Friday, October 08, 2010

In Defence of Kohl and Torri

The bloggeristi seem to have suffered a massive and inexplicable panties-jam after Bernie Kohl’s address at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s symposium earlier this week.

Michael Creed furiously asks how Kohl could assert that it’s impossible to win the Tour without performance enhancing drugs (PEDs.) Well, Kohl placed third a couple years ago and was part of the “program” for many years. Unlike Creed, he was a genuine competitor for a grand tour podium and would probably know something about the requirements to get there.

As for it being “impossible” to win a grand tour without PEDs, I think it might be time to review a couple simple facts:
  1. Nearly every podium position in the last 15+ years at the Tour has attracted at least some suspicion of PED drug use, if not earning a clear violation and indictment.
  2. While they’re part of the pro peloton, you never hear contenders accusing other contenders of cheating. Think about what that implies.
  3. Andy Schleck has repeatedly and vocally offered his sincerest hope that Alberto is cleared of recent allegations. My guess is that’s not only because they’re such good friends.
Kohl’s assertion that most podium finishers are doping, combined with Ettori Torri’s recent (and somewhat hyperbolic) statement that “all cyclists dope” are worth considering for the simple fact that neither man bears anything to gain. Kohl’s assertion that he has no interest in returning to the peloton is sad but understandable. It also frees him to free his conscience without fear of losing all future prospects. Torri has gone beyond anything uttered by the hysterical Dick Pound, the current WADA leadership, or any other control agency (notably the USADA.)

So, good on both of ‘em.

Back to the ranting Creed (after all, is not a screed but a "ranting piece of writing"?)… He seems to claim (it’s tough to parse everything on his blog) that Bernie Kohl gave him a jersey many years ago that had some pills in it, and that they were probably “ephdrea” (sic.) So? Maybe they were Vitamin C. Or estrogen pills. Or heroin. Or chalk.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, I applaud everyone who’s had the courage to publicly shine a light into the darkness. Keep it coming, boys!

1 comment:

  1. Thing is that Torri didn't say "all cyclists dope", he said that all the riders he has spoken to who have been busted for doping give the defence that "everyone is at it", just like Bernard Kohl is doing.

    Torri is explaining the mindset that has resulted in almost every podium place being taken by dopers in the last 15 years. Kohl;'s assertion isn't fact, it's based on his experience. At best it's anecdotal, at worst it's a poor excuse for his own misdemeanours.

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