Cycling in Sydney Australia
"Alberto Contador has received today a notification of one year ban proposal by the Competition Committee of the Spanish Federation," said the (Contador's) spokesperson.
Proposal ??? - apparently he has 10 days to appeal. Watch this space!
Hi, please accept this ban and don't make a fuss or we'll bring out the pix of you with ... you know ..
I'm sure he'll appeal, and get tied up with the CAS for 18 months and we'll hear lots more about it.
I'm sure there's some more jokes we can make... "I can eat 21 energy gels, and a big Spanish steak!"
Well they've all been sorta the same, slightly associated with but not definitively proven links to doping.
Saw one funny tweet today about baby Schleck being the first person to win the tour twice in the same year :)
When Contador has been found guilty and Andy Schleck is still saying that he considers Contador to be the winner of the 2010 TdF you kind of have to make the assumption that Andy considered the playing field to be level...
The Contador issue is small fry compared to the Armstrong FDA case. Shouldn't be too long before the indictments are known from that.
At the same time Andy is possibly being a bit noble. Sportsmen often don't grandstand when their rivals get pinged for something, esp as Andy may become champion by default. Not a good look to be saying "I always knew he was a bloody cheat!" Also they are/were mates, or so they said ..
I might have once bought the nobility line, but certainly don't after having read Andy's comments about Carlos Sastre from a couple of weeks ago:
How gracious he is!
The thing is, Andy doesn't have to go around saying "I always knew he was a bloody cheat". All he has to do is say that if found guilty Contador does not deserve to be considered the winner of the race, because he cheated. No more, no less, a simple reiteration of the rules.
But Andy doesn't think that Contador's cheating is enough to strip from him the win in the tour. At best, this is a acceptance and approval of doping and illegal performance enhancement in cycling. At worst for Andy it is a tacit acknowledgment that he himself engages in such activities and he considers that race to have been conducted on a level playing field, even if that level was outside of the rules.
Either way, people with Andy Schleck's views are part of the problem in professional cycling, not part of the solution (which is concerning, as it would seem like Andy is going to be the one who takes the mantle of public persona of the sport on from Armstrong for the best part of the next decade).
What? Just because Andy waited for the judgement and didn't go jumping around all over the place pointing the finger at Contador and saying "cheat" you take this to imply that Andy himself is taking drugs?
Perhaps it is more to do with being diplomatic and realising that saying things out of context just makes you look a fool as is well proved by both Landis and Lemond. They say things of such wildly varying accounts and accusations that is it hard to sort out the truth from the noise. Andy wisely said little, continued with his training and new team and left the dirty allegations up to others.
I don't think you summary of what I just said was particularly accurate.
1. I certainly have no expectation for Andy to jump around all over the place pointing the finger. In fact, I specifically said that he doesn't have to do that. All he has to do is say nothing, at the very least, or just reiterate the rules, but he has chosen not to do either of those things - he has chosen to express an opinion that is contrary to the rules of the sport. Andy did only say little, but it was particularly significant that he chose to say what he did.
2. Andy has waited for the judgment, rightly so. I didn't and don't expect him to pre-empt that decision. However, now that the judgment is known, Andy still maintains that in his opinion Contador is the winner of the 2010 TdF - he only made that statement yesterday.
3. I said "at worst" one could see this comment as an acknowledgment that the tour was legitimatley won by Contador because, despite his doping, the playing field was level (i.e. Andy was doping). I also said "at best, this is a acceptance and approval of doping and illegal performance enhancement in cycling". Which it is. If you didn't accept or approve of doping, you wouldn't consider someone who was found to be guilty of doping during an event which they won to be the legitimate winner.
4. As for diplomacy, read the link I posted above. See what Schleck said about Sastre. They aren't the words of a diplomat. Why would Schleck seem to feel worse about Sastre, his own team mate, winning the TdF than he does about being beaten by someone who just got found guilty of doping?
5. Common sense would tell you that basically all of the professional riders are engaging in activities that are outside the rules in some way. It is sad that this is so, but it is an unavoidable conclusion. Contador being done for clenbuterol is like an ice head being arrested for being drunk and disorderly on alcohol - sure, they got caught, but not for the real stuff they were on. Is Andy taking drugs? Is he getting transfusions? I couldn't tell you exactly what he is doing. Maybe we should ask his brother? Afterall, Frank admitted to paying 7000 euros to Dr Eusemio Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of Operation Puerto, in 2006. That wasn't for anything to do with doping, though... just "training advice".
Landis and Lemond may look like fools to you, but I wonder how many of their claims are going to be vindicated when the FDA indictments come through. It isn't just those two who have made the claims, either - there is a long history of Armstrong teammates who have been called to testify and who have publicly commented on what they saw while riding with him, people that haven't sought the limelight as Landis or Lemond (no mistaking, both have personal reasons for going about their accusations in the way they have, not simply because they want the truth to come out).
I don't expect Andy to be as outspoken as Landis. I thought I made it clear he doesn't have to be. At the very least, though, if he is going to say anything about this case he should say something that is in line with the rules of the sport - if you dope, you are not a legitimate winner. It is a pretty simple concept. Andy hasn't jumped around on a soapbox telling everyone and anyone what he thinks about this situation, but, with the benefit of the knowledge of the decision, he has made a simple statement that completely goes against the attitude that doping is wrong. You have to seriously question why he would think and say that. As I said, at best it reflects an attitude which condones illegal activities to gain performance, and that isn't the kind of attitude I want to see professional cyclists displaying.
It's funny reading that article now that the dust has settled
Andy Schleck also pointed to Cadel Evans (BMC) as a contender,..... However, Schleck believes that the Australian has to limit the amount of targets he has in a single year if he is to get the better of his rivals in July.
"You never know with Cadel. My personal opinion is that he does too many races at too high a level. It's great to see his spirit and he's never bad in any races but if he just concentrated on the Tour he'd be a major threat," he said.
Sounds like someone listened to him.