Because it used to be, like, a mark of distinction.
“Young riders have gone mad. They do not understand that doping is no longer acceptable in cycling.” Alexandre Vinokourov, suspended pro doper and head of Team Astana, on why five of his riders have tested positive. Kazhakstanskaya Pravda, Nov. 28, 2014.
Except for, you know, that we’re on the same team.
“They are four idiots that have nothing to do with me.” Vincenzo Nibali, explaining the distance between himself and riders who were with him at Tour of Oman, Milano-Sanremo, Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and the Tour de Romandie. VeloNews, Nov. 21, 2014.
Which is why we’re renewing the team’s license for 2015.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) views the positive tests for EPO by two riders of the same team — Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy — as an extremely serious situation and one which raises questions about the management of the team and the ethics which are upheld within it.” UCI statement about the 5 recent positive doping tests on Team Astana. VeloNews, Oct. 8, 2014.
No dessert, sure, or maybe a spanking.
“It’s not right to say that they should have missed Lombardy or Almaty.” Roger Legeay, head of pro cycling anti-doping movement, defending Team Astana’s cynical timing ploy that allowed them to race the final monument of the year despite multiple team doping offenses. Ten Ring News, Oct. 12, 2014.
But the runner-up will be invited back to a special award ceremony and given a winner’s trophy with a really cool t-shirt.
“Davidenok and Astana literally stole close to $100,000 from the rest of the field, and there is no way we are going to get that money back; bull-shit.” Canadian pro Michael Woods, on Astana doper Ilya Davidenok’s win at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, scooping up $100k in prize money while riding the field off his wheel and making the rest of the field “his bitch.” CyclingTips.au, Nov. 28, 2014.
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