Riis’s name erased

I just read that Bjarne Riis’s name is to disappear from the official Tour de France publications. I don’t think this is a good idea. Sure, it’s your race and you can do whatever you want with it. But what we all need, in all of cycling, is the truth. Everything that is done from this day forward should be about truth, change and moving the ball forward.

…according to a report in The Guardian newspaper, where Tour organizer Christian Prudhomme said the Dane’s name will not appear in official Tour record books following his recent confessions he used banned doping products to win the 1996 Tour.

“Formally it’s down to the (UCI) to disqualify him, but for us he can no longer be the winner and he has already been wiped from the road book [the official press guide] you will see at the start of the Tour,” Prudhomme told reporter William Fotheringham.

Source: velonews.com

Former pros who were using drugs need to be able to say what they did, how they did it, how they avoided detection, without having their achievements (no matter how tainted) struck from the history books. How else is this whole thing going to get fixed? We need to take a hard look at what drugs people are using, what can be tested for, what can’t and what to do about it.

It’s one thing when Ben Johnson beat Carl Lewis in the 1988 Olympics and then tests positive that very day. His gold medal was stripped and given to Lewis. That one is pretty clear.

But it is a decade past the fact. And the 1996 general classification is not exactly swollen with victims. Ullrich, Virenque, Dufaux… Is Peter Luttenberger the new champion?

A bit late for him to reel in those fat endorsement contracts, wouldn’t you say?

I haven’t quite gotten my head around all of this. And this rambling post is probably a pretty clear indication of that. But I can’t see striking Riis from the winner’s bracket eleven years afterwards as a positive move.

Do we really think the ’95 and ’97 Tours were won by angels? That it was all Riis?

No, we know full well it wasn’t just Riis. It did not start and end with him.

I’m not saying go easy on him, and I’m not saying his behavior should be ignored. But I am concerned, and rightly so, that if we continue down this road all we’re going to have from about 1990 to present day in the Official Tour Press Guide is a serious of asterisks in the winner’s column.

Maybe that’s how it should be.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

8 thoughts on “Riis’s name erased

  1. I agree that it won’t change anything, but I don’t think he should be recognized as a Champion either. I wonder how far down the GC they’d have to go to find a clean rider that year? It’s just a really sad time for the sport.

  2. like the Sosa and Mark McGwire records…

    stick an asterisk by his name… You got a preponderance of evidence backing up your POV…

    Was Indurain the only one in the top 20 not on juice (lets assume for a minute that he was actually doing it on clean talent, and B12 injections) that year? maybe he comes back (if he won that year) and does the whole 7 in a row thing. Then Lance’s numbers ain’t anything special.

    Striking Riis’s name? Stupid. Where do you draw the line?

  3. they are all on the juice. You have to regress back to domestic cat 1 before you will start to get out of the dope patrol.

    Otherwise, draw the line at death. Dope too much? Die. Don’t die, maybe win. Who really cares if it’s advil or hgh?

    Gubba Gubba Gubba…

  4. It’s old news…let it rest. We have enough to worry about with the current state of affairs in cycling. Besides..Riis didn’t admit it because he was “haunted” by the fact he won doped. He was spilling it for damage control purposes before the press found out. He probably figures that he was the best rider in a dirty peloton so it doesn’t matter.

  5. I too wonder how banishing Riis will do any good, given that Ullrich (#2), Virenque (#3), and others were probably enjoying “better racing through chemistry” during that time period as well. Best to move on, and let bygones be bygones. Or, simply declare no winners at all for the last decade entirely, since we will probably never know for sure who was on the juice and who was not, including those domestiques who may have towed a “champion” up a major climb, and who is thus complicit.

  6. Burying their heads in the sand again. Are they striking virenque etc. too?

    Think it comes down to the same old thing, he was the strongest, on dope, competing against a top tier full of other dopers. So maybe he was the strongest with the best pharma action…
    Whatever. Anyone is going to see his name and no asterisk probably needed. 80 years from now nobody gives a shit anyway.

    Take his jersey back and have a ceremonial burning of it, then be done.