Different Era, Huh?

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If I read some Pro say this is a different era of the sport and that doping isn’t prevalent still, I’m going to puke. Or maybe I should say puke more.

Andy Schleck is the guy that, nearly robotically, says this each and every time he opens his mouth. This makes me respect the guy even less, if that is possible.

Today at Cyclingnews.com, this article states that the Spanish police arrested former pro rider José Luis Martínez, along with a few of his associates. It says that José had been producing and distributing products including plasma, clenbuterol, testosterone and anabolic steroids.

The guy had machines that could manipulate blood and produce the drugs. That seems pretty complicated to me.

But, maybe more disturbing that this, the guy has been working the last two years are a UCI chaperone for the Vuelta a España, watching over the riders between when they finished and the actually doping control. Talk about the fox watching the chicken coop.

Anyway, I have to assume that José wasn’t producing these products for his own consumption. Hopefully, since the authorities have been on him for nearly a year, there will be more to follow.

Talk about screwed up people, how about Levi Leipheimer? I’ve posted before about my disdain with the guy for coming back from Europe and cherry picking Leadville and such. But, when he decides he’s going to mosey over to a “local” MTB race and not register, just tag along, while serving his slap-on-the-wrist suspension, it just goes to show you that he isn’t close to the smartest tool in the shed.

Yeah, Levi couldn’t help himself, so he decided to “not participate” in a bike race by just riding it, not registering, and then turning off before he cross the line. The race was so local, that Peter Stetina, Garmin Professional, won the event.

Levi’s answer about competing was, “My sanction doesn’t prohibit me from training and staying fit. This is a local adventure series, as they call it, that’s been going for years. I’ve always done it and supported the local cycling community.”

Okay, where do I start. Your bullshit sanction doesn’t prohibit you from training Levi, but it does prohibit you from racing bikes. And I’m virtually positive that this constitutes a bicycle race. And addressing the 2nd point, I’m so happy that you always have done it to support the local cycling community, but I’m pretty sure you weren’t suspended from racing bicycles at that time.

I can’t understand why Levis isn’t just sitting in basement, riding his Computrainer, ecstatic about how fortunate he has been in this whole process. But, no he can’t help himself, so he has to go “not race” a race, just to stay fit.

He also stated, “First of all, I’m sanctioned and I take that very seriously. I would never jeopardize or do anything to prolong that.”

Levi, you just did jeopardize that, you raced a bicycle race. If I had anything to do with it, maybe someone at the USAC does, I’d politely ask Levi to sit out bicycle racing from, now, January 19th, for the next 6 months. And if he decided against that, I’d go through the motions to try to make him not race until July 19th. As a licensed Professional, he could have been suspended for participating in this event. As a suspended Pro, he shouldn’t be treated any differently.

Man, what a tool.

There was nothing stopping Levi from just going out and riding with a bunch of his buddies. Back in 2010, I guess that was enough from him to stay fit, but not this year.

28 thoughts on “Different Era, Huh?

  1. VCScribe

    Stevo, check the piece by Gabe Marcotti on ESPN FC. He opines about the possibilities of widespread doping in European football. His conclusion is that it doesn’t really happen, because the guys would be too easy to catch and the benefits are minimal (!). Jesus, when will people begin to wake up?

  2. Nick

    The Grasshopper really isn’t a race. Think of it more as an epic ride with 300 people. However, like any big group ride – it becomes an intense competition for those fast-enough to make it faster.

    I didn’t go this year and am disappointed in all my friends that did and were fine riding with Levi. He needs to get shamed back into his basement.

    Levi’s had the habit of dropping into P1/2 Norcal races the last 6-7 years, blowing up the race in the process. I was bitter enough about it then, even more-so now that he’s a confirmed doper.

  3. Joe

    Don’t like this one bit, rules is rules. No bike racing, no “not bike racing”, no fake training off the back (or front) of a race.

  4. jim robinson

    Thanks for not holding back, Steve: voices like yours really matter.
    Hope your body is recovering.

  5. Mark

    Everybody should show up at his Gran Fondo and just ride the course, just for training. I’m sure Levi and/or a few others would be pissed.

  6. Touriste-Routier

    While I understand your sentiment Steve, and think this was a low class move, this wasn’t a sanctioned race. His suspension only prohibits him from participating in sanctioned events.

    Of course his UCI license prohibits him from competing in non-UCI races. The fact that he is suspended probably has no bearing. However, if it was a “race”, then Peter Stetina shouldn’t have been there either. If it wasn’t really a race, then then there is no issue at all.

    However, it is really low to “not enter”, just jump in and out. That is lower category level BS; it changes the nature and outcome of the event, and puts everyone in jeopardy when it comes to liability issues. And if he thought it was wrong to enter and appear in the results, then we know he knows what he was doing was wrong.

  7. scott haverstick

    I totally agree with Touriste-Routier regarding screwing up the race for everyone else – under the circumstances, it would have been bad enough if he’d sat at the back the entire time and had zero affect on the outcome.

  8. Skippy

    Perhaps the person that gave you the ” INFO ” of this should contact “UCIIC ” ! Via @Tanni_GT they can alert the Panel , since this appears to be a case of ” Giving the finger ” to the sanctions imposed !

    Personally i think USADA , should review the case of ALL on the 6 months , reimpose the 2 year Ban NORMALLY mandated , Levi , being a 2nd time offender , deserves the ” Life Time Ban ” , laid out in the UCI Regs !

    These two items came to my attention in recent days :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Iy1XTxYC98 Lance song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SUKZD6eqgo&feature=youtu.be lance parody

    The second , should have gone longer , revealed more shenanigans .

  9. channel_zero

    I agree Levi should be out of sight, but “out of sight” is contextual here and Levi’s toying with the UCI rules in the matter.

    The ride, as I understand it, is unsanctioned. Unless the promoter kicks him out, Levi’s in. USAC has no say in the matter.

    As Steve briefly referenced, there are *very* specific rules forbidding UCI Professionals from riding non-sanctioned events. I don’t honestly know if the doping ban intersects the fact he’s a licensed UCI Pro forbidden from riding unsanctioned events.

    If this were a sports federation that followed their own rules, Peter Stetina gets sanctioned, and who knows what would happen to Levi. This is cycling, so we’ll wait for a continental pro to get the fine for riding the same event.

  10. channel_zero

    And never sanctioned for racing below the approved races he’s allowed to race as a UCI Pro. I’m shocked. Shocked!!

  11. G

    re: Levi – what a tool. Who shows up at an event, doesn’t pay their fee, doesn’t get a number plate, but lines up at the start and races anyway? And doesn’t get kicked out? I’ll tell you who — Levi at a bikemonkey event. He is not out to support “the community” — he is out to support his friends & business partners. Their biggest event is Levi’s Gran Fondo (it’s right there on their web page, bikemonkey.net). They were the ones in part anyway behind that dumb ass Levi movie (google ‘levi leipheimer movie’), the one that came out at the same time as the USADA postal report (worst timing ever). I think they need to hear from the ACTUAL community that, hey, tell this guy not to show up or you’re going to lose business. As it is there are tons of well organized centuries and other events all over norcal. Screw these guys.

  12. grolby

    “While I understand your sentiment Steve, and think this was a low class move, this wasn’t a sanctioned race. His suspension only prohibits him from participating in sanctioned events.”

    There’s some confusion that I think needs to be cleared up, here. A doping ban is intended to be a ban from ALL competitions, not just competitions sanctioned by the national federation or UCI. The difference is that Leipheimer cannot be prevented from participating in unsanctioned events. But athletes who compete in unsanctioned races during a doping ban are eligible to be found in contempt of their sanction, and for that sanction to be extended as a result. This has happened before, though as far as I know it has only ever happened with “small time” amateur riders serving a doping ban, in the US, anyway.

    Leipheimer is probably aware of this, hence his excuse that he “just rode along,” and turned off before the finish line. He’s trying to claim that he wasn’t really racing. He would be on awfully shaky ground with that claim, however, if USAC chose to investigate further. I doubt he will face any consequences, but he definitely could, according to the rules.

  13. Fabio

    Every time I hear a PRO say “I had no idea so many doped” … like the the Schlecks .. Automatically they look more like politicians who always lie about everything. Even when are caught in the act.. lies, lies and more lies. They all dope !!! ( at least most of the ones says – they never knew anything – ) … Throughout the years just about every PRO I’ve met in person or read about how they knew nothing about doping, later on confessed or got caught. Thus, why even bother believing it ? They all dope.

  14. William Stevenson

    Those Grasshopper events are billed as “Adventure Rides” and they are bitchen. There are 5-6 this year.
    The funniest comment that I read in Velonews was Levi saying “I just followed the strongest guy.” Along with his doping doesn’t that describe his career.

  15. Daniel Russell

    As bad as elite cyclocrossers who snadbag races to avoid UCI points like the plague so they can cherry pick age-graded national and world championships. Not everyone has honor.

  16. Rsteve

    New Nike slogan
    “Please just stop doing it”
    These guys just dont think they did anything wrong.
    That’s the problem, and it won’t stop until cheaters are
    Banned for life
    Good luck in Lousiville Steve


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