Three missed tests and weak excuses.

If I put my ball breaking hard ass hat on it’s with much regret that if I was in charge of the women’s cycling team I would swap out Lizzie Armitstead for Dani King and here’s why.

While the press have a shit at the double standards in the doping lynch mobs in regards to the mess surrounding Lizzie Armitstead  I believe that a punitive punishment needs to be applied and that as a Armitstead fangirl is a difficult thing to say.

Not testing positive isn’t the same as being clean and the only thing worse than being dirty is appearing as though you might be avoiding having your testing done at all.

Firstly the BBC is already making excuses and trying to control adjust the narrative with the sports reporter saying something to the effect that “ well she missed one test but passed it with a sample taken the next day”, the message being that Lizzie is clean.

Now given that I am at heart a jaded cynic the first thought I have is that half-life of micro dosing is hours and when you’re talking about the science doping and the investment that people have put into cheating 24 hours is a life time.

Then next excuse was that a room number wasn’t put on a form which if you’re new to the sport and you’re still learning what’s expected then something so innocent could be accepted, but that isn’t the case. Being a world champion at something takes experience and I’m sure that when you’re at that level you might have someone to take care of that kind of admin but if this is your career then surely in a world of marginal gains the details, all details should matter and if someone can’t be bothered to put the room number on a form then I doubt they have the attention to detail required to keep count of how many missed tests.

Like it or not taking Lizzie to Rio only undermines the wider teams as people will point to her and say doper and then extrapolate that the whole team is potentially dirty while wrapping it all up in a nice little bow of corrupt testing and lenient treatment of our top sporting talent when we are willing to punish every member of the Russian Olympic squad.

The rules are there for a reason and if you break those rules you need to be slightly spanked for it and no matter how much I love her riding style, I love her enthusiasm, the way she encourages young girls and women to get on their bikes and her gushing ambassadorial spirit for the sport. Sorry Lizzie I’d have you stay at home so you can use the time to think about perhaps giving the testers a bit of respect for the job they need to do, and how missing these test with weak excuses reflects on others.

Women’s sport needs to take the best of the men’s sport without the need for some doping pissing contest.

I deeper explanation on my view on dopers can be found here


13 Comments Add yours

  1. dave2030 says:

    If I were you, I’d regret getting the facts wrong.

    “I believe that a punitive punishment needs to be applied and that as a Armitstead fangirl is a difficult thing to say.” Look at the actual evidence and you’ll be saying the very opposite.

    It is a travesty that the false narrative (3 missed tests) is repeated over and over. The first ‘strike’ never was Armitstead’s fault. The CAS verdict quite rightly put the blame on UKAD. So, Lizzie made one filing error and failed to update her ‘whereabouts’ when in an emotional turmoil on hearing upsetting news from her family. It’s an illogical fallacy to attach any suspicion to either of those incidents and that requires a sad lack of human empathy.

    If the DCO had done the right thing, in Aug. 2015, and asked hotel reception to phone the room, nobody would have had cause for any suspicion whatsoever. Nobody faces a threat of suspension for two ‘missed’ tests.

    Which is more likely – one of the tests happened to uncover an infraction, or all three proved to be clean, as was the case on every other occasion? It is UKAD’s credibility that is in doubt. It is their reputation that should be trashed, not Lizzie’s.


    1. Eden Walker says:

      i understand what you’re saying, but if your job depends on you being tested and if you value your job then you make sure you take action to make sure that you’re available.

      I take fully the point you make about test one and, what about the other two? everyone else seems to manage.

      If you think about the context of the point i made in relation to heading into Rio i still stand by my thought process that they should have selected Dani King


  2. dave2030 says:

    It is grossly unfair to assume that all the responsibility lies with the athlete and none with the anti-doping agency. Do you say that Lizzie should be punished for two missed tests? That makes no sense. UKAD should never have issued the provisional suspension in June – end of story. The rest of your argument is then irrelevant.

    Dani herself would tell you that she’d only ride the road race in a supporting role for Lizzie, so what would be the point? Without the stress and sleepless nights, of being falsely accused, Armitstead had a good shot at the gold medal. UKAD can’t undo the wrong, but it would be some justice to issue an apology, exonerate Lizzie and restore her good name. If I were Armitstead and that didn’t happen, I’d be instructing lawyers.

    As I said, it is a travesty for anyone to repeat the untruth – ‘three missed tests’. You can add a fair correction to the blog can’t you? Why not acknowledge that you were a little harsh in your initial assessment of this case, which should never have happened.


    1. Eden Walker says:

      ok so, we agree that the first missed test should be written off but as i said if your job requires you to be available to testing and you miss two test, you either have no attention to detail, or you’re not really bothered about the rules, or your sloppy. Not really the kind of thing you’d expect from a world champ who earned her stripes, knows the system and what’s required.

      My reason for the Rio and Dani is that i would have rather taken an athlete who might not win and who’s not in the middle of a media storm that could reflect badly on the wider Team GB especially given the climate relating to the Russia doping thing.

      Yes without the sleepless night she would have taken the gold and the way she could have avoided the sleepless night was to respect the testing system .

      The thing is as I see it if we excuse athletes who don’t respect the testers and the testing system then we undermine our desire to have cleaner sports because it breeds an atmosphere of acceptance of rule bending that eventually morphs into abuse of the TUE system.

      I think I covered the wanted correction here


  3. dave2030 says:

    UKAD “are not really bothered about the rules. Not really the kind of thing you’d expect from a” quasi-judicial body, which has the power to destroy an athlete’s impeccable reputation.

    103 logical fallacies:-

    You have the same logical fallacy that UKAD suffer from – namely, ‘Actions Have Consequences.’ i.e. Rules are rules. A missed test is a missed test. NO it is NOT. That is a “corrupt argument from ethos, arrogating to oneself or to one’s rules or laws an ethos of cosmic inevitability.”

    A mistake is just a mistake, a human error. It is not corrupt. Lizzie has accepted responsibility and expressed contrition. In fact she has done nothing wrong, in a legal OR moral sense. A mistake by the DCO, failing to ask the hotel reception to phone her room, was subsequently compounded by the inexplicable decision to confirm a ‘strike’. That error was never questioned. The ‘rules’ depart from due process and pass sentence before any trial!!! This is a fiasco of maladministration and 100% UKAD’s fault, the result of a string of bad decisions, which you don’t even question?!?!

    You and Nicole Sapstead share the same problem – the inability to admit to making a mistake and thereby putting the record straight. You say Lizzie deserves punishment, despite being innocent, and still refuse to change your mind on the issue. J. K. Galbraith summed that up nicely:-

    “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” Please edit your blog to remove the errors.

    UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Nicole Sapstead said: “We respect the outcome of the CAS hearing against Elizabeth Armitstead.” Let’s be pedantic. The CAS hearing was against UKAD, regarding the ‘strike’, which was NOT a valid ‘Whereabouts Failure’. Armitstead took the case to arbitration. UKAD would otherwise have been happy to impose a suspension of up to two years. That is both immoral and incompetent. Later in the same statement:-

    “We are awaiting the Reasoned Decision from the CAS Panel as to why the first ‘Whereabouts Failure’ was not upheld.” Voicing doubt about the outcome is a lack of respect. UKAD’s refusal to admit to a gross error of judgement is a lack of integrity that renders the management unfit for its office. There can never be any excuses for bad rules, badly administered (like TUEs).

    If we excuse those authorities whose bad rules have no respect for basic human rights, “then we undermine our desire to have cleaner sports”. How does wrongly accusing a perfect example of a clean athlete help in any way? It’s a disgrace. It doesn’t allay concern, it creates further suspicion where there is NONE. Both sides engage in rule-bending, as we have seen with the abuse of the TUE system.


    1. Eden Walker says:

      Look Dave, I’ve never accused Lizzie of being dirty, I’ve quite clearly pointed out that she’s tardy and should have paid more attention and if you can’t see the context in which it’s placed as i’ve pointed out in a reply to you then i dare say you’re so short sighted you can barely see your feet.


      1. dave2030 says:

        “she’s tardy and should have paid more attention” – I agree and so does she – “Lizzie has accepted responsibility and expressed contrition.” She has apologised for those shortcomings. That is NOT the point. Why do you think that she should be punished for that? In stark contrast, you voice NO criticism of the far more serious administrative errors of UKAD. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have said; “It is wrong to record a ‘strike’ against an athlete in those circumstances.”

        They had ample opportunity to interview the DCO; “Did you ask the hotel reception to phone Armitstead’s room?” Lizzie was there and would have said – “Of course, tell the DCO to come up right away.” That simple, sensible procedure puts Lizzie in the clear and her subsequent ‘strikes’ are irrelevant. Equality under the law is an immutable principle. As things stand, UKAD is allow to get away with their incompetent management and Lizzie is vilified for not ‘paying attention’. (not to mention, severely punished by having her Olympics ruined by UKAD’s threat of suspension.)

        Read my last comment again and ask yourself if you’re being fair. Venting your wrath on Lizzie is unfair and mean-spirited. You can do better than that, I’m sure. All you need to do is change your mind and write a more even-handed piece. You’ll feel all the better for calmly reconsidering what you’ve written and have no regrets, in the fullness of time.


      2. Eden Walker says:

        Dude, I’m sorry that you read this blog in an angry voice I really am, it takes me forever to angry and i don’t know what wrath feels like.

        It’s disappointment that’s what it is. You see as a man you won’t have this perspective but you as a man have a wealth of cycling heroes, what riders like Vos, Deignan and king represent is the opportunity to engage young women in sport in a way that young women generally aren’t because were told to look pretty for men for gawp at.

        Deignan is supposed to inspire. Now as a woman who’s old enough to remember when wheels where square and female cycling pros where hardly ever seen Deignan is a part of a new generation in a growing sport and considering the way that some men view the female sport as being substandard it’s up to the women in the sport to do the job better than the men and than means being clean, fresh and on the ball in all sectors.

        I will not apologise or change my view because YOU demand it. No man tells me what to do unless you’re my coach and I quite certain you’re not.


      3. dave2030 says:

        You read me wrong. I have no heroes and I don’t get angry. My only concern is justice – as you will see from my other post too – justice for Jess and justice for Lizzie.

        Yes, wrath is too strong, but you are disappointed and upset with Deignan. Why are you not upset by UKAD’s mismanagement of the whole affair?

        I read of a young girl reduced to tears when her father explained the accusations. Her respect and admiration of her hero would be restored, if Nicole Sapstead made a public statement admitting to UKAD’s culpability and exonerating Lizzie. As I repeatedly point out, there would never have been any threat of suspension if they’d done their job conscientiously. Sapstead is duty bound to set the record straight, and I think you should do the same. I did say please.

        Two young women have suffered a gross miscarriage of justice. That’s all I care about.


      4. Eden Walker says:

        to be fair i see pretty much all the controlling bodies to be incompetent UKAD, USADA, WADA, the IOC, and the UCI


      5. dave2030 says:

        There is some truth in that, but generalisation isn’t a good argument. I prefer to focus on specific cases. e.g:-

        A spokesman for the UCI said: “The management of Therapeutic Use Exemptions in cycling is robust and fully safeguarded.”

        It is painfully obvious it is NOT fully safeguarded, and neither is the management of the ‘Whereabouts Program’.

        Visit and tell me what you think.

        The Guardian CiF is better. Nobody hurls insults at you on these threads:-


      6. Eden Walker says:

        thank you for admitting you don’t want to consider the larger picture


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