Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday Roundup

Late, the AP previews Paris-Nice saying the teams are probablyl riding, and the UCI is looking weak. By the time of the morning edition, we'll know for sure.

The VeloNews suggests how closely riders should have read the UCI rule book before they signed the back of their license. It goes on to explain how the UCI can punish them if they ride Paris-Nice. The UCI's Martin Gibbs reiterates Pat McQuaid's email to riders and teams and there is more at stake than just fines:

That rule allows the UCI president to impose penalties "such as” exclusion from the world championships, continental championships or the Olympics.

If nothing else, rule 12.1.004 reveals the UCI president's immense latitude. Which, after this discussion of how the UCI can penalize Paris-Nice riders, raises the question of why he thinks it's in the interest of cycling punish riders for taking part in one of the most prestigious races in the world.

The St Catherines Standard wonders if cycling hasn't now turned into mere tabloid fodder with the ASO/UCI showdown, but despite it all they still remember watching Bob Roll expound on the accomplishments of "deceiver" Floyd Landis. It may all comes down to entertainment, WWE style. Bottom line, we can still love cycling "warts" and all.

The AFP notes Marion Jones' incarceration began yesterday as she turned herself in to begin a six month sentence for perjury. The piece also states that this case indicates doping investigations will no longer be left to sports federations and anti-doping organizations. The federal government is now getting involved as indicated in a widening investigation of Roger Clemens, and the pursuance of the case against Barry Bonds.

Sally Jenkins/Washington Post wrote the other day that the current prosecutions are backwards in targeting users rather than dealers.
A lot of things may come out of this, but truth and justice aren't among them. If Congress and government prosecutors really care about cleaning up steroids, why are they being harder on the users than their connections?

It's tempting to say all three of the people under discussion are indefensible. They are cheats and liars. Fine. But even guilty people [Clemens, Bonds, Jones] deserve commensurate treatment under the law. Somewhere along the line, we drifted into the territory of vengeance and political gain, not righteousness.

The fact is, any number of public figures, starting with Big Tobacco executives, have told much bigger lies to Congress than Clemens did, and none faced perjury charges. You want a brazen, damaging public lie? How about, "Tobacco isn't addictive"?
In the rank of drug cases, steroid usage is in the same class legally as taking Valium or Vicodin without a legitimate prescription

Jenkins threw Landis under the bus over The Call; perhaps the pendulum is starting to change direction.

The AP reports the Nolan Ryan, the career strikeout leader who set the standard for late-career achievement, is saying Baseball "turned its back" on steroids. It sounds perilously close to LeMond.

The AP
also quotes Bud Selig, the Baseball commissioner, as not feeling a need to read the Bonds testimony at this time. No Bud, it's not important and would take too much of your precious time. Fortunately, you don't have to read it yourself, you can read our summary from last Sunday, since we must have more time than you to follow the details of this major case the hangs like a cloud over your entire tenure as Commissioner. No need for you to actually know the details of what Bonds said, it would only cloud your vision. Here's one of the parts he repeated: "I don't trust baseball", meaning the Baseball establishment, which is to say, you.

CFA says they're all just lemmings racing for the cliff.

Rant feels the ASO and UCI learned nothing from last year's battles as both sides in the current dispute have dug in their heels, and as always the teams and riders are caught in the middle destined to be collateral damage.

Spinnin'Wheel yesterday watched one retiree who just "loved the game", and gives numerous examples of the courage demonstrated over the years by various cyclists. Who can say that the ASO or UCI shows any kind of courage now?

Belgian Knee Warmers
notes ASO's treatment of Astana shows it isn't bluffing, and the riders have the least say of anyone.
Added up, the UCI is threatening to suspend more than 1000 cyclists if 20 teams show up to Paris-Nice.

Such an action may seem inconceivable (in any rational world, it would be), but crazy knows no bounds; it is the mind unfettered by the by the guidance of the creative urge that keeps so many artists and writers part of productive society. It may seem unreasonable to us that the UCI would threaten so many over what seems so minor—racers racing an event that’s been going on since 1933—but if the UCI backs down, its authority will have been effectively broken.

A quick shake of the Magic 8-Ball says: “Things will get worse.”


("Eightzero") said...

Quote of the day From Fabian Cancellara on the Cycling News:

"[The UCI/ASO thing] is a big piece of shit...."

Just this one time, TBV - let's not censor a direct quote from the Swiss Time Machine himself. It's so....eloquent.