Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why?!?

Alexander Vinokourov has tested positive for blood-doping, the test being on the sample he submitted after his incredible time-trial victory in Stage 13 of the Tour. He has been kicked off the Tour, and Team Astana has been asked, and has agreed, to withdraw.
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I am greatly saddened. Vino's Tour this year has been a fustuarium of pain and difficulty, his riding seemingly heroic in its obstinate disobedience to suffering.
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And here we are, again, exposed by our own desire to see as unconquerable will what now appears to be the effect of ingenious medicine and a compelling need to overcome weakness and pain with technical tricks.
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It makes all of Vinokourov's riding in this Tour a lie. Whether he was cheating on other days becomes immaterial. This one failure cheats all his other successes of their meaning.
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David Millar, the British cyclist for SDP, cried today in an interview about the news. I understand the feeling; I could weep, too. Not for the shock, because it's not a shock. But for the feeling that an illusion, the wonderful illusion that we could reach out and touch a bit of human greatness in the person of a cyclist, a piece of a dream has slipped a little further from our grasp.
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Why, Vino? Was it worth it, those two brief days of success? Did it matter to you, that the cheers and the glory were lies? Why did you cheat yourself and us of what should have been days when you were bigger, better, than yourself?
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Why?

1 comment:

meghan h said...

I guess when you're dealing with the most competitive people alive, using any trick to win somehow seems like a rational act.

I enjoy watching the Tour, but after last year's Floyd Landis-makes-unbelievable-comeback debacle, and now THIS? I'm really feeling like bike racing as a true sport (at the international level) is starting to die.