It is not just the football authorities who seem to drag their feet and shuffle ineffectually over serious issues in sport. The UCI has been struggling to deal with the aftermath of USADA releasing its 1,000-page report into the systematic cheating of Lance Armstrong following his decision no longer to contest doping charges.
Yesterday the UCI issued a press release.
It goes under the heading of “UCI takes decisive action in wake of Lance Armstrong affair”.
That title follows in a long line of such headings, such as “Titanic captain takes decisive action over iceberg” “Farmer takes decisive action over stable door and empty stable” and “Small umbrella takes decisive action over hurricane”.
The UCI has been accused of complicity in Armstrong’s cheating, and in fact until today was continuing to pursue defamation proceedings against Paul Kimmage, pro cyclist turned journalist, over his allegations that the UCI failed to act in connection with massive doping throughout the sport.
The press release is below, and my comments are in bold. Continue reading
Lance Armstrong finished first, but, as long as the USADA gets its way, his wins will be stricken from the record.
The UCI does not seem to want to change the record books though. This issue could be fought tooth and nail through the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the coming months and indeed years.
I thought I would have a look at the seven Tours won by Armstrong and see who should succeed to the title.
I think most observers would agree that it would almost negate any value in having “caught” Armstrong if, for example, any of the titles passed to Jan Ullrich.
In the ideal world (which we all know does not exist) the UCI would want the “tainted titles” to go to riders whose reputations were unblemished – who had no issues about performance enhancing drugs, EPOs, HGH, blood doping etc. No mention of a rider below is to imply, in the absence of a “conviction” that they were a doper, but rather that they fall short, however slightly, of a squeaky clean and unblemished reputation. Continue reading
Lance Armstrong is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable sportsmen the world has ever seen. Not only did he win seven consecutive Tours de France, but he did so after recovering from cancer. He was given a less than 50% chance of survival, but recovered to win over and over again probably the most arduous major sporting event in the world.
His reign from 1999 to 2005 left few neutral. Many saw him as a heroic figure – showing that cancer did not mean the end of a useful life and that sufferers could throw off the disease, and excel in what they did. He set up a foundation which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research and to help cancer sufferers and their families. You can read more about Livestrong here.
As well as doing all of that, he was able to pedal up, over and down the mountains and plains of France faster than anyone else. He could only be Superman! Continue reading