The Juventus doping ruling...

Discussion in 'Juventus' started by RandyNA74, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I'll summarize (and translate) an interesting editorial which appeared on Goalcity.it regarding the recent ruling against the Juve doctor accused of giving players banned substances 1994-98. Food for thought.

    Hope it doesn't violate too many copyright laws since I did the translation myself (though not of the complete article) and post it here for your reading enjoyment (if we can call it such). The views expressed aren't necessarily those of Big Soccer, myself, blah blah blah.

    Here is the link to the original article:
    http://www.goalcity.it/GoalNewsDettaglioNotizia/1,2588,187982-11,00.html

    It should have been a game day like any other, made up of played soccer, with winning teams exulting and losing teams embittered, with the usual controversies surrounding referee decisions. Instead it was all much sadder than that. Ruined by the Turin court which ruled against Juve's club doctor. The accusation: he drugged the players. Abuse of pharmaceuticals and use of epo from 1994 to 1998. Mud on the trophies that Juve won in that time. The ruling was in the air, but until it was read out everyone chose to ignore it. Italian soccer has looked very bad on a world level. To the international press and public opinion, who already point the finger against Italian teams for their defensive way of approaching games, it did not seem real. Here are the usual Italians who are used to cheating. They say they have the best league and then drug their players. Juve has left a tarnish on Italian soccer that will not go away. The fact that Lippi is now the national team coach will come back to haunt us in upcoming international engagements. Hard accusations will be presented against us.

    Unless, for once, things are handled properly. Or the people involved should examine their conscience. Juve's leadership should resign, Lippi resign his post without waiting for judgement from above, Vialli, Del Piero and others should confess everything. FIGC, UEFA and FIFA should strip Juve of the titles (3 scudetti, 1 Champions League, 1 Intercontinental Cup). Only in this way would Italian soccer would emerge cleanly. But rest assured, it won't happen. We are condemned to remain wrapped in mystery and omerta'. We lack people willing to assume their responsiblities. At this rate, we won't get very far.
     
  2. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    I agree that there are problems and a convenient scapegoat was found in order to make it seem as if something was done.

    But how about putting every other team through the same sort of trial and seeing which ones have nothing to hide? I find it hard to believe that Juventus is the only team that's doped players. Oh, and I think Lance Armstrong dopes, too. Just like every pro cyclist.
     
  3. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Amen.

    In the end we can't do anything about it since if we were to clean everyone up like you said, we would all end up watching pro volleyball on weekends.
     
  4. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    ... and the volleyball players probably dope, too! ;)
     
  5. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Formula 1 racers don't dope, so I guess we will always have that. ;)
     
  6. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Zola slams doping cheats

    http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/dec1i.html

    [​IMG]
     
  7. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
  8. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I can't wait to see who is next.
     
  9. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
  10. soji22

    soji22 Member+

    Juventus FC
    France
    Feb 8, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    France
    It sounds like all of this means that the FIGC could strip the Bianconeri of the three scudetti won during the period in question. UEFA would then be obliged to take away that second European Cup win secured in 1996. This is all a nightmare! The thing that made me fall madly in love with La Vecchia Signora in the first place is the club's undeniable winning philosophy. If my worst fears are ever confirmed, the sense of disappointment and embarrassment will be immense.
     
  11. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agricola will be cleared in the retrial, almost everyone agrees on it. Juve have already been cleared of any wrongdoing so there's NOTHING the FIGC of CONI can do about it.

    The stuff coming out now is the typical anti-Juve stuff.
     
  12. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's a bit more, it's long but definitely worth the read.

    It seems that the major issue in all this is the EPO part. Now, so far only the sentences are known, because the judge has a further 90 days to make his motivations (the reasons why he gave that sentence) public.....which is something which doesn`t make sense in my view. So, first you are found guilty, then the media start firign whatever comes in its mind...and then after three months, the judge will tell the real truth why in HIS opinion you are guilty (which means that he can also alter his motivations according to the public opinion).

    Now...as we all know, this so called trial started SIX YEARS ago...and at that time it was about creatine and about the use of conventional medicines for purposes which weren`t their original ones. In six whole years NOBODY MENTIONED EPO....until LAST JULY....FOUR MONTHS AGO !! Moreover, this EPO story was never presented by the prosection...BUT...by an "independent " expert appointed by the JUDGE HIMSELF !

    For those not familiar with EPO, it is a sort of "drug" which increases the number of red blood cells. The red bloodcells are used by the body to carry oxygen to the muscles, and the more oxygen given to the muscles, the greater the performance. The medical reason for this drug was to help people with low-red bloodcell count (who therefore are somewhat weak). Obviously though, if it an help turn a weak person to a nomal level, it will help a normal person to be even stronger. The big downside (and the major danger) is that red blood cells make the blood thicker and hence it is more strenuous on the heart and it can lead to heart attacks/deaths under stress.

    To prevent this, a sort of an average red bloodcell ration that a "normal" person's blood was calculated, and then a "recomended maximum limit" was calculated. The MOST RELIABLE (and up to this year the only method) to check this was to make a test on the actual blood sample itself. The problem to take blood samples from athletes are that in theory they could argue that you are violating their privacy...because while urine is a body reject which is released from the body and hence you can collect it easily, to take a blood sample you have to force it out of the body. (Apart from the red bloodcell count, a blood sample provides a more reliable sample even for the common dope test which is done from urine sample).

    Moreover, it is also a known fact that although on average, the red bloodcell count is nearly the same for everyone, there are exceptions where people have a high count which is natural. Apart from that, there are also conditions that could lead to "large" changes in this count in a very short period time (even a day)...such as a big change in altitude and after a very exhausting event (such as a marathon). In fact, the World Cycling Federation, which is the first association which had mandatory blood tests for this red cell count, when BEFORE a race a rider is found to have a red cell count which is above the limit, the official reason why he is stopped from taking part in a race and "banned" from competing for a month is a recautionary measure for the athlete`s medical well-being safety. This is because unless you can prove that the athlete did take EPO or at least find him with the drug in his possession, a high count itself IS NOT a proof that this was increased with EPO or any other method. Moreover, the ONLY football association which has mandatory blood sample tests is the Italian FA...and these were only introduced last season, and only for those players selected in the routine anti-doping tests.

    From this we can already conclude that :

    (a) For the period in question (1994-98) NOBODY ever underwent testing for red bloodcell count
    (b) The high count in itself is not a proof of EPO administration
    (c) Even if Juve did use EPO (which is not proven), there is nothing to prove that other teams did not use (and that they are still not using it).
    (d) EPO cannot be traced using the conventional dope-test methods.


    Now, in this so called expert's report, the conclusion is "that it is highly PROBABLE that SOME Juve players took EPO". First of all, the method used by this export is not recognised by anyone in the world as a reliable method (in my opinion he did this to try to gain publicity for his method). Moreover, the "SOME Juve players" refers to JUST TWO....Antonio Conte and Alessio Tacchinardi...just two out of all the players that Juve had in those years. Hence, even if it was to be true that these players used EPO, surely it cannot be said that Juve made use of EPO to gain advantage. What makes this theory crumble even further is the fact that the blood values taken into consideration by this expert were from a period in which Conte and Tacchinardi were injured, and hence cannot be considered as "normal athletes using EPO to gain adavntage" as at that time they were during a recovery period (medication). According to the expert, the large changes in the red cell count he saw in his analysis was not a natural one... but according to Giraudo, irrespective of the change, the value of these players was NEVER ABOVE the allowed limit. Apart from all this, in any law case, you have to PROVE BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT your case to find someone guilty...and in his thesis the expert only found a "high probability". To declare that Juve used EPO based on this theory is like saying that all Russian buisnessmen are corrupt and tax evaders because some of them had an unusual increase in their bank account.

    So...for the EPO chapter, we can further conclude that :

    (e) The analysis method used is not recognised
    (f) The use of EPO was NOT 100% proven
    (g) Only the analyses of two players indicate an increase in red-cell count (Juve had around 80 players in that period)...and the players were not in an "active" period...and the level was still NOT above the limits.
    (h) During the raids made by both the police and the investigating team, NO EPO related products were found at Juve, no invoices to parties selling EPO were found (only invoices for other medicinals were found) and no hidden money purchases could be linked.

    (I) Moreover, so far the judge NEVER said that Agricola used EPO. The judge said that Agricola is guilty of illegal use of medicinals and sports fraud. Whether the medicinals include EPO or not will only be known when the motivations are made public. Besides, the fact that Agricola was given a 22-month sentence when the prosecution requested 36 indicates that there wasn`t maximum guilt...and hence given that EPO should be the peak of this trial, I doubt about the motivations.


    If we were to leave EPO out of the equation, the remaining issue is that Agricola used medicines for purposes they weren`t intended for (e.g using anti-depression medicine to stimulate concentration) and the use of creatine. Creatine is in my opinion out of the equation : it wasn`t banned and it isn`t banned, and although there are recommendations of what a normal dosage should be, there is no real proof of what amount can cause trouble later in life. Doping regulations give the "facility" to team doctors to write down in the pre-match form which normal medications each player took in the three days preceeding a game so that if a substance is found in the dopetest, it an be verified whether those products have that substance and if yes the team doctor has to justify its use. Giraudo said that after a year of insisting, the judge gave them the full list of medications indicated by ALL Serie A teams in their pre-game sheets for the period in question....and Juve are in the MIDDLE... so there are teams which declared more medicines than Juve.

    Besides, in that period no Juve player failed a dope test, neither in Italy nor in Europe....and not even with the national team. The media is now bringing back to the public's attention the fact that the dope-test lab used by CONI at that time was found to have been doing large irregularities and had many lost records.....BUT...that case regards all teams, and NEVER it has been even mentioned that Juve tampered/influenced with the doping
    samples/tests/results...so what goes for Juve goes for all the rest as regards false test results and lost records. In that same period Juve reached four consecutive finals in Europe, so they played a lot of games... but they never failed a dopetest.

    And although the impression being given is that Juve used drugs to be able to win, nobody is saying that in that same period Juve LOST three finals in Europe. I guess that if the club was able to create super-humans able to win
    without being caught (such as by using EPO) they would have surely used these methods for the finals out of all games! And even though there is a mentioning of use of drugs and sports fraud, the prosecution FAILED to MENTION (let alone prove) JUST ONE SINGLE GAME in which Juve players used drugs to win.

    Even one of the reasons given by Guarinello in his thesis shows the absurdity of this trial : "Juve didn't win for 10 years, but then it started winning again. And we couldn't understand why".... so what should be said of Man Utd... who didn't win for 26 years? And Roma and Lazio who won after very long periods? And when Inter will one day win the scudetto ??
     
  13. sardus_pater

    sardus_pater Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Sardinia Italy EU
    Club:
    Cagliari Calcio
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Gianfranco Zola ha rettificato le proprie affermazioni sulla sentenza del processo di Torino per la somministrazione di farmaci ad alcuni giocatori della Juventus:

    "Sono dispiaciuto - ha detto l’attaccante del Cagliari -, non volevo provocare questo polverone. Sono contro il doping e chi lo usa, ma non era mia intenzione fare guerra alla Juve, che non ho tirato in causa.

    Ripeto, il doping è una vigliaccata, ma nessuna crociata contro la Juve. Mi sono state messe in bocca cose che non ho detto".
     
  14. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001

    Yep.

    Sad that we can't trust people to do the right thing. But this will always happen for as long as doping technology outpaces detection technology.
     
  15. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    Very interesting stuff, Dante. Can I ask where you found all that information?
     
  16. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sure, the Juve mailing list. A great guy on there, James Sultana, posted it up.
     
  17. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    Thought as much. Wonder how he knows all that. Anyway, I'm sure there are other sides as well, but reading that, it all seems incredibly bizarre. Tacchinardi and Conte?
     
  18. Catenaccio-maldini

    Catenaccio-maldini New Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    hi . .

    it is a greate subject . . i want to know specific informations . . thanks Dante . . thanks SueB (i call you the spirit of the italian Boards)

    - how long has the trial been ? i remember Zeman asked for it long time (maybe in 1996) but why they are doing now ? why not before ?

    - Dante said only Tacci and Conti are accused ? is it true ? what about Alex and Zidane and others ?

    - is the trial finished ? what are the charges ? (concluded on Friday with club doctor Riccardo Agricola handed a 22-month suspended sentence for ‘sporting fraud’ and administering drugs including EPO ) is that all ?

    - i read an article between Lippi and Zeman . . Lippi said ( also reveal some of my players told me that during their time working with Zeman he also used creatine.”)
    then Zeman said back ( i had already admitted that at Lazio we used creatine,” added Zeman, “but we only tried it for a month at doses of three milligrams, whereas Juve were using 20 milligrams. I’d expect that much to cause problems for a player ) should not zeman be accused by the court too ??


    thanks in advance . .
    i like these topics . .
     
  19. RandyNA74

    RandyNA74 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    No matter how you look at it, Italian soccer isn't looking great right now. I sincerely hope for the sake of our soccer than what the guy on the Juve board wrote is true, especially since the alternative truth would be far more depressing for our soccer as a whole. Just a few quick thoughts off the top of my head (as I get ready to cook a delicious plate of pasta to feed my very empty belly, just telling you where my priorities are at the time of this posting :p ):

    1) If the accusations are true and Juve abused these substances and it enhanced their performances etc., then that alone is bad enough and pretty much speaks for itself.

    2) If the accusations are not true but rather circumstantial, as posted above, then it is disconcerting that a court would go as far as finding a guilty verdict on someone who was not proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    3) That these accusations could be untrue and somehow part of an anti-Juve plot...is far more disconcerting, especially when you consider the direction the country has already taken in terms of media control, politics, education etc. (and here, whoever wants to understand will understand...).

    4) One way or another, Italian soccer has given a very poor imagine of itself yet again. Even if Agricola's lawyers can prove that there was no wrong-doing, no abuse of banned or unbanned substances, etc. etc., it has already been broadcast to the world that a Juve doctor was found guilty of doping Juve players. The court could revert its ruling and determine that in fact, that wasn't the case, but it will be too late. When Juve goes back to Holland, England, Spain etc., people will always say "look, there is the cheating ITALIAN team that won because their players were on drugs."

    5) If every accusation is true....we can sit here and make a huge fuss about it (as I would certainly love to do....) but the fact of the matter is that countless athletes in numerous disciplines have taken banned substances in the past and will continue to do so, I don't care if you're talking about Serie A or women's Olympic track and field events. That says a lot for the state of sports today...

    6) I wonder if these complex drug controls were in place 50 years ago what would have been discovered. 1954 Germany, anybody?

    7) Does any of this even matter at this point? No matter what the court ultimately decides, Juve will still have 2 not 1 Champions League victories to its name, and so on. The most one could expect is that Juve's reputation should be tarnished by this event. But if Parma fans feel they should have won the 94-95 scudetto, they are going to continue feeling that way and nothing will ever change that. If best case (for non-Juve fans) Juve were stripped of its titles, it's not like they would turn around and say "oh hey Parma, you have a scudetto to your name, from 10 years ago." And even if theoretically they would do that, it's not like Parma fans are gonna pour out into the streets and celebrate: "wow we are champions!! From 1995!! Whoohoo!!" :rolleyes:

    8) My personal opinion? Again, at this point I hope for everyone's sake that it turns out to be much ado about nothing. And besides, Lord knows I don't need another reason to hate the big northern clubs. :D

    9) If, on the other hand, it is ultimately and irrevocably decided that Agricola did in fact administer banned substances knowingly, he certainly wouldn't have been acting alone and in the dark, unbeknownst to Juve's leadership. In that case, we can all rest assured that the proper punishment would never be administered to the club as a whole. I mean, if Empoli can get away with it, what makes anyone think that the hammer would come down on Juve?

    10) There is no 10. 10 is the plate of pasta that should have been ready by now but instead I was rambling on here.
     
  20. petersoccer

    petersoccer Red Card

    Dec 2, 2004
    Mississauga,Ontario
    If for one minute you dont belive the Juve players and others in seria A did not use doping your a true blind fool. Very few are clean. DO you think only BAseball players and Track Althlets dope. Doping is prevelent in all sports.
    Carl Lewis came up positive 2 times before the 88 Olympics and it was covered up. For Juve to be linked is no surprise, but it was sure not just a Juve thing.
    Barry Bonds is not the only premier althlete to dope.
     
  21. petersoccer

    petersoccer Red Card

    Dec 2, 2004
    Mississauga,Ontario

    There is a dark side, sadly, to Juve's brilliant string of results this year. Their reputation has taken a worldwide hit recently after their long-time team doctor, Riccardo Agricola, was found guilty of supplying performance-enhancing drugs to the players between 1994 and 1998: in 1994, Juve were desperately trying to get out of a nine-year Scudetto drought and they subsequently won the Champions League (1997), the Intercontinental Cup and three Scudettos. Roberto Gotta ESPN SOCCERNET.

    In denial all Juve fans.
     

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