What the heck. Another doper incarcerated by French authorities. I had a feeling Ricco’s wins in this years tour were too good to be true. Especially winning with those margins. How can someone be that much better than the other professional athletes? There is only one answer, he cheated. It is of note that Ricco's idol is the late Marco Pantani. Pantani was also ousted for EPO in his career.
I will put a lot of money of this: more riders will be caught doping in this year’s tour.
It's not surprising that there have already been 3 riders caught ‘red handed.’ It is surprising that it is only 3. So why would someone that signed a contract stating they will not use these substances do it anyway?
The answers are too simple. With are millions of dollars at stake, greed plays a large part. These guys are human and in their mind, the riches of victory far out weigh the risk of getting caught. Especially since the chances of actually getting caught are pretty low. The International Herald Tribune reports, “A test to detect EPO in urine samples didn't work very well in experiments conducted last year, according to the study released online Thursday by the Journal of Applied Physiology .”
Instead of a 2 year ban from the sport, there should be a lifetime ban and or prison time for using substances that are illegal. At least something that will make the athlete and teams think twice before they make a poor decision.
Of course it might not matter anyway. At the rate they are going, there won’t be any corporations willing to sponsor athletes associated with poor ethics. Greed could mean the end of professional cycling all together.
Here is the good news. It will have no affect on the friendly cycling sport of Randonneuring. In our sport it is man vs self and man vs nature. It doesn’t matter if someone finishes a ride fast or slow as long as they have fun participating. To this I say, Bon Route and I will see you at the next brevet.