Your views please (Roger Hammond content)

by Super Domestique   October 18, 2012  

In the Sky thread (news section) I posted the following comment but on reflection felt that my comments on Roger Hammond should be more open for discussion. Here is the direct cut and paste of what I stated:

I can't see how Yates can stay now tbh.

Another person I am a tad disappointed in is Roger Hammond (not on Sky payroll afaik). Why? Because I always felt he was a clean rider and had a strong anti-doping stance yet I remember him being interviewed on ITV during the Vuelta coverage and saying that there was no doping in the team, etc. Was he the only one 'out of the loop?' - given the info that has come out so far it seems as if the whole team know about it tbh.

I hope I am wrong about him and his view. I really do

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i was chatting with sean yates at the weekend, he didn't seem like a person at all worried by any forthcoming revelations... anyone from that 'era' you have to raise an eyebrow about... all of the people named above... but... i propose this question... where does the line start and end? ...hinault, merckx, indurain all must be included in the list of possible past transgressors surely .. and even further back than that... was bradley wiggins the first 'clean' winner of the tour de france... most likely..

posted by OptimalCadence [2 posts]
18th October 2012 - 10:13

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I can recall the interview you're referring to and I took his answer more as trying to say as little as possible and move on.

Surely nobody in that situation would have blown the whistle and answered "We were all at it!"

I don't think you can read too much in to it, although he has been quiet recently.

Rob

posted by robert.brady [146 posts]
18th October 2012 - 10:36

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I see no reason not to believe Hammond. The doping program at US Postal was unlikely to cover the whole team, up to 30 riders. That would be too risky. More likely those included were stage racers and those that would support Armstrong at the Tour. Hammond was a specialist who focussed on the cobbled classics so probably rarely raced with them, except Hincapie. Plus, he only raced for the team for a year, just like Steve Cummings.

posted by NeilG83 [221 posts]
18th October 2012 - 10:37

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I think it's probably more accurate to say that you 'had to be doping in order to ride on Lance's team'. So as Neil says, if you're not in on the big stage races or supporting LA, then you might well not see the same pressure. Heck, you probably wouldn't even work with the same DSs or soigneurs.

I don't know how the team organisation worked at Motorpostalchannelshack, but most teams are virtual - the riders only meet up for races. The rest of the time they are flung to the proverbial four corners. This is part of the culture that David Millar has hit out at, because it's not very supportive to the riders. I have heard of some pro's only meeting the top riders in their team once or twice a year, maybe at camp or a big end-of-season get-together. In this scenario, it's easy to imagine Lance's 'crew' being brought together for specific training etc, and someone like a Classics rider just not really being part of that circle.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2911 posts]
18th October 2012 - 11:22

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I really hope you guys are right as I like Roger Hammond.

I felt the interviews etc indicate the whole team was pretty much 'in on it' though. You had to be in order to ride for the team. At least, that's the picture that has been painted.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
18th October 2012 - 11:28

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I hope, as I say, this is true. But with soigneurs, mechanics and the like all stating it was rife through the team - eg. chef moving food off breakfast table when the 'delivery' arrived, etc I need convincing of anyone on the teams lack of guilt now!

I guess, for me at least, I am going to look at all my cycling 'heroes' with tainted specs now!

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
18th October 2012 - 11:45

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I agree, it's very likely that there was a 'Lance' set up and a 'non-Lance' set up with funds for doping being channeled towards riders doing the TdF.

US Postal/Discovery etc never seemed to do as well at the other races focusing solely on the Tour so it's likely that other riders on the team just weren't doping.

OptimalCadence wrote:
i was chatting with sean yates at the weekend, he didn't seem like a person at all worried by any forthcoming revelations... anyone from that 'era' you have to raise an eyebrow about... all of the people named above... but... i propose this question... where does the line start and end? ...hinault, merckx, indurain all must be included in the list of possible past transgressors surely .. and even further back than that... was bradley wiggins the first 'clean' winner of the tour de france... most likely..

I'd say Evans was the first clean winner of the 'modern tour' ie, in the last 15-20 years. He didn't have the explosive shows of speed that generally gives away dopers (Contador, Armstrong etc), in fact, against Andy Schleck he was the epitome of slow and steady. Likewise, if had a program of doping he'd have done better this year, particularly on stages where he bonked and lost loads of time.

There may have been others in the past, LeMond comes to mind as a strong doping critic, but I suspect they're few and far between.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
18th October 2012 - 12:13

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For anyone who hasn't read it - take a look at Tyler Hamilton's book (yeah I know - I was reluctant too).

It's actually pretty good though. More to the point it's a fascinating insight and comes across as quite honest.

With regards to the above he talks in some detail about the 'A' team and the 'B' team - the 'A' team being the ones who were asked to ride with Lance and handed white paper bags full of PEDs...

posted by Lacticlegs [124 posts]
18th October 2012 - 12:34

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Roger Hammond definitely not on Sky payroll, see:

http://road.cc/content/news/62490-roger-hammond-manage-new-uk-based-unde...

Impression I got from the USADA affidavits is that riders weren't initiated into doping on day one, it was a gradual process that could take a year or two, and that the systematic doping was around those directly involved with LA?

That could of course be slanted purely because the investigation itself has LA at its centre.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7880 posts]
18th October 2012 - 14:29

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re doping in US Postal.
If you read the affidavit for Michael Barry he didn't appear to be on the 'inside circle' he did some doping but wasn't part of the big hitters. I'm sure there were plenty of riders on the periphery but weren't doping or regularly doping

posted by kitkat [188 posts]
18th October 2012 - 15:51

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I thought Roger made his views on drugs in sport fairly clear during the Vuelta. I think it would be unwise to tar all ex-USPS/Motorola riders with the same brush, particularly those who didn't stay with the team for long.

And while I am certainly not one for brushing old news under the carpet or letting bygones be bygones in this matter, couldn't Yates's 23 year old sort-of-positive be considered too far back to be totally relevant? More important is his (and everyone else's) attitude to doping in cycling NOW.

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posted by Simon E [1896 posts]
18th October 2012 - 15:51

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Simon E wrote:
And while I am certainly not one for brushing old news under the carpet or letting bygones be bygones in this matter, couldn't Yates's 23 year old sort-of-positive be considered too far back to be totally relevant? More important is his (and everyone else's) attitude to doping in cycling NOW.

Totally agree.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
18th October 2012 - 15:57

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