things that make you go hmmmmmmm…

can’t kick Astana out cos apparently it’s not in *the rules*.

well, what great and auspicious rules we have. brilliant. have to kick out Europcar cos they are something like 5% short on the finances required for World Tour status, but a team that has a 500% increase in dopers over 3 months can stay.

well lah-de-dah.

someone replied to my article last week pointing to the inner ring article about how Cookson had no choice but to grant Astana its license for 2015.

i replied:

the article was written in light of the fact that the UCI has been facilitating cheating for many many years. the fact that in the UCI rules there are none that would allow them to kick out an outfit that has has had 5 positives (and then let’s think about Kreuziger/Contador/Vino and on) in three months tells you that there is something inherently wrong with the organisation.

there is no rule on unethical behaviour and bringing the sport into disrepute that a presiding committee that included independent folk couldn’t rule on? why not? have a referendum on it by asking your members – and remember, if you hold a license you are a member of the UCI – and let them decide.

you can say ‘well these are the rules’ all day long but if the rules are ineffective there must come a time surely when we question why these are ‘the rules’ and in whose interests it is to have to adhere to such useless regulations. the UCI have done just about nothing to garner our trust in the past 25 years. this is not isolated – they’re on a cracking run of f&*k ups and here is Cookson handing out a license almost no one wants to see awarded and having commentators cocking their snouts and saying ‘well those are the rules’ – and i really wish there was a font called ‘Patronising & Snide’, cos it’d be applicable there.

what have ‘the rules’ done to this sport? damn. *the rules* suck.

i was a bit angry when i wrote that, and i should not have implied that that ‘the rules’ line was snide – it is patronising though, i’ll keep that in.

anyway, yesterday i was reading The Guardian and came across a story about a City executive named Jonathan Paul Burrows who is now a former City exec. Why? Because he was thrown out by the Financial Conduct Authority for dodging train fares.


Dodging train fares.

Mr. Burrows
Mr. Burrows

To be fare (hi-hat please), he was quite the fare dodger.

“His dishonest behaviour came to the attention of the City watchdog after it came to light that he had saved himself almost £43,000 over several years by exploiting a loophole at the ticket barriers,” notes The Guardian.

Burrows would get on the train at his station which had no fare barrier, then get off in London and use his travel card, paying a third of what he should have paid.

Pretty sneaky right? Tut tut, Mr. Burrows.

Even more naughty when you learn that Burrows, who worked for Blackrock, earned 1 million pounds a year.

And all this has certainly cost him. He didn’t just get a 2-year ban, but was banned for life from any senior role in the financial services industry.

” He will never again be allowed into a position of authority, although, in theory, he could take junior back-office jobs,” said The Guardian.

(Vino as tire-pumper-upper, love that idea).

The ruling was passed down under the FCA regulation which demands that its members must pass a ‘fit and proper’ test, something Burrows was deemed to have failed with his fare dodging.

Outsiders, like myself, might look at this ruling and wonder why just about everyone in the financial industry in the UK hasn’t failed this test, something Burrows alludes to in the article, but it certainly is something that you wonder why the world sporting bodies can’t incorporate.

And not only why they can’t, but why they haven’t.

Things that make you go hmmmm, indeed.

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

6 thoughts

  1. It’s curious alright, or maybe it’s not at all. It’s makes me go hmmmm as well. I expected more of Cookson in this matter. A local pro race over here in The Netherlands, the Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic, because of the Astana situation, just decided to ban teams that had more than 3 doping related incidents within the past 2 years ( Which I think is good, but could be even better, like the Taiwan KOM Challenge. It’s a start, decision are being made.
    Don’t see Sep Blatter riding a bike anytime soon, but wouldn’t be surprised if the World Cup will be in Kazachstan next time. Also, it’s hard to imagine a Tour without Thomas Voeckler.

  2. Lee, you seem to be falling prey to the same trap as Cookson with your morally loaded tale. Rules are there to catch rule breakers is a common misconception. In the case of your fare dodging friend, he was caught because he was stupid! But his parallel in cycling is not Astana, but Europcar – who (some might say/believe stupidly) allowed themselves to fall foul of a very clear and observable rule (*). If you still believe Mr Burrows represents the pinnacle of wrong-doing in the world which the FCA oversee’s then you are a fool (and you are not that as your last paragraph clearly shows). He is just the patsy that is being paraded for all to see by an authority wanting to send a message, as opposed to one that really wants to clean up it’s own particular “game”. Vino is adept at playing the game, and has the CV to prove this – so don’t expect him to be caught any time soon!

    (*) I believe Bernadeau has been far from naive, and indeed has probably been very “cute” indeed – and arguably has played the rules to his advantage (gets maximum media exposure to his plight, and no shortage sympathy from the cycling community – i mean, c’mon, who won’t be cheering for Europcar in 2015?). Why pay the premium for World Tour status when it is not at capacity? Why more teams/DS’s haven’t followed his intelligent lead is still beyond me.

  3. Most of you won’t appreciate NASCAR. But as a governing body they hold all the cards. They have a rule for “Actions detrimental to the sport” for which they can suspend or fine a team or driver.

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