Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)
  • Nicole Cooke's statement
  • Premier Icon lazybike
    Free Member

    I do despair that the sport will ever clean itself up when the rewards of stealing are greater than riding clean. If that remains the case, the temptation for those with no morals will always be too great. Lyne summed it up quite nicely with a statement that won her few plaudits but was entirely right. Lyne stated: “Jeanson won whilst I came second. Whilst I earned $80,000 in a couple of years at the peak of my career, Jeanson was making $400,000 per year. Now she has “confessed” and this is newsworthy – they are going to make a film and Jeanson who cheated, will steal from others for a second time, telling the tale of how she robbed and lied.”

    I can’t help thinking that the cheats win on the way up and the way down.

    Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than Bessette or I will make in all our years of our honest labour. The situation requires the very basics of morality. Please don’t reward people like Hamilton with money. That is the last thing he needs. Donate his literary prize and subsequent earnings from such publications to a charity. There are many places infinitely more deserving than the filthy hands of Hamilton. I am happy to offer some ideas!

    It is obvious that this issue is wider than the remit of the sporting governing bodies. It is no modest “sporting fraud”. Wider society has to act.

    I have ridden through some of the darkest days of the sport in terms of corruption by the cheats and liars. I cannot change the era or time that I am born into. I am very proud that I have met the temptations head on and have not wavered in my honesty or sold my ideals. I have always ridden true to myself and placed my morals beyond a need to win. I have ridden clean throughout my career. In a sport so tainted, this has generated many negative consequences. From the single example above; my team-mate and myself not getting paid for the rest of the year, after the Tour de France, being simple evidence. I am so very fortunate to have been able to have won clean. Perhaps a major factor is that the races are short – only 3 hours long! This is perhaps a hard and unpopular fact that the male side may need to embrace if it is genuine about wanting to clean itself up.

    I have been robbed by drug cheats, but I am fortunate, I am here before you with more in my basket than the 12 year old dreamed of. But for many genuine people out there who do ride clean; people with morals, many of these people have had to leave the sport with nothing after a lifetime of hard work – some going through horrific financial turmoil. When Lance “cries” on Oprah later this week and she passes him a tissue, spare a thought for all of those genuine people who walked away with no reward – just shattered dreams. Each one of them is worth a thousand Lances.

    Protection for women riders

    Whilst the UCI have spent the past 10 years trying to defend the indefensible Armstrong position, with time wasting actions such as suing Paul Kimage for liable after Kimage dared to bring their “good name” into disrepute; whilst they have been so engrossed trying to find receipts for the equipment they bought after Lance made donations to them and suing Floyd Landis after he blew the whistle and holding press conferences calling Landis a liar; Whilst they have been so busy with all these “priorities”, the women’s road sport, that looked so promising in 2002 when I turned professional, has crumbled.

    There are so many ways in which the UCI could support the sport for women, but instead they have acted, regardless of their intent, in a way that has caused the sport to lose events. Gone are the women’s Milan San Remo, the Amstel Gold Race, Tour de L’Aude, Tour Midi Pyrenees, and Tour Castel de Leon. No HP tour in America. No Tours in Australia, New Zealand or Canada. Instead of a 2 week Tour de France we have nothing. Today, in January, the major race in the women’s calendar this year, the one from which I have the pink tee-shirt, has no organizer and no route.

    With sponsors and support lost, the riders in the sport are exposed and vulnerable in so many ways. Many riders receive just token reward or rewards paid out in a capricious and unfair way. Some receive nothing. Then for those of us fortunate to be towards the top of the spectrum, those with a contract – too often, that piece of paper given to us is a joke. In 11 years of professional riding I have had to take 4 teams to court to achieve settlement against a straight forward contract to get my wages owed to me. I have won every time, but this is incredibly abrasive and exhausting in so many ways.

    This year, as I prepared for the defence of my Olympic title, I received no wages after March. The manager of the team boasted to the girls that he was not going to pay us and that he would employ the very best Italian lawyers to prevent us being paid! He stated that next year – he would have his team riders chase us down in every race. Yes, there is a taboo about revealing what really goes on. Riders move teams. Teams find new riders trying to make a start in cycling with no idea of what is out there or what tricks the managers can get up to. Tales go round that certain riders are “difficult”. I certainly was. The stories are invented. Riders are labeled as uncooperative, selfish, not team players – it must be the case, rider A has been in the sport 4 years and has moved teams each year. Novices and those new to the sport are encouraged to ride against certain riders.

    At the end of this season I visited my erstwhile Mexican team-mate, Giuse who left Europe half way through the season because her wages had not been paid. She has a daughter. How is she meant to pay for food for herself and her girl?

    To employ a “cleaner” or a youngster to wash up at a bar, an employer must pay a minimum wage. The UCI Road Commission headed by British Cycling’s Brian Cookson has stated that whilst a minimum wage is

    required for all male professionals, female riders do not deserve this. Only as recently as this October the commission rejected this simple request. There are two aspects of this case. One is straightforward and moral. Society cannot continue to leave all those girls in so vulnerable a position. A simple bar placed at the entry point for the sport would dispel all manner of problems. Are these girls that race for a living an underclass? They are somehow a sub-race not worthy of the most basic protection we afford the rest of our citizens in whatever employment they find themselves. Please understand, this is not about money, the main driver is the protection that will come from the placement of an absolute starting point for payment. The second factor is the one that demolishes the argument that it is sport; surely they are doing it for fun? Well what makes it different for men then? Why is there a minimum wage put in place for male riders? It protects them from being taken advantage of. Why are women not worthy of that same protection?

    Women’s cycling has declined through each year of my career. It is not a sustainable business model. Yes new races have been added to the calendar but loss exceeds growth. Look at the Giro – whilst team Sky plot their team for both the Tour and the Giro, the girls don’t even know what part of Italy the race will take place in! This is not a time for “tweaking” or “minor correction”. Whilst so much time, energy and resource has been spent defending and analyzing the indefensible, from a woman’s perspective, Rome has quietly burned down. Radical and significant change is needed and the enforcement of a minimum wage is the foundation stone. I know teams will go out of existence as a result. The first hand experiences of many of those people I value and respect, along with my own experiences, mean that the loss of many of these teams will not be mourned. There will be then proper reward and proper cognizance of those that try and do it right. The good teams left will rightly be celebrated. And that is how it should be.

    chapeau…

    Premier Icon zokes
    Free Member

    Summary?

    Premier Icon yossarian
    Free Member

    Summary?

    Cooke is pissed off with competing against drug takers for crappy money.

    Premier Icon zokes
    Free Member

    Cooke is pissed off with competing against drug takers for crappy money.

    Ah, well, in that case…

    Premier Icon jimster
    Free Member

    Summary?

    Cooke is pissed off with competing against drug takers for crappy money.

    And even more pissed off by the fact that those who come clean make more by writing how they cheated in the first place.

    Premier Icon lazybike
    Free Member

    Summary?

    you could read it and decide for yourself.. 😉

    Premier Icon cheese@4p
    Full Member

    Stirring stuff from Nicole.

    Premier Icon joao3v16
    Free Member

    Summary?

    Good grief. Is it really too much for people to read less than 1500 words? … Twitter’s got a lot to answer for; 255 characters or less is all that we can be ar$ed to read 😕 😉

    Summary : Life isn’t fair. 😀

    Premier Icon rkk01
    Free Member

    Cooke vs Armistead round 2

    Got to say pretty disappointed by Armistead’s take on this – naiive at best???

    Premier Icon buzz-lightyear
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    Cheating pays
    UCI are a waste of space vis-a-vis women’s racing
    Team managers bully and financially abuse the women riders
    Women don’t get the protection of the minimum wage

    The entire sport needs: “Radical and significant change…”

    Premier Icon boltonjon
    Full Member

    In reality, the cycling bodies need to reimburse the actual winners of any races in which the ‘winner’ has subsequently admitted to taking controlled substances

    This, however, would be very difficult, as who knows whether the 2nd place person wasn’t taking drugs as well….

    I think she’s written an excellent piece and I really hope this whole scandal really helps future champions gain the recognition and rewards that they deserve

    Premier Icon lazybike
    Free Member

    I tried to link to the original article but couldn’t…it’s a long statement so I didn’t paste it all.

    Premier Icon soulwood
    Full Member

    Many years ago I worked for Brian Rourke, who competed in a lot of high profile road races such as the Milk Race (1950-1960’s) and abroad. He told me of races where he was outsprinted to second place and the winner would ask him what drugs he was using. When he told him that he was clean the reply was along the lines of “well if you used drugs then you would be unbeatable” He quit the road racing scene as he was never going to use drugs and he knew of several other good riders who quit when they were in their prime because they didn’t want to do drugs. Seems like its endemic, but like how people are accepting of the scandalous wages paid to premier footballers, people just seem to be okay with it all, a kind of apathy. I really don’t know what it will take to stop it all.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Free Member

    I can’t see how this cycle can be broken…

    – Drugs scandal
    – Sponsors abandon the sport
    – Sport convinces people it’s tackling doping and that it’s now a thing of the past generation
    – Sponsors return
    – Teams fight for big sponsor cash and need results
    – More sophisticated doping ensues as teams and riders try keep up with each other and get results
    – Fans and sponsors now happy again, until… back to the start…

    Premier Icon breatheeasy
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    Got to say pretty disappointed by Armistead’s take on this – naiive at best???

    No, she’s a working cyclist who doesn’t want the limited sponsors of womens cycling to remove their funding for her profession. Not naive at all. Though when it’s her turn to retire maybe she’ll go out guns blazing. It’s going to be pretty meagre pickings in cycling for a while yet especially if LA takes down a lot of UCI with him.

    But I do get Nicoles point that Hamilton (and Millar don’t forget) made a decent littler earner out of writing books about how they doped (and don’t forget kids, doping doesn’t pay…)

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Full Member

    Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than Bessette or I will make in all our years of our honest labour.

    You know what to do then Nicole. Write a book describing how you rode clean. If it’s interesting, people will buy it.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Full Member

    Armistead hates Cooke, it doesn’t matter what Cooke says, Armistead would take exception to it.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Doping is great for your career, just look at David Millar – done very well out of it! Plus he may well still be taking the drugs, who knows….

    Premier Icon klumpy
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    Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than Bessette or I will make in all our years of our honest labour.

    Aren’t there laws that prohibit people from making money from books about crimes they committed?

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Aren’t there laws that prohibit people from making money from books about crimes they committed?

    Yes, in the UK, but doping isn’t covered by statute law, it’s just rules of the sport.

    Premier Icon D0NK
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    didn’t know that stuff about minimum pay, that sucks big time.
    I knew prize money and wages could be naff all compared to blokes but not about pro wages.

    I can’t help thinking that the cheats win on the way up and the way down.

    human nature (or our society) is messed up.

    Premier Icon jfletch
    Free Member

    The problem with saying all this once you retire is that it comes across as sour grapes and you have contributed to the omerta while you raced.

    But you can see her point.

    And its not about prize money, that is small beer, its the increase in wages that come with being a winner that really cheats the clean riders. I’d like to see a court, maybe CAS, where any organisation (teams, sponsors, organisers, promoters etc) could file a suit against an athlete who was be found to be a doper, to recover all moneys paid to them in their career to date, with interest, for whatever reason. I’d also like to see it clasified as fraud so the state could recover all money earned from tell all books etc.

    Its the only way doping can be made to not pay.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Full Member

    The problem with saying all this once you retire is that it comes across as sour grapes and you have contributed to the omerta while you raced.

    well the sport has shown it really doesn’t like whistleblowers, say stuff like that and you’re career is probably over anyway. Not a good thing to do in the early years of your career i guess.

    Premier Icon jfletch
    Free Member

    well the sport has shown it really doesn’t like whistleblowers, say stuff like that and you’re career is probably over anyway. Not a good thing to do in the early years of your career i guess.

    Agreed. It’s chicken and egg though. They need someone to ride the bikes so if everyone was open then everyone would be OK.

    Also Nicole has always been known as a bit of an awkward loudmount, why not speak out about doping as well. Its not like she was getting big money offers from top team anyway becuase of this, despite being one of the best riders.

    Premier Icon rkk01
    Free Member

    No, she’s a working cyclist who doesn’t want the limited sponsors of womens cycling to remove their funding for her profession. Not naive at all.

    Nonsense – if that’s the case she should have just kept quiet

    Armistead hates Cooke, it doesn’t matter what Cooke says, Armistead would take exception to it.

    Exactly – and looks rather immature for it?

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    You know what to do then Nicole. Write a book describing how you rode clean. If it’s interesting, people will buy it.

    The problem is 2nd place is boring to write about and doesn’t get you a lucrative career in motivational speeking. However hard you try, and however many times you come 2nd, you’re still the first looser.

    If she’d won clean then it would be different.

    Premier Icon rkk01
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    The problem is 2nd place is boring to write about …..however many times you come 2nd, you’re still the first looser.

    ???????????

    Premier Icon ransos
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    If she’d won clean then it would be different.

    Errr, she did. A lot.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Free Member

    Ok, I have to say it… it’s Armitstead! (with two T’s.)

    Premier Icon MSP
    Full Member

    Also Nicole has always been known as a bit of an awkward loudmount, why not speak out about doping as well. Its not like she was getting big money offers from top team anyway becuase of this, despite being one of the best riders.

    You might try reading what she says, and understanding why she refused to play the drugs game so got labelled as awkward.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Errr, she did. A lot.

    Thing is, no one remembers her wins – she’s just not a charismatic person. No one will remember her in a few years or possibly a few months….

    Premier Icon BristolPablo
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    as I said on another thread, its my understanding that the Cooke vs Armitstead thing goes back to 2010 Nationals when Armitstead, Pooley et al all rode for Garmin Cervelo and Cooke was on her own. They kept breaking and Cooke was forced to chase it down, eventually Pooley broke free and Cooke rode to 3rd. She complained and said it was too tactical but I gather Cooke was fairly gracious in defeat but the Garmin riders were far from magmanimous in victory… could all be wrong, i wasnt there and its all hearsay.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    Thing is, no one remembers her wins – she’s just not a charismatic person. No one will remember her in a few years or possibly a few months….

    I do, despite only having a passing interest in professional cycling.

    Premier Icon buzz-lightyear
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    Thing is, no one remembers her win

    Beijing! You don’t remember this stunning Gold Medal ride in 2008?

    Premier Icon jfletch
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    You might try reading what she says, and understanding why she refused to play the drugs game so got labelled as awkward.

    She didn’t get labelled as awkward for not playing the drugs game, she got labelled as awkward for being awkward.

    She certainly wasn’t too slow to get on a team so not taking drugs wouldn’t have been an issue, people only get presured into taking drugs if they aren’t winning the biggest races without them.

    My point is if she is already unable to get a team because she is hard to get along with then what is stopping he being outspoken about drugs publicly, name and shame etc. Doing now just comes across as sour grapes.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Beijing! You don’t remember this stunning Gold Medal ride in 2008?

    In all honesty, nope.

    Although I really don’t follow Women’s cycling bar Emma Pooley (and only as she was in my club).

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
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    Why is it people feel the need to spout such utter shite on threads about Cooke, she won loads, shit loads and will be remembered as an all time great.

    Premier Icon jfletch
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    Why is it people feel the need to spout such utter shite on threads about Cooke, she won loads, shit loads and will be remembered as an all time great.

    Yet still couldn’t get a top role with a top team.

    Must be because she wouldn’t take all the drugs necessary to get on a top team!

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
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    Yeah she was shit

    http://www.nicolecooke.com/main/palmares/index.html

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Why is it people feel the need to spout such utter shite on threads about Cooke, she won loads, shit loads and will be remembered as an all time great.

    Why do people who cannot tolerate other people’s opinions post on internet forums and then get all upset when not everyone agrees 100% with everything they say?

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