Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday Roundup

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.

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...


Danny said...

Are there no sanctions against this lab which repeatedly violates disclosure requirements? Let me see if I understand this, Vino, essentially out of the yellow jersey, a a consistent top GC finisher and multi stage winner who test negative before and during the race decides to blood dope the easiest thing to detect. And once again the press know about it before he does. He has to be either the dumbest rider in the tour or something is up. This is the 2nd time that this lab finds doping of a highly ranked non french rider at the end of the tour who has no history or suspision of doping.I trust nothing that comes out of that Lab

Unknown said...

It is time for some serious change in the way athletes are treated. It is not comprehensible to me that the same mistakes would be repeated over and over, meaning the leaks.
How can we be so stupid as to numbly accept the results? We (fans, athletes, professional organizations) need to be sure these tests are accurate and we are not sure. The International Olympic Organization, its Board Members, and the member countries need to take some decisive action to assure this is not repeated. I don't mean a piecemeal change, I mean a complete overhaul including:
- standard procedures for testing that are understood in detail to be foolproof or close to it (get it from testing pros who designed the software and equipment)
- Oversight by the labs by professionals who understand exactly what the technicians are really doing (as opposed to what they believe they are doing which is a highly bureaucratic system where managers are not aware of the details of their employees instead are more concerned about being published)
- A check on any lab, i.e. Sample A tested in one lab and B in another
- buy in from the member organizations

That would be a good start. Lance Armstrong has had a tough time with it but would be an excellent advocate. I would like to see some of the warriors involved too like Kloeden, Gabel, Hincapie. I feel like they think there is too much to lose to speak out and they are right as individuals but the athletes as a group need to take a stand.

wschart said...

I see a mention of a brief protest by 6 French teams and the German team Gerolsteiner at the start of today's stage. This was linked to a "Movement for Creditable Cycling". I googled this and found a brief mention of this. Apparently this has been recently formed and makes mention of following ethical standards. However, I can't really determine if they are protesting violations of ethical standards by the dopers or the violations of ethical standards by the leakers. Anyone know anything more about this?

Unknown said...

I see other violations as well, by the vast number of doping riders. But as normal you guys on this forum ignore them and seem to thik that discussing the lab is more important. TBV is the least balanced discussion forum I have ever come across.

Once again I'll point out to you guys who never seem to get it, I'll start putting it in bold so the dumber of you guys begin to get it, THE VAST NUMBER OF CHEATING CYCLISTS THAT EXIST ARE THE PROBLEM WITH CYCLING AND ARE WHAT WE SHOULD BE DISCUSSING.

Unknown said...

I generally agree with daniel, except that Vino has been "suspected" of doping by many. Operative word is suspected.

My points in previous posts have been about anti-doping officials not follow thier own rules, leading to leaks of what is supposed to be confidential information that is among the few protections afforded to riders under the rules as written.

Anti-doping officials would make significant improvement in this cluster &*%# of a process if they would only follow the rules that they, themselves, authored.

Unknown said...

There is certainly a problem with doping in the sport. However, it is difficult for an unbiased observer to know what is actually going on. The details of the arbitration were very revealing for me because they illustrated ongoing problems with oversight that the overseeing bodies should be able to fix. There are so many problems with oversight I think we need to look at this. If done correctly, we can all be SURE, bi_anne2001, when doping has occurred. We need to observe facts, science, and process. Accusations should not be in the media until the accusations can be proven, i.e. B sample done CORRECTLY.

I can't speak for the other members on this forum, but I can say that I am not ignoring anything. I am; however, highly skeptical that the tests are being professionally administered and we all KNOW that the leaks are going on despite be a clear violation of rules.

We need to separate doping and oversight. Yes doping needs to be brought under control. But it can't be done without responsible and credible oversight.

Unknown said...

I think I can understand your frustration with riders that dope. The problem is that we don't know who they actually are. Ken at global view wrote much more eloquently than me about problems with the anti-doping system currently in place. On a very basic level, the repetitive leaks in violation of rules written by the anti-doping authorities and the lack of action to put a stop to the practice of repetitive leaks, shows a lack of oversight and a lack of professionalism. That casts the rest of the anti-doping process in doubt. Couple that with revelations of LNDD's shoddy lab work and poor lab practices via Floyd's hearing, and I think there is some reason to doubt the truth of the leaked results on Vino, and now, Moreni.

Until the anti-doping authorities clean up their own house, it's impossible to know who is actually doping. Given the present system, it's not to much of an exageration to proffer that we might have results nearly as accurate if we just throw darts. Much less expensive too.

I'm not saying Vino didn't dope. I have no way of knowing. I'm also not saying he did dope. The (disfuntional) system that is currently in place has not yet gotten to the point where anyone else can reasonably know, one way or the other, either.

Unknown said...

Assuming that Marc is right and L'Equipe is attibuting the lab as its source and not misdireting us, then it means either that WADA has failed to take steps to separate the identification of riders and the samples or that an anti-doping agency receiving notice of a positive A test is feeding the information back to the lab. Either is a violation of its own rules which has been repeated adn, as far as we can tell is neither investigated or sanctioned.

I visualize the anti-doping powers standing around patting each other on the back for catching another one, rather than being concerned about the breach of rules and confidentiality. Such results keep them in grant money, positions of influence and self importance.

I honestly try not to be a conspiracy nut, but I find the timing of the drug related news interesting. Rasmussen's reporting lapses seemed to pop out when it got maximum impact. Maybe that was kismet, maybe it became newsworthy as he held the yellow jersey, or maybe it was underscored when it would get the maximum press. This time around I have to ask who benefits from the sample handling rules being broken?

Regardless, someone at the IOC should be concerned about whether or not WADA will be able to follow its own rules at the upcoming Olympics and insist on answers.

I had wondered if the shake up/disconnect between actual and expected performances by many riders reflected a cleaner Peloton. Given the lab involved and patent failure to clean up basic control requirements we may never know.
Pete Crosby

Julie Freeman said...

We can't condemn the riders with a process through which simple rules of identification and custody of samples are violated at every turn. How can the riders, the press or any fair minded person expect reliable results? Isn't anyone else bothered by the fact that Moreni's identity is leaked, he's abandoned by his team and he's lead away by the police? LNDD is now leaking to the French police? Maybe he's gulity, but he's entitled to due process.

lenf said...

" Isn't anyone else bothered by the fact that Moreni's identity is leaked, he's abandoned by his team and he's lead away by the police?"

Given that he has admitted he was doping, no, the leak doesn't bother me at all.

Too bad the other riders (including one from last year) don't have the same personal courage.

Unknown said...

Interesting take Lenf,

Here is what EuroSport reported:
"The sponsors of Cofidis immediately asked the team's sports director, Eric Boyer, to pull his riders out before any decision had been made by the race organisers.

Boyer said they would forego their right to ask for analysis of a 'B' sample."

It doesn't say that Moreni admitted to anything. It says the team will not contest the leaked result.

The problem is that it's not the team's decision. Contesting or not contesting by asking for an analysis of the B-Sample is up to Moreni.

Seems Cofidis doesn't have a good understanding or respect for the rules either?????

Unknown said...

So why the big deal about LNDD's Leaks?

The tests that LNDD attempts are often long and complex procedures consisting of many individual steps. Each step must be performed with precision, without error or omission, in order to produce valid, reliable results. Since LNDD is unable to control leaks of the results of these procedures, one has to ask how well it controls the procedures themselves.

The answer of course, as provided by the Landis arbitration hearing, is not well at all. And the consequence is that LNDD's results are not reliable at all.


lenf said...

"It doesn't say that Moreni admitted to anything. It says the team will not contest the leaked result. The problem is that it's not the team's decision. Contesting or not contesting by asking for an analysis of the B-Sample is up to Moreni."

From Velonews:
The news came as a heavy blow to Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer, has for years been staunchly outspoken about the evils of doping in cycling.

"Christian apologized for having hurt us and he also apologized to his family, his teammates and the organizers of the Tour de France," Boyer told L'Equipe TV. "He did not ask for the B sample confirmation because he acknowledges having doped. He is assuming responsibility and is absolving the team, including our medical personnel, from responsibility. I blame myself and take responsibility for not having been present in the difficult moments when he gave into temptation."

Unknown said...

lenf is correct about Moreni's admission. I was wrong.


The following is from EuroSport and was not available to me at the time of my previous posting:

Boyer, who has been at the forefront of the fight against doping in the sport since he took over the team in June 2005, said that Moreni had put his hand up.

"I spoke to Moreni and he admitted to me straight away that he had used a medicine that caused him to test positive for testosterone," said Boyer.


I'm still curious why Moreni/Cofidis was allowed to ride the difficult stage when the timing of the leak indicated authorities knew about the AAF prior to the start of the stage????

Unknown said...

Rabobank kicks Rasmussen out of the tour:

This is starting to read like a bad mystery novel.

Mike Solberg said...

TbV 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."

And that was before Rasmussen.


I think the image of Moreni being led away in handcuffs might get some riders' attention. We can hope.

Julie Freeman said...

I'm totally at a loss. They kick the winner out before he wins this year? At least, that doesn't leave some of the messy questions like last year. I wasn't a conspiracy theorist has got to wonder.

Unknown said...


The head of cycling’s world governing body says it would be bad for the sport if Rasmussen goes on to win the race.

“With all this speculation around him it would be better if somebody else were to win,” UCI president Pat McQuaid told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Monday. “The last thing this sport needs is more speculation about doping.”


ASO president Patrice Clerc turned up the heat Tuesday when he said, "Rasmussen shouldn't have been allowed to start the Tour."


The President of ASO doesn't want Rasmussen in the race. The UCI President preferes Rasmussen not win the 2007 TdF.

Was the fix in? Did the UCI and/or ASO pressure Rabobank to withdraw Rasmussen to make sure he would leave the race and not claim a win in the 2007 edition of the TdF????

Not saying it happened for sure, but I'd like the winner to be determined by his riding. I'm not so enthusiastic about the winner being manipulated by tossing riders ASO and UCI don't like.

Unknown said...

Will the ASO and UCI be okay with Discovery Team riders earning high placings on GC???????

Is there more sorting out yet to come????????

lenf said...


If you do a bit more reading on this, I think you might find that Ras's team made the discovery and tossed him for lying to them.

True, a lot of officials, and most of the fans at the race, it seems, wanted him out. That might be simply because they'd rather have a shot at a legitimate winner this year. Unlike last year, I mean.

Jeff said...

Is this not the UCI and WADA trying to exert it's influence of the ASO? If the next sentiment to emerge here is, "See, we left it up to those guys and here is where we now stand. So now, we (UCI) are taking over the tour."

Sounds like politics in the making.....

Unknown said...

If you do a bit more reading on this, I think you'll find that Ras's team (Rabobank) is reported to have been served up information that Rasmussen may have been in Italy rather than Mexico, by a journalist, as Ras is reported to have told his team.

This is reported to be the basis on which he was pulled from the TdF while leading on GC shortly after winning the final mountains stage.

Hope the journalist has date stamped photos (un messed around with) or some other form of strong proof.

IMHO the 2006 TdF did have a legit winner. He's often written about here on TBV. The arbitrators have yet to make their ruling.

You prefer OP ?????

atown, tx. said...

wow... I thought it would get worse this year but, wow.....what a French goat rodeo! Complete with Dancing Monkeys!

I saw something saying that Contrador was one of the speculated Pureto names. Is this true? Is he next?

Unknown said...

Rabobank has to be championed in Ras's sacking; although it may not have been so wise to allow him to start they did not compound that but forcing him in the tour with ultimate victory so strongly in they grasp; hopefully the rest of the team will continue, as the team sponsor can hold it's head high. That's the difference between csc and rabobank.

nahual said...

Hey bi_anne2001, hows ‘bout listing the names of “….the vast number of cheating cyclists that exist…….” I’m certain the innocent ones would like to have you as a defendant for slander, defamation, and harming a career.

Perhaps the reason no one takes to your line of thought is that it is nonsense. The guilty ones are a done deal. You want to kick around a guilty person, that’s rather sadistic doncha think?. Or we’re you wishin’ and hopin’ somebody would ask your opinion?

Because of shoddy, “good enough”, “based on my experience” scientific practices out of Parisian Labs, that lab and that process has raised its profile to one of being highly suspect for dubious results.

Don’t yell at us, get your own blog and see who shows up?

Luisita said...

Very, very sad days for cycling. :-(

Sachi Wilson

Linda said...

Ken wrote, "It is time for some serious change in the way athletes are treated." I think you are right. Michael Rasmussen ought to sue. It is hardly a conspiracy theory to figure out what happened here. The Tour organizers along with the crazies in the anti-doping establishment didn't want him to win. When he did win today and Phil Legget declared him the likely winner of the Tour followed by Levi L. stating the same, there was only one thing to do. The sponsors of Ras's team pressured the team to fire Ras. Now why would the sponsor do that if they have the tour winner and there is no evidence of dopping? Someone put pressure on them. This is a tradgedy and a travesty. The tour is over.

Unknown said...

Quotes from this source:

From the spokesman from Rabobank:

"He broke team rules," said Jacob Bergsma, the team spokesman.

"It is not even sure if the team will carry on in the race," he added.
A get tough stance with team rules? Sounds kind of over the top. Hope they have sound proof. There is a lot riding on it. jrd

"We did all we could do to get rid of him," Prudhomme told AFP.

"One cannot mock the Tour de France impunitively like those riders," he added, referring to Rasmussen, Cristiano Moreni - who also exited on Wednesday after failing a drugs test - and Alexandre Vinokourov who was thrown out on Tuesday.

Well, he got his wish..... jrd

Ken ( said...

OMG!!! This is unbelievable. This year's tour makes the Floyd Landis affair seem tame.

Rasmussen getting fired is stunning, but lying about which country his was in and thus missing his doping control tests was not a small offense. It would also be pretty easy to prove that he was not in the country he said he was going to be in. I don't see that Rabobank had much choice in the matter but to fire him. It is tragic.

The odds are stacked against Vino, but I'd prefer to wait for the B sample tests before passing judgment. I just hope that LNDD is running a tighter ship now then they were last year. Falsely accusing him due to sloppy lab work would be a crime worse than all of the doping athletes combined.

In regards Vino's cultural background, while it is not an indication of his guilt, most of my friends are from former Soviet Republics including the Ukraine, Vino's home country of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. They honestly don't see anything wrong with doping, they could simply care less about the issue. The best I can get out of them is to agree that athletes shouldn't take things that is harmful to them in the long run. To them getting worked up about doping is making a big deal out of nothing.

My Kazak friend has a propensity of "thumbing his nose" at "authority" in the most foolish ways almost as if doing things he shouldn't under the noses of authority is a matter of sport.

It simply would not be at all surprising to see an athlete from that part of the world to honestly not see the type of blood doping Vino is accused of doing as cheating and it wouldn't surprise me if one tried to get away with it even knowing they would probably be tested. Simply put when one comes from one of these countries where corruption is institutionalized one tends to have a habit of ignoring the rules. Quite simply they are so used to getting away with breaking the rules it doesn't occur to them they they will get caught.

This year's Tour de France is like watching a slow moving train wreck. You know it is coming and you know it will be bad but one just can't turn one's eyes away. Even without the doping drama the race is fascinating, the doping issue is turning it into a Shakespearian tragedy. One simply does not know who will be left standing at the end. I really wish it was just a bike race.

I do find it ironic that after all of the accusations against Lance Armstrong, this tour will be handed to Discovery with two Discovery riders likely standing on the podium because other teams were forced to withdraw over this issue.

nahual said...

Yo-yo'ing the Chicken.
Here's a link to Rabobank's site while it is still up.
[Open in new window]

From a news conference on tuesday:
"Sitting between the Dane and Rabo team director Theo de Rooij, Knijff stated “My conclusion is that, legally, there is no reason for Rasmussen to not participate in the Tour in the first place or to leave this competition.”"

lenf said...

jdr: "IMHO the 2006 TdF did have a legit winner. He's often written about here on TBV. The arbitrators have yet to make their ruling."

Nice try, jd, but you can't fool me that easily! LeMond wasn't even in the race last year!

Ken ( said...

Linda @ 4:14,

My last post was before I saw your post (it took me a long time to write).

As I eluded to above, I see a significant difference between what has been done to Rasmussen and the other riders who have been accused of doping during the tour for doping. The difference is that the others 'A' sample results were leaked in violation of UCI/WADA rules. Rasmussen has been fired from his team for lying to them about his where abouts in June and thus missing some out of competition drug testing controls. The only question I have is why we and/or Team Rabobank are only now learning of this issue? The team should have been made aware of his first missed test back in June. He should have never been allowed to start the tour. Somebody screwed up seriously in not making sure that the powers to be knew what had happened BEFORE the tour had started.

bostonlondontokyo said...

wow and double wow... I'm still just a bit stunned by the latest news - it is a somewhat noteable anomaly that Floyd's case has distinctly been relegated to the back burner in light this mass exodus from the TdF '07.

I am still just as unsure about what exactly happened back in July of '06, but I can't help but think that the latest events in this years TdF will cloud the atmosphere around the arbitrational decision. I'd like to think that there will be a fair decision handed down, and that it wouldn't be influenced by this mass of departures, but fate is often frighteningly predictable.

I'm seriously wondering if there will even be a TdF next year, or, even worse, who will want to participate, considering how rigorous the controls are in order for one to participate?

Well, I imagine the ratings will go up - people ADORE controversy.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

I feel like Wiley Coyote just hit by the Road Runner - out on business travel until I hit the hotel and the internet and saw the the photo of the gendarmes leading the Cofidis rider away. Serious exercise and copious alcohol still have not changed my feeling that cycling has been gut punched. No matter what one's take on particular racers, cycling, labs, etc., THIS IS SO SAD!

Unknown said...

Rasmussen was in the tour because he had not broken any current rule that would exclude him. The UCI, WADA, ASO, and Ras's own national federation may not like how close to the line Rasmussen came to crossing the line wrt the missing OoC tests and the paperwork he was required to file so that his whereabouts could be known to the testers, but he didn't quite cross the line.

Instead, Rabobank Team eliminated him from the race and gave him his walking papers for lying to them.

Some reports indicate Rasmussen admitted to lying to his team regarding his pre-tour travel.

UCI/WADA has had the machinery in place to ramp up testing on Rasmussen, given his "suspicious" travel. Their tests are purported (by WADA) to be nearly flawless. Why then has Rasmussen not returned an AAF from the ramped up testing. Surely we should know by now. Rasmussen would not be exempt from repetitive leaks, would he???

Rasmussen, as close as he came, did not commit a sanctionable offense, under current rules.

I'm guessing his team was coerced into sacking him or else face a worse fate???

Anonymous said...

call me paranoid......but me thinks the fix is on. Got a feeling this is going to make good ole Joe McCarthy look like a boy scout. Get ready for some careers to be ruined......

Unknown said...

I agree with most of what Ken has said. On Rasmussen...It isn't clear to me that they tried to do out of competition tests on him in Mexico and missed because he was in Italy. However, I think that Italy is the stomping grounds of Dick Pound's Dr. Death and there may be an assumption that Ras was "consulting" him.

If Ras did not miss a test and it was a matter of failing to advise WADA where he was - as first reported I think - then until the conflicting information came out the team did not have a basis for taking a major action. But I suspect that the step they took was with a push from the powers that be and in the middle of a veritable feces storm of bad news, leaks, rumors, unhappy national organizations and governments (Germany, Kazakhstan), as well as sponsors getting the shakes.

This really, really is one of the most bizarre goat ropes that I have observed. To cap this off we need to have the lab acknowledge that they screwed up Vino's Saturday test and his Tuesday (?) test to be clean (might be the only way they would make the admission) and leave us all just shaking our heads.

Enjoy the next few days; we may be seeing the last of the Tour de France. Do you think anyone is going to pick up even Discovery's sponsorship for next year?

Assuming Levi brings it home, how satisfying will that be? By the time they reach Paris they may have to be dodging eggs or, worse, there may not be many folks there.

Going to go home and watch the coverage and see if there is a scroll line at the bottom like last night.
Pete Crosby

Larry said...

There seems to be some confusion out here about why Rasmussen got kicked out of the Tour. Essentially, new facts emerged today. If these facts are true, then Rasmussen lied to his team (and to the rest of the world) DURING this year's Tour, when he provided his initial explanation of why he'd missed some required out-of-competition drug tests.

According to the reports that circulated last week, Rasmussen missed random drug tests on May 8 and June 28, because he had failed to notify the authorities of his whereabouts (as required under the UCI rules). When Rasmussen was asked last week to explain how he missed these tests and why he hadn't timely responded to inquiries sent by the UCI, Rasmussen responded that he was training in Mexico when these tests were supposed to take place, and he never received the UCI communications because he doesn't have a computer in Mexico.

It appears from today's reports that Rasmussen's team has learned that Rasmussen was in Italy during the period in question, not in Mexico. So, not only did Rasmussen fail to notify the authorities where he would be in May and June, and consequently miss the two out-of-competition drug tests ... he also lied subsequently about where he was and why he hadn't been able to receive the UCI communications.

On this forum, we try to give the athlete the benefit of the doubt. However, it is hard for me to believe that Rasmussen's team would have fired him without having pretty solid proof that Rasmussen was in Italy and not in Mexico. And if Rasmussen lied to his boss, particularly under these circumstances (where Rasmussen was making an excuse for having violated the UCI rules), then we need have no sympathy for him. Each and every one of us would be fired by our employers for comparable behavior.


Cosmo said...

Screw Rasmussen. I got up at 4:30 a.m. to watch the whole damn stage today. I watched Contador attack. I watched Leipheimer sell out to set up Contador...watched him drop Sastre. Then I watched Rasmussen drop them both. I was amazed. It was like he knew he could do it and was toying with them a la Lance v. Ullrich with "the look" a few years back.

That's all gone now. The only thing left now is to remain a fan of cycling, pray that Conta and Levi are clean and watch them take 1 and 3 in the TDF...pending final drug analysis.

Please let them be clean. Please. Please. Please.

lenf said...

For all the leak conspiracy folks, from Bicycling's Boulder Blog live reports on Stage 16...

"According to Bicycling's Euro correspondent, there was no leak. Here's how it went down: The UCI, which had jurisdiction over the test, told Astana about the A sample. Astana officials told Tour officials, who asked Astana to withdraw from the race. Astana complied and sent out a press release at 6pm Swiss time (5pm French time) to that effect. There was no leak..."

Which, of course, doesn't mean Landis isn't correct in saying there are parallels in the two cases. They both uncovered doping.

Ken ( said...

I just heard Bob Roll on Versus extended coverage say that Vino has had AAF on 'A' samples from two different stages. That is not good at all.

5-iron said...

Dang, I go to work in the morning then come home at night and look what happens. It is so very sad. I worry that Vs. will not carry the race next year, that sponsors will pull out 'en masse', and I will not get my racing fix. Geesh, if teams keep leaving, maybe we'll see Dave Z on the podium Sunday (sarcasm intended - I know he's out).


TiGirl said...

There's a lot of misinformation out there on the web and in the news. I wouldn't trust any of the sources at this time, there's too much being thrown at the press and public at one time.

Once the fervor dies down a little, we can sit back and view the information with a little less emotion and more fact-finding intent.

Depeche Mode has a good lyric:

Title: A Pain That I'm Used To

I'm not sure what I'm looking for anymore
I just know that I'm harder to console
I don't see who I'm trying to be instead of me
But the key is a question of control

Can you say what you're trying to play anyway
I just pay while you're breaking all the rules
All the signs that I find have been underlined
Devils thrive on the drive that is fueled

All this running around, well it's getting me down
Just give me a pain that I'm used to
I don't need to believe all the dreams you conceive
You just need to achieve something that rings true

There's a hole in your soul like an animal
With no conscience, repentance, oh no
Close your eyes, pay the price for your paradise
Devils feed on the seeds of the soul

I can't conceal what I feel, what I know is real
No mistaking the faking, I care
With a prayer in the air I will leave it there
On a note full of hope not despair

All this running around, well it's getting me down
Just give me a pain that I'm used to
I don't need to believe all the dreams you conceive
You just need to achieve something that rings true

Linda said...


This a setup. These anti-doping authorities want riders who will kowtow to them, which is why they stated they didn't want Rasmussen to win but a new, young one, i.e., someone without the clout, confidence or money to stand up to them. Why should anyone kowtow to this outfit after what we have learned from the Floyd Landis case? And that's the point. They are going bonkers trying to assert the authority that Landis undermined big time. After throwing out Rasmussen, I think a win by anyone else at the 2007 Tour de France is meaningless. The guy rode his heart out today, which must have been difficult with the reported group of booing fans picketing him. Why they were picketing and booing I have no idea since to my knowledge there is no evidence from any of the testing they've done that he was doping. But evidence is no longer required these days, not even weak evidence, only an accusation. I wasn't booing. I was cheering Ras on in a fantastic ride. For me the Tour de France ended today and Ras is the winner. And I don't think I will watch it next year. I have lived through the unfounded attacks on Lance; the near destruction of Floyd's career supported by no evidence, just vindictiveness; and now this. Watching the Tour has become far too painful. The other night Bob Roll said cycling is about pain and revenge, apparently that applies to spectators and the so called authorities governing the sport too. Well, I've had enough!

Eightzero said...

lenf said: "According to Bicycling's Euro correspondent, there was no leak. Here's how it went down: The UCI, which had jurisdiction over the test, told Astana about the A sample. Astana officials told Tour officials, who asked Astana to withdraw from the race. Astana complied and sent out a press release at 6pm Swiss time (5pm French time) to that effect. There was no leak..."

Can someone who knows what the rules are (bill?) comment on this? I think UCI is supposed to be the first to be told by the lab. But Astana is not a ProTour team; they were at the TdF as a "wildcard" invitation. Likely the same rules apply, but don't those rules currently require confidentiality? UCI tells team, team tells leTour, le Tour can do whatever they want? I wouldn't be surprised, but if that's the case, why do we bother with confidentiality? Why not let the lab tell L'Equipe and the other tabloids directly? Why bother with a "B" sample at all? (hint: maybe because sometimes the lab makes mistakes?)

What is really incomprehensible is all the people telling us "the system works." How much more evidence do we need to demonstrate the system is seriously flawed?

Larry said...

Linda -

It's not a setup. From everything I've heard and read, the riders are happy to see Rasmussen gone.

Rasmussen's failure to report his whereabouts, and his failure to be present for out-of-competition testing, is terrible stuff. Just read what Lance Armstrong had to say about it, and Lance is nobody's toady. Or Bobby Julich, who's been reporting on And those were comments that Armstrong and Julich made before today's revelations, where we learned that Rasmussen lied to everyone during the Tour, when he said that he missed the out-of-competition tests because he was training in Mexico.

You have to ask, why did Rasmussen take such risks to hide his whereabouts from authorities for the two months prior to the Tour de France? The period of time where, if one wanted to cheat, the cheating would do the most to help your performance?

It's bad, bad stuff.

Now, if you want to engage in speculation, please explain how a 33 year old bicycle rider (that's close to retirement age) was suddenly riding the road race of his life. Rasmussen has never won a road race before. He's won stages, king of the mountain kind of stuff, but never a road race. He never even placed on the PODIUM at a road race. Now, he was poised to win the greatest road race of them all, and maybe even the King of the Mountains competition at the same time. It's been about 40 years since someone won the yellow and polka dot jersey in the same year -- that was Eddy Merckx, who Lance calls the greatest rider of all time.

So ... you can see that Rasmussen's performance this year was highly suspicious.

Even if Rasmussen can prove that he did NOT lie about his whereabouts in May and June ... he brought this on himself by failing to follow the rules for out-of-competition testing.

m said...

Some of you defenders of Landis and the "rights of the riders" are in denial.

The prevalence of doping means that you can't give the riders the "benefit of the doubt". The dopers are destroying the sport/business.

It's better to err on the side of conviction/guilt as a deterrent to any of the riders to even attempt doping. Better to convict an innocent than to allow so many dopers to go free and destroy the sport. This is about a sport and business. They can make whatever rules they need to survive and prosper. How many other employees get a B test before they are fired for drug use?

The drug tests and the testing regimes (testing everyone all the time) cannot be even 95% accurate, without being too expensive to implement. Indeed it appears that the testing regime is so hit and miss that many dopers can dope with impunity. Given that there will always be error in testing (false positives and false negatives), its better to lower the standard of proof for guilt.

Landis is/should be guilty for the good of the sport. Otherwise the standard of proof will be too high to convict anyone. Not that I believe the tests weren't sufficient to convict anyway.

And while we're at it let's get rid of this "privacy" BS. No reason to keep the first test private when 90% of the time the second test confirms it. Shine the light of publicity on these dopers during the course of the race when something can be done about it, not months later.

Not that there was any violation of "privacy" in the Vino and Moreni cases. The lab apparently advised WADA, UCI, the Tour, and the teams of the positive. The latter are the ones that "leaked" it, because they knew it was soon to come out anyway. Why? Because they had to act on it publicly within the day. Big deal, the news came out a few hours sooner than the press conference. Some people are in denial about what's important here. Ooh the "lab broke the rule". "Shame, shame!"

ArchPundit said...

===The drug tests and the testing regimes (testing everyone all the time) cannot be even 95% accurate, without being too expensive to implement.

How do you figure this? The issue on testosterone is that the labs don't agree on the level for a positive test. There's nothing more expensive about determining a level other than testing. And if there hasn't been testing to determine a reasonable level, you don't have a valid and reliable test in the first place.

---Indeed it appears that the testing regime is so hit and miss that many dopers can dope with impunity. Given that there will always be error in testing (false positives and false negatives), its better to lower the standard of proof for guilt.

No, this is a poor conclusion. Any scientist does what they can to reasonably lower the error so that the chance of Type I and Type II errors is as low as it can be. Because there will be some error, doesn't mean that you should lower the standard for accepting evidence. In fact, if there is too much error, the standard procedure is to make it harder to reject the null hypotheses.

All that said, it's largely irrelevant to the Landis case. In that case, there is no set standard of what constitutes a positive between different labs around the world. Worse, the issue isn't whether there was error in the terms you describe it, but whether basic chain of custody and reasonable lab procedures were utilized. The lab broke chain of custody and didn't follow lab procedures. Neither of these is a high barrier to pass. Any forensic lab in the United States would be shut down for such mistakes. And they have been in a few instances.

We understand the error rates of the tests very well. We don't have a strong confidence in what the range of testosterone in the blood should be--or at least a consensus given the different standards. The testing problems in the Landis case have nothing to do with the expense of the testing, it has to do with basic procedure and a single standard being adopted worldwide by the sport.

===Landis is/should be guilty for the good of the sport. Otherwise the standard of proof will be too high to convict anyone. Not that I believe the tests weren't sufficient to convict anyway.

Not at all. This is like saying that when forensic labs were found to have systemic problems as the Houston PD's was recently found to have had, that we should just convict everyone for the good of society.

That's not how you instill confidence. More than anything, that's not how you do science. Either you can follow procedures that lead to a valid and reliable test or you cannot. If you cannot, then what's the point of testing? Why not simply pick straws?

ArchPundit said...

===Rasmussen, as close as he came, did not commit a sanctionable offense, under current rules.

====I'm guessing his team was coerced into sacking him or else face a worse fate???

I know this was written earlier, but lying to your team about where you were when you were supposed to be available for testing clearly a firable offense and the team should be given credit for not covering it up to get a win.

The rider can always sue the team if they did some great injustice, but the team has every right to fire a rider who has lied to them and especially about such a serious matter.

ArchPundit said...

One last comment as I read through the thread--does anyone actually think they anti-doping authorities are competent enough to pull off a conspiracy?

If Peter Sellers isn't running LNDD, then Jerry Lewis is.

LNDD could not operate in the United States. And I'll point to cases of both incompetence and malice in forensic labs where they have shut them down or completely cleaned house in the FBI case. All that said, I've never seen anything about LNDD that demonstrates malice. Everything I have seen indicates complete and total incompetence. I truly expect Inspector Clousseau to pop up at the next press conference.

Unknown said...

jrd wrote:
===Rasmussen, as close as he came, did not commit a sanctionable offense, under current rules.

====I'm guessing his team was coerced into sacking him or else face a worse fate???

archpundit wrote:
"I know this was written earlier, but lying to your team about where you were when you were supposed to be available for testing clearly a firable offense and the team should be given credit for not covering it up to get a win.

The rider can always sue the team if they did some great injustice, bRasmussen, as close as he came, did not commit a sanctionable offense, under current rules. But the team has every right to fire a rider who has lied to them and especially about such a serious matter."

My fault for not writing more specifically. Let me try this:

Rasmussen, as close as he came, did not commit an offence sanctionable by the UCI, TdF, or WADA under current rules.

Agreed that his team can fire him. He can sue if wrongfully terminated. The case would depend upon the details of the terms of his contract, the details of any ethical code that might have been signed, where he actually was (this seems to still be in dispute and I have not seen any evidence presented from either side or from the reporter who said he saw Rasmussen training in the Dolomites), and perhaps more.....

The rest of what I wrote, I stand by.

I'll add that I continue to be disappoited by those that pronounce guilt before there has been due process. Dopers suck. Anti-due process individuals suck worse!

Brent said...

Keep digging for an excuse Floyd.

DBrower said...

Wow, Brent's comment above was added almost a year after the post was made, and the previous comment added.

I'm glad he's keeping up with the discussion, because he's adding a lot of good insight.