In an article by Daneil Benson at cyclingnews.com, 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 guy...like 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...