I made a resolution not to talk about doping anymore during the Tour, but I just couldn't let this one pass.
Several weeks ago Tour organizers asked Bjarne Riis to return his 1996 TdF yellow jersey since he admitted to doping to win the race. Several days ago Lance Armstrong wondered why the same Tour organizers didn't ask French riders Bernard Thevenet and Richard Virenque to return their jerseys. Thevenet admitted that he used steriods to defeat Eddy Mercxk and win the Tour in 1975 and 1977. Virenque, who holds the record for winning the most polka-dot mountains jerseys, admitted to using EPO when he was with the Festina team. Very good question, Lance!
Well today, Thevenet fired back. In an Associated Press interview, Thevenet, who is now an official with Tour said, "It was thought that just like riders take vitamins, for example, they should take cortisone and anabolic steroids...It wasn't to get a boost, but...to recuperate."
Exsqueeze me?!?! The Tour organizers are crucifying Floyd Landis for testing positive at the 2006 edition of the race. Anybody want to take a guess at the substance Floyd is accused to have taken? Last time I checked, testosterone is a steroid and its main purpose is to aid in recovery. So, is Thevenet saying that if Floyd had won the 1976 Tour instead of 2006, it would have been OK? Is Floyd's only crime, if you believe he is guilty, that he was born 30 years too late?
The situation is so bizarre, it is almost laughable unless, of course, you are Floyd Landis. Whether you believe Floyd is guilty or not, you just have to wonder how anyone can get a fair shake when so much duplicity exists out there.
OK, back to your regularly scheduled programming. What a great win by Cancellara on Stage 3! Yes, he was protecting his yellow jersey by being near the front and closing the gap on the breakaway, but it would have been very easy for him to sit up once the four riders were in sight and rest up for the podium ceremony. Rocketing past the indecisive breakaway and holding the best sprinters in the world at bay was simply incredible! If, somehow, you didn't think that Fabian earned the yellow jersey by destroying the field in the prologue, there can be no disagreement that, at this point in the race, he is the man who should wear the golden fleece! Bravo!