Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Roundup

In our masthead picture above, the Phonak rider in front of Landis is Robbie Hunter, winner of today's stage at the Tour. Cheers for Hunter!


The Sunday Times UK prints a story in which Floyd Landis says, among other things, that it's no longer about him but about changing an unfair anti doping system. But the article seems slanted against Landis as it mentions that his accomplishment last year in Stage 17 of the TdF strains belief "for some", and that that people still support him even though they feel he may have doped is depressing. Naturally the author cites The Call as an example of a further strain on the credibility and character of Landis:

“I am not going to defend that call, but it wasn’t blackmail,” Landis says. “It was just a dumb teenage joke. LeMond’s got a lot of problems. Something bad is going to happen to that guy if he doesn’t get himself together.

He needs help. If he was molested as a kid, that’s a terrible thing. But I also know that it is totally disingenuous for him to say he’s trying to clean up the sport. He’s a hypocrite.”

It is a charge that has been thrown at Landis many times, but he claims to have stopped worrying about how people regard him. “I know a lot of people think I’m guilty,” he says. “The damage is done, but it doesn’t matter to me any more. Let’s at least get a system we can trust because right now it’s chaos.”

There are a few interesting comments, (which look heavily moderated), including:

The doping rules make athletes responsible for whatever is in their bodies. If an athlete tests positive, then he is banned. This is to stop athletes claiming that they did not know that they had taken the banned substance. Those claims are difficult to disprove even if the athlete is lying. So the opportunity to lie has been taken away. The same system is used to ban drunk drivers. The quid pro quo for athletes (and drunk drivers) is that the testing system has to be rigorous and without error. As athletes may not try to explain away the presence of banned substances in their samples, laboratories may not explain away discrepancies in their tests. Quite apart from anything else, the admitted discrepancies in the testing processes mean that Landis should not be convicted of doping.

Iain Thorpe, Wellington, New Zealand

The Thorpedo? Probably not.

The Daily Peloton has a piece about doping in cycling and how the actual use of PEDs may be more placebo effect than reality and that the drugs may do more harm than good.

The Hollywood Rerporter notes the loss of German TV coverage of the Tour to yet one more doping allegation.

The CyclingNews notes the Sinkewitz positive and of course cites Floyd Landis in the piece.

Letters in CyclingNews
talk about Lemond and fair testing.

Fora.TV has high quality video of Corte Madera book tour stop. Worthy moments are how "feed zones" are "places where you crash", and how doping enforcement is like, uh, civilization.

Human Powered Transport passes a rumor Rasmussen has tested "non-neg" for testosterone and is going to be bounced from the tour in a few days.

Glendora Mountain Road visited the Pasadena Borders yesterday to see Floyd Landis who was a half hour late due to freeway traffic. Glendora provides some of the Q&A that preceded the book si

Racejunkie talks mostly Sinkewitz, but provides a disturbing image:
"Floyd Landis (thrown to the sharks like a bikini-clad bimbo in a 3-D Jaws sequel)"

Laurel's TV Picks reminds us that Floyd Landis will be on Last Call with Carson Daly tonight. Check your local listings.

TV Squad also takes note of the scheduled Landis appearance on "Last Call" tonight. Time to fire up the DVR.

Rant has some short takes today , and is upset that a NYT piece on Patrik Sinkewitz doesn't have any comments form the subject himself. And "bonk" is our word of the day.

Poker in Progress has been a "slacker" and thinks he needs whatever is was Floyd Landis used.

Sports Blog tells a friend why he is NOT watching the Tour de France this year, and is of the opinion that Floyd Landis will soon be returning his yellow jersey from last year's TdF.

Cerebral Jetsam mourns the loss of his afternoon TdF break in light of the Sinkewitz scandal, and wonders if maybe EPO or some other PED could make him write faster?

Joe Biker gives us satire this morning in the guise of a press release in which cycling is said to be grateful to other current sports scandals for getting it off the front pages.

Digg writes about the alleged upcoming battle between Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis at Leadville.

Random Thoughts thinks Floyd Landis may be at home laughing his ass off about the Sinkewitz situation, probably not.

Joe Schmoe links in a friend who went to the signing in Pasadena, with pix.

Peterson Weaver et al. Family Blog posts about Floyd Landis' appearance at the Pasadena Borders last night. He provides some interesting links, and appreciates Floyd's opinion that the fans of his that are still with him are the smart ones. Below is a pictures from the event.

Cyclocosm is upset about innaccuracies in a BBC report, but is happy for Robert Hunter (who is pictured way up top leading Landis)

wonders if we should convict Michael Vick in the media a la Floyd Landis. At least Landis, thus far, has not been accused of torturing animals.

Dale Murray went to Oak Park, and got the picture he wanted by shouting, "Landis, you have dreamy eyes!"

View from the cheap seats is ready to give up on prohibiting steroids.

Amateur TriGirl
relates a presentation by Forensic Chemist Robert Blackledge, retired from the NCIS lab in San Diego, and he doesn't like the case against Landis.


Mike Solberg said...

The Daily Peloton piece on the (non) effects of doping was interesting. Thanks for linking to it, TbV. I think way too many people just assume that doping is a magic bullet to victory. Some of the most up to date research on the physiology of endurance performance (like the latest edition of Tim Noakes "The Lore of Running") questions whether the whole paradigm (based on VO2max) of the last 50 years is really right. In any case, the impact of various types of doping is very complex, and of questionable value.

Sorry, no Landis content, but I think it's fascinating!


pcrosby said...

Follow on to Mike.

Maybe the willingness of so many people to believe soneone is doping is based on the tendancy to think that there is a silver bullet for everything - whether a cure for a disease or getti88ng faster/stonger.

It is a shame that research on purported PED's isn't or can't be conducted on healthy folks/athletes. I assume that the focus of research for the Anit Doping Assoc.'s is on detection of assumed PED's and masking agents. It might take a while, but using some of their money to fund research on the actual benefits of a PED could result in it being abandoned as a tool.

The biggest hurdle is the guidelines for human research. It might be possible to skirt them by making participation in a study a means for a suspended athlete to cut their time reduced. You would not have large, double blind studies, but it might be possible for an admintted doper to be tested using and then not using. Probably pretty expensive, but the results probably could be generalized for endurance sports, etc., and give rise to a body of science that would educate and reduce use.
Pete Crosby

wschart said...

While not directly connected to Landis, it does go to the idea often mentioned by Landis (and Lance) detractors that a clean rider cannot win, hence Landis (and Lance) must have doped.

Cycle racing, even a one day race, is far more complicated than that. If rider A is 5% or 10% faster than rider B, rider Bmay be smarter, have a better team, be better bike handler, or just plain have more luck than rider A and so be able to beat him.

Michael said...

Check out the news about Rasmussen on Velonews.

WHY would the Danish Cycling Union make this announcement now?

The people at the top of cycing organizations ARE IDIOTS!!!! Do they even care about their paychecks???

Mike Solberg said...

I agree. The timing of making this Rasmussen thing public is just stupid.

strbuk said...

Professional cycling once again shoots itself in the foot, it's baffling.


Michael said...

In response to Zoochblogs post:

Is it worse to dope oneself or torturing dogs a la Michael Vick? At least if one were to dope, they'd only be hurting themselves physically.

I'm thinking I have a NO RESPECT for Vick and anyone closely related to him.

calfeegirl said...

I'm not so sure it's cycling that's shooting itself in the foot, though it's certainly helping those that would shoot it in the back.... (here, let me hold the gun steady for you...)

Rasmussen has been targeted by UCI for training in Mexico in a non-team jersey. Remember that article back in June? (

Think that it's just the Danish authorities at work here? I'm not usually a conspiracy kind of girl, but this looks too fishy to be on the up and up.

"Rasmussen was questioned by reporters earlier this week about his training schedule. He regularly trains in Mexico, his wife's native country, which is far from the usual routes of cycling's antidoping officials. Rasmussen also said that he sometimes trains in a neutral jersey, so that he does not attract attention from fans, a practice that has been labeled suspicious by antidoping officials."

Heaven help the riders...hopefully they will help themselves!! They need some leadership from within the Peloton to organize.

Oh well, it's easy to be the armchair quarterback. It's not my neck or career on the line. I just love watching them ride, and watching the game play out. The riders are great...thanks for the inspiration, guys (and girls)!