Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Roundup

Velonews is reporting CSC is not renewing sponsorship of Riis' team. It's this year or never for them to take a Tour for their long-term sponsor.

Boulder Report's Joe Lindsey in a two-fer today, takes on the Dugard piece we reported yesterday, and engages in some handwringing, being unimpressed both by Dugard and by the journalistic standards that allowed a lot to happen over time.

In the same section where he levels Floyd's incrimination of his former team leader, Dugard writes about that contrast between what cycling fans think of athletes and how they really are. "They don't see the riders as being the same as any other human being, capable of great frailty and prone to temptation," he writes. No one's ever accused journalists of being greater than other human beings. But the frailty and temptation parts, that part Dugard got right. Maybe, in the end, the story isn't so much about Floyd's failings or even Lance's, as much as it is about Dugard's own, and the failures of our profession.

The Boulder Report's Joe Lindsey speculates that maybe Paddy "Dean Wormer" McQuaid is just getting his Irish up for St Patrick's Day with all of the machinations over the ASO and Paris-Nice. Lindsey casts Wormer, um McQuaid, in the role of the original "double secret probationer", but is McQuaid all bark and no bite?:
After two years of scuffling that closely resembles a pushing match between eighth-grade boys (a few half-hearted shoves and insults, after which both parties disengage so as not to be late for fourth period), the ASO finally took a real swing. And it may have revealed that McQuaid, for all his bluster and tough talk, has a glass jaw.

ESPN reports that former cyclist Tammy Thomas has once again pleaded not guilty to perjury charges before a grand jury:
A grand jury handed down a new indictment against Tammy Thomas on Tuesday with five counts of perjury -- two more than previously alleged -- and an obstruction charge. She pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the new charges.

The CyclingNews reader mail column is predictably dominated by responses to the ASO/UCI mess.

A reader points us to a Seattle Times article report the Washington State Supreme Court has struck down random, no-suspicion tests on student athletes, for mixed reasons. We take it as a sign the momentum of the pendulum may be changing, and that there are limits in the war on doping.

STLToday/Leuking looks at CSC's departure, and thinks it is doping and/or UCI v ASO related. We're not so sure about that - eight years is a long time for a title sponsor in cycling anytime in the last 30 years.

CFA feels that Martin Dugard has stabbed Floyd Landis in the back, and in doing so he has revealed the "thin veneer" of his knowledge about cycling, not to mention people:
Martin Dugard stabs Floyd Landis in the back, with a totally irritating and vacuous article which says nothing much at all. He pretends to be writing about Floyd, but he's not. The whole article is really about himself and his opinions. Dugard cribs the usual bits from Coyle's Lance Armstrong's War, forgets totally the idea of substance over style, showcases his usual blatantly self-important tone, and conveniently pretends to be a cycling expert, which he is not. Just try reading his blog for a while and you'll notice that when it comes to pro cycling, he has a thin veneer of knowledge which only occasionally hides the yawning vacuum of ignorance that lies beneath. I grew increasingly disgusted with his blog long ago after he kept writing total garbage in his so-called Tour coverage, confusing riders and getting their names wrong, totally ignoring the realities of doping, and clearly misunderstanding the most basic of team tactics. Anyone who doesn't know the difference between IBAN Mayo and IVAN Basso has no business passing himself off as an "expert" on cycling. Any half-decent European cycling fan knows about 100 times more than Dugard. I think the only race he's ever heard of is the Tour, and I really couldn't care less what he thinks about Landis

Mike V wonders what happened to the "heroes" of cycling and snarks that Floyd Landis should go ahead and exercise his last appeal, which is very big of him. Mike is tired of reading about dopers anyway, and thinks Landis should just "except" the fact that he doped. Huh?

Chris@Podium Cafe comments on the sponsorship crisis that is engulfing pro cycling.

WADAwatch has instituted a "WADA Signatory of the Year Award for 2007" for breaches to the WADA code, etc. Nominations end March 28 and you can participate:
Nominations to date, would have to include France, the British Olympic Committee for its Chambers case (Which WADAwatch feels is a proper domestic situation, and hasn't addressed the issues, per se), and _______________ (fill in your very favorite by emailing WADAwatch >>>).


Larry said...

Bad news, CSC is ending its sponsorship of the CSC team at the end of this year.

There's no indication from the press release that CSC is leaving the sport over doping, or because of the UCI-ASO wars. However, we have yet another team looking for a sponsor.

At some point, the powers that be in cycling had better realize that unless they make peace and create a stable and predictable environment for cycling (and cycling sponsorship), they are going to be fighting each other for a larger share of a smaller sport.

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