[one day late, I didn't have a connection yesterday]
Another Tour, another doping case. Or rather, several of them. After Di Gregorio (who looks like he is about to scream a la Edward Munch in the photo accompanying this article about the case) and the USADA five upheaval, we now have Frank Schleck.
Will it ever change? Here is the problem:
- There is no doubt the peloton has gotten cleaner in the past five years.
- There is equally no doubt that there are still some who have missed the memo and some new problems have been cropping up (training on far-away islands, micro-dosing, etc).
- To solve it, the sport needs decisive action.
But who will act decisively? As I have mentioned before, the deafening silence from teams and federations is chilling. In April I said this:
Why aren’t teams speaking up about what they want in the anti-doping fight? They pay the most for the biological passport, and the program doesn’t seem to catch too many people anymore. So I would expect teams to say one of two things. Either they say “we’ve done it, we’ve solved the problem, we spent a ton of money on it and we’re proud of the result” or they say “hang on, we’re paying all this money but not catching the cheats”. Instead they say nothing, giving the impression they don’t have a vested interest in the success of the program. Or that they define success differently.
Nobody stands up to say “this is where we stand, these are the problems, these are the tough steps we’re taking to solve them, and off we go”. I fear there are three main reasons:
- Too many people have too “colorful” a past to take charge on this issue.
- Too many people in cycling know about too many skeletons in other people’s closets, and so everybody keeps everybody else in check through fear of mutual annihilation.
- There are so many connections in cycling that getting on your soap box here will burn you elsewhere, even if you have nothing to hide.
This Schleck case is a perfect example. I will examine that tomorrow so if you don’t want to miss that, subscribe here!