Saved by a shitty lawyer

November 27, 2013 § 168 Comments

Rich Meeker is one lucky dude, and if you want to know why, you can:

a) Read the 31-page arbitration decision imposing a 2-year ban or,

b) Read what follows, which might not be quite as dry.

To get things started off, let me just say that Rich Meeker, who has always been really nice to me, is a living, breathing example of everything that is wrong with Old Fuck Racing. This arbitration decision proves it.

Just the fucks, ma’am

Here’s what happened, in a nutshell. Beaker Meeker doped, and never contested that he doped. Never. Not once. Get that? RICHARD MEEKER IS A DOPER AND HE ADMITTED IT FROM THE OUTSET.

What also happened is that Beaker Meeker, a 9-time national champion,  had never been tested in more than 35 years of competitive racing, and the first time he had to peel back the foreskin the sorry bastard squirted ‘roid juice. Thirty-five years, nine titles, one test? Those are more than good odds, they’re evidence that USAC doesn’t give a pigfart about integrity in geezer racing as long as the race permits and officials’ fees keep rolling in.

But back to the Jersey Shore: the only thing at issue in the arbitration hearing was whether as a dopefuck dopefucker Beaker Meeker deserved a 2-year ban, a 4-year ban, less than a 2-year ban, or no ban at all. You may be tempted to think that his $100k defense (my estimate), his 14-month running battle with USADA, his testing of Hammer Nutrition products, and all the other shit was an attempt to prove that he didn’t dope.

It wasn’t.

Why? Because according to USAC, the UCI, USADA, WADA, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, if you swallow it, snort it, rub it on your nuts, shoot it into your veins, smear it on your clitoris, or jam it up your asshole, and “it” is a banned substance, then you, sir, are a doper. Of course, if you’re a “sir” and you also rubbed it on your clitoris, you have bigger problems than a positive drug test.

So when Beaker Meeker climbed off his bike at the USAC Old Fucks Race in Bend, Oregon in 2012, found his microscopic penis and shrunken testicles with a pair of tweezers and peed into “the cup,” his cyborg urine was seething with dope. Every good run comes to an end, I suppose.

The doping positive was admitted by Beaker, and so the only question (legally posed) was this: Okay, fucktard, should we ban your sorry dopefuck ass for two years or four? Or less than two? Or none?

D-bags love “none”

Like so many dopefucks before him, Beaker Meeker lawyered up and took a sabbatical from bike racing. You know, because it’s just his hobby that he does in his spare time, a hobby he’s been doing for 35 years, a hobby in which he’s “earned” nine national titles, a hobby in which he has become part of the Old Fuck Racer sporting pantheon.

As he says in his douchefuckery of a press release, “Cycling is my hobby, not my career, and it would make no sense for me to use an illegal substance.” You should probably take that stinking lump of kerfluffle with a grain of salt the size of Dallas, since any Old Fuck racer who’s done 30 races in a season and claims to have been able to do anything more than drool on his keyboard at work is most likely a liar.

Beaker Meeker, of course, decided to fight. Not to fight the fact that he’s a dopefuck, but the fact that he deserves a 2-year ban. To properly understand the Beaker defense, you need only have an appreciation of Cheech & Chong. Like, dude, yeah, man, I had that shit in my piss and shit, but fuck, it got there on accident.

The Beaker Meeker defense

Rich and his $450/hour lawyer came up with a great defense. It was original. It was clever. It was the product of brilliant thinking that could only have been spawned by a bike racer and a lawyer. Here it was: THE EVIL TAINTED SUPPLEMENT MADE ME DO IT.

Yep, in a long line of shitfuckery that was most famously the plot in the Spanish novella, “Contador and the Mystery of the Tainted Meat,” Beaker Meeker decided that he’d beat the sanctions by showing that his Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte capsules were tainted. Never mind that cyclists like Kirk O’Bee, Neil Stephens, Scott Moninger, Amber Neben, Christophe Brandt, Aitor Gonzalez, and others had trotted out this lame excuse and been found guilty of doping — Meeker figured that he could win.

Beaker tried to pin the tail on Hammer Nutrition by sending off various of their supplements to a private testing lab in Tennessee. How he did it boggles the imagination, not because of its creativity, but because of its transparent lameness.

If at first you don’t succeed …

First, Beaker sent off a batch of Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes, Hammer Nutrition Anti-Fatigue Caps, and Standard Processing Drenamin for analysis. (Note to self: Standard Processing Drenamin? What the fuck is that?) Leaving aside for the moment that there was no chain of custody whatsoever, one of the Endurolyte bottles, which conveniently contained a variety of pills and “some loose powder” (not making this shit up, folks), miraculously had some steroids in it.

Unfortunately, the steroids in the bottle weren’t the ones that Beaker had tested positive for, so it was back to the evidence fabricating, er, drawing board. Undeterred, on December 3 he shipped off another batch of evil supplements, all of which tested negative for steroids. You can almost hear Beaker and Howie:

BM: “Fuck! When are we gonna get some positives? I ain’t paying Vinnie the Knife to spike that shit with Play-Doh!”

HJ: “Shit if I know! Let’s keep sending!”

On January 17, Beaker mailed off another shipping container of supplements. All tested negative for steroids, and more clumps of already scarce hair were ripped out in frustration. With time running short to prove he was framed, and copies of the Zapruder film not yielding any additional material for the lone nutrition supplement contaminator on the grassy knoll theory, Meeker sent off yet another batch of Hammer Nutrition supplements.

Bing-botta-bing! Incredibly, along with the supplement capsules, there was also some loose powder in the bottom of the bottle. More incredibly, the powder turned out to be (drum roll) one of the drugs that Beaker had been busted for, norandrostenediol. Before the celebrations could begin in earnest, however, it also appeared that the “loose powder” contained another banned drug, DHEA, which, unfortunately, Rich had not tested positive for.

The timing was problematic, as it seemed more than coincidental that the very last sample was the one that happened to be tainted with just the right ‘roid. Beaker Meeker explained it away thus: even though his lawyer had asked for all his supplements, he had only searched the containers in his kitchen, not his “race bag which he kept in his garage.”

I know what you’re thinking: “If my kid ever came up with an explanation that dumb I’d whip him once for saying it, and twice for not being smart enough to dream up a better lie.” You’re probably also thinking, “Yeah, when the lawyer asks for all the supplements, I never give him the stuff that was in my actual race bag that I took to the actual race containing the actual supplements I actually claim to have taken.” Right.

Even so, this presented a mess. How could Rich claim that he lapped up the tainted powder which was contaminated with the two banned drugs, but he only tested positive for one? Perhaps it was time for the “I used to have a forked tongue” theory?

Where there’s one problem, there are usually more

This wasn’t the only difficulty. None of the actual Hammer Nutrition capsules was tainted, only the loose powder, which I’m sure no one could have sprinkled into the can. Team Beaker had to explain ingestion of the tainted powder, when prior to the dope test he had testified that he only took the capsules. The solution? Claim that the powder was from broken capsules, and imply that the unbroken capsules he’d taken also had “tainted dust” on them when swallowed the pills. The chart was starting to look complicated.

But as with bad fiction everywhere, this led to more difficulties. If the capsules had broken, then where were the empty shells? The lab had only found powder in the bottom of the bottle. Compounding the problem, Rich testified that he had no memory of picking out the empty capsule shells. The arbitration panel found this big, hairy, 12-pound, blood-covered booger hard to swallow, because the quantity of powder meant that there would have been more than 30 empty shells from the broken capsules.

Facing a fictive narrative that would have given Gabriel Garcia Marquez migraines, Beaker had an explanation: he must have taken capsules that had the tainted powder in them. Yet this too ran into problems, because none of the other tested capsules was positive. Since Rich testified that he took about “37” capsules prior to the race, some number of which were tainted Hammer pills, he would have had to have magically selected only the tainted capsules, randomly, from the bottle, and then, somehow, 36 other tainted capsules (the approximate number of capsules that would have contained all the loose powder) magically exploded inside the bottle while the capsule shells vanished up a unicorn’s ass.

Leave alone for the moment that anyone with a brain, even a bike racer, would be suspicious about a bottle filled with loose powder and no broken capsule shells immediately prior to a national race in which victory would guarantee a drug test, there were even more amazing parts to this poorly cobbled together story.

To add more tomfoolery to an already ridiculous “legal” defense, Beaker’s own lab expert said she’d never seen a bottle with an admixture of various capsules and loose powder like the one they had been given to analyze.

Follow the math

Another big problem for Beaker Meeker was the fact that the doped up bottle was from 2008, and the race was in 2012. Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes contain 120 pills per bottle, and although Meeker claimed to only take them before road races, his testimony that he took four or five pills before nationals means that he would have blown through that supply in four years, easily .

Had the arbitrators asked him to demonstrate how he took all 37 horse pills before nationals, they could have put the lie to him then and there. The idea that you can swallow 37 of anything before a race is right up there with the forked tongue/vanishing twin theory.

The arbitrators were also curious as to the physiology behind the “disappearing DHEA,” i.e., how the norandroshoweverthefuckyousayit showed up in Beaker’s pee-pee, but the DHEA didn’t. Meeker’s “expert,” whose qualifications were vigorously challenged by USADA, couldn’t explain this curiosity either. Perhaps if they’d let the astrologer or the unicorn tamer testify, it would have all made sense.

Just waiting for Moe to nose tweak and eye-poke Larry

Team Beaker next argued that since USADA couldn’t explain how Meeker’s urine got contaminated, the arbitrators were obligated to accept his theory. This is like saying that if you can’t give a satisfactory explanation for the origins of the universe, then you have to accept that all 250,000 species of beetles (each named by Adam) and all 1 billion species of bacteria (also named by Adam) along with the dinosaurs, trees, grasses, fungi, and nematodes (named by Adam, too) were aboard Noah’s Ark.

By trying to force USADA to prove how Beaker Meeker had ingested the dope, the legal team of Tweedledum and Tweedledumbfuck sought to turn the whole evidentiary burden of proof on its head, which would have been a great precedent, relieving dopers of having to explain their vanishing twins and forcing USADA to reconstruct how they cheated. The arbitrators weren’t impressed, after pointing out that Team Beaker had omitted a crucial word in its citation of a prior case, they told him in legalese what anyone else would have said: “Shut the fuck up, doper.”

Then the arbitrators raked him over the coals. They pointed out that he had contradicted himself, claiming various numbers of pills that he had taken, and finally saying he couldn’t remember at all how many he took. He further botched the claims that his lawyer had carefully drafted in the calm of the office, when, under the heat of cross examination, he confessed to not knowing when or from whom he’d actually gotten the 2008 capsules.

And of course the arbitrators masticated, swallowed, and shit out his “loose powder” theory, as well as his expert’s theory about the “disappearing DHEA.” The arbitrators described dopefuck’s testimony as not “consistent, reliable, or complete,” which is short of calling someone a two-bit, lying sonofabitch. I’ll leave you to decide how short.

To emphasize the patent flimflammery of the whole defense, Meeker had the audacity to claim that in more than 30 years of competitive cycling he had never once read the “fine print” on the back of his annual license. Then he complained that neither USAC nor the UCI had ever given him any training about drug testing. A later appeal will likely blame his mom for all that premature potty training.

Saved by the shitty lawyer, though

Where Beaker Meeker got lucky was the part where the arbitrators rejected USADA’s demand for an aggravated sanction, which would have kept the doper out of the masters ranks (think keeping a pedophile out of the playground as an analogy) for four years instead of two. USADA’s claim was essentially that any idiot could see what had happened: Beaker Meeker had doctored up a bottle of capsules with tainted drugs, fabricated evidence, and sought to dupe the hearing officers into letting him off the hook.

All USADA’s lawyers had to do was show, through testimony or other evidence, that Beaker Meeker had engaged in deceptive or obstructing conduct to avoid the detection or adjudication of an anti-doping rule violation. But they failed to elicit any testimony or put on any evidence or retain any experts who could testify to the absurdity and/or impossibility of Meeker’s claim. The standard was tough, but they didn’t even try, and now Chester will be back at the races with a trench coat full of lollipops in September 2014.

What’s it all mean?

The above analysis is, of course, the kindest and most favorable reading of the arbitration proceeding. But what if, you know, they really were going easy on him? What if he deliberately doped up a can of pills, blamed Hammer Nutrition, and made up a complete cock-and-bull story in order to preserve his reputation as the pre-eminent Old Fuck Cyborg?

What if he defamed an innocent maker of unicorn powder and supplement fluffery and tried to sabotage a legitimate business just to save his ass? What if he was not only guilty of doping in 2012, but in every year for the last two decades?

Wouldn’t that make him, like, the biggest douchebag ever? And doesn’t it strike you as diseased that he could ever enter another race again? And doesn’t it make the silence of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer “masters” team and every one of its riders seem like the silence of witnesses to a grotesque killing?

I think the answers are “yes, yes, and yes.”

And maybe a “hell, yes” for good measure.

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§ 168 Responses to Saved by a shitty lawyer

  • Sausage says:

    Nailed it.

  • marcspivey says:

    Thank you for the Cliff Note analysis. Us non-lawyer types appreciate it. And allow me to embellish my previous description of Mr. Meeker: pitifully stupid greedy prick.

  • Winemaker says:

    Exactly. Nice. Well done.

  • David says:

    Me thinks Hammer Nutrition needs to sue for defamation. Not a lot, maybe $100K and an admission that he lied. Let Mr. Meeker sit between that rock and a hard place a while: Either admit guilt or start the billable hours meter again for his own lawyer.

  • Jeff Cozad says:

    I’m just glad this is his “hobby”. ~rolls eyes~ I’d hate to see what would have happened if it was something serious.

  • Sherri says:

    Very well done counselor.

  • Dr. Bob says:

    methinks at least part of the problem is lawyers (sorry, Seth, no offense intended), and their ability validate whatever behaviour, no matter how egregious.

  • Spinner says:

    I am facing west and bowing deeply as you, sir, can write!!!!!

  • Jared Zimlin says:

    We started the Florida Clean Ride Fund to stop Old 1-2 Roid Racing in our state of an Anti-Aging clinic on every corner. Reading this just pisses me off for all the effort we put in. All the pushing on USAC to have a program in every states to put some focus on fighting doping not at the high end, but the low end where the actual money that fuels the sport really comes from…amatuers buying bikes, gear, nutrition, coaching, etc to put their foot in the ring and have a sliver of hope its actually fair. The best we can do is put crap like this in the public eye since its public information and hopefully when he shows up to race again he can get called to the podium to explain to every person he ripped off a podium, jersey, medal etc from why he admitted it then fought it….as a hobby.

  • Derryl says:

    On top of it all Usada has to pay for arb expenses their should be cost shift and financial sanction to the guilty to cover Usada cost of prosecution

  • Michael says:

    Funniest thing I’ve read in quite a while, maybe ever! Well said. Beaker sounds like an egomaniac with overcompensation issues.

  • Noel says:

    And rather than see him prove he can win races clean, I’d like to see him make an effort to apologize to and address to every individual behind him on the every podium… many of which are the kind of guys that should have won for having raced clean and fair. I’m not interested in how fast he is, I’m interested to see if he’s willing to take responsiblity and make good. Being fast on a bike just takes hard work, being a good person takes everything.

  • […] you can read a little more about the Rich Meeker’s aribitration decision. This is a cliff notes synopsis, but there is a link to the actual decision in the […]

  • MacRoadie says:

    Seth, if you ever need a shorter nickname for Rich, one that requires less typing, how about just “GNC”..

  • brian crommie says:

    Makes me appreciate Tygart, you need the rare zealot to fight the not so rare meeker’s.

  • Sausage says:

    One more thing: Can we PLEASE stop referring to Meeker as a “nice guy?” As in “I’ve never known Rich to be anything other than a nice guy, but…”

    This is NOT a nice guy.

    He may be a “polite guy,” he may be a “well-mannered guy,” he may even be (and by all accounts was) a “charismatic guy,” but he was not a “nice guy.”

    “Nice guys” don’t cheat their fellow competitors and friends. And when you call Meeker a “nice guy,” you do a real disservice to all of the truly “nice guys” out there.

    Greg Leibert is a “nice” guy who serves as a benevolent “patron” of the South Bay cycling community, warmly welcoming freds and future hammers alike. Marc Thomas is a “nice guy” who puts on weekly “Drills 4 Skills” clinics on the West Side for all-comers. Rahsaan Bahati is a “nice guy” with palmares that make Meeker’s pale in comparison, yet he focuses just as much if not more at giving back to his community through his charitable foundation. Even you Seth are one of the “nice guys,” with all you contribute to the cycling community, both locally and beyond through your book and (should be) best-selling book.

    These and countless others are the genuine “nice guys.” So please, please, stop calling this cheater a “nice guy.”

    • channel_zero says:

      This deserves it’s own post and the direction the sport needs to go. The direction, USACDF has zero interest in going.

      Competitive cycling has so many self-sabotaged problems there is simply no hope of the official UCI national federation of ever resolving them. This goes back to Les Earnest’s efforts to establish some kind of transparency and good governance.

      That means you guys racing USAC sanctioned events have to stop feeding the crooks and transition promoters to either self-sanctioned, or restart an independent federation.

      I bet some folks at OBRA could help, but it’s back to you racers feeding the USAC system.

      Excellent post and probably worth splitting in two for the next book.

    • fsethd says:

      Okay, I hereby revoke ever calling him a nice guy. Henceforth he is Beaker Meeker.

  • Tom Paterson says:

    “Vanished up a unicorn’s ass”. Nyuck nyuck. Some of your best.
    Hmmm, “people” (incl. the ‘people who work at Hammer’, which is not a *people* despite SCOTUS) might sue because– correct me, please, I’m no lawyer– if a judgement is rendered, even in states with no garinshee-ing or other “law-teeth” to enforce collection, there are still eventualities that could complicate life in the future. Like trying to buy a house, mainly is what I’m thinking of, and as a part of the closing process they search (with a pretty fine-tooth comb iME) to see if you owe anyone any money. Hell, if that’s the best you can do, and you can afford to do it… do it!
    “What’s this $100,000 unpaid legal judgement in your name…”
    “Um, I was a dogshit doper and cheater in what is supposed to be amateur athletic competition, and and and…”

    • fsethd says:

      And I wuz framed!

    • Uncle Jam's Army says:

      Meeker’s disparagement of Hammer in the arbitration is probably privileged, meaning Hammer couldn’t sue him for libel. More interesting to me is, if Meeker truly believes that his Hammer products were tainted with banned substances (and Hammer products do not list banned substances in their ingredients), why doesn’t he sue Hammer for fraud/negligence? I bet he won’t.

      By the by, I’ve used Race Caps Supreme and Endurolytes often over the years and I’ve never had one capsule “explode.” Amazing that Meeker could have over 30 that did.

      • fsethd says:

        Yes, he would certainly assert the litigation privilege, and a defamation suit in California would almost certainly draw an anti-SLAPP motion.

      • Roger says:

        But his press release likely isn’t covered by any privilege. It seems, however , carefully crafted. The fact that he doesn’t mention Hammer by name in the release probably isn’t enough to avoid liability. But if you read carefully, he doesn’t say that there was a tainted supplement. He says that it’s believed to be tainted. And he states that a powder in the container tested positive. But that’s not the same as a factual assertion that the supplement was tainted. It would be interesting to see how that would play out.

      • fsethd says:

        His lawyer helped him good.

  • Joe Camacho says:

    Having had to give prizes and primes out to many “Masters” I can tell you that most of them are not nice and some even give attitude when you have they have to go to LBS and cash in a certificate for their primes. Yet they doped for for prizes and primes. I love Masters racing scene.

  • Uli Fluhme says:

    Is there somewhere a full list of convicted dopers in cycling? Just want to make sure that we’re able to enforce the lifetime ban at Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York. Reading this I learned that one rider slipped through the cracks this year.

  • Hwy. 39 says:

    And here I thought Softball Guy from the Thursday night beer league was the worst of the Never Were’s. You know the type, guys that try to “recapture” the athletic glory that never happened in their youth. They are usually filled with excuses, er, stories about the injury or the coach that hated them which kept them from the big league career they surely would have had.

  • TJ says:

    If I take nothing else away from this particular blog post it is there is apparently such a word as “pigfart”. My goal for the rest of the day is to work pigfart into a normal conversation.

    Ps: great post as usual

  • evan says:

    Not all the amgens teammates are silent, Worthington wrote up a nice piece over on cycling illustrated that (a) admits he knew BM was doping (b) claims he felt sad when he accepted his cut of the proceeds and (c) accuses the reader of enjoying the show.

    • Roger worthington says:

      For the record I did not admit I knew meeker was doping. Far from it. I saw what everyone else saw. I just wasn’t agitated enough to personally force him to piss in a cup and send it off for testing on my own dime.

      • evan says:

        Sorry, it was on socalcycling not CI. I think you saw a little more than what everyone else saw. I’ve never been in his Porsche or his favorite bar. You have to admit you were in a position of privilege. And the following led me to believe you knew what was what: “I had my questions. Did I bring it up? No. Absolutely not.”

        No one is asking you to pay for drug tests for those you suspect (although if that were an option, I’d definitely pony up for a few suspicious characters in socal). But you took it a step farther than simply not being a whistleblower. Why not

        1) bring it up internally, ask for Amgen to pay for some internal controls
        2) failing that, silently quit the team
        3) failing that, silently donate your ill-gotten proceeds to a charitable cause (for all I know, you did do this — in that case, kudos)

      • KP says:

        Were you not “REALLY” close friends with whats his name Floyd Landis ? I don’t trust none of you guys anymore, so i do not race at all.

      • fsethd says:

        Distrust is best.

    • channel_zero says:

      Link? I can’t seem to find it.

    • fsethd says:

      Roger is no longer with Amgen as far as I know. Last race I did with him he was adorned in the green of Worthy Brewing. I’ll take a brewer over Big Pharma any day.

  • Roger worthington says:

    Excellent and entertaining read with a high pop-pop factor. Thanks for wading through the transcripts. Your screed makes a strong argument in favor funding across the board drug testing, even for masters. Are racers willing to pay the surcharge? Would that restore honor to the sport? Would that increase membership, or the number of races, or the quality of races? How much would each racer have to pay? Why hasn’t USAC pushed this agenda? Are there more highly suspicious winners out there? Do we drop a dime based on suspicion? How do clean racers protest? Sit down at the start line? Engage in witch hunts? Disparage and humiliate and accuse, without evidence other than extraordinary results? Simply quit? How much energy much each sincere racer invest, in a hobby, which we do for fun and escape and personal growth, to prove himself worthy in the eyes of the mob?

    I throw these out not expecting you to answer. We pay dues to USAC. Ultimately they need to govern and regulate.

    • channel_zero says:

      What a bunch of nonsense. You know like most of your fellow old-timers, that the federation cares not one iota. I’m not sure what you get out of it, but it doesn’t look good from here.

      You, and your teammate Meeker are why I won’t ever give USACDF another penny. Your throw-everything-I-can-think-of-to-confuse-the-matter post just makes the matter worse.

    • evan says:

      there has to be something in between a “witch hunt” and “don’t test a guy a single time over the course of 35 years and 12 bajillion wins”

    • Bill Stone says:

      MKA, attempts to introduce nuance into the wonderful world of those who relish in others shame is as to suggest that the fault lies not in stars but in Miley Cyrus having a good time.

    • fsethd says:

      I don’t think we have to protest. Quit paying officials, use the money for testing, label licenses permanently as “Sanctioned for Anti-Doping Violation,” ban them from Old Fuck races forever, ban them from national and state title races, and go on about our business.

      You may not have felt it for yourself, but when I read your post on SoCalCycling it make me sick because I know how hard you trained and how gritty you have always raced. I felt sick at the thought that there are a bunch of people like you who did everything legal to beat the competition and ultimately lost.

      I will never in my life forget the way you rode up from the reservoir in PV after being off the bike for a year with a new hip. That is bike racing. That is toughness. That is competition. And to get mowed over by a guy who has none of those qualities except the ability to buy and ingest and train with the right drugs? Arrrrgh.

    • Steaknives says:

      I quit…

  • Brian Murphy says:

    So what is Amgen’s incentive in all this? A clean sport? hah!

  • Awesome. The psychology of the masters doper, or even supplement taker, just seems sad. I loved this line the best… (Note to self: Standard Processing Drenamin? What the fuck is that?)

  • Victory against Meeker was the sweetest. A win in 2011, or 2012, was almost impossible. I totally cried after my team mate ‘Road Champ’ beat him at State Road (2011)…it took 5 STRONG, fast dudes to beat him…and he was alone. It remains my favorite cycling moment.

    • fsethd says:

      But those of us without the five strongest masters racers in the state (not to mention lacking in other key areas), just watched him destroy the field and ride away.

      “Harry try too hard.”

  • Breeein says:

    Was gonna post on fb, but not sure that is really appropriate.

    My two cents about Rich’s situation because it’s not ok to be silent. And if you haven’t learned that yet, then you are brain dead.

    Someone said to me that I must be angry. I am not angry in the slightest. I am embarrassed for our sport and the core group of guys I spend half the year racing against week in and week out, all of whom I am sure face the same innocent questions from family and friends who ask questions like “do you take the same drugs Lance takes?” and who are accused of doping by anyone and everyone from the guy at the local Jiffylube to other racers..

    We are all guilty by association.
    And just like the pros now, anyone who has a really good day or is on a spell of good legs is suspect.

    These actions diminish us all and our accomplishments, as completely trivial as we and they may be, and worse they diminish our sport overall. Racers are a just one part of a tiny cycling community. It’s not about if I could have won a race if everyone was clean. It’s about something much simpler. It’s about acting like men, about the example you set, about the personal reward of hard work, of doing the difficult thing and in Rich’s case, with stars and stripes on his sleeve no less, it’s about acting with honor.

    I wear my sponsor’s and friends’ family name on my back almost everyday. I am aware of that and I am aware that in this little desert cycling pond it is my communal responsibility to lead rides, help other riders ride better and safer and welcome out of towners. And when I ride elsewhere, I am respectful, I follow the local rules. Off the bike this is soooo not me. But on the bike, in our little community of those who ride and race bikes it is. It is a responsibility we owe to our fellow cyclists and to ourselves.

    That, I am afraid, is a view that Rich can no longer see.

    • channel_zero says:

      These actions diminish us all and our accomplishments, as completely trivial as we and they may be

      Yes, they are trivial accomplishments. Sure, there’s some personal satisfaction, I would never deny that.

      $15,000+ of gear, 12-20hrs/weekly training, doping like Meeker and driving to office park criteriums every Sunday is ridiculous.

      The goal of the game is to be the first across the finish line and not test positive. Everything else, judging by every single one of Thom Wiesel’s actions is secondary. So, of course it’s okay to dope and ride a bike competitively.

    • Bill Stone says:

      Dear Breein,

      You take your bike to Jiffy Lube? I tried to take mine in but was told there was no bike bay. And rather than ask about Lance’s drugs he wanted to know how stoned a guy had to be ride around in traffic on those skinny tires.

      I am sad that your life has been diminished by Rich. But, why is bike racing about being a man. Does this mean women are not made less and so by Rich having not dated them? Honor? Who hath Honor. Can honor win a bike race, climb a hill, or even fall down-when all you have left is the fall then is how you fall the only important thing left?

      And if it is so not you when you are “off the bike” am I to conclude that how you are on the bike is not a metaphor for your otherwise not so simple to judge life? I get confused because elsewhere others are writing furiously that cycling is a micro of the cosmic of a person’s whole life and tells you that a man who cheats on the bike will become a pedophile in the school yard.

      • fsethd says:

        Nope, Billy. A man who cheats his “friends” year in and year out by doping is a guy who cheats them — and elsewhere — as well. You can tell a lot about people by how they ride and race.

      • Breeein says:

        Hi Bill,

        I guess we have better Jiffylubes in the desert. I could have used grownups instead of “man” but because Rich is male and I race in the “male” category and because grownups lacks the rhetorical punch of man and because I can’t stand the neutering of English I went with man.

        Your honor reference is nice, but proves the point.

        Honour pricks me on. Yea; but how—if honour prick me off when I come on—how then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour? A word. What is that word, honour? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. Is it insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it:—therefore, I’ll none of it: Honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.

        Said by the nice guy, the one everybody loved, and the one in the end who was essentially a worthless shell of a human being, Falstaff.

        Anyway, let me be less obtuse. Life is communal. Communal means responisbility to others, whether we as individual likes it or not. Of all the groups of people on the planet who should understand that, cyclists should for a variety of reasons I don’t think I need to list. Rich’s actions are in the end selfish more than anything. And yes cycling has made me realize that I could probably be a better son, brother, friend and general member of my larger community.

        As for cheating cyclists and pedophiles, whoaaa, that one is on Seth man. Take it up with him.

      • fsethd says:

        Anyone who can quote Shakespeare in a cycling blog wins.

        And I believe that pedophiles,when returned to the playground, are just as likely to predate again as masters dopers are likely to hit the juice once they’ve served their time if they return to the race.

    • fsethd says:

      Fucking awesome:

      “These actions diminish us all and our accomplishments, as completely trivial as we and they may be, and worse they diminish our sport overall. Racers are a just one part of a tiny cycling community. It’s not about if I could have won a race if everyone was clean. It’s about something much simpler. It’s about acting like men, about the example you set, about the personal reward of hard work, of doing the difficult thing and in Rich’s case, with stars and stripes on his sleeve no less, it’s about acting with honor.

      “I wear my sponsor’s and friends’ family name on my back almost everyday. I am aware of that and I am aware that in this little desert cycling pond it is my communal responsibility to lead rides, help other riders ride better and safer and welcome out of towners. And when I ride elsewhere, I am respectful, I follow the local rules. Off the bike this is soooo not me. But on the bike, in our little community of those who ride and race bikes it is. It is a responsibility we owe to our fellow cyclists and to ourselves.”

  • Deborah says:

    One of the funniest things I’ve read today, except it’s pathetic and sad at the same time. Do I really want to renew my USAC license to finance them not doing their job? Hmmmm…

  • edski says:

    Nicely done Seth – really appreciate the summary – and the coffee blown out my nose – har!

  • Tom Morgan says:

    Existence seems to require a kind of balance. Without the Meeker’s of the world, its makes the example set by those pointed out by Sausage a little less remarkable. I think it is also likely true that equilibrium is not maintained without a struggle between these positions.

    People like Meeker focus on themselves, even to the detriment of their chosen peer group and activity. On the other side of the spectrum, are those that seek to enrich and educate others. It may be as simple as stopping to help someone with a flat or as complex as organizing a quality event, but however its demonstrated their focus is beyond the individual.

    I don’t know which way the balance is tipping at this moment, but this column is clearly fighting the good fight. Thanks Seth.

  • edski says:

    Thinking back to the days of the Postal Master’s Team – sort of the first uber Master’s Pro team. Were they all really the best? (You had to have a national championship or six to be on it) Or were they all cheaters that found themselves together. Seems like most of them won then and continue to win now. Like G$ said it was always cool to beat them but damn near impossible…… sigh

  • Christopher Lotts says:

    Judging by the the amount of passive white noise in Meeker’s defense – we, as a collective whole – have a long way to go. Sure, the vocal ones are heard, but the cowards are silent, probably afraid of being on the wrong side of the issue and not getting a free helmet or jersey.

    After all, if you’re in your late 30s, 40s, 50s & still hoping to land that Team Schwag, then you’re just a stupid, greedy bum who’s also afraid of your own opinion.

    • Tom Paterson says:

      There’s nothing “wrong” with sponsorship or prize money. Said by a longstanding (28+ years) of a club that offers *only* some piddling “gas money”, and just lately, “club discount days”– not ever any free bikes, etc.
      Let them all– Women, Juniors, etc., make the best deal they can for sponsorship.
      That’s not the problem here, at all. Why? Because people dope to the gills so they can “look good” in the mirror at the gym, where there are no sponsorships or prize money involved. Reality check…

      • fsethd says:

        Hmmm … I think money and prizes at races add fuel to the fire.

      • Wanky!!!??? dang it…what? … “I think money and prizes at races add fuel to the fire.”…

        I say bullshit. ‘Eff’ the cheaters.

        so, should we fucking ALL get a ribbon at the end of every race, like Rev. Billy jokes???
        I’m sorry…i’m 51, and I still love racing for a pair of socks or a bag of cat food…I want to ride fast, and i LOVE the rare win. Giving prizes “fuels the fire” to WIN, and compete!!!!!! If that makes me lame, then, i guess i’m lame. If we don’t race for money and prizes, i’ll still go out there and try to go faster than the last time i raced…but why punish everyone!!!????
        I don’t care what “fuels” cheaters…

      • fsethd says:

        There are a lot of people I’ll argue with at the drop of a hat.

        You’re not one of them!!

        We’ll disagree on this one …

    • BCN says:

      Chris does that mean he’s banned from CBR or will you fold like a pussy and let him take the bank?

    • Steaknives says:

      See this watch? This watch cost more than your car…see that’s who I am and you’re nothing…

  • Noel says:

    Wike and Mike F dumped me on FB as friends. Maybe I’ve gone too far by imploring folks to not sponsor any sanctioned doper in masters cycling (no matter how lovely a person they are). I dont think anyone should be denied the right to race, but I do think rethinking the whole of this conversation is important to the wellness of what is supposed to be passionate skilled fun for everyone. I don’t understand why this makes people feel like they have to end friendships… but I do think we as a community bonded by the love of all kinds of riding, need to close ranks and decide how to make the sporting end inviting and fair for everyone. I think masters cycling should celebrate skill, talent, hardwork and fairness and I think it’s worth talking about having standard above what USA cycling deems worthy. This isn’t to punish the doper, its to protect the habitat of the guys that always found balance and made the right choices. I’m sad that this offends so many people. And I apologize to everyone if I’m wrong to assert this so aggressively. All of this out of love for the guys I know that race clean, hard, and within the lines without fail. The Lieberts, KK’s, Charons, and Slovers of the world… too many to name and so many I so appreciate as a fan of our community and as pals.

  • David Crowe says:

    God damn that’s a fine piece of writing! I am over here on the eastern seaboard (Athens, Georgia), and was not familiar with Meeker’s present plight, nor do I know this fine fellow, but someone forwarded me a link to your blog. You have nailed Meeker to the wall and I will forever think of him as a prick in a Porsche, more than likely with a vanity plate. I am 52 years old and used to be a (non-doped) racer myself, and to think that a 50 + year old cyclist would take PEDs to win any Masters race, even nationals is pathetic. Thanks for blowing the lid off this idiot’s little black box. Sadly, in Masters racing, there are a few other “Meekers” out there. I’ve put a link to your sight on my own little site, http://www.winterbikeleague.com (WBL), where we have taken our own approach to cycling.

    A New Fan.

    • fsethd says:

      Hey, thanks! Yes, it’s the Meekers who drain the fun out of a sport that we throw ourselves into, ironically, for fun. Really appreciate the props.

    • Rob says:

      Nice post David. We can all understand why a young pro would dope, not that it’s okay. But a master? That is truly pathetic. I’m 52 as well and have long accepted the fact that our best days were 25 years ago. And beet root juice won’t help. Be safe.

    • Rob says:

      By the way, I like that winterbikeleague site and it’s objective. Wish it was out here in So. Cal.

  • Kevin Kruger says:

    I have been racing in So Cal for 20+ years, I love it & the reason I love it is because it’s hard. Your average athlete won’t last five minutes in a cat 5 race and trust me I know HARD. If Meeker wants to come back and race i’ll be the first one on the start line to ask why he bothered to come back. The respect David Millar got when he returned to racing was good, Why you ask. Because he owned it and then sincerely asked everyone he wronged for there forgiveness. We all make mistakes. Hell I think I even made one a few years ago. If Meeker owned it and then made a sincere apology for all those years of cheating us, I would welcome him back. I don’t think his ego would ever let him do that. So he cheated and then got caught. Great !! It has no affect on how I will race next year. If there is one thing I believe that is what goes around, comes around. If you do good, good will come back to you. If you do bad, we’ll ask Meeker what happens.

    • fsethd says:

      Yep. I totally agree. I would only give the flyingest of fucks if he owned it. Fine. You cheated, you got caught, you admitted it, case closed.

      But the douchebaggery in that arbitration decision makes my blood boil. Talk about no scruples at all.

  • Jim says:

    Hey Bone Head, you do realize that Scott Moninger, the winning-est US pro ever, refused to dope and PROVED that the company that “guaranteed” that his nutrition was clean was actually fff’ed up and caused him a TON of money because of it.
    Do your research before you slander someone. Hopefully he sees this, takes you to court and you wind up losing your livelihood for shooting your mouth.

  • […] In the mean time please feel free to review this link: […]

  • Stefanovich says:

    Way to Hammer Seth, one of your best pulls yet. Here’s to 2014 and where would we be without all this hysteria?

  • Noel says:

    Liebert,
    The favorite thing I ever won in a masters race was that giant easter basket you and Maggie brough to CBR as a prime.

    N.

  • Adam says:

    This is a pretty FATTY side point to above conversation, but does anyone know if NPR is happening before Gobble Holiday Ride or if its just Tasteless Turkey Holiday Ride as planned at 8:00 AM?

  • Adam says:

    That’s like saying your distant relatives are coming home for the holidays….you are excited but at the same time not excited at all.

  • Uncle Jam's Army says:

    To think that if USADA’s lawyers had at least called one witness of their own (aside from a Richard Meeker), even some expert to explain how lame and manufactured Meeker’s contamination defense was, he might be looking at 4 years suspension. Now that would have been meaningful and a signal to other dopers who choose to waste everyone’s time with lame excuses for testing positive.

    Apparently, USADA’s lawyers have never heard of the concept burden of proof.

    • fsethd says:

      They apparently didn’t even cross-examine Meeker or Meeker’s own experts regarding the impossibility of the contamination. Very lame and lazy and weak.

  • 900aero says:

    Perhaps he should have hired Gabriel Garcia Marquez for his defence?

  • Dan says:

    So let me get this straight. Some prostate category spent way more money on his defense than he has or ever stands the chance of winning? I am very confused. Where I come from he should not only be sanctioned but hung drawn and quartered. I guess the ego takes you to strange places. That’s a lot of money to pay just to stomp dicks. Does it count as dock stomping if your on the rocket sauce. All this for a pair of socks. Sheesh. On another note this thanksgiving I would like to say I am thankful for you, wankmeister. You have enriched my life,

  • Tom says:

    Many of the rants above, and in the last few days, have been variations on the theme “eliminate master racing” , make the 60 yo guys race with 25 yo, etc.

    OK — why not have the men & women race against each other, too? Why not eliminate this gender distinction?

    What about people who “self identify” as being “women trapped inside men’s bodies” , shouldn’t they be allowed to race in womens races?

    As absurd as that sounds, new California laws ban any type of “gender” discrimination in K-12 schools, even when based on “self identification”.

    Why not also eliminate all “para” (handicapped/disabled) classifications while you’re at it?
    Why shouldn’t people with a missing or prosthetic leg race in the ‘elite’ categories against guys who have all their original body parts?
    And if the guy with a carbon-fiber prosthetic leg(s) is lighter & climbs better, is that an “unfair” performance advantage?

    The simplistic retort might be “rules is rules”, but from an ethical or logical aspect many of the comments are inconsistent.

    You visit Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, and by their “rules” it’s OK to execute homosexuals or beat (and possibly stone to death) women who were the victim of a rape. “Legal” Yes, “ethical” or “moral” No.

    Much of the self-righteous indignation expressed in last couple days doesn’t hold up.

    The same folks ranting against Meeker, masters racing, etc, would probably be aghast at summarily executing homosexuals, or bashing amputees for having their own races — even though the underlying thought process is the same, just change names.

    There’s a name for that affliction — “Cognitive dissonance” — “simultaneously holding two or more conflicting ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions” — and there’s been a lot of it in last few days.

    (and BTW, I dont know Meeker and have never spoken or communicated with him)

    • Noel says:

      Tom, I think maybe you might want to consider that everything written here is meant to also engage the reader and entertain while communicate the absurdity built into the things we love. I wouldn’t read anything as being so literal or concrete (although the turhts underneath are). Rather, through the flourishes maybe there’s room for the reader to have an internal experience and do this self-examination-thing and from that come out at a different place from where they started. Do it that was and let’s see where you are afterwards. Might help change what you’re coming away with and make the whole thing seem less mystifying. Reality is funny.. it takes up a lot of levels at once and is full of contradictions.. and that’s why dramatization and color work so well to describe complex truths .. sometimes more than plain reportage.

    • fsethd says:

      1. Test
      2. Publicly shame the cheaters
      3. Stop paying prize money
      4. Group all the old fucks together. When they get tired of losing, they will (hopefully) quit.

  • Uncle Jam's Army says:

    I’m supplementing my Thanksgiving dinner with some “loose powder” I found on the bottom of my endurolytes bottle. Hopefully, I won’t test hot a week from Sunday in my CBR upgrade crit.

  • Tom says:

    In these fevered debates about “cheating” and “unfair”, IMO it’s worthwhile to read the article:

    “Man and Superman”
    “In athletic competitions, what qualifies as a sporting chance?”

    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2013/09/09/130909crat_atlarge_gladwell

    Also pay attention the paragraphs describing how natural, geographic variations in the iodine content of cropland soil, can cause 10-15 points variation in IQ. Nowadays that’s easily addressed via iodized salt — a “supplement”.

    Is it “unfair” that people from iodine-poor regions are given “supplements” to boost their intelligence?

    How is that different from a testosterone supplement to boost someone deficient in self-produced testosterone?

    • fsethd says:

      There are no level playing fields, only attempts to weed out the most egregious forms of field-tilting. Someone will always have an advantage, and in Old Fuck racing that can be a wealthy spouse that lets you train full time. At our level, the rules are pretty clear about anabolic steroids.They are cheating, so take them if you wish, but be prepared for consequences if you get caught. Simple stuff.

  • Joe says:

    Thanks so much for a great read that was equally entertaining and informative. I wasn’t sure if the tears were from laughing so hard or for the sad state of our beautiful sport. As the guy Meeker (temporarily) pushed off the top step that day, I took a special interest in it. I just e-mailed USA Cycling in the hopes that I can still get the jersey and bling.

    Joe

  • Noel says:

    Nice job Joe. Congrats on the win! I hope you get some nice stars and stripes cuffs on your jerseys next year.

  • eric says:

    looks like they’ve updated the USAC site with the appropriate DQs for 2012 nationals. congrats, joe!

    http://www.usacycling.org/results/?compid=23914

  • Kelly Steele says:

    We have a dickhead masters rider in Iowa who brags and blogs about his numerous wins. He’s also a bully who intimidates, and even fights, other riders & people. There have been many rumors about him doping; I hope this asshole gets busted because only a true narcissist would feel good about “cheating to win”.

    • fsethd says:

      I’ve heard him referred to many times, but never by name. Why’s everyone so afraid of outing him?

      • Tom says:

        Since this masters racer is not a “public figure” , wouldn’t “outing him by name” subject you to a slander or libel civil lawsuit, if you accused him of doping?

        Or would the racer have to prove some actual monetary harm if you called him a “doper” or “dickhead” on a blog ?

      • fsethd says:

        Legal advice temporarily disabled …

  • Hoopsdoc says:

    What strikes me is how blameless is this author? Is your life flawless. Have you ever sinned. I would like to post your sins, so everyone can flog you. Could any of you beat the guy without dope? Do you guys have so little self worth that you actually care? This public lynching is pitiful? I would love to examine each of your lives. What ever happened to Grace? It’s very reflective on our own characters, the responses we publish. Let him who has no sin cast the first stone.

    • fsethd says:

      This is a nice way to turn the victim into a saint. What public lynching are you talking about? The guy cheated and got sanctioned. He availed himself of due process and spent some serious money to clear himself, and failed. Lynching is where you deprive someone of their life with no due process at all.

      Do we care? Uh, yes. A lot. We hate being cheated by people who profess to be our friends. Do you have so little self worth that someone can fuck you out of a national championship and you’ll just take it up the ass even after they’ve been busted for cheating?

      Your thesis that the only people who can be angry at a cheater are those who have never cheated is extraordinary. I guess we’ll just dispense with juries and judges, then, because, according to you, only he “who has no sin” may cast the first stone. Then, after we’ve adopted your theocratic judicial process, we’ll institute the laws of Leviticus.

      In the meantime, those who cheat and lie and dope and get caught will receive the excoriation they so richly deserve. Contrary to your sanctimonious pablum, the one thing that really does work in minor-minor-minor league Old Fuck racing is shaming the cheats. They’re in it for ego, and when you puncture their egos with shame and ridicule, they may tend to think twice before doing it again.

      • Tom Paterson says:

        Some of those white-hot* retorts which have (apparently) been simmering sometimes for days should be left unsent.
        No, really! If you want to defend these miscreants, at least have pride enough to get paid for it, in front, like their lawyers.

        * “Couldn’t wait to punctuate”.

      • fsethd says:

        He could have least untwisted the undies first …

  • Mike says:

    Hammer should sue. What a cockmunch

  • Toni says:

    I have a buddy that played Pro football “back in the day”. He told me that cheaters don’t think they are cheating because they think they would have gotten their result no matter what. Cheating isn’t limited to doping. For example, Lauren was disqualified from the Leadville 2013 results. The organizers believe that she cheated by not doing the Columbine Mine climb, because her timing chip did not register at any of the three timing stations situated a few minutes apart from each other at the top of the Columbine climb. There wasn’t a timing station at the bottom of the climb this year; instead there were three at the top. Perhaps that confused her. There are no pictures of her anywhere on the Columbine climb, although there are at least four pictures each of the other ladies in her field on the climb. She might want to email the race organizers her Garmin file from the race and get it cleared up. Because as it stands right now, it looks like she traveled across the Twin Lakes timing station, entered the area where everybody has tents set up to support their racers before and after the Columbine climb, hung out for a couple of hours while waiting for the ladies who had been in front of her to come back down Columbine, and then got back out on the course a couple minutes after the fourth-placed lady in her field went by. She then improved her time from the 2012 race by over an hour, all on the ride from Twin Lakes to the finish. Or did I miss a discussion that she posted her file but the organizers wouldn’t accept it? Or did everybody already know that she didn’t do the climb but decided it didn’t matter because she’s such an awesome climber she would have gotten that result no matter what?

  • Glenn says:

    He is just another scum bag fuckin cheater. Another dickwad with no integrity. Hurting all of us in the process. Sorry, but we are losing sponsors and races because of the negative publicity that these assholes create. Hey wake up guys. Pretty soon the only races are going to be Gran Fondo’s . He should never be allowed to race again!

    • fsethd says:

      Yeah, I agree that it’s hardly a victimless act. He should be announced at every race and shouldn’t be allowed to race “masters,” whatever they are.

      • Kurt Bickel says:

        Personally if you get popped as a pro or otherwise your amateur days should be over.

        But all the hysteria over Meeker taking things too seriously is taking things too seriously. It’s a bike race. It’s bad ass to win but losing shouldn’t be the end of the world.

        It’s funny reading all the serious hand wringing about Masters racers and racing. A lot of people should take up ventriloquism because they seem to excel at talking out of both sides of their mouth.

        You’re particularly adept at it. Let’s call them old farts, take away all the trinkets because it doesn’t matter and drug test everyone because, apparently, it matters a lot.

        I believe this is called cognitive dissonance.

        Meeker didn’t do this for the money. He did it for that feeling of omnipotence. Some guys would dope to win a club ride.

      • fsethd says:

        “Either it’s not that serious and you shouldn’t care, or it’s really serious and you should care … people who claim it’s not that serious and care are ventriloquists.”

        This seems to be your point.

        But it’s not mine.

        Committing to racing your bike takes a lot of money and mental energy, and entails some modest physical risks. To that extent it’s serious and it’s worth trying to run the competitions fairly.

        But in the bigger context of our lives, it shouldn’t be the thing that dominates us because it’s not morally or financially significant. In that sense, it’s not serious, and so whatever the outcome we should take it with a big grain of salt.

      • Tom Paterson says:

        If “grain of salt” = knowing you’re not Eddie Merckx, or a local/regional/state/ avatar thereof? I’d go for that. “Realizing you will probably be cheated out of a fair competition” is a lot tougher lump to swallow.

        In this unfair world, many people want “sport”, at all levels, to be fair, especially in regard to doping– and especially “fair” in regard to the extremely effective doping that has arrived in recent times.

        Yes, this sport is “Serious” with a capital S, starting with “road fatalities”, continuing down through all-too-common significant physical injuries and on to time/money investment. Get real, please; “serious” is a good thing– or do you enjoy group riding with a doofus in the mix who poses a real danger to the riders who apply themselves to taking care of business?

  • Kurt Bickel says:

    “Entails some modest physical risk.” So dying is a modest risk. Oke doke. We should take doping serious because it causes crashes Tom?

    And racing takes a lot of time and effort…for you. Me, I just sit on the couch every day eating pancakes. Maple syrup doping is the bomb. I did a whole bottle before the state TT this year. Turns out it was fake and cost me the “W” now I go Canada direct, no more Chinese stuff.

    You can get cheated? Other than the two times I raced against Lance, I don’t think I ever raced against a doper. Oh wait, there was that Dewey Dickey guy. Kenny something. Hang on, let me get my list out…wow, that’s a lot of guys. Ooops, forgot to add Rich.

    I have this other list of folks who were doping, got tested a lot, and never got caught. Wow, that’s even longer.

    I need to get righteously indignant. This is serious!

    You guys funny. “Stop giving out prize money to XYZ, but isn’t that $10k purse at Lopmoc awesome!” “Old farts suck doesn’t matter Walter Mitty TEST THEM!” You should put this kind of stuff to a hip hop beat, do a rap over with a Darth Vadar voice and sell copies at Ontario.

    “TEST THEM LUKE!”

    In the mean time USAC keeps selling licenses based on the model of throwing toddlers (Cat 5/one day folks) in a room with matches, lighters and gasoline and seeing who comes out the least burnt. But really, we should spend more money on drug testing, and bitch about race locations, and not a complete lack of rider education or training.

    I mean, what does NCNCA know? I’m much more concerned with dopers then the guy who just took out half the field.

    I got a grain of salt. Actually a whole shaker. Got’s to have it.

    • fsethd says:

      I’m not sure what you’re saying, but you’re saying it well.

      You don’t like testing? Okay. I do, because I think it discourages cheating and I don’t like cheating.

      You think that because life is inherently dangerous we shouldn’t care when people make our pack riding dangerous? Okay, but I’m going to try not to crash anyway.

      You don’t like USAC and the way races are promoted? Okay, race somewhere else or take up a different hobby, and while you’re at it explain why testing and making USAC races better are mutually exclusive.

      You think we’re hypocrites? To an extent, everyone who refuses to see issues in black and white is, that’s the penalty for painting in gray. It’s also the payoff to not sounding like the crazy guy on the porch shouting at the passing traffic.

      You think that dealing with cheating is mutually exclusive with dealing with safe pack riding? Then you’re — and I’m sorry to say this, despite your clever prose — not very smart.

  • Kurt Bickel says:

    OK, try this:

    1) Testing barely works. It’s expensive. On the list of things we should be paying attention to and spending money on in amateur masters racing it’s pretty far down the list.

    2) I do the mentor gig with NCNCA when I can. I’ve helped set up similar programs elsewhere, at times fighting USAC to do so. It works. Much better than drug testing as a benefit to the sport overall.

    3) I’d rather every penny of drug testing money goes there, rather than have to answer phone call from friends in tears because they just saw a guy die in a pool of blood. Yes sweetheart, this happened to me. Twice.

    4) I’m with MCA on shrugging at the dopers and doing the best I can. (Hint: when Meeker and Greg’s boys rode off from you at States, it was just a matter of time before 5 guys rode away from you anyway). Drugs or not someone is going to kick everyone’s ass from time to time.

    Some people are going to be like Mr. Hand and think everyone’s on drugs, but mostly it seems to be the people that finish in front of them.

    5) Your blog on this subject is loaded with cognitive dissonance. It’s prose is amusing, but your thinking at times is as muddy as the Mississippi and takes more opposite positions than the Kama Sutra.

    This makes you totally unique.

    OK, I’ve stepped into sarcasm here. It doesn’t. FWIW I believe corporations are evil while owning a lot of stocks in my portfolio.

    7) I’ll assume that you also call people “stupid” when you’re standing in front of them. I suppose I’ll have something to look forward to next season. Oh joy. Look for the huge guy with the tats and the shaved head riding carbon wheels with the MMA stickers on his pickup. That’ll be me. Call me stupid and we can discuss.

    I sincerely hope this clarifies my positions and posts on the subject.

    • fsethd says:

      Yes, it does. And when you start off by calling me a hypocrite, regardless of how many tattoos you wear or pounds you pack, I’ll be happy to toss an insult your way as well.

      1. Testing does work when it’s consistently done. Part of the reason for the high cost is because it’s done infrequently, and there are plenty of ways to put existing money (payment to USAC officials, prize lists for masters) into testing. It’s your opinion that it should be far down the list, but you have no answer to the people who are cheated out of their place, whether it’s first or forty-first. Or maybe you think that fairness and rules are just idle fancy? I run across people like that in court all the time, and they are judged harshly by their peers when they assert that fairness is something that only applies to others.

      2. Mentoring is awesome. We need more of it. It’s not mutually exclusive with testing, and props to you for doing it. NCNA, what little I know of it, is more successful than SCNCA. It has better and more road races, and my friends who race NorCal say the racing is flat out harder. We can learn from that, but the thing that’s hindering such progress isn’t drug testing, which we had for the first time here in 2013 at two races.

      3. If it was a choice between stopping dopers and preventing fatalities in races, that would be an easy choice. But that’s not the choice. They’re not mutually exclusive. We had a race fatality in 2013 during a totally “safe” race. How would drug testing money have saved his life? Hint: It wouldn’t have.

      4. You have picked up a strain that’s easily caught, but terribly misleading and blatantly untrue. I’ve never chalked up a bad result to someone else’s doping. I’ve been racing since 1984 and have consistently proven over more than 3 decades that I’m not very fast and not very good. I’ve been beaten by cheaters and I’ve been beaten by clean riders. You are picking up on a nasty theme of the old school in Europe, “only the shitty riders complain about doping.” This is how they tarred Kimmage when he came out with “Rough Ride.” The fact is that guys who get beat — like me — don’t like getting beaten by cheaters. They can beat me without the drugs. What they can’t do so consistently is beat #2 and #3 without drugs. Those guys who finished behind Meeker aren’t nearly as sanguine as you are about it. To further the point, it’s like saying that people who complain about bank fraud are sore losers because the bankers are richer than they are anyway. So what? Just play by the rules. You also ignore that drugs trickle down. One guy killing all the races on drugs encourages others to emulate him.

      5. You keep saying “cognitive dissonance” as if I’m lying on your psychologist couch. I’m not. What you dislike is that I support testing and I disapprove of people who cheat. You disapprove of testing and think cheating is not such a big deal. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean that I’m the one exhibiting “cognitive dissonance.” It means that you’re on the losing side of an argument and want to pin it on my mental state. Hint: If you ever find someone with a pure and uncontaminated mental state, marry him.

      6) ?

      7) I’ll assume that you come up to people and call them hypocrites, analyze their cognitive dissonance, and then expect them to say “Thank you, sir, may I have another?” Look for the skinny guy with a goatee riding 32-spoke aluminum box rims, and call me whatever you want. I’ll respond in kind, and if you decide to resort to violence to make your point, well, all I can tell you is that there are laws against that, too.

      8) My guess is that you’ve been in the sport for a long time, that you care a lot about it, and that you’ve invested a lot of time and money and energy into making it better. That deserves respect, however far apart we are on drug testing. Also, you have indeed clarified what you think, and I understand it now. I just disagree.

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