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« I Quit My Job | Main | He "Almost" Doped... »

May 07, 2007

Comments

Matt

Holy CRAP! I go away for a few days, and Sara quits her day job AND Ivan Basso admits to being involved w/ OP!

So Sara...WAY TO GO! I am SO JEALOUS! You have the guts to do what myself (and many others) have pondered. I also express my best wishes for you, and feel that you will go FAR on this new path! You can't win if you don't play, and you have indeed put down your ante on the big poker table of life! I think you are packing a winning hand! Knock em' DEAD Sara! Just don't forget all us little people when you are a bigshot journalist!

And then the Basso story..say it ain't so! I will try not to dwell on just 'what' level of involvment he had in OP...but ANY involvment at all can't be a good thing. But at least he had the courage to step away from DC ahead of time, and not bring them down or taint them w/ his issues. HUGE Kudos for that! It's time (PAST TIME actually) to come clean about your involvment, as hard as that will be.

Well, we are in the midst of some AMAZING weather! I didn't get to ride all weekend, was on a speed trip down to Yuma and back. However tonights ride will surely be bare legs and arms..which is kind'a rare here where I'm at..it's usually pretty chilly and windy, even on a good day! Ahh...to work on that farmer tan! Can't WAIT! Have a great day everybody!

And prepare yourselves for tomorrows carnage....(I refer to Disco/Bee Gees night on AI)...I'm just not very stoked for this one I have to admit!

Matt

Oh..and WELCOME LindaLoo also! (sorry about that...meant to say that in my prior post!) Guess I'm gettin' old...you know what they say...memory is the second thing to go! And I can't remember what the FIRST thing was...

Camille

Well, it looks like maybe at least Ivan is being honest? Now I wonder how long it will take Greg Lemond to chime in and say, "Yeah, and Lance Armstrong needs to come clean, too!"

Theresa

Why didn't Basso do this last year? CSC and Disco are breathing a deep sign of relief!! I'm glad that he had the courage to to walk away from both teams. He never was as vocal as Jan about his innocence, it makes me wonder also, just how involved he was.

Thomas Dekker was so CUTE!! Those curls, and that sweet face! Yes, cycling's not dead! Look at these youngsters and all their talent and determination!!
Popo earned his place on the Giro team!

Welcome, LindaLoo!! Always glad to hear from someone who's been with us, but silent!!

Besides the Tour of Lombardie, I watch the dvd of 2006 Paris Robaiux! God, it was exciting! And to see some things I missed (plus got cut from the telecast) is just great. Nicholas Portal spent the whole day out front, hanging on for dear life, until the last 20km or so! And George's crash was just heartbreaking. There were times when Phil was saying one rider's name on the screen, and I knew it was someone else! WoW! I'm proud of myself to keep track of them and, recognise who's who!!

Theresa

Oh, and AI is going to be FUN tomorrow night!! Disco's not DEAD!!! It still lives!!

Yvette

My satellite isn't working (can't get a tech till Thur) so unless I find somewhere else to watch AI tomorrow night, I'll have to rely on everyone else's opinions, and YouTube.

I thought Dekker was adorable too, although it would have been great if Chris Horner could have had a monster TT and won the whole thing. It was a fun to watch, I love Switzerland. On to the Giro!

I'm so bummed about Basso. It just sucks.

Yvette

He does look HOT in the pic you posted Sara! Sad, but HOT.

catherine

*sigh* Oh Ivan. I am sooo disappointed. I have a question, I thought you guys said Levi would be Team Leader? I spose Popo makes sense because he has been witht he team so long and is really good, has skills Levi hasn't shown yet....?

I may sound jaundiced, but I don't get as flipped out when folks admit to using illegal drugs. I gues I think many are very pressured to do so, and I believe if there was an open system, more would admit it in the hopes of leveling the playing field. But there is little support to being honest. We discipline with punishement instead of rewarding and supporting honesty.

catherine

Oh and LindaLoo, in case you dont' go back and read previous day posts, Welcome again! You might notice we tend to keep writing til the next post comes up and some of us keep very odd hours!

Sara Best

Catherine, with Basso gone they'll want to save Levi for the Tour in July. It would be too much for him to lead the team for both the Giro and the Tour and his focus needs to be on France.

Theresa is right, Popo totally deserves this and I think he's going to do a great job.

susie b

I have 'known' this was the probable truth since last July. Question - if you were INNOCENT & had worked most if not all your life towards one thing & were suddenly, inexplicably, outrageously being barred from it, would you not have tied yourself to a lamppost at the Startline & belted out "And I'm Telling You, I'm NOT GOING"... Just me?

I won't write too much, because I'm too depressed & distraught. If the top 2 names in this sport were doping, then come on! It would be like finding out Michael Jordan & Magic Johnson shaved points! Still, if OP "evidence" is going to be used against Jan & Ivan, then it needs to be used against ALL. They should test the damn blood bags against EVERY single pro rider & just GET IT OVER WITH! (And sorry Sara, but the 'evidence' against Valverde is not looking so good for him. Actually, I didn't understand why he was allowed to start LAST year, based on how they kept out Jan, Ivan,etc.)

And I don't understand MD's never-ending refrain that no matter what CRAP gets printed, it's still "good publicity" for cycling? Do you all agree with that? At least for me, it is definitely having the OPPOSITE effect.

And catherine, I'm still writing up my notes on The Crusoes. I decided I wanted to read it again & then starting last Monday, with these cycling bombs that keep going off, I've been distracted! I hope to send you my thoughts later this week! Your opinion on Purgatory made me rethink my criticsm & that's why I decided to reread the book! However, possibly because I'm in an even grumpier mood, I'm finding MORE things I'm disappointed with.

And Matt - come on, your "true name" betrays how you really feel about disco. That was a time of 'cosmic disturbance' if there ever was one! :)

CMehl

Way too bad about Ivan, but I'm glad he didn't take the team with him, and I'm glad he is going to come clean. He'll be back riding before we know it. Saddest part is he is so freaking talented as portrayed in his LONG list of palmares, but many a talent has given in to the "every one else is doing it" mentality. He'll be okay. I have a good feeling about him.

And George is now riding the Giro! Cool!

catherine

suze, MD wasnt' suggesting any publicity is good regardless, he was saying many people think that way...and maybe so do the tour organizers, etc.

And don't dispair, things are rotten right now, but I am hoping that those who don't dope (and I still believe FL)are able to fix the system or at least rage against the machine and provoke meaningful change. I TOTALLY agree with you about testing everything, with one caveat; THEY MUST CHANGE LABS. And, they must be open about the process, to use that horrid business word, "transparency" is important (read smoke and mirrors most of the time).

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional."

Hopefully both will occur here.

Crusoes: I think the final publication will be quite different and better. He needs a good editor, and judging by his previous work, he has a great one. I can't figure out if this version is bumpy because it's the raw edition, or if he hasn't really done a novel before. The only books of his I know about are non fiction written as if they were a novel. Maybe it's his first foray. I still like it and have confidence in the final creation, so to speak.

Sara: I misunderstood the Popo reference to being Team Leader; it's not for the Tour! I thought once you were Team Leader you wer for every race. Doh, see how much I (don't) know?

BTW, Ms T and I have talked about meeting at the Criterium in Downer's Grove in August. If anyone else is interested, let us know. My house isn't big, but if someone needs a place to bunk or if ya'll want to share a room Saturday night, I'd be happy to pitch in! Woohoo, stay up late and talk cycling trash!

Janann

Welcome LindaLoo! Good to have another "voice". I was tempted to write Linda Loo Hoo -- oh dear.....TOO much Dr. Seuss LOL!

I think that Susie might be right that Mondays are somehow jinxed. DePRESSing news about Basso. I have to say that I wasn't completely surprised, just saddened. I'm now curious to see when information he will give about OP. I feel for his young family, too. As for the effect on cycling -- I just can't see the "any publicity is good publicity" mantra applying. Its almost getting ridiculous. A LOT of people are getting fed up and disgusted with the entire sport :(

You're right, Theresa, Thomas Dekker was DARLING on the podium! My husband and I both thought he looked about 13. I was rooting for ChrisH, but he knows that the TT is not his strength. I just thought that MAYBE, with the yellow jersey and all, that he could pull one out :)

Disco will have a fun team to watch in the Giro with Popo and GH! I can't believe that George has never ridden the Giro before. I'd love to see Dave Z win a stage in the Giro, too.

Theresa

Janann, DZ needs to win ANOTHER stage at the Giro!! He's the only American to win a stage in all three grand tours!

What makes me pissy about OP, is the fact that they would have done NOTHING!! If the Germans hadn't insisted on the DNA test for Jan! And why couldn't all this happen this winter?? THAT's where the publicity for the organizations comes in!! The grand tours and the UCI! I'm like Catherine, I don't get to wigged out about drugs in sports. It's all about pressure to perform. And the Greeks used drugs in the first Olypmics, and no one suspended THEM!! agree, open the process, make the penalties more reasonable and then some people will open up.

BTW, since Ms catherine mentioned Downer's Grove, I've got a room at the Marriott right there in town!! I have a big bed(do we know each other well enough to sleep together????) and a sofa that opens into a bed!! And I'm going by myself right now, no hitchhikers signed up!! Let's party and watch LIVE racing!!!

Theresa

I was thinking just a few days ago that I need to read "Crusoes" again....

catherine

Oh, Ms T, are you flirting with me?

LindaLoo

Thanks everyone for the welcome. I too am bummed about Basso but Popo is a fine pick for the Giro. I find myself wondering, with doping so prevalent, why I am POSITIVE that Floyd is clean. But I AM postive! FFMatt - how bout a tee shirt that says Don't poke the crazy guy!
Sorry I have not caught the AI wave but I did get a copy of Crusoes. I could not finish it, only got to page 76. It reads too much like a screenplay. No meat. I can't get attached to any of the characters they have no dimension. Hope Marty has a REALLY good editor!

Owlie

Not surprising, but still a sad blow. Maybe Cathy can elaborate, but I don't think Disco is relieved, I think they're probably pretty pissed. Johan's comment had that little bite at the end, sounds like plenty of anger swirling underneath. Lance, too, he must be pretty angry. He willed that final podium at his last Tour, taking Ivan and Jan up a notch when he had to. And then of course gave Ivan a job. Lance is the king of perspective, but yeah, I'm thinkin' he's pretty pissed about now. I do agree that they're glad it happened now and not after they backed him in the Giro, no doubt.

And CSC, what relief is there? Basso doing something untoward when he's winning titles for them, which could lead to those titles being stripped, which means CSC can't claim them anymore either. And as susie so deliciously put it over at Marty's, Riis could very well be sweating bullets. And let's remember, Basso didn't walk away from them, he was shown the door.

I agree, susie, not all publicity is good, especially for drawing people into the sport. For me, though, it was some kind of relief to get a concrete answer on something about Puerto, at least it's finally going somewhere. I guess we'll hear more tomorrow. But, just read at Cycling News that he won't be naming names, so maybe it won't be a big ice-breaker, but at least someone's talking about it on some level.

They say EPO wasn't found in what looked to be his blood, I wonder if he was "just" transfusing his own blood to boost his red count. Maybe that's what he's going to clarify. Speaking of, seeing all of the lists and complex codes, you gotta wonder about Tyler (not on the Giro start list, btw). With that system, a mistake is bound to happen sooner or later, someone get the wrong blood.

Popo - he's an adorable puppy dog, who can forget when he smacked into that car after a nature break and came up smiling, or when he scampered up the road to help Lance make his move. But I gather he hasn't quite developed as Johan hoped, so it'll be interesting to see how he does. Hope he takes the opportunity to make that leap they've been hoping for.

Every time they mention that it's Boogie Night on AI, I can't help but think of Dirk Diggler, oh the possibilities. But seriously, they gotta have some fun with Blake and the Dreamgirls on results night, a Charlie's Angels reference at the very least.

Owlie

Linda - just putting Floyd and Ivan side by side, in terms of their actions over the past year, there's your answer. Floyd has done and said everything an innocent man would, and Basso has not. As they say, what's fair is clear.

Theresa

Owlie, you are right about CSC. But maybe Basso will put a timeline to his clarifications, and it won't have been going on forever! My problem is that I love CSC, the team, and a lot of riders. But I never really warmed up to Basso. I figured it was because he's italian!lol But I like Paolo Bettini. I don't know..........

But Floyd, my faith is strong! and if he had done anything, he's the type to stand up and admit it!

Oh, and Cat, I was inviting you to stay with me!lol I just forgot to mention it to you after I booked my room!!

theresa

Ok, I've been reading some sites since I got home. Including the forum on the CSC fan site. You want to talk unforgiving....nothing like the teams died-hard fans. I still want to know why he waited so long. Then I read on cyclingsnews, that some dates appear to go back to 2005 and 2006! That made me sick to my stomach! That's the 2005 TdF and the Giro!!
And what about Roberto Heras?? That will be 2 years in a row for the Giro, and the Phonak rider; Gutierrez, too.
One guy on the CSC forum said he really doesn't trust the Italian and Spanish teams because of the way they talk about doping, he made a good point, even tho' it was a broad statement.

Enough of that for tonight, let's give it some time.....

I've got a 30mile ride coming up on May 19th. I need some miles in my legs!! One day is beautiful, and then 5 days of rain and thunderstorms! Ah, the midwest weather systems!!

Owlie

Good luck with the weather, Theresa! I went for a 25-miler on Saturday and unexpectedly got showers for the first 10 miles. I just tried to think of it as refreshing. ;-)

Heras was the Vuelta, it was Savoldelli who won the previous Giro. (And will be gunning for it this year again.)

I love CSC, too, Jens Voigt, DZ, Frank Schleck, what a great effort they had at the Tour despite being decapitated.

So now Basso is claiming he never actually got a transfusion, was just planning on it. Maybe, but really, if you're gonna come clean, go for it. He says he's Birillo, and the records are reported to show re-infusion schedules for Birillo dating back to 2004. I don't think he's a villain, he's just human, but if he's going to get credit for coming clean, I hope it's really clean.

susie b

Well, well, well. It sounds like a punchline to a joke - when is a confession NOT a confession... SO, Basso PLANNED to blood-dope during the 2006 Tour de France, but never got the chance. But, uh, he was clean,clean,clean for everything else don'cha know! I thought they had money transactions going back to 2004 & phone tapes of conversations during the Giro? Do you all believe him or do you think it's part of the deal he's worked out with CONI?

Would "planned" but NOT actual doping really get a 4-yr suspension? I will bet anyone right now a case of Diet Pepsi that Basso will NOT be sitting out 4 years from the Pro-Tour & that he'll be back in the Giro in 2008.

I don't hate Basso & I do feel sympathy for him. But he is most definitely NOT a "brave" man. Reading about how "courageous" he is by "coming forward" makes me GAG! If you are caught with you hand IN the cookie jar, is it "brave" to admit you're stealing a cookie?!

I am glad he's supposedly not naming other cyclists (well, unless it was Bradley Wiggins - that guy bugs the Hell out of me!) because I just can't stomach someone draging their peers down with them in an attempt to save their own sorry ass ("do you know anyone else who was a member of the Communist Party, did you see anyone else at the meetings...."). But I do hope he implicates any trainer,doctor,DS,whoever, that got him to Fuentes or even put the idea in his head. If they REALLY want to stop doping then THAT is who they must go after. Have we learned nothing from the "War on Drugs" these past 30 years? Arresting the users to stop the drug trade is as effective as putting Oreos on the "high shelf" to stop the obesity epidemic.

CMehl

Susie, I hear the frustration in your writing, and I think some of it stems from your fear that cycling is going to somehow be permanently damaged by all of this. I don't think you need to fear that--it's been around for more than 100 years and has weathered incredible scandal--besides, it's not a mainstream sport so much of this will eventually quiet down. In reality it's only loud to us right now because we happen to care so much about it.

Haven't read about Ivan's confession yet, but I can totally see bagging blood with the possibility of someday using it. Afterall, it can't all come out of your body at once, you would have to methodically have it removed on a schedule. Will go read the news sites now...always check Sara's site first, just as good as the news sites!

Basso is a good guy, he was incredible to meet, but my experience over the past 4 years in cycling has taught me that these guys are first and foremost humans and they make mistakes and take bad advise. I agree that the real dirtbags are the doctors and directors that help them dope--none of them seem quite smart enough to figure it out on their own, quite frankly! But in the end they are responsible for their own decisions and the penalties will be put on them to serve and that is fair.

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