Everyone is reporting Piepoli and Ricco have been fired by Saunier-Duval. There's no known positive test for Piepoli, but he's said to have violated the "ethics pledge." Velonews; Reuters;
The CyclingNews has a number of editions and features stemming from the Ricco bust for EPO yesterday starting off with UCI concerns about the way cycling will be run without its guidance, and the cloudy future of the "bio passport" program.
In an earlier edition the CyclingNews says the ASO wants the cheaters out. Then why don't they test everyone, including riders for whom they may harbor special interests? This edition also contains rider response to Ricco's downfall.
Finally David Millar chimes in on the Ricco situation saying he knew Ricco was too good to be true. Maybe the ASO should use David Millar to find the cheats. Also in the piece is news that WADA is ahead of the detection curve on the "new" EPO, CERA.
Private email chides us for the habit we've gotten into of snarking Millar. (Like above.) What do we want him to do or say? Like it or not, he's a focal point whenever these things come up, and he's answering questions rather than running away.
Fair enough. We know it's easy to snark on someone you don't know, on whose situation one projects, from a safe distance. We've reported plenty of examples of that with Landis. Therefore, we'll declare a voluntary Millar-torium unless he's involved in something particularly newsworthy.
The Herald-Sun (News Corp, AU), rants against those who thought the sport had cleaned up, and calls Pantani and Landis "grubs".
Ode Magazine looks at the societal issues surrounding doping in cycling and wonders if since many people take Prozac, and other life "enhancers" that can be dangerous, who are we to take such umbrage at athletes who use PEDs? Instead of condemning them, we should put less pressure on them to succeed thus eliminating the need to dope. Nice thought, but athletes function within stated rules, and last we knew it was not illegal to take Prozac for depression.
Mail and Guardian (SA) talks about Robbie Hunter, an ex-Phonak teammate, and typically for a sprinter, doesn't mince words. On doping:
"It will stop being in the headlines when you guys [in the media] stop asking questions about it. If someone is exceptional it doesn't mean they are using products," he insists.
How does Hunter feel about the ruling? "I don't really give a damn. Floyd is a friend and he will always be a friend, finished."
On the UCI
"The ProTour means nothing. It will fall by the wayside in the next year. The people with the money -- and that means the ASO -- will win out. The UCI aren't the ones who are making the sport into a spectacle. If they fall by the wayside it will make no difference. If the ASO falls by the wayside there will be nothing to watch."
Hunter thought Duenas was in good form, but the interview was before the positive test.
ESPN/Bonnie Ford writes of the day after, noting the disbelief at Ricco's brazen behavior, and what clean riders ought to be taking pride in:
What separates these riders from the rest of us is not only their physical gifts but their incredible capacity to drive, motivate and discipline themselves. If a rider believes he has an edge, he does; so each of these teams has gone to extremes to experiment with innovative training methods, equipment and psychological support.
No detail is too small for the concept vetters on these teams. It all adds up to a process that should be a lot more satisfying than living in the clandestine world of injections, transfusions and drips.
ESPN also has a piece by Bobby Julich going every which way. He'd hoped it was an "old guard" problem, but Ricco, shows it's not, and he's frustrated.
I believe in the testing 100 percent. I have to believe the best riders of the Tour right now are performing naturally. Of course, when news like this comes out, you start to question yourself and ask, "Am I being naïve?"
Rant writes about "le Tour de EPO" and Ricky Ricardo, er um Ricardo Ricco and wonders who will be next to be busted?
The Service Course reflects on the betrayal felt by journalists who feel like they been used as conduits of lies by riders subsequently found to be dopers. He goes back in time to reflect on a race he covered where the winning break consisted of eventual winner
Vaughters, Scott Moninger (then Mercury), Chris Wherry (then Saturn), and Floyd Landis (then Mercury).
Since that time, Wherry, god bless him, has kept his nose clean as best I can remember, and has a notable domestic career to look back on for it. The rest? Vaughters was implicated by his little IM conversation with Frankie Andreau, and though he smartly keeps mum on the details of his past, I think he’s done his penitence for any transgressions in a far more valuable manner than spending a couple years on the bench at the UCI’s behest. Moninger had a steroid positive several years later, which he claims was the result of a tainted supplement. And, well, we all know what happened to Floyd. Sort of.
So that breakaway doesn’t look quite so good in retrospect, but at the time, and based on what I knew for sure – which didn’t include what anyone there was smearing, swallowing, injecting, or sticking onto or into their bodies – it was a good story. So I wrote it like I saw it. And without a crystal ball, that’s all we can really do, isn’t it?
The Steroid Report discusses Ricardo Ricco's positive at the TdF for the "undetectable" Mircera. Thanks for the nice blurb.
Smithers in Minneapolis says Floyd Landis joined a group ride a friend was part of recently, and talked "smack" about the "cat 3" Tour de France. Smithers doesn't understand why Landis still has any sponsors.
Stubby Holder continues to express his dislike of cyclists (long vented against Landis), hoping fellow Ozzie Evans loses, because he he hates all of 'em.