Friday, May 20, 2011

Compliments and accusations

Sporza called Chris Horner an oldster grabbing power, while Cipollini said Cavendish didn't care about the sport and was fat. The sprinters left the Giro yesterday leaving the race to climbers like Contador, who may well win only to see his victory taken away by TAS in June.

The silliness of the whole doping hoopla becomes more apparent when you hear what Ventoso had to say about Mark Cavendish. The Spaniard accused Cavendish of hanging on the team car to get over the hills, thereby beating the time-cutoff for a hilly stage so he could win the next one. If true it would be a most clear example of cheating and one that had a direct and tangible benefit. So is Cavendish going to be investigated and if found guilty suspended for two years? Don't hold your breath!

The truth is that riders hang off team cars all the time. They have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves and cheating is an integral part of the sport. I am not condoning it or saying that it is OK, but face it, the whole doping is cheating argument holds little water. If you think it is cheating then treat it like cheating.

The reality is that outright cheating is barely looked at, let alone punished so why be so punitive about doping? Clearly something else is going on here.

But the doping game is far from ending. Not only will TAS most likely clear the way for the soon-to-be-oldest winner of the Tour, but former Armstrong team-mate Tyler Hamilton is going on Sixty Minutes this weekend saying he saw Lance inject EPO.

Hamilton

And that brings up another point of how silly this whole matter has become.

St.Lance battling the dope monster

It is now clear that every Armstrong team-mate and competitor was using what everyone considers effective doping. Entire teams were doping, including all of Lance's team. Most have admitted as much in public. Most were suspended or had their careers destroyed because of it. Yet we are to believe that Lance is somehow innocent? Statistically speaking that seems extremely unlikely. Either the stuff does not work, so why bother, or Lance is an alien and a saint too?

Now you may say that there are lies, damn lies and statistics and maybe there is some truth to that. And you could say that Lance was never found positive so you cannot accuse him. But statistics has become acceptable to prove doping. The biological passport is nothing more than statistics and it has indeed been used to suspend and punish riders. So yes, it is acceptable to use statistics, at least to WADA and UCI. We are getting awfully close to 1984 here. Maybe someone should put an end to all this?

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