With all of this news about Leinders & Rabobank, Zorzoli and the rest of the corrupt fuckers that polluted cycling for the last couple of decades, I am about at my wits end when it comes to doping. When Adam Myerson was on Mike Creed's OpenMic, he had a great line about people having every right to be skeptical about the characters in cycling but once you become cynical, why the hell do you still follow cycling? That was some obvious paraphrasing but lately I have been walking that line of skepticism and cynicism.
I love cycling. I love nearly every aspect of cycling. The drama. The romance. The suffering. The pain. I have put a good chunk of my life into the two-wheeled world but I keep getting a bile taste in my mouth every fucking time that I see a "former" doper living a comfortable retirement. Whether it is Vinokourov, Museeuw, Armstrong, Hincapie...I don't care; when you cheat people out of jobs and money and then try to make even more money of the backs of millions of riders? You and anyone that believes you to be right can go to hell.
There seems to be an issue about what to due with riders that have doped and come back from suspension. Should we hang them out to dry or welcome them back and tell everyone that it was "a different time". First of all, the benchmark for bans should be life. Bicycle racing isn't a right. It is a job for some privileged athletes and if you decide to cheat by taking PEDs then you should not be welcome back. This should go even further by imposing monetary penalties that would go towards funding anti-doping as well as cycling development.
Now that sounds idealistic as a college freshman after their first semester but I'm not finished. While I think that life bans should be the benchmark, if a rider spills their guts and name fucking names then they could be eligible for a ban reduction. For any type of rider on a ban, there should be some sort of monetary penalty.
If a rider dopes, gets caught and refuses to talk? Good riddance. I don't want you around this sport. If a rider dopes, admits their wrongs and tell everything they know? Yeah, you fucked up but at least you see your wrongs and are willing to repent. I'm just tired of having to accept riders back with open arms after they keep their silence after being caught. You have to earn our trust if you want to be anywhere near a race circuit again.
When coming into the sport around the late 00s, I grew up watching gritty riders like Vinokourov and Di Luca as well as super sprinters such as Petacchi and Boonen. As much as I would love to have riders expose doping, I know it is fucking hard. I will not fault a hard working rider for not saying shit to the media so he can protect his job but at some point, riders should be responsible. If you see something, say something. The UCI should have lines dedicated to this sort of shit. See dope? Call them. See a transfusion? Call them. Let them investigate without the rider being hung out to dry and out of a job.
Riders coming up should be looking up to riders who stood up for what is right. If I was my 16 year old self, I would be looking towards guys like Danny Pate, Brad Huff and the like instead of riders that shown hormone levels of young children after major mountain stages in grand tours.
Shit is going to continued being the same until something major happens. Yeah, there has been a shift to a cleaner sport but where there really isn't an incentive not to dope or much of a disincentive to not dope. Now back to your regular scheduled program.