In Hollywood, they call it hiatus. Where I come from, they call it unemployed. Either way, Allan Davis has not had a paycheck since the whole Operation Puerto case broke right before the Tour de France.
The 26 year old Australian was in the early stages of a promising career already making a name for himself among cycling’s elite. Then his name, and those of his Liberty Seguros teammates, showed up on the Operation Puerto list. That’s when all hell broke loose in Allan’s life.
He and his team were kicked out of the Tour de France. His sponsor left the sport and Allan went on hiatus. The really sad part of it was that in short order, the Spanish authorities cleared Allan and his Liberty Seguros with one of the biggest “Oops!” in cycling history.
Then, like all news stories, we forgot about Allan and his colleagues and moved on to the Floyd Landis drama, the Ivan Basso/Jan Ullrich soap opera.
As it turns out, just the original accusation was enough to keep Allan off the ProTour roster. Doping is one of those accusations where once made, the suspicion follows you forever even if the accuser recanted.
Well, the wheels of justice have finally turned in Australia and the countiy’s Sports Anti-Doping authority closed the case and officially cleared Allan to race again. In doing so, the ASDA provided the understatement of the year by saying they didn’t even know why Allan was implicated! Would have been nice to say that in July, not December. Allan is expected to announce a new contract this week.
In typical Aussie stoicness, Allan is saying all the right things:
“I had a short break off the bike but have been in training since September with the full confidence that I would be back racing for 2007.”
“I’m not going to change my way of thinking, I’m going to keep knuckling down and taking it on the chin – it’s just made me stronger mentally.”
“Crying over spilt milk isn’t going to change anything, I just had to weather the storm and the storm has passed.
“I’m now just hoping to have a really good 2007.”
Since he won’t say it, I will. There are a few people who now need to go on hiatus for their part in this mess.