Armstrong’s Doomsday

22 Oct

Many of us knew what was most likely coming today. The International Cycling Union (UCI) ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) sanctions against Lance Armstrong.

No surprise that they took Armstrong’s tainted Tour de France victories away, too much light had been shed on the misconduct of Armstrong and UCI (at least in international cycling community) for them to do otherwise.

UCI president Pat McQuaid and UCI did nothing today to fix the future of professional cycling. It was a good and necessary first step to ratify the sanctions placed on Armstrong by USADA, but there’s much more to do to ensure that something like this (and Festina in the 1990’s) does not happen again. Based on McQuaid’s statements on UCI’s conflicting roles (promotion and governance) and their continued acceptance of "donations" it would appear the UCI is unwilling to take or promote the necessary next steps.

Very disappointing to say the least.

UCI is complicit in the doping culture. UCI aided and abetted doping, in overt and covert ways. Wearing their “cycling promoter” hat they protected Armstrong because he was good for the sport and provided a revenue stream no one wanted to give up. If they had been wearing their “professional cycling governing” hat Armstrong’s cheating and deception would never have gone this far.

Some Armstrong fans say he won fairly because all of the riders doped (they did not, some of the ones that were vocal about not doping paid dearly for it) and that it was an even playing field. It was not an even playing field, far from it. Teams like US Postal, Discovery, Radio Shack-Nissan (and others) with the big bucks to pay for the likes of Michele Ferrari, pay for the doping products, pay for the system of doping, pay for the public relations and legal cover to keep the doping secret, etc. had a definite advantage.

Moreover, Armstrong did a lot worse than doping. His behavior strikes me as that of a criminal and bully. I was a huge fan of his, but can’t be now. I have zero respect for him. More importantly however, a larger more poisonous problem hangs over the future of professional cycling which I love and want to believe in if they get their act together – UCI. I’m so frustrated and disappointed with UCI. McQuaid stated today "UCI doesn’t see the need to separate governance of cycling and promotion of the sport." What a farce! You cannot promote and govern anything, UCI hasn’t and won’t. It’s a basic conflict of interest.

Until that changes nothing changes.

I know we all have a range of thoughts and feelings and mine are still in flux to some degree mainly regarding the future of the sport of professional cycling. Without a doubt I’m pissed and disappointed beyond measure. Not sure what I’ll do regarding professional cycling in the coming year, but to a large extent my involvement as a fan is dependent of what the governing bodies (namely UCI) do about the culture of doping.

Tags:

Comments are closed.

Creative Commons License
For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.loveofbikes.com.