It seems the rainbow jersey is giving Paolo Bettini something extra, a bully pulpit. Talking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Paolo said:
“DNA testing for riders is absurd, as is the idea to exclude riders (from ProTour teams) who are only under investigation. If they refuse to hire riders who are under investigation, the same should hold true for the managers, team directors, coaches and doctors who have had problems. And to make DNA testing obligatory is even more unacceptable! They only do that to serial killers; maybe whoever came up with this idea is watching too much TV. Since 1997 we have had to be available for blood testing, but now they are talking about violating all of our personal rights. Yeah, someone might want to take a DNA test to show their innocence and if they do, I’ll tip my hat to them.”
Soon to be Paolo’s former boss, current Quick Step team boss and AIGCP President Patrick Lefevere shot back saying:
“Before he even speaks or refuses to take a DNA test, Paolo should think first. He should read the ProTour Code of Ethics. (Paolo) is World Champion and he’s an example to others: if the riders refuse to follow the Code of Ethics, they are putting their future and the future of cycling at risk.”
It may take a while to see where the battle lines will be drawn between the UCI, riders, teams and the WADA. There may be alliances of convenience, necessity, or a common enemy. Or it may come down to momentum. No one want to align with a losing cause even a righteous one.
Will DNA testing be the “54º40′ or fight” line?