Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Roundup

The VeloNews reports that Bjorn Leukemans was given a two year suspension for the use of testosterone despite his protestations that it was mistakenly administered by a team doctor. They VN also previews its new "Beta.VeloNews" page.

And in other VeloNews it looks like Astana's reputation may have ruined chances for the team's participation in this year's Tour de France:

"I've said many times, this is a new team. I cannot change what happened in the past but we're doing a lot to change the future of this team," (Johan) Bruyneel said Thursday. "I think we are doing all the right things. I don't know why we wouldn't be there."

Tour de France officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The CyclingNews says that Belgian police searched the home of sprinter Tom Boonen's parents on the tip that he was the drug dealer to cyclo-cross rider Tom Vannoppen. Vannoppen gave up Boonen's name to investigators who were looking into allegations of cocaine use. Nothing was found, and the incident was not to have been made public. Where have we heard that before?

CyclingNews' Friday Letters column is full of entertaining letters this week that run the gamut from Rock Racing, still/again, to the UCI's latest spat with the ASO. But, there is one note from a disillusioned mountain biker/magazine editor which is highly critical of Floyd Landis' participation this year in the NUE MTB series:

I am the editor of Norway's top MTB-magazine and an avid endurance racer. I have earlier raced the Crocodile Trophy, La Ruta, TransAlp and several marathons in Norway and Europe. I have been very intrigued by the 100 mile races in the states and was planning a trip over to race some events in 2009. I must say all that positive curiosity effectively went away when I read about the invitation of convicted doper Floyd Landis.

I was a big Landis-fan all the way up to his miraculous come back stage in the tour, but in a sport that desperately needs cleaning up it sends out all the wrong signals to invite a convicted doper. If the organisers think this will attract sponsors and participants I sincerely hope and think they are wrong.

Landis is banned from racing for two years. This should include all races. I was proud to say that Landis came from mountain biking when he did well on the road before his 17th stage. Now I will be embarrassed if the sport of mountain biking takes him back with open arms. I think, and hope that mountain biking is a lot cleaner than road racing. The sport has nothing to win if we start letting disgraced road racers fight for glory off the road.

If I were a potential sponsor, which I am not, I would for sure shy away from the NUE-series. If I were part of the press, which I am, I would discourage people to support those who hampers the fight against drugs. If I was planning to race in the NUE-series, which I also was, I would change my plans at once.

I hope the NUE-organisers changes their decision in this matter and supports the fight against doping and the dopers that tries to win us over and tries to portrait themselves as victims of conspiracies.

Øyvind Aas
Oslo, Norway

"Conspiracies" notwithstanding, Landis' CAS hearing is still to be heard, and that decision is still to be made.

ESPN publishes a report of support for new WADA president John Fahey from IOC head Jacques Rogge, but Rogge contends many challenges remain including the implementation of the new WADA anti-doping code. posts Credit Agricole's decision to exit cycling as a sponsor, and says that the creation of the MPCC, or Movement for Credible Cycling, was a "direct result" of Floyd Landis' positive doping control form the 2006 Tour de France.

Velo Vortmax thinks Levi Leipheimer may be next in line to win the Tour de France, and that Leiphiemer might be dependent on careful preservation of the new "bio passport" system:

May I make a suggestion to WADA? Do not use the WADA accredited lab at Chatenay-Malabry. As we saw from the Floyd Landis fiasco the computers at Chatenay-Malabry are not secure and prone to access by hackers. The criminal who hacked the Chatenay-Malabry lab was never identified by the French police. The documents leaked to the press although never authenticated suggested a cover-up of persistent incompetence. A vicious rumor as to the source of the leak as Floyd Landis or one of his entourage spread by l'Equipe was never verified. The story disappeared from the radar shortly afterwards.

A Warning to WADA and Pro Tour cycling teams. Biological passport information of riders, including DNA profiles would be an inviting target for hackers to manipulate the results of a Grand Tour such as The Giro d' Italia or the Tour de France by some malcontent who is not satisfied by the results of the race. Your security encryption should be subjected on a regular basis to simulated attacks to prevent tampering with biological passport blood or urine profile data, or to copy allele sequences of rider DNA.

Twister69bigd puts up an interesting excerpt from a TBV post of the past which is close to Strbuk's heart . Looks like another example of the Junk Blog phenomenon.

Rant is playing catch up again and covers topics from the Tour of California stepped up anti-doping tests, to Zen's proposed "Athlete's Bill of Rights".

"Dr. Joan Bushwell" is aware of many of the facts, and still takes a jaundiced, damning view of Gatlin and Landis. She's coming from the point of view that everybody at the top dopes. Perhaps there are openings at USADA.

VeloGoddess looks like she might have gotten the Landis sighting she was hoping for Monday on Palomar, but near Torrey Pines instead.

UltraRob chimes in on Landis doing the NUE, and points to an MTBR discussion. He thinks some of the NUE races are under NORBA, so how does that work?

MorePalaver read Landis' Velonews interview, wants him to shut up already, and dissects one of the things he finds most difficult to swallow -- any defense of Hamilton.

NorCalCyclingNews is learning to blog, and practices with a quote of the story about the suit against USADA. This is offset with a cartoon with a male and a female on either side of a table with a puppy. The man is holding a knife. The caption reads, "My recommendation for training your dog is this: when he does something bad, cut off a little piece of his tail and make him eat it. Then don't feed him for the rest of the day." WADA Code drafters take note.

The Long Ride has some comments about Rock Racing.

Emailers and Comments
Kayle Leogrande has been suggested as the John Doe in the suit Suh/Jacobs filed against USADA yesterday. In support of this, we've been pointed at two older stories.

One, at VeloNews, is a Mr. Rogers Neighborood interview with Michael Ball:

I asked Ball for an interview after hearing rumors from several sources that Rock Racing's Kayle Leogrande, the 2006 elite national criterium champion, had tested positive after the International Cycling Classic - also known as Superweek - where he won three events, finished second at three more and finished second overall by five points to winner Marco Rios of Kahala-LaGrange.

And this Boulder Report, citing Rogers, and the jungle drums:
Persistent rumors - which Rogers cited in his interview with Ball - link Leogrande to a positive doping test at last July’s International Cycling Classic (aka SuperWeek), but both Leogrande and Ball have denied that. When reached by phone Friday, United States Anti-Doping Agency general counsel Bill Bock declined to comment on Leogrande, citing agency rules prohibiting comment on any individual athlete's status, negative or otherwise. Leogrande won three of the fourteen SuperWeek events.


woody said...

Øyvind Aas, what a bunch of crap.
Maybe he should start his own racing series. The Oslo Jerky Pants series. Wait, since NORBA is dissolved what happened to all the NORBA national champions? Maybe they were all just apparitions in the bong smoke pouring out of the mountain bike hall of fame. Hamlet anyone?