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Donnerstag, 30. Januar 2014

Why sport of triathlon can live without a Lance Armstrong, Chris McCormack 1:1

Chris McCormack, two time IRONMAN World Champion, Ambassador of Challenge Triathlon and full-time staff member of Thanyapura training resort is still juggling with a really stupid one on one "race" featuring Lance Armstrong and himself.

Lance Armstrong, doper, founder of a questionsble charity, which stands for "cancer awareness", donated only a tiny fraction of the collected money to cancer research. The foundation spent millions in advertising with his major testimonial: Lance Armstrong himself. A bully, cheater and a person who took drugs with cancerogen potential.

Regarding the promoted 1:1 between McCormack and Armstrong. Giving to charity doesn't change anything. There is a similarity, if some mobsters gives away money from illegal transactions to charity. It isn't softening the illegal behaviour at all. You can't justify something bad by doing something good utilizing and implementing the bad as core feature.

There is an underlying ethical discussion, than a practical or pragmatic issue. The Canadian centre for ethics in sport institute wrote one year ago a simple and solid comment with the same conclusion I've found for myself: "Doing the wrong thing for the right reason" is worth a read. [6, 7]

Lance serves a USADA penalty, Chris is a pro-athlete, who accepted the rules of the sport of triathlon. These rules included acceptance of WADA or national government body rulings. Why the heck is Macca promoting a "race", that wouldn't be sanctioned by feds in the first place. I'm aware, that this isn't a race. But Chris is - based on his role a stakeholder in the sport of triathlon - an ambassador of the integrity of the sport - or not.

Chris, I like, what you did for the sport. I respect your career. But now - I 'm feeling sorry for you. Sorry, that you don't respect why Lance Armstrong, at this point, shouldn't be around in sport. I can't respect you any more, because this "one on one idea" compromised various elements of triathlon's integrity.

Read his newsletter and some reactions below.

Chris McCormack's MaccaX newsletter 2014/01/30:

The "Last Dance with Lance"

Many of you have been waiting for an update on my challenge to Lance, whether you were for or against me racing him.

I've said that the only way I would race Lance Armstrong was if we did it for charity. I can tell you that we have talked about doing an event. He said to me, "I'm prepared to wear the losses on my athletic career. But the greatest thing I've ever done in my life which no one can ever take away from me is that I'm a cancer survivor and I've raised over 700 million dollars for a disease that nearly killed me... I'm not even allowed to do that anymore!"

So a match race could potentially happen. We're looking at proceeds going to cancer on his side and I'm looking at donating money to young kids. When you're cycling through the streets here in Thailand it's not like back home in Australia where kids have a chance to do sport and be educated. I'd like to put kids through school and show them the good of sports.

It's not about giving Lance a platform or a pedestal, but the potential to raise money for good causes, that's what motivates me. [8]

Editor's note:
Shortly after release of the news and a post on Chris McCormack's Facebook wall, he came back to me with insults. His counter on my facts backed opinion with aggressive, false and inappropiate claims without any facts stands for itself. It's is common behaviour to defend a weak position aggressively in absence of facts or evidence. Ironically, Lance Armstrong operated a similar way. He pushed pressure on the David Walsh's and Paul Kimmage's in the past. Bashed them, called them jerks and so on. Future told another story. No, I don't see Chris as a Lance. To be clear: his reaction was just astonishing similar. That's all, but again eye opening and disappointing on a personal level as I always enjoyed him as emotional and street smart interview partner in the last two decades.

Chris expressed in a personal discussion today, that the 1:1 was implemented in his newsletter as a FAQ item. A Q&A from his peers, that he just answered. I can live with this explanation, but it was not visible to me in first place. I still strongly believe he would jump onto that train again, as long the overall revenue, even for a good cause, is big enough.

The reason is simple. His decision to drop this idea was forced from third party. There was no intrinsic reasoning or change of mind. The push from Felix Walchshöfer ended the public discussion. But the idea and model behind never stopped working in Macca's mind. This is a little monkey on his back, the reason he's angry. One part of his personality may feel it's not right to promote the race with Armstrong. The other part tells him, "let's race, it's the best thing to do."  Before he bashes one's comments, he should consolidate his own position he really believes in, stand for it in public or let go.

I'm aware, the "one on one" is not a new topic. I was just puzzled, that he's - according to today's newsletter - still on it and in an 1:1 with Lance. I made my point pretty clear months ago, when the idea came up first. I approached both Lance and Chris, even on Twitter directly. A tool Chris highly engages in and encourages his followers and media to use it and open asynchronous, bi-directional communication channels.

In that private and personal discussion later that day we both agreed, that we just have different point of views on the whole topic and this is related to different cultural backgrounds: we simply agreed to disagree.

Please find below all articles regarding Lance Armstrong or Livestrong on DNF. All of them prove, that Chris is just wrong with his statements on Facebook. I never changed my position on Lance Armstrong. Even if this happend? Who cares, as long it is documented why a change occured. But this isn't the fact in my case. See below the raw status updates from Chris' Facebook as well. [1,3]

Facebook discussion, 30 JAN 2014:

Chris McCormack replies to an article, posted on on 30 JAN 2014. Screenshot: Facebook (friends list and mutual friends are garbled)

Chris McCormack: Kai, firstly this is old news and you should move on. Secondly, when looking for things to drive the gossip channels of your online world, at least go to the source and consult with me first. Then you have some idea as to what is going on and what you should report. What is so typical about much of the information you put out, you pull for a knee jerk reaction to a situation that you are ill informed on. This is so typical of your journalistic approach. You do no due diligence or have the manners to do so. On a final note, in my 20 years of racing I have never felt the need to no wanted to ever engage in any performance enhancing activities. It is just not in my psychological makeup to feel the need to cheat to win. I have always been the most outspoke about my feelings towards Lance Armstrong and these guys who opted to go about doing things a certain way. Unlike most of the triathletes in this sport, and yourself included, I failed to be a groupie to the Lance Armstrong move to Triathlon a few years ago. You ate this news up and loved it. I was very vocal about what I thought about it and was criticised for being so vocal. You have a very selective memory. I have been the most vocal about what I have thought about drug cheats in this sport and all sports for my entire career. It has not made me a lot of friends. My shift in focus in the later years of my racing career has not been about logging up more race wins for my own ego, as athletically I am content with my resume and what this sport has give me. My entire focus on Triathlon has been about engaging others to join this journey and working with the powers to be within this sport to better streamline the experience of newcomers to our sport and embrace everything that is whole about triathlon. when your mindset shifts this way, you become less self centred and selfish and realise that your biggest asset you can deliver is using your status within a sport to do things that are bigger than yourself. I formulated the MaccaX training system to do just that and have encouraged more than 3000 newbies to take up triathlon. We have donated over 1 million dollars to Breast Cancer and charity in the last 6 years as part of some of the programs we have initiated through this sport and my MaccaNow Foundation. See my difference now Kai is not what this sport can do for me, but what I can do for this sport and the people in it that have given me an amazing life. To call me a "Mobster" because discussing the possibility of racing an athlete like Lance Armstrong to potentially raise millions of dollars for charities that could do with this money is just ridiculous. As I said, had you contacted me to discuss this, you would have understood that we are no where near this, and the foundation for what I would want to achieve for a match race like this has been set. The irony on your end is that many sponsors would like to pay this money to charity to see this event unfold. Your attack on my integrity and the way I go about things is an embarrassment to yourself and all the gossip your online publications push out. They hold no substance and no credibility in their reporting. I will attest that if a match race like this could generate more than 1-2 million dollars (which is the figure I have asked for) to be donated to charities to help small children become educated and experience sport, in an environment that they would never have been able to access this, then I see real value in this beyond anything on my end. I don't need this at all, and I don't search for justification of myself as a triathlete by racing Lance Armstrong. What I see is the potential to possibly educate and give access to sports and show kids the "right way" to do things, for almost 2500 kids as something worth considering. What I would like to ask is what anything you have reported or done has done for anyone besides yourself. Your an attention seeker and this is sad. Next time pick up the phone and ring me and get the "foundation" on what is actually going on. We are nowhere near a race nor is one close. I have made what I would want to see happen clear to everyone and only under these circumstances would anything like this happen. Next time mate, before you go for the big Headlines to drive traffic to your site for purely capitalistic reasons, how about a bit of due diligence and facts before you blurt out half truths. Report on a story with the full facts and not just your opinion. I will accept your opinion but highlight where your agenda is first. [2]
Kai Baumgartner: Chris, the mail just came in. This is strange. I appreciate your feedback. I came BTW back to you, when it first came up. [2]
Chris McCormack: I did notice that the mail points to your website. CAPITALIST looking for unique visits to drive up your advertising value to your site. I know how this game works mate. SEO is part of what I know very well and tagging is something that I am fluent in. Again, lets talk AGENDAS when posting things to sites. I am annoyed at myself for giving you any platform to build momentum on with this statement. [2]
Kai Baumgartner: Chris, don't try to attac me or change the topic. Don't kill the messenger
This doesn't work. I'll fwd you the MaccaX Mail from 30 JAN 2014. You can check with your tech department. Later today, I can put up a screenshot showing this mail. 
Regarding Lance Armstrong: My position was always clear: "Interesting to see his performance BUT unethical". Please don't mix it up with a April fools news, I posted years ago. You should do your research on your end, before assaulting my integrity or talking Agendas. I did mine. 
The 1:1 is just a stupid idea. Yes, I've got a European/German point of view. I understand, that other countries do have other pov's. 
P.S.: Please, don't play this "capitalistic/drive traffic" game. I dropped the link, to avoid duplicate content/cross postings. Both are nono's in online world, as you know. [2, 4, 5]

  1. All articles on Lance Armstrong on DNF
  3. All articles on LIvestrong on DNF
  8. E-Mail Screenshot Composition, 2014/01/30 see below
Email screenshot composition with "Q&A" sent 30 JAN 2014.

Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2013

Nach der Dopingbeichte - Lance Armstrong muss zur eigenen Rettung andere, mächtige Köpfe rollen lassen.

Lance Armstrong, gefallener Weltstar des Ausdauersports hat sich bei der TV-Aufzeichnung der Oprah Winfrey Show am Montag mit einem Tross von rund 10 Personen eingefunden, bevor er nach einem 45-minütigen Ausdauerlauf zurück in seinen Privatjet nach Hawaii begeben hat und von dort die Ausstrahlung der Show am Donnerstag verfolgen und auf Twitter kommentieren kann. Unter den begleitenden Personen war auch sein langjähriger Geschäftspartner, Team-Miteigentümer und Freund William Stapleton (Bill Stapleton).
Eine wenige Personen haben US Cycling in den 90er Jahren geprägt: Wird Lance Armstrong Personen aus diesem Kreis als Kronzeuge und Whistleblower belasten oder konzentriert er sich auf Protagonisten aus UCI, A.S.O. und US Cycling? Photo: [1]
Nach jahrelangem, erbitterten Leugnen und zahlreichen Opfern auf seinem langen Weg zu 7 Tour de France Titeln zeigt Armstrong sich - mit dem Rücken zur Wand stehend - emotional reuig, geradezu geläutert. Jetzt, wo er aus seiner eigenen, fragwürdigen Stiftung Livestrong herausgeworfen wurde, selbige Einbrüche in den Spendeneinnahmen zu verzeichnen hat und auch sonst viel schief läuft beim Egomanen aus Austin, kommt angeblich die Wahrheit ans Licht.

Um der us-amerikanischen Choreografie des öffentlichen Büßergangs medienwirksam zu folgen, muss das Interview mit Oprah sein. Für die Öffentlichkeit wird nach den Testballons mit Artikeln in New York Times und USA Today von letzter Woche der emotionale Höhepunkt der Phönix-Kampagne auf dem Weg zur Vergebung lanciert. Es folgt der Klapps auf die Hand durch Justiz und Sportpolitik, der Griff in den Geldbeutel und schon bald werden die Amerikaner vergeben und vergessen haben.

Den Antidoping-Behörden USADA und WADA wird diese eine am Donnerstag bei der Ausstrahlung und durch weitere schon jetzt "durchgesickerte" Ankündigungen zu weiteren Aussagen vor den Behörden zu sehende Wahrheit hoffentlich nicht ausreichen. Sie werden hoffentlich nicht einknicken, wenn Armstrongs Strategiestab es schafft, die öffentliche Meinung zu seinen Gunsten zu beeinflussen. Um aus der ausweglosen Situation der Ächtung und Isolation herauszukommen wird Armstrong auch ehemalige Feinde und Opfer wie Christophe Bassons, Filipo Simeoni, Betsy Andreu, Frankie Andreu, Greg Lemond, Kathy LeMond, Tyler Hamilton und David Walsh um Verzeihung bitten müssen. Die Liste ist lang.

Armstrongs Motivation ist zweifelhaft, ehrliche Reue ist fraglich. Armstrong ist trotz aller Impulsivität viel zu berechnend. Eine signifikante Senkung der ausgesprochenen lebenslangen Wettkampfsperre, Schutz vor Verurteilungen wegen Meineids, der Versuch die finanzielle Verluste in Grenzen zu halten dürften neben der Wiederherstellung des angekratzten Egos seine Hauptmotive sein.
Kalkül und ein sorgfältiges Abwägen, welche Personen geopfert werden können und müssen, werden in den letzten Wochen in den Sitzungen mit seinen Anwälten Gestalt angenommen haben. Im bestmöglichen Fall wird Armstrong als Kronzeuge im Prozess um das mit staatlichen Mitteln unterstützte Radteam U.S. Postal und des Meineids einer Gefängnisstrafe entgehen, indem er die richtigen Köpfe purzeln lässt. "Richtig" ist dabei mehrdeutig. Das Justizministerium (Department Of Justice) hat nach Informationen von CBS sowohl das Angebot einer Zahlung von 5 Millionen US-Dollar für etwaige Vergehen aus den Zeiten von U.S. Postal und den Antrag als Kronzeuge und Whistleblower in einem ersten Bescheid zurückgewiesen. [1b]

Es müssen und werden in den nächsten Wochen andere Namen als ehemalige und amtierende US Cycling und UCI-Spitzenfunktionäre wie Hein Verbruggen und Pat McQuaid oder beliebiger Dealer fallen. Johann Bruyneel und Dr. Michele Ferrari sind vergleichsweise kleine Fische und nur ein erster Schritt. Es muss steil in der Hierarchie nach oben gehen. Etwa zu Thom Weisel, wie die New York Times vom 14. Januar 2013 mutmaßt.[2] Eine weitere Möglichkeit ist die Nennung von ehemaligen oder amtierenden Verantwortlichen der Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), wie Patrice Clerc, Jean-Marie Leblanc oder Christian Prudhomme, den Machern der Radrundfahrt Tour de France. Spiegel Online sieht Martial Saugy, Chef des Dopinglabors Lausanne und sogar den ehemaligen französischen Präsidenten Nicolas Sarkozy in der Schusslinie. [3] Je weiter die Köpfe von Austin, Texas und den USA verortet werden, desto besser für das Standing des US-Amerikaners auf dem Weg zurück in die Gesellschaft.

Am 21. Oktober 2012 wurde auf ein Flowchart mit dem Netzwerk der tatsächlichen Macher und Entscheider im us-amerikanischen Radsport der Armstrong-Ära veröffentlicht. Es ist zweifelhaft, dass entscheidende Namen genannt und fallen werden, denen Armstrong geschäftlich und freundschaftlich verbunden ist. Werden die "richtigen" Namen genannt, manövriert sich Armstrong an seinem Haarschopf aus der Grube heraus und kann mit etwas Glück den Einfluss seiner Vertrauten dabei noch stärken.

Weniger Glück scheint indessen die UCI zu haben. Nach der Abfuhr durch WADA und USADA an der "unabhängigen Kommission" der UCI teilzunehmen, schlägt der ehemalige WADA-Boss und jetziges ICO-Mitglied Richard Pound eine Zäsur von 4 bis 8 Jahren für den Radsport gegenüber Reuters vor. Systemimmanente Probleme und Personalien könnten so in Ruhe gelöst werden. Konkret sollen die olympischen Radwettbewerbe 1 oder 2 Olympiaden aussetzen. Sportpolitisch schlimmer kann es für die UCI nur noch kommen, wenn die ihm angeschlossenen Verbände meutern würden, sowie Sponsoren- und öffentliche Fördergelder zurückgefordert oder zurückgehalten würden. [4]

Zurück zum Triathlon: Sollte der Coup gelingen, die lebenslange Dopingsperre auf  acht Jahre zu reduzieren, ergibt sich gemeinsam mit dem letzen von Armstrong zugegebenen Dopingjahr eine sehr interessante Rechnung. Im Optimalfall kann Armstrong schon 2013 zurück in den Triathlonsport, so scheint das Kalkül des Texaners zu sein. [5] Armstrong oder Vertraute könnten auch die wahrscheinlich 2013 oder 2014 zum Verkauf anstehende World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) mit den Ironman Events für einen niedrigen bis mittleren neunstelligen Betrag erwerben und eine stärkere Einbindung von Armstrong und seiner Stiftung bewirken. Zur Not ließe sich nach dem Kauf die WADA kurzfristig ausbooten, falls ein Startrecht von Armstrong trotz Dopingsperre erstrebenswert erscheint. [6]