Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Roundup

Quote of the Day

My contention is that a sport cannot be successful if the promoters and the organizers are telling the fans that the [athletes are] all cheats. That the results are not to be trusted. Even if it is true.


The Globe and Mail writes about Canadian bobsledder Serge Despres who faces a 20 month suspension for an extremely low level of steroids found in an out of competition test from last summer. He retains Landis legal team member Howard Jacobs who hopes to get a reduction of the suspension due to the circumstances surrounding the positive result:

He said an arbitrator for the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada agreed that he did not willfully take nandrolone and that "there is no significant fault or negligence" on his part. Still, his Olympic dream faces obstacles.

During the 2006-07 season, Despres suffered a hip injury that caused him to miss the world championships and led to hip surgery in June of 2007. To hasten his recovery, Despres said he consulted Bobsleigh Canada's nutritionist, who recommended that he eat specific foods and take "a number of supplements which were clean of any prohibited substances and low risk," he said.

The CyclingNews notes that Pat McQuaid has stated emphatically that Alberto Contador should be allowed to defend his TdF title this year, and the UCI will take legal steps if necessary to try to insure that he gets that chance. ESPN also reports on this development.

Fatty has some sage advice to Johan Bruyneel on how he can still get "Astana" into the TdF. Pay close attention to the Monty Python reference, it works for all sorts of situations.

Rant writes about the "ping pong" match between the UCI and the ASO, the "ball" just happens to be Astana, and Pat McQuaid has just served. It's all about who has the real power.

Team Specialized posts this picture of some team members with Floyd Landis at the charity ride held last Saturday morning in California. In the interest of full disclosure the Strbuks ride Specialized. Photo originally posted by Edan.

Bad Idea Racing is irked USACYcling has confusingly named its MTB series the "National Ultra Endurance Calendar", which is completely different than the National Ultra Endurance series that that Landis is riding this year. Hey folks, this is what trademarks are for -- and it sure looks like an opportunity for confusion to us. Maybe Richard Young will see his opportunities and want Landis' suspension to be reset because of these races.

Pantaloon fan is bummed by all the doping stories, because now he doesn't know what anyone can do on their own. Yet he still finds watching video of Stage 17 inspiring.

Woody points us to a newly available T-shirt design, reminding us of so many pieces of art we've seen drawn on roads at cycling events. We anticipate a swiftly delivered "cease and desist" letter:

Pinnochio's nose is traditionally less of a carrot and more a blunt stick, but the point is made...


raamman said...

bobsledding is big bucks ? enough to pay legal fees to fight a suspension ? the canadian medalist whatshername? made the same mistake took her lumps and then came back- she at least had a dignified response unlike this ongoing landis bs

woody said...

Check out Zazzle's MLB t-shirt

beeble said...

Wow so McQuaid is suddenly interested in the well-being of the riders?

According to UCI rules, all the ProTour teams have the right to compete in TdF but apparently someone forgot to tell ASO.

Short of some obscure contractual obligation between ASO and UCI exactly HOW will the UCI force ASO to accept Astana and Contador? Seems to me about all they can do is stomp their feet like 5 year old and say "oh yea!"

I can certainly recommend a couple of very fine neurosurgeons in Denver if Pat suddenly needs to get a spine. Hey they bolted me back together...

Maybe now is good time for the riders to have a strike and get both org's by the cajones (that's pronounced kuh-ho-nees for you yankees.)

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Actually, beeble, ProTour teams are only entitled to entry into official "ProTour" races. ASO pulled the Tour out of the ProTour after the 2007 edition, which makes things a bit of a sticky wicket. There's rules that say non-ProTour races can be on the ProTour calendar, but in that event, the races aren't obliged to invite all the ProTour teams.

At the same time, the original "license" as a ProTour race extended for 4 years, which would have included this year. So it's a complete muddle. Most likely, however, ASO is no longer bound by the rules, as they gave up that license to quit the ProTour.

You're right, about all the UCI and McQuaid can do is jump up and down like a five-year-old, demanding to get their way. The ASO has the UCI by the proverbial short hairs, so I doubt that the UCI is going to be able to get their way.

Now, on the suggestion that Pat visit one of those neurosurgeons to get a spine: That's a capital idea. :-)

pantaloonfan said...

I just randomly realized that I had been quoted! I know, I know. It's a month and a half later... but, I just wanted to clarify and say: for me what it came down to was that Landis had such a remarkable narrative and a tremendous couple of days in that race.

Wouldn't it have been fantastic if we had been allowed to have that be pure and perfect, and at the end of the day, watching floyd do that ride is incredible even with the full knowledge that he was doping at the time.

It doesn't make you superman, though it does help a lot... I will bet anyone a stack of cash at 10 to 1 or more that there was more than a few other folks who doped that day, and we as cyclists and fans are robbed of the real joy of that experience... shame all around.

What if it would have been possible without? How incredible would it have stayed.