Before I get into today's post I just wanted to take a minute to talk about a really bad crash here in Salem that happened last night. It was within the fast group of the Scott's ride. From eye witness accounts a large portion of the group went down at 28+ mph. There was a lot of broken equipment, bangs, and bruises. Two people went to the hospital. One came out pretty banged up but "okay". The other did not. He is laying unconscious (Induced coma) in the ICU. With a hemorrhage in his brain and Lord only knows what else. The doctor's are optimistic about his recovery thank goodness. But it's still very scary. It makes us all stop and take pause on how much we really rely on each other when we ride in a group. Not only for our own safety but also during an emergency. So thank you to all the people who helped out on the road, the medical staff, and the social networking grape vine that keeps us all informed. I wish for him a speedy and complete recovery. Thanks. Now on to the fun at hand.
It's taken me a few days to kind of wrap my head around all the doping related news that's been going on lately. As I'm sure most of you know that are interested in cycling Tyler Hamilton had an interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday. You can watch the whole thing here. I'm not going to rehash all that was stated. Most of it is old news to people involved in the sport. But there were several new nuggets of very relevant information put out in the piece that I'd like to discuss. Along with a whole host of other things that have been flying around. So please bare with me while I trudge through all of it.
First, I want to thank and compliment Tyler for coming out and saying what he said. It took a lot of guts. Regardless of his motives for doing so now. I'm sure that he would rather not have come out with anything at all. What on earth did he have to gain by coming out now? Other than appearing to be as transparent as possible. And considering all that he could lose and has lost. It was an impressive display. Having him confess to his own doping practices after all this time must have been extremely difficult. I mean he just told his family several days before the interview. It had to be horrible.
Second, the biggest things I got out of the interview, aside from Tyler's own confession. Is that he corroborates almost verbatim with Floyd Landis's story about Lance's and the team's doping practices. Even though they are coming at it from different angles there are far to many similarities to be ignored. It's either a really great case of matching up each other's stories or the truth. And considering the amount of smoke that's been around this fire. I tend to believe the latter.
I've often thought that even though both Floyd and Tyler have come out with their versions of the truth. That it was going to take a person(s) who has never been busted for doping to corroborate their stories to help seal the deal. At the minimum in the publics eyes and the maximum to the court's. And that's where both Frankie Andreu and George Hincapie come into play.
Frankie confessed to his own EPO use several years ago and it caused a small ripple in a very big pond. Which is unfortunate. Because the fact that his story meshes with Tyler and has testified in the past to Armtrong's drug use makes him seem like he is an important piece to this very complex puzzle. He, just like Tyler, and Floyd has nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward. And Lance can't take the same tack with Frankie as he did with Tyler and Floyd (Even though he's trying.). He's not coming out with a book. He's not trying to get his name in the lime light for any reason. If anything it could hurt him. He was released from his contract with Versus as a commentator 2 months ago. There isn't any direct evidence that his talks with reporters had anything to do with the dismissal. But it does make me take pause and wonder if that wasn't part of the reason. Much like the whole Lemond vs. Trek debacle. Frankie may just be a little to hot to handle by Versus.
George is a different matter. It would be extremely difficult to discredit him. He's neither tested positive or ever come out and said anything negative about Lance or Postal. But just like all the other Americans who have been subpoenaed to testify behind closed doors (And I think there are quite a few more who haven't been talked about.). It's one thing to have your job taken away for a time by the UCI. It's another deal entirely to do jail time in a "do you in the butt" federal prison. So with that motivation in hand I think a lot of guys are choosing to tell the truth and not commit purgery.
A fact I think that we as cyclist get caught up in is the unethical use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). More than likely not one of these cyclist will see jail time because of their use of PEDs. It will be if they lie in a court of law. Much like Marion Jones or what's going on right now with Barry Bonds (Which may be a really good yard stick to see what happens with Lance.). It's not the drug taking. The Feds don't give a shit about that. What they care about is the manufacture, distribution and administering of drugs in an illegal manner. That's what is going to get some peoples tail in a ringer. And it won't be the riders (At least not with the federal government.), it will be the owners, management and doctors that have their head on the chopping block.
That's another bombshell that Tyler Hamilton dropped. Not only did he physically see Lance dope. But he also saw the distribution of doping products to different members of the team. Even before Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel joined Postal. That's going to implicate a lot more people in this investigation. There's not only going to be the owner of Postal, Tom Weisel. But the directors and doctors on staff as well. This rabbit hole could go really deep.
My head is spinning....
And there hasn't really been any mention of any of the "other" people who have had to testify. I think Lance is whistling dixie if he thinks all the Americans don't roll over on him to keep out of jail.
In my head I can see Lance's thinking that he could be open with the guys that are using too. They have dirt on each other. But once the use of government money comes into play it's a whole new ball game.
Even still. I bet it will be quite awhile before this thing finally comes to an end. Take Bond's again as an example. How long ago did all that crap happen!? So everyone might as well get real comfortable. Because I can tell you form experience. That nothing with government goes quickly.
There's a lot more. But my brain is about to fry. And I kind of wonder if anyone has actually made it this far in the post. Kudos to you if you did. I may jump in and out of this subject in the future. Once something new comes up. Thanks for reading.
Rubber side down (please),