Great post on BikePure re Joe Papp’s reformed doper saga. We linked to Papp recently for perspective on the Kenny Williams fall from grace. Kenny could do worse than follow Joe’s lead in taking the pledge. And thanks to BikePure for providing an alternative vision to our doping-besotted sport.
Archive for the ‘This Day In Doping’ Category
Some good news for once: Sabine Spitz gets Olympic trophy for telling the dope doctors no, no, no.
Spanish rider Eladio Jiménez Sanchez was suspended by the UCI after testing positive for EPO at last summer’s Volta a Portugal.
Doping violations are as we note a daily occurrence on the pro cycling circuit, but anecdotally it seems that Spain is more represented in recent months than any other nation. Not to implicate Spain’s most accomplished pro, Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, but it does make one wonder.
As we wrote earlier, longtime Seattle cycling figure Kenny Williams confessed to using DHEA, pretty much indicating he’d have to face the music. It’s a shame, and we trust in Kenny’s case it will serve as a lesson. He’ll lose his 3000 metre individual pursuit and kilometre time trial titles from August. His victory in the 40-44 3000 metre individual pursuit was an unofficial world record.
Younger amateurs hopefully will think twice. But doping is so ingrained, financially and politically as well as athletically, it also seems a shame that, coincidentally or not (we think the latter), the lesser names get the lion’s share of penalization.
That said, we still think there’s more to the Williams situation than has been disclosed so far. Another part of the hypocrisy of the system is to brush over details even as penalties are meted out. “Unnamed anabolic agent”? Really? Why the obfuscation?
Drunk cyclist has more. See comments queue.
Five years ago it was testosterone boosting. Last March it was blood boosting (EPO). Now Christian Pfannberger, a two-time Austrian champion, is banned for life.
Let that be an example to all you pros out there who think once is enough and promise never ever to do it again.
No, of course I’m not being serious.
Having served his penalty for doping in the 2006 Tour de France, Floyd Landis now aims to get back into Euro stage racing. What team will he join? Expect the rumor mill to churn back up as trial balloons get sent … Team Radio Shack anyone? Lance & Floyd, reunited?
Bicycle.net: Davide Rebellin will be stripped of his 2008 Olympic silver medal after testing positive for EPO. Another indication that even if you dodge detection the first time or two around, technological advances will eventually nab ya.
So now the doping scandals are making their way into the amateur ranks. Kenny Williams, a household name in Seattle-area cycling for years, a cycling instructor and top Masters competitor, is caught using DHEA and owns up to it (be sure to read comments queue).
What to say? There’s no point in being naive or righteous about doping at the amateur level. Anyone who goes to a high school football game these days knows that performance enhancers are as easy to find and ingest as a double cheeseburger with fries. Drugs permeate our culture, to the point where enforcement has become so politically manipulated and selectively rendered that any deterrence factor is utterly lost.
Kenny’s heartfelt apology, in this context, is pointless. No one with any experience in the sport will take him at face value. See comment queues in Drunkcyclist and Papillon. Cyclists testing positive these days have only two credible options: 1. To own up to all their past misdeeds while noting, as Bernhard Kohl did, that in order to win these days you have to dope. We repeat, you have to dope. 2. Or to just STFU, serve their time and let the chips fall where they may.
Denial is ludicrous. Abject admission in a context of greater denial — the Kenny Williams path — invites scorn, cynicism and disbelief.
Williams has been a role model and comported himself well by all accounts over the years. It’s sad to find him in these circumstances. But shock and outrage serve no point.
If I were him, I’d take the BikePure pledge and really truly mend my ways (which would undoubtedly mean a fall from the top ranks he’s dwelled in over the years). Go on the lecture circuit about the poisoning impacts of drugs on health, self-respect and sports.
It’d be a departure from the norm. I can’t think of many banned athletes who have fessed up and crusaded on doping, because let’s face it, they want to get back to the top once their suspension is served.
But it’s the only path that would allow Kenny Williams, who raised the hopes and fed the dreams of so many fellow cyclists, to live the rest of his life being able to look others straight in the eye.
How bad is doping corruption in cycling? So bad that Team Elk Haus’ manager, noting that the taint from doping kept his team from finding sponsorship, suggests cycling should simply look the other way like swimming, football and other sports. He has a point: No steroids user, even those admitting it, has ever been penalized in baseball, and the last time I checked two of the most famous juicers just led their team in the World Series. But is covering it all up really useful — or sustainable?
Joe Papp lays it on the line about his own doping, the way a true confession should read.
BikePure teams up with a BMX bike maker to get its point across. Not a bad idea — reinforce the anti-doping message with the younguns when it can still make a difference.
Alberto Fernandez De La Puebla Ramos, whose name in Spanish means “I didn’t do it that’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” is suspended for failing a doping test.
Doping scandals aplenty, Velo News reports. They’re taking another look at 2008 Giro d’Italia samples for CERA, undetectable previously but now testable. The same may happen for the 2009 Giro and Tour as testing catches up with ever newer, previously undetectable substances.
“The report also outlined a new blood doping practice which evaded current testing protocol which monitor blood parameters. About 200ml of blood is extracted, mixed with an anti-coagulant, and re-injected. The practice does not alter blood values and is all but undetectable, the report said.”
And the UCI, whose efficacy anti-doping authorities continue to question, emerges with another black eye:
“Earlier efforts to back-test Giro samples for CERA were squashed by the UCI, but now Italian officials in Padua have taken up the case.”
The Chicken is back! Michael Rasmussen, who was on track to win the 2007 Tour de France before his team suspended him for deceiving it re his whereabouts before the race began, has picked up a new team following his two-year ban.
Rasmussen’s case bears some investigation, because he essentially beat the doping system. He never actually tested positive. He was put on ice simply out of suspicion of cheating.
Which means the system must be pretty easily beatable, because they suspected Rasmussen well before the Tour began and one would assume must have tested him rigorously during the race. So what went wrong? How could this happen? They’re so convinced he doped that they barred him, but nothing in their vast array of testing procedures could prove it?
Euskaltel-Euskadi on the comeback trail from doping scandals? Can they stay clean? And with this kind of money involved, will they get reported if they aren’t clean?
“As part of continued 1 million euro commitment to the team’s total 6.5 million euro budget, the government has included a clause in the sponsorship contract that would end the deal if more doping cases pop up. Reports in Basque Country media also point to an early exodus of title sponsor Euskaltel – the regional telephone operator – if there’s another doping case.”
Floyd Landis got caught and paid the price. Now he’s saying “politics” will keep him from ever competing in the Tour again.
Here’s an idea: Floyd and the Chicken and Tyler Hamilton and Bernhard Kohl and Vinokourov and a bunch of other banned cyclists get together and form a Tour team sponsored by BigPharma companies that make methadone. They could call it Team LiveClean.
World Champion Cadel Evans now wants to finally win the Tour, a prime motivator for his move from Silence to BMC Racing. We wish him luck. Cadel is one of the few pros who proactively says he does not dope. We trust he’s telling the truth and admire him for taking a stand. We also like him because he’s a former mountain biking champion. (So is Rasmussen, but we don’t admire him because, as with a lot of big names in cycling, there’s too much evidence he’s a cheat, even though he never actually got caught.)