Thursday, 11 October 2012

Peloton: Slow Reaction To USADA File

 
Today could have been one of the biggest in cycling history. Today could have been the day the peloton finally said: "Enough". It could have been the day cycling turned over a new page and started afresh. It could have been the day the peloton admitted its mistakes, its misdemeanours, its pitfalls, its lies. Today could have given the fans what they deserved. Today, the peloton, new and old, have let us down...

Here's some examples of what we have been hearing from those within the world of cycling today:

  • Alex Dowsett: "I don't think it really matters. He is still a legend of the sport. A guy who had cancer came back and won the Tour de France." After receiving heat on twitter he later added "but I wouldn't shake his hand." This doesn't really warrant a response, but nice message for the kids Alex.
  • Dave Brailsoford: "shocking, it's jaw dropping and it is very unpleasant, it's not very palatable and anybody who says it is would be lying wouldn't they? Everybody has re-calibrated and several teams like ourselves are hell-bent on doing it the right way and doing it clean.”
  • Sean Yates: ."I never saw or heard anything untoward. I never saw anything dodgy at Discovery. I just believed he was a superior being. Just a superb athlete. I just turned up and drove the car."
  • Steve Cummings: "It is easy to say and point your finger on all the bad things but you could look at the good things he has done as well. He has done a lot good things, like his cancer charity, you know. When I met him, he was a nice guy to me."
  • Roger Hammond: "I never saw anything. He never offered me dope, never forced me to compromise my ethos or my sport. I was in Lance Armstrong's team for two years and I was never asked, was never given any idea of any doping, he was fantastic to me as a team-mate. He was very supportive. He never ever forced his opinion, if this was his opinion."
  • Samuel Sanchez: "Until the contrary is proved, he remains innocent. Lance has overcome many controls and even until today he has never been found positive in any of them."
  • Patrick Jonker:  "Reading the report, I don't think Lance could have acted as the sole power behind this. I believe you must have had the knowledge of a doctor to enforce this. To crucify Lance and only Lance would be unfair, they need to crucify the sport during that era. During that period, I was definitely aware that there were athletes using performance-enhancing drugs but I don't believe it was to the extent that USADA are coming out with. Me, myself, I am pretty sure the majority of the team were not taking drugs. In cycling then there was a problem but it was not a blanket".
  • Nike: "Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."
  • The Rest Of The Peloton: "Silence"

I'm finding Sky particularly offencive today. Dowsett can be excused for possible naivety. Brailsford pretending to be shocked? Really? He knew nothing about what was due to come out, in the same way he knew nothing about Dr Leinders? Sean Yates was ex director sportive to Discovery Chanel and Astana, worked closely with Lance Armstrong and was highly involved in 'that' era and he wants us to believe he saw and heard nothing? Michael Barry denied accusations until this week and continued to ride for a team Dave Brailsford said he wanted to run without anybody concerned in doping both currently and in the past both riders and staff and Dave Brailsford is merely 'disapointed'?

Why am I picking on Sky? Because as self proclaimed face of anti-doping, a team built with a stringent anti-doping mission statement, with a promise of riding without doping implicated staff and riders it should be they who are first in line to denounce Armstrong. well, today has been a PR nightmare - perhaps Brailsford was naive when he laid out his plans for Sky after all people said it would be close to impossible to build a team without a single person being implemented in doping somewhere along the line, such was the current state of affairs, but really? I suggest following Barry's confession and the Leinders affair that Dave has a sit down with Sean Yates and Mick Rogers and re-evaluates their position within the team...

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