I find it ironic that French hate Bush so much. And no, that’s not some bawdy dig inspired by the stereotypical French inattention to hygiene. Take a look at the ASO’s stance in this recent doping affair: according to their own rules, they can kick out anyone so much as suspected of being a doper. Now, you’d never find a clause like that in the Deutschland Tour bylaws; the Germans learned their lesson with such bureaucratic fudge factors back in 1933. But Americans, running now some 225 years on the same set of constitutional documents, have no memory to teach them any better. So if Bush thinks someone’s a terrorist, away they go. The similarity is striking, isn’t it?
Moreover, it doesn’t seem to trouble ASO that some riders implicated might still be clean, as it’s the image of cleanliness they’re concerned with. Remarkably, Bush is similarly unbothered that only some of the detainees might be terrorists. And just like the ASO, he doesn’t see anything wrong with that. Now, the foresight of Founding Fathers has provided us Americans with a Supreme Court to try and reign in the Executive Branch just a bit (and, occasionally, vice versa). In the case of cycling, however, all we’ve got is the CAS, which (unlike the Supreme Court) is pretty much unchecked, meaning that it’s decisions could fall wherever. Fortunately for Astana-Wurth, Ivan Basso, and (in my opinion) the fans, the CAS Magic 8-Ball came up with “reply hazy, try again later.”
Were I on the CAS (and, rest assured, the world is a worse place because I am not), I would have rejected the claim based not only on a lack of evidence, but also on the fact that the TdF has no clean image left to tarnish. Of course, the ASO may have overlooked that – as this article shows, the French version of history can be some distance from everyone else’s. Kind of like the UCI’s version of anti-doping or Wilier’s version of advertising. Don’t get that last one? Well, the wheelset alone (seatpost and bar tape is off, too) proves that’s not the right bike, but the real kicker is that the genuine article wasn’t even a Wilier – it was a Scott!