Mar 9 2007
I love the fact that the Associated Press has a style guide. It’s kind of like Oprah giving advice on debt management; the author isn’t exactly an expert on the subject. Take this article (please!) – it’s not the misleading statements, gross oversimplifications, or flat-out inaccuracies; it’s the limp-wristed prose that hurts.
But mundanity breeds success, I suppose (graham crackers, Microsoft, John Cusack), and so the wire services have enough access to put out our best report so far on the UCI’s “100% Against Doping” initiative. Points of contention are likely to be the DNA testing (a certain golden-shod cricket has sworn he’ll quit before he gives his DNA) and the fact that, apparently, only ProTour teams are under its restrictions.
My biggest hope for the new anti-doping program (other than praying it deals with cases better than the Spanish courts do) is that it doesn’t become more ammo for the UCI v. The Cartel dispute currently filling up headlines. Cyclingnews has an excellent synopsis to the long-standing squabble, which, as Andrew Hood pointed out last month, has real potential to destroy the sport.
And wouldn’t you know it, more salvos were lobbed in that conflict today. Unibet took aim at the ASO by revealing that, a few years back, ASO asked the company now called Unibet to sponsor Paris-Nice; essentially, the ASO once asked a company to sponsor their race, but is now banning a team sponsored by that company from that race, on the grounds that it’s illegal for that company to display its sponsorship in that race. Got it?
And if that’s not confusing enough for you, word comes in now that the UCI has perhaps eased off in their demands on The Cartel. The article mentions only the French Cycling Federation, but seems also to infer UCI complicity. I’m willing to bet the situation will seem far less cut and dry tomorrow.
Meanwhile, people are still racing bikes. Jimmy Casper’s won again, making his team’s omission from Paris-Nice seem all that much more silly. High winds cancelled a stage in Murica, and today, Rabobank’s Graeme Brown converted the extra rest into his second win of the season. Quite a turnaround guy who was allegedly booed out of a restaurant at the Tour of Qatar. Pez has an insider’s view of driving a team car, one of the fun, quirky features that’s helped that web page hang around for the past five years.