I am skeptical about the veracity of intentional doping in Contador's case, after all it is innocent until proven guilty.
But with the other cases, it seems that after the Grand Tour season there follows the revelations season, when the anti-doping labs come out with the irregularities. Maybe withholding the podium celebrations for TdF, Giro and Vuelta and declaring the winners around Christmas time would be better? It would save the organizers and the sport from the embarrassing practice of having to change the results afterwards.
I hate doping, but feel sorry for the dopers. It's not that they are not sportsmen - they are driven and willing to do everything to perform. I guess if you have dedicated your life to cycling and you realize that you have reached your peak performance and it is just not good enough, your world comes tumbling down on you and with it lots of pressure to look for alternative ways. If you are at that point and you realize your career will never be what you wanted it to be and what you had worked for up until that point, the implications of being banned after trying to go to the next level through doping are not much worse.
But what would be the alternative? Hanging in there with the understanding that you will never be part of the celebrated top or quitting cycling as a pro after neglecting other parts of private and professional life to even get there.
It makes me remember an interview of German sprint ace Erik Zabel, himself not a bad cyclist, who describes the likes of Armstrong, Ulrich, Pantani as having "received a gift of god". That's what it must feel like to the ordinary amongst the peloton when you are facing the moment of truth regarding the differences of what individual athletes bodies' are able to achieve. I hope there is enough trust in WADA nowadays, that they feel injustice and scorn when finding out that somebody cheated and not "Maybe most of the riders better then me do?" or "Hm, I wonder what he has been using".
The problem at the source of doping is the expectations of results from racers, teams, the media and fans of the sport. As a racer I am lucky, as it is just a hobby and I feel that I can still improve a lot. As a fan, I know the sport well enough to recognize the effort and sportsmanship of the smaller heroes, e.g. Arashiro at this years TdF or James' daughter Tsukino are more inspiring than the fight for the podium at the Grand Tours after all.
They do the reports after the events as not to tarnish the races. Several years back The Tour ground to a stand still as riders were booted off the tour for doping violations and it was almost the death toll for the race.
The Tour De France is not actually a UCI race so WADA has no authority over the testing of riders and it is done by several labs. WADA is still very trusted and they are more into the research of new drugs and how to detect them than actually going out and checking the riders, they basically coordinating the different bodies. They aren't purely for cycling either and cove pretty much every professional sport out there.
As for Contador, innocent till proven guilty???? I think they already have.
A Christmas podium for the Grand Tours was pure irony born out of the frustration that the news about doping tour winners go on every year. I realize that that doing so is not an option as every good movie, story or sports event needs closure.
My main point was just trying to put into words, what I think is the rationale behind doping. Citing WADA as one of the doping bodies, was not to criticize or highlight them, but rather just as an example for the anti-doping efforts I am not too knowledgeable about. I am just wondering, whether amongst the pros there is enough trust in those agencies and the effectiveness of anti-doping upon hearing such news. Or if there is rather some form of general distrust in the sense of "all my competitors are potential dopers" or also "WTF is WADA doing when Conta's readings were that low?!". (Maybe they just dislike his fingerbanging victory salute)
I feel like I have written too much about this already. I'm interested to see how this one plays out, but cycling should be entertainment on and about the bike. Worlds '10 for example
Ok.... basically the WADA control and coordinate the monitoring of athletes, if a red flag is raised they then inform the correct sporting body. WADA has no authority over suspension or banning of Athletes it’s basically their job to test or have tested all the samples from all the sports they cover.
Basically it’s the UCI that is to question here, they found 50 picograms, 1 trillion picograms to 1 gram) and as I mentioned it’s 400 times less than what the anti-doping laboratories accredited by the WADA must be able to detect, but under the terms and conditions if a red flag is raised they MUST report it to the WADA and then on to the governing body…. In this case the UCI.
Now the question is, if the UCI thinks this warrants further investigation, it means it is not conclusive and that they don’t have all the evidenc e. So why are they suspending him and why announce it now with the season well and truly over?
It’s not as if he’s going to miss any races. So why not keep a lid on it and wait till they have all the evidence or conclusive results one way or another?
Basically it’s a classic knee jerk reaction or a press leak by someone on the books.
As for clenbuterol, im no expert but wht I have read is that its stays in the body a long time, a very long time! So after a whole season of racing and being tested at every single grand tour why has there been on one red flag on one day from one sample that is so low it wouldn’t have had any benefit anyway….especially on a rest day!
So what do I make of all this…
WADA and its accredited labs are bloody good and they will catch you if you cheat!
The UCI however need to get all the evidence and fact together before ruining someone’s life regardless if they are guilty or innocent.
as much as I hate the guy... I don't think this warrants a 'positive doping' result....
but I love to read between the lines whenever Lance or other suspects 'deny' doping....
Contador defended himself against from accusations that his positive doping test was the result of a blood transfusion, telling Reuters today that he never received transfusions during the Tour de France
Lets face it - there is a very fine line these days from advanced nutricals and pharma products. They are cutting the tolerances so close that if ate 4 burgers at Micky D's you'd test positive for roids. And on top of that you have the allowed pharms which also come very close to banned substances. So - where is the line? Do you just demand all racers only eat and drink 'kosher' foods? No use whatsoever of ANY supplements, adjuncts or pharms? This is all becoming far too silly - and I agree with Lance on this one - its a witch hunt. I say let the pros dope! Dope as much as they want! We want to see the fastest rider . period. Why worry whether they are doping or not? At the end of the day its alot more about strategy, team and genetics than it is about drug assistance. Cyclists have 'doped' since the very first race ever - and they'll continue until the last.
It's all getting rather technical (as it should be) but if it was a transfusion, as some of the press seem to be suggesting today, wouldn't the increased number of red blood cells also show up on his "passport"? Or are these only in use by certain teams?