Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Landis on Leno

At least Floyd can get a good line over Bill Maher:

At one point during the exchanges between Leno and Landis, Maher chimed in, “It seems like we’re having a giant debate about a sport no one gives a ... about. Does anyone ever watch people bicycle racing, except for the last 10 seconds?”

Landis spoke up, “He has a hard time getting guests here. Leave the guy alone.”

The crowd laughed and applauded.

Bill Maher interjecting that comment illustrates a good point about most of the sports media coverage of this whole scandal: nobody understands how tough endurance athletes are, what they have to go through, or even how they cheat. Not one national sports columnist has brought up the fact that a one time use of synthetic testosterone before a race would do an athlete no good. The sports pundits are just used to baseball and football where steroids is the dope of choice, but they display total ignorance when it comes to triathletes, long distance runners, and cyclists and how the technology and methods have gone way beyond "the cream" and "the clear." This is probably why there has been no consensus defense of Landis' innocence in American sports coverage. As for Landis, no new excuses, but he is now publicly grumbling about the integrity of the french testers: "And I’m beginning to wonder about this myself after the way the situation’s been handled, is that after the (sample) leaves my hands ... after I give them the sample, I don’t know where it goes." Floyd should ask Lance how he feels about that French lab and how well it handles anonymous urine and blood samples.

 

Updates: Patrick O'Grady over at Velonews, even though he tested positive, denies any allegation of ingesting French white wine. Maybe that's French whine.

Also, Pat McQuaid, the UCI chief, is planning a series of meetings to overhaul cycling and get the doping and drug culture out of it. Making the races and the schedules easier will not discourage doping. His idea of sanctioning the team directors too so that they have an incentive to keep their racers clean might be going in the right direction.

And Jens Voigt officially won the the Tour of Germany, after gaining time on Levi Leipheimer in the Stage 7 time trial. Levi really needs to work on those time trials. Honestly, losing 1:14 to the Boeing? Come on, ask Gerolsteiner for some extra time in a wind tunnel.

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