No doubt, most of you out there have seen this little item about Jonathan Page missing a drug test post race after a recent outing. When reading the article, you see that, the Page’s have a ton of excuses about “why” Mr. Page missed his doping test after the race. He crashed. He didn’t finish the race. Nobody came and told him he was due to be tested. None of his friends didn’t tell him about his test. And so on and so forth.
Look, I’ve got to believe that this is NOT Mr. Page’s first time at the rodeo as far as large scale UCI cyclocross races go. Meaning, he’s done this before. He knows, as does just about everyone else racing in these races, that he might get pulled for a random drug test, and if he does well in a race, he will get tested after he finishes. OK, sure, he didn’t finish this race. He crashed hard, and was feeling the ill effects of said crash as he went back to his motor home to call his doc, and wait for his support team (mostly his wife Cori) to head on back to the motor home to see how things were going.
Now, again, he’s been here before. He’s done these races. In this situation, Mr. Page has nobody to blame for his missing his required test, other than himself. He had plenty of time to head back, change, call his doctor, go over things with his wife and friends, and then head back towards the finish line to see or to check the testing list. Apparently, he even went and collected his travel money for the race, which is presumably somewhere near where the testing list is posted. Wouldn’t you think, maybe, just a little due diligence would have been a good thing? Walk over. Check the list, and if you’re on it, go and pee in a cup and get it done and over with. Now look, I’m not casting any aspersions towards Mr. Page. I don’t believe that he’s a doper. Nope. Not in the least. I don’t think he was trying to dodge the test on purpose. I think he was just stupid in not following up, and again, there is nobody to blame except for one person. Jonathan Page.
He goes on to say his “entourage” isn’t as big, or even as close to as big as other racers. Sure enough. Sven Nijs no doubt has hundreds or maybe even thousands of people hanging around him before, during, and after his race, but again, you couldn’t blame his supporters if he missed a doping test. Again, only Nijs would be to blame.
I see this recurring thing with Mr. Page, over and over again. Bad things happen to him, but those things never seem to be his fault, or he never makes himself accountable for what happens. He has a falling out with sponsors? Not his fault, nope. Someone else. He doesn’t get good support during races? Not his fault, must be someone’s else’s. Can’t find new sponsors? Must be some sort of conspiracy against him. Thing is, when something bad happens to Mr. Page, it appears that the only connecting factor to the bad things happening to said person, is Mr. Page. This latest incident is no different. Except this time, it could very well affect his living, the way he makes his money. Why? Because a missed test is an almost automatic admission of guilt of doping, whether or not you have doped or not. Meaning, it’s pretty likely that Mr. Page is going to get suspended, and won’t be riding his bike for money in the near future.
Here’s the thing. Even though I just excoriated him, I don’t think anything should happen to Page. Why? He’s not a doper. I think that he can prove it. I know that he can prove that. I’d love to see USADA excuse him for his missed test, take the blood that was taken from him the day after the race, test it, and find him innocent of doping, and then we can move forward, and let him continue to race, and be able to support his family in the way that he has been accustomed to, and that they have come to expect. I think it dumb of him to have missed his doping test, but it happened. We need to move past it. We need to let him race. Slap him on the wrist, and move forward. Will that happen? Knowing the inflexibility of USADA, probably not. Meaning, he will see some suspension time no doubt. He won’t be racing at World Championships this year, and we probably won’t see him again. For America’s most successful cyclocross racer in Europe, he has said that he’d retire, and not be seen racing bikes again. It’s a shame, but, it is ALL HIS FAULT.
For your high level racers out there, make sure you personally check the drug test board. If your name is on there, go and pee in the cup. It makes things SO much easier.by