Perspective – part deux

July 17, 2008

I’m angry at cheaters. I’m angry at the enforcement agency (as it seems they were targeting specific riders from the get-go). And I’m angry at organizations that allow their employees to cheat.

According to a number of commentators, this is just another shake-up in the Tour de France and it could signal the end of a classic event.

In-depth, here are my thoughts.

Cheaters have no place in the race. They put other riders who are clean at a disadvantage. These cheaters take away the chance for a super athlete to land on the podium. They affect the very lives of clean riders and they break the rules.

In so many situations I can look the other way when rules are bent. This is because there are times in life where common sense should be followed in lieu of rules. But as it applies to sport, without the rules we have nothing.

The enforcement agency employed what in-effect was a sting. They targeted a handful of riders at the start of the race (as reported they have been watching 10 or 12 riders). Then they are testing and retesting these riders until they get a positive result. That’s not quite fair either.

And the testing routine hasn’t changed since the start of drug testing in the sport. Riders are guilty from the get-go and there’s very little recourse. Witness Floyd Landis’ attempts to clear his name and retain the 2006 Tour de France win. I think that the difference between a natural high and a synthetic one could be mistaken, but I’m not a scientist.

If the cycling organizational bodies are going to continue to endorse and conduct witch hunts, the sport is doomed.

Teams are as bad as the rest of the groups. If you are with your riders more than anyone else, you should know if they’re cheating. You should yank them off the team and make sure every single person in your organization buys into this approach.

Slipstream is doing it (or at least we think they are) and others could too.

The shame of more doping events casts doubt across the entire peloton. Can we even believe that a drug-free team is totally drug-free?

Bahhh! I’m peeved.