San Remo or Sanremo and the names that won't die

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03/25/2014| 0 comments
by Neil Browne

San Remo or Sanremo and the names that won't die

Whatever you call it, it's a hell of a race.

off our bingo cards as Travis Tygart of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is saying he is willing to go public with the redacted names. Much like the local newspaper that publishes the names and mug shots of guys who employ the services of prostitutes in the hope the public shaming is enough to teach them a lesson, Tygart says that until all the names are public and are removed from a position of power (directors, trainers, coaches, doctors), nothing will change - cycling will remain as dirty as a newborn’s diaper.

I’ve said this before, I still truly believe that cycling has taken a turn for the better and is much cleaner than the Lance Armstrong era. Don’t get me wrong, when you have two guys on the same team turn up positive doping results and in the not so recent past employed a doctor with a shady history, I raise an eyebrow. But I’m not willing to accuse a team of organized doping. You’re always going to have a few guys that are going to cheat. Hell, you have that in every walk of life, from the boardroom, to our resumes (I might have exaggerated a little on my LinkedIn profile and claimed to have invented the umlaut), to Strava. Anyways, I digress.

Will publishing the blacked-out names do anything for the sport now or is it just an idle threat to force riders to give up names and doping suppliers? I’ve seen enough episodes of CSI: Miami to know that all it takes is the threat of jail and suspects roll over like a dead goldfish. And you know the old expression about a dead fish – it starts to stink from the head down.

Tygart is looking to cut off the head and remove the stink. It’s a viable plan and one that might work. But again, if there’s anything I’ve learned from Detective Horatio Caine it is you cut off one head and another one will appear. That said, it’s still important that the names become public so all cheaters know that eventually they will be caught and their reputations ruined. Look at Armstrong now. Just a few years ago he had the world at his feet and was a seven-time Tour winner and founder of LiveStrong. Now, he is forever known as the guy who cheated, bullied, and got kicked out of his own foundation. No one wants to have their reputation destroyed like that. By making the names known it is forcing the hand of the UCI to react. Like Tygart said, the honeymoon with the new UCI President Brian Cookson is over. Now it’s time for action.

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