Who is the puppet master?

News & Results

06/17/2013| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
Hein Verbruggen (UCI Honorary President) and Pat McQuaid (UCI President) Fotoreporter Sirotti

Who is the puppet master?

Pat McQuaid gets more bad news & Spain tries to outlaw doping?

he have something up his sleeve? Does Plant perhaps know even more dirty Armstrong secrets that could go back to Hein Verbruggen’s days as UCI President? Does the removal of McQuaid help Plant keep those skeletons in the closet? It’s an interesting exercise to try and guess where the strings of connections could go.

Plant said in a statement regarding his decision to flick McQuaid for nomination,

“This is a critical turning point in the history of our sport, and strong, credible leadership has never been more important. The impact of the decisions being made today will be felt for generations to come.”

“What the sport of cycling needs most at this crucial time in its history is to be guided by a consistent set of values. This isn’t a time for self-interest; this is a time for doing what is in the best interest of the sport.”

“That’s my primary objective for the sport I have been a part of for 40 years. I learned long ago that ethics and integrity cannot be situational; they must be constant and unwavering.”

I truly hope that Mr. Plant’s words are sincere. However, looking at the cast of characters pulling the strings, we might be replacing a president who made stupid mistakes and thought he was untouchable to one smarter to keep the status quo. Mike Plant might be leading another successful coup, this time on an international level instead of domestic.

Speaking of Olympics, Spain is trying to change the opinion that it is easy on drug cheats. As RoadCycling.com reported last week , Spain passed a law that “Includes the expansion of doping tests for athletes to night hours (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and costly fines for those who deal in doping substances. It also creates a new national anti-doping agency with greater autonomy and an additional focus on the health of athletes.”

This all sounds good and the new law isn’t a coincidence. Spain is competing to become the host country for the 2020 Olympics. Cleaning up their tarnished reputation as a safe haven for doping (that’s why Armstrong and company pulled up stakes from France and moved south) is necessary to get the Olympic nod. But here’s the kicker - doping still isn’t against the law in Spain, just a sports violation to be dealt with by the proper sports federation.

The Operation Puerto case finally ended and remarkably the judge on the case wanted the blood bags disposed of so no athletes’ identities would be exposed.

This new Spanish law is a first step in a new era of clean sports, but Spain is still too afraid of reaching into their not too distant past to expose the cheats. If we’ve learned anything from the Armstrong scandal is that no secret is safe. Eventually it all comes out. Keeping it buried only lets it stagnate. Spain - it’s time to stop hiding the truth. To be taken seriously on the world’s sporting stage this new law needs to be one step along a path of cleaning up doping.

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