Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's Time to Come Clean

Here's a good recap of what has transpired in the past week on the doping issues plaguing professional cycling by the Chicago Tribune's Phil Hersh.

Of Bjarne Riis's confession on Friday, Hersch writes:
"What shred of credibility remained about elite pro cycling has disappeared as 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis of Denmark on Friday became the first Tour winner to admit he used banned performance-enhancing drugs."

What we have always feared and suspected has now been laid bare. Cycling's dirty little secret is no longer everyone's secret.

So, what about Our Boy Lance? Hersh writes:
"Between [Marco] Pantani and [Floyd] Landis came the Lance Armstrong era, with its record-breaking seven straight victories, nearly all by humbling margins over rivals known to have doped during their careers.

"Armstrong has claimed abstinence from the prolonged orgy of doping his sport has indulged in for more than two decades.

"He never has been sanctioned for a doping positive and apparently is not discomfited by the unofficial retroactive testing at a French lab that found EPO in six of his samples given during the Tour in 1999, two years before cycling began testing for that endurance-building drug."

It is a sad time for professional cycling. I maintain that the sport is TOO difficult, the tours too long, the climbs too difficult, the temptation to cheat too great because the sport drives its athletes beyond human endurance. We marvel at these beyond-possible accomplishments and turn our heads, pretending we don't know.

Now we know. Or at least we've been told -- to an extent. Who else will have the courage to come forward? How honest can the sport be with itself -- and us -- and still survive?

It all makes the Bad Boy Floyd hearing this past week rather superfluous. The testing process stink. But so does Floyd in all likelihood.

And what of Our Boy Lance? Can he remain silent any longer? Can we continue to admire his courage without one last courageous act of admission? I continue to want to believe. So do a lot of people. But how long can we continue to fool ourselves just because we want to?

It's time for cycling to come clean.
For Bad Boy Floyd. For Our Boy Lance. It's time to come clean.

MORE:
-- SFGate.com Matthew Tom: Cycling has broken my heart for the last time

1 comment:

53rd Tooth said...

True dat 03.

Of course, cycling has still not reached bottom in my opinion. As long as the immense pressure from the sponsors exist, doping will continue.

It's become culture. And as we all know these days, ya can't just show up at somone's door and change culture overnight without a wee bit resistance i.e. Eddy Merckx claiming DNA is a "violation of civil rights". Get real Eddy.

Hats off to Slipstream/Chipolte for taking a very brave stand in an otherwise disjointed sport that is suffering from such an identity crisis.

Cycling reaching bottom, as I've posted before, equals ALL sponsors pulling, period.

This action and ONLY this action will finally take the sport to its proper place of humilty. All the greedy bastards will leave and all who will be left will be the purists who care enough to rebuild it the proper way. This includes a total alignment of vision and execution of USADA, WADA and the UCI.

Even if we started TODAY, it would take 5-10 years to get it right. So alas, I realize I'm the enternal optimist and as a result will continue to enjoy my drug-free racing until such time.

Don't get me wrong, I am hopped up on gel packs and espresso but until that's banned, all is fair in...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

It's Time to Come Clean

Here's a good recap of what has transpired in the past week on the doping issues plaguing professional cycling by the Chicago Tribune's Phil Hersh.

Of Bjarne Riis's confession on Friday, Hersch writes:
"What shred of credibility remained about elite pro cycling has disappeared as 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis of Denmark on Friday became the first Tour winner to admit he used banned performance-enhancing drugs."

What we have always feared and suspected has now been laid bare. Cycling's dirty little secret is no longer everyone's secret.

So, what about Our Boy Lance? Hersh writes:
"Between [Marco] Pantani and [Floyd] Landis came the Lance Armstrong era, with its record-breaking seven straight victories, nearly all by humbling margins over rivals known to have doped during their careers.

"Armstrong has claimed abstinence from the prolonged orgy of doping his sport has indulged in for more than two decades.

"He never has been sanctioned for a doping positive and apparently is not discomfited by the unofficial retroactive testing at a French lab that found EPO in six of his samples given during the Tour in 1999, two years before cycling began testing for that endurance-building drug."

It is a sad time for professional cycling. I maintain that the sport is TOO difficult, the tours too long, the climbs too difficult, the temptation to cheat too great because the sport drives its athletes beyond human endurance. We marvel at these beyond-possible accomplishments and turn our heads, pretending we don't know.

Now we know. Or at least we've been told -- to an extent. Who else will have the courage to come forward? How honest can the sport be with itself -- and us -- and still survive?

It all makes the Bad Boy Floyd hearing this past week rather superfluous. The testing process stink. But so does Floyd in all likelihood.

And what of Our Boy Lance? Can he remain silent any longer? Can we continue to admire his courage without one last courageous act of admission? I continue to want to believe. So do a lot of people. But how long can we continue to fool ourselves just because we want to?

It's time for cycling to come clean.
For Bad Boy Floyd. For Our Boy Lance. It's time to come clean.

MORE:
-- SFGate.com Matthew Tom: Cycling has broken my heart for the last time

1 comment:

53rd Tooth said...

True dat 03.

Of course, cycling has still not reached bottom in my opinion. As long as the immense pressure from the sponsors exist, doping will continue.

It's become culture. And as we all know these days, ya can't just show up at somone's door and change culture overnight without a wee bit resistance i.e. Eddy Merckx claiming DNA is a "violation of civil rights". Get real Eddy.

Hats off to Slipstream/Chipolte for taking a very brave stand in an otherwise disjointed sport that is suffering from such an identity crisis.

Cycling reaching bottom, as I've posted before, equals ALL sponsors pulling, period.

This action and ONLY this action will finally take the sport to its proper place of humilty. All the greedy bastards will leave and all who will be left will be the purists who care enough to rebuild it the proper way. This includes a total alignment of vision and execution of USADA, WADA and the UCI.

Even if we started TODAY, it would take 5-10 years to get it right. So alas, I realize I'm the enternal optimist and as a result will continue to enjoy my drug-free racing until such time.

Don't get me wrong, I am hopped up on gel packs and espresso but until that's banned, all is fair in...