Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FOOT in MOUTH disease !

WADA chief John Fahey was the Premier of New South Wales with the Largest Population of the Australia not so many years ago ! The saying that " A day is a long time in Politics  " could not be more true of his recent statement to those practicing " Sports Fraud " !  Politicians have  the habit , of saying , what they believe that the populace want to hear !  Certainly those wishing to see Great Sports Action at the London 2012 Olympics will want an incident free experience !

Can you remember where you were when you heard of Ben Johnson's disgrace in 1988 ? John Fahey may well have used the same escalators in Grace Bros of Broadway , opposite Sydney University , that i was riding , when i saw the news flash on the TV's in the sales area there . Must ask my partner of that time if she recalls that event . Most older Aussies will recall where they were when Alan Bond achieved the " impossible " and won the America's Cup !

Fact is John your warning to those Athletes planning to defraud us is redundant rhetoric ! This warning was no doubt a repeat of earlier warnings which the cheats chose to ignore . Now that they have been selected for their National Teams , there is no escape , even if they lose their nerve ! What do you suppose people will think if they suddenly decide to not appear in London ? Yes , right first time , THEY LOST THEIR NERVE ! They were set to try and cheat their way into the record books .

 Nearly every Olympic Games since 1936 has had some question mark that has detracted from the luster that " TRUE SPORTSMANSHIP " deserves . One wonders what the Athletes selected to take the " OLYMPIC OATH " thinks when they make that declaration ?

John Fahey as the chief of WADA and Jacques Rogge of the IOC , COULD if they wished , put an end to Sporting Fraudsters using PEDs ! All it would take would be a line drawn on the past ! Declaration of the errant ways and the associates involved , WITHOUT SANCTIONS , before the due date would cause a tidal wave of revelations ! Those choosing to ignore the opportunity would when discovered face " Life time Bans " from Sport and Employment in any Sporting Employment . Within a short time after the deadline , those associates , managers , coaches , mechanics etc , that see their proteges had not taken advantage of the " moratorium " and disclosed their misbehavior would need to " blow the whistle and own up to their participation Or they too would suffer the same sanctions of Life Time Bans !

Whilst Sporting Fraud is a crime , very few countries treat it as a punishable offence with Jail penalties being an option . Time that the Sporting bodies acted in concert to make the penalties punishable throughout the World with minimum uniform sanctions of 5 year suspensions !

Laugh of the week was the disclosure of that Cofidis Cycle Racer ! Di Gregorio claimed he acted alone , saw some pigs airborne too ! Realistically , could this guy share a room with a fellow racer whilst being supervised by the team Medic , Seigneur and Director Sportive  , all of whom are supposedly highly intelligent people ? 

Chris Prudhomme chooses not to read my mail , better things to do ,  i suppose ? Wrote him after speaking with him at the Dauphine Libere about the " Cities fit for Cycling " campaign , started by the " Times of London " newspaper . As the face of the " Le Tour " he could have chosen to involve ALL cyclists by encouraging follower of " Le Tour " to be more aware of Cyclists . Seems that ASO the owners of " Le Tour " are too busy raking in the cash to be bothered what the ordinary cyclist think of their creation ? 

Last week the media was full of the leaked story about 5 American Racers at " Le Tour " . Since this news broke , many people are of the opinion that the five are performing at a standard below their usual efforts ? Could it be to the detriment of their teams ? When there was a suspicion of misbehavior in 2006 , some Racers were requested to not appear . Where is the difference on this occasion ?

WADA must be aware of the behavior of USADA and the news reports this past week so surely they should act ? Is it not detrimental to Sport in general for what is taking place to be allowed to continue ?

John Fahey and Jacques Rogge need to seize the initiative and ACT NOW !

Addition :

We all saw Jacques Rogge at the Opening Ceremony , mention " Doping ", not really surprising that he passed over this subject briefly ?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sorry Yves !

Some years ago i chanced on Yves , the cousin of Catherine Marsal , on the route of the Tour de France . He and his Parents were kind enough to accommodate me in their home in Peltre ,to the Southeast of Metz ! My previous visit to Metz , was when i arrived on the Saturday night at the YHA / Auburge Jeunesse in central Metz for the Sunday Time Trial . I spent the Sunday morning riding around the Metz area on the bike  visiting the Team hotels as the teams prepared for the Time Trial . I recall meeting quite a few of the big name racers involved in that situation before they went into the compound , only accessed by those wearing the " dog collar " denoting VIP status !

Yves is a Professor of Maths and had been involved in Cycle racing to the extent that his principle car was a retired team car , a Citroen Estate car with the roof mountings for team bikes still in place . Over the years since then , i would duck into Peltre  and either stay overnight or leave a parcel of Bidons  on his doorstep should he not be available .  On one occasion i left with the bigger parcel , since his mother gave me a large parcel of fruit from their orchard , cherries that lasted many days . On occasion we have met up at the " Le Tour " in a variety of " Villes Depart " either by arrangement or by chance .

One occasion that i recall was in Sete , where he was holidaying , and another time was on the occasion  that i once again met Laurent Fabius , currently the French Foreign Minister , when he was a guest of ASO at the Ville Depart Village in Perpignon ! M. Fabius has had a chequered political career in that he has been a  Premier of France in the Mid 90's as well as the subject of " Political Backstabbing " when there was the " Blood Transfusion Scandal  Case " ! Seems there is another Scandal in France about to erupt , as the home and office of former President Sarkozy was raided in the past week ! So far we have seen former Presidents such as  Jacques Chirac and Giscard Estagne embroiled in controversy in recent years . 

Whilst doing this post , instead of being in Metz , as planned , i am sitting in front of a TV , watching the last 60km of the " Le Tour " as it heads into Metz ! At the 60 km to go there was a cote de B. , which became such a choke point , that at that point , the breakaway was at 1 min 30secs and so with bikes colliding , ALL behind the " Maillot Jeune " , were standing around whilst a few wheels were exchanged ! This extra time has allowed Zabriskie and the other three to stay away , so far to the 15km mark where they enjoy a 15sec advantage . Dave Z. was alone in the last kilo but was swept up in the last metres , once again the other three  lost confidence in their ability to work together , so Dave made use of his time trialling skills to see if he could stay the course .

At 25km before the finish , another collision brought down many of the principle racers including Frank Schleck and Al Valverde , but causing several casualties and two abandons , thus at 15km they are 2 1/2 mins in the rear , finishing 2 mins down on the day ! Several other notables such as Scarponi trailed in with this group . King Cav came in about 5 mins down on the day and must have been  wondering how he was going to answer those demanding interviews . Peter Sagen in taking the victory in front of Greipel denied him the third in a row which was last achieved by Mario Cippolini . Matt Goss came in third after his train had dominated the last several kilometres before Big George led Cadel to the front for a short pull to close down the breakaway .

Eurosport Extra collared Dave Z. for an interview and then tried to raise the Lance subject with him which saw a quick termination of that interview . Stupid of them to think he wants to discuss Lance after all that has been going on these last few days 

Sunday, July 1, 2012


The Tour of Austria|s 1st etappe ,  masquerading as an alternative to the  " Le Tour " , is being run in the area of Innsbruck today . With 18 teams of 8  racers doing 3 circuits of what amounts to a Time Trial circuit , there was an immediate breakaway group formed  at the 0 km banner which was on the gradient leading towards the Brennero Pass and Italia .

Living 41 km from Innsbruck i was delighted to arrive at the Rummerhof , that houses BMC , Movistar and other teams in under the hour ! Guess a following wind helps , but i hope it has turned after the 3 circuits of the course i plan to ride , amounting to a day of 200 +kms  by the time i struggle home ! A circuit before the racers put in an appearance gave me the opportunity to select the vantage points for photos . As it turned out the local TV used the same vicinity , so i was told that the bike and Oz flag were televised . Following the racers over the route became quite hazardous since cars would pass me and then get stopped causing me to make emergency swerves ! One clown passed me as i was slowing for the stop sign , where was i supposed to go !

Yesterday i played tourist in that when i joined a trio of cyclists out of Innsbruck near Worgl , i decided to ride back to Innsbruck with them and scout out the course for today . Paceline was tight so we were averaging in the 40+kph , again with a following wind until the last 10km . At the main rail station there are new buildings so the old tourist office has dissappeared . Asking several taxi drivers the location proved to be a waste of time , god help the train passenger relying on them ! Next i tried the Old City and received the same attitude that " Georgethecyclist "referred to in Belgium ! The tourist Office had to go to the internet  to find any info , then they still could not locate the start area . Tried the bike shop Z , next , it was a few minutes to 12 noon but they were uninterested since i was not buying ! Can you believe they want to sell bikes but cannot be bothered with the Tour of Austria ! Guess there will be fewer clients buying with that attitude .

Along the road was the Polizei so they referred me to another station where they showed me on the map the area they would be cordonimg on Sunday .

After a circuit this morning i arrived back in time to get the Racers list and discovered Tim Roe and Ben Hall were listed to race . Had the chance to speak to both . Acqua and Sapone are fielding three heavyweights from earlier years , Stefano Garzelli , Massimo Codol ande Danilo Di Luca with whom i had a chat  at their team bus , after having greeting them at the sign on .

Having made two circuits i am now at the Ramada Inn having a short breaki before heading for the Ziel and no doubt will get to greet a few racers as they finish !

As it proved , the wind from the east turned into stormy conditions and the ride homeward turned into a nightmare . Even though there were flashes of lightning on the horizon i arrived home thanks to some help without getting a soaking . Salzburg area was reported to have been hit by " Golfball size Hailstones ", guess there will be a number of damaged cars on the market soon !