In a recent article Patrick Lefevere makes some interesting points about the residual problems associated with cycling and doping. As many know, the team manager for Quick-Step Floors manager is not one to remain quiet. In his 62 years of life, Patrick Lefevere has always been known for speaking his mind, as recently as Sagan being helped by motorbikes to the now Froome debacle. The effects of doping has sent a tremendous ripple throughout the sport, time and time again. Lefevere raises the point of sponsorship, to teams not even associated with the team who was caught, being an area that is profoundly affecting the sport. Once the story hits the news and the “here we go again” mindset is bouncing around the world, sponsors do not want to come on board and associate their company with the negativity.
So why cycling? If an American professional football player is popped for steroids, everyone does not react in a way that implicates that ALL football players are dopers and the sport is tainted. Even in Europe, if Wayne Rooney for Everton tweaks his knee, he can receive a Cortizone shot at the half and go right back on the field. Where as in the cycling world, saying a word that rhymes with Cortizone could fetch a suspension. One of the biggest misconceptions about cycling is that Lance Armstrong started the whole ugly face of cycling. That could not be farther from the truth. As far back as the 19th Century, nitroglycerin was used as a stimulate in the peloton. Even the great Eddie Merckx was popped three times for doping in 1969 and 1973 and 1977 and asked to keep his distance from the 2007 UCI World Championships because of his association with doping!
Looking for an advantage over an opponent has been going on since the beginning. It does not make it right, and Patrick lefevere goes on to say that we should not need a thick rule book to keep us in a moral straight. The whole Team Sky case is shady (they knew right after Vuelta and the world did not find out until December and even that was because of a leak). Transparency, my butt. Instead of taking their medicine . . . er . . . accepting the responsibility, the team will more than likely damage this cycling season, as Froome goes on to “fight” the charges in court or whatever. In the end, nothing will be accomplished and Froome will still have to face something. Doing what is right should not have to be dictated to a person by rules and regulations or having to define the word is.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.