Saturday, May 26, 2007


I remembered what it was I wanted to write about. Dane Bjarne Riis. The 1996 Tour winner. Bald tour winner. He was a hero of mine. After Miguel Indurain he came out of no where to deny Big Mig his six and then precedence setting sixth tour win. Truth was of course that Big Mig was fading. He didn't have what it took to win the sixth.

And now of course the question is, did he? Or did he not have the chemistry in his blood stream to compete with the doping Bjarne?

How can I say this? Bjarne admits to doping yesterday. That is a New York Times article and won't be available forever. You can read it on your own. It's unknown what drove Bjarne to this as he is the manager of the CSC team in current contention. Some of his Telekom team mates admitted to doping in the year he won the tour. And in the year after in their support of Jan Ullrich. Peer pressure perhaps. Bjarne said he doped during his win and if they want his yellow jersey, "its in a box, I've got my own memories." If he were to return it, they would list "no winner" in the records of the tour.

This is crushing. All the heroes are falling. They were all using with the excuse you couldn't compete unless you did. Who's next? The list is getting longer. The sport is tainted.

I've always loved the former advertisement "Better life through chemistry." Heck I believe it. Still this isn't what I meant. I wanted improvements that made the average life better, the people struggling better. The unhealthy better. Not the top 200 of a sport in the world that much or superhumanly better. Cheaters that will spend more time conspiring how not to get caught than on training. I like Eddy Merckx's answer to the question much better, the now famous, "Just ride."

1 comment:

Matt_J said...

It is good that the labs are hard at work finding evidence for doping in the tour. What they should do is hold a second tour after the first, in which all kinds of performance enhancing chemicals are allowed. I bet it would receive huge endorsements from pharmaceutical companies, it would be like Indy racing.