Quote of the Day
It couldn’t seem to get any worse than last year’s debacle with Floyd Landis’s yet-to-be-legally-decided positive doping test, but it has.
Velonews reports Rasmussen has been yanked from the tour and fired by Rabobank for lying about his whereabouts in June. He was in Italy, not Mexico as claimed, the report says. He had seemingly secured the GC win with a stage victory today. Also at CyclingNews. Expect this to be all over. This appears to be driven by a report by an Italian journalist who claims to have seen Ras in Italy around Jun 13-14 when he had told the team he was in Mexico
The CyclingNews posts Floyd Landis' reaction to the news that L'Equipe once again leaked positive A sample test results from the LNDD , this time in the case of blood tranfusions by Alexander Vinokourov:
"Just as in my case, LNDD (Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage / National Anti-doping Laboratory) has leaked the test results to l'Equipe, permanently damaging Vino's reputation and causing him to defend an allegation without any evidence. Furthermore, it is similar to my case because the LNDD's leaked results have the potential to alter the outcome of the Tour de France before they have proved the alleged doping violation,"
IHT also carries Landis' reaction to Vino along with other Tour doping news.
The CyclingNews also reports another positive test result from Stage 11, this time for testosterone. As always L'Equipe reports the leaked result from the LNDD:
One day after Alexandre Vinoukourov was said to have tested positive for a blood transfusion, news of another positive doping control has hit the Tour de France. L'Equipe reported Wednesday afternoon that one sample from stage 11 has tested positive for testosterone. The analysis to determine if the testosterone was of exogenous origin has already been completed, and the IRMS confirmed that the chemical came not from the rider's body but from a man-made source. The name of the rider is to be released at 15.00 CET.
Correspondent Marc writes that L'Equipe says it's Cristian Moreni of Cofidis who was the new testosterone positive.
CNN International confirms Moreni as the cyclist who tested positive for exogenous testosterone:
The Cofidis rider, who failed a dope test after the 11th stage of the race from Marseille to Montpellier, was arrested shortly after the end of the 16th stage at the Col d'Aubisque.
The hotel of the Cofidis team in Lescar was also raided by police, a witness added.
The piece goes on to mention Floyd Landis and his positive test for the same substance after last year's Tour de France.
Guardian (UK) is reporting Vino as denying doping, claiming "victimization", and wondering if this is a side effect of the treatment for his crash:
Today he insisted he has done nothing wrong. "It's a mistake. I never doped, that's not the way I see my profession," he said. "I think it's a mistake in part due to my crash. I have spoken to the team doctors who had a hypothesis that there was an enormous amount of blood in my thighs, which could have led to my positive test."
AFP via Yahoo says Cycling at the Olympics is at risk because of the scandals.
Summit (CO) Daily/O'Neil sums up:
In parting, just to take stock: We've got an entire sport (cycling) teetering on collapse yet again, we've got a superstar NFL quarterback charged with killing animals for money, we've got an NBA referee facing a game-fixing probe, and the greatest record in sports is about to be broken by a steroids user.
Thank heavens for college softball.
IOL quotes cyclist Mark Cavendish as saying that those who are caught doping should be sent to prison.
Amgen Tour of California isn't doing the Prolog in San Francisco next year, they're moving to Palo Alto.
USA Today notes Rasmussen's dismissal and Vino's positive in reviews of Positively False and From Lance to Landis, Despite recent occurances, Landis comes off better than Walsh, on the book front:
The real power of this book [Positively False] is as a document of the rigors of the pro cyclist's training and racing...
David Walsh's From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France, by comparison, seems like a wasted effort. Walsh is so determined to bring down seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong that he glosses over the bigger doping picture about which he seems to know a great deal. The book feels like a vendetta rather than an investigation.
Boulder Blog writes extensively on the Vino scandal with small mention of Floyd Landis, but ponders the interesting question of whether or not the Tour de France should just stop now. Joe Lindsey's head and heart disagree.
PJ wonders where we go from here, and notes the universal condemnation of Vino compared to restrained reactions on some other cases, even from those who have been inclined to give Landis some due-process deference.
Billy Barty Fan Club notes that will Al, Phil, Paul, Bob pounded Vino today, the uttered not one word about Landis.
SuperRookie also looks at reactions, and calls out Landis.
Now lets move on to Floyd Landis’ reaction. Sounds to me like someone has found out like his arbitration case came back against him and they are waiting till the tour is over to announce the findings. People that defend this doper make me shiver.
Bo's Bull Terrier is mad at Vino, but he wonders why they didn't find exo-T in Landis' other tour samples. I guess he didn't hear about the other B samples, where LNDD thinks they did find exo-T present.
Rambodoc at Large writes about doping in sports, and repeats an early, incorrect, explanation of last summer's Landis positive.
Pornotron is convinced that athletes are not bred for their brains, and all of the cheating to win proves it. He feels it's now time to go back to the simpler days of pure competition. Or at least, watch the circus without knowing the performers:
When is society going to wake the fuck up and realize that some punk from the ghetto, or some loser jock from a midwestern state high school with a D+ average, is not going to do anything for anybody at anytime, anywhere? I'm so tired of this, and I'm even more tired about the supposed "outrage" everybody seems to feel when these facts are aired for the entire world to see. The only thing that surprises me more is that it doesn't happen more. Let's face it, folks: They don't breed athletes for their smarts, their ethics, or even their common sense.
Which is more or less the attitude of much of the press, with an added, "so let's blame them and let everybody else off the hook!"
Velogal finds a depressingly apropos comment from Mark Twain.
T-Guy J is still watching the Tour despite everything, and he always will. He thinks that IF everyone doped and it would actually be OK by him. By the way, he remains convinced that Floyd Landis is innocent.
DutchMonkey thinks Vino may be the last of an era, and gets Landis' state correct.
BikeBuzz read Positively False, and thinks Floyd was sucking cowz nutz like candy. Which would be a good trick given a cow's gender.
The Baker Blog plays "Jeopardy" and notorious sports scum is the category.
Crookedshore feels the same disappointment as last year after Floyd Landis' triumph in Stage 17 and then downfall after doping allegations clouded his victory. It's deja vu all over again.
So Quoted hosts a Tour de France doping discussion and gives us a plug. Thanks.
Dugard agrees with Edward Wyatt of the NYT that the air has been let out of the Tour de France this year with doping allegations not even waiting for the Tour to end, he is afraid that we will have another "Floyd Landis situation" this year with no real winner declared. To reclaim the spirit of the race he tried hiking up the Col d'Aubisque, but he still fears that we will not get the kind of winner we need this year:
Although Rasmussen was roundly applauded today, his victory would be in the worst interests of cycling. He has always been dogged by doping rumors, and the last thing the Tour needs right now is a champion with a storm cloud brewing over his head. Even if he's clean, and if all those rumors are false -- remember, he does everything else right; trains at high altitude in Mexico City, carries zero fat on his body, and rides tactically smart -- cycling has been stained the rich maroon color of plasma. It is a stain that will not soon disappear. The sport needs a squeaky clean rider to step atop the podium in Paris Sunday, but it's not going to get one.
Sweet Victory writes of the mess:
Truth of the matter is, if Floyd Landis has taught us anything, it's this: testing procedures for cyclists suck and they need to be changed and how the news of failed tests is reported needs to be changed, too. As Floyd said in this great interview with ESPN, "All I want out of this is the next time Dick Pound opens his mouth and says someone is guilty, the rest of the world says, 'We'll wait and see.'"
Fair enough, Floyd: let's wait and see.
Incidentally, the fact that we even know about the failed test is further proof that the system is wrong
Tricia's Place read Positively False, and wishes it were longer.
SLXS give some reasons why the Tour is still great.
Avdat reminds us that it's Versus vs Versus with Floyd Landis supporter and cycling shill Robbie Ventura on the same program as Frankie Andrieu who has implicated Lance Armstrong as using PEDs:
Now I haven't watched today's coverage, which has to address the huge news of Vinokourov's positive test, and the entire Astana team withdrawing from the competition. But to this point, the Versus crew has definitely been shilling for the sport, rather than taking a hard look at its problems. There's analyst Robbie Ventura, Floyd Landis' ex-coach, flat out affirming the laughable notion that Landis is innocent. And there's the oft-repeated mantra of Bob ("Tour DAY France") Roll, the always funny and occasionally (if accidentally) profound ex-cyclist from California:
No sport has been hurt more by the scandal of doping than Cycling, and no sport has done more to address the problem than Cycling.
Just wait until he hears that Michael Rasmussen has been kicked out by Rabobank.
The Man from O.N.K.E.N. feels that cycling really IS a failed sport, at this point few would argue with him.
Winning the Turnover Battle thinks that with things going the way they are an American MIGHT just win the Tour de France again this year.
Marty McCrory is still on vacation, but he knows that the Tour is a mess, and that Floyd Landis did call WADA's bluff. Still it might not be enough to curb the injustices in cycling
Basically, it boils down to this fact: the riders and fans want to see swift justice brought upon the dopers in the tour. However, swift justice isn’t the answer. Seeing riders who may or may not be guilty of doping banned from the tour (did Vino’s ENTIRE TEAM dope? I highly doubt it) can only serve to ruin the sport of cycling. The UCI needs to let up on the willy-nilly doping allegations and approach this situation from a completely different (and more level-headed) perspective. The UCI is killing professional cycling, not the doping riders.
Racejunkie feels that at this sorry point one thing is clear, the French don't know how to manage things. With the Landis affair starting to pale in comparison to this weeks' happenings it's clear that perhaps Floyd had a point:
Y'know, entertaining as all this has been in a furtive shameful National Enquirer sort of way--particularly in the wake of the French and Germans forming a get-tough gruppetto to cleanse the sport (being such sterling examples themselves, right T-Mobile?)--I must ask UCI and ASO, who have spent the last year attacking Floyd Landis for daring to speak out in his own defense while they prematurely raked him over the coals to every TV show and magazine on earth short of Sesame Street and "Highlights," where is your outrage over the blabbermouthed protocol-ignoring and above all incompetent LNDD lab monkeys leaking Vinokorouv's results to everyone on earth (just like with Floyd) before the ink's even dry on the latest set of mislabeled samples? Forgive me, I must have forgotten that the rules needn't be enforced against the self-righteous hypocrites who knowingly let a gigantic pool of dopers into this year's Tour in the first place...