I was waiting for this

I wish Dick Pound could just keep his mouth shut. In his quest for power over the UCI, he is willing to destroy cycling. Instead of congratulating Rabobank for making what must be an extremely tough decision to forgo a Tour de France victory and fire Michael Rasmussen without a positive test, Dick takes another shot at cycling.

Pound wants a “cycling summit” because obviously cycling can’t stop doping. I’d like to see a *ADA summit because they need to get their act together more than any one sport. What Dick should know is that fighting a problem like doping comes in phases.

  1. Problem is found and critical mass is reached
  2. New measures are put in place
  3. Cheats doubt measures and a few test the system
  4. Those who test the system are caught
  5. Remaining athletes say “darn, they’re serious!” Behavior changed.

I know the sixth step is someone goes back to the lab to devise a better system to evade detection. The fact that we have teams and fellow riders involved at an unprecedented level is encouraging. Maybe that’s what is bothering Pound. He is not the big dog in the fight against doping. If teams and riders can nip the problem and keep it under control, then Pound will not have anyone who wants to put him on TV. Funny thing he seems to be addicted to the camera. Is there a test for excessive levels of press conferencing?

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One Response to I was waiting for this

  1. Jim,

    Agreed on all counts. One of the mistake the anti-dopers are making is they’re trying to clean up the *winners* of cycling events, rather than clean up the *sport*. They have to test everyone, at least two days out of three. That way, anyone who thinks they can “get a little help” will know there’s a 2/3 chance they’ll be tested the next day.

    By testing only the top riders and one random rider, the message is: “You probably won’t get caught or even tested unless you’re one of the top riders.” So the new guys coming up have a lot of temptation to cheat so they can keep up for 2000 miles, and there’s almost no down side. When those guys mature into top riders, they’ve got an established problem.

    Another reason the whole peloton has to be clean is, as things are now, the GC leaders have reason to fear that some of the young riders in back have an unfair advantage. Of course the leaders will feel pressured to stay ahead by any means, especially if their years of past doping have gone undetected. Millions of dollars hang in the balance, and history shows that some guys (Bjarne Riis for example) can win and get away with it.

    The LNDD lab has to clean itself up and do impeccable work, or be fired by the Tour. Pierre Bordry has to fix his conflict of interest as both head of the AFLD and President of LNDD. The ADA agencies have to immediately adhere to their own rules (especially regarding cyclist privacy, leaked results, and “my golden gut tells me Lance is a doper/Oh, you mean Roid Floyd?”-style interviews). Failure to do so should have consequences. Scientific rigor needs improvement, such as A and B samples being tested by different labs in different countries. Ideally a few loose cannons will get pushed overboard. The ADA internal Code of Silence has to end now, and the agencies rededicate themselves to finding the truth rather than racking up suspensions.

    I could go on and on, but at this point I’m just repeating what reasonable people already know. Change is needed all around, and it isn’t happening because the status quo has benefits that outweigh the alternatives.

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