This morning’s Vs coverage began with a rant by Al Trautwig on moral scandals in sports this month alone and in general. From the historic homerun record about to fall to a known steroid user to the sick dog-killing quarterback. He referenced the known use of enhanced performances in Ironman and recent allegations of their use in golf.
Missing from Al’s monologue and the following discussion by the rest of the Vs commentators was any reference to the allegations and suspicion against race leader Rasmussen, who was jeered when signing in for today’s stage. Rasmussen, who missed four tests in the past two years, was dropped from his national team last week. The Tour organizers have said if they would have known this, Rasmussen’s team, Rabobank, to withdraw him before the race start.
Alexandre Vinokourov may be innocent, but two tests on two days showed a positive and unlike Lance Armstrong, there is no undercurrent to take him down or friction between the ASO/L’Equippe and the rider. This is terrible news, but unfortunately the use of illegal enhancements is endemic by the peloton and must be addressed, even if it can never be completely cleaned up.
What happened? His dad’s blood is one allegation, which Vino smartly countered:
“I heard that I made a transfusion with my father’s blood,” Vinokourov said. “That’s absurd, I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka.”
I haven’t heard anyone mention the terrific impact the withdrawal has had on Andreas Klöden.
At this time, we’re waiting to hear the identity of presumably another rider who tested positive on Stage 11.
On a positive note, if you’re online now, listen to live Eurosport coverage here. Listen to the the audio of their TV coverage while watching a GPS-feed map of lead, chase, and peloton. It’s sweet, plus the commentary is constant, deeper, and overall superior to some other options you may have.