Thursday, July 27, 2006

Done with cycling

What a difference eight days makes. Eight days ago, Floyd Landis rode himself out of this year's Tour de France. Everyone, even himself, was already looking toward next year. Landis announced earlier this month that he would have to go through hip replacement surgery because of his years of cycling.

Seven days ago, Landis had his best day as a professional cyclist. He won that day's race stage and set himself up to win the entire Tour -- which he did five days ago. Since then, he has been enjoying the spotlight. That is, until yesterday.

On Wednesday, the international cyclist union announced that one rider returned a positive test. The union president said, "The credibilty of the sport is at stake. The rider, his federation and his team have been informed of the situation.”

Speculation started that Landis may be the rider. Today, Phonak, Landis' team, made the confirmation that he had an "unusual level of testosterone" in the test following his stage win.

I'm so upset now, I can't even stand it! I didn't even know what the Tour de France was until Greg Lemond was the first American to win the race twenty years ago. Then, Lance Armstrong made me and a lot of other Americans fall in love with the sport of cycling. The year before Armstrong began his winning streak, the Tour was rocked by a drug scandal, which really put cycling in a negative light. Armstrong (who has his own drug allegations) helped to increase cycling's popularity.

The night before this year's Tour started, more than a few top riders were suspended and not allowed to start because of drug allegations. We should have known that this was a sign of things to come.

I've decided. I'm done with cycling. I just can't take it anymore! I stopped watching baseball because of Barry Bonds. I'm also done with football and basketball. Olympics - yeah right! Definitely not the summer games. Maybe my beloved golf is the last bastion of honor in all of sport. Unfortunately, I betcha that they'll start drug testing Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam in the near future.

9 comments:

kt said...

Oh Dr.A, i feel your pain. for i love baseball. i still am a frequent flyer at games, my world started crumbling when pete rose was tossed out for gambling. the only players who are pleasurable to watch now are the rookies, they still have a glint in their eyes and remember why they love the sport.

Cathy said...

I'm with you Dr. A. I'm done with it also.

kt, trust me when I tell you that the whole fiasco with Pete Rose upset many many basball fans. I have met him in person and have eaten at his restaurant in Boca Raton Fla. Yes, he gambled on baseball and yes he gambled on the Reds games. But, that does not take away what he did for baseball or how he put his heart and soul in it. For those few times he gambled he was denied admittance to the "baseball hall of fame."

I'm just about fed up with all sports. We always think something is one way and then find that the joke is on us.

Wrkinprogress said...

Isn't it interesting that the only cyclists who ever end up with 'dirty tests' are Americans who've WON? Coincidence?

Moof said...

You know, I've never been into any sports - of any sort - ever, with the possible exception of spelunking.

I don't need to be, though ... to realize that people who play sports are just that: people. They make mistakes, they have bad days, they make poor decisions ... and they live in glass bowls, and their private lives are followed to within of an inch of their last bout of constipation.

Reminds me a lot of people who are part of another revered (and far more necessary) profession ... *cough* ...

There but for the grace of the Powers that Be go every one of us ...

may said...

switch to the food network, people there don't do drugd, unless of course you consider food as drugs, like i do sometimes :)

Dinah said...

If you give up watching sports, all you'll ever do is blog. Don't do it, one needs distraction from one's obsessions.

NeoNurseChic said...

They said that it might be a false positive as there are problems with the testing protocols. If he fails a second test, then the team he rode for is firing him.

I dunno...I haven't given up hope yet. They said Lance did it, and I don't believe that was true....so just because they say Landis did it, means that he did?

Everyone knows the winter games are the only good olympics anyways. ;) (But then, there WERE those figure skating judges that almost cheated the Canadian pairs skaters out of the Gold....guess nothing is sacred)

colleen said...

Just a random lurker, so feel free to ignore my comments.

From what I've heard (via the editor of Velonews on the NPR show Talk of the Nation), the "unusual level of testosterone" is unusually *low*. The test involved is a ratio of testosterone/epitestosterone, and his epitestosterone level was unusually low, causing the ratio to be higher than normal. The test itself is designed to detect elevated levels of testosterone, so in this case it is unlikely to indicate doping. It's expected that even if the second test is positive, the results will be challenged because they appear to be showing a physiologic process different from the one that is being tested for/generally considered to indicate doping. So not really sure what is going on, but there is at least a reasonable chance that Landis won fairly. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Travelin' PT said...

Maybe you could start watching table top tennis or badmitton. I bet they're a pretty "clean" group;)