In life, it all depends

If an athlete is caught with an illegal performance advantage and all signs point to a mistake made by a member of the team then what happens to the athlete?

If you are a cyclist, tough luck, you are suspended. If you are Jeff Gordon, you get a pass. That’s what happened to Hollywood Jeff when it was found out that his car was illegally modified when he won at Monte Carlo. His punishment? He was not stripped of his win, he was just asked to start at the back for Daytona.

When told of his “altered” car, Jeff replied:

“Are you serious? That sucks. I’m mad about that right now.”

OK, an altered car is different than performance enhancing drugs in a cyclist’s body. Then, what about Michael Waltrip. He had an illegal substance in his gas line. His punishment? He was docked 100 driver points and he can’t race at Daytona which is in essence a one week suspension. Here is the interesting part, his crew chief and team director were suspended indefinitely.

The director suspended? Interesting concept.

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3 Responses to In life, it all depends

  1. Theresa says:

    The cyclist get screwed. They are the athlete, what makes the races happen. NASCAR has sponsers, too. But the similarity stops there. Of course, Jeff Gordon isn’t going to compete in the Olympics….I guess that’s the difference.

  2. pelotonjim says:

    Nascar has two things cycling does not. 1) A big TV contract. 2) A stadium where fans pay to enter and watch. This brings bir bir bucks into the game. That makes them untouchable.

  3. Ed says:

    Just like in all major sponsored sports, the sport organizers are in bed with the sponsors. If a star gets in trouble, it hurts both financially, and neither wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    That being said, NASCAR drivers aren’t in total pre-race control of their car. In fact, as the “talent”, they show up at race time, ditch the arm candy, and hop in the car. They have “plausible deniability” if something is illegal. Cyclists, on the other hand, are assumed to be in total control of their bodies. If they get caught doping, there is no plausible deniability available to them.

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