The Court of Abitration for Sport. A visit to the "postponement" chateau.

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The Court of Abitration for Sport. A visit to the "postponement" chateau.

This is the front of the ritzy Chateau de Bethusy in Lausanne, Switzerland, headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

This is the place where they postponed once again a ruling on Alejandro Valverde’s involvement in the Operacion Puerto doping ring — a case that has dragged on for two years and blacked the eye of cycling. Both eyes, actually.

It’s a nice chateau but one wonders: does anyone work there or is this some kind of  fake backdrop to fool the public? Perhaps there is no Court and what few judgments that have been rendered come from a rented room over a shoe shop using a ouija board.

This is the road that leads to the chateau de Bethusy, home of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Apparently the road is rarely used since there is nobody ever there to make a ruling on the Valverde case. At this rate Valverde will be 75 and retired before there’s a decision.

Presumably the gardeners come and go as the chateau grounds are beautiful and well-maintained but as far as legal judgments go, the place is deserted. Where did all the “arbiters” disappear to? Wine-tasting, antique shopping, art gallery tours?

Perhaps they are out back playing croquet or badminton or lawn bowling — anything but work. Legal cases can be so complicated and really cut into one’s free time.

This is the elegant and well-stocked library in the Chateau de Bethusy of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ostensibly it is where they research the legality of cases like Valverde’s. In the library they review evidence and scientific reports, gather information and precedents and examine the findings presented by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on their two year ban on Valverde in Italy.

It would seem the ideal place to address the case brought by the UCI and WADA against Valverde.  Of course, to make use of the library, people would actually have to be present.

This is the actual Hearing Room in the fancy chateau of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This is the room where in theory they would reach a verdict on the Valverde case.

Sadly and inexplicably, the court is incapable of offering any set dates for a case that has dragged for years. In the meantime Valverde has won twenty high profile races including this year’s Vuelta.

WADA is furious, the UCI disgusted, cycling fans worldwide astonished and disappointed. An empty room, no decision in sight. Nice looking, though. A great place to make landmark legal rulings that improve the ethics and moral code of sport. Of course these things require work, a schedule, a committment, a sense of embarassment….

It’s really a stunning chateau. Picture perfect, reeks of order and calm, of reasoned decision making and impartial thinking. A place where great men and women steer the grand events of the day. But clearly this isn’t working.

Perhaps the court needs to move to a location where people make decisions rapidly. Like Las Vegas perhaps — make a ruling, roll the dice, move on to the next case. A place that understands big money and drugs and egos and is prepared to play pit boss.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, Las Vegas. They’d take care of business. It could still be a chateau but with a library, hearing room and blackjack table. What kind of odds would you give Valverde in Vegas?

By |2024-05-17T11:53:48-07:00December 4th, 2009|Doping, Humor|3 Comments

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  1. Mike Pardue December 4, 2009 at 5:51 am - Reply

    "a rented room over a shoe shop using a ouija board." LOL you have the funniest cycling blog on the planet.That is a nice chateau to bad it's NEVER BEEN USED!

    • walshworld December 4, 2009 at 6:05 am - Reply

      Mike, I have the only funny cycling blog on the planet. Category of one, the ultimate niche. Thanks for dropping a note. I do actually write some insightful (I hope) race coverage but in the off-season I have to lean on pure comedy. Look for some new things like podcast during the Giro and video for the Tour de France. Some fun things coming up. Matt

  2. […] a Spanish jail or an Italian one as long as he’s not riding. And now I don’t need those useless Court of Arbitration […]

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