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« Stage Sixteen - Seen It | Main | Stage Seventeen - Seen It »

July 25, 2007

Comments

Julie

Here ya go, Camille, from CyclingNews:

Vinokourov: 'I never doped'

Vinokourov told the French sports daily L'Equipe in Wednesday's edition that he had not cheated. "It's a mistake. I never doped, that's not the way I see my profession," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "I think it's a mistake in part due to my crash. I have spoken to the team doctors who had a hypothesis that there was an enormous amount of blood in my thighs, which could have led to my positive test."

Vinokourov claimed to be the victim of a "provocation." "It's been going on for months and today they're managing to demolish me," he said. "The setting up of our team made a lot of people jealous and now we're paying the price. It's a shame to leave the Tour this way, but I don't want to waste time in proving my innocence."

Vinokourov did manage a joke about his situation. "I heard that I made a transfusion with my father's blood," Vinokourov said. "That's absurd, I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka."

Camille

Julie, that makes me feel better... I won't convict him in my mind then yet. And Sara, you sweetheart, thank you for mentioning my sister who is having a double mastectomy today. Ladies, please stay current on your mammograms and other cancer checkups. My sister only has Stage 2, thank goodness so her survival prognosis is fairly optimistic. But it's only Stage 2, so you can't catch it early enough.

Here's to a good day of racing and I hope Vino is innocent. I won't cancel my wristband order just yet.

susie b

THANKS Sara, I needed that. I need some hope & joy & I do so love that photo.

I do have to say I was taken aback that some of our 1st moment shocked reactions in here are chalked up as from "hysterical teenagers". Speak for yourself, I do NOT feel that way AT ALL. I may have been shocked & angry & upset & depressed, but I think I saw the situation CRYSTAL CLEAR. Would you call Eddie Merckx an "hystercial teenager"? This was HIS reply about the Vino news : "it's the end of cycling for me".

I truly think one of the biggest problems in this sport is that TOO many people think it's just business as usual, it'll blow over, & cycling will just pedal along as usual. Well, with NO sponsors, & NO TV, & NO money, whaddya got?

As for Vino. He's taking a version of the what we here in the Washington DC area call the "Marion Barry defense" : "the bitch set me up". Yeah, he's been whining about how everyone's been out to get them since LAST YEAR! Hey Vino, TALK TO THE BIG GREEN HAND!!


As for myself, I've been singing "Chain of Fools" all morning.

"Oh, one of these mornings
The chain is gonna break
But up until then
I'm gonna take all I can take.

Chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain,
Chain of Fools."

Julie

The identity of the testosterone positive from Stage 11 was not announced as scheduled, still waiting to hear. The possibilities:
Robert Hunter, Michael Rasmussen,Maxim Iglinskiy, Erik Zabel, Lilian Jegou, Cristian Morini, Kim Kirchen, Patxi Vila.

Sara Best

Has anyone thought about why we're all so strong in our belief that Floyd is telling the truth, and at the same time so sure that Vino is lying?

Julie

I don't know what to think about Vino yet, but I think the tests are different. Then again, I don't know that for sure, so I'll wait and see on that too. But, we now have two, from two different stages, and on the surface it seems that seeing two different kinds of blood cells is more concrete than all that peak stuff. Now, you still need an explanation for the two different blood cells, and then you get into Tyler territory.

Vino has also been on a couple of doping-heavy teams, and comes from that old Eastern bloc system, so I think that adds to it.

Whatever we think, I did find it curious that the commentators went right in for the kill, calling him a cheat and the wins false right off the bat. Floyd expressed his concern over the Vino leaks and rush to judgment as well.

Matt

OK...first my thoughts on 'things'....yesterday I wore my PINK shirt to work in honor of Vino. I was pretty devastated yesterday by the developing stories...every time I would refresh the Tour home page there was another story it seemed. I had 'planned' on wearing black today...but changed my mind. I'm wearing YELLOW! Rose colored glasses are on HIGH here! So...here are my thoughts looking thru the glasses.... WHAT IF Vino DIDN'T cheat? There's been more than one occasion where the B sample comes back negative (Marion Jones in a track meet in Sweded sometime in the past year comes to mind...and our best buddy Dick Pound made a statement something like 'well, they must have screwed up the B sample test'. But after the positive A sample and subsequent NEWS RELEASE she left the track meet...only to have the B come back negative and she is 'not guilty'). So...IF that were to happen here, then what? Vino and his team are now convicted and demolished, having left the tour w/ their tails between their legs in total retreat. Julie, thanks for the quotes by Vino, hadn't seen those yet...was wondering when he was going to say something. I hope and pray the B comes back negative..but will leave that part to the testing. Now the glasses come off. If he DID to it...here's my thoughts. One: HOW CAN HE BE SO STUPID?? SOMEONE ELSE'S BLOOD? That makes no sense at all (just like Floyd's win..he KNEW he was going to be tested). So...if he did blood dope, then my only conclusion is that he thought he would NOT get caught...which leads me down the path of 'how does he know/think this'? and the only answer is that he's done it before and gotten away with it. Sorry to lay that out there...I did say the glasses are OFF for this part. And following the path farther down, if HE knew or thought he could get away with it, how many OTHERS are thinking the same way?

OK...enough on that..rose glasses back on, yellow shirt gleaming in hope for todays stage. I anxiously await the end of my work day so I can watch...and hopefully see the Condor fly up the mountains like a beautiful bird! And yes, I even look forward to the battle of the condor with the chicken! And I TRULY HOPE that Levi shows up with his A game and leads out the final HC climb and takes the stage..now THAT would bring a smile that would have to be surgically removed!

Matt

OH...meant to say this first but got caught up in the cycling stuff: Camille, huge rose-glasses and yellow-shirt energy/thoughts going to you and your sister and family today...some things are truly important...and this is a sobering wakeup call to those things. We got your back!

Sara Best

I agree Julie. I too was suprised to watch the Versus boyz condemn and hang Vino this morning with not a question. From the tiny little bit I know (and it's almost nothing), it does sound like the homologous blood doping test is pretty clear. Either you have two different types of blood in your body, or you don't.

But I just think that it wouldn't kill us all to take one small step back and at least listen to what he has to say. We all hate those people who immediately condemn Floyd and say "well, the test was positive so he was juiced up on testosterone", so I think that we should at least try to give Vino a bit of the same benefit of the doubt that we give to Floyd.

Like Matt says, what if Vino didn't cheat? How awful is this for him to be going through? We all regularly feel heart broken for Floyd going through what he has when so many of us are sure that he's innocent. What if the same thing is happening to Vino? I don't know if it is. It's probably not, but imagine how he's feeling right now if he's innocent.

Matt

Theresa, thanks for that link to 'Rant' in yesterdays comments...just read it, and agree TOTALLY! For anybody who missed it, her it is again (complements of Theresa...and WORTH A READ!):
http://rant-your-head-off.com/WordPress/?p=337#comments

Matt

Sara, if he DIDN'T cheat, than what has happened is MUCH WORSE that we think! Effectivly he has been handed a death sentence in cycling, and it has already been carried out. This was to be his final tour. 2 incredible heartwarming valiant come from behind tears to the eye Stage victories. IF HE DIDN'T cheat, how can this wrong be undone? It can't. SOMEONE needs to plug the leak at LNDD in a big way and in a big hurry! Lives are being ruined on the basis of the A samples! Teams are bankrupt (look at Phonak, and most probably Astana). This story shouldn't be out until the B sample is confirmed! Plain and simple!

Matt

And just a thought here...in the ITT, Vino won it, Cadel was 2nd, Kloden 3rd. So..does Kloden now move up to 2nd place based on Vino's disqualification? Or is his and the rest of Astana's placements thus-far to be removed from the books? Just curious...Kloden and the rest of the team hasn't been convicted of anything, and he he was in 5th place on the GC list...with some great rides already and more to come! What a tragedy!

Matt

OK...not to be a 'ball hog' here (or Blog-hog is more like it!) but this thought: MAYBE the full-on team Disqualificaton IS THE ANSWER! PEER PRESSURE! I mean, if any one member of a team is CONVICTED (not just the A sample) of cheating in any way, the entire TEAM is disqualified and shares in the 2 year suspension! Managers too! The manager is like the captain of a ship: He is TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for what goes on in HIS ship, whether he knows about it or not! Maybe only the riders themselves can stop this. The threat of an entire team being banned from racing for 2 years should turn up the heat quite a bit for cheaters! Just my 2 cents worth!

jessica

Camille - lots of strength to you and your family. I imagine you are already on your way, (what with time zones, I suppose), so that hand you feel on your shoulder is from all the positive thoughts being directed at you.

Julie

We don't have the Bs, true, but we have two As from two different days, so I don't see how the Bs could be different.

Vino knew he would be urine-tested, but did he know he would be blood tested? I didn't think that was necessarily automatic, but I don't know.

Matt - VeloNews or CyclingNews had a whole thing yesterday on what happens to the official records.

jessica

Hey Sara - I too have wondered that, re: condem one but not question another. Not that I'm eager to peg anyone a doper but because as this was very much on my mind yesterday. When we ask "why couldn't they just ride this year clean", I think of what doping is about.

It's probably like any drug relationship. You start small. You think it will be an intersting boon to your strength. You see it's power on your body. So you try more. And then you get caught up in the science of it; what level/volume/at what time. Can people see it in my face? This goes on for so long you probably don't remember your original body or how it felt w/o the drugs. How scary would that be?! For pro's they may only remember what their stats for races were, as a gauge of how they "felt".

I'm not sure that years of behaving like that, (because at minimum I think it takes months to get true benefits from something like this). And to then just full-stop, quit for the duration of the biggest race of your life? I imagine that would scare the living daylights out of a rider. They know they'll bonk w/o the drugs. But there is no guarantee they'll get caught. A horrible choice.

I didn't intend to prepare an excuse-manual for the riders! But just mulling this over in my head.

Julie

Cofidis' Cristian Moreni is the testosterone positive.

Theresa

Well, after yesterday, I've decided to let Vino have a benefit of the doubt, innocent until proven guilty; What's fair is clear...
We had to learn something in the last year!!
Vino's got his fight to fight; but I wonder how his teammates will react to this. Kloden was really doing well, and if the team had focused on helping him, who knows how well he could do.
But we can say, they are catching the positives, just like they are supposed to, and the blood tests must be new this year..? I don't remember them from before, but was it urine or blood with Heras in the Giro??

And Camille, all the best to your sister, I'll wear yellow today to; for Camille's sister and for the yellow jersey and the future of cycling....
(funny, I'm talking about cancer and cycling like they are the same...my priorities need to be straightened out!) Positive energy, Camille!!!

Matt

Thank goodness the positive testosterone result WASN'T the Chicken...don't think I could have handled that! (I wonder if THE TOUR directors are breathing a sigh of relief, or if they are disappointed...as it appears they don't really want Ras to be there anymore...OR to win..but shy of a positive test, they have no footing to ask him to leave). I am SO eagerly anticipating watching todays stage...I don't know...Conti is SUPERBLY strong...yet Ras has answered everything he (and the rest of the Peleton) have thrown his way so far...AND he got a rest..boy oh boy it should be exciting! (oh, and for the 'chicken haters' out there...I watched all the video's by him yesterday and I have to say it softened me up some...I keep hearing from the media how he MISSED tests, but that doesn't seem to be the actual case?? Very confusing just WHAT he did).

And just to say that Team Rabobank (and specificly Michael Boogerd) have been just awesome! I love the look on Boogerd's face as he grinds away at the front..you can ALWAYS tell it's him..he's the Rabobank version of Popo! What a rider he is! A surefire HERO for their team!

Camille

Everybody, I'm feeling very at peace about my sister. Last week I was depressed but now I just know she's in good hands and I'm sure I'm feeling all your positive thoughts and I'm telling you it has really really helped me. Also, she has a positive attitude herself and that inspires me and makes me proud of her and I need to think that way, too. So don't worry. Also, crazily enough, all the Tour excitement and, more recently, intrigue for better or worse, has helped pass the time and distract me from "more important things" as I waited for this day. So, the outcome is already foregone, I just don't know it yet. But your encouragement has helped me more than you'll ever know! Worrying any more won't accomplish a thing so I'm going to go about my day and hope for the best for her. She's in Oregon so I won't be with her but I'll let you know the results. (they don't know if it has spread yet) So, thanks everyone and feel free to resume the normal conversation here. Hugs to all!

Matt

And everybody, Claire's got another EXCELLENT (and long awaited) journal entry...guess I missed it the last few days...tour fever is my EXCUSE!http://www.texas4000.org/t4k/journal_entry/view/1832

susie b

Sara, the problem is that I've "listened" to Vino all year & all he has said is how "everybody's out to get them, blah, blah, blah." Plus, as mentioned before, his past is suspicious (although nothing proved) & he & his team were some of those "Men in Black" guys.

And then there were Vino's "serial resurrections" (thanks Austin), not once, not twice, but three times? All usually the day after he looked like he could barely turn another pedal. Magic Show, indeed. And before you say "What about Floyd?" Floyd's situation was NOT the same at all. Did not crash, had no injuries or stitches, did not look like 'death on a bike' except for 1 mountain on one day. Actually, until that day, he looked strong every day.

And I don't get TOO upset with the leaking this time as it is apparent that this year the ASO was determined to get those tests done fast & results known immediately so they don't have "another Floyd" situation. However, for that freakin excuse of a lab, they should just FIRE everyone who had access to the results. Let them FEEL what it's like to be an accused athlete. Why can't THEIR names be leaked to L'Equipe?! Oh, one more thing about that lab. Isn't it interesting that the French tennis Open sent THEIR drug testing stuff to Canada because it was "cheaper". Tennis has a LOT more money than cycling. Hmmmmmm.

As for "condemning" some & not others. Well, of course one would be more open to the guy you're a fan of. I really tried yesterday to keep an open mind knowing all the while what a BOMB this was for the race & sport. But as with all this kind of "news", I am extremely interested in hearing/reading/seeing how the accused react to it. Let's just say Vino's comments & actions did NOT impress me. (The "they're out to get us" chorus, AGAIN, sealed it for me).

And maybe I AM just an idiot, but I can tell you, if I was TRULY INNOCENT, you could not drag me away from that race. Literally. No slinking off for me. Yeah, I know. That just SHOCKS ya'll. :) :)

Matt

I'm with ya' on that Susie (no slinking off for me either)...they may not let me race, but I'd still BE THERE, on a soapbox... shouting that I am innocent, demanding my due process (which doesn't appear to be 'due' for anyone tested at LNDD though). Anyone heard from Dick on this yet? I'd have thought he'd have come out by now with some snarky remarks linking Vino to Floyd.

Janann

I agree, Sara. We need to see how this situation plays out with Vino before condemning him for the complete ruination of cycling, but the second 'positive' A sample doesn't help his situation (though I suppose if there IS any excuse for the findings related to the testing method itself, it could apply to both). I really don't think that there will be some type of rational explanation for the positive test, but I'd prefer not to condemn the guy until we know...

Camille -- we're all with ya girl! I'm hoping you have some good news to share with us when you talk with your family after the surgery. I've been thinking of your sister when I look at my LIVESTRONG bracelet this week!

DANG -- can't reveal anything about the race on this post -- but WOW I was up out of my chair, heart racing, urging the boys on up that last mountain!

Camille

Rasmussen is out of the Tour!!!

http://velonews.com/tour2007/details/articles/12944.0.html

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