Cycling is at a crossroads
In these tough times, tough decisions need to be made.
those companies? Both Rabobank and RadioShack-Nissan have been hit with either strong allegations or proof that organized doping was part of their managerial structure.
Interestingly, UCI president Pat McQuaid stated to the Irish Examiner that he has fought against doping ever since becoming UCI president. He takes aim at former pro and now journalist Paul Kimmage saying he has a personal vendetta against him. McQuaid says that “mischievous statements” have come from Jaime Fuller, chairman of Skins compression gear as well as board member of Change Cycling Now (CCN).
McQuaid makes some fair points stating that the UCI isn’t a police force and can’t kick in the doors of athletes in the dead of night to demand testing. There wasn’t a test for EPO and the UCI was doing the best it could.
There are counterarguments that doping was obvious and the signs were there that Armstrong was as dirty as a pig in slop. However, for me the statement that shows McQuaid still has his head buried in the sand is, “I do believe, either way, come 2013, Lance will be forgotten anyway. The sport will move on.”
He continues by saying we should look at Brad Wiggins’ amazing 2012 season: three overall stage race wins (Paris-Nice, Romandie, Criterium du Dauphine), overall win at the Tour de France, and gold medal in the time trial at the London Olympics. From the month of March to August, Wiggins was unstoppable.
The Irishman cites the success of the various cycling disciplines at the Olympics and how the sport of cycling is growing outside its historic European boundaries.
The interview with the Irish Examiner ends with McQuaid saying, “So I don’t think this is going to have any huge negative effect on the sport. Things are going in the right direction.”
Respectfully Mr. McQuaid I don’t subscribe to that point of view. The former manager of the RadioShack-Nissan team, Johan Bruyneel, is expected to face a hearing sometime next year. This is only going to drag out either more names or at the minimum put the doping story back into view. I have a feeling that more redacted names from riders’ affidavits will become public and we’ll have a wave of “I did it, but was under pressure” type of admissions.
And let’s not forget McQuaid’s passive approach to using what authority he did have to at least try to curb doping. Instead we have stories of backdated prescriptions and pay-offs to conceal positive doping tests.
Yes Mr. McQuaid we have a long way to go before the ghosts of Armstrong’s past no longer haunt the sport of cycling. Perhaps this independent commission whose purpose is to investigate the claims that the UCI was complicit in organized doping when it came to the Golden Goose known as Lance Armstrong will get to the bottom of the whole seedy situation.
In my town of Greenville, South Carolina there is the Shoeless Joe Jackson Memorial Park. For those who may not know the history of baseball, Jackson was a Major League Baseball player in the early