So I’m back in TOUR mode. I mean Full tour mode. And once again we have a scandal on our hands. Or maybe not.
Yes, I’m talking about Frank Schleck. And yes, I’m talking about his failed drug test. Now, I do wonder why on earth someone would choose to dope in THE Tour. That just makes no sense to me at all. None whatsoever. Okay, to be completely honest it makes no sense to me why anyone who faces random drug testing would imbibe at all but I know they do.
In Frank’s urine test from July 14, they found Xipamide, a diuretic and a banned substance. Now you might be wondering what is wrong with taking a diuretic during THE Tour (however it is banned both during competition and outside of competition), and that would be a good question. The reason diuretic’s are banned because they can lead to rapid weight loss and they are often used to mask other performance enhancing drugs.
Frank is, of course, denying any use of banned substances. He has requested to have his B-sample tested and has said if it comes back positive he will “claim” poisoning. According to Bob Roll, there is virtually no way that would be possible in THE Tour. Since this is the “Super Bowl” of cycling, each rider is, or should be, super vigilant about what they put in their body. They know, or should know, exactly what they are putting in. Bob Roll claims there is “somewhere between none and zero percent” chance of his being poisoned.
So with that being said, it is a very sad situation. Because his A-sample was tested, he didn’t need to leave THE Tour but he abandoned anyway. Now this can be seen in a myriad of ways and for a million different reasons.
However to this viewer it smacks of guilt. I know, I know. Innocent until proven guilty. But why claim to know nothing of how the substance got in your system and leave THE Tour? As you probably know, Frank Schleck rides for the Radio Shack Nissan Trek team. The former team of 7 time winner of THE Tour, Lance Armstrong. And we’re all well aware of the scandal facing him and team manager, Johan Bruyneel.
It seems the Radio Shack cycling team is in a world of hurt this year. Jakob Fugslang has filed suit against his team for non-payment of salary. Not surprising the rest of the team is expressing “no comment” when questioned.
Three team doctors have received lifetime bans and Johan Bruyneel is facing the same should he lose the case in arbitration.
But this isn’t just about Radio Shack’s team. It’s about a good rider who broke the rules. Bradley Wiggins had this to say about the questions,
“It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to do anything in their lives. …It’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter and write that…ather than get off their arses in their own lives and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something. And that’s ultimately it.”
It isn’t that I’m sitting at home on my own bum passing judgement on those riding. It isn’t that I think everyone dopes. There are riders that I honestly wonder about. Frank Schleck has never been one of those riders.
It is just so hard for me to believe a rider who claims to “know nothing about how the banned substance” got into their system to be speaking the truth.
It’s not just cyclists either. For years and years St. Louis Cardinals baseball great, Mark McGuire, claimed to be a clean player. Only later, after retiring to admit his guilt.
I wish the professional rider and players would realize the role they play, the vast number of children who are deciding that “I want to be just like him when I grow up” and choose to ride clean. Yes, it might mean they don’t win THE Tour, it might be they struggle a bit and might not win stages. But I think knowing they did it clean would be a much better feeling. To know they used the years of practice, that they denied themselves and worked hard to earn everything and they are just THAT strong would be fulfilling, at least I would hope so.
I have given birth to two children and both times I choose to go “drug-free”. Not because I could be banned from L&D for imbibing, but because I wanted to test my strength. When I say drug-free, I mean just that. No epidural, no nubain, no ibuprofen, no nothing. I made it the first time so when faced with labor again, it was a no brainer to go drug free.
Now I know to use my drug-free and compare it to a rider taking performance enhancing drugs is a stretch to be sure. But the end result, knowing your own strength, being proud of what you accomplished on your own is the same.
Just so you know, I blog clean.