Friday, December 31, 2010

2011: A Clean Year In Cycling?

Deja vu: we have all been here before, lamenting the year and pleading for sanity. 2010 has to stand as one of the worst since 2006, a second Tour de France champion in disgrace! Cycling in disgrace! The anti-doping crusade on the verge of disgrace if not adamant in enforcing the rules! Madame Defarge will you accept the challenge or cringe in cowardice?

Who would ever suggest that Pat McQuaid could be so stupid as to encourage behavior that reeks of conflict of interest? The UCI in accepting money from Lance Armstrong, currently under investigation for doping, in the form of a bribe, as asserted by supreme disgrace Floyd Landis: is a unacceptable breach of conduct and inexcusable! The UCI should ensure that this sort of thing never happens again, the oldest and most trite cliche ever penned by man! Conflict of interest with such people as notorious, suspected dopers--what were you thinking?

On bended knee, weeping, I begged the peloton to stop doping! A slap in the face followed. At the Tour of Utah riders threw water bottles over my head, filled with energy drink! I cheered them on with enthusiasm! No number of positive tests makes me waver. Addicted to cycling, there is no cure. I ask once again, 2011 is here: make it a clean one.

The Spanish Cycling Federation has one chance: conviction. Anything else will permanently damage cycling and the anti-doping crusade forever. There are no apologists for Alberto Contador here.

The UCI biological passport is a failure as predicted. Gianni Bugno claims that Franco Pellizotti is being blackmailed by the UCI. Riders are being excluded from racing contracts based upon suspicion. Blame yourselves, there are too many variables to explain the variance, biological ranges are much too large and do not account for individual differences, without a positive test nothing can be proven. The UCI biological passport has morphed into an abusive practice that is being applied unfairly to riders; excluding those who should have a right to a fair process of clearing defamatory conclusions; based upon tendencies not concrete facts!

Foo! Another year of this nonsense, nonsense that should have ended this year! We still have the Lance Armstrong case, the Floyd Landis allegations, and the Alberto Contador fiasco to contend with, shameless.

Cynical people refrain from your jest, someday this madness will end. The eternal optimist has spoken.

Update: Does Alberto Contador look like he is suffering from clenbuterol posioning to you?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Floyd Landis and Pat McQuaid Feud Into Irrelevance

The Floyd Landis and Pat McQuaid feud is dwindling away into irrelevance. Floyd Landis accuses McQuaid and the UCI of covering up positive tests of prohibited substance use by star riders like Lance Armstrong in exchange for bribes; in the forms of donations. Pat McQuaid accuses Floyd Landis of being a liar and has threatened to sue him in court for libel because of an interview Landis did in a German periodical. I love the German sense of humor; attention, dopers! with a syringe being plunged into an imaginary athlete with dramatic sound imagery. Current stories of doping miscreants Floyd Landis and Alberto Contador are featured in doping webmagazin; Landis makes an assertion that the Postal boys were doing blood transfusions on a regular bases and therefore it would be quite impossible to avoid detection by WADA accredited laboratories. So hence the cover up, with promises of money to the UCI by doped riders in exchange for silence, corruption and conspiracy. Ironically, Landis seems to forget that he spent two years and millions of dollars challenging not only the motives of the UCI; but the laboratory methods and competence of WADA accredited laboratories that detected testosterone in his samples! Why did Pat McQuaid and the UCI refuse to make a deal with Floyd Landis if the desire of the UCI is greed only? Very improbable that Pat McQuaid would strike a deal with Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team and ignore a goldmine opportunity with Floyd Landis.

In the spirit of the season; bah humbug! a plague on both of your houses; Floyd Landis and Pat McQuaid!

The United States Government seems to take the Floyd Landis testimony of doping by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service Team quite seriously. For now. We duped fans are still waiting for an indictment, trial, and conviction of the criminals. Meanwhile 2010 is near death and 2011 looms large, with another year of misdeeds fading in statute of limitations oblivion.

Slow torture works faster than the United States federal government. Lance Armstrong might escape and then sue Floyd Landis from sheer ennui, and lack of interest. But Floyd Landis is a poor man who owes money to the Floyd Fairness Fund donaters who were duped into making contributions to his cause; and Lance Armstrong probably might have to wait until doomsday to collect his damages.

Pat McQuaid will have to wait until other players extract a pound of flesh from Floyd Landis; no need to mention the French government and the outstanding warrant for computer hacking; before he can carve the beast. The UCI should call the Landis nonsense absurd and stop there.

As for justice: if a judge asks Pat McQuaid if anyone believes that the UCI took money from riders to cover up doping misdeeds and McQuaid says no, the case will probably be immediately dismissed as outrageous. Which it is.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Alberto Contador Doping Allegations Drag On

Breaking news! The Alberto Contador case will drag on until middle January when, no matter what the decision, the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) assures us that there will be an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport!

Incredible! I was thinking that maybe, by some miracle, Alberto Contador would plead guilty and we would be done with this charade!

No, no. Saxo Bank gave Alberto Contador eight million euro reasons to deny doping, much to the disgust of pure cycling advocates everywhere.

Pat McQuaid assures us that all is not lost, the UCI has transferred authority of the Alberto Contador doping allegations to the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA). The World Anti-Doping Authority is an adamant anti-doping organization that insists on strict liability. Clenbuterol is not an endogenous substance found in either man or livestock. The case is clear, Alberto Contador tested positive for clenbuterol. The "B" sample confirmed the "A" sample. The meat allegedly served to the Astana professional cycling team for dinner was not contaminated. Clenbuterol is still a WADA prohibited substance. Two years! What is there to appeal?

No need to bother to mention the presence of common plastics found in blood transfusion bags in Alberto Contador's urine samples, or to the blood transfusion theory asserted by most doping experts, because the test for these plastics does not have one-hundred-per-cent validity and reliability that proves culpability. As a purist, science demands one-hundred-per-cent validity and reliability in all doping tests that are subject to an extensive literature of peer review; not to tests that invite theoretical challenges that are subject to hypothetical bunk and speculation!

I have maintained all along that the guillotine is a better punishment than a firing squad; remember my references to Madame Defarge on the Floyd Landis Topix forum? Madame Defarge, the crazy lady from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, who knitted names of the French aristocracy and clergy who would be executed during the Reign of Terror, into her shrouds! I accused Christiane Ayotte, the head of the WADA lab in Montreal, of being the reincarnation of Madame Defarge when she went full speed ahead against now confessed doper Floyd Landis. Put Christiane Ayotte in charge of the Alberto Contador case, let her sharpen the blade! After all, Christiane Ayotte said that she would be appalled if WADA dropped the strict liability doctrine adopted by Richard Young! If a few innocent athletes are ensnared in the process, well WADA is investing money into research to assure that this does not happen. Unlike the AFLD, who don't care about anything, especially how there worthless laboratories operate.

I respect and admire Christiane Ayotte as a true scholar of doping science and I trust her opinion implicitly. I have cited her statements on numerous occasions and I truly believe that she would be the be the best possible WADA prosecution representative available.

Alberto Contador must be suspended for two years. There is no other option.