Monday, July 30, 2007

Le Grand Boucle of Dope

I've had a few adventures lately, which I'll get to later this week, but first y thoughts on this year's Tour. Another Grand Boucle has come to an end and, unfortunately, the doping news far exceeded the racing news. Pity because it was a damned exciting race. I've been a fan of the Tour all of my life. This year they're telling us 'we've turned a corner' when it comes to doping issues. I hope so, but can't help but be skeptical.

It does actually seem to be trendy amongst the younger racers to be anti-dope. This must be a positive sign and is a far cry from when "Mr. Clean" Bessons was regularly chided by the peloton. But when you hear reports such as this one (Kloden Considers Retirement) it's hard to be positive.

I love cycling and hope it can clean itself up. We recreational cyclists have a battle to just keep our bikes on the road. A scandalous professional scene isn't going to help our cause. But scandals make media and, I'm sure, people will keep trying to uncover them. Sometimes they can actually make a difference. Bravo to the David Walsh's and Betsy Andreau's hope dare--and risk--to take on the big guys. Check out Betsy's candid radio interview on Competitor. This women has some huevos.

Below is a list of the Grand Tour winners over the last decade or so and their status as to being involved in drug scandals. Many of them have minor busts, some received two-year suspensions, and some have had their careers basically ruined, like Ramundo Rumsas, who didn't make the list because he only doped his way to the podium.

Grand Tour Winners

Tour:

Riis - doper

Ullrich - doper

Pantani - doper

Lance - clean?

Landis - doper

Rasmussen (would have been) - doper

Contador - (currently invovled in scandal but luckily protected under Texas law)

Vuelta:

Vino - doper

Heras - doper

Ullrich - doper

Mancebo - did he win? anyway, he came close and is a doper

Menchov - doper

Aitor - doper

Sevilla - may not have won but almost did and got busted. doper.

Casero - doper

Zulle - doper

Olano- doper

Rominger - doper

Jalabert - doper

Delgado - doper

Hamilton, Perez - both would have beens that got busted during the same race for the same offense.

Giro:

Di Luca (still under investigation but cleared on first offense)

Basso: doper

Simoni: doper

Salvodelli: hmmm, he must have a bust somewhere. anyway, his totally erratic performances certainly must mean dope and, for sure, he ate some of Simoni's grandma's cookies. i hear they were quite tasty. in fact, rumor has it that Grandma Simoni, Rumsas' wife, and Haven Hamilton are opening a restaurant at the Olympic Village which will, no doubt, become quite popular.

Garzelli - doper

Pantani - doper

Frigo - doper

Cunego - clean, but he at least got epstein-barr so he doped to get it or, perhaps, passively doped to get it which might actually make him a non-doper which would be rad because most of the white jersey winners from the tour, like him, have gone down too. So perhaps he didn't dope but he was, like, 21, won in a fluke, and hasn't been able to find the same form since, which sounds like text book passive doping effects on a highly talented youngster. if he ever finds his form again we'll probably find out.

Tonkov - doper

Rominger - doper

Gotti - doper

Berzin - doper

But, hey, as bad as all this sounds it's still a beautiful sport. Here's a fantastic montage of the 2006 Tour.

5 comments:

Ted said...

It was indeed an exciting tour. The stage with Contador continuously trying to break Rasmussen was great. The time trial was awesome.

Brad Rassler said...

Listened to the interviews. Walsh. The guy obviously has a photographic memory, and seems careful and measured, if not perhaps a bit too eager to explain his motivation for digging into the story.

I found the Betsy Andreu interview well, droning. The lady doth protest too much, methinks - although I found her believable.

I hadn't known about the Competitor Radio site. I'm a dead man. I wasn't sated until I listened to Julich, Tinley, LeMond, Karnazes, Kearns, Arnie Baker, and Dave Scott.

Now - the Julich interview -- that one really grabbed me. Is Bobby being diplomatic, or is he sincere when he talks about the ability to succeed in pro cycling sans dope? I couldn't detect any disingenuousness. And you have to admit that Bobby's been right up there with the best of them.

steve edwards said...

I haven't had time to listen to all of those yet. You might listen to Scott Jurek's. He's pretty hard on Dean for grabbing attention, though he doesn't blame Dean. He blames the media.

Really curious about Julich. He's been an outstanding stage racer. Could he really not have doped at all? This seems a bit difficult to believe.

steve edwards said...

Wait, Jurek is at Endurance Radio. Sorry to give you even more to listen to!

Brad Rassler said...

See this Sunday's NY Times article about Landis:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sports/playmagazine/0819play-floyd.html

Interesting glimpse into his mood - and how he's dealing with the pressure...and waiting.