Despite what my critics would have you believe, my rejection of doping is all-encompassing, and not contingent upon learning the identity of the rider(s) involved in the scandal du jour. I have no interest in participating in, let alone leading, a "witch hunt" against Lance, and the effort I dedicated to exposing Levi's 1996 positive test was based solely on my disgust with the hypocrisy of those who viciously attacked Vino after his L-B-L win, while blissfully ignoring the former dopers in their own midst.
That Lance and Bottle are in the spotlight right now for all the wrong reasons is their fault - it's not a result of my having some conditional anti-doping agenda.
I hate doping in cycling because of its potential to wreak havoc with the lives of others, like it ultimately did to me. I repeatedly tell my story as a warning - a desperate one - because, as we see now - even the most moneyed athlete isn't immune to doping's destructive forces (even if he still claims to be clean, and thus doesn't even acknowledge how his alleged involvement with doping is destroying his own life).
Ok, I admit that my argument isn't as well-developed as I'd like it to be, but I don't have limitless time to devote to writing about this stuff. Send your suggestions, complaints and feedback to the usual address.
But that doesn't mean that you, The Public, can't raise your voices and put forth your own suggestions and demands and requests related to anti-doping. In fact, I'd hope you would do just that in the case of the former Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer, who this week claimed that Levi Leipheimer's blood values during the 2005 Tour de France “showed a very high probability of manipulation,” according to German press agency SID.
As Cyclingnews.com advises us, "During his time as a team manager, Holczer was outspoken about doping in cycling and insisted on several occasions that he had confidence in his riders. He famously – and naively – claimed several years ago that he knew they were clean and that he simply didn’t need to run internal tests like those performed by other teams at the time; this later came back to haunt him when both Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France."
In case the dots aren't jumping out at you and connecting themselves, Holczer actually knew about doping on his team but covered it up, to protect his economic interests. Then, he pretended to the public to not know about doping on his team - to support his PR aims. And when his star riders, including my friend Bernhard Kohl, tested positive, he hung them out to dry but then threw them under a bus - in a desperate ploy to hang onto the sponsor and show himself to be "tough" on doping, but apparently also a rube who was easily fooled by those sophisticated cyclists.
One rider he chose not to flick was Levi Leipheimer - because the scandal that followed supposedly would have bankrupted Holczer personally, and it would have been a voluntary descent into hell. While the UCI asked Holczer to remove Levi from the team, Leipheimer was technically not (+) for doping, and so free to compete. Yanking Levi from the Tour team and firing him from the squad would have seen the American respond with the legal equivalent of the "Nuclear Option."
Are you surprised that Holczer is "telling the truth" now because he's promoting his new book, "Garantiert Positiv” (“Guaranteed Positive”) - and presumably has an interest in selling as many as he can?