"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dope has killed Cycling - what next ?

In the shadow of the world's biggest brick built structure the 14 Century cathedral fortress at Albi , the Tour de France 13th stage time trial was won on Saturday by the man of the mountains, Kazakh superman Alexander "Vino" Vinokourov .

He covered the 54 Kilometres in , around and through Albi including 2 hills in 1 hour 6 minutes 34 seconds at a blistering pace of 48.661 Km/hour, a stunning 74seconds ahead of Cadel Evans and with his Astana Team colleagues Andreas Klöden and Andrej Kashechkin in 3rd and 4th place.

On his website
was ecstatic, but not entirely truthful,
"It’s a new Tour that begins for the Astana Cycling Team today! I recover all my
sensations. I would like to thank my teammates, my masseur as well as my
ostheopath and the whole staff who all helped me a lot to feel good again. I
wish also to thank the numerous public that always encouraged me. The Tour will
be over only in Paris. But for sure, the team will attack tomorrow ! "

On Sunday the Tour moved into the Pyrenees and Alexandre Vinokourov on the 197 kilometre stage from Mazamet to Plateau-de-Beille, trailed 23 minutes behind the field in 70th place. Yesterday on the 15th Stage Foix-Loudenvielle - Le Louron over 107 kilometers 1st, 51 seconds ahead of Kim Kirchen. He r4ecorded on his website ...

"I felt good, as well as my legs. At the first break, I thought here were too many riders and that I had to go on with my effort. As I saw I could make it, I tried to be alone and first at the top of the last climb,(Col de Peyresourde, 21.5km from the finish) in order to be sure to win the stage."

It was then that the results of his bloodtests after the Saturday win showed that, incredibly he had two people's red blood cells in his body - imputing he had received a blood transfusion before the Saturday stage. Vino told the French sports paper L'Equipe that it was a mistake, when he was injured last week there was blood everywhere etc.,

The Swiss based team managed by former Tour de Suisse organiser Marc Biver and sponsored by Kazakhstan state industries including Air Astana and also by Laksmi Mittals, Mittal Arcelor steelworks (in which Tony Blair had a hand in helping Mittal buy the Kazakh State steel mills by a letter borne by cash for coronets Lord Levy !) withdrew before the "B" samples were checked. and tested.

Britain's Olympic Gold Medal winner Bradley Wiggins beaten into 5th by 135 seconds in the Albi Time Trial admitted he had suspicions over Vinos performance in Saturday's time trial - he told the Guardian "I know that to put two minutes into me what power Vino would need and the effort he would have had to make and it didn't add up."

On Monday May 28th 2007, Lord Patel posted " Dopey Cyclists finally blow open drug ridden European Cycling Circus" deailing the way past winners had spilled the beans in various books and TV programmes.

Now Vinokourov's performance has exposed that the whole sordid cycling circus has learnt nothing ... Now Danish Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen riding for Rabobank team has admitted making a mistake in missing out-of-competition drugs tests.

Apparently The Danish Cycling Union said last week Rasmussen had been warned for missing two random controls earlier this year and banned him from September's world championships and the 2008 Olympic Games. After this the International Cycling Union (UCI) said he had missed two separate random tests in the past 18 months - all cyclists who race under their supervision sign that they will forfeit a year's salary if they are caught doping.
Rabobank manager Theo de Rooy said he was aware of the missed tests and revealed he fined Rasmussen 10,000 Euros (£6,720).

All this has come on top of the reveation that the T-Mobile team member Patrik Sinkewitz , had been tested in training and had shown elevated testosterone levels an easily detected performance enhancing drug.

Brian Holm 44, the T Mobile manager has admitted in his autobiography , published earlier this year that he doped himself - a skirmish with stomach cancer forced him to accept that it's better not to ignore unpleasant truths for too long.

The impact of this continuing doping in Germany was massive - and curiously almost unreported in the UK;

1. German TV networks ARD and ZDF had announced plans to cut their live coverage of this year's Tour de France and write off a €7 MN investment. "We want a clean sport," says Nikolaus Brender, chief editor for German public broadcaster ZDF. Private broadcaster Sat.1 has taken over covering the Tour since last Thursday.... and bought the rights for peanuts.

2. Christian Frommert, T-Mobile's sponsorship spokesman, talked of withdrawing its support for professional cycling.

3. Adidas, who spend about €500,000 ($690,826 - £350,000) a year on the T-Mobile team, announced plans get out.

4. In Stuttgart, where the world championships are due to be held in September the city council is debating what to do as German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble threatens to cancel the event altogether. Chairman of the sporting committee in the Bundestag, Social democrat Peter Danckert, has openly questioning continued Government support for the dope ridden sport.

"Cyling Is Dead" says Der Spiegel

" Professional cycling has dug its own grave. There is nothing left to disclose,
no unresolved mystery and no room left for illusions. Everyone has known about
it for years and everyone has chosen to look the other way."

Sports TV is part of the entertainment industry, it generates massive audiences, enormous license fees, and mouth watering advertising revenues. It's participants and their camp followers of agents, publicists, can and do earn huge sums and it's sponsors hopefully dwell in the reflected glory of a healthy sweat soaked sport for their brand.

Even the innocence of low speed golf, the essential dream for middle aged man is not free from this breach drug fuelled breach of innocence. Nine-times major champion, South African Gary Player before the UK Open suggested at least 10 players on the professional circuit used performance-enhancing substances.. "I know there are golfers doing it (taking drugs), whether it's HGH (human growth hormone), whether it's creatine or whether it's steroids, I know for a fact some golfers are doing it." .... but wouldn't name any.

Greed has driven sportsmen to cheat. If cheaters can survive and win the illusion is lost, it becomes a spectacle of economic crime, just as fake as fixed TV quizzes and the smile of a Prime Ministers who fixed the 2012 Olympics for London by bribery of the Olympic Committee members - whose votes can be fixed with whores, foreign travel and quite modest kick-backs.

Paradoxically Team T-Mobile has promised to clean up pro cycling, but it may have been too ambitious - or monumentally naive. Company executives were so alarmed by the historical revelations of doping - the T Mobile team was forced to suspend team doctors Andreas Schmid and Lothar Heinrich after it was discovered that they had provided cyclists with the performance-enhancing drug EPO in the 1990s. Then sporting director Rolf Aldag publicly admitted to having taken EPO himself in the past that they already considered pulling out last summer. T-Mobile's bosses hoping to transform their embarassment into a victory, decided not to pull out precipitately . Intending to prevent negative publicity, they cleaned up their act - and called it "Clean Cycling" .

In came American millionaire and cycling fan Bob Stapleton, as T-Mobile's chief of racing. Rolf Aldag, (who hadn't come clean by then) was the team's sporting director. A dope monitoring system managed by Professor Walter Schmidt of the University of Bayreuth , was contracted to conduct random testing of team members to uncover possible cases of blood doping. T-Mobile also contributed €500,000 ($690,826) annually to Germany's National Anti-Doping Agency's testing program. All to provide the team with an ersatz (and short lived) patina of honesty and transparency.

Replacing management,coaches, doctors, is the easy bit , building a team isn't - hence professionals like Patrik Sinkewitz were an inheritance from the old system. Sinkewitz, had mildly murky history a past member of the Mapei and Quick Step teams both suspected of doping he joined T Mobile in 2006.

Perhaps there was too much of a hangover from the Deutsche Telekom days (as the team was previously known) when Fuentes, the Spanish doctor, and East Germany's new found hero cyclist Jan Ullrich, were in the saddle.

Dope Addicts

The pressures on premier sportsmen (yes it is mainly men) , the demands to meet sponsors goals for a monster media profile , the daily training , produce both a physical and psychological dependency which with readily available help, becomes a chemical dependency.

Finally there must come a time when the sporting hero believes they cannot do it without doping. They become junkies. Junkies lie and junkies have no sense of right and wrong. First they deceive themselves and then everyone else. As addiction proceeds they begin to believe that they can do anything.. they lose the sense of having a body with limits.

It is a long time since sports were a noble pursuit.

The ARD and ZDF media networks, Adidas are evidently are determined to stop supporting this addiction. T-Mobile, bottled water producer Gerolsteiner and the dairy group Nordmilch, are looking very hard at continuing their sponsorship of pro cycling - how can you promote pure water, milk and healthy living with dopeheads ?
Osaka hosts the world championships in track and field in August, 2 out of the last 3 100 mens 100 metres winners have been found doping in the last two years.

At the Athletics World Championships in Paris in 2003 where there were 405 doping tests undertaken and these exposed ....
US 400m winner Jerome Young it was admitted after the race had tested positive for doping in 1999, but was let off by the United States Track and Field Association.

The UK's Dwain Chambers was eventually caught up in the BALCO doping scandal helped the UK team win the 4 X 100meter relay - who lost their Gold Medals when this was revealed.

In the 4 X 400m relay the US team were similarly disqualified when team member Calvin Harrison was found guilty of a doping violation with modafinil.

The Byelorussian shot putter Andrei Mikhenevich and Gold Medalist had only been reinstored 2 weeks before the Championships after a doping offence in 2001.

2 years later at the 2005 Helsinki Athletics World Championships the Finnish Anti Doping Agency had a very strong and rigid program , 884 doping tests were taken from 705 athletes. Only 2 athletes, an Indian discus thrower and a Ukrainian hammer thrower, were caught using illegal substances.

One female athlete whose sample raised a few eyebrows discovered to her considerable surprise that she was in fact pregnant - she only learnt of the fact after her dope test showed traces of the hormone HCG. HCG is produced by the placenta, and has been used - at least in male athletes - as a agent to hide other illegal substances.
After a gynaecological examination, the woman was congratulated and cleared of any suspicions of doping.

Lest you thinkthe Finns are especially meritorious, at the 2001 The Nordic Skiing World Championships in Lahti, Finland, were supposed to be the Championships of all time. Before the games were over, a total of six top Finnish cross-country skiers had been caught using a banned blood plasma expander called Hemohes.

In Beijing next year the Chinese will stack up the gold medals who have had little if any in training monitoring... no bets are being accepted on the London 2012 Games.

STOP PRESS Midnight 25th July 2007

Overall leader wearing the yellow Jersey today, 33 year old Dane Michael Rasmussen has been sacked by his team Rabobank. Rabobank director Theo de Rooy said: "Several times he said where he was training and it proved to be wrong. The management of the team received that information several times and today we received new information." The bank said, "Rabobank at this point does not plan to withdraw from cycling."

It is not clear that the Rabobank team will start the 17th Stage today.

Rasmussen was jeered by the crowd after winning the 16th stage (see pic as he croses line) , the final mountain stage. He had beaten Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer by 26 seconds on the 218.5km route from Orthez in the Pyrenees to retain the leader's yellow jersey. The start of the stage was delayed by 10 minutes after riders from the six French and two German teams protested against doping in the sport.

The Astana team did not start but more bad news included the news that Italian Cristian Moreni had failed a drugs test for testosterone his Cofidis team subsequently withdrew from the race.

1 comment:

Myra said...

Shame :(

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish