I’ve been down in Long Beach for the Society for Information Display (SID) conference this week. I’ve been helping out DigiDelve, a Bay Area startup with some great OLED-based technologies. In and out of Internet coverage, I haven’t been keeping up with the news lately. I just read that Riis admitted to doping during his Tour Victory in 1996. It wasn’t quite an open secret that he doped, but everyone certainly suspected that he did, despite his frequent denials. In the same article, I read that Eric Zabel and Rolf Aldag, teammates of Riis (and Ullrich) on Team Telekom, also admitted to doping.
It’s best for the sport for everyone to come clean now. That said, I don’t think the UCI and the Tour will be able to rewrite the history books because of the prevalance of doping in the sport throughout this decade and the 90s. In 1996, Riis, Ullrich, and Virenque were the podium finishes. Virenque admitted doping several years later and Ullrich, though denying that he’s ever doped, is linked to the Puerto and the emerging Telekom scandals.
Prudhomme, the Tour Director, is suggesting lifetime bans for people who deny cheating but are later outed. I wouldn’t go as far as that, but obviously a hard line needs to be drawn to cleanse the sport.
2 thoughts on “More Cycling Bombs”
So sad to see that so many in the Pro peloton are cheats. It looks like the Tour officials last year are vindicated for kicking out Ullrich and Basso and many others in the Operation Puerto scandal. But man, look at the last four TdF winners:
1. Riis – admitted doper
2. Ullrich – so much evidence that he too had doped (blood bags that matched his DNA sample; same person who attested he injected Riis with EPO confirmed he also injected Ullrich with EPO)
3. Marco Pantani – most likely took EPO and was even kicked out of the Giro for it; should have had his victory taken away if he had not overdosed on cocaine and died!
4. Armstrong (probably the only non-doper here)
5. Floyd Landis – failed synthetic testosterone test
So it seems that at least 3/5 of the last winners were sure cheats, and very likely, 4/5.
Some will say Armstrong doped too but at least his drug tests looked clean and it’s unlikely he doped every single one of those 7 years he won the TdF without getting caught. Which makes his accomplishment the more remarkable because it now appears virtually every single one of his rivals had doped!
Bjarne was generally known as Mr. 7% (abnormally high red blood cell ratio) during his racing years. Everyone knew. Even now, all my old buddies, those who raced in Europe, say the riders all doped; yeah Lance too; none of the old guard thinks he’s clean. I was at George Mount’s 50th birthday party 2 tys ago and when ‘Rhe Subject’ came up, Ochowicz was very quiet, and offered nothing. Only Merckx, and LeMond are not mentioned by the old boys as dopers (maybe something sacred there); don’t know why.
Bay area is maybe the best riding in US, glad you enjoy it. Nowhere has descents like Tunitas, Old, Kings. And Stage could be the best riding anywhere (cept for Ventoux).
If you haven’t ridden much in a group, it’s a whole new thing; maybe worth the pain and risk of being dropped. My club rides a regular route most evenings from Canada and 92 6pm. And there’s the Noon Ride: leave at 12 noon every day from page Mill and Foothill.
Madame says Hi. Hope you are well.
Enjoyed meeting Mickey and Walter at your dinner pary; too bad for us they moved to Hong Kong.