Pro cycling. Silence of the lost.
Deafening silence times two.
Twisted Spoke has a double shot latte and two burning questions for professional cycling.
First, what ever happened to the big talk about a Truth & Reconciliation commission and numero two, why the zero comment on Jonathan Vaughter’s plan to have teams and race organizations kick in 8% of their budget to fund a serious, independent anti-doping program?
There has been nothing but silence on both subjects.
The Truth & Reconciliation story went full gas for several months and there appeared to be strong momentum behind the idea. Even UCI President Patrick McQuaid, usually the last to know, the man sans vision, was talking up the possibility.
Then he dissolved his own Independent Commission tasked with investigating the UCI’s role in aiding and abetting the dope culture and the talk of reconciliation evaporated as well.
While USADA CEO Travis Tygart and Jonathan Vaughters of Garmin-Sharp pushed hard for the idea and WADA made noises about trying to work on the proposition, a T&R now seems like a distant and unlikely scenario. McQuaid and WADA remain at odds and nobody else seems to have the force to drive the project. Neither Change Cycling Now or the Movement for Credible Cycling have shown any sustained interest.
The fact is, the time for a Truth & Reconciliation commission has past. The post-Armstrong firestorm is moving too fast and cycling journalists are making up for previous failures by hammering every rider with a dirty past. We’ve gone from US Postal to the recent admissions from former Rabobank riders and the Operacion Puerto saga continues to shed light on who cheated and how. Even Miguel Indurain is getting smacked around.
Soon there won’t be any real reason to form a Truth & Reconciliation commission because all the muck will be raked. Besides, it’s just too hard to manage the politics required to create one and meanwhile the “outing” process continues with a kind of French Revolution frenzy.
Lance Armstrong claimed he’d be the “first one through the door” if they put together a T&R commission but that was a disingenuous and cynical stall. He knows it will never happen because the idea is dead and the silence is telling.
Silence, the sequel.
When Jonathan Vaughters — a man who’s never short on ideas in the vision vacuum of pro cycling — called for an 8% plan to fund a true anti-doping program, you couldn’t hear one person clapping. From our survey of every cycling news website and blog, not one race organizer, UCI official, team manager or rider went on record supporting the idea. Only former Cervelo boss Gerard Vrooman gave it a thumbs up.
What Twisted Spoke calls the V8 plan has fallen on deaf ears and if you wonder why pro cycling never seems to move forward with constructive plans, that was exhibit A. You’d think after years of having their Giro d’Italia and Tour de France dishonored by doping, those grand tour bosses would be vocal in support of the V8 plan.
Have you heard Saxo Bank-Tinkoff’s Bjarne Riis supporting V8 — no, he’s just trying to fight off the Tyler Hamilton accusations about Dr. Fuentes. Power broker Johan Bruyneel is out of the sport and thinks everyone — and Vaughters in particular — is a douche bag. But why hasn’t David Brailsford pitched in on V8? If you want zero tolerance then fund it. And why not a peep from BMC’s Jim Ochowizc? The lack of unity and any shared vision is startling.
Pro cycling is trying to break the code of omerta on doping but how about also breaking the silence on ideas to rescue the sport?