Biscuit said:There's an incredible amount of negativity on this thread!
When i read the news I just figured that Fleeman was taking steps to give himself a better shot at returning to ProContinental level in 2011. He had a bad injury while with Cervelo last year and didn't ride enough to earn a contract renewal. If he has a good season at continental level with Raleigh this year he can show prospective employers his palmares and his blood results.
Is that really so bad?
He obviously recognises that he had a bad year last year and thinks that can put in some better performances this year (in the context of racing at a lower level). He is rightly backing himself to step back up again. But he is astute enough to realise that if he does put in the improvements he needs to return to the top level, there will be suspicions, especially in view of him now being outside the blood passport system.
It seems sensible to me and his situation is rather different from most aspiring semi-pros.
He could have expressed it better though, and recognised that suspicions would be understandable, rather than small minded.
Sometimes I do wonder what some of the posters on here want the riders to do about doping. They can't dope (obviously). They can't win and pass tests, because that means they are beating the system. They can't take a stand against doping, because it's smoke and mirrors or BS. They can't improve, because that means they are doping. They can't appear on the scene with an amazing talent, because that means they doped as an amateur. Sure, be sceptical but why criticise riders who, on the face of it, are trying to do what the sport needs?