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July 24, 2007

Tour will continue after Vino bombshell

VeloNews.com | Tour will continue despite doping cloud

Tour director Christian Prudhomme and ASO president Patrice Clerc addressed Alexandre Vinokourov's positive doping test in a press conference in Pau.

Asked whether the Tour should just be canceled, Clerc seemed to think it inconceivable:

“We have started a war on doping, and unfortunately in war there are losses, but it is out of the question to quit,” Clerc said. “There was never a question the Tour would stop. Then the cheaters would win.”

Clerc also said that neither Astana nor race leader Michael Rasmussen should have been invited to the 2007 Tour. Clerc said of Rasmussen, leading the race by 2:23:

“In a period of crisis such as we are living in at the moment, a champion must be a good example,” said Clerc. “His attitude, his lack of respect shown to the administrative rules, which is unacceptable, should be made known to us and we would have refused his participation, because he is not a good role model for the others in the peloton.”

No news yet on the reassignment of Vinokourov's stage wins.

Also:

Yahoo! Eurosport | Tour de France - Tour "winning war on drugs"

Prudhomme blamed the UCI:

“The system is a complete failure. It does not protect the greatest cycling race. We have to blow this system,” he said.

He added that organisers had been informed of Vinokourov's positive test by Astana, not the UCI.

leTour.fr | Le Tour de France Obtains the Withdrawal of the Astana Team

Posted by Frank Steele on July 24, 2007 in About the Tour, Alexandre Vinokourov, Doping, Michael Rasmussen, Top Stories | Permalink

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Comments

Typical Frenchman -- blame someone else for endemic problems, proclaiming your precious event as the victim:

“The system is a complete failure. It does not protect the greatest cycling race. We have to blow this system,” he said.


What happened to arguments for improving anti-doping procedures for:

- preservation of fair competition
- protection of athletes and their rights
- assurance to fans and sponsors that cheats/frauds will be eliminated

These are the real reasons why doping tests should be improved. It has nothing to do with the Tour de France, other than it being more visible than other events.

Do what's right for the right reasons and stop grandstanding Christian.

Posted by: The Stork at Jul 25, 2007 2:52:37 AM

whoever starts their comment with racist slur should'nt be allow to comment.

Mr. Stork, you are a racist pig.

Do what's right for the right reason, and stick to your ingnorace hole

Posted by: sickofracist at Jul 25, 2007 4:20:38 AM

Sorry, but while I don't like labeling an entire nation using stereotypes such as "typical Frenchman" as did Mr. Stork, being French is not a race. Neither is American, German, etc. This wasn't a racist slur. This was mis-labeling a man using a national stereotype that I personally haven't found to be true. Any person of any nationality who is involved in what they see as an important event will blame others for any problems of their events. I am happy the tour will continue and won't judge Vino until all the evidence is in. Innocent until PROVEN guilty, and all that. He still has a B sample to be tested, I don't trust the French lab doing the tests, I think he should be judged by a group of his peers, and I think some judgements may have been made because of his association with Ferrari. When a judgement call is made it is interesting how many times a person finds what they were looking for.

Posted by: Philip at Jul 25, 2007 6:52:37 AM

Xenophobe is the word you're looking for SoR, not racist. Philip is correct: Frenchness is a nationality, not a race.

Moving on: I don't understand Rasmussen (who totally looks like a fetus) here. His only responsibility (to himself, to his teammates, and, I suppose, to his fans) is to provide his location for testing. His entire career, his endorsements, his ability to compete, his reputaion, all hinge on that simplest of tasks. The testers may be dicky or unpleasant or whatever, but his failure to cooperate makes him look, at best, like an A-hole, at worst, like maybe he's guilty of something.

Vino, tho - man, I'm shocked by that. I can understand it, I think (as I could understand Landis's cheating last year), but it's just terrible news for the sport and his team. And for poor Kloden. (Bad week for sporting in general, this....)

Posted by: Jarrett at Jul 25, 2007 7:51:25 AM

What do you mean by your comment "I can understand it",this is the mentality that has got us into this sorry mess.Time to stop pussyfooting around it, the sport is dirty no one can be trusted, call off the tour now.All riders need to confess and maybe just maybe, a clean sport can be rebuilt from the ashes.

Posted by: simon at Jul 25, 2007 8:29:27 AM

Call off the tour now? Then we must also stop baseball, football, basketball, and The Catholic Church. They have a worse record than cycling. Anything that produces big money will have problems. Just fix the problem. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater does nothing but deny the fans.

Posted by: Greyrooster at Jul 25, 2007 8:48:43 AM

Whats the point in carrying on when no one will trust the rersult? Perhaps the yellow jersey should be awarded to the last placed rider he may just be clean.On a more serious note stopping the tour would at least send the message that at last cheating will not be tolerated,if we dont do something drastic we will just be back discussing the same problem next year.Big money sponsors will pull out now anyway.

Posted by: simon at Jul 25, 2007 9:44:49 AM

You know, back in the old days those guys were smoking cigarettes for advantage. Pumping yourself full of cows blood? Well, your personal choice I'd say. If you don't have the legs and brain it won't help much anyway. Here's to another hundred years of insanity!! Whoohoo I love the tour!!! Knock yourselves out guys! Just do the women a favor and allow us to race it too! Spoken like a true part French part Italian part Welsh part Irish part English AMERICAN woman, eh?!

Posted by: AlliWalli at Jul 25, 2007 11:28:10 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the point of doping controls to catch the cheaters so they can be punished? If so, then the system is working, maybe not as well as we would like but it is working.

Just because there are doping controls people will still try and cheat. You can be expelled from college for cheating but people still do it. Also, there have been plenty of track athletes who have tested positive and no one has suggested stopping any of those events or kicking them out of the Olympics.

Posted by: chris h at Jul 25, 2007 11:45:30 AM

My fav, even toping Tyler's "twin" defense is Vino's thought that it was all the blood in his knees.

Posted by: Bike Hugger at Jul 25, 2007 1:32:22 PM

I agree, Bike Hugger, that was pretty comical. I'm thinking there was a vanishing twin stuffed up each leg of Vino's bike shorts.

Posted by: Nancy Toby of Lanterne Rouge Blog at Jul 25, 2007 2:14:02 PM

the Tour de France should stop now. too much bla bla too much doping no sport.
please stop it now. please.

Posted by: Guy at Jul 25, 2007 5:07:01 PM

There are certainly problems with the testing methods. I don't know about Vino's knees or Hamilton's twin, but there are folks who truly are mosaic for their Rh blood group phenotype. Rare, true, but it is proof that the testing methods are not adequate. Of course there are riders out there who dope, and they should be removed from the sport, but the idea of stopping the Tour is ridiculous. When has that ever really been an option?

Posted by: Trollmilk at Jul 25, 2007 5:25:47 PM

Simon,

Vino and Landis were both favorites to win the Tour, and both had terrible stages that all but eliminated their chances of winning. It doesn't take a considerable stretch of the mind to understand the devastation and desperation that would follow, and how easy those could make someone do something stupid. That's what I meant. It isn't an unconscionable act; it's just repugnant. (I'm ignoring the more-than-likely possibility that both doped before their respective Tours.)

Why call off the Tour, tho? Baseball also has drugs, should we cancel the season or the Series? (Baseball's case is actually much more severe: I can't think of a great record that fell - or is about to fall - in the last decade that wasn't because of steroids.) How does stopping the Tour do anything positive for anyone? Certainly that would harm the sport more than the occasional discovery of cheaters as it punishes those who haven't cheated.

Posted by: Jarrett at Jul 25, 2007 6:15:22 PM

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