Tour de France Update #4 - An Even More Modest Proposal
Alexandre Vinokourov and the Astana team have been removed from the Tour. Ignore the post below calling for the legalization of doping (editor’s note: HEY!). I have a more modest proposal: stop cheating. This year we are witnessing a tour where some riders are doped and others are clean. This is no surprise. The process of cleaning up cycling will take several years. Be patient.
The important thing now is for the Tour to establish an appropriate punishment. Namely all of Astana’s riders need to be banned from the Tour for life. Astana’s doctors need to be banned from the Tour for life. Astana’s management needs to be banned from the Tour for life. Anyone who has contact with “doctor” Ferrari needs to be banned from the Tour for life. The UCI needs to be told that they are no longer relevant for establishing standards of sporting conduct for the Tour de France.
I like cycling. Lots of people like cycling. It’s easy to get emotionally attached to particular riders and react to their subsequent positive drug tests with the attitude that “if they’re doping than everyone is doping”. That’s wrong. Some people are doping and others are clean. What I admire about cycling is not a particular rider, but the spectacle of seeing riders overcome the physical demands imposed on them to emerge triumphant. I don’t care what their name is. I don’t care what their nationality is. I don’t care if they have broken any records. I do care that they are clean. Winning the Tour de France doped is about as meaningful to me as being carried to the top of Mount Everest.
As I wrote in my preview stop being supportive of dopers and stop whining when your favorite rider turns out to be a jerk. Condemn doping and condemn those who do it. Rather than let doping get you down on cycling let it increase your respect for the people who don’t dope but continue to soldier on knowing that being honest will diminish their chances of winning. As I wrote before, be patient. This year’s Tour was expected to be a mess and it has lived up to all expectations. What remains to be seen is where the Tour goes from here. Your part in that is to demand a clean race and demand a level of sportsmanship that too many teams and riders currently make a mockery of.
Posted by BVBigBro at July 24, 2007 01:12 PM
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|# July 24th, 2007 1:14 PM kris|
|I'm just thinking out of the box... |
|# July 25th, 2007 8:01 AM kris|
|the cyclingnews.com crew are pretty positive to read. they're pointing out that cleaning up the sport is going to take time and that cycling isn't so much dirtier than other sports, the testing is just that much more in depth. They note that Gary Player, for example, says that golfers use all kinds of crap to improve their long games and yet pro golf has no testing. |
|# July 25th, 2007 1:25 PM Easybee|
|Well said BV. I start every season hopeful that last season's embarrassing mess has made a positive change in this season. I believe it does, but I still get disappointed every time some inspiring performance turns out to be doped. The good news is that after so many years of embarrassment, there are now pro riders that are militant anti-dopers. The UCI and Le Tour needs to make sure that they are the ones that get in to the race.
Rasmussen shouldn't have been allowed in. In this time of crisis in cycling, there is no room for "not quite dirty". Now the UCI has lost more credibility, and Le Tour has to figure out how to best play another tour winner with a big black questionmark next to his name, regardless of his innocence or guilt.
We hate to see more dopers exposed, but exposing the truth doesn't make the truth less so. The dopers are there, and catching them is part of the cleanup process. Keep the faith, for the sake of sports.
|# July 25th, 2007 2:56 PM BVBigBro|
|And now Cofidis has departed, too. As long as they get rid of Rasmussen, or better yet the riders refuse to ride with him, the Tour will have made some positive steps. |
|# July 25th, 2007 4:27 PM kris|
|Rasmussen is out |
|# July 25th, 2007 4:59 PM BVBigBro|
|It's been a good day for cycling. |