When in doubt, blame someone else

I’m reminded of the story of two envelopes. Upon taking a new position a leader was given this advice by his predecessor. I have left you two envelopes. When in a crisis, open the first one. When the next crisis hits, open the second one.

Well, when the first crisis hit, the leader opened the first envelope. It read “Blame me.” that got the leader through the crisis. Not too long after, a second crisis hit. The leader ran to his desk for the second envelope. It read “Prepare two envelopes.”

I’m sure we have all heard that story. I needed to repeat it to put it in your mind when reading the following story. Pat McQuaid received a vote of support from the Irish Cycling Federation. Not surprising that an Irishman wins support from his own federation. Just look at the language. It reads like the first envelope.

“The shadow of Operación Puerto looms large over the public perception of cycling and the ham-fisted approach of the Spanish magistrates has left UCI, the riders who have been named, AIGCP and the various National Federations in the unenviable position of being damned if they do anything and being damned if they don’t.

“Undoubtedly, there are lessons to be learned from the debacle, most of which should be given to the Spanish authorities. Their initial haste to get a juicy story to the media contrasts strongly with their subsequent lethargy in making information available to UCI, WADA, or to the National Federations. While I don’t wish to be seen as making a judgement against anyone, I applaud the action taken by UCI to proceed as it has. To have done otherwise would have shown our sport in a very poor light.

“Even though you were vilified in certain quarters, any reasonable assessment of events since Operación Puerto serves only to enhance your personal integrity and the integrity of the anti-doping process of UCI.”

The UCI approach of trial by media has been forgotten. The fact that the most dangerous place in the world this summer was not in the Middle East but between you and a television camera. That’s OK. Just know this Pat, you just burned your first envelope. Better get two of your own ready.

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