What's Cool In Road Cycling

Comment: Doping Celebrities Caught!

It seems that over the past few years the biggest stars in Cycling have come under scrutiny for doping… While that’s certainly proving itself out, the larger problem for the sport may just be that doping is now the celebrity.

Several publications ran headlines Wednesday regurgitating the Agence France Presse coverage of French national anti-doping agency (AFLD) chief Pierre Bordry’s claim that there’s more to come on the 08′ Tour Doping…

Once I read the release I realized that he repeatedly used the term “Transfusions” to describe a sample.

“We possess considerable evidence from blood transfusions. We will only say later who it is,” Bordry is quoted… And I initially thought that the translation was mistaken and he meant “of blood transfusions” instead of From blood transfusions.

But then, reading on, it was simply wrong terminology. Not sure when, but the sooner someone tells the head of French Doping that a Transfusion means blood out, then back in, and is not just a sample – the better. And one would think a guy in that position would have the lingo down…

Of course I could be wrong if Bordry’s got 35 pro cyclists stuffed in a freezer awaiting testing, and I haven’t seen several of the top pros lately…

Enter Napoleon
But then Bordry is simply doing what has all too often become the norm for officials in cycling that, French or not, all seem to have Napoleon’s complex.
Dick Pound had it too… His constant attacks did little, but verbal slings at Lance Armstrong put him on the map, because it’s great publicity to have your name next to someone that has genuine worldwide recognition…

The UCI’s Pat McQuaid also recognized the benefits of beating on the sport and grabbing publicity when he leaked the results of Floyd Landis’ test…
McQuaid: “…we know that the French laboratory…has a close connection with [French sports daily] L’Йquipe, and we did not want this news to come through the press, because we are sure they would have leaked it.”

No way McQuaid was going to let the news papers get the publicity and credit first.

And the ASO this year certainly turned heads by allowing several tainted teams to participate in the Tour while maintaining the block of Astana… One would wonder though why the guys that own the world’s biggest race needed to prove a point by keeping Astana out, only to have their true intent questioned by those they let in…

What ever the case, they did get to say “Cheese” quite often in the process and increase their own coverage.

In the past decade, the sport has grown in world recognition and popularity and that’s created added pressure on a lot of people running several aspects of cycling.

The problem is that a lot of these organizations are simply not run by people of the caliber required to handle the increased responsibility. What winds up happening is that there is a simple lack of leadership and a bit of a power vacuum and several people aspire to step to the front.

When you lack the genuine leadership ability, self promotion and hype is the next best thing, and in cycling, the easiest way to get the press running for your door is to yell “I know a Doper!”

And the Press are hot-hot-hot to give it all the attention they can… Folks like Bordry and McQuaid and Pound in the past, do nothing but harm the sport when they present themselves instead of presenting facts and information.

At a time when pro cycling needs eagles, we keep getting peacocks and vultures…

Gotta Comment?
If you’ve got a comment or opinion you’d like to share, send us an email and we might just publish you in glorious pixelated black & white! Letters may be edited for grammar, spelling, length or just to make ‘em better.
Send your comments to:[email protected]

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.