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BBC sport website promoting nasty tricks/cheating in Tri????

Hiya guys - just wanted to post this as I'm somewhat disgusted at what I've just read.

Browsing through the Olympic section on the BBC Sport website, reading about the hopefuls for the UK and so on.

Then spot a nice link about 'Triathlon tricks of the trade' - and being a newbie I think "yup that could help me in my first Tri next week, some nice tips and tricks to help me in my first olympic distance event" - so get to reading.

Starts off with all the time-saving tips I've heard before, shoes in bike, one piece suits etc... but as I read on it goes into Nasty tricks to try to put other competitors off and basically ruining their event! Things like purposely kicking people in the HEAD in the water, pulling open their wetsuits mid swim, purposely knocking over their things in transition, mental tricks and so on.

I'll let you read it for yourself with the link below - but I've been led to believe that Triathlon is one of the most friendly sports you can be involved in and my experience to date backs that up - is there any need for young potential triathletes reading this type of CRAP on the BBC website?????????

Sure why not put up an article in the football section on how-to dangerously tackle players from behind or in the cycling section how to get your hands on banned substances and tips on how to evade testing??? Eh? Is anyone else annoyed at this or am I making alot of this.

AND to make matters worse - the date on the article is dated 27th March 2006!! Its been up there 2 and a half years???

I'll let you read for yourself....




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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I'm stunned and sickened by that. I couldnt quite believe what I was reading! I don't know who the hell Tom Fordyce is, but he can bet that if hes ever in a triathlon that i'm in i'll be employing all the 'little tricks' he suggests to screw up his race.

    I would never even consider using any of the crap he suggests, like pulling someones wetsuit down, thats not only just the most awful, unsporting thing I've ever heard, but also incredibly dangerous! And talking to your opponents on the bike? what is he on? how slow must he be going to be able to talk to people on the bike, and illegally draft them.

    Its one thing to do stuff like blocking off, making it harder for someone to pass you on the bike as you can accept that although naughty this is a competative sport and some people are sometimes a bit too competative, but actively screwing up someone elses race? argh!
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    I have a Blue Seventy wetsuit which has a reverse zipper (top to bottom) which I was told was introduced so people could not just give the zipper a tug, this was not reason I bought I hasten to add, if only I was fast enough to see anyone else in the swim, or the bike or the run come to mention it!

    I think as soon as there is money involded it brings out the worst in people, in my experience (at the very back of the pack!) everyone is there competing against themselves as much as anyone else, it is encouragement not sabotage here at the back.

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    What the hell is this guy on. There are always one or two idiots in every sport, but this article seems to portray these actions as common place in the sport.

    As a beginner triathlete, getting round is hard enough and if people started doing this sort of thing I would seriously consider what I am doing in this sport. Fortunately I've never witnessed any of the "Semi Sneaky" or "Downright Nasty" so called tips and everyone has been incredibly friendly and supportive in the 2 triathlons I have completed.

    How do we report what a load of crap this is to the BBC?
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    en51nmen51nm Posts: 41
    I can't believe that that has been allowed to feature as an article!! Just for clarification... does this stuff actually happen? The worse part is,

    [center]"...Whoops - did you say that I smashed my rival in the teeth..."[/center][center] [/center][left]How can annyone even consider doing this. Imagine you've spent months preparing for the small window of time to compete in your triathlon and you get punched in the face by some moron who thinks he's employing "tricks of the trade...." [:@][/left]
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    jon_gjon_g Posts: 318
    the article definitely has a tongue in cheek feel to it, and he's talking about people competing in the olympics so drafting is allowed on the bike. he's def not talking about us mere age-groupers. i'm pretty sure some of that underhanded stuff happens in the top echelon of the sport. i'm not saying i condone it. i come from an open water swimming background and kicking and punching def happens in the swim!
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Yeh well obviously in the 'washing machine' of open water mass starts its likely there is going to be some limbs flying around, but surely noone actually tries to hit on purpose to slow them down?

    By the way, this guy is going to be one of the BBCs correspondants for athletics in beijing!
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    Click here to make a complaint http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complaints_stage1.shtml

    I've just sent mine in.
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    learnerlearner Posts: 100
    i would agree with jon-g it does read to me a little tongue in cheek, but should it really be on such a respected site such as the bbc. Having reached my bike in transition after the swim last sunday i must say i employed a couple of these trick myself, i knocked my helmet flying dropped my glasses and then tripped over putting my bike shoes on, not the best t1.

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    I held back from reporting it as I wanted to see what fellow newbie triathletes and experienced thought about it.

    Some have suggested it is written tongue in cheek but I think it has a sinister edge to it which I did not like at all.

    and yes I am aware a bit of punching and kicking can occur in the water - but I'd like to think its not on purpose and only happens as everyone was so close - if I thought for a moment that someone purposely meant to 'kick me in the teeth' so they could gain an advantage, then I think that would be a very sad day indeed...

    I propose we try to get the BBC to remove this article asap as I don't think it shows triathlon in a good light and personally I feel does nothing to promote or positively publicise a fantastic, enjoyable and friendly sport.
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    Just lodged a complaint.

    This I think is the first time I have ever written to any sort of body complaining about anything!! I'm not some sort of busybody who writes to Nestle saying that there wasn't enough wafer in my kitkat!! lol

    This article just got on my tats....

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    FiFi Posts: 31

    I'm absolutely appalled by this article. Its things like this which puts newbie’s like me off doing an open water swim triathlon. I'm definitely going to log a complaint...where's the sportsmanship and comradeship amongst competitors...the guys an idiot
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    I've also posted a complaint. Really wound me up too.
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    well .. it's all been said before but this is absolutely disgusting! I'm sending off my complaint to the BBC and gave forwarded the link to the BTF as well as I think they will be interested.
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I've also sent a complaint.

    It annoys me more that the guy is the BBC correspondant for Beijing! This makes me feel good about not paying my tv lisence for the past few years!
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    The official reply from BBC Sport!

    Thanks for your message.

    The article is in fact an old article and was written in a light-hearted way for people that have no or little knowledge, but an interest in learning more about the triathlon.

    The article is factually correct though, as elite triathletes can slipstream. Please see this link for more



    Tom is also one of our best and most-respected writers who is always keen to get involved in all aspects of sport and we're very pleased that he is in Beijing blogging for us:







    Thanks again,

    Richard Irvine-Brown


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    I got exactly the same response. It didn't answer any of the questions I asked or offer any explanation as to why the article was portraying Triathlon in such a sinister light. I was amazed at how quickly I got a response until I read it and then read tri_do_dom's response.
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    Lets hope they realise that they shouldn't just send the same bog standard "reply" to all of us! I'm really hoping te BTF take the matter up - perhaps BBC will take them seriously. Shall not be holding by breath though!
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I sent a reply about knowing that it was the same response for everybody and I don't think they addressed the real issues. And that is rubbish about it being 'light hearted', it was very far from light hearted!
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    I also forwarded this onto the media contact for British Triathlon - will await reply. Have yet to hear from BBC but expect their 'cut and paste' response also...
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    trevtritrevtri Posts: 39
    I have also made a complaint if enough do it then hopefully this swallow person might get the sack he deserves . im 45 and yet to do my first tri in september but the people i have had feed back from on here and from cobra which is halesowens running and tri club has been nothing but helpful and supportive. if i finish the tri without injuring or breaking something then i will probably join the club as it is one of the best all round events i know for training and gives you a good incentive.

    lets hope there issome sort of apology on this one
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    hi all - as I said I had forwarded this onto the attention of the British Triathlons media person Mr Peter Holmes. Peter replied very promptly to my email and concerns and I'm sure he won't mind me copying his reply to view below.

    I accept what he says about the authors background and perhaps his angle at the piece, I still this it can be misconstrued very easily, leading people to think that this is mainstream, that it happens all the time and that it is generally 'accepted' to pull such tactics.

    Anyways... thanks Peter for your reply mate.

    "Hi Gareth, thanks for your e-mail; incidentally the second one on this topic I’ve received today courtesy of the 220 forum.

    I have been aware of the article since its publication, and although it doesn’t paint the sport in a perfect light, Tom’s writing is accurate – there are cases where athletes have had their races altered by malicious acts of others. For example, Michelle Dillon mentioned after Athens 2004 that someone tried to rip her wetsuit off. The fact that Tom has listed such acts under the heading ‘downright nasty’ should be noted; he hasn’t written about them as if they are mainstream.

    Tom is actually a triathlete himself, and I think he even won the London Tri amateur wave a year or so ago(?), so he does know what he’s writing about. He has actually produced some very complimentary articles on triathlon during his time at the BBC and most recently has spoken highly of our Olympic team


    Although I must admit that his article isn’t the greatest promotion for the sport, Tom has always offered a tinge of humour to his BBC blogging and writing and as such I can understand the BBC’s reply to your complaint."
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    For example, Michelle Dillon mentioned after Athens 2004 that someone tried to rip her wetsuit off

    Ummm.... looking at this picture of Michelle I can fully understand that reaction.


    tee hee... somebody had to say it.
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    haha, trust you bopo.

    Ok, so you can see the points of the replies we have received. And I can accept that the author likes to put humour in his articles. BUT and this is a big but, the article is written as a guide, now if it was written as "this is nasty stuff that happens in triathlon" you could accept it. But as the article is written as a guide it is very easy to understand the points made in the article as advising you to do this to other people!

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    It is unfortunate that people new to the sport may not see this as tounge in cheek, whereas others who know the author or have been around may have a different view.

    I am new to the sport have heard rumors of this sort of activity and to be honest, coming from a competative background expect (though do not like) behaviour of this type from some people in many sports - it is just that Triathlon is not immune, though we would like it to be that way!

    Fortunately Triathlon is growing and most who are involved do so in good nature and wouldn't dream of doing this sort of thing, but as in society in general there will always be the 'odd' idiot who feels that this is acceptable.

    A point in case was the reaction of a swimmer at the recent Relays who upon receiving some nudges from my team member who was trying to pass as the 'competitor' in question was weaving back and forth suddenly found himself being punched square in the face as this 'sportsman' sat up in the water and delivered what came as quite a shock to our guy. Fortunately being a strong swimmer he was OK and continued after shaking it off.

    I just hope that the article doesn't deter people from what is a great sport.
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    diddsdidds Posts: 655

    Ummm.... looking at this picture of Michelle I can fully understand that reaction.

    NOt a dig at bopofomo, but that's pretty pathetic isn't it? Unless of course there's a similar pic of Tim Don lounging all over a bike in a quasi-provocative pose. I'm not holding my breath though.

    Hardly promotes the sport for women above the "ooo, look at me I'm a sex kitten first and a serious athlete tenth" does it?

    pah and double pah

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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Re matty_ellis and physical assault (technically Battery) on a team member at the National Relays

    Can I ask:

    1. Was this reported to the Police?

    2. Did not the Marshalls pick this up, if not why not?

    3. Did anyone put in a protest or report it to the Marshalls?

    Such thugs and yobbos should be DQ'd and if they persist be barred from events, if they want to indulge in that behaviour they should take up football.
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    Hi Zanici,

    It was not reported as it would be virtually impossible to ascertain who was who in a sea of over 100 hats of the same colour. This would be the same for the marshals who wouldbe watching the whole group of swimmers - it would be very hard to spot this unless they were right on the spot (the swim did not take place that close to the gantry either so difficult for any land based marshals/spectators to spot). We did not put in a complaint - there is little that could be done (unfortunately) and the victim was not keen on doing this as they wanted to get on and enjoy a great day.

    I agree however that they should have been DQ'd if spotted and there is no place in Triathlon for that, however they wouldn't be able to take up football because they usually just throw verbals then do a little pushing as they know it will usually be broken up by a ref/other players and they wont have to fight- if they really wanted to fight they would just hit each other straight up - rugby style.

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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    No offence taken, didds. Actually, the blokes can do this too... have a look at Mark Foster's web-site if you really want pics of male athletes....

    tbh, I'm not sure if I actually have an opinion on athletes posing for pics, or being swimwear / tri-kit models / bike models etc. Whatever. Dillon is also a brilliant athlete as well as looking nice for the camera. Didn't she win London last year?

    And talking of London, and returning to the topic, there seems to be lots of reports of the swim being a bit more brutal this year. Is this just because more first-timers are talking about it? Personally, I got punched in the face twice - the second time felt quite deliberate as the guy had been trying to squeeze me over as we approached the turn for about 100m - and for the first time I had a hand very definitely stretch out, tap around and finally grab my ankle for a bloody hard pull backwards (and under), which left me treading water while I choked Thames-filth out of my lungs. Cheers to the safety canoe marshall who offered to let me hold on for a bit.

    Maybe as the sport becomes more mainstream we will start to see less of the pioneering spirit and a bit more of the selfish attitudes prevalent in other sports? Or maybe the guy just read the article in question and thought it was OK.
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    If this kind of thuggery persists then one day you will get a 30 year old thug smacking a 17 year old girl, imagine the publicity fall out if that happens. There is also the worse case scenario of someone being smacked or pulled under and losing consciousness.

    Video cameras are not exactly rare these days and all it needs is a couple on tripods being scanned over the melee to give a very clear warning that there is a high probability of any yob behaviour being detected.

    I am not averse to someone swimming over me if I am in the way but I draw the line at malicious physical violence. I appreciate your team mate didn't want to spoil the day but a protest should have gone in to the marshalls/organisers. If you see my posting 'Rant Natioanl Relays/Nottingham Tri' you will see that there is an unfortunate element of selfishness that seems to have surfaced and needs to be stamped on before it gets out of control.
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    mike_trimike_tri Posts: 60
    [:D]- some of it makes me laugh

    [:'(]- some of it makes me feel sick that there are people on our streets who would do this

    i do wonder what his next article will be, "how to kick dogs" or " how to take the piss out of disabled people"

    how do people like this sleep at night???? (hopefully very uncomfortably)
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