I have been otherwise engaged so my late response to the item by James on the Armstrong saga was a bit muddled, his link to the remarks by Federer on Armstrong tainting all sport is to be taken with a pinch of salt as (repeated often.
I have said before no other sport has the testing in place that cycling has, I believe it is twice as much as the next in line.
I have no doubt that other sports are getting a bit twitchy as to what might be round the corner as the testing regimes toughen up their approach to what in many sports can only be described as gesture testing, this particularly applies to the big money and vested interest sports of football and tennis who’s testing is almost non existent and in the few cases that have emerged been dealt with in a perfunctory manner as with American football that is rotten with steroid abuse.
Currently it is the reopening of the Puerto affair at the end of this month that raises serious questions about not just cycling but the other sports implicated but not as yet bought to book. Over two hundred names were on the books of this “doctor” but only about thirty cyclists have been implicated as the head of world cycling’s doping organisation said ‘we have got thirty cyclists named – what happened to the 170 in the other sports?’ Good question.
There is no doubt the Spanish government have had a hand in quashing of much of what was in this report, doping there was still not illegal until a few years ago and could be considered a safe haven as any Spanish riders that were caught out doping fell foul of testing in other countries.
Richard Verenque a French cyclist, decamped to a Spanish team after failing a drug test at home, saying in effect at the time it would be ‘easier’ for him to ride for a Spanish team, the link below gives a good account of the Puerto affair.
This whole can of worms is gathering apace. Not only is the Puerto affair looming on the horizon but Gazzetto della Sport in Italy is revealing a potentially even bigger drug ring than Armstrong’s, centered around our old friend Doctor Ferrari. As many as twenty teams could be involved again with other sports coming to the party.
I have and I suspect no one else has any idea what the eventual outcome will be. One things for sure – if sport in general is to be believed to be ‘clean’, anyone caught now has to have the house fall on them to make any difference and all sports have to have a testing regime that works on an even basis.
This last link gives a flavor of what may start to be revealed .