Sun 10 Dec 2006
This site will close on January 31.
I would like to note that this decision has nothing to do with any opinion I might have about the guilt or innocence of Ivan Basso. As far as I am concerned, he is innocent until proven otherwise. But the decision is, of course, Operation Puerto related and the hypocrisy of the sports governing organizations on the one hand, and the reactions of a lot of riders on the other.
We do not know whether Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, or any of the others accused in Operation Puerto doped or not. We do, however, know that someone – very likely quite a large number – of riders have doped. Despite this, many riders are pretending as if nothing happened this summer – no doubt hoping that if they lay low, the storm will eventually pass and we can get back to “business as usual” next year. It is incredibly disappointing to find that many riders seem to believe that everything is fine as it is, and seem to have no interest in working for a cleaner and fairer sport. This lack of reaction is particularly selfish and disappointing when it comes from riders who have been implicated in Operation Puerto, and thus have suffered both unjust treatment and ought to have an interest in cleaning up the sport.
At the same time, the sport’s governing authorities are leading the fight against doping in a manner which appears both ineffective and hypocritical. Apparently, riders are to be punished without trial, and rules that apply to one do not apply to others. The initiatives of the few (CSC and T-Mobile) are left unsupported by the sports governing bodies, who prefer to punish rather than prevent.
A while ago, I wrote two articles for DailyPeloton.com:
For me, Cycling lost its attraction the day it became obvious that even today, eight years after the Festina affair, systematic doping is still wide-spread in the peloton. I don’t believe that doping will ever be eradicated, but I do believe in a clean sport. Cycling is not a clean sport, and while I will work (where possible) for a clean sport, I will no longer run this webpage nor support the sport in other ways, until significant reforms are implemented.
This blog will no longer be updated, but will be archived on my personal domain for the foreseeable future.