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Friday, June 30, 2006

The Stuff Hits the Fan

The European continent's biggest annual sporting event, Le Tour de France, will be without many of its star riders. The two favorites, Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, will not be taking part. Spanish authorities have taken blood tests performed on cyclists and matched them to supplies siezed in an ongoing investigation. Spain's El Pais newspaper reports the vast majority of cyclists who earned podium spots (top-three placing) over the last few years are implicated; one glaring absence, of course, is Lance Armstrong. The seven-time champion, however, is not free from suspicion.

There are many who say anti-doping authorities are losing the battle. I don't see it that way; one entire sport is being forced to come clean all at once. No one involved in cycling will ever want to get this much bad press all at once, and they now know they cannot avoid it merely by ignoring the problem. No, I think the police, race organizers and cyclists will all be much more willing to work together now.

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