July 27, 2007
Rumor of rider positive after Stage 14
A Danish newspaper is reporting that a jersey holder tested positive after Stage 14, when Contador edged Rasmussen, and that Christian Prudhomme will announce the result in a press conference at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Your jerseys at that point were Rasmussen, Contador (white), Soler (polka-dot), and Boonen (green).
If it turns out to be Rasmussen, we may have more information on why he was withdrawn. If it's one of the others, they should just give it up.
Update: HLN.be reports that Barloworld's Mauricio Soler is the likely rider to be named, and that the team hotel has already been raided by police.
Update to the update: This appears to have been an unfounded rumor. Soler checked in this morning, finished 42nd in the TT, and Christian Prudhomme addressed the rumor during his press conference: “We spoke with the commissionaire of the UCI and they said there was no case.”
(Via cycling fans anonymous.)
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I sure do hope (if anyone has to be pegged for this) that it's Rasmussen and not one of the others. You're right. If it's one of the others we should just give up. I'm already feeling better about my next dope-free ride. Look at me go.
Posted by: Top Dog at Jul 27, 2007 4:35:37 PM
Maybe this is a clue?
LeMond insisted that the riders know very well who dopes and who doesn't, suggesting that "it's obvious there are still dopers in the peloton." He explained that Contador weighs the same as Rasmussen, and both climbed at the same speed as Pantani. "That's sufficient for the red flag to come up." He also reminded us that Contador's name came up in connection with Operación Puerto, but was cleared after the 2006 Tour. "I am not pointing the finger at him [Contador]. I am simply saying if Rasmussen got caught then we also need to have a very close look at his competitors."
Posted by: Top Dog at Jul 27, 2007 4:49:37 PM
So, if it is Soler, and if Contador keeps his yellow after tomorrow's TT, that means he'll be the winner of 3 jerseys (Yellow, White, Polka-dot)? Has that ever happened before?
Posted by: elton at Jul 27, 2007 4:51:08 PM
Elton -- Merckx won the yellow, the green, and the polka-dot in 1969, the most dominant Tour performance ever.
Posted by: Frank at Jul 27, 2007 5:01:13 PM
And Pereiro... remember him? Will go top ten if he hangs on in the ITT.
Posted by: Nancy Toby of Lanterne Rouge Blog at Jul 27, 2007 5:29:56 PM
Merckx would have also won the white jersey in 1969, but it hadn't been invented yet. (The mountains classification had been invented, but the polka-dot jersey itself didn't exist until 1975)
Posted by: Mike at Jul 27, 2007 5:35:37 PM
While I agree with Lemond's view of "red flags", I don't agree anymore than people "know who's doping".
Rasmussen's red flags were entirely different than Contador's. He may very well be cheating, but I think his ONLY red flag is that he hadn't done this well in a 3 week race before. Rasmussen's speed up the climb would not have been a red flag if he consistently did that throughout the year, but he struggled mightily on every climb in the Giro. His results are just so staggered that his "missing periods" are just too out of place.
I agree that red flags for speed are a major throw up, when Rasmussen destroys an Armstrong record it's like jumping into red flags. I don't agree with the "they're doing so much better than their last grand tour" thing, of course they are, like 80% of the top 20 riders in the last few years are gone, the pace has slowed, people are cracking. Astraloza is in 6th place and will probably finish 5th, Astraloza! Now maybe that's entirely unfair and he has been clean the whole time and now we're seeing he's a top 5 tour rider, but my point is, it's unfair to compare past finishes.
I think at this point the best red flag is annual consistency because the tests at this point can weed out EPO, testosterone, and homogenous blood transfusions rather easily. The two things to do to cheat now are autogeneous(sp)(you're own blood) and avoiding tests during the year to get EPO. Obviously the latter blood transfusion can only be done a couple times a year as you have to then replace your own blood, you'll have very inconsistent results during the year.
The tour is certainly clearing up, and I'm glad to start seeing angry and visceral reactions out of the riders themselves, once riders and sponsors start eliminating the cheats themselves, it'll make it a lot easier on the UCI to catch them.
Posted by: Nick at Jul 27, 2007 5:46:41 PM
So any news who the rider is?
Posted by: jay at Jul 28, 2007 5:04:33 AM
I'm glad. I was afraid I'd be waking up to images of the whole Barloworld team doing the perp walk after their breakthrough Tour.
Posted by: Nancy Toby of Lanterne Rouge Blog at Jul 28, 2007 8:50:16 AM
It amazes me that you were so quick to report a rumor without any evidence to back it up. I realize this is only a blog, but a lot of people read it, which gives you not only power but also a responsibility to be accurate. The people you are reporting on have a lot at stake, I can't imagine someone constantly attacking my career. The reports are an important part of trying to fix this wonderful sport, but they should have facts to back them up. I think Solero deserves an apology.
Posted by: Barb at Jul 28, 2007 2:08:24 PM
Barb, Should Juan Mauricio Soler find these comments, he can be assured I'm sorry to have reported a rumor that turned out to be wrong.
On the other hand, I don't typically just take anything I've heard and throw it up on the site. In this case, there were at least two independent sources reporting from the Tour that something was up (and at 2:15 Eastern on Saturday, both those stories are still posted).
Posted by: Frank at Jul 28, 2007 2:27:28 PM
It was a rumor.... Same on people who ran with it.
Posted by: TDF Fan at Jul 28, 2007 7:01:39 PM