ullrichs last chance gone

Sat, Jul 1, 2006

This is a real shame. I was really looking forward to the Tour de France this year, what with Lance gone, it was time for someone else to win. I like Ulrich as he’s a character. He likes cakes I think, becoming famously quite portly at times but able to lose the fat at the drop of a hat and jump on the bike. Basso was a contender too. However, all that is “oot the windae” now as

Ulrich and Basso turfed out of tour

What I find really annoying is the paranoia which Chris Boardman likens to America’s McCarthyism, i.e. a witchhunt. It seems to be a witchhunt indeed. No proof at all, just rumours and extreme paranoia on the part of the teams. T-Mobile apparently asked Ulrich to give a hair sample. When he didn’t, which is his right, they dropped him.

These big teams are running the Tour now. They have nothing to do with cycling. T-Mobile says it all. T-Cycling? I don’t think so. They have markets, profits and shareholders to look after. Cycling is part of their marketing budget and the Tour is their chance to punt their wares to an affluent market following the race.

If they really cared about cycling, they’d care about winning the greatest race on planet but they drop their best riders without any proof. All it takes is a whisper from the investigators and whoosh, you’re out of the team pal.

The tour boss, Jean-Marie Leblanc said “All the cheats should be kicked out”. Too right but not in a proofless witchhunt the day before the tour starts. I smell the dirty hand of politics in this affair. All you have to do is find someone implicated in doping, with proof and start mentioning names in the same breath and they fall like flies. That’s a pretty powerful tool at someone’s disposal. Playing on the paranoia of profit oriented organisations to influence the tour makeup. Maybe I’m paranoid!

This probably means Ulrich has lost his last chance to win the tour. That is criminal, considering non of the banned riders have been proved to have done anything wrong. That is utterly criminal.

Pat McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union was quoted as saying “if they are eventually proven guilty, then cycling is better off without them…”

What if they’re eventually proven innocent?

comments powered by Disqus