Friday, May 6, 2011

Above the law

Saying "UCI ignores all court rulings anyways," the Belgian Appellate Court withdrew its order to rescind Iljo Keisse's suspension. The immediate effect is that the embattled rider can no longer race in Belgium either and now has to wait until August 6 before he can race anywhere again.

The fact that Keisse's suspension is about to end did play a major role in the Court's decision, but the admission by a High Court that its rulings "would be ignored" and would thus be "senseless" did shock some people. In essence the justices did not want to intervene any longer but the way they put it seemed to imply that UCI was effectively above the law and could do as it saw fit. The news was largely ignored outside cycling circles and was no doubt welcomed in Switzerland, but it should give all citizens of the free world pause. If any organization can put itself above the law, then what exactly does the "rule of law mean?"

In the US meanwhile we have seen many similar "adjustments" albeit outside the world of sports. Here too, government lawyers and government officials feel emboldened to legalize any behavior they wish to engage in, be it revoking "habeas corpus," spying on citizens, illegal detainment and kidnapping, torture, pre-emptive strikes, or ignoring the sovereignty of nations.

It now appears neo-pro Marcel Kittel is going to win every single stage of the vierdaagse van Duinkerken. The cyclo-crossers who are using this race as their road debut are barely visible. Stybar did manage to get into a break-away yesterday but Sven Nys could do no more than avoid a major crash.

Marcel Kittel (R) here with Taylor Phinney at the U23 worlds

Tomorrow is the start of the Giro d'Italia. For you endurance racing fans, tomorrow is also the second running of Ironman St. George, considered by many the toughest race in the lower 48. And while we have seen pictures of snow-covered peaks for the former, the latter is going to be a scorcher with temperatures above 30C/ 88F.

And finally, a great shot of Hunter in the final stage of the Ster van Zuid-Limburg.

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