proper NEWSFLASH this one…
Mike McCormack, organiser of the BRECK-EPIC MTB stage race in Colorado, one of the premier events in North America, today tweeted that his race will no longer accept as an entrant any rider that is serving or has ever served a USADA or WADA suspension.
this is awesome.
because it’s a brave decision.
because it’s basically a one-finger salute to the authorities and to the dopers and their facilitators (team management/doctors/masseurs/race organisers/commentators/journalists/MotoMan) who have brought our sport to its knees.
Mike’s decision reflects a growing sense of empowerment amongst organisers. they do not want their hard work nor the integrity of their event compromised by cheats.
last night i was chatting to Uli Fluhme, the organiser (alongside his wife Lidia) of the GFNY (Gran Fondo New York, sponsored by Camagnolo) series. his event also has a strong anti-doping policy, being the first in the world to exclude from competition any rider from anywhere who has ever been banned – for anything.
the Taiwan KOM Challenge that I help organise has a similar policy. Uli and I were talking about how and whether other event organisers might introduce
no. why not? because we are riders too.
first and foremost, we are riders too.
we expect what the competitors in these events expect: a clean, fair and legitimate race against clean, legitimate and fair competition.
that we have the opportunity to enact these ideas is great, but it could not be done if they did not reflect the genuine desire, one held by the vast majority of cyclists, to clean up our sport.
this is our sport.
it is not theirs.
that mangled heap of a thing that Armstrong lorded over for so long, that Pat let stew like manure in his back garden, that corrupted commentators and journalists let stay covered and festering – that is not cycling.
something has begun. a quiet revolution. let’s hope this grows.
It’s just too bad that there are l so many dopers are out there that have never been caught ,I’ll not to mention any names Axel.
OOps my English not so good. Please eliminate the I and the to above. Not wanting to sound bitter, but I resent pros that doped and now have Gran Fraudos and the waterfront houses with a Range Rovers in the driveway, whilst the rest of us Domestiques live day to day with only a clear conscience for dinner.
I know of at least two riders here in Utah who served BS bans for missing random in-comp tests because the the list of riders was not posted in an obvious place and there were no chaperones at the finish to escort them to the anti-doping tents.
The first was slapped with a two-year ban, later reduced to one-year after similar situations occurred at other events. The second ultimately only served 90-days.
But they were banned due to USAC/USADA’s fuck-ups, and now have doping violations on their records.
Guess they get screwed again.
And I guess that riders that served bans before WADA/USADA existed are okay to race.
What if they served a ban in Belgium (or was it the Netherlands) but were allowed to compete outside of their home country because the UCI & WADA cleared them?
well with the Taiwan KOM we have a clause that allows us to refuse entry to a rider at our discretion, decision by a panelk not an individual. so the aspect you mention would be covered. i can speak for Mike but i can imagine he would probably do the same?
Well said, Flahute.
There will be ‘casualties’ of guys that mistakenly took a supplement with undisclosed ingredients or the guys that missed the posting at the races to show up for their pee test. Part of the price of being able to compete in this privilege of racing is staying vigilant to the rules. Watch what you eat, be responsible and see if your name came up with the in-comp testing. I do sympathize. Yet, the ‘casualties’ to all those that have been cheated by dopers is exponentially higher! The system will never be perfect. Those who are always looking for a way to cheat keep the doping officials chasing them. WADA/USADA will always be one or two behind, trying to catch up. It’s just the way it is.
What is most important here is that Race Organizers, Gran Fondo’s and such are claiming back the sport by making these bold moves! I applaude these men! There are still the sleezy organizers that will promote known dopers. If all race organizers would claim back our sport, then we might stand a chance of making the right, ethical decision, the decision that most riders will follow.
thanks for the comment Inga. in my talks with Uli Fluhme of GFNY, he explained that at his events former dopers can ride but not compete. his argument was that for some of these guys the bike is all they have. i think that is a considerate approach and one that certainly has got me thinking. maybe if the UCI & WADA could perhaps follow Will Routley’s idea of a graded punishment system – for eg, evidence of EPO use and blood doping, lifetime, minute traces of Clenbuterol, 4 years say, then organisers too could consider similar. maybe it will happen, i think more thought and discussion would be good here.
Nicole Cooke’s position is that of you get busted then you should be out for good, she acknowledged that some guys might get a raw deal but that is was a price worth paying to really clean things up. at the moment, i agree, but i am open to listening to other opinions for sure.