Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Clenbuterol and plasticisers

Wouldn't you know, another Tour de France winner Alberto Contador tested postitive for clenbuterol and also plasticisers associated with blood transfusions.

In an article by Daneil Benson at, David Walsh, author of From Lance to Landis and LA Confidential talks about the situation. Two things struck me. One about fan support and the other about marketing.
"All those that were going to turn away have long since done so because there's just been so many doping cases in these post Armstrong years. There was obviously loads of suspicion about Armstrong, and then there were the likes of Rasmussen and Vino."
"People have been turning away for a long time and the people that support this sport have made a decision that they don't care how many positive test there are they're going to continue to support it because they love it."
And about Saxo Bank pulling support from team director Bjarne Riis because of Contador;
"Don't expect big business to take a moral stance on cycling. We all know what happened to Festina watches when it was found out that the team was systematically doping - sales jumped up."
(I'll never forget Richard Virenque sitting there crying on camera when the whole Festina team got busted for doping. He did his suspension and came back to the sport a better so many..)
I think Walsh has some pretty interesting observations. Remember it was Riis who was stripped of his 1996 tour title because he admitted to doping, and it was watching him de-throne Indurain in the '96 tour that got me interested in bike racing. I admired Riis. And now here he is stripped of his TDF win and yet he's this respected figure in bike racing? WTH? (what the heck?) I do admire that he came "clean" That had to take some courage, but I still feel like he ripped me off.
And then there's Lance. When everyone else around him was doping, his rivals and his team mates, what does that say about his wins even if he never doped? Bike racing being a team sport..(he would remind us) There is a whole website for fans devoted to support Lance as he faces Landis allegations.
Good grief... What really gets me is that back during the Festina scandal, the TV commentators were really down on the "cheats" and now you don't hear much about it. Franky Andreu, who worked to help Lance win admitted doping to his credit, but is now working as a commentator. I guess they've come to the realization that if they have too much of a problem with it now they cut their own throats...


Jules said...

Wow.. this post makes me realize how very little I know about the sport of cycling. And so really, I can't comment. So I guess my comment is just that! However, I'm sure it's a really good post with lots of validity! Maybe I ought to do a bit of reading on the topic.

don said...

It's still interesting to watch, you just can't believe in the guy who wins.. They ought to pay all the riders the same. Or perhaps pay them more the longer they get away without testing positive for anything..

Diane said...

It seems to me that the cycling-doping scandal has lasted quite a lot longer than doping in other sports. It makes me wonder if it's just one of those things that is always going to be simmering on the back burner.

don said...

I'm not sure it's just on the back burner. I think there's a lot more of it going on than people on the outside of the sport realize. That's my impression anyway.

Diane said...

It could be that way Don. I might just have that impression because baseball and football seem to have more mass coverage than cycling.

JC said...

Almost hard to find a racer that hasn't doped. I love watching the TDF every year. Good blog, keep it up.


don said...

Yes it's sad. I love watching the TDF too, but now I take it a little less seriously than I used to and always wonder who is clean.

Thanks for stopping in