Thursday, September 20, 2007

Missed Missed .... Gottem!

It began with Greg Lemond, it continued with Lance Armstrong and it will end with Floyd Landis!

No not the ability of Americans to develop world class cyclists who dominate the sport or will be seen a favorites to win the Tour De France......

I'm talking about the vendeta that the French sport organizers have been engaged in to smear and steal the thunder from US athletes.
It was hard enough on the Gaulic egos in that France was incapable of producing such athletes themselves and that other European nations were dominating the great bicycle race continually.
But the arrival and success of savages from America was just too much for them.

LeMond, Armstrong and Landis were slandered by the European press and the subject of many accusations of doping and steroid use. The French members of the board governing the race never missed a chance to attack the American winners and there was more than a little evidence of TAMPERING with drug tests by the organization. When it came to them PROVING that any of these athletes were cheating to win the French continued to strike out.

That is until Floyd Landis in 2006.......
They've made the charges stick and in this case I'm not sure that Landis is innocent.
Unfortunately...... given the history of the French and European sports organizations and their demonstrated willingness to do ANYTHING to embarrass the Americans ..... I will never be convinced that Landis is guilty!

However..... once the dust has settled from this there will be NO WAY that these guys will ever get away with a false accusation in the future. The rest of the worlds cycling community will be watching like hawks and the processes employed to monitor and regulate the testing will never again be compromised without the guilty parties being exposed.

So while I'm sure there will be gloating and wine spilling in France when Landis is forced to return his Tour medals and trophies ...... it will be the last time it happens.


BTW - I think the Tour is the most grueling sports event in the world and I've got a lot of respect for the competitors and the champions - From all backgrounds and nations - Because in each mile they ride there is only the rider and his bike - the nation they come from, the sponsors and teams that support them, even the fans that cheer them - do not push the peddles or bear the pain of depleted muscles and strained hearts and lungs.

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