Nov 25 2005
Yes, so they think it is conclusive this time, and there really is EPO (or evidence of it) in Roberto Heras’ urine sample. Though under normal circumstances, this would mean a two-year ban from UCI competition and a further two years of ProTour non-participation, it probably just means about five more years of legal struggle, what with the sudden uncertainty of the EPO test, and with Heras’ sample in particular. Maybe if the Hamilton case ends unfavorably, Heras will drop legal action to clear his name. What will definitely happen is that Denis Menchov will be declared victor of the ’05 Vuelta, and reluctantly become the first Russian to win that event. Tony Rominger will also retake his claim to winningest Vuelta rider ever, though it feels kinda slimy, as Rominger was a protege of Michele Ferrari, who’s been on trial for supplying dope to riders for the past 3 years. And, of course, the biggest loser here is pro cycling, which gets another high-profile dope case to dirty its image. Actually, scratch that; the biggest loser here is whoever dropped 25,000 EUR on this.
In other doping news, the lead prosecutor in the Raimondas Rumsas case called big Raymond “a coward” but suggested only a light 8-month suspended sentence, saying the real criminal was some Polish doctor whom no one can seem to find. Sweet. Outside Magazine is running a triumphant article this month on how Lance Armstrong is preparing to sue the living daylights out of everyone who’s ever accused him of doping, which I guess is the 21st century way to prove your innocence. But it’s not like I can’t bring up a positive news story every once in a while. George Hincapie, who as far as I know has never been accused of doping (and is rumored to have been a victim of it) is up for Sportsman of the Year. Seeing as Sports Illustrated is an American publication, a victory by Gorgeous George seems unlikely, but I’m sure he’s tickled pink just to be nominated.