From Velonews, Vinokourov blasts UCI insinuations
Tour de France favorite Alexandre Vinokourov blasted UCI officials for insinuating that Astana riders are trying to avoid anti-doping controls and said he would not be distracted before the July 7 start of the Tour in London. The UCI earlier this week made suggestions that a half-dozen "suspect" riders were being targeted with increased anti-doping testing and dubbed a few of them as the "men in black" because they were riding in anonymous jerseys to avoid possible controls ahead of the Tour. Many jumped to the conclusion that officials were referring to Astana riders Vinokourov and others who train along France's Cote d'Azur without wearing their emblematic team jerseys. The Astana team issued a statement Thursday saying the team had "nothing to hide." In an interview published in the French sports daily L'Equipe, Vinokourov said he was angered by the implication. "Stop the rumors! If I train in a black jersey it's only on the Cote d'Azur, where I live, and it's because I want to be avoided be recognized by cycling tourists," an angry Vinokourov said. "It's not ideal to train for the Tour when I have 20 riders on my wheel for hours at a time.
Right. First, no one named Astana, so why cry foul? Second, has it really come to this? To hide a pro team from doping control, a change of kit is all that's needed? Surely those nine superfit men out in the mid-day sun in black jerseys on matching 10,000$ fifteen kilo 'team replica' bikes followed by a car full of wheels are simply a well organized club ride so surely we don't need more drug testing in the pro ranks. Got it. How the hell does it even compute to relate the clothing of a training ride to doping control? Some other interesting annomolies - 3 big-name riders had 'non negative' test results in the Giro. The drug found is Salbutamol, normally an asthma reducing steroid in an inhaler but also an injectable steroid used to loosen constricted muscles and promote blood flow while cutting fat. As Voet and Kimmage pointed out in their books, a lot of cyclists came down with asthma when this drug was introduced in the late 80's. Funny how we all accept the word of the press when they accept the doctor's note along with the UCI- just a bit of the wheeze for the Saunier boys and ol' Ale Jet so carry on to le Tour. Landis' book comes out, in direct violation of the gag order imposed by his legal team while waiting for the arbitration hearing results. No question from the media, even those rabidly covering the case. We're all complicit in the Omerta; journo's, riders, fans. If we took the labswool from our eyes, the sport would be led to slaughter.