Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Roundup

News
The San Jose Mercury News quotes Greg LeMond saying he is glad that cycling is being "brought to its knees" by the recent doping scandals it has had to endure. LeMond, who will speak at Santa Clara University Sunday night, also references the incident involving former Landis manager Will Geoghegan at the USADA hearings last May as "...the meanest, cruelest thing that's ever happened to me in my life". He goes on to further comment on Lance Armstrong with whom he has a continuing feud that is now being contested legally.

The CyclingNews says that despite his team being shunned by the ASO, Andreas Kloden will stick with Astana. The Friday reader mail column is full of responses to the ASO decision this week to exclude Astana from all of its events this year.

And in yet more CyclingNews Alberto Contador says he will NOT leave Astana despite the team's exclusion from all ASO events this year. Also it appears the reopening of OP will not involve further prosecution of cyclists:

One day after the Provincial Court of Madrid announced its decision of re-opening the investigation around Operación Puerto, it would seem as if this only concerned the heads of the affair, Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and his assistant Merino Batres. As a matter of fact, todociclismo reported that the criminal investigation that will now be conducted will only apply to the conservation of the 200 blood bags thought to be used for doping practices.

Under Spanish criminal law, flaws in the handling of the blood bags can be penalised, but not the doping practices themselves. Therefore, the actions of the cyclists, former team manager Manolo Sáiz, Ignacio Labarta, Vicente Belda and others will reportedly not be the target of the re-visited investigation.

In comments below, Bill Hue thinks this is whistling in the dark, and that if there is evidence to go after cyclists, they will be gone after, no matter what anyone says now.

CycnlingNews later says that High Road is back in the Giro.

ESPN reports that federal prosecutors have egg on their faces as regards an erroneous press release about the Barry Bonds case. We expect them to will wipe it off and proceed as if nothing happened.

Blogs
Rant notes the reopening of Operation Puerto and hopes that if indeed it is pursued by WADA and the UCI the evidence within is unimpeachable and that this new exercise is not just another witch hunt.

Off Topic
Life on a Bike has some pictures in the Valentine's Day post that should get STRBUK's attention.

18 comments:

mitakeet said...

I keep wishing LeMond will just fade away, then crap like this happens. If there were ever someone who needed muzzling, it is LeMond!

jrdbutcher said...

San Jose News indicates WG was Floyd's lawyer.

I was tempted to comment on GL, but he's so strung out that it would just be cruel.

poorly written article.

Spike said...

Will Geoghegan was not Landis' lawyer, but it makes for a better story. The fabulist LeMond sadly diminishes his significant accomplishments by trying to enlarge them in retirement.

Spike

jrdbutcher said...

Ann Killion did an unprofessional job with her article. The Editor for the San Jose Mercury News was out to lunch or otherwise engaged? The WG/Floyd's lawyer thing is just one example of the hack job here.

bill hue said...

Once the OP investigation is re-opened in Spain, the bloodbags are available, again, as is all documentation and WADA/UCI/CONI and the Spanish ADA have convinced the Judge to allow them access to the blood.

It doesn't matter HOW the case was re-opened, it is extremely important that it WAS re-opened. While the Spanish criminal system will not be pursuing cyclists, they have NOT gotten a pass.

Pound says the identity codes have all been broken. Linking identity to bloodbags through the broken codes and making the bloodbags available again to CONI/WADA/UCI/National Federations will enable those entities to pursue the riders through the blood.

I don't know what kind of shallow reporting is being done but any notion that cyclists are off the hook is probably far from accurate.

Look for alot of renewed "excitment" around the time the Tour de France heats up as teams and riders are again jettisoned from the Tour while L'Equipe sells newspapers by the ton and the money comes rolling in to combat doping that happened 3 years ago. Same as it ever was.

jrdbutcher said...

I'm not looking for the cyclists to get a pass.

I will be interested in issues like chain of custody, proper storage, and standards of proof.

If someone is gotten, I want them to get the right someone(s).

jrdbutcher said...

Judge Hue,
You are quite likely to be proven correct in your prediction of renewed "excitement" around TdF time wrt a 3 year old case. Same as it ever was. Quite true but not nearly as entertaining as Talking Heads, back in the day.....

bill hue said...

They are going to test the blood, which has been held in the Spanish criminal system for DNA. They are going to compare that DNA against the riders' DNA and if it is matched, heads will roll.

DNA comparison is not only accurate, it is virtually absolute. The interesting issue is whether WADA can extract DNA from the riders, whether voluntarily or through many other methods that rules might prohibit.

We know rules never stop those who pursue dopers.

The press has misunderstood the impact re-opening the case has on cyclists. The press believes cyclists have a pass. They do not.

Those with blood allegedly in Spain(Valverde/Pereiro /Sastre/Ullrich/ Hamilton and others have all been ALLEGED to have blood in bags in Spain)are probably worried.

Who wins the Tour in 2006 if Pereiro has blood in Spain???????

jrdbutcher said...

If there is any professionalism/rationality wrt CAS, Floyd wins.

bill hue said...

Oct. 16, 2007:

"Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme proudly declared Caisse d'Epargne's Oscar Pereiro the 2006 Tour de France victor in an official ceremony in Spain overnight. Some 14 months after the event's running and 1274 kilometres from the Champs-Elysees, where the five other Spanish Tour winners were crowned, at the Upper Counsel of Sports in Madrid, Spain, Pereiro was awarded the sport's most prestigious race win after being officially declared the event's winner by the UCI on September 21 following Floyd Landis' (Phonak) losing his appeal to the American Arbitration Association to overturn the sanction for his positive drug test on Stage 17 of the event.

"Finally, we have a winner and it's Oscar," declared Prudhomme to AP. "Oscar, you have won the Tour out on the road."

Wouldn't it be ironic if the winner of the 2006 Tour was ACTUALLY the guy who "won it out on the road"?

What sweet irony THAT would be....... a reverse Young Gambit, absent all dancing monkeys.

Unfortunately, even if CAS rules in Floyd's favor, and even if Pereiro has blood in Spain or has his name on a document or 3 people swear affidavits against him, Landis will never, ever be 2006 Tour Champion in the eyes of ASO.

Look to the confused and irrational 6 page AFLD decision against Landis to fit that bill quite nicely. I predict there will simply be no 2006 winner in that event.

jr said...

If LeMond really feels that what Geoghegan did to him is meaner and crueler than what his uncle is alleged to have done, he is even more screwed up than I thought. Of course, based on the quality of reporting in the piece, he might not have said that.

As an aside (and forgive me if this has been discussed previously), what if any are the implications of the alleged abuser being so easily identifiable? I certainly assume he's the same uncle who shot Greg (by mistake, while hunting). It seems pretty unusual to have two uncles with the same first name (either that or Geoghegan only knew the name of the uncle who shot Greg and he made that leap himself). I guess if the uncle has passed away it doesn't make any difference, but I don't recall reading anything about that. Look, dancing monkeys!

How much do I wish LeMond would just shut up so this kind of crap wouldn't float around my brain anymore?

N.B.O.L. said...

JR.

I believe the only mention of a name during the testimony was by Greg naming the only Uncle who was still alive. There was no inference that was the abuser.

Cub said...

I notice on letour.fr that Bjarne Riis is still the winner of the 1996 TdF.

So I guess a poorly performed test and a dubious interpretation of the results (Floyd's case) is more damning that a confession of having cheated to win (Bjarne's case).

Also on letour.fr there's a History page with "Great Moments" from past years of the Tour. Some interesting choices there. Oscar Pereiro's "win" 14 months after the end of the 2006 Tour is a great moment.

Cest la vie (in the world of the TdF).

jrdbutcher said...

OP scorecard = (1) sanctioned rider, to date.

This is a nearly (3) year old case and they've managed to sanction Ivan Basso.

Countless others have been unoffically banned. Tyler Hamilton was busted on a different rap, yet if evidence is found that he was involved in OP, then they will attempt a double dip and call for a life ban for what looks like it (hypothetically) was the same offense. Guess double jeopardy doesn't apply in WADA World.

Meanwhile a guy like Allan Davis is left twisting in the wind, w/o a team, even though he has talent and has offered to provide dna samples w/o any conditions on their use.

~ 200 bags of blood and all we hear about is cyclists? What appened to the football players, tennis players, and other athletes??? WADA World is nearly (3) years into this with pitiful results and too much colleteral damage. Cycling has made itself a fine whipping boy.

snake said...

i totally want to GO to this "ethics" speech at santa clara u. it's a 5 minute drive for me. i just don't want to be the only person tossed out on my ear.

are any other lemond haters considering it ?

don't get me wrong. i admire his achievements as much as anybody. it's just what he's done with it. he deserves to be heckled.

strbuk said...

Thanks for pointing me to that "chocolatefest" TBV, now I am going to HAVE to get myself a box of chocolates!!


:-)


str

sugaken said...

This comment isn't related to this post itself or the comments to it, but has anybody listened to the latest podcast of "Intelligence Squared US" episode?
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18299098
"Should We Accept Steroid Use in Sports?"

There sits Dick Pound against the motion.

"Why is doping cheating?" "Because it's against the agreed-upon rules." "Then why shouldn't we change the rules?" "Because it's unethical and cheating." "Why is it unethical and cheating?" "Because it's against the agreed-upon rules." ...

Quote above isn't literal, but that is the core of his argument.

I'm not generally for legalizing doping, but there's no way I'd vote against the motion there... not after hearing him arguing in circular motion.

sugaken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.