So, now Alberto Contador, arguably the top Grand Tour rider in the world right now, gets wrapped up in a positive B-sample.  Funny enough, the outrage from the peloton seems to be a bit muted right now.  Many of the reactions I’ve read are “meh, we expected this” and “see, you can’t win a tour without doping.”  It’s funny that they’re either giving the benefit of the doubt to Alberto, or just so apathetic it’s sickening. 

For those who don’t know, his sample after the 2nd rest day showed *traces* of clenbuterol, apparently a very nominal performance booster at all.  (Not on the level of say, EPO or testosterone.)  What’s even more amusing is that the labs have found traces of plastic in his sample as well – suggesting blood doping.  He claims it came from eating tainted meat.  If that’s the case, wouldn’t his teammates have had it as well?  Don’t they all eat the same meals together?  I’m fairly certain that the UCI and French authorities would have kept a pretty stringent eye on Vinokourov after his return from a blood doping ban. 

Surprisingly silent in this is Armstrong, the man they claim doped his way to 7 victories. 

What’s even more interesting is that the latest batch of files to the UCI for teams to acquire ProTour status was missing one team – Astana, Contador’s soon to be former team. 

I’ve put off posting this awhile to let some of the facts percolate a little bit.  I guess it’s time to summarize my views on things. 

I make no bones that watching Lance Armstrong (and the rest of US Postal) is what lead me to pick up cycling in the first place.  I watched that 2004 TdF while I was in transition between jobs.  The stage where Landis and Azcevedo set such a brutal pace and the time trial up Alpe d’Huez were the memorable points of that tour.  It made me sad to think just a few years later that Landis was caught doping. 

For awhile, I liked to believe that he was right.  But when his B-sample came back positive, that sealed the deal for me.  I scoffed with other riders at the amount of time, effort, and most importantly, money, that he pumped into his defense. 

Fast forward to the start of the Tour of California this year, when Landis made his claims of systematic and routine doping practices within US Postal.  Lance’s camp fired back with a series of emails between himself and Floyd that paints Floyd in an even more negative light. 

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