Paul Andrews

Archive for the ‘This Day In Doping’ Category

This Day in Doping: Friday afternoon bad news

In This Day In Doping on January 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm

In mainstream media the advice goes like this: If you want to bury bad news, release it on a Friday afternoon.

Well this is the blogosphere, folks, and we’re creating a whole new dynamic. You release bad news on a Friday, you’ve got a hailstorm from hell on your hands.

Case in point: Riccardo Ricco’s partner Vania Rossi testing positive for CERA, the exact substance that got Ricco kicked out of the 2008 Tour de France. OK, Vania’s not exactly a household word, and Ricco isn’t either. And typically news like this gets picked up by and maybe and that’s about it. Doping is so ingrained in cycling culture, it’s just not big news any more.

But wait a sec…it’s Friday afternoon dude! Nothin’ goin’ on! A little Twitter here, a little Facebook there, blogs-a-poppin’ … soon you’ve got a veritable sheetstorm of linkerage and commentary.

So just in case you missed it, here’s BikePure,, BikeRadar, VeloNews, and the always incisive Twisted Spoke.

(We do trust that Friday afternoon blahs are the only explanation for such breathless attentiveness and not the distaff nature of the crime. That would be sexist and bad form, even for the blogosphere.)


A Wide Open Tour de France 2010?

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on January 25, 2010 at 3:46 am

Yes it’s early, but we continue to see signs that this year’s Tour de France is shaping up as a real bike race (as opposed to a single team of prima donnas controlling a docile peloton). We think it’s good for the sport, especially because we may be spared endless Clash of Titans bloviating re Lance and Alberto. With a slew of contenders in the mix, maybe this year’s Tour will have actual, true, real, what’s the expression … suspense?

Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez says he’s gonna try to win.

Aussie “Tour Down Under” champion Andre Greipel wants a go, mate.

His coach says Lance is ahead of last year’s training (when he eventually took third in the Tour). Or is this just something to say every year to juice the buzz?

Last year’s winner Alberto Contador looks to put an early hurt on the peloton in Paris-Nice.

Don’t forget our personal favorite, Andy Schleck (and brother Frank).

And we’ve already talked about the Doper Reunion aspect. Whatever else you can say about these cheats, they can still ride.

We’ll be watching Vegas odds on this one with intense interest.

This Day in Doping: BikePure teams with Tour de Langkawi

In This Day In Doping on January 22, 2010 at 1:10 am

This will be interesting: “Bike Pure feel this is a major step forward in highlighting the problems cyclesport faces as sponsors look for a positive return on their financial investment within the sport. “There is a momentum for major change within cycling, fans of the sport no longer want the dopers destroying its image. This feeling is illustrated clearly by the organisers of Le Tour de Langkawi (Malaysia), being the first professional event to fully partner Bike Pure and show its commitment to anti-doping on a world wide scale.”

This Day in Doping: Tour 2010 shaping up as Dopers Reunion!

In This Day In Doping on January 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

Alexander Vinokourov’s drug ban is over, so like Michael Rasmussen, he’s ready for another go on the Tour. Vino says he won’t be pursuing a title, but if something should happen to team leader Contador, we would assume all bets are off.

The Tour de France 2010 is shaping up as the biggest Dopers Reunion since the Lebowski Fest! Now if we can only get Floyd Landis back into the peloton, we’d be tempted to sponsor Team Rehab. And what’s Tyler Hamilton up to these days???

This Day in Doping: Lance backs off self-testing; Rasmussen returns

In Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on January 18, 2010 at 11:28 am

Lance Armstrong is dropping the idea of personal doping tests (our impression was that he never began them). And why not. He isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about the past by testing clean now. And as Joe Papp and others have revealed, there are so many ways to beat the system’s drug testing that it hardly makes sense for a pro to test himself. When so many pros in all sports lie about doping (see entries under “McGwire, Mark” and “Rodriguez, Alex”) with impunity, who is going to believe an athlete’s self-sponsored testing?

We continue to wonder why Lance does not join the BikePure pledge. It would be huge PR for him, and for the organization.

At 35, Michael Rasmussen is on the comeback trail. But tell me how a guy who was never found out, only suspected, in the first place is going to stay clean this time around.

This Day in Doping: Joe Papp on Cozy Beehive

In This Day In Doping on January 12, 2010 at 2:20 am

Over at Cozy Beehive, former pro cyclist Joe Papp unveils the secrets pros use to defeat anti-doping controls. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the cycling world’s subterfuge.

One point I’d like to see Joe or someone else close to pro cycling address: Just how much looking the other way goes on. I’ve discussed this before, that even if Tour officials found Contador or Lance doping, would they take action? The consequences to the sport would be beyond devastating. Better to just look the other way and beat up on the smaller guys in an attempt to 1) show you’re doing SOMEthing about doping and 2) present an illusion of cleaning up the sport.

We remain convinced that doping is a political and financial, not physical or athletic, issue, and must be dealt with on those terms.

Sam Brown’s body lies a-molderin’

In Mountain Biking, This Day In Doping on January 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm

God this is ugly. The guy who ratted out Sam Brown, the once-celeb freeride mountain biker who hanged himself after being arrested in a drug sting last year — the guy who ratted him out was himself a major drug kingpin. And he ratted Sam Brown out in return for a promise of immunity from prosecution. In other words, so he could keep doing business trafficking illegal drugs, Colin Martin of Malakwa, B.C., sent Sam Brown to his grave.

In carefree days

We were sorry to see Brown get caught up in this tawdry underworld. It was his own choice, as an article in Rolling Stone made clear. But he didn’t deserve this kind of slime, and the whole sorry episode — I mean, is law enforcement in this case any better than the scuzz it seeks to prosecute? — stands as yet another argument for legalizing drugs, taxing them to the hilt, and ending the garbage industry of drug running.

Times Colonist article (see comments queue).

Sam’s “hamster wheel.”

Rolling Stone article.

CBC television show.

This Day in Doping: Tom Zirbel’s positive test and denial

In This Day In Doping on December 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm quotes Zirbel to the effect that he doesn’t know what happened.

Particularly when a new year is coming, and you want to have hope, you wish you could believe a rider who says he was wronged. But you have to think that the monitoring system is set up in a rigorous enough way that a catch is a catch.

We’ll just have to wait.

Daily Roundup: Shot on a mountain bike! BikePortland support, BikeJuju photo winners, Cyclists are sexier & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes, This Day In Doping on December 26, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Please consider taking the BikePortland pledge. Jonathan & crew run a great blog, must reading here at Bike Intelligencer.

And while you’re at it, the Ghost Bikes Film Project is a worthwhile cause as well.

BikeJuju photo contest winners. Amazing, amazing shots.

BikePure: Trying to reboot a soiled sport.

SeattleLikesBikes: Making cyclists 2nd class citizens.

EcoVelo: A cafe in Oakland that thinks bike riders are sexier.

If you’ve ridden a mountain bike, chances are you’ve been shot…with a camera or camcorder. Not shot this way, and hopefully never this way.

Mercury News: A kid named Blake Sessions is doing custom chainrings for fixies. That’s right, his name is Sessions … really. Gotta get him on a mountain bike!

Once again, they’re talking about a mountain bike park at Stevens Pass in the coming year. Let’s hope it’s for real in 2010!

Daily Roundup: More bike giveaways, including a new record, robotic tandem, justice equally meted & more

In Daily Roundup, Rider Down, This Day In Doping on December 23, 2009 at 4:09 am

Waxahachie: Police donate 70 bikes.

A 10-year-old raises money to give away bikes.

“Bicycle Man” breaks the record with 1,100 bike giveaways!

What makes Fat Cyclist tick.

Ride tandem and make yourself a robot for a stoker and guess what. No complaining from the back about not being able to see anything!

You can break the rules and become a mountain biking world champion. And you can break the rules and look at jail time.

There is some justice after all.