I would blog about the race from this past weekend, but I have shit in my head that I want to get out... my take on the whole USADA/Lance thing from a guy who was a yellow bracelet wearing Lance fan. Well, at least until I was able to put 2+2+2+2+2+2 together enough on my own to form an opinion that would make me feel otherwise.
As much as we've heard about the case, there are so many folks we haven't heard from. People who should say something... say anything.
Keep in mind, I did my best googling Sunday morning to try to find anything I could on the internet about the following:
TREK, more precisely John Burke. It was heavily inferred that they dropped Greg Lemond's line of bikes due to his outspoken stance on Lance's relationship with the evil doping doctor. TREK saw huge profits tying themselves to the Lance Train for all those years. A month and a half ago, they were still standing behind him. Maybe nobody at TREK had any idea of what was going on but why not say something? Say anything.
Chris Carmichael. He "trained" Lance for all those years, yet the most recent thing I could find was this statement.
“I’m convinced Lance won his Tour de France titles because he was the best athlete,”
This from a guy who settled out of court when he was sued for doping junior riders without their knowledge back in the early 90's. A guy who built his entire business empire not only by tying himself to Lance, but with actual financial assistance from the big guy. He takes a decent amount of credit for Lance's success and has been close to him since he (Lance) was a teenager.
“In 20 years, I never saw him use any banned substances, and in my eyes, seeing is believing.”
Now what? Say something, say anything. I know people who are Carmichael athletes and coaches. I'm sure they might want to know what you're thinking. Doping built your house.
Non-doping riders in the pro cycling world. If I was one of them, I would find the internet and voice my opinions as loudly as I could type them. These actions affected them more than anybody. It was the clean riders getting blown out of the back of the field by the insane pace set at the front. Imagine someone at work clocking out early every day leaving you to do their work, thus making your life that much harder. Your supposed to have a manager making sure that doesn't happen, but he doesn't care because everybody loves what he's selling.
Races you mighta won, teams you were on that mighta had a chance at more money/better sponsors, more opportunities... all taken away. At least some riders like Adam Myerson are being vocal. Steve Tilford has been on a roll. There should be more.
Fuck that. If I had absolutely ZERO skeletons in my closet, I would have something to say... anything.
But if I did have some skeletons?
I saw something, I knew something, I did something... I'd probably be pretty quiet right now. There's a lot of riders being quiet. There's no telling who's going to roll on whom. Making leniency deals with the authorities in exchange for information is nothing new. I'm all for an amnesty program right now. Tell us everything you know about anybody and anything. If you keep your mouth shut and there's enough corroborating evidence/testimony against you? Sorry, lifetime ban.
The whole "level playing field" and "everybody was doing it" doesn't sit well with me. Was Bassons the only clean rider of the entire era? I doubt it, and evidently the playing field was obviously more level for the ones with the best funding. Thank you sponsors of the USPS, Discovery Channel, and Radio Shack cycling teams (not that they were all complicit). After all, Nike still sponsors Micheal Vick. I'm sure when Phil Knight made a pair of shoes with a waffle iron this is where he hoped it would all go.
And the UCI. Good Lord, they are screwed... but only in the way that people at the top with nobody to answer to are ever screwed. Sure there's the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Can they do anything? How big would that case be? How much evidence would they need to kick Verbruggen out and punish McQuaid? Sticky mess.
Assuming I'm not an egomaniac addicted to power, fame, or money, I would run. Run like the wind. Cash out, get some plastic surgery, and hide in some other country living off all the money I schiestered away from a corrupt system. Then again, I'm not an egomaniac, and I would look for any excuse to live in a bungalow and sip on boat drinks all day.
And to all those folks that thought/think it was waste of time, money, and resources going after Lance? No one benefited more from all this shit. Wanna change to system? Fry the biggest fish. This is what this is about. Bringing down a corrupt system and hopefully restoring some kind of (relative) order to a sport we all still love.
Who knows, maybe I'll start watching the Tour de France again.
That's all I got for now.