Tomorrow, Roberto Heras will find out whether that Sword of Damocles that’s been hanging over his head for the past half a month will come slamming down through the proverbial skull of his cycling career, or clatter harmlessly to the ground beside him, it’s apparent danger merely parallax distortion. Discounting the Lance allegations from earlier this year, this test marks this first instance I can think of where the winner of a Grand Tour stands to lose his title on a doping violation. What I’m really curious about is, if the B-sample clears him, will Dick Pound then insist that Heras’ record-setting 4th Vuelta win is “tainted,” as he did after Tyler Hamilton’s B-sample came back inconclusive from Athens.
Speaking of T-Ham, the Tour of Romandie (which Hamilton won in 2003) route for ’06 has been revealed. The Swiss race sticks to its tradition of stuffing a handful of wildly mountainous stages between a technical prologue and and powerclimb-rich TT. If one-day events are more your speed, 2003 Fleche-Wallone winner Igor Astarloa looks like he’ll be back in the ProTour next season and focusing on one days (scroll down) with fellow Basque David Extebarria. And while we’re doing rider news, here’s Gibo Simoni scounting snowbound Giro climbs on a Cannondale MTB (despite by the time he rides them, he’ll be on a Scott. For a less snowy look at those dolomites, check out this insider’s view of the Giro presentation.
thoughts on “Pro Cycling News – Heras Awaits Verdict, Romandie Revealed”
Tyler Hamilton’s B-sample didn’t test inconclusive from Athens. His B-sample was ruined and so they never actually ran the test on it.
And if Dick Pound made the “tainted” comment after BOTH of Tyler’s samples came back positive in Spain (just a few weeks later, right?), I’d have to agree that his Olympic record is pretty tainted.
If it wasn’t for some lab tech’s screw up in Athens, this guy (Michael Rogers) would likely be sitting at home right now with a medal.
I really hope (pray?) that Heras’ B-sample comes back negative. Our sport is already tainted in the public’s view and we don’t need another big-hitter testing positive. For anyone interested, take a look at one of my recent postings regarding doping and endurance sports:
Cosmo, you’re too into nit-picking the details to get your facts wrong, or at least incomplete. Tyler won Romandie in ’04 too.
picky, picky, picky
1) I only listed Tyler’s ’03 victory to segue into Astarloa’s ’03 Fleche-Wallone win.
2) A ruined B-sample is still inconclusive. I’ll admit it’s like recieving a not guilty verdict because of a legal technicality unrelated to the case. But WADA has set the rules that govern dope testing, and they ought to stand by them, regardless of how “obvious” someone’s guilt is.
Mick Rogers, interestingly enough, has already inherited a World Title (Men’s Elite TT, 2003) as anti-doping windfall.
Cyclisme-Dopage : Hamilton entendu le 10 janvier