Wednesday, July 25, 2007

With Friends Like This Who Needs Enemies-Part Deux

I am something of a fan of the drama and character assassination that haunts the Big Enchilada, otherwise known as the Tour de France. Never a dull moment but the news the past few days has been stupefying. The Tour has gone in the crapper the last day or two in a BIG way.

Alex Vinokourov, the presumptive favorite at the start, crashed spectacularly and was patched up, sewed up, and carried on against all hope-busted for blood doping (those are transfusions to up the red cell count and thus the cyclist's O2 capacity) and the Astana team is gone with him including Kloeden, lying fifth and Kaschekin, lying eighth in the standings. It seems the test revealed it was an homologous blood transfusion, which you can read about here.

Cristian Moreni, riding for Cofidis, failed a test for testosterone in stage 11 and was escorted away by police at the end of stage 16. Cofidis withdrew from the Tour.

But by far the biggest smashup was today, when Rabobank threw Michael Rasmussen out on his keister when he'd won Stage 16 and seemed a shoo-in to take all the marbles in Paris next week. Seems that Rasmussen had missed a couple scheduled drug tests, as he says, for administrative reasons, that violated team rules and off he went.

All this is making my head spin. There's no innocent until proven guilty and little in the way of due process in the world of sport generally and in cycling in particular.

I don't know where this is leading, either.

More here.


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