Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cock of the Walk

Ever since the Landis doping allegations surfaced, I have followed Oscar Periero's public comments with interest. Although Periero initially adopted a humble wait-and-see attitude, he has, in recent months, begun to crow ever more loudly about perceived unfairness. Oscar's main complaint seems to be that neither he nor his team can take financial advantage of what he now firmly believes to be his Tour victory so long as Landis remains formally unstripped of the title. Today, as often happens, another shoe has dropped.

It appears that unlike Landis, Periero tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance (salbutamol) -- not once, but twice -- during the 2006 Tour. Periero supposedly has a UCI-issued TUE (Therepeutic Use Exception) for salbutamol but French doping authorities have been asking for hard evidence of a legitimate medical condition since August and Periero has yet to provide one shred of evidence justifying the alleged medical exception. Nor, apparently, has the UCI bothered to confirm the existence of the TUE.

Maybe now the Accidental Champion will stop strutting around like a Tour winner (his second place was, after all, down to Phonak's tactical stupidity) and stfu until the Landis case is adjudicated. I suspect Andreas Kloden is paying close attention to this story.

Finally, do we now need anymore evidence that the UCI, WADA, and French authorities hold American riders to a higher standard? Apparently, the organizations are unflinching in their commitment to privacy and process so long as the rider in question does not race under an American license.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Heil Doenitz

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.