Astana redux

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Velonews just dropped some bullshit.

The Tour owners say it is dis-inviting the totally revamped Astana team because it was born out of the totally discredited Astana 2007 (which pulled out of the Tour when team leader Alexander Vinokourov was convicted of blood doping), which evolved from Astana 2006 (excluded from the Tour at the last minute because of riders named on the Operación Puerto black list), which emerged from the ashes of Team Würth/Liberty Seguros once owned by the “busted” Spanish team director Manolo Saiz.

ASO’s logic is two strikes and you’re out — despite Astana 2008 engaging the independent and stringent medical-testing services of Danish anti-doping czar Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard. By the same logic, Clerc and Prudhomme should be barred from organizing bike races because the Vinokourov doping scandal happened at their event

What? You did drugs at my party and it’s my fault ’cause I let you in the door?

I like velonews. But I have no idea what they’re saying on this one. Astana is bullshit. Everyone associated with Astana is bullshit. And if you can’t see it, I don’t even know what to say.

Should the ASO decision stand up, and should Bruyneel’s Astana team not start this year’s Tour, then not only will defending champ Contador and potential winners Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden be deprived of their chances at further Tour glory, but the Tour itself will lose even more of its credibility.

That point was echoed by Bruyneel, who said in a prepared statement: “Unfortunately, the Tour de France will lose now much of its credibility by not letting participate some of the world’s best riders, who were never implicated in doping scandals.”

What the fuck are you guys talking about? Marco Pantani was barred from racing in the Tour back in 1999 when he was the defending champion. I didn’t hear Bruyneel crying about that development when his boy Armstrong took his first Tour win.

Bruyneel is full of shit.

That self serving cocksucker rode Indurain’s wheel to a stage win and the yellow jersey in 1995. Believe me, he’s capable of anything. If Bruyneel is talking, you are hearing lies.

This in from my man Bush43:

Velonews, (or is it Velodope?), shows it’s true colors. Wilcockson’s full blame placing on the organizers of the Tour de France (ASO), while feigning complete blindness to the whole history of doping, the players in doping and the current status of doping in the peloton shows which side of the fence Velodope is on. Hint: It’s not with Vaughters, Slipstream, WADA and all the riders who’ve stayed clean and been cheated.

Just a absolutely shameless, one sided piece that did damage, real damage, in the fight so that kid don’t have to dope to race.

Velodope has been one of the least investigative, least curious publications on the crisis of doping in cycling, and now the roots of that behavior have been lain out for all to see. They reside with the editorial director, John Wilcockson.

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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

21 Replies to “Astana redux”

  1. I think that Bruyneel’s as dirty as the day is long, but exclusions like this will continue to be little more than symbolic gestures until all of the sport’s sanctioning bodies settle their differences and agree on uniform standards for testing and due process. Hopefully we’ll all live long enough to see the giants competing on a road that tilts upward at the same angle for everyone.

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  3. The shotgun approach to punishing dopers practiced by the various tour promoters is ludicrous. That being said, I have no love for the Astana name or Bruyneel’s penchant for coaching tainted riders. At the end of the day, it seems like there should be one governing body (UCI?) making these decisions about de facto suspensions, etc.

  4. Yeah, Astana’s still full of dopers. But ASO should be consistent and boot Rabobank too. Chicken disgraced the whole thing and had to get booted while leading. It’s not the booting of Astana that pisses me off, it’s ASO getting on their soap-box about it, and then not applying the same rule to everyone. What, Rabobank doesn’t have a tour contender this year, so it’s o.k. for them to race? High Road is just T-Mobile, they had high profile doping problems. The inconsistency makes it seem like ASO is just interested in having THEIR dopers race. The ProTour was a clusterfuck, but at least you knew that all the big teams were going to be there.

  5. Did Rabobank know where Chicken was training last year? Maybe ASO sees Chicken as a loan bad-actor on Rabobank. Does anyone see Rabobank seen as a partial victim in last years Tour?

    Like all things doping: I don’t know. I just watch to see the beautiful French countryside. It was pure hell when I got stuck for a week in rural Provence during World Cup.

  6. a slight tangent here but according to velonews Thor Hushovd was the winner of last years TDF green jersey. um last time i checked that was Boonen hushoved was 4th. so at least we know the editorial staff at velonews has it’s shit together.

  7. …team astana goes for a complete & clean revamp…

    …’aso’ however, suggests team be renamed “vino’s legacy”…

    …story at 11:00…

  8. Lost in all this is a little mystery.
    Who gave T-Mobile the heads-up? did a little bird say to them last December, get while the gettin is good?
    If they had continued as a sponsor, they would have faced this same publicity fallout. And Asstana can survive it a lot easier than T-Mob, being a far less public company.
    More obvious is the Rabobank problem. WTF? Why should they be able to race? Seattle Steve wonders if ASO thought Chicken Rasmussen a lone bad actor, but Prudhomme cited the fact that his own team tossed him and DS Theo DeRooy resigned, as reasons that Robberbank should be allow to participate.
    Check out todays rant at cyclingfansanonymous blog.


    Bruyneel’s problem is his own arrogance. I agree that if the same template for exclusion is used then no Rabo, no T-mobile, and no COFIDIS either for that matter. They had a doper too.
    Bruyneels point about Tour winner exclusion is BS, pantani what?

    he is a wheel sucker anyway..

  10. Velonews, wht the fuck?

    Revamped, maybe, but still the legacy of Astana isn’t going to die, and it isn’t a good one.

  11. they shouldacouldawouldadidn’t boot astana when they were liberty seguros, or once, or whatever drugtesting factory manolo saiz concocted in the past. oh, and they just re-opened the puerto case. velonews is a fucking parrot for the industry, just like the rest of the mainstream cyclopress – the editors are more interested in playing kissy face to ensure snarky exclusives with lancypants and other pros along with a garage full of swagged top-end rigs and kit and as many expenses paid trips to the races as they can gorge on. want real racing? follow the exploits of stuporbowl, or la ruta, great divide, creampuff, monstertrack, etc. want real cycling journo? read the blogs, or the few expro writers who actually talk the talk and walk the walk. (hello tim krabbe, et al) you know the ones – the ones the rest of the press peloton calls whiney bitter has-beens with a grudge.

  12. Anybody remember 1998 Festina scandal? ASO had no problem inviting them to 1999 Tour. ASO sucks balls.

  13. ASO are just bummed because they gave Asstana a ‘Wildcard’ entry last year after having announced they only recognized 18 Pro-Tour teams. But, hey, now someone who rocked up to the 2003 Single Speed Worlds wearing pink lycra is now a shoe-in for the win. GO CADEL!

    And the new VeloNews web format sucks…

  14. …well, sumadis, there ya go…

    …don’t know whether you or any of the other loyal dc posters wanna believe the pez article or not, but that is the soapbox i’ve been standing on for a while now…

    …i, like all of you, don’t really know who’s getting away w/ what…it’s all speculation, but the business end of this was getting way too fucking obvious…

  15. Everyone with a doping past should be excluded from this year’s race and maybe we’ll see a good race again.

    Anyone that hopped on the Astana team this year had to have known this could happen. Why are they surprised??

  16. The only thing 2008 Astana has in common with 2007 Astana besides a few spear carriers is the Title sponsor and their racing licence, the team was completely redone after last year’s Tour. To ban them based on the previous year’s behaviour would be like punishing the siblings because a brother or sister screwed up.

  17. Great line from the Pez article:

    In the past couple of years, the efforts to control doping have taken a substantial step forward in that we actually have doping being acknowledged and commented on by riders (and by acknowledgement I don’t just mean in the form of one pro dropping back and threatening someone for speaking up)

  18. Doping histories aside (previous invitations have been given to VERY DOPED teams). My problem is with the organizers calling the shots in the turf war over cycling. The power to crush teams with millions of euro budgets (Uni-bet…) is and will scare sponsors from the sport. ASO inviting some teams and not others who have invested in the sport is bullshit. What they have done is the equivalent of the NFL disinviting the CHEATING Patriots to the Superbowl, or the MLB now disinviting the Yankees or other teams with known drug takers from playing in the NL for the season. On another line of thought, what incentive does a team have to clean up if you won’t be racing the most popular races anyway.
    By the way, wheelsuckin’ is racing, I don’t like when its done to me, but it still happens, tactics folks, tactics…