Oh Vino...

boosh - Posted on 25 July 2007

Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last weekend's time trial. David Millar's response pretty much sums it up for me: "Jesus Christ, I'm speechless." I mean, WTF? We're just trying to get through ONE clean year here. Just ONE! Last year was going pretty well (if you don't count Operation Puerto) until that whole Floyd Landis debacle. Who won last year's Tour anyway? The world may never know. There is the problem of these guys pretty much being guilty until proven innocent. Vino's 'B' sample hasn't even been tested yet! What happens in the albeit unlikely chance that the 'B' sample comes back negative? He and his team have already left (been kicked out of) the Tour! "Uh, sorry about that. See you guys next year!" On the other hand, if you delve into the shady, shady recent past of the sport, you may come to the conclusion that the riders have brought it upon themselves. And I'm not talking about Lance. If anything all of these more recent positives only strengthen his claim that he was always clean. He never even produced a 'false positive' in during his 7 year winning streak. However, the Tour officials probably have it right. First on the agenda is cleaning the sport up, then we can worry about 'rights' and 'fairness'. Get that ONE clean year and then build off of that. Guess we'll have to wait until next year. The real question is: What the hell are these guys thinking?? Do they think they're going to get away with doping in this day and age? And... blood transfusions? That's one of the oldest tricks in the book... At least Tour officials are TRYING. Although it kills the (former) sportsman in me to think that maybe Floyd is/was clean. The stage he rode last year to put him in the yellow jersey for good was epic. On of the best stages EVER. If he's being prosecuted unfairly, that's terrible. And the problem is unless Floyd was dirty and admits it, we'll never know for sure. It's hard to positively prove that you didn't do something. And Vino- his blood "contained an imbalance of young and old blood cells". Could this have been caused by the crash and subsequent bleeding during the time trial? He also had about 60 stitches when he crashed earlier in the week, and I'm sure there was a lot of blood loss there too. Knowing nothing about this stuff, his body would have regenerated new blood, and therefore had "young blood cells" right? I'm sure we'll all learn more than we want to about it over the next few days, just like we did with the testosterone / epitestosterone test. The final problem is the French lab that does all the testing for the Tour seems to have a speed-dial entry for the French magazine L'Equipe. I mean, that damn paper finds out about these things before the Tour officials or the Tour rider, and they find out before the "B" sample has even been tested. So much for any sort of professionalism... Move the testing to Switzerland... get a new perspective on anonymous testing. And test more riders. Hell, test ALL of them, everyday. Vive La Tour.


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