Bringing back the credibility
Let's not paint everyone with the same brush.
Di Luca and his teammate Mauro Santambrogio are both examples of why we still need to be very aware of doping, but not so far as to paint the whole Vini Fantini-Selle Italia squad as dirty. At this point I’m willing to think it was an isolated case of two riders who thought they could get away with it.
There’s a time to dial back the huge amount of negativity I see on the Internet and as we enter the final weeks before this year’s Tour de France, now is the time to do it.
I don’t expect to convince everyone to take this new approach. Some have made their cause célèbre to point out any and all riders for anything that might slightly hint at doping. I’m going to resist that urge. Let me repeat - I’m going to try and resist.
Like many cycling journalists out there, we’ve all been lied to directly to our faces regarding doping, so we’re a little gun shy - that’s understandable. I’m going to try and be open-minded about the current situation in cycling and not paint the current riders with the same Armstrong era brush I did in the past.
We watched Armstrong and company smash the competition on the way to seven Tour de France victories and for several of those wins we clapped as they took a celebratory lap around the Champs-Elysees in Paris. I’d be happy if his legacy would be a transparent and honest account of the doping he was a part of. I’m doubtful it will happen as there’s something in his DNA that won’t let him admit defeat. But if he could cowboy-up and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it would go a long way to salvaging his reputation - something he needs to remember as time marches on. Soon Armstrong will be nothing more than a doping footnote in the history of sport. If he was to come forth to USADA or WADA or even a credible journalist who wouldn’t let Armstrong walk all over him or her, it would go a long way in restoring some accountability to cycling.
Maybe I’m naïve and I could look ridiculous if Nibali is suddenly popped for doping. Regardless, I’m going to quote Mr. Gulley’s last two sentences when he references Rodriguez’ win, “If those things don’t excite you - if all you were thinking was, ‘I bet they’re juiced,’ - perhaps you should consider tuning into a new sport. There’s always baseball.”
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