The dominos are starting to fall

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09/11/2012| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
Tyler Hamilton's book The Secret Race is out and the dominos are starting to fall Ben Ross Photography

The dominos are starting to fall

The Secret Race is out and it has people talking.

and determine if any rules were broken. If so there could be sanctions.

The fact that an increasing number of experienced riders are admitting to doping has also reached the younger generation of riders.

Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp finished the Vuelta a Espana in seventh place, showing he has the chops to be a grand tour contender. In an interview with Velonews’ Andrew Hood he makes a curious statement.

“A second part of that is I also believe that fans and journalists owe it to us to believe in us, because we have never given them a reason not to.”

I’m not going to immediately declare that every winner of a European race has doped, however the sport’s history is littered with examples of why fans and journalists are skeptical of certain athletic performances. This is why fans and journalists don’t always believe - so you have to excuse us for being a bit gun shy. When Vaughters formally admitted to doping that blew some people’s minds.

I know Talansky is young - just 23 years old - but that type of statement combined with a tweet he sent out, “Don’t care what you think of @lancearmstrong, USADA really shouldn’t repeatedly accuse someone of something with ZERO hard evidence,” appear to indicate he doesn’t understand the long history of doping in the sport. Later he deleted that tweet.

To be clear, I think Talansky meant well, but he doesn’t fully understand the context about which he is replying to. The majority of his Velonews interview and his points I agree with. But the climate professional cycling finds itself in now is hypersensitive to these type of off the cuff remarks. By deleting his tweet regarding USADA showed he realized “hard evidence” comes in many different forms.

People want a smoking gun of evidence like in a television show - a photo or video showing someone shooting EPO into their veins or laying on the floor of the team bus as they transfuse blood. That isn’t going to happen. The hard evidence is going to be confession after confession in the form of riders and directors telling their eye witness accounts of what happened. In the criminal court system, eyewitness accounts are good enough for a conviction as long as that person is creditable. While people may not think too highly of Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton, when you start reading accounts from Jonathan Vaughters a person needs to start thinking there is some truth in all these stories.

Will this satisfy everyone - heck no! There are going to be believers and haters on both sides of this very polarizing affair. The Livestrong organization has helped people and they feel a debt of gratitude, which is then transferred to Lance Armstrong by association. Others hold onto the Armstrong myth purely for financial reasons or they have supported the now disgraced rider publicly and have backed themselves into a corner - they can’t get out without looking like fools.

In a couple of weeks USADA is going to disclose all their evidence and

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