Tuesday (Wednesday) Coffee Talk - Ethical Racing

A recent "incident" at a local race brings up a topic of ethical racing. When is a racer crossing the line when making deals to other competitors while in the race? For example say there are 3 in a break and all 3 are from different teams and likely all in the prize winning. What if one of the racers says "Hey I'll give you all my prize winning if you don't chase me down in my next attack." One of the rider agrees and the rider who made the offer does go on to win the race. Is that wrong and when is the line crossed in going too far? What if the rider was wealthy and basically paid them off to let him/her win? What if this was the event for State Championships?

Striking up deals in the race and sharing of prize winnings happens all the time but when is the deal too much?

OK, this is just one scenario and one could create an dozen or more like examples of offers and deals and such.

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44 Comments

I think what the other

I think what the other posters are alluding to is that Russell (or perhaps Boulder Cycle Sport) should go to the USAC/BRAC referee for the race, explain what happened, and live with the consequences. Since the apologist or the other racer haven't done so, perhaps someone else closely involved can.

Hopefully the Referee or District Rep will actually DO something to remedy the rule violation with a redistribution of points and prize money. If I was at all involved with the sport of cyclocross or this race, I would do it myself but I am not.

Rambling on about stuff on the 303 cycling blog is nice and all. but taking ACTION is a more direct way to affect actual change or to take a step towards righting things.

Ethical Racing

I believe I witnessed the incident you are describing.

My personal opinion is the (2) riders in question should be tossed out of the series entirely and the 3rd place rider should be awarded the victory. I would expect their respective teams to kick them out for unethical activity casting their sponsors in a negative image.

This was my first CX event and I also brought two additional family members. We left the event feeling something was wrong with the result...I seriously doubt I will make any effort to support these (2)racers further or attend another CX event as a spectator.

Without spectators believing in credible sporting activity, cycling will be left as a 'sales-persons convention' with everyone only marketing internally to non-buyers of goods. This is a lose-lose scenario.

Never Okay

It is never okay to 'throw' a cycling race. We are supposed to be competing for the top spots to the best of our abilities. We are a marketing platform for a credible sporting activity trying to grow a public fan base at events.

Baseball banned the Chicago "Black Sox" players (following reports of throwing the World Series in the early 1900's) to maintain the credibility of the sport with the public. The players were banned for life, even a few who performed admirably without clear evidence they were complicit in throwing the World Series.

Baseball got it right.

I believe throwing cycling events is against UCI / USAC licensing standards and is a violation worthy of suspension.

These two riders in question were not smart enough to at least make the racing look like it was a competitive result. Stoping within a coast (downhill 100') to victory and pretending to have a chain mechanical in front of the spectators was simply gross stupidity.

I would not pay either of these riders to race for any organization I am affiliated with...their integrity is tarnished publicly at this point. If their ethics are this easily swayed, I would not trust them to race with further integrity later.

Only guy in this incidence with any class as a professional is the rider racing hard to a 3rd place podium spot and should be awarded the victory by the race promoter.

Cycling, you continue redefine "spineless"

So let me get this straight: Several spectators overheard Stevenson telling Danny that if he was allowed to win, he would pay him the prize $? The same Russell Stevenson who is a member of the BCS ambassadors team, charged with bringing cx culture to the masses? And this is a debate? Is it OK to bribe your way into "winning" an season- long cross series? No, it is not. My first reaction is that the whole thing is a bit pathetic.

Spot on. I really don't care

Spot on.

I really don't care how common this practice is or the inconceivable fact that this is not against the rules.

Bottom line: if you buy or sell a race in this obvious a manner you bring dishonor and disrepute to yourself, your team and it's sponsors. So let the chips fall where they may in that regard, BCS and United Healthcare.

Hate to be a stickler

It is against the rules.

from the USAC rulebook:

1Q2. General Misconduct. The following offenses may be punished by suspension or lesser penalties: (a) Acts of theft,fraud,dishonesty,or grossly unsportsmanlike conduct in conjunction with a sporting event; (b) Offering,conspiring,or attempting to cause any race to result otherwise than on its merits.

If it was as obvious as the witnesses declare, then the officials were grossly negligent in not enforcing 1Q2(b).

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