- 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)
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?