The '07 Tour: Dope Stories to Date

Jul 2 2007

Long weekend, missed some stuff, most of it involves drugs, so I’m just gonna get it all out of the way now. Despite his recent suspension, Milram has named Alessandro Petacchi to their TdF team. Some call it a vote of confidence from the squad, but since a verdict on Ale-Jet’s apparently over-zealous inhaler usage is due before the race begins, it wouldn’t exactly be hard to slot another rider in, should he be found guilty. Milram, or rather their DS Gianluigi Stanga, also featured in the weekend’s other big dope story – the Jaksche confession.

To no one’s surprise, the German’s cynical and self-justified confession admitted his Puerto connection, implicated the entire sport, claimed the UCI was complicit with team managers in covering up doping offenses, and seemed to conclude that nothing can be done to fix the problem. Such an attitude kinda makes one wonder why Jaksche would confess in the first place, but Alexandre Vinokourov is quick to supply an explanation, and as you might expect, no one implicated has any idea what Jaksche is talking about.

Vino also made headlines this week by admitting an association with Michele Ferrari, the famous, charge-dodging sports doctor and sometimes-diarist. The Kazakh, whose teammates have a way of getting suspended, insists that the Italian Doctor is “just his physical trainer”, but with the rumor mill cranking, we may yet get some additional insight into the true nature of their relationship. However, unless that happens tomorrow, I look forward to ignoring drugs for a day, and talking about Tour rosters, fancy jerseys and Phil Liggett.

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