My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

And I, I will go on and on and on

Category: Cycling

Okay, the cycling season is over for this year so few things happen. So there will be a lot of talk about doping, okay, there has been lots of doping talk all over the season too but I think it is good. If the dopers get caught isn't it a good thing? We get rid of them, right? So I am just happy and the doping controls seem to work quite well. So I am not sad at all, just happy. The only news which scares me though is that Andrey Kashechkin is ready to present his case that doping controls violate basic human rights. The rider was tested positive for blood doping in August and I am 100% the boy has doped in his career and i just find this whole case so phoney, but still it could be a dangerous one 'cause if he would win then it would mean he has killed the cycling sport. And I love the sport too much.

But I would speak about another doping case today. Italian Luca Ascani tested positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) after winning the Italian national time trial championships. He has now been heard by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri and the rider stated that he never took performance drugs according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. But it feels very strange if he hasn't, he has been tested positive for EPO and there must be a reason, no? Well, I want him to tell why he was tested positive if he hasn't used doping. He faces two years suspension now and Ettore Torri will hand over adecision to the Italian cycling federation (FCI) disciplinary commission in the following week.

I do not know if Luca Ascani is serious when he says he never took drugs before the race, but I am sure he did. But if he didn't tell the truth then he is not the only one, but the funniest news (I am sorry, I am strange) is that Tom Anderson, co-founder of MySpace, has lied about his age. I love it.

Tell me you're honest with yourself

Category: Cycling

I have been so much into my own thoughts today that I barely have noticed things which have happened, but once things have been clear to me today. I am sure one of my good friends will believe I'll talk about the Dash 8-planes but no honey, you are wrong at this point. But what has caught my mind is the "Play the Game" anti doping conference in Iceland.

The cyclist Jörg Jaksche has been one of the most interesting contribution of the conference I feel. He is a cyclist with an apparently accustomedness in the world of doping, which is very sad. I don't really want him to be right but in some way, sometimes, I believe in him. Not always though because sometimes people find their own ways of dealing with subjects and sometimes they can believe people has told them things even though they haven't. I know that by my own experience, often I believe people has told me stuffs even though they haven't, it is just in my imagination. But I believe in most of the words that he tells us so I don't think Jaksche is a liar. Not at all.

Anyway, Jörg Jaksche was once upon a time member of the Team CSC' squad. The team's manager is Bjarne Riis, who won the Tour de France 1996 but confessed that he had been taking EPO, growth hormone and cortisone for 5 years, from 1993 to 1998. And of course he was also doped when he won the Tour. It is a sad story, just as it is sad that Jaksche has been doped since his first year as professional. Yes, you read the right thing. He had only been a professional rider for half a year, and was almost dropped by his team when the team manager came into his room and said: Listen; in cycling you take drugs like this, and either you accept or you leave the sport". (I hope this quotes will lead to the fact that more Team Polti-riders admit doping use during their careers). And the two have had a little fight lately as they have spoken about two words advising and treating. Sometimes the two words depend on who says them. (You can read it yourself at and I'll talk about it later)

A lot of riders doped at the time when Jaksche became a professional, or everyone did, so I am sorry - I don't become surprised over it anymore. I just feel sad and wish that the cycling sport is cleaner at this moment. Perhaps it would be a good idea to suspend riders who have been involved in professional cycling long time 'cause often they have a background as dopers, and many of those have continued since because they doesn't know about a world without doping. Just look at the T-Mobile Team from last year - how many of those haven't been tested positive lately? It is horrible to see the fact, but I do think many riders have continued using doping because they have never really had a career without it. But what hits me is that doping doesn't seem to exist in the same way in the cycle sport when it comes to women. The ladies don't earn as much money as the men do so they are not depended on winning competitions in the same way. And maybe we have to do something about the men. A quotation from Jörg Jaksche again

"In cycling everyone have to depend on a sponsor, who wants publicity. Everyone is under stress and the riders have to go fast. When we don't go fast enough, the managers goes to the doctors, who go to the cyclists. If the doctors won't do it, there will just come other doctors, who will."
  The stress must disappear and they must feel proud over themselves and their results, even without dope. I don't think as many riders dope at the moment. And many big riders have been tested positive for doping so the tests work pretty well. But they must be much better and hopefully a rider like Jörg Jaksche can help because we doesn't want any more positive doping tests. We really don't want anymore

It is on my mind at the end of the day

Category: Cycling

This will be hard to admit but the cycling sport has been a forum for people with strange view over doping, including many cyclists. Two Kazakh riders, Alexandre Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin have told the media that doping controls violate human rights, and similar things. Andrey Kashechkin was tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion following an unexpected control on August 1 in Belek, Turkey. Kashechkin's lawyer, Luc Misson, said that "he will base his argument on article 8 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights", which says that only public authorities can interfere in people's private lives, and that "the sports authorities are not the public authorities." Even collecting blood samples violates human rights, he said. Bullshit, I say. And doesn't this prove that the rider was a doper. Why would they otherwise fight against this doping test with such silly arguments? If they would win, sport will die, and all sportsmen can start using as much dope as they want, and at least I will stop watching sport.

To dope is not only bad, but also dangerous. Many athletes are actually playing Russian roulette with medical products they have no legitimate business using and no education in how to anticipate or manage different complications which may occur. I can understand that it seems to be an easy way to become a star by the help of illegal doping products but it is still illegal and you will be cheating if you use them. Plus performance shall not be put ahead of athlete safety, which is the fact at the moment.

Kashechkin's attorney said that

"If we lose, we will go to the court of appeal, then the Supreme Court of Appeal, then the European Court of Human Rights," he said. "And then we will be in a very good position. At the human rights court it would lead to a [favourable] decision at a world, if not a European level."

It is not against human right to take a doping test, and Andrey Kaschechkin would NOT have complained unless he had failed a doping test and knew that he was a cheater. No, he has gone through many out-of-competition-tests and has never before complained about it, so this case is just silly. No, I wish the European Court of Human Rights understands what is going on and reject his case ?cause it is not forbidden to collect blood samples and it is certainly not against human rights, ?cause if you are a sportsmen then you know that sometimes you will be tested for doping. And I feel pity about him if he yet hasn't understood the world of sport.