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July 12, 2007

The Blogger's Pledge

Okay, I'm sold. Cycling can never be taken seriously until there's a top-to-bottom commitment to dope-free competition. The UCI wants to extend its “Commitment to a New Cycling,” which has apparently been a PR bonanza, to team managers and staff (and here's the PDF). Now, everyone from the lowliest soigneur to the DS himself can put a year's salary on the line, whether they agree to it or not.

But is even that really enough? I think the journalists and bloggers who make a living off the sport should also put up or shut up. I've been around -- I know how things work. There are more than a few Tour bloggers who only perform as well as they do because of performance enhancers.

Marcello at Velochimp? Espresso fiend. Phil at Spinopsys? Absolutely obsessed with beer. Elden at FatCyclist.com? Let's just say French reporters have found evidence of Red Bull in garbage cans outside his hotel room.

And, as hard as it is to admit it, during the 1996 Tour, under pressure from my sponsors, I briefly tried a topical anti-inflammatory that may have been on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list. Because of side effects, I never used that substance again, and my regrettable mistake falls conveniently beyond the UBI (that's the International Bloggers' Union) statute of limitations, so I continue to blog about the sport today.

So I agree, Mr. McQuaid, that we need to start fresh. Therefore, I proudly present the Blogger's Commitment to a New Cycling:

I do solemnly declare, to my advertisers, my readers, the UBI, the cycling movement and the public that I am not involved in any doping case and that I will not commit any infringement to the UBI anti-doping rules. I declare that I will never buy another blogger any drink stronger than green tea, nor will I turn a blind eye to any doping activities that I am aware of within the blogosphere. In addition, I make a commitment to set up measures to ensure that there is no doping on my (nonexistent) staff or, as flunkie, to assist those measures. Finally, I will co-operate as much as possible with procedures in the fight against doping.

As proof of my commitment, I accept, if it is established that I have been guilty of doping activities in the past or in the future, and I am granted a two-year suspension or more, to pay the UBI an amount equal to my annual blog income for 2007 (or three copies of VeloNews, whichever is greater) as a contribution to the fight against doping.

Now, if only we could make such bold progress against dopey blogging.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2007 | Permalink


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I wish we could make such bold progress against dopey UCI officials! Alas, it is not to be. :/

Posted by: Tyson at Jul 13, 2007 12:58:18 AM

Lucky me for these pledges haven't been extended to cycling podcasters yet! ;-)

Posted by: David (The FredCast) at Jul 13, 2007 1:30:06 AM


I got a letter from my Mum saying I can take my cold and flu tablets, so ner.

Seriously, don't you think a lot of bloggers could use performance enhancement? Same as politicians. Who said pollies should be drug tested? That lot desperately need all the help they can get.

Posted by: Crowlie at Jul 13, 2007 3:30:42 AM

Um, is ibuprofen on the list of banned substances? What about chardonnay? What are the allowable caffeine levels?

I may be doomed to a 2-year suspension, at least.

Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jul 13, 2007 7:25:52 AM

The blogosphere has been moving at a faster pace this year, hasn't it?

Posted by: kwc at Jul 13, 2007 10:50:22 AM

... I need my supplements to keep up with the Tweets

Posted by: kwc at Jul 13, 2007 10:51:24 AM

I *like* my performance-enhancing latte in the afternoon. I REFUSE to take this pledge!

Posted by: Fritz at Jul 13, 2007 12:28:50 PM

But I will definitely stake my entire 2007 blog income. Since it will likely be zero, I'm not risking much. And if it's not, I'll have enough to hire good lawyers to fight it.


Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jul 13, 2007 1:48:55 PM

Oh, you know what's going to happen. If no one is taking anything, no one's gonna read our stuff! ;)

Posted by: James Fellrath at Jul 13, 2007 2:27:50 PM

Without my performance-enhancing drugs all my blog entries will arrive an hour late.

Posted by: kwc at Jul 13, 2007 2:48:48 PM

I agree that there is a problem, but I don’t think that individual bloggers can be blamed; it is the system that is broken. I probably wouldn't feel pressure to over caffeinate myself if it were not for the frantic pace of posting that I see on other blogs. When I see 15 new posts a day on the TdF Blog or Spinopsys or Cyclelicious, all I can do is down another cup of coffee and wonder why I just can’t keep up.

Maybe if the UBI were to implement and strictly enforce a reasonable daily post maximum, the playing field could be leveled. Yeah, I’d like to type clean, but I’ll admit that I am on my 5th cup of coffee today. Don’t blame me though; I’m the victim here.

Posted by: James at Jul 13, 2007 3:55:25 PM

Yes, I admit I am an espresso fiend. My wordpress account info is in a box in my house if the UCI wants to get it back :(

Posted by: Marcello at Jul 13, 2007 10:37:00 PM

The search methodology and algorithms are in error, this is a plot to interrupt my workflow. I am tranquil.

Posted by: Phil at Jul 14, 2007 1:21:03 AM

You know what goes really great with Red Bull? Twinkies. Oh, and meth.

Posted by: Fatty at Jul 16, 2007 12:21:18 AM