods used by Tartuffe.  And Jonathan Vaughters has no need to be critical of Quick Step for terminating Levi Leipheimer, because Quick Step did the right thing, and as a fellow admitted doper cycling should do the right thing and rid us of you.

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