Let’s make 1998 the demarkation point

The Tour de France is continuing to show that they are using the doping to further their own end. I’m not sure what that end is but the journey to that end involves a lot of prancing around like a peacock displaying its feathers.

The latest round of prancing was to announce that they were stripping Erik Zabel of his Green Jersey from 1996. The reason is his recent admission to doping. I honestly do not care about who did what pre 1998. once the Festina scandal hit, I think we entered a new era from “Don’t ask, don’t tell” to “Just say No.”

I do not believe this is being done because of a commitment to a clean sport. The reason being that the Tour is taking the winners of the Yellow Jersey and Green Jersey out of the record books for 1996. If they were serious, why leave the third jersey from that year intact. The polka-dot jersey of Richard Virenque.

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4 Responses to Let’s make 1998 the demarkation point

  1. Mc says:

    Jim

    Thank you for the observation. Their objectivity into who is and who isn’t clean is laughable.

  2. pelotonjim says:

    If you want us to take you as serious, then you need to act serious about doping.

  3. Jim,

    I think my comment on this post was censored, or it was discarded somehow. It was simply (paraphrasing):

    “Richard Virenque. Good point. Uh, what country was he from?”

    It is sarcasm, specifically aimed at an anti-doping system I believe has demonstrated repeatedly it is irretrievably corrupted. Not in the criminal sense (since only their own “laws” seem to apply to them), but in the moral and ethical sense. Any agency that can’t follow its own privacy rules, that leaks preliminary results as a fait accompli to the French press, or that allows prejudicial and juvenile comments in the press such as Dick Pound’s “You mean, Roid Floyd?” *and* that bars its members and labs from discussing any systemic weaknesses or from acknowledging any exculpatory evidence should, in my opinion, be dissolved immediately. Any statistician will tell you there’s something seriously wrong when any quasi-regulatory body can say, “We’ve never lost a case.” Unless we’re dealing with a rigged system or a virtual dictatorship.

    For the few who don’t know, Virenque was deeply involved in a doping scandal several years back. Now he is a French national hero. Go figure. I agree with your post, Jim, and more.

    As for this year’s Tour, I can’t watch. The taint left by various anti-doping agencies’ witch hunts, the ruined or stillborn careers, and the absence of last year’s champion have left the Tour feeling empty and pointless to me. This year’s riders are talented, and anyone who can finish a Tour is is in the tiniest upper fraction of skilled endurance athletes. I admire them all. But I can’t support a race or a sport that eats its young as cycling has done under the tender mercies of it’s reckless regulatory bodies. As I’ve said before, Pound et. al. have done far more to kill the sport than preserve it. Time to clean house, in my opinion.

  4. pelotonjim says:

    Thank’s for your rewriting your comments. They are well worth the read. I am watching and enjoying the Tour because I will not let some despot ruin a beautiful sport.

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