Even sports reporters fail to do their research

Buster H

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Dec 6, 2004
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This really irritates the hell out of me. This is only one of four or five articles I have seen in the past two weeks that are claiming that Floyd Landis, winner of the 2006 Tour De France, has been stripped of his title. It HAS NOT been stripped as of yet. Of course, he only has about a 50% chance of winning his arbitration case and it will be stripped if he loses. Even with that, these douches are stating all kinds of "facts." How many of his other "facts" are based on what the reporter thinks and not based on research?


edit: he also "wonders" if Landis would admit to the attempted blackmail of Lemond. If the douche had done hios research on that, he would have known that Landis immediately fired the guy for the event.

http://english.ohmynews.com/article...nion_no=1&page=&isSerial=&sort_name=&ip_sort=

Earlier this week, Ken Griffey Jr. passed Frank Robinson on the all-time home run list. He's now in sixth place behind Sammy Sosa.

Griffey has always been one of my favorite ballplayers. He loves the game, plays with a smile, always gives 110 percent and seems to be a nice guy. I'm from Chicago and a Cubs fan, but I never liked Sosa. He always seemed insincere to me, especially during that "magical" home run race with Mark McGwire. Whenever he would say, "You the man, Mark," I would cringe. Please, Sammy, stop it. We all know you wanted to be "the man." Actually, McGwire and Sosa both make me cringe.

When I look at Griffey's back-to-back 50 home run seasons and his run during those years, I am far more impressed than with "Shady" Sosa's back-to-back 60 home run seasons. It's the same for much of America. When Sosa passed Frank Robinson's mark last year, sports writers yawned. Why did they yawn? Most of them didn't see it as legitimate. It's a tainted record.

For Bonds, it's a slightly different story. Many baseball fans don't like his arrogant and surly personality while others might have been deceived by Sosa's effervescent personality. So outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, not many are cheering Bonds on as he approaches Hank Aaron's home run record while they were cheering Sosa on during his glory year. What's also different is that people had no clue or little reason to doubt that Sosa wasn't juiced back then. It was our first experience with home run numbers off the charts; now we know that drug use is widespread.

Bonds just as much admitted to using performance-cheating drugs on a grand jury, but stated that it was ignorance. Whatever. The lack of support and cheers for Bonds is not an issue of race as some corners of America want or believe it to be. It's an issue of fairness and character --the gut reaction in most of us when a cheater gets away with something. Sometimes this feeling fades away with time, but it's still there hoping for the right thing to happen, for justice to prevail.

What I find stupider than people arguing that racism is why the public is against Bonds breaking Aaron's record, is questioning whether steroids and hormones help baseball players. The typical argument is that they still have to hit the ball, which is "the hardest thing to do in sports." Hello? Excuse. These are already professional baseball players. And have you ever watched a game? How balls are caught 10-20 feet away from the fence? Imagine how routine ground ball outs, with a bit of juice, become blistering singles or doubles. Now what about those routine fly balls? Imagine how a .233 and 15 home run hitter becomes a .261 and 33 home run hitter or a .308 and 66 home run hitter after a steady diet of hormones and corked bats. These are Sosa's actual stats from his first full season and his juiced up years.

I really hope someone develops an accurate test to detect human growth hormone (hGH) and other performance-cheating drugs. Major League Baseball should fund it since they created this mess in our nation's beloved sport.

Moving beyond baseball, one question that always bothered me is "what about Lance Armstrong?" Talk to people in cycling and you'll learn about the wide use of performance-cheating drugs in that sport. Did you watch that special report on Lance Armstrong by ESPN's Jeremy Schaap last year? Probably not since it was on-air for a shorten period of time. I assume Lance's attorneys threatened ESPN, so they pulled the plug on an excellent piece. Schaap's report convinced me that Armstrong is a cheater too.

In an interview with Schaap, Greg LeMond said how he told Armstrong to stop using and not to taint the sport. After that, LeMond heard from Armstrong's attorney, who threatened to shutdown LeMond's business. Another interview by a former employee of Armstrong's cycling team seals the deal for me. This great piece of journalism aired the same year that Armstrong was the host of ESPN's ESPY Awards. Probably another reason it was short-lived.

Although beloved by much of America, Armstrong to me seems cold and ruthless, worse than Barry Bonds.

Greg LeMond was recently called by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to testify on the Floyd Landis case. Landis was the 2006 winner of the Tour de France who was stripped of his title after he tested positive for a banned substance. The amazing twist in this story was that Landis' business manager threatened LeMond and tried to blackmail him so that he wouldn't testify. I assume Landis will deny knowing about this too.

Landis, Armstrong, Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Grimsley and others who use performance-cheating drugs are not athletes to be idolized or followed. They will serve as examples to my children of how not to play sports and compete. It will help me explain how ego or money shouldn't drive their desire for success in business, politics or whatever they want do in life. I will tell them to do it because they love it and to do it with fairness, honor and dignity.

For me, people such as Griffey and LeMond are a refreshing light in the recent shadow of sports. Where have you gone Don Mattingly? Muhammad Ali? Joe DiMaggio?
 

BlackNinja

How'd your parents die?
Jan 25, 2006
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#2
my chick had some ultra health freak and expose the government horseshit book, and its unreal what people will put into print without even checking facts. What always makes it worse is people who dont look into it, and just eat it up as truth
 

Buster H

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Dec 6, 2004
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#3
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/...p/2007/08/03/tour-de-hypocrisy/#comment-22982

Dave McKenna said:
Sally Jenkins goes after Barry Bonds again. A few weeks ago she said if Bonds had any honor he’d lay down his bat rather than break Hank Aaron’s home run record. In her latest Washington Post column she said she’s “cringing” at the thought the second-most-accused-drug cheat in sports history is on the verge of passing Aaron.

Jenkins never publicly cringed or asked history’s most-accused-drug-cheat, Lance Armstrong, to bow out during his record-breaking string of Tour de France wins. No, Jenkins cashed in on Armstrong’s amazing feats, co-writing not one but two best-selling autobiographies (It’s Not About the Bike; Every Second Counts) with the cyclist.

Forgetting all the doping accusations against Armstrong, whose name was left out of both Jenkins’ recent columns on cheating in sports, the recent history of Tour stars sure leads one to believe that her co-author was some kind of juicer. Quick recap: The winner of this year’s race, Spain’s Alberto Contador, missed last year’s event when he and his whole team were kicked out on doping charges. Contador only won because Michael Rasmussen of Denmark was kicked out of this year’s tour while leading on the last weekend because of doping. Last year’s winner, Floyd Landis, couldn’t defend his title because of doping. And before Landis, Armstrong won the previous seven Tours—always under suspicion.

So we’re left to believe that either performance-enhancing drugs don’t work in cycling, or that Armstrong—as the whole world outside the U.S. thinks—used them, too. Out of fairness to Bonds, Jenkins should either stop cringing, reference Armstrong in all her profiles of alleged P.E.D.-ophiles, or sign up to co-author an autobiography with the future home-run king.
A few people commented and called him out. His responses were ignorant and indignant. I commented with this:
me said:
Dave,

I read your “article” and was immediately incensed by your lack of fact checking. I probably would have just chalked it up to another uninformed reporter that was misstating facts and had succumbed to the typical bashing of the cycling world that seems to be so popular these days. Then, I read your indignant responses to comments.

You stated that “I’m not sure what facts i mis-stated or what science i ignored.” Let’s go into this.

In your original article you stated: “Spain’s Alberto Contador, missed last year’s event when he and his whole team were kicked out on doping charges.” This is only partially true. When the information revolving around Operation Puerto was released, anyone whose name appeared on Dr Fuentes’ records was immediately kicked out of the tour. Contador’s name was in those records. The names of four teammates were also there. Because his team had less than 9 people eligible to race, the entire team had to withdraw. Charges were dropped on Jul 26th, 2006. The real story turns out to be much different than what you tried to imply.

Your next misstated fact came when you discussed Michael Rasmussen. “was kicked out of this year’s tour while leading on the last weekend because of doping.” He was NOT kicked out because of doping. He did NOT fail any doping control tests. He was removed from the tour by his own team. Why? Well, the UCI requires that every athlete send a quarterly fax stating where they will be so they can be available for “out of competition” testing. Rasmussen had said that he was planning to be in Mexico, but was spotted training in Italy. He missed 2 random tests due to not being where he said he would be. UCI rules state that if you miss 3 tests in an 18 month period, it is considered a positive. Team Rabobank could have allowed him to continue but they, just like every other team in cycling, were terrified of the potential calamity of him testing positive. I agree that Rasmussen did screw up, but your words imply that Rasmussen had indeed tested positive.

You also brought up leakage of Armstrong’s “positive” test results from 1999. This testing was performed in 2005, 6 years after the samples were originally taken. The lab that found these “positive” results was testing a new method for determining EPO use. The claim from the French lab is that since EPO, which naturally occurs in the blood decreases over time, it is impossible that testing on old samples would show false positives. If that were really the case, don’t you think that Lance would have been stripped of his 1999 title? He wasn’t that shows that even the WADA questions the reliability of the test.

Now, if you really would like to compare MLB to cycling. You should be screaming that the MLB does not take the same measures for punishing cheaters as cycling does. Regardless of the reason, if a cyclist tests positive for a banned substance OR if they even admit to attempting to dope, they are immediately banned for 2 years. In 2003 Barry Bonds testified that he used a clear substance that “unknowingly” contained steroids. In cycling, that would have given him a 2 year ban.

Several athletes have been banned for the use of Propecia. Yes, the hair loss drug. Why? Well, the WADA has found that finasteride, which is in the hair loss drug can be used to mask steroid use. Zack Lunde, male skeleton racer, was actually banned from the Turino Olympics for it. He had been using it since 1999 and it was not an issue until it was placed on the banned substances list in 2005. He was UNAWARE that it was a banned substance. The arbitration panel decided that he was not a cheat but still decided to let his one year suspension stand. Why won’t the MLB do the same?
Here is the "reporter'" reply to me:
I appreciate your thoughts and research. But, for conceptual purposes, with Lance Armstrong as my role model, I will counter-attack every critic in this thread with every fiber of my being, or until the beat-down gets too severe.

Your post leaves me thinking you’re arguing that the powers that be in cycling have done a good job at policing drug use. I’d totally agree with you here, Jim, if only THE WHOLE WORLD DIDN’T THINK EVERYBODY IN THIS YEAR’S TOUR DE FRANCE USED DRUGS!

And it sure seems to me that your words about why Rasmussen and Contador were banned or what l’equipe’s investigative piece found mean the same thing as my words. if i was being paid by the word, i hope i would’ve gone with something closer to your version of all these bannings and cheating allegations.

But, in the search for common ground, i’m totally with you about major league baseball’s shortcomings: If they’re not banning folks for using Propecia, by golly, they should be. Let’s work together to bring back the toupee!

thanks again for your time.
The guy actually had to use all caps? That's hilarious. What kind of respectable journalist would do that? He even states that he will attack every person that criticizes his article. Seems that someone cannot admit they are wrong.

My reply:
Thank you for the very quick reply and for the laugh. I re-read my posting and yes, it would seem that I am pushing for the MLB to ban Propecia. That was not the intention. I was throwing it out there that Bonds DID admit to using a steroid cream, but his excuse was that he didn’t know. At the same time, the WADA is banning people for taking a prescribed medication because it could be used to mask steroids. I personally think the ban on finasteride is a little silly, but it shows that they are at least attempting to remove the cheating.

Why does the whole world think that everybody in this years TDF used drugs? There are two reasons.

People got caught. A few riders got caught doping to some degree or another. It hit the news and was all over the world. WHY? Because the first person was a really big name. Insert Rasmussen, Rabobank pulled him because they did not want the embarrassment of him potentially testing positive. (paranoia) NOW, what do you think the press coverage would be if Bonds was suspended by the Giants for something like that? It would be HUGE. That is exactly what happened.

Second reason??? Go back to the top of the page. Read your article again. Yours is one of the thousands of articles out there written by reporters that “don’t get paid by the word.” Therefore, they leave things unexplained and ambiguous. The general public comes to you, they listen to what you have to say. The ASSUME you have done your research and so they take what you are saying at face value. Writers like YOU are the reason why everyone thinks that.
 

Hoagie

I suggest you tread lightly
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Mar 24, 2004
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#4
The bright side to all this is only like 14 people really care about bike racing. So it doesn't effect most people.

As for the Bonds thing...I don't care if he holds the record or not. He'll never be the home run king in my eyes. His last 5 seasons have been about nothing but the chase for this record. He doesn't care about hitting or driving in runs or certainly not winning. He just goes up and swings for the fences. Aaron and Bonds will be great hitters who played the end of thier careers just to break a record. Babe Ruth will always be the home run king.....until A Rod takes over.
 

Hoagie

I suggest you tread lightly
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Mar 24, 2004
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#6
Yeah....Cause fucking chickens is legal in Germany.