First shoe drops--Reuters flashes that the ASO is saying Manuel Beltran has tested positive for something at the Tour, and informed his Liquigas team. "Triki" Beltran is ex-Postal/Discovery, which will get the conspiracy theorists going. The AP says it is "traces" of EPO, from the first stage.
Who broke the story?
Surprise, surprise, and wonderment how they found out.
Later, the AP reports Beltran has been taken into police custody, and everyone has loudly decided he is guilty already. Of course, the B sample hasn't been tested anywhere yet. The Armstrong connection is made.
The Guardian (UK) has original reporting, saying the case has "shocked" the tour.
Reason Magazine is frustrated with anti-doping hysteria, starting with the breathless rhetoric against the LZR swim suit. Later, it says:
Which is not to say that EPO, anabolics, and all the other substances athletes illicitly consume in an effort to beat those blessed with superior aerobic capacity or God's favor don't have an impact on outcomes and the culture of sport in general. Obviously they do. But they don't have nearly as much impact on sport's metaphorical value as anti-doping crusaders insist. Indeed, while Versus' cyclists-in-reverse commercial is supposed to signal a new beginning for the scandal-plagued Tour, it plays more like a highlight reel. Look at Floyd Landis as he hunches over his handlebars while barreling down a mountain at more than 50 mph and abnormally high testosterone/epitestosterone ratios are not what comes to mind. Instead, you see his courage and skill, his intense desire to win, his love of the sport. Dope-fueled or not, he looks like a hero and continues to inspire.
CAS is entertaining an appeal by WADA and the UCI against the Spanish Federation for footdragging on Puertro, and Valverde in particular. Rant has more. The ASO is probably cautiously confident -- Valverde has already crashed once in the Tour, and his abandon will come none to soon for them.
The Boulder Report assumes that Beltran is guilty, and an idiot in the headline, but backpedals before making the case:
The usual caveats apply: no confirming B sample yet and, based on that recent Journal of Applied Physiology study, it appears that some WADA labs can't tell a positive EPO test from a spaghetti stain on a takeout menu.
But that doesn't mean he's not GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!! Retargeting some comments by Trudeau in the link above,
Challenges to the
White HouseWADA narrative continue to be reframed as unpatrioticpro-doping. And fear-mongering has disabled civil public discourse.
Back to the Boulder Report:
But as for Beltran, this is it. He's 37 years old. Maybe he's always been dirty. Maybe he felt compelled to dope now to keep up and never did in the past. Maybe the test is crap. Maybe there's a Rutger Beke-like explanation for it. Too late for Manuel, if he's innocent of the charges.
Racejunkie riffs on Triki's turn of fortune, and the way the lens has turned on the Posties. Is that coincidence, are they particularly out-of-line, or just particularly targeted for reasons easy to guess?
Oh, but now they're taking Triki out as the latest Completely Solo Rogue Scapegoat, so that makes their tolerance, nay encouragement, of the 200 other dirty pigs in the peloton all A-OK...
I give up. Pay Jan Ullrich back all the money he blew on doping in '06 and offer him a public apology. Give Vinokorouv a key to Paris, the rock-star limo he deserves, and all the medical assistance he requires. Hook freakin' Bjarne Riis up with an armload of IVs and get his !@# out of the team car and back on the bike. Hell, stoke up Bernard Hinault til he's a quivering crackhead for all I care and see how he stacks up against the current generation of dope fiends. And while we're at it, the *least* you hypocrite skank goons can do is free Iban and Landis from the arbitrary selective hell you've consigned 'em to. You *suck* UCI!
Apropos of nothing, isn't awfully odd and sad that damn near *all* the Lance underlings from Postal and its progeny--Heras, Hamilton, Triki, to get the ball rolling on the hall of shame (and no, I won't count Floyd "Monkey Trial" Landis)--went bad as soon as they left the nurturing pure embrace of the Bruyneel team bus? Shame on you all, boys, tainting such an irreproachable legacy!
WADAwatch offers part III of its series about the Landis verdict, noting that if LNDD "really" made the mistakes Landis accused them of, it might have cost USADA and WADA $15 million instead of the $4 million it did to secure their award. Ww uses the "lens" of the Landis case to find the WADA adjudication process deeply institutionally flawed through vague legal writing and manipulation by the small group of insiders that the Quigley ruling warned about.
Needing vacation, Ww starts to conclude:
A reminder that Results Management is a term for properly informing Athletes of AAFs, not a term for controlling through a 1.3 million dollar infusion of appeal funding, the outcome of the case.
Landis: this so–important conviction of that bastard, that upstart, that who–does–he–think–he–is, a virgin–busting, testosterone–abusing, nothin–but–a–Cyclist, that (gasp) American, and my God (!) his attorneys who dared (“How could they??”) to peek under the corner of the rug of our beautiful system...
A system of now publicly acknowledged and authorized SNAFUs, a system that shows outsider attorneys that there is no proof so fine as the proof coming from the mouth of a finite WADA family of associated 'experts'. Ww hopes that people in the anti–doping movement will soon realize that if they hold the power to affect person's lives, through imposition of legal norms and severe criteria, that they hold themselves as accountable as those whose convictions they seek.
(The Quigley Ruling is turning out to be unfortunately prescient, like the Eisenhower warning about the Military-Industrial Complex. [video])
Ww leaves the post with this:
If Floyd Landis' case gave birth to WADAwatch (and TrustbutVerify, and many other good blogs), then the sequence and discordant rulings found in the three Decisions (the 'legal' AAA/CAS process, as well as the 'renegade' French procedure), may propel WADAwatch into a more substantive future.
WADAwatch is taking a great part of this summer off, to explore seriously the feasibility of transforming into an NGO.
Ww has received a 100 per cent non–Landis–associated 'seed money' donation of several thousand Swiss Francs; this fund will be put towards exploring the feasibility of legally establishing an NGO, somewhere.
Building the NGO requires a Board of Directors, and many more steps that require full-time attention.
Our 'Mission' will simply be to create a world in which WADA fulfils its own Fundamental Rationale, in seeking to respect the Heritage that gave it birth, from the Council of Europe in 1989, the 1990 International Olympic Charter, by returning to the legal guidance offered by Quigley's famous and now, perhaps, forgotten case. An informative role, publication of more regular and wider–ranging information, would help keep Sportswomen and Sportsmen aware of their rights and responsibilities, lobby Federations, Governments, even WADA itself, for the honest system that pulls honest Athletes forward.
That can only be done if, when evidence that screams 'Positive!' is unassailable, because the analyst in the Lab devotes as much integrity to their job, as does the man on a bike, who trains seven hours a day, to earn the right to be tested as an Elite Pro Cyclist.
WADAwatch will be watching the renegade non–UCI Tour de France and the Beijing Olympics, with eagle eyes for irregularities.
Enjoy your summer...
In a postscript, WADAwatch found the last COFRAC paperwork on LNDD, and finds it to be the very definition of a pro-forma review of substance so empty as to raise questions whether the auditor did anything beyond sit down to coffee.
Oliver Starr gets in a good rant about the Landis award, though he's confused on a few facts.
PomPom Boo tries to explain why athletes dope, without much insight. Landis is mentioned in passing.
Harrumph misses his Pirate, Pantani. 2007 went by in such a blur he refers to Landis as "last year's temporary winner"
Team Armada posts video of Landis at Google last year talking about Positively False.