It too bad, I was just starting to like Frank

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I historically haven’t been a big fan of either of the Schlecks. Fragile cyclists that don’t really know how to ride their bikes. It seemed to be the new generation of the sport. All climbing power, but really no ability. But, I saw a video interview with him before his positive drug test and the guy seemed pretty humble and real. That was surprising. I’m not sure why, because as far as I know, I’ve never met him, so how would I know who he is and what he’s like.

Anyway, he isn’t going to be racing for a while until he sorts this thing all out. I pretty much doubt this poison defense is going to work because if it does, then everyone is going to use it. Why not? The problem is that there is a chance that it is actually the case. I don’t know what chance that actually is, but there is a chance. But, that is the problem nowadays. When doping now became the norm, then when you are popped, you don’t get the benefit of doubt anymore.

Just think of Scott Moninger drug problem. Here is a copy of his wiki page concerning his suspension –

He was suspended for one year due to contaminated supplements which contained the banned substance – 19-norandrosterone. These supplements were bought off the shelf of the local Boulder, Colorado supplement store. It was later proven by lab results from the same batch of supplements that the banned substance was not labeled on the product container.

Do you think anyone would believe that now? Not many. That is the one of the biggest obstacles all some riders are going to face when they have the issue.

I received an email from a guy from Santa Barbara today asking me what I thought about this article at Velonews.com. The article quotes Chris Horner’s take on Frank Schleck’s deal. He says something like he took over 60 bottles during the Tour from spectators and that anyone of them could have be “spiked” with something. And that the riders have no control of what goes into their mouths.

I’ve always liked Chris. Still do. I think he races aggressively and is very savvy. But, sorry Chris, but that is total bullshit. He says something about the top 5 riders being supported, but back where he is, they have to take whatever they can get. Wow. I watched pretty much every stage and I can’t think of one time that I saw Chris take a bottle from a spectator. Take the 10 hardest stages, that would be around 6 bottle per stage. Each team has two team cars, plus multiple feeders on the course. And Chris finished in the top 15. So, according to his statement, he was abandoned and had to take the “risk” of taking a bottle that someone had put drugs in. I’m assuming that he is implying that Frank had the same problem.

And addressing his food statement. I’d bet $100 dollars that the RadioShack team has a cook with them at the Tour. A lot of the teams have full cooking trucks that travel with the race and some of the trucks even have dinning rooms in them where the riders eat. Every rider eats the same food. So if one of them would be positive, then the whole team would be positive.

It seems to me that Chris is sort of making a case for Contador with his meat statement in the article. I remember talking to Chris at a ‘cross race in San Diego last fall and he said that he didn’t think that Alberto would be suspended. He said something about a whole soccer team in Mexico that was positive for clembuterol and then something about the UCI telling the riders doing the Tour of China that they shouldn’t eat the meat for fear of testing positive.

Chris is usually spot on concerning a lot of aspects of the sport, but his last few calls on topics relating to doping have been crazy off the mark. I’m not even sure why he commenting. He said that that he didn’t believe Lance cheated last month. He’s sort of made plausible excuses for Alberto and now he’s come out in full support of Frank. I know that he has been a team mate of all this guys, but to go on record publicly on some of this stuff seems naive and ill advised.

Anyway, it’s not like the Pro Tour teams haven’t thought of all this before. And it’s not like they don’t have a budget and the means to support their riders during stage races. If I was making around 2.6 million Euros racing bikes, I surely wouldn’t be taking bottles from complete strangers if I had the slightest worry that they were poisoned.

Maybe with Johan not being at the Tour, the support staff was in complete disarray and the RadioShack Team had no bottles in their cars, so their riders had to rely on the spectators to get fed? Or maybe the higher ups in their organization, dislike Frank enough, because he was going to Astana, that the “bad” bottle he got was actually from the team car? So many plausible explanations to where the diuretic came from. Like I said from the start, I was just starting to like Frank, it’s too bad.

Photo/Christophe Ena


Chris doing a little pre race stretching on the curb.

6 thoughts on “It too bad, I was just starting to like Frank

  1. Jim Thompson

    Hi Steve,
    Have you ever been accused of something you did not do?
    It’s a difficult situation.
    I believe ‘not guilty until proven beyond doubt’ is a good policy.
    Go Fast … JIM

     
  2. RS

    It seems crazy to me for Chris to do some of the things he does. I have not, and with his recent rise in popularity in the PT races, continue to not be a fan. His career arc is suspicious. OK, I get perhaps he was not ready to be in Europe when he was younger, so racing in the states was good for him. And he was a good racer, if not the best stage guy in the US. But since hooking up w/ Armstrong’s team, the guys renaissance has been meteoric.

    His comments in support of guys who have popped a positive, as you say is naive at best.

    A third strike for me, was him doing whatever he was doing…riding in support (tongue in cheek) of Hincapie as he got to lead the group onto the Champs. Perhaps a way to pay back the US sponsors who got him on the team. If so, I cant think of a worse way to get sponsor time.

     
  3. Bernd Faust

    I am not sure, but Frank and Andy may have a cornfed Sister, big girl who always beat them up when they were little, she also ate most of their food..that’s why they look fragile…I don’t even know where they get those “doping” things and why would you want chemicals to help you if you are healthy……Wiggo’s weight was 181 in Bejing 2008, now it is 157 is that healthy?..looks like everybody may win the tour soon, Sagan can drop 15 pounds, Cancellara can drop 18, Greipel can drop 17..why didn’t George drop 8.8 pounds maybe he could have won the tour at least 1 time out of 17 appearances….Eddy won the tour weighing 180 pounds, Indurain was 180 also..why loose weight if you already have a healthy weight….
    I liked Wiggo they way he pulled for Cav in Paris and he was funny during his little speech…he may be a cool guy after all, have to see him play his guitar…maybe Stonesstyle aka Keith Richards or all fingers aka Johnny Guitar Watson ( he died on stage in Japan playing ain’t that a bitch and bum he was gone)….
    A german proverb: Spass muss sein sprach Wallenstein und schob die Eier mit hinein…..

     
  4. Formerly Jim

    Chris is now a company man and is laying the groundwork for offers next year. Say the right things means the boss likes you.

     
  5. Curby

    I wonder what results you would get if you tested Andy before the tour? Right when the scandle hits, Andy wrecked, then finshed the race, but then was out for the TdF. Right then then scene from Caddy Shack entered my head when Rodney Dangerfield get hit in the arm with the golf ball and says, “Oh my arm, it’s broken”, then Danny Noonan has to sub. Then in the same week or a little after Frank says he’s not ready for the tour because he has too many races, and doesn’t expect to do well, even though a month before they had hopes on maybe a 1, 2 podium show at the TdF. I suspected something was up before then tour, then this to fortify my suspicions. Maybe I’m just getting in the habbit of expecting the worst, but I do find the combination of events …weird.

     
  6. Dave J

    Its interesting how you say you were starting to like Frank… I was starting to like you until all blab about the doping. Seriously its just opinion and more copy and paste from other sites.

    I believe in innocent until proven guilty. And either way it doesnt help the sport to rip all over it. Lets put all the effort into prevention and better ways to police it instead of hashing it over and over.

     

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