As far as I am concerned he said that performing well without doping in cycling was impossible. That was his version. That does not leave a lot of hope for me as a fan.
It was his version, but he's pretty much correct.
The two reasons he named in the press conference were:
1. If you break the omerta, you're not getting offers from any teams. Which says quite a lot about how the people in charge see doping;
The biggest "names" to fully break the omerta and name names are Manzano, Jaschke and Simeoni. All have had a hard, if not impossible, time, getting signed.
But it depends on how much you break it. There are riders who confess and name some names and still end up racing (Sinkewitz). Riders who totally confess but don't name names that still race (Millar). Riders who don't really confess, but sort of do between the lines and still can't get signed (Heras). And then there's a rider like Gill, who offered his DNA to compare to Puerto blood bags to prove his innocence, but was rebuffed and still can't get signed.
But the negative tends to be the most true. Just shut up, take your suspension, and you'll be back (Basso, Di Luca, Scarponi, etc.). Is that what Hein said to Landis anyway?
2. As much as fans would love to think otherwise, It's currently impossible to win a major race without doping;
Well, BigBoat and others have been saying this. And by looking at the Giro and making a blank guess, I'd speculate the one team I'd feel confident enough to say is riding clean is Garmin, and their guys are all about an hour and a half back right now, and in last place in the team classification with only five guys left riding.
Martial Saugy from the Lausanne lab has said time and time again that every time they test riders' samples it's very clear that not many people are playing fair.
He also constantly laments that even though they can clearly prove that fact with their tests, they can't sanction the riders due to the criteria for a test to be declared positive being insanely high.
This is very true, and sadly rarely reported. Michael Ashenden pointed this out in his interview about how there are many tests where they see EPO, but because if the high level of certainty needed, they are often considered "negative". After being booted from last year's Tour, Ricco said that he should have tested postive for Cera in all of his tests. Well, they did find Cera in all samples, but the burden of proof is so insanely high as you note.
And Lance and Landis and others would have us believe the labs are tainting their samples and treating them unfairly.
I look forward to the results from the tested Giro samples of 08. I want to see how accurate this pro was.
Don't get your hopes up too high. As an example, see Ricco's statement from last year...
I would like to some one of these guys really lose it and start talking about other riders. Instead they can barely bring themselves to talk about their doctors.
I agree with you. Sadly, until there is a whistleblower program and the UCI is cleaned up and figures out it's more important to go after the structure (managers, doctors, trainers, soigners, etc.), and find a way to implement some sort of amnesty to those who name names, it's not going to happen.
And as I have said many times, until they can determine ways to profile power outputs, and most importantly hematology testing for total blood volume, we're going to see blood doping (or microdosing of very difficult to detect human identical EPO like Dynepo or Hemopure) as a major, major problem in the sport.