“World Turns Attention to Doping.” As if the what little attention the world paid to cycling ever involved anything but. Ingenuous headline aside, it proved a prophetic forward for what could only be summed up as a revealing week. Barry Bonds was indicted for lying about being on drugs. And, because all the good stories about being on drugs were burned off during the Landis Affair, the good people of Canada have decided this is a racial issue. With the USD trading for a mere 98 Canadian cents who would I be to tell them otherwise?
Jan Ullrich is unliky to find a similarly effective smokescreen. Swirling rumors last week (scroll down) held that Rudy Pevenage, former Svengali to the purple-lipped Rostockian, all but proved the one-time Tour winner took EPO and used blood doping. Now a respectable print publication has come to the same conclusion, having heard secretly-recorded tapes of conversations between Pevenage and snitchin’ ex-soignuer Jef d’Hont. WADA, however, continuing its long-standing policy pursuing cases with the most tenuous evidence possible (search “dogs”), remains focused on Alejandro Valverde.
Speaking of WADA, it seems there was a bit of a snafu in the naming of their new president. Not that I’ve ever held the organization a paragon of fairness, but you might think the organization charged with restoring an aura of integrity to the world of sport would be able to elect a leader without controversy, right? Sure, and denial is just a river in Africa. But I guess I ought to be psyched that reigning president Dick Pound didn’t go all Musharraf by purging the board of directors, declaring a state of emergency, and reinstalling himself on the ballot.
Finally, against this backdrop of squabbling bureaucrats, we have Johann Bruyneel, the man who orchestrated the seven consecutive victories of Lance Armstrong against all manner of doped-to-the-gills opposition, and who helped develop such disgraced names as Tyler Hamilton, Roberto Heras, and Floyd Landis, massing his forces in the East with the remnants of the most infamously doped cycling team since Festina. Included in this cabal is Alberto Contador – the 07 Tour winner, and only man able to hang with mid-race ejectee Michael Rasmussen on the climbs. With much of Jerry Bruckheimer’s creative team on strike, it’s hard to imagine a stage more perfectly set . . . for disaster!