how cycling cleaned up its act in 2008

Oct 16, 2010
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2008, an interesting year.

After at least four years of conflict between UCI (Verdrug'em & Pat) and ASO (lead by Patrice Clerc), Patrice Clerc is shown the door (fired). Jean-Etienne Amaury (son of ASO's founder) takes over citing 'disagreements' with Clerc as the reason. How's this for a disagreement:
Clerc has called for the resignation of the president of the ICU, Pat McQuaid, and has attacked the governing body over the sport's doping crisis. "Perhaps they didn't feel the cataclysm was coming, in which case they have failed in their duty. Or else they saw it coming and hid the fact, which is irresponsible. Or else they caused it to rebuild on the remains on what was left, and that is criminal. In any case, the system has failed."
It seems Clerc was genuinely interested in cleaning up cycling, and he saw that to achieve that, it was necessary to take distance from UCI.

Also, Clerc was interested in reintroducing national teams to the TdF in order to take some power away from the sponsors and UCI.
Not to mention, he was a furious opponent of Lance's comeback in 2009.
Commercial fail!
So, goobye Patrice.

So Amaury Jr. takes over and his plans are clear: globalize the TdF in cooperation with UCI and give UCI full control over antidoping.
I guess Contador's positive in 2010 should be seen as a administrative error.

I assume still in 2008 (with Pat hanging medals around BC riders' necks in Bejing and the uncooperative Clerc out of the way) plans were forged to produce a British TdF winner. In the same year in several interviews Brailsford announces his vision of a British TdF winner in the next five years.

ASO's new "zero antidoping policy" got some unexpected support from someone who dedicated his life to antidoping.
In case in 2012 the ASO had not yet understood how much money they could make by having a British winner, Sky made sure to point it out to them:
Sky, at one of their bi-annual meetings, briefed the Tour de France organisers ASO about his precise training regime in Tenerife with his personal coach, Tim Kerrison, making a PowerPoint presentation. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/tour-de-france/9385050/Tour-de-France-2012-furious-Bradley-Wiggins-hits-out-over-drugs-slurs-as-Thibaut-Pinot-wins-stage-eight.html
The rest is history.


Here's a good 2012 interview with Patrice Clerc looking back at 2008 and expressing a sobering view of the current state of cycling:
Clerc: "During the Tour de France 2008, when we conducted with Pierre Bordry [former president of the French Agency for fight against doping] policy controls that bore fruit, the Amaury group decided to make peace with the UCI. It was a commercial decision. The company chose to change their stance regarding doping in deciding not to intervene in this sport policy to only take on the role, more comfortable, of the organizer. At that time, I clearly explained that we could not come to terms with the UCI, because it was beyond the pale. This is one of the reasons I got out the door of ASO.
...
Q: In the absence of ASO reaction, is the sports ministry to intervene?

Clerc: I do not think so because it is not a Franco-French issue. We need a revolution so that cycling gets out of this situation of permanent compromise of arrangements between small groups of friends.
....
Q: Rabobank leaves, Nike drops Armstrong, will the "revolution" happen through sponsors?

Clerc: Maybe the reaction will come from business partners or distributors. But I'm not sure. Because the success of the Tour is undeniable: the hearings are good, the papers abound in newspapers in July, local authorities are struggling to accommodate steps. And since 1998, the Festina affair, the Tour has survived many earthquakes. The fall of Armstrong is the last episode of the great drama of the Tour de France will celebrate its 100th edition! I fear that this revolution will never happen.
http://www.lemonde.fr/sport/article/2012/10/23/patrice-clerc-le-cyclisme-a-besoin-d-une-revolution_1779870_3242.html#uAM32iY8Y6lydLPb.99
.........
One of many things i'm asking is:

- perhaps Clerc's dismissal and Amaury taking over in 2008 represents the "truce" JV has spoken about so often?
All eyes in one direction from that point onwards?

- if previous question is answered positively, then what kind of a fluke was Contador's 2010 positive?

- how does the AFLD fit in? corrupt?
 
Yep, between Puerto and Clerc's departure, cycling was moving in the right direction and a lot was achieved anti-doping wise. Since then it has continually gone in the wrong direction (*except the Contador positive hiccup), now with ASO celebrating when the tests have failed and they haven't caught anyone.
 
Good point. 2006-2008 is the one period in recent times when the big guns don't seem untouchable - as well as Puerto you have Landis, Vino, Mayo, and Ricco testing positive at the Tour. In the 6 years since then you really only have Contador, which was nearly swept under the carpet, and Frank Schleck.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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If I am not mistaken the positives in the 2008 Tour were because the French Federation on someone other than the UCI did the testing.

Contador's result was leaked by the German lab wasn't it? It was months after the fact.

I think the OP makes a lot of sense.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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Nick C. said:
If I am not mistaken the positives in the 2008 Tour were because the French Federation on someone other than the UCI did the testing.

Contador's result was leaked by the German lab wasn't it? It was months after the fact.

I think the OP makes a lot of sense.
Yes. No one would have ever known about the positive, or it would have been buried in a footnote in a report unrelated to the event no one knew existed. As I recall, the lab engaged in ethical blackmail, giving McQuaid a chance to announce it himself (I admit I may be imagining things, last year some goofball stood up at 20mph, giving me a third concussion, and I haven't been quite right since the first one. )
 
Nick C. said:
If I am not mistaken the positives in the 2008 Tour were because the French Federation on someone other than the UCI did the testing.

Contador's result was leaked by the German lab wasn't it? It was months after the fact.

I think the OP makes a lot of sense.
AFLD did the testing. There is the wonderful vide on he web of when they caught Beltran. He was shocked that they were actually asking him for a test. He even rode across a field to avoid the tester but they got him. He looked utterly shocked that he was even being ask for a test.

No doubt avoiding testing or giving riders time to prepare for a test if the norm.
 
thehog said:
AFLD did the testing. There is the wonderful vide on he web of when they caught Beltran. He was shocked that they were actually asking him for a test. He even rode across a field to avoid the tester but they got him. He looked utterly shocked that he was even being ask for a test.

No doubt avoiding testing or giving riders time to prepare for a test if the norm.
interesting. Manuel Beltran? during which race? thanks
 
pastronef said:
interesting. Manuel Beltran? during which race? thanks
2008 Tour. I tried searching for the video but can't remember what platform it was on. It was Norwegian TV. NOS 1, perhaps?

The AFLD tester cornered him. Beltran pretends to ride away but the guy wouldn't let him. Beltran was gesticulating to suggest "this has never happened before, why are you testing me".

Funny.
 
Sep 15, 2014
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thehog said:
2008 Tour. I tried searching for the video but can't remember what platform it was on. It was Norwegian TV. NOS 1, perhaps?
Probably Norwegian TV2, NOS, I believe, is a Dutch network?
 
Ys Beltran literally rode into a field to get away- then turned back - funny

08 was a lost chance - many many retests for CERA were swept under the carpet that autumn - about four guys on Saxo alone

This was confirmed by two riders from that tour.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Snipersan, did you lose your job or something? You've been getting quite deep into doping history over the last few days.
hehehe
:eek:
i definitely should be working on something else right now. But if one lacks motivation, the Clinic is always there to provide brilliant distraction.

ok, I'm hooked. I'll admit.
Any tips for rehab?
 
May 19, 2010
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thehog said:
2008 Tour. I tried searching for the video but can't remember what platform it was on. It was Norwegian TV. NOS 1, perhaps?

The AFLD tester cornered him. Beltran pretends to ride away but the guy wouldn't let him. Beltran was gesticulating to suggest "this has never happened before, why are you testing me".

Funny.
According to news reports in the Norw. press it was ZDF's footage.

Ricco also did a runner at that tour. First there was the race to win the stage, then they raced to escape the testers. The 2008 Tour was good value.
 
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