Let’s Just be Done with Astana

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The Gazetta dello Sport, an Italian sporting newspaper, reported today that Dr. Michele Ferrari was present at Astana’s first training camp for the 2014 season.  They cited information for the Padova inquiry that there are pictures of Michele and Astana riders outside their team hotel.  Remember, Dr. Ferrari is banned from all cycling, on a global basis, so hanging out with the Astana riders is a serious no-no.

Astana has declined to comment on the Gazzetta article.   Oh, really.

Let’s just get rid of these guys.  It is such a joke that they are still riding around.  Alexandre Vinokourov used Dr. Ferrari when he was busted for blood doping when he was a rider.  5 of their guys have tested positive this season.  It all seems like such a farce.

Anyone with a brain should be able to realize that if cycling is serious at all about trying to rid itself from drug use, it can’t just keep turning a blind eye to consistent and non-remorseful dopers.  And that is what Astana is all about.

Vinokorov has already said he won’t testify at the UCI commission for doping.  Even Lance has talked to them, and he doesn’t run a Pro Tour team, like Vino.

The only guy that I’ve seen that publicly supports Astana is Katusha’s team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov.   He doesn’t think it is right to suspend the license of Astana for a few riders doping on their own.  I don’t really give a shit what Eki thinks.   Eki’s team, Katusha, was denied a UCI license by the UCI for doping positives in 2012, but that was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

You remember Ekimov, the guy that rode in support of Lance forever, has the gold medal from the Athen’s Olympics, since Tyler gave it back.  I bet he feels pretty great about winning those Olympics.   I wonder if Eki and Vino get together, over a glass of vodka, and congratulate each other on their Olympic  victories?

On Wednesday, supposedly, the UCI is going to announce whether Astana gets a license to race this year.  Hopefully they have brains, then their decision will easy.   But, money talks and the whole system is polluted, so don’t hold your breath on them making the right, and easy, decision.

 

I've never been a fan of Vino.  Who goes and gets a jersey made with their own head sublimated on it?  Nice comeback statement.

I’ve never been a fan of Vino. Who goes and gets a jersey made with their own head sublimated on it? Nice comeback statement.

 

27 thoughts on “Let’s Just be Done with Astana

  1. Sal Ruibal

    Once again, Vino is letting his Little Head do the thinking. I thought we got rid of all these guys a long time ago. What does it take to get a permanent suspension? Shooting up on live TV during a Tour stage?

     
  2. Jeff M

    The only way these guys will go away is if we all stop watching them on tv (kill the ratings) and buying the their sponsor’s products. But, humans being humans–> Everybody loves a melodrama and the scandal of a lie as the Indigo girls put it so eloquently…
    And pro cycling’s got plenty of that juicy ‘tainted’ meat.

     
  3. Bill K

    Those young lads deserve a second…..No, make that a third…….Wait, no, a fourth….., Wait, WTF, no, a fifth chance before the carpet is pulled on them…..
    .
    .

     
  4. jpete

    What happens with their license at this point will make a powerful statement about where things really lie.

     
    1. Bee

      Not to mention a great time for Cookson to quit acting like a puppet to the teams and money and make an easy decision that begins to put cycling on the right track in terms of this issue.

       
  5. keeping up

    Hah….I thought Nibali was dirty and was just playing in the TDF with people like Tejay. Now as he claims he never met personally with Ferrari…but turns out his Trainer Does!! It is to the point of absurdity now. I love my sport…but now I am one inch from turning my back on it forever!

     
    1. Jeff M

      Yeah, I actually took up running this winter and ride the bike for commuter purposes almost exclusively.

       
  6. Brian Davis

    That pic of Vino is my favorite. He spent an unprecedented number of days in the Maillot Moi. It takes a huge amount of hubris to wear a jersey with your own likeness, and it also helps you cheat your whole career.

     
  7. Jim Ochowicz

    Steve,
    Thanks for hurling your anti-doping venom in the other direction, much appreciated. Did you and Trudi receive the Fruit Basket I sent for the holidays?

    Hi Ho High Horse, Away!!!!!!!

     
  8. James

    I have to comment on the level of biterness in this post. I mean, who cares anyway? Pro cycling is just a second rate entertainment show. We all like the tradition, but isn’t it just right next to high school cheerleading and dwarf boxing in the ratings? It stinks that people cheat, but attitudes about it differ. I personally, think it’s just fine that some goofballs break the rules. That’s every sport, others don’t care as much. Steve, you might do well to remember the only thing you share in common with Vino is pale skin and an affinity for cycling. The guy is from 2 continents away, it shouldn’t bother you 🙂

     
    1. asleep at the wheel

      Really? Bitterness???!!! Wow, I think OUTRAGE fits better…..we are not bitter we just want to get them out of a sport we still participate in rather than sitting in front of the tube watching steroid junkies hit each other.

       
  9. mike crum

    steve
    why do you wanna get rde of those guys?? everyone on every team is on drugs. you know that.. did you say , lets get rid of these guys, about the postal team years ago when just about everyone on that team got busted? these guys just were all dumb enough to get caught..

     
  10. Philip

    It’s the fox guarding the hen house. The UCI makes a profit off these guys. Why would they want to cut their paycheck?

     
  11. dogman

    Let’s get something straight. Running is natural, riding a bike isn’t. Its not a natural motion. Yes biking can be fun, competitive and exhilarating. However, there is no better feeling than fast effortless running. For those of you who disagree, you’ve never had the above experience.

     
  12. Roberto

    Amore & Vita, a small Italian Continental team, had more than one doping positive this season. They just signed Santambrogio, who just finished his 18 month suspension. Why only the outrage with guys like Lance or Astana. The problem with all of your arguments, is it’s going on everywhere and in all sports. Football has so much money, I guarantee you they’re sweeping stuff under the rugs. Why do you think the UCI turned a blind eye to Lance. Because he made money for the sport. Now, a whole lot of talented young riders, can’t even find a team to ride for. (I heard this weekend, that Vanderkitten may be folding) All because a bunch of self righteous jackasses, have given the sport no credibility. The sponsors and money are gone. People like you, don’t know when to shut the F*** up. You’re ruining the sport, not the dopers. Have teams pay for the drug testing, and if people get caught, ban their asses. But when they get caught, shut your mouth and let them be punished. Don’t second guess the punishment, you’re not in charge. Quit dragging our sport through the mud, in a bunch of blog posts. Quit questioning Chris Horner. He hasn’t tested positive for anything. Quit speculating on things you don’t know about. If you keep this up, cycling in this country will be what it was in the old days. Just a hobby. Do you really want to stop generations of kids, from having a chance at their dream. Maybe they don’t want to spend their lives, driving around to races in a 25 year old van. Give them a chance, and quit stirring the pot. Nothing good can come from all of this hate.

     
  13. Jt

    Jesus! Roberto…I don’t know where to begin. You obviously feel like your opinion should be the only one that matters. If you were that important you probably wouldn’t be posting comments on this blog.

    Your argument is basically ridiculing someone and blaming them for the problems in cycling, not on those that are doping and involved in the doping process, but to blame those that speak out against it. If I read your rant correctly? Which I think I did. So if everyone was to take your advise. I.e., former pros, cycling fans, current racers, promoters, sponsors, anybody having anything to do with the sport….

    Then who the Fuck would be around to hold the cheats accountable? You Roberto? No, you yourself obviously has no moral compass and has no problems cheating your fellow competitors to get a leg up on them.

    Roberto, you are a frigging DoucheBag.

     
  14. San Fransico Jacks

    Astana is the glistening sheen and steam that comes of dog shit fresh from the anus of a pug. it’s ingredients include; ferarri, Lance, levi, horner, nibali, et al.

    FUUUUUCK YOOOOUUUUUUUUU!

     
  15. Roberto

    I have plenty of moral compass, and I have a problem with cheating. But the UCI, USA Cycling, WADA and USADA are the people that should handle it. Along with all the teams on the Pro Tour. When an NFL player gets caught using steroids, he’s suspended. You might see a small article in the paper, and then nothing. But when a cyclist gets caught, you guys talk about it almost everyday, forever. Don’t you realize what you’re doing to the sport. Sponsors aren’t walking away, they’re running away. Cycling has no bigger cheats, than any other sport. Ben Johnson and many others cheated at track, is anybody still writing articles, or talking about that. If people like you and Tilford, don’t stop the constant bashing of the sport, we won’t have a sport. You guys are the ones that have made people lose interest in the sport. You have made the general public, think all cyclists are cheaters. You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are not the cycling police. If you and people like you keep this up, we won’t have a sport. And I for one, would rather get beat by a few Meekers, than not have a race to go to. I would like talented American kids, to have the opportunity to go to Europe. But that’s just me. Maybe you want the sport to die. I don’t!.

     
    1. TG

      Sorry, Berto I have to call bullsh*t on your comments. You made some points that do have some shreds of validity, but when refer to Meeker, you throw away any credibility you thought you had. Meeker was a dirtbag masters rider in SoCal who cheated every other masters rider out of their entry fee every time he had a good result. He had a boatload of good results, so that means he personally cheated alot of good and honest athletes. Not cool.

      It’s really simple to win when you dope yourself. You merely put in the time to train and do all the same things a clean rider does. The drugs will do the rest and will give you that crucial edge needed for winning. The problem is that using banned substances is cheating. It’s a very simple set of rules to understand and to follow, and people that choose to use banned substances are rightfully banned.

      I could respond to the rest of your diatribe because you actually do make some points worth discussing, but I think I’ll be more productive by watching reruns of 30 Rock.

       
  16. Skippy

    Time there was Moderation of the comments !

    Cheating is CHEATING AT ANY LEVEL !

    A couple of years of ZERO TOLERANCE to Drugs with LIFE Suspensions should help clear the air !

    After seeing Vino win the london Olympics , one wonders if ” Drugs ” are the ONLY Problems in Cycling Competition ?

     
  17. Tech

    Who puts his own mug on his jersey? This puts Vino in twatwaffle category. http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#4

    UCI gives Astana a license? It proves they have no respect for the sport, no moral compass, no fortitude to lead the sport. UCI is nothing and they are dragging the nobility of cycling down with them.

     

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