It’s a question of apples versus more apples.
In the wake of Ricarrdo Ricco’s botched stale blood transfusion, there’s news or rather wild conjecture suggesting that the UCI might adjust Vacansoleil’s license. This seems highly unlikely to Twisted Spoke and plenty of smarter more informed writers.
One bad apple is not really a story. If you reviewed the license of every ProTeam with a potential or previously dirty rider, the majority of teams would be in trouble. One rotten to the core, Cobra-with-worm and several ugly bruises, not to mention possible damaged lungs and kidneys, does not a downgrade make. Seriously bad PR, yes, but not excommunication.
So on number of apples alone, the UCI jumped the gun with their announcement slash threat to re-evaluate Vacansoleil’s ticket to ride. This was just a misguided and foolish attempt by the UCI to flex very flabby muscle.
In recent weeks the UCI has been slapped around pretty good — like a gritty drug scene in The Wire where the crack dealer shows his ho who’s boss. Ugly, nasty, a bit of a recoil.
The Spanish Cyclist Protection Federation did their Valverde II act, letting the Spaniard off to the general O.J Simpson shock of the rest of the world.
Then there’s the latest drug bust in Girona. The timing of this new outrage is almost too funny and we’re assuming Spanish prime minister Zapatero — he of the pro-Pistolero tweet — suggested the police wait until after the Contador verdict to launch their doping raid. Just bad press, you know.
Then there’s scofflaw number two, our second apple, Mosquera and his yet to be tested mystery B sample. Throw that in with Riccardo Ricco crawling out of a hospital bed with his damaged kidneys, heart and lungs and dead career. And then the four CAS doping cases involving pro cyclists ready for resolution. Bad chunk of weeks for the governing body of cycling.
So given all that shit storm, the UCI wanted to hit somebody, anybody and the target was Vacansoleil. Now it would have been better to make threats of license revocation AFTER the follow up test on Mosquera’s B-sample but Pat “hot air” McQuaid desperately needed a show of faux force.
That’s where the apples comes in. Add Ricco and Mosquera together and you have a case for downgrading the Vacansoleil license. One apple and another still waiting for a decision, not good enough.
It’s just another example of incompetence on the part of the UCI. Get your testing in order, map out your court dates, have a plan in place. Three things that just don’t seem to happen.
By the way, race radios are bad and the UCI says that’s final. Who listens to them anymore?
To be fair, I think their re-evaluation theory is built around the fact they'd included Ricco's and Mosquero points in their application. It could also be suggested that their recruitment policy in their application might need a bit of a review…