Another one bites the dust…

Just after reading an article about the release of Bradley Wiggins’ blood values during the Tour de France indicating that the peloton might be riding cleaner, I see here that stage winner Mikel Astarloza returned a positive test result for recombinant EPO just before the start of the Tour de France. 

Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the podium after his stage win.  Photo credit © AFP

Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) on the podium after his stage win. Photo credit © AFP

Mikel Astarloza – YOU SUCK!

To add insult to injury, I see here that Italian doping cheater Riccardo Riccò is appealing his suspension (again!), claiming that the UCI (are you ready for this?) didn’t follow the rules in deciding the length of his suspension. 

Riccardo Riccò – YOU SUCK (again)!

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2009

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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8 Responses to Another one bites the dust…

  1. Jim says:

    Astarloza finally wins a pro race and DOH!!! I hope he enjoyed it while it lasted.

  2. aviewfromtheback says:

    The news this week in cycling and baseball only confirms what we already knew. Doping controls and punitive competition bans simply do not work. They only push doping further and further to the edge of the envelope where athletes are willing to put untested, unsafe drugs into their bodies. Further, the level playing field that doping supposedly tips in the users’ direction, never existed in the first place given the advantages afforded those with money or rich sponsors or both (i.e., better training, better coaching, better equipment.)

    Wouldn’t it be better if instead of worrying about who doped in the past and spending a ton of money trying to catch athletes using performances enhancing drugs if the focus where on reducing the harm associated with doping? Legalize the use of performance enhancing drugs and bringing it under medical supervision so that the athletes, who are going to use them anyway, are safer. The same four guys are going to have a shot at winning the Tour de France with or without the drugs, so what impact are tests and competition bans having anyway? The answer would be none.

    Luca Rossi

    • BugMan says:

      Even if doping is legalized and placed under medical supervision, dopers will still seek new methods and practices in an effort to gain an edge. They are not going to reveal these practices to whatever authority is in charge of monitoring “legal” doping. You have solved nothing, in fact illicit doping will become even more rampant – the problem has only been exacerbated.

      Regardless, it’s cheating. If athletes are allowed to dope, I (and many others) won’t watch anymore. Cycling will essentially be transformed from a true sport to an entertainment sport – sort of like pro wrestling. Maybe you are fine with that is the future for cycling, but I’m not and will do everything I can to make it the sport I want it to be.

  3. Mike says:

    I think the only effective way to eliminate doping is to impose a lifetime ban, in all sports. You get caught you are out of the sport forever. That would eliminate the dopers, or ever at least the ones that got caught and be a much steeper deterrent to those that think about trying it.

    • BugMan says:

      You know, they have lifetime bans for athletes gambling in their sport, how is that worse fraud than doping to steal your own result? I’m actually enjoying seeing all these high profile athletes getting popped.

  4. Brian H. says:

    Hi Ted,

    In regards to the legalize doping comments above, I’d like to raise another anti-doping point. I think it’s safe to say youth generally seek to emulate their “heroes”. If doping is legalized, all the kids will want to do it as well. And who is going to medically supervise them? What parent can afford that kind of money? “Jimmy your EPO bill this month was $15,000, and the doc charged us another $10,000 for his services and blood-banking! I hope you won that 10km criterium…”

    I’m generally all for technological and medical progress…but in this case? Not so much.

    Just a thought.

    • BugMan says:

      I had a snarkier version of your thought in my response to Luca but edited it out – something to the effect of “you don’t have kids, do you?” Still, it’s perhaps one of the biggest reasons to oppose legalized doping.

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