Sky clouded by Knaven accusations.

//Sky clouded by Knaven accusations.

Sky clouded by Knaven accusations.


Knaven a minus in Zero Policy?

One of the problems with a zero tolerance policy, as impressive as it sounds, it that it provides zero wiggle room if something goes wrong.

When you claim the world is black and white and you are 100% white, 100% of the time, you’ve set a bar so high that failure is inevitable and pre-ordained.

Here at Twisted Spoke, I’ve always preferred the Jonathan Vaughters approach to dopers versus the scarlet letter, scorched earth policy championed by Sky. People make mistakes, they’re human, they’re not a metric.

Perhaps because I’m 57, I have a fundamental problem with black and white. It’s too easy, too lazy, too fundamentalist; it sets a standard for saints and sinners and discounts the 97% of humanity that fall in neither category.

I said lazy because life is messy and I call bullshit on any critics who’ve never experienced moments of weakness, who’ve never told a lie, cheated, taken shortcuts, name your transgression.

The black and white crowd is the place for religious zealots, the terrorists, the people who don’t have the intelligence and empathy to examine each case as unique and judge accordingly.

That’s the hard and human road and it’s so much easier to cross people off lists and make self righteous speeches. And just to round out the argument, it you’re convicted of medical malpractice then I don’t wait you practicing medicine again. Same goes for financial corruption. But seriously folks, this is sport, it’s guys in lycra riding a bike. Let’s not suggest it belongs at the center of the moral universe.

But enough of that screed. Team Sky, home of the Zero Tolerance Policy, finds itself once again backed into a corner by its own zero. News is popping up again that one of their director sportifs, Servais Knaven, the man largely in charge of their classics squad, had doped back when he was a rider for the dirty TVM squad.

Well, yeah, duh. Does Sky actually have a research department or do they all work in analytics?

Crankpunk has already done a nice summary of Sky’s various black marks and when you look at them as a body of work, it’s not impressive. It’s especially not impressive when you grade it against all the chest-beating rhetoric that routinely churns out of the Sky media machine.

Now, I’m not a Sky basher by any means. Like Garmin, they try to take the high road and lead the charge against doping. I respect that and more power to them. But given all the mis-steps, faux pas and curious oversights, I think that they deserve all the shots to the face they’ve taken.

Whine all you want about the number of ex-dopers on Garmin — now Cannondale-Garmin — but most of them except for Hesjedal are gone and name one doping positive for this team in its entire existence. Vaughters takes a lot of shit from clueless people in glass castles with large rock supplies but measure his record — without Sky’s relentless ain’t we morally superior campaign — and let’s talk about ethics and success ratios.

Sky talks a very very big game on Zero Tolerance. Sadly the numbers aren’t even close to zero.



2019-02-03T15:52:04-08:00March 8th, 2015|Uncategorized|


  1. Tony Lyons March 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    An excellent summary of the situation!

    • walshworld April 4, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks Tony, I love compliments. Keep them coming! Matt

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