It’s time to dump the dopes who run cycling
Cycling needs a new doping test. But this is not about drugs, rather the need to rid the sport of the dopes who’ve overseen its descent into the roadside gutter.
Top of the list is Pat McQuaid, president of cycling’s world governing body the UCI. Last night in Geneva, he announced that there was no place in cycling for Lance Armstrong and that his seven Tour De France titles would be erased from history.
Doh! It took McQuaid two weeks to come up with that bleeding obvious conclusion, which given the weight of evidence against sport’s biggest ever cheat and liar, was a huge failing in itself. But it was what McQuaid didn’t say during the press conference that was more important.
He couldn’t say how the world’s most sophisticated and large-scale doping regime had gone undetected for so long. He could not justify why the UCI had received $125,000 in donations from Armstrong, even though he was a drug suspect at the time, and he had no idea what the UCI would do next to rebuild the sport, sanction cheats still in cycling or deal with disillusioned sponsors.
He had no answer to the question of which cheats (self-confessed or otherwise) should be allowed to have a role in the sport in future and which should not. His management team would not be meeting until Friday to address this biggest crisis the sport has ever faced, he said.
It got worse when McQuaid (excruciatingly) quoted President John F. Kennedy to suggest a crisis also presented an opportunity. Just what that opportunity is, he was unable to articulate.
The whole event seemed aimed at protecting the UCI’s reputation and the incompetents who’ve mismanaged world cycling over the years. This was not an enhanced performance as McQuaid and his awkward offsiders served up the spin faster than a Mark Cavendish back wheel.
Now it’s time for a line in the bitumen. Not only should the performance-enhanced dregs of the Armstrong era be driven out of the sport (whether they be riders, sporting directors, team managers or administrators) but so should the people who let it happen on their watch and subsequently did nothing in the years that followed Armstrong’s retirement.
Those who love cycling have been cheated, duped and lied to. In the words of commentator Phil Liggett, we’ve all been taken for a ride. It’s now time to sack the dopes along with the dopers. Good riddance.
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