In twelfth century Europe, under the laudable purpose of removing everything that would break the dogma of the Catholic Faith from society, the Church began persecuting and harassing anyone who professed beliefs which contradicted the customs and ideals of the Faithful. Granted full powers, bishops and archbishops terrorized the people to incriminate and acuse others, under oath, of any heresy or secret gatherings.
Although official documents authorized torture only “without excess,” torture often ended in executions and mutilations in order to obtain the defendant’s confession, in the name of God and of the Church. What we know today as the “Holy (Spanish) Inquisition” is part of the dark history of Europe and Spain in particular, but in its day was sacred and divine.
It is not my intention to submit a similarity between the atrocities of ecclesiastical institutions of the Middle Ages and the highest levels of cyclists today. I mean to say that things are not bad in small doses, the injustice comes with the excess.
From my point of view, cheating and fraud are not a matter of culture, it is ingrained in human beings as part of our nature, and throughout history, there has not only been cheating and swindling that triggered the great struggles, but the disproportionate and excessive repression, and dark purposes of the inquisitor.
Although cycling’s sin is undeniable, no one has the absolute truth. A public confession by a defendant would do little for the prosperity of a sport that has already seen some, and those only served to fuel more disbelief (in the sport). On the contrary, it helps to set up a system with impenetrable walls and secret agendas.
However, the only sacred and divine confession would be repentance at all levels, not just the defendant.
Press release : UCI statement on case against Paul Kimmage
In response to questions concerning why almost one year ago the UCI initiated a court case against Paul Kimmage, the UCI wishes to issue the following clarification.
Mr Kimmage had made false accusations that defamed the UCI and its Presidents, and which tarnished their integrity and reputation.
Mr Kimmage is free to express and make public his opinions within the limits of the law and of the truth.
False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful and the UCI will defend itself against all such accusations as any other citizen or entity has the right to do.
The case against Mr Kimmage is limited to false accusations and does not concern other opinions of Mr Kimmage. The case is based upon the protection of the personality rights. Under the applicable Swiss law such case is directed against the person who made the defamatory statements. In this case this person is Mr Kimmage.
Press release: UCI responds to USADA shifting deadline on reasoned decision and case file
The UCI wonders why it is taking USADA so long to provide its reasoned decision and case file.
Reports state that its decision has been delayed because it is continuing to gather evidence and that it has yet to complete its case file.
“The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA’s continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern,” said Mr McQuaid, UCI President.
“It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings” said Mr McQuaid.
It seems that it would have been more useful for USADA to have used the time of the Tour de France, the Olympic Games and the Road World Championships to prepare their case in full rather than to make announcements.
It is at very least unusual that USADA would still be gathering evidence against a person after it has found that person guilty.
The UCI assumes that the reasons for any difficulty in putting the evidence together will be explained in USADA’s decision.
The UCI has requested USADA to provide its decision and case file and has learnt of the reported delays through the media and not by any official communication from USADA. The sooner UCI receives the decision and case file the sooner UCI can provide its response.
Adopted by the Congress of the UCI, in its meeting of 21 September 2012 in Maastricht, the Netherlands
Considering that :
The case of former rider Lance Armstrong, whatever its outcome may be, invites to reflect on the effectiveness of the fight against doping, as is confirmed by the creation by WADA of a working group to that effect;
The UCI has always, as was already confirmed in 2002 in the Festina case by the Court of appeals of Douai (France), used all available means and made all reasonable efforts to fight doping in sport ;
The UCI has invested in the research for a method to detect EPO since the nineties, was the first sports federation to introduce a no-start ruled based upon the haematocrit level (1997), to introduce the urinary EPO test (2001) and to introduce the homologous blood transfusion test (2004);
The UCI was the first sports federation to introduce the athlete blood passport (2008), the most effective tool to prevent and detect blood doping ;
This testing programme of the UCI which was conducted independently, objectively and without consideration of any individuals has found many riders positive, including high profile riders ;
The comprehensive anti-doping programme of the UCI expresses both UCI’s awareness of the doping problem and its firm determination to do away with it ;
Yet various doping scandals have shown that athletes with the help of medical and other experts have managed to escape detection by the most effective doping programme ever implemented;
Notwithstanding all efforts it has not been possible to avoid doping practices for which science and WADA could not provide detection methods and that can only be detected by police methods that are outside the reach of an international federation ;
Awareness of what has happened or even sanctions for violations that have been detected many years afterwards do not enable to undo and clean up what has to be accepted as a dark period in cyclings history ;
There is no point in continuing to reexamine the past of then undetectable doping and stigmatize the sport of the young generations now that the situation has considerably improved through UCI’s continued efforts.
The Congress of the UCI confirms its confidence in the management of the UCI in its fight against doping over the years ; asks the Management Committee of the UCI :
to deal with the ongoing cases according to the applicable rules ;
to ignore attempts to exploit commercially or otherwise the painful aspects of cycling’s past ;
to concentrate on the anti-doping effort for the future of cycling in order to provide a clean environment for the next generations of riders.
Alexandre Vinokourov will join the Grand Chapter of the Musketeers of Armagnac in a special ceremony on Saturday 1 September in the French town of Condom. The Olympic cycling champ will be the special guest for the prize ceremony.
As well as celebrating Armagnac, a form of brandy from the Gascon region of France, the Chapter promotes traditions and customs from the past in this area of South-West France.
And yes, Condom is the name of a town in South-West France.
Fatima Yvelain is a regional-level distance runner in France. I suspect you had not heard of her until now but she enters history with one of the best ever excuses for a positive doping test.
Following a positive test for EPO after a half-marathon, she claimed heavy rainfall on the day of race had caused water to stream over hidden medical waste somewhere near the course. As she ran, the EPO-laced rainwater splashed onto her shorts, thus contaminating her urine when she later provided a sample at the doping control.
Needless athletics website VO2.fr reports the French Athletics Federation didn’t believe a word. She is banned for two years.
Update: this is no hoax story. You can read the official sanction from the French Athletics Federation here (PDF, in French).
In the post-stage press conference Wiggins was asked what he thinks about people who point fingers at Team Sky and hint that he is doping.
Here’s his response:
"I say they’re just fucking wankers. I cannot be doing with people like that.
It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to do anything in their lives.
It’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter and write that sort of shit, rather than get off their arses in their own lives and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something. And that’s ultimately it. Cunts.”
With 25km to go, Alessandro Petacchi took off his shoe covers and passed them to team mate Davide Vigano. Vigano was riding one-handed as he tried to put the shoe covers in his back pocket whilst riding downhill at around 70km/h when, unable to brake, he rode into the backwheel of the rider in front of him, prompting a wave of crashes at high speed.
That’s what L’Equipe says today. I’d add some more context. First, it seems to have come from Danilo Hondo of the same team, although this isn’t mentioned by the newspaper.
Petacchi presumably had the covers to keep his feet dry during the day but didn’t want the extra weight on his feet for the finish, a normal trick for the sprint.
We’d seen the breakaway up the road put on a tight leash, the bunch had closed in almost too quickly. But with the rolling roads and the wind, the bunch seemed nervous already. The wind had got up too, making the bunch nervous, adding even more pressure on the riders to be at the front.