- Jul 30, 2007
Couldn't disagree more on that particular statement - sorry. It's really a matter of a complete lack of rule of law and rights - moral standards do not apply because they are at worst arbitrary and at best unconsistant (and not to mention often a far cry from being based on unanimous consent). In any other circumstance the actions taken against Michael would be regarded as unjustifiable. To that effect, whether or not he should have been in the tour at all is also besides the point.Klodifan said:my gosh! the bottom line is he evaded three seasons of out of competition tests! he should be grateful!
It remains that Michael Rasmussen was in the tour. So as you say there has to be standards that apply to him as anyone else - standards that also work fairly towards candidates "likely" to be doped, i.e. the favorites. Rasmussen was thrown out with no tests proving him positive. The moment they find a positive test, then its a cut and dry case of disqualification. Until that point anything other than administrative sanctions are simply off the mark.
Regarding the sponsors and whether or not they applied pressure on Theo de Rooij, then I agree that it's likely that they indeed had something to say. How much we will probably never know. But at least its safe to assume that Rabobank (the sponsors) will be candid about this whole affair. Whatever their role is or has been, they will represent themselves towards the public and the press not as the bullies who (maybe prematurely) sacked Rasmussen, but as merely concerned and somewhat confused do-gooders. "We're shocked and will look into this". "Naturally we are not political". "Bla bla bla."
Again the real problem is the underlying moral standard that the sports press has been so eager to represent. A moral standard that the sponors uncritically have to follow, even though often is pure baloney. The press has waged a war on doping but in doing so they have failed to focus on other likewise important issues; the tour itself, the riders' civil rights, the (economical and/or political) motivations of the sponsors, etc.
The press and journalists have been obsessed with cleaning up the sport, but in my opinion they have dirtied it even further. As a former Danish Tour de France commentator recently put it: "Congratulations, the operation is a succes. The Patient is dead."