The New Reality - Races are won on the roads and in the court rooms
Alberto Contador's results are tossed out and once again cycling history needs to be rewritten.
testing protocol for the plasticizer wasn't validated and couldn't be used as evidence. However, it sure didn't paint a pretty picture of what Contador might have really been doing during the rest day in the 2010 Tour de France.
With that statement in its press release Saxo is already starting the positive spin that Contador is really the victim of accidental contamination. Contador has gathered sympathy from numerous pros and retired pros alike.
Andy Schleck is now the official winner of the 2010 Tour de France and he's not happy about it.
"This is just a very sad day for cycling. The only positive news is that there is a verdict after 566 days of uncertainty. We can finally move on."
Who can blame him? Every athlete wants to win on the field of battle, not in the court room 566 days later. What's curious to me is he believes in Contador's innocence. But let's hold off on that for a moment and hear other pros' comments.
Oscar Pereiro, who inherited his Tour victory after the disqualification of Landis took to Twitter and said, "Do you know what I think? That he is innocent, I know him!" Unfortunately Pereiro's gut feeling can't be used in a court of law.
Pedro Delgado also picked up his smart phone and tweeted, ""I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. The UCI, WADA and CAS are just looking to make names for themselves. They ought to go away and reconsider the fight against doping." Either Delgado's cap lock key was stuck or he's really upset!
From there it goes on and on, pro after pro not believing the outcome and proclaiming Contador was innocent, or he was a good guy, or it's killing the sport. You get the picture. But why?
Again my thought is that these pros - especially the ex-pros - might think that we can go back in time and take away past victories. Let's be honest, Eddy Merckx is a great rider, but also one that was suspended for doping. That said, there's no way we're taking away his wins. But let's look at Saxo Bank director Bjarne Riis. He admitted to doping during his 1996 Tour win, but he's still listed as the official winner of that Tour. Could this ruling have created a precedent to going back and changing the general classification? Realistically, no.
The winners in all this are technically Schleck, now the 2010 Tour winner and Michele Scarponi, who is now crowned the victor in the 2011 Giro. Neither rider feels like a winner, but that's the reality.
What ultimately surprised me is that the rule for clenbuterol is so plain. It is a zero threshold drug meaning there can't be any in your system. It may not be fair, but that's the rules. Contador never made a case saying it wasn't there, but instead he blamed tainted steak for causing the positive result.
I personally think Contador could have gotten a lot worse. He could have lost all his past victories in addition to being banned for two years starting