Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Roundup

The Guardian Unlimited
posts the opinion of Spanish national team coach Paco Antequera that the press should realize that cycling is not the only sport which contains cheaters, and it should lay off.

The Grauniad also runs a fascinating Reuters piece where Vino makes some insightful observations:

"Cycling is a scapegoat now," he told Reuters in an interview. "I don't think bike racing is any dirtier than other sports -- soccer, tennis.

"It's just popular to sensationalise bike racing these days, and they are just trying to do it as often as possible."

The pre-Tour favourite, who won two stages of this year's race, was sacked by his Astana team in July following the positive test.

Vinokourov said budget disparities made the International Cycling Union (UCI) an easy target for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"In all of cycling there is a budget of maybe 200 million euros ($293.3 million). But if you take soccer for example, at Chelsea alone there might be 300 million euros. It's just completely different money," Vinokourov said.

Vinokourov said WADA was closing its eyes to suspected doping in other sports because the professional federations running them were too powerful and would not submit in the way cycling had.

"If WADA is really fighting for clean sport, then why is it that if in Spain (doctor Eufemiano) Fuentes has a list of 150 athletes, they only announce the cyclists?" he said.

When Ronald Reagan wanted to build some national self-esteem, the US invaded Grenada.

The CyclingNews reports that the UCI has, for the second time, performed off season doping controls at Liquigas' training camp in Spain apparently checking blood values.

The Contra Costa Times praises the judge who sentenced former NFL quarterback Michale Vick yesterday. Judge Hudson chastised Vick for letting down countless young fans who had looked up to him before his arrest for abusing and killing dogs he kept for fighting purposes. Floyd Landis' "well deserved" exile is, as usual, thrown into the mix just for good measure

The Boulder Report notes the announcement that the ACE program will be implemented by Team High Road for next year's racing season.

The LA Times, among others, says that the Mitchell Report is complete and is being read by the the gnomes in the MLB commisioner's office.

And because someone is sure to mention it snarkily, we'll note disappearance suspect Drew Peterson has started a web defense fund site, according to ABC News.


Racejunkie rather unwillingly pens his year end review and sums up each month with his usual blend of sardonic humor and sad fact. He does however, also do what other "early" year end reviewers have feared to, he gives out awards. One, "The Total Poindexter Website Prize" goes to TBV, blush blush. Here is the "BS Call of the Year Award", there are many more in categories too obscure, and hilarious, to mention:

Finally, Bull!@#$ Call of 2007: need it be said that if this were a real courtroom and not a grotesque farcical imitation of a crap episode of "Ally McBeal," Floyd Landis would be riding off into the sunset with a truly obscene cash-cow of a ProTour contract as we speak even if he'd slapped an exogenous testosterone patch right on the works in front of a camera-happy news crew. How the hell do you even sleep at night, McQuaid?!

Rant writes a short update commenting on the ACE anti-doping program and its newly formed association with Team High Road, formerly T-Mobile.

Velo Vortmax is fuming after reading some of the recent arguments here and finds it unconscionable that WADA has not faced the same media criticism that Floyd Landis has had to endure. If WADA wants its credibility to be taken seriously, along with its drug testing results, then it should strip suspect labs of their accreditation. Thanks for the plug btw.

Science of Sport, in an article we'd missed in November, gives the argument that no non-doped rider can win against dopers. A comment notes that the 1% difference imagined to be "natural" is 30 minutes in a race like the Tour. That implies to us that there are things beyond doping involved in placings - like, say, tactics.

WADA Watch
looks at the new "obstruction" rule, and thinks it's poorly drafted form is going to be brutally used against athletes to coerce "confessions".