Heard at the newscast this morning that Roberto Heras has finally given up his aim of becoming a professional again after his suspension. Three-time Tour of Spain winner Roberto Heras has been suspended, after testing positive for EPO, through two years, and his ban ended in October.
He said he has received offers from cycling teams but he accuses the anti-doping code of ethics for being cruel to riders who has served doping bans lately.
"I still don't understand the code of ethics and why ProTour teams can't hire a rider who like me has served his ban. Other top riders will have to quit the peloton because they can't find a team." Well, Heras, I think you have misinterpreted something, the anti-doping code of ethics exists because dopers shall have it more difficult to become professional on the highest level again, because the cyclists shall be afraid of losing everything if they do dope. I, myself, think it is good to ban former dopers from riding in the Pro Tour for two years after the suspension ends, 'cause a rider who has doped are more likely to continue doping than a rider who has never doped in his whole career. I don't feel pity about those riders who must retire because they have once upon a time doped. I think they deserve it. Why should it be easy for former dopers to continue racing in the ProTour? Isn't it better in that case that new fresh faces have a chance to race professionally instead of those guys who has destroyed the sport's reputation?
Sadly some journalists/people never give up and tell us that the cycling sport is full of dopers, even though their favourite sport is too. The only reason why they can still blame the cycle sport is fuller of dopers than their sport is because the doping tests actually work well nowadays in the cycle sport. They have caught so many cyclists this year that all the headlines that you have seen in papers lately have been black and negative. But in the end it is positive for the sport, as the dopers get punished. It will be least entertaining for some other sport though when their federations request more doping tests 'cause then they will see how it feels to have those dark headlines too. No, next cycling year may be full of dark headlines too, but soon enough fewer riders will dope and we will get a clean sport, just like we want it to be, but some things have to change first. "Cycling is going through a bad period: teams, organisers, the UCI are at war, there is no unity, so it's very difficult to get out of the crisis," said Roberto Heras according to Marca. And to be honest, the organisers and the UCI shall not be enemies; that will only hurt our beloved sport and it doesn't need it. No, become friends instead and try to fight doping together so that the cycling sport can find a bigger audience.
Georgia Gould (Luna Chix) won the NMBS Series at the women's short track in May 2007.
I started reading about this cycling year, which has soon passed. It has really been a year full of ups and downs. Doping problems, death cases, liars, injuries, broken collar bones but also full of winners, anti-doping talk, people who fights for a cleaner sport and some better headlines next year and a lot more. But when people will remember this year they will probably think of all the doping cases. Of course they will, because we can all see how much the cycling sport fights against doping. There is a reason why dopers are caught - the doping tests work.
People will also remember Michael Rasmussen's lies about his whereabouts and his admittance that he had lied to us all. The same with Ivan Basso, Jörg Jaksche, Bjarne Riis, Michele Scarponi, Team Telekom 1996 and all the others. People who during long time has claimed they have had nothing to do with doping, but then later confessed doping use. Praise to all cyclists and athletes who have admit doping use though. It doesn't matter that we have been waiting for over ten years, but I think we are all happy to know what has happened. At least I am very happy to know that Bjarne Riis was doped during his career 'cause now we can finally understand why he was so unbeatable during the Tour de France 1996. And we shall be glad that we know now who Birillo was, and that we don't have blame Ivan Basso for being a doper anymore, as we now know that he (maybe even more than that) was on the list of Fuentes' clients and that he was going to dope during the Tour de France 2006. I am very happy that he never had the chance to race.
Last year's winner of the Tour de France, Floyd Landis, has also been suspended this year. And many other riders. The biggest story about Floyd Landis' hearings must be when his business manager Will Geoghegan tried to frighten former Tour winner Greg Lemond from testifying by pretending to be the man who abused Lemond as a child over the phone. How sick can a man be?
But all those doping cases also make me sure that some of the other riders are fully clean and don't want to be part of the former doping industry inside the cycling sport. It makes me very happy to know that cyclists, UCI and different teams are fighting against the worst thing that exist in sport - cheating.
Rumours tell that Ivan Basso may be on his way to Barloworld when his suspension ends. Basso who won the 2006 Giro d'Italia has been banned from racing for his involvement in Operación Puerto. The rider says he want to continue racing after his suspension ends on October 24, 2008 and now La Gazzetta dello Sport says that Barloworld's Team Manager Claudio Corti has been interested in Basso since, well, before the end of 2006 when Basso instead signed with Discovery Channel. According to the paper there is a verbal contract between the two. Because of his suspension Basso will not be able to find a contract in the ProTour, because he is prohibited by Ethical Codes to race in the ProTour for four years, but he can still race in a Professional Continental squad. You may notice that the cycling season has practically ended on October 24, 2008, so why are people talking about this subject now? It seems like he wouldn't be able to race. But then I ask you to look again. If Basso returns directly after his suspension he could still race in the Japan Cup on October 26, 2008. Plus the sponsor may have interest in letting Basso compete in end-of-season races in South Africa, where the sponsor has its base. It will be interesting to know what will happen... To be continued.