|Cachet: excellent chocolate and exotic flavors|
Yesterday I discovered an image that may shed light on the current status of professional cycling. This statue, appropriately displayed in front of the Kafka museum in Prague, summarizes the Kafka-esque nature of professional cycling. In it we see two figures, which we can think of as representing Schleck and Contador, performing the deciding act of cycle racing as we know it today.
|The final sprint|
|Saving the soul|
In contrast to Spain's ambivalence, WADA's stance is that any amount of drug is doping. This stance, which in many ways predates the advent of modern pharmacology, where dose was found to be an important attribute for drugs, leaves no room for reasoning. It is clear and pure. Contador is guilty so he should burn.
Belgian cycling star Johan Museeuw, himself the recipient of a two year ban, feels that Contador should either get two years or nothing.
Famed Belgian sports journalist Hans Vandeweghe disagrees. He thinks doping should not be treated differently from any other offense, thereby displaying some basic understanding of modern legislative thinking and at the same time proving that McQuaid was right when he said lawyers are sinking the sport. Further evidence of distorted thinking includes the statement Vandeweghe made, where he said he thinks Keisse should be free also.
But it is the following twisted statement that will be remembered for sure. Vandeweghe said: for example, if this were handled in a court of law, Lance Armstrong -you probably know that any mention of cycling needs to bring in Lance- would be found guilty on plenty of circumstantial and witness evidence, whereas Contador, based on weak and unconvincing evidence would walk.
Those are fighting words, especially in the land of OJ Simpson and Barry Bonds and so it is no wonder that some American cyclists think that Belgium is just a wretched, country sized landfill. And if it weren't for cycling, it should just be burned to save everyone's soul. Bye chocolate and beer!
|Belgium, as seen from Idaho|
Either way, it now appears Shleck will join none other than Spanish star Oscar Pereiro in bringing home the victory in the lab. No word yet on whether the LAY-opar rider will dump his bike and pick up soccer. Presumably not before he takes the Tour de France victory that was just handed to him (and I am not talking 2010).
Contador on the other hand will join the ranks of defrocked winners such as evil Floyd and his current team boss Bjarne Riis.
Contador will appeal the verdict. This was fully expected and I want to add that many in the sports community, including journalist Vandeweghe mentioned above believe that if Contador does not appeal, it means he has something to hide.