Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Roundup

The VeloNews interviews Alberto Contador who says he has no "plan B" , he insists that he must be included in the field for the Tour de France:

Q: Can you accept the idea that you might not go to the Tour?

AC: No – at the moment I cannot imagine not going to the Tour. The (Astana) team is completely new – new staff, new directors, new riders – the only thing that has stayed the same is the sponsor. It was bad that we were left out of the Giro because a lot of riders (on Astana) were preparing to make the race. The Giro is very important for the team.

Of course there is the question of the possible reopening of OP by CONI and in Spain, and Contador's possible involvement in that.

The NY Times reports Jeff Novitzky, the IRS agent who has been instrumental in several high profile steroid cases including that of Marion Jones, will be attending the Congressional hearings next week where Roger Clemens, Brian MacNamee, and Kirk Radomski will testify. He will be there ostensibly to make sure the testimony given, some of which is already being questioned, matches what has been previously stated.

The CyclingNews says that monies still owed riders from last year's Tour de France, but delayed due to the doping scandals of last year, will finally be paid out.

Rant was inspired by recent statements from Pat McQuaid to look once more at who gets to decide who competes in what race. The UCI rules which govern this topic are confusing, but it appears that so far no one has broken any of them.

PositiveCycling thinks BMC's "Landis approved" track frame set it a bit pricey.


jrdbutcher said...

Interesting and conveniently profitable for the TdF.

Let’s see, they can somehow deduce or divine what riders are worthy of riding in their race, based on rumor/gossip/innuendo, but their accountants can’t wrap their minds around paying prize money to those not implicated in any rules breaking? I’m sure riders owed payment would expect to be paid in a timely fashion, suspended riders not withstanding. (an ejected rider, not suspended, is a whole other can of worms in the rotten TdF organization’s gut) Come on, logic indicates they should, at east, be paid the minimum in prize money that it is possible for them to have earned. The rest, with generous interest-for their wait/inconvenience, should/must be paid immediately upon the disposition of athletes whose cases have an effect on the prize money.

This is another example of the athletes being treated as chattel. It’s clear the TdF doesn’t hold the best interests of the athletes as a high priority. Kind of makes me wonder about the motivation behind all the haranguing regarding “protecting the health of the athletes” by the alphabet soup.

bostonlondontokyo said...

Is anyone as confused as I about the Clemens situation? And, has anyone also noticed how this is almost polar opposite to the Landis case? With Clemens, we are dealing completely with verbal testimony - with Landis, the case is one of science and legality. They just couldn't be further apart, particularly because in Landis' case people are at least able to review documents and evidence and be able to make their own logical assumptions from what they see.

I'm rather sorry to see that the Clemens case is really nothing more (for us, the public) than a daily sensational headline - and I'm beginning to feel icky reading these stories (sort of like how one feels when one ends up reading another story about Britney Spears' seeminly endless downward spiral, as it is reported in the press.)

The fact that Clemens' and Pettit's stories are (somewhat) at odds with each other raises a difficult wrinkle for me. I'm just feeling really strange reading about doping on so many levels. And of course it also raises the question about why sanctions for different sports are so vastly different when it comes to confirmed doping cases. Perhaps we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg as to what professional sports is going to look like in another 10 years.

jrdbutcher said...

Quite a soap opera baseball is turning in to. Confused or reasonably disinterested? Less of the former and more of the latter.

Obsessing about the past lie this is all a lot of nonsense, especially when several of the characters testifying about it are unreliable and clearly have their own agenda/interests.

Competitors are governed by the rules in place during their eras, cycling/baseball/other sports/take your pick. They are/are not admonished/sanctioned/punished based upon the rules when they competed. At least they should be, in my view. The leagues/UCI/IOC/WADA…. All had their chance to do their job. Given/if they were less than effective, why do they now get a “do over”? The competitors don’t/can’t. They have to live with what happened. Good calls and bad calls are made. It’s positive to try to learn form the past, not repeat negative aspects of the past, but at some point you just have to say what the hell and let it be. Individuals (and history) will make their own judgment.

I’ll be happy if the gatekeepers will honor their own rules, regardless of the sport.

Bill Mc said...

Here is an interesting article about concerns about steroids in locally sourced food for the China Olympics: