Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Clean Riders Sent Home from Tour Day France??

From's article about the doctor named in the Operacion Puerto scandal that has rocked pro-cycling:

“I’m angry about the whole matter. Names have appeared of people that I don’t even know and there are others that haven’t come out and I’ve no idea why, but my professional oath forbids me from revealing their names,” (Eufemiano)Fuentes declared. “Treatment only for cyclists? I’m also indignant about that. I’ve worked with other sports, like athletics, tennis and football. There are a lot of names that haven’t come out, there have been only selective leaks. I don’t know why… There are still riders in the Tour de France who I have treated.”

I'm sorry...what?! There are people on the list that were possibly sent home from the Tour Day France that he doesn't know? And others that he does but that are still riding?

I'm thinking that the folks who follow cycling are pretty jaded right now and many think that 'everyone' is doping. Or, at least, everyone that this doctor treated doped or jacked up their blood or whatever it is he allegedly helped them with. However, imagine for one minute.....what if he is telling the truth and there are innocent people on that list? What if that innocent person was sent home from the Tour? Ugh, that is just awful.

I don't have the answers. I don't know who did or didn't cheat. I won't even profess to have an opinion on that one. However, the way this issue is being handled has ramifications for the athletes, their sponsors, event organizers, hotels, transportation companies, fans...and the list goes on and on. If they sent innocent guys home because of something that wasn't I feel badly for everyone - including the team of law enforcement investigators that needs to weed through all of this information, sort it out and get to the bottom of the issues at hand.

Clearly, this is a flawed system that is showing its cracks at every turn.

Just a discouraging tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.


Dave Thompson said...

Well the tour Da France is not over till every lawyer speaks
This is long from over, if what they are saying is true, then the cycling community will have to grin and bear it for a couple of years till a clean rider proves us all wrong. But till that day comes what are the sponsorship implications that have occurred and will occur till the riders are found innocent or guilty…

Here is a list of the sponsors that have been affected and the products used by some of the alleged doping riders for promotional opportunities.
I cannot even fathom the loss of sales that might come from the alleged allegations.

T Mobile
Rudy Project
Power Bar
Giant Bicycles


I can see the fall out happening right now. Sponsors drop and sales drop along with rider brand identity. Where does it all stop, and why are we not marketing directly to the consumer, rather that some athlete who at any time and point can ruin a company’s image. I guess we forgot about Coby Brant. I for one do not ride products because of any athlete; I choose my products because of quality and style. For instance, I do not ride with out my Rudy project glasses, because they give me clear vision and have lasted me for many miles on my bike. That goes along with my Masi Vincere and my Neuovation wheels. On another note, my rear hub flange cracked and John Neugent sent me a new wheel set in three day (Saturday Delivery). He was honest with me and said about 1% of his wheels were doing his and they had no reason why. Now that is great customer service marketing.

Well lets see what happens in the next couple of years

Donna Tocci said...

Hey Dave - great to hear from you. I think that companies, for the most part, do market to consumers. Many consumers want to be just like their sports idols so companies attach to the top stars in each of the sports. Look at NASCAR! There are so many corporate dollars there it's mind-boggling. Some companies go another route, though, and sponsor the event itself. This seems to be a safer way to spend money and still get to the audience, but may not reach them with the same intensity.
I'm still watching the Tour, though, sponsors or not - big name riders or not. As a matter of fact, I'm watching and listening to Al and Bob as I type.
Thanks for stopping by, Dave! Safe riding.