Thursday, February 9, 2012

Contador Banned - Cycling Quagmire

So the latest most reported cycling new is that Alberto Contador has been banned from cycling for two years.  This ban is typical of a drug ban.  Worse judgements are possible and individual events are individually responsible for determining how it affects their results.

This ban was, I believe, the end result of what became known as Operation Puerto (OP).  Interestingly enough, OP implicated athletes in just about all major sports, including athletes competing in the soccer World Cup.  What's that?  You haven't heard about any soccer players testing positive for drugs.  How about Baseball?

It seems like you can't pick up an article about cycling without the article mentioning doping in some context.  However, they never seem to mention it with baseball.  In contrast, remember the big regular season home run derby between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire?  Both of these players were later determined to have been doping.  Jose Conseco?  Yup, he even testified before Congress about how much juice he took.

What's the difference between these sports and cycling?  Cycling has the most rigorous anti-doping policy in sports.  They've started a fingerprinting type of system to track cyclists to determine if any changes are "unusual".  When people violate doping rules, cycling isn't bashful about making it public.

Other sports either don't have a policy or don't implement any detection policies (i.e. don't care).  Mr. Canseco, Mr. Sosa, Mr. McGwire, and many others didn't violate US drug laws neither did the violate baseball rules.  Baseball didn't have any rules.  They still don't have much.  They implemented a token policy and a token detection policy. 

Does this make cycling look bad?  Yes, mostly to the uninformed.  I can't tell you how disappointed I was that Floyd Landis doped.  We were huge fans.  I'm not a Contador fan, but I sure hope he can make a reasonable defense.  Unfortunately, if he's cleared you won't hear much about it.  Good new just isn't as interesting to report.

No comments:

Post a Comment