Ullrich Season Continues, DiLuca Denies Non-Illegal Act, WADA Media Committee?

Dec 10 2007

Does Germany have its own version of Rupert Murdock? If so, does anyone else get the feeling that Jan Ullrich must have been porking his wife? I realize my only exposure to the German press is through cycling, but every frickin’ day it’s another thing with these people. Today’s screed – Ullrich and Fuentes were in contact way back in 2003. Shall I mention that to hear Fuentes’ at his little tea party in the Canaries last week, every doper in the peloton was apparently his client. He unified the dope bags, and he did it, he says, for the greater good.

But just because I shun the Mike Nifong method, doesn’t mean I prefer how they’re doing things in Italy. Mafia country label aside, the “prosecution” of Danilo DiLuca has been convoluted at best. The reigning Giro champ is now testifying for some reason – I’m not aware of any actual charges – that he didn’t use an IV drip before returning an abnormal, but not illegal, test result during his Giro win this year. Why DiLuca even bothered to answer, seeing as IV drips are legal as long as they’re not doped, is beyond me – maybe he’s trying to clean up his name after an inexplicable three month suspension for his connection to a different case cost him what could be the last ever UCI ProTour title.

Isn’t there a better way to do this? Some middle ground between piling on when the stock of the accused is low, and flummoxing about when no one’s paying attention? Is this the sort of thing that’s bound to happen when teams that make more reasonable moves are stripped of title sponsors? Getting David Millar on WADA’s athlete panel can’t hurt, since he’s seen both sides of this anti-doping business. But IMHO, what WADA really needs is a media committee, some group to go out and lean on the press to focus less on hammering the most tightly tested sport in the world, and instead highlight the utter laughability of testing and and sanctioning in other sports, like those in the American mainstream.

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