Thursday, July 27, 2006

Winning, Floyd, and the Court of Public Opinion

Well, until the whole floyd Landis thing exploded this morning, I was going to do a post about winning. I still am, but first let me weigh in on Floyd's problem. So he had a non-normal test result from Stage 17. Long story short, he had too high a ratio of testosterone in his urine. Used to be the allowable standard was 6:1, then the UCI and WADA in their brilliance lowered it to 4:1. Ok, the ratio for a normal, non-athlete is 1:1.

However, I can provide links to anyone who wants them citing study after study showing that the levels in elite athletes routinely go to 4:1 or higher after extreme efforts. I'd say that riding 130 km alone on the hardest day of the Tour qualifies as an extreme effort.

Now, on to the Court of Public Opinion. Isn't it great how Barry Bonds is playing with minimal heckling, and how there's only some talk of how he may be guilty. Yet, Floyd and other pros in the past from cycling seem to have their verdicts decided upon by leaked news and accusations, then the doping agencies try to find data to support public opinion. So instead of allowing the process to go and announcing results, Floyd's rep is forever tarnished, innocent or not. Like when someone is arrested for murder, then 10 minutes later released, they're forever remembered as being arrested for murder, so they must be guilty...

I really have a hard time believing Floyd is guilty. I have friends who remember him riding in sweatpants and knickers when he first started mountain biking. He won back then, too. Look at his resluts over the last few years. It's a natural progression to where he is now. Look at this entire season. He crushed the opposition all season long. Why is it that it seems to me the Tour doesn't like Americans? They attacked Armstrong his whole reign, now they attack Landis. And if you ever saw the lack of chain of custody for Tyler Hamilton's samples, and Armstrong's from 99, well, any lawyer in this country would be able to throw out the case. But we have to sit and wait.

As for winning, it's a funny thing. I've not won much in my life. Some basketball games in junior high and high school, some races, and some car races. The car races were satisfying, and for a few years we were better and better until we won our class of the Rolex Vintage Enduro Championship. But it was an anticlimax. The basketball games were ok, but only one sticks in my mind. I was playing against my dad's alma mater in 8th grade and my team put together a really solid game. It was one of the best games of my life. I had 17 points and 14 or 15 rebounds, and we had enough of a lead to where I can remember enjoying it.

As for my wins in cycling, well, that's the funny thing. I've never been in a race where I thought I would win, or could savor it. My biggest wins were in time trials, and you're just going as fast as your body lets you. So until the last guy comes in, you really aren't sure how you're doing. Most were a surprise to me. Track cycling is so intense and brief you barely know if you won or not. And my very few road race wins were hard fought. I never had time to look back over my shoulder and savor the moment. Part of why I still race is because I want that moment, where it's me and the crowd, an impersonal intimate spot in history. Make sense?

4 comments:

Capybaras United said...

It seems unlikely that Floyd would do something so likely to get him caught.

Though didn't four other cyclists get booted before the Tour began for doping? Why would they think they'd get away with it?

Mike said...

56 athletes were implicated in Operacion Puerto in spain, where a doctor is accused of running a doping ring. Again, no charges or hard facts are really present. most of the athletes had contact with the doc. The court of public opinion rears it's ugly head again...

bdogg_mcgee said...

What gets me is that even if they know that they're going to test the B sample, they still blare it out for everyone to hear that LANDIS FAILED HIS TEST! But then, you read down a bit more and it's like,"Well, he might not have failed it. We still have to test his B sample."

Dumbasses....

Mike said...

Already four cyclists on the list have been cleared. Gotta love due process...