Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Well, ASO did it. Contending that it would be inappropriate to allow Astana to compete at the Tour, ASO issued a statent baring the team not only from the Tour but also from all ASO owned events. As reasons for their decision, ASO stated:

- the damage caused by Astana to the Tour de France and cycling in
general, in both 2006 and 2007
-"The Astana team in effect last year betrayed the confidence of organizers
who even then invited them on trust of an overhaul presented by their leaders." Source

Johan Bruyneel's response:

What's strange is, ASO does not invite us because of the past of a team that had
the same name. Many other teams, with a similar suspicious past, that did not
change management or structure, can participate without problems. Where is the
consistency? Is Tour the France not losing all credibility now? Source.

Is Johan right? Is ASO treating all teams fairly?

The following teams were all invited to ASO's Paris-Nice:

High Road (T-mobile)
Saunier Duval

Any of them have any violations in 2006 and/or 2007:

Rabobank: Rasmussen 2007 Tour (lied about where he was and had missed 2 pre-Tour controls), kicked out of the Tour. Arguably, if he had stayed in the Tour he would have won.

Cofidis: C. Moreni, 2007 Tour (testosterone). As I remember they left the Tour just like Astana did.

High Road (T-mobile): Sinkewitz, 2007, (testosterone); Lorenzo Bernucci, 2007(Sibutramine)

Saunier Duval: Mayo, 2007 Tour (EPO).

I'm not saying that Astana deserved a bid or not. However, when "rules" are not consistently applied, the decision maker loses whatever credibility it had.

In the end, its the riders who pay. You think Levi's got another Tour in his legs if he can't do this one?


K-ro said...

I honestly think that there's a good chance that Astana is one of those teams that had a very entrenched system of doping in place, like Festina or Once of the 90s. There's no proof of this, other than Vino and Whats-His-Name, that other Kazhak guy.

And...y'know...I thought it a bit convenient that Disco would basically roll into Astana. Maybe Johan wanted a team with the systems and culture in place to support what he felt was needed to win the Tour. (Basso and Contador, and there's a lot out there against Lance too)

Who knows? I think it sucks, personally, but there's got to be stuff going on under the surface.

Guess Evans is a shoe-in to win, eh?

Jason said...

I like the fact that Astana was banned. BUT I also think a few others should have been banned too. It's gonna take a few bad years to get shit going good. Too bad for Levi, Contador(?) and a few others that they hitched their wagon to a team ass deep in doping.