Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Roundup

Pat McQuaid working the controls of his spin machine.
"Beware or you will lose the protection of the great and powerful UCI!"

The CyclingNews reports the UCI's response to the decision of many pro teams to commit to riding Paris-Nice after the UCI called for a boycott. (We called it.) Pat McQuaid sent a letter to the teams expressing his "concern" over a clause in the contract the teams must sign in order to run the race:
In the letter to the teams, the UCI president Pat McQuaid cautions the teams over the participation contract they have to sign with ASO in order to race. According to the French press agency AFP, the contract includes a clause which obliges a team to "immediately exclude from the race those who could damage the image of the event or the organiser

This clause has alerted McQuaid, who wrote in his letter,
"A simple doping rumour around a rider or member of staff would be enough for ASO to exclude the person or the entire team: there is no control be a neutral person or instance as there would be under UCI rules. You are being refused this elemental right.

It is remarkable for McQuaid to suddenly have such concern for the reputations of the riders in the peloton.

The CyclingNews Letters column is replete with notes about the tumultuous past two weeks in cycling. One note pronounces pro cycling as dead, they run the gamut.

In an update ESPN says that all 20 teams invited to take part in Paris-Nice will participate making the rejection of Pat McQuaid's call to boycott unanimous. McQuaid did not return AP requests for a comment.

The VeloNews flashes the headline,"McQuaid: Teams are Signing Away Their Rights" and posts a portion of the letter Pat McQuaid sent to the teams who elected to participate in Paris-Nice:

"I would like to impress on you the following. The signing of this contract would mean that your team would put itself completely outside the UCI,” McQuaid wrote. "By signing the contract you would be joining a private circuit controlled entirely by ASO for the benefit of its commercial interests

"You would be abandoning the protection afforded by rules of the UCI which are designed to give teams and riders rights and not simply protect the interests of organizers."

"ASO would be able to exclude any rider or even an entire team simply as a result of a mere rumor of doping (article 2.2 and 3.2): the contract provides for no form of appeal to a neutral body in contrast to the UCI's rules which provide for appeal to president of the college of commissaries, the president of the CUPT, the Road Commission or CAS. You would be denied this fundamental right of redress," McQuaid said.

Those protections and chances for redress has been working so well. Thanks for the advice, Professor Marvel.

AP reports MLB's Fehr as being willing to consider blood tests for HGH, with caveats:

HGH cannot be detected in current urine tests. The World Anti-Doping Agency says a blood test for HGH will be used at the Olympics, but no validated blood test for HGH currently is commercially available.

"If and when a blood test is available and it can be signed and validated by people other than those that are trying to sell it to you, then we'd have to take a hard look at it," Fehr said Thursday. "We'd have to see what it is and try to make a judgment as to whether it is fair and appropriate." Such a test would have to be agreed upon in discussions between owners and the union.

This is a softening of the position by MLB (and quoted players), but addresses the concerns we raised yesterday about WADA's announced test method.

The NY Times reports that the Justice Department will now investigate whether Roger Clemens perjured himself in testimony to congress.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Magnolia Pictures has acquired distribution rights for "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" a movie about steroid use in America which features an interview with Floyd Landis.

AP's Eddie Pells has won an award for his sports writing last year, including his coverage of the Landis case and hearing. Congratulations to one of the best informed and careful of reporters in the MSM.

WADAwatch was in attendance at the WADA media symposium held yesterday in Lausanne and previews what promises to be Ww's informative and in depth discussions of what he learned there starting tomorrow.

Rick is attending Robbie Ventura's Vision Quest cycling camp this week near Solvang, California and a surprise dinner guest answered a few questions after the meal.

Justin is at the Vision Quest camp as well and notes the following exchange. Looks like Floyd will ride with the group today:

20 minutes in to dinner, we had a special guest come in: The real winner of the 2006 Tour de France, Floyd Landis!!!!! We had a short Q&A regarding his situation and the best dialog of the night was the following exchange

Wally: Floyd, if you go drinking with Rick tonight and climb Mt. Figueroa tomorrow, do you think I could beat you
Floyd: First off, I will beat Rick in drinking and then I will beat you up the mountain.


wschart said...

If that is the only response that McQ can come up with, then UCI is done. ASO has won.

jrdbutcher said...

Of course McQuaid remembers how well UCI sanctioning worked out for Rock Racing @ ToC and the perpetually in limbo Hamilton, Botero, and Sevilla. The UCI did well in protecting the interests of those non-charged riders.I’m not sure what McQuaid was taking or drinking when he released that load? This tends to demonstrate that it’s time to institute a drug testing regime for UCI/ASO/WADA officials. It should be a requirement. McQuaid was clearly inebriated when he released this, and other statements. There is also some fairly convincing anecdotal evidence ASO officials and LNDD employees were doing some compounds that have casued them to have hallucinations wrt their attempts to defend their selection process and ability to run a competent lab, respectively.

Why is drug testing targeted only at the riders when there are so many other examples of abuse??? Seriously….

strbuk said...

Looks like Mr. McQuaid (pictured so aptly above, thanks TBV) is the one who needs to be asking for a brain!


("Eightzero") said...

I don't know if this spin from Mr. Marvel could be a better example of the proverb "you reap what you sow." UCI is getting back in spades what it has dished out to others in the form of their version of "due process." I've had a belly full of ASO and LNDD to last a lifetime, but thinking of UCI as the antidote sure makes me wanna heave. While it sure serves UCI right, the people that are gonna wind up on the losing end are gonna be the athletes.

And why is that, you ask? Because maybe they don't have any....[insert pinky into corner of mouth]...collective bargaining power...?