Monday, February 5, 2007

Bradley Wiggins and Cycle Sport Apparently Know Everything About Everybody

Recent publications by British cycling magazine Cycle Sport and numerous scathing, defamatory statements from British cyclist Bradley Wiggins continue to educate the public on who the bad guys are and who the good guys are, despite any kind of legitimate proof or formal sanctions. According to both sources, the bad guys are everyone they choose to focus on and throw under the bus, while the good guys are apparently any British riders (including David Millar) and anyone else that Cycle Sport chooses to declare as “unquestionably clean” including Thor Hushovd, Phillipe Gilbert and Mr. Wiggins among others.

Not surprisingly, American cyclists seem to be taking the brunt of criticism from both sources. For example, Cycle Sport has taken a blatantly biased and vindictive approach to Tyler Hamilton and his newly formed Tinkoff team, even going so far as to post anti-doping statements next to virtually every picture of the American and his Russian-Italian continental team in its most recent issue. Yet, despite the clear problems surrounding the validity of the test that took Hamilton out of competition for the last two years, the magazine makes no effort to hide its disgust of the University of Colorado alum while continually touting the potential success of admitted doper David Millar. However, the magazine does not regularly focus on the fact that Millar only admitted his infraction when faced with empty EPO vials found in his home. Additionally, Cycle Sport is also very quick to let everyone know that Floyd Landis is entirely guilty and should be vilified for even attempting to defend himself from accusations of drug use – no matter how flawed the testing procedure or laboratory protocols.

Wiggins has been especially vocal about his complete condemnation of anyone ever suspected of doing anything wrong…well, at least anyone that has ever beaten him in a bike race that is and surely not any of his teammates. The rider who has spent the majority of his career with the historically questionable Cofidis team (of Gaumont and Millar infamy among others) is also apparently the only man in all of professional cycling with the guts to publicly criticize people in the media prior to any kind of formal judgment. "I've got children, a wife and a house and I could lose my livelihood because someone who tests positive finishes ahead of me. It's about time someone had some balls and told it how it was.” said the Cofidis rider.

The British rider with virtually no results since 2004, who finished a distant 124th in the 2006 Tour de France (which Landis won by the way), continued his attack on the American rider, once again despite ANY formal sanctioning, by claiming, “I was really angry with Landis. It sickens me. He tested positive and then he was denying it. He took us riders for fools.”

When asked by an American journalist if there was any chance he could ever possibly be falsely accused of doping himself, Wiggins was defiant. “There is absolutely no way that I would ever be falsely accused of performance enhancing drug use,” stated the winner of three medals in the 2004 Olympics. “I mean…if they were going to catch me it would have been after Athens when I won all those medals. But they barely even test me now because I have basically sucked for the last few years. Really, what’s the point of testing the track rider who finished 124th in the Tour, right?”

Wiggins continued his rant by claiming, “After last year's Tour de France I didn't feel proud to be a professional cyclist. But then again, maybe that’s because I finished nearly dead last while supposedly serving a couple of guys who barely even showed themselves in the Top 20 Overall. Yeah…the fact that I completely floundered and barely finished has to be a result of Floyd Landis’ doping practices. And those other 123 guys that finished ahead of me were totally on something as well. No question about it. It’s just too bad that Cycle Sport and I are the only two voices of reason in professional cycling. It is also unfortunate that we are the only two sources that know for sure what every single rider with a UCI license is guilty of.”

“I really wish more magazines and riders would be willing to openly and publicly destroy people’s reputations despite testing and adjudication flaws in the system,” concluded Wiggins. “It is really a shame that we are the only ones with the balls to play judge and jury in a public forum with no accountability or remorse. There really should be more people out there in the cycling community willing to take such an ignorant and holier-than-thou stance on the subject.”

Editor's Note: Only some of the highly inflammatory remarks above can be directly attributed to Bradley Wiggins. It's fun to wonder which accusatory comments are documented and which are merely inferred...but if you want to read some of the real ones, here you go: Enjoy the finger pointing


Rob E said...

Yeah, magazines should be more like Velonews, printing the BS excuses American riders give when they fail their dope tests. Hell, might as well put them on the cover and call them rider of the year.

I think you have it backwards, riders who speak up should be praised, riders who fail dope tests, then launch marketing campaigns to prove their innocence to ignorant American fans should be heckled with no remorse.

Tyler is going to be smoking fast this year, he has had 2 years to draw and freeze his own need to use other peoples blood for awhile. I bet his missing twin has all of a suddenly stopped producing mixed blood cells. Funny how that works. I am going to go donate some of the money that Floyd and Tyler have stolen from every single domestic pro to the Floyd fairness fund. I wonder how much Lance has donated?

Sorry to flame, I like your blog…but come on, heckling Wiggens and praising Tyler?

J.T.A. said...

Nice...finally a critical comment. Thanks for the thought and I do appreciate the rant. No thin skin here. And while I readily admit the ignorance of many fellow Americans...I assure you I am not one. But I guess the ignorant people would probably say the same thing. Oh, well...just trust me here. Or don't.

I'm actually going to try to clarify why CS and Wiggins have been annoying me. It's really just about naming names. I'll put up another post about it soon.

blue squirrel said...

ignate americann pipping in here.

it is very simple, no more witch hunts, as in no more guilty till the UCI / WADA says or feels that your not guilty [they never retract comments or like it when riders are proven innocent of the charges. i think they want all riders to be guilty so they can go home early and have a brandy and throw stuff at their house staff].

as far as t. hamilton goes, since his case was a closed event, you, me and the door knob do not know anything about the case, other than what a media that is trying to make money tells us. we will have to wait until the book comes out.

as the quote goes "you can't turn a donkey into a race horse". doping or no doping, these guys give it their all, and deserve our respect first and our presumption of guilt second.

as far as operacion puerto [spanish for comedy] goes, the only thing to come out of it is 50 or so riders careers halted or ruined with out a single charge. although i do think they have a video of tylers twin coming out of the office, even though tyler himself does not know, nor has ever meet the doctor. oh, no wait that turned out to be someone else, oh well at least they got to take another jab at another great american cyclist that has kicked their arse for years [with or with out his own blood]

so until you have won a grand tour or a pro tour race, or for that matter a CAT 1 local crit, doped up or not, shut your trap.

ok, i have to go get hyped up on espresso before my ride, since it is the last bastion of old school doping that is still legal .

J.T.A. said...

You're my boy Blue! - Frank the Tank, Old School.

Okay, the new post is up and I hope it clarifies some things about my personal take on all this mumbo jumbo.

How about this: Innocent/Guilty until proven guilty/innocent...and even then we're not really sure.

Maybe that should be the new mantra. Oh well.

Rob E said...

It's sad but the whole innocent till proven guilty notion doesn't really work in cycling. Benefit of doubt was tossed out the window w/ Festina. With or w/o dope these guys are badasses for sure. Clean Tyler will ride circles around me all day...shit, clean Tammy Thomas probably would too. Dope alone will not create a champion, but doping a champion will get you 7 Tour victories in a row. I can respect a rider who tells it like it is, even if he dopes...but to pretend it’s not a problem is a much bigger crime. Thats where I get erked.

J.T.A. said...

Benefit of the doubt was removed 9 years ago?!?! Because of Tricky Ricky, Willy Voet and the Festina gang? No one told me that.

There is legitimacy to a certain level of skepticism but...that's the saddest thing I've heard in awhile. Shouldn't everyone have the benefit of the doubt? Just as a human being? Are all of the professional cyclists and fellow racers that I call friends to be presumed guilty? Dang.

Sorry...I just can't willingly believe that. Or unwillingly either I suppose. Whatever...the point is that even if 99 out of 100 people are doped...that one clean rider deserves better than to be presumed guilty.

Because honestly...what's the point of staying clean and making all the necessary sacrifices to be your best when you are going to get lumped into a generalized group of cheaters anyway? How does that help anyone? And what does bashing LA solve? Seriously, who does that serve at this point? It sure doesn't serve my Grandmother as she reflects on her remission from breast cancer and the hope she found in his story.

It is far easier (and logical - at least in terms of self-inflicted psychological stress theory) to take a general assumption of innocence and address individual circumstances for what they are...individual. As in...unique, not to be presumed normal.

Until there are more postives than negatives...I will believe that this is the case. The clean riders out there (believe it or not, they probably do exist...even outside Wiggins) deserve that much.

Rob E said...

True everyone deserves the benefit of doubt, and I give them more than their fair share...Lance was my hero, Tyler was my hero, Landis was my hero...yet somehow these doping tests are so flawed, every one of my heroes seems to get duped. I guess it's truly just a coincidence...a witch-hunt, right?