Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Grazie, Ivan.

Also, I hate you.

But it appears you have a lot more guts -- how do you say that in Italian? -- than a whole lot of other riders today. Doping could spell the demise of the whole sport of cycling, and I'm pretty angry about your being part of it. You were always the nice guy, the gentleman, with quiet confidence and seemingly endless strength.

Today (at least it appears) that you've admitted that some of that strength came from doping. While "shame on you" doesn't begin to cover the way that doping is stabbing this beautiful, epic sport in the eye with an icepick, top-level riders admitting to doping is going to be essential to cleaning this sport up. You had nothing to gain and everything to lose, and you're still doing the right thing.

So, thank you, Ivan Basso. I might be the only one that does so.

But when I think of the courage it takes to stand before the firing squad and admit everything, I am impressed. The only thing to gain is a partial absolution of a guilty conscience -- it's clear that it's not just you, Ivan, but when the only reward for confessing is execution, what ELSE could we expect besides the omerta that has plagued the peloton? It's the prisoner's dilemma but worse. If everyone denies it, some riders will be banned, some will be cleared, and everyone will go about their merry doping way. If some riders confess, they will be banned, and still, others will be cleared, and go about their merry doping way.

But that will change, in part because of your confession, (if it ends up being as complete as it appears, I might add), and in part because of progressive practices of teams like America's Slipstream and Germany's T-mobile. The teams I've mentioned are the way of the future, as are penalties by the UCI against teams whose riders dope, but clearing up the past to pave the way for a clean future lies with riders like you. It is not enough for a rider to be banned, under protest, by a mess of confusing scientific evidence.

What we need are confessions, and for names to be named.


  • At 3:54 PM , Blogger josh said...

    my sentiments exactly.

    although it should be noted he prbly will get a shortned suspension for admitting it, but still, it takes some balls and he deserves some credit for speaking up.....however, why did he stay quite for about 10 months? why not immeadiatly? why the denials last july?


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