Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tuesday Shorts: Katusha Kicked Off WorldTour, Linda McCartney Team Doping? Armstrong Officially Tour-less.​..

 
Only this Sunday I mentioned how slow news had been in recent weeks, now two days on there is plenty to talk about as new doping cases come to light and the UCI make their WorldTour licence decision in a rather unusual fashion. Here is the Tuesday shorts...
 
Katusha Denied WorldTour Licence
 
In a recent post I spoke about the two way battle between Argos-Shimano and Saxobank in the fight for the final 2013 WorldTour licence and much of the press was saying exactly the same. Things began to get a little heated as Oleg Tinkoff spoke out saying Argos-Shimano shouldn't get a licence as they were a team of nobodies - equally people at the Argos camp began to play the 'we are cleaner than Saxo' card in their efforts to secure a place at the highest level in 2013. As it turns out both secured a licence for 2013, in a bizarre move the UCI reversed its decision and denied Katusha a licence for 2013: "The request from the team Katusha for registration in first division has been rejected. In accordance with UCI regulations, this team’s application has been forwarded to the UCI administration, so that the latter may assess the possibility of registering this team as a UCI Professional Continental Team." A UCI representative told Cyclingnews.com that Katusha had not yet been informed why the decision had been made but: "They will know the rough details but they will formally find out in the next few days."
 
Speculation is rife that the decision may have been made because of the teams less than sqeaky clean image - Galimzyanov's postive this year, Kolobnev's positive last year, the selling of Liege-Bastogne-Liege to Vinokorov, the management basis of Tchmil-Holczer-Ekimov with speculation that Ekimov is Rider 11 in the USADA report into the US-Postal scandal and several more riders implicated in the Padua investigation. The truth we will have to wait for, though the fact that Katusha will be alowed to fight for a position at pro-continental level suggest the ofeence might not be so serious, and more of an administration/management error...
 
Linda McCartney Team Doping Probe
 
"The worst thing about being in the Linda McCartney team was pretending to be a vegetarian. The whole experience was a disaster - basically a lesson in how not to run a team. It was completely disorganised, the funding wasn't there and you had to be a vegetarian. I think everyone was sneaking in the bacon sandwiches" An old quote from one time Linda McCartney rider Bradley Wiggins suggests Bacon Sarnies were the darkest secret amongst the team. The UK Anti-Doping authority would beg to differ as they launch an investigation into 'rife' doping at the team 11 years ago and the 'turning of a blind eye' by the management and riders, which just so happened to house, amongst others 'didn't see nuffin, hear nuffin, know nuffin' Sean Yates, Max Sciandri - DS at BMC who previously worked with the British Cycling Academy and who now looks after the likes of Taylor Phinney and Chris Newton who now works with the British Mens Track Pursuit team. The investigation is said to have been opened on 'Solid' evidence. We will wait and hear what UKAD uncovers and though it wouldn't take a genious to link a late 90's cycling team with doping its the links to British Cycling and current WorldTour DS's that could cause a few shockwaves...
 
Lance Armstrong Officiallt Stripped Of Tour Wins
 
So the UCI have officially informed Lance this week that he has been stripped of his Tour titles and that he has 21 days to appeal the decision. Judgeing from a recent photograph posted on twitter by Armstrong under the tag 'Back in Austin and just layin' around...' he probably won't bother to appeal, instead just carry on living in his little make believe bubble. Nice thing is, it means I have now won as many Tours de France as Lance, which is something at least...

 
Cheek: Lance Armstrong posted a picture of himself lying down surrounded by his yellow jerseys

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