Monday, July 23, 2007

The Gloves are Off

A year ago Floyd Landis won the Tour de France. A new champion was named after the long reign of Lance Armstrong. I remember how proud I felt when I heard the US National Anthem floating along the boulevard as he stood there on the Champs Elysees his hand covering his heart. Naively I thought a new era was borne and the doping titillations that plagued Lance would be laid to rest. Of course a few days later news broke about the “worse case scenario.” Floyd was subsequently “identified” for having a high T/E ratio.

The gloves are off. The UCI President Patrick McQuaid isn’t waiting for a positive drug test or even for the tour to complete before giving his opinion of who should and shouldn’t win the tour. McQuaid has stated he would rather another younger rider win the tour rather than Michael Rasmussen. No more waiting for the final results of who crosses the line. Perhaps, McQuaid has crossed a new line.

Back on the home front, I was hoping that politics would be minimized with the timing of Floyd’s arbitration hearing ruling. However, as the time lingers on, it seems more likely that the decision will wait until after the tour completes. If the timing of the announcement can be impacted, I am back to fearing that the conclusions will also not be based on facts. But I must hang onto a fragment, a glimmer of reason that I saw during the hearing that science and logic will prevail.