Is there honor left in bike racing? 2007/07/26
I just began watching Stage 17 of this year's Tour de France, recorded from this morning, and was greeted with a second punch in the face from the collective cycling elite. Only two days after Alexandre Vinokourov failed a drug test, the Danish team Rabobank has released their star climber and current race leader Michael Rasmussen. He has not failed a drug test but his sneaking around Italy and avoiding team-mandated off-season drug tests has cast a shadow on his integrity.
It may seem odd to dismiss this rider before he officially failed a test but I agree with former professional cyclist and commentator Paul Sherwen that drastic measures are required. I wanted badly to believe that last year's shakedown among the peloton's elite riders was the last straw but I've been betrayed once again. This year has only proven that no tolerance for doping is not enough. Professional cycling cannot afford to tolerate even suspicion anymore.
What is next for this once-great sport? Every accomplishment is now doubted. Every duel is now unequal. Every fan watching now wonders whether what they're seeing is possible. This is not sustainable. In the name of everyone like me who wishes he could ride like the pros, fix this. Vive le tour.