While Gavia sleeps in waiting for the tide, I'll start a thread to cover today's slate of controversial subjects.
- Schumi is out. To nobody's surprise, the UCI confirmed the AFLD's two-year ban for Stefan Schumacher, who tested positive in the Tour de France for CERA. Sounds like his sample was mishandled, which Schumi has used to try to avoid the ban, but nobody is buying. See you in 2011, doofus.
- The big story on biological passports is that the UCI has threatened five teams with exclusion from Paris-Nice if they don't send in their payment for the program. Cofidis, Bbox Bweeg, Caisse d'Epargne, Quick Step and Silence Lotto all owe some 120k Euros, and if McQuaid doesn't receive a suitcase of cash, in unmarked, nonsequential bills, by midnight tonight, he's going to release pictures of riders in compromising positions. Or just kick them out of Paris-Nice. Hm, in some respects maybe Paris-Nice is the start of the season, at least the silly season.
- Nothing yet (in English) regarding Alejandro Valverde, at least not in La Gazzetta. Though you can read all about the controversy involving corrupt officiating in Serie A, whereby Inter cheated Roma out of three points last weekend.
- CN has a nice roundup of LPR Brakes manager Fabio Bordonali's comments back to Tom Boonen, to the effect that LPR does pay into the passport system, and Boonen shouldn't impugn their integrity, and anyway he races against smaller teams sometimes who don't pay in, nyah nyah. He could have added, Quick Step haven't made their payment for 2009 yet. Double nyah nyah.
- Gav, here, checking in with one more item: TAS has today issued a preliminary ruling on the Fuji-Servetto case. Fuji-Servetto appealed their exclusion from the ASO and RCS races. The result is a split decision: TAS has upheld the ASO decision to exclude Fuji-Servetto from Paris-Nice, but the tribunale ordered the RCS to allow the team to ride Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo. In explaining the decision, TAS wrote, that the "reasons given by the organizers were different." The ASO denied Fuji-Servetto entrance into their races, because the participation of the team "could tarnish the image of the race," due to the team's previous doping scandals. (Fuji-Servetto is the successor team to Saunier-Duval, former team of the disgraced Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli.) TAS ruled that the RCS claims was weaker, that the organizer had excluded the team on the grounds that they "held a discretionary choice over the participating teams." TAS struck down that claim by the RCS. This is a preliminary decision from TAS. No word yet on when the tribunale will issue its final decision. — Source, l'Équipe.fr.