The Tides of Time

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09/18/2012| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
If you're waiting for a neat conclusion to the doping scandal you're out of luck Fotoreporter Sirotti

The Tides of Time

If you're waiting for a neat conclusion to the doping scandal you're out of luck.

There are times when you feel that the well has gone dry. Yeah, sure we could still talk about the continuing side stories that have come out from the Tyler Hamilton and Dan Coyle “The Secret Race” book. The Moto Man? Now that was an interesting twist (But not really unexpected. How else were they going to be able to transport doping products without someone able to stay a step ahead of the law?).

And while Tyler had a hard time remembering the details of Mr. Moto, Dan was able to track him down. From there the hive mind of Twitter took over and people discovered his Facebook and Twitter account. Yes there was embarrassing photos of Moto Man with Sean Yates as well as Jens Voigt and Frank Schleck from the Leopard-Trek days.

Sure there was a lot of innuendo of why these riders would associate themselves with a notoriously linked rider, but realistically people can't vet every person that comes up to them looking for a photo. “Before I take a photo with you can I ask if you have ever been involved with doping or any illegal activities?”

In the case of Yates, where obviously they know each other better than just a random person, he might have known Philippe Maire AKA – Moto Man – from him being Armstrong's gardener/errand boy. But who knows? And at this point there's not any proof to hang Yates with a doping label. That said I'd still like an explanation. To be honest I don't expect to get an answer. At this point neither Voigt, Yates nor Schleck have mentioned the embarrassing photos.

There have been other riders that, as we all know, have been named as being part of an organized doping ring or they're just pawns within the team's symptomatic doping program. I've written about these riders and in the back of my mind I expect some kind of resolution. The accused riders will suddenly admit to doping and say, “Neil, you were right all along. So sorry we black-balled you.” That has as much a chance of happening as the acceptance of Britney Spears' MENSA application.

I don't think I'm the only one who has to take a deep breath and realize we're probably never going to get any “I told you so!” moment. For Lance Armstrong to admit to doping would make the removal of his name from the winner's list of Tour de France champions seem insignificant. His whole image of an athlete would be destroyed and he'd forever be labeled as a fraud. While his yellow jerseys may be gone, Armstrong still has some major sponsors standing with him – Nike and Trek (of which he owns shares in the company).

In The Daily Finance the president of Honey Stinger nutritional products said, “Bike racing for years has had a lot of controversy, and we're a small company built around endurance sports and he's kind of the icon." The Daily Finance interpreted this statement as, 'he may be guilty, but it doesn't matter because he's so


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