I know that we were all pretty pissed off with the recent revelations that Tintin and SS (oh wait, we knew that one already) are dirty SOB's. So I wanted to step back and put some perspective on the situation.
Yes, there are dopers in cycling, yes they are cheats, yes they are stealing the wins, podium pride, $$ and kisses from our favourite cyclists who are of course not doping. And yes, it breaks our hearts when we find out that one of our favourites was juiced.
However, we also have a sport that gives a damn. I realized this while reading about the latest busted doper in MLB. Let's draw some comparisons
Length of suspension:
- First positive test result: 50 game suspension
- Second positive test result: 100 game suspension
- Third positive test result: lifetime ban
- First positive: 2 years
- Second positive: lifetime [?? This is what I recall...could be wrong]
Frequency of testing:
- "I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons." ~ Manny Ramirez
- all players will be randomly selected for testing at unannounced times for steroids at least once.
- What's Lances twitter count up to now...25?
- I found some data on CVV and Millar - in a 6mo period last year (Nov-April), CVV received 13 tests, Millar 16.
- Even the lowliest domestique will receive a half dozen tests per year just from the UCI
And the ultimate kicker for me:
- [Manny Ramirez] will lose about one-third of his $25-million (U.S.) salary
- Manny Ramirez's salary would fund an entire pro cycling team.
- The amount Manny Ramirez is losing from this suspension would probably fund a continental team.
So putting aside the inefficiencies of the UCI, the sometimes political shenanigans of the national federations and the lame excuses of the busted riders...
We have a sport that is absolutely beautiful to watch, both for the scenery, and the athletic and tactical prowess of the cyclists. And when it comes down to it, our sport actually does care about the 'purity' of its competitions. Is it perfect in its execution...hell no. But it tries.
Can the Giro start now please?