28 July, 2009

Was the 2008 Tour dope-free

That what Jamey Keaten of the Canadian Press asks in a syndicated story. Certainly a fair question, but one that will take time to answer.

He does point out a few things we should all be aware of.

"France's anti-doping agency said Sunday it will retest blood samples from last year's Tour, mainly for CERA - an advanced form of banned endurance-boosting drug EPO"

"This year's tests didn't always go smoothly. During the second week of racing, Bordry accused the UCI on French radio of "laxity" in the testing. He later said the UCI had resolved his concerns."

"Bordry has expressed concerns that a secret wonder drug could simply be under the radar, in what has become a perennial cat-and-mouse game between cheaters and anti-doping testers."

"Before the race, 50 riders faced enhanced testing - including team leaders, race favourites and an unspecified small number of riders with suspicious profiles."

I think it's fair to wonder. With all the new attention and scrutiny on the Tour, it could be seen that nobody getting busted at the Tour would be good for the sport. And, as such, the UCI might want to back off. After Armstrong's kerfuffle with taking a shower while the tester cooled his heels--and not getting punished, critics are right to wonder if UCI testers are going easy on him, and then everyone at the Tour.

No comments: