Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘bernhard kohl’

This Day in Doping: From using to running, a sorry scene

In Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on October 13, 2009 at 6:36 am

Confessed doper and former King of the Mountains winner Bernhard Kohl continues to name names. The latest: physician Marc Schmidt, team doctor, who “oversaw the doping practices.” Schmidt vehemently denied the charges. And the beat goes on…
Unconvinced that the 2009 Tour de France was as squeaky clean as it seemed, French prosecutors are opening an investigation into doping. And the beat goes on…

According to French daily Le Monde, the investigation involves a number of teams including Astana, home of 2009 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Spain and American seven-time winner Lance Armstrong. Sports daily L’Equipe backed up Le Monde’s claims regarding Astana, and added that some of the syringes being analyzed had been used by the Kazakh team. “These syringes, used by the team of race winner Alberto Contador, were sent to the Parisian forensics laboratory Toxlab of Professor Gilbert Pepin and are currently being analysed to determine their contents,” read an article on the L’Equipe website.

Meanwhile, Lance is in France, meeting with the President! His latest tweet: “Just finished lunch w/ President Sarkozy at the Palais de L’Elysee. He loves cycling!”

How one cyclist came back from the abuse scene. The inspirational story of Chad Gerlach, courtesy of Sacramento Bee and Bicycle.net.

And how another cyclist, alas, did not. The story of Sam Brown is chronicled in Rolling Stone. See Northshore forum comments queue as well…

This Day In Drugs (con’t)

In Bicycling, This Day In Doping on June 11, 2009 at 11:36 am

Drug scandals are in the air over international cycling. Hmmm…must be about time for the 2009 Tour de France!

Bernhard Kohl, recently banned for two years, quitting the sport entirely, weighs in on rampant corruption among the peloton. Lots of riders involved. “What were the French authorities going to do? Delete the overall classification for the whole Tour?” Well, that’s the Hobson’s Choice right there in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Bernhard Kohl respeaks, saying he was misquoted. Really? That’s a lot of made-up quotation to misquote!

UCI warns of imminent disclosure of several prominent “suspected” cheats. Sheesh. C’mon, guys, in the pantheon of professional cycling, everyone‘s suspected. You either got the goods or you don’t!

And drug allegations still salt the wound between Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong.

It’s sad, really, where the whole impetus of cycling seems to be: Avoid getting caught while pretending to be clean. The huge money involved creates no alternative for cyclists other than to beat the system…so long as the system has laughable effectiveness.

As we’ve said before and will say again: Cycling has no credibility in self-regulation. Only an independent body, backed by all parties and with absolute authority and oversight, can clean up the mess that has become professional cycling.

Having said that, I’m looking forward to the Tour as much as the next guy. There are self–avowed cheats wearing professional baseball uniforms every day with impunity, and nobody seems to care, so let the wheels roll and let’s have no more unpleasantness!

You can’t win at pro level without drugs

In Bicycle Racing, Bicycling, This Day In Doping on May 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm

That’s the lament offered by Bernhard Kohl, an Austrian cycling star and last year’s Tour de France king of the mountains winner, as he departs the sport after being banned for doping:

“I doped voluntarily in a system in which you cannot win without doping. The weeks after [being caught] were tough for me. But after discussions with friends and family, I realised that a return to professional cycling was a return to a life of doping and lies… Somewhere along the way, talent, training and tough discipline just aren’t enough anymore.”

All this, at age 27.

What it suggests is even more depressing: That the pro tour is still driven by drugs, that enforcement is a sham, that Big Money from sponsorships and residuals promotes and perpetuates a system of deception, fraud and illegality.

In other words, the whole sport is gamed beyond redemption.

The situation calls out for an independent investigation, or at least investigative journalism along the lines of a cycling Seymour Hersh. Otherwise we’ll never know whether to believe Kohl or just pass it off as sour grapes. Certainly he has an axe to grind. But there’s abundant evidence, including a growing number of cyclists stepping forward with painful but cathartic admissions, that what he says is true. It’s obvious that cycling cannot police itself. It’s been trying for more than a decade, with nothing but scandal after scandal to show for its efforts.

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