Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The downward spiral

It seems the sport of cycling grabs the headlines for all the wrong reason's. A rider I really liked, Bernhard Kohl, has returned a non-negative CERA test. The baby faced Kohl was probably a revelation for the tour even too much so. It just goes to show that as in life, when something seems to good to be true it normally is. I will continue to watch and support cycling but I must say that watching and following a sport with such a pessimistic view cannot be healthy.I place the blame purely on the power hungry UCI, I mean as a governing body they are pretty useless. The French agency has been the one uncovering all these new cases outside UCI boundries and being a three week persiod wherein they do all the testing just puts into focus how useless the UCI is. They have these biological passports that I really thought would be a great idea. Some teams have used them to get rid of riders but the UCI is still to have a breakthrough with these passports. Also there is an alarming dissparity in the world of cycling with regard to bending the rules. I'm all for Armstrong rejoinging the ranks of cycling elite, I'm not sure he really left, but the fact that he has been given grace to rejoin the sport earlier than the rules states show's yet again that there is preferential treatment going on. I would just like to see some hard rules being set.
Also the rider cannot be held soley responsible for doping. the pressures from the team and sponsors are palatable so why is it that they are turning a blind eye to all of this. Why is it that they do not have a more transparent testing system working in conjuction with the UCI. I belive that should a positive be found in a team the entire team should be removed from any of the tours and if it is a classic race then banned for a certain period. The entire team, this is after all a team sport so why not give everyone the responsibility. If you want to tell me that these guys do not know when a team mate is doping or at least have some sort of idea then they are obviously as bright as english winter skies. The people have to work together to root out this problem and tougher measures need to take effect, I mean this is killing the sport so why can people who doped be allowed back into the sport after two years. Give them a life ban becasue at the moment in two years this sport may be so far in the gutter that the dammage would be irrepairable. I mean Basso is now coming back into the sport and already talking about winning, this is disgusting, he should not have his head held high. The time for forgive and forget are over, we need consistent measures in place.
Also for the race organisers side, esspecially ASO, they need some consistency in their methods of choosing who can take part. It was an absolute farce that the strongest team in the peleton was not allowed to take part. There were many other teams, Rabobank for one, that had brought shame to the Tour so why were they invited. If you was to not invite a team then make sure it is based on a solid foundation that is applied to everyone.
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