What’s better than one doping headline on a TdF rest day?
Two? Nope. How about three? Incidentally, none of these included the Bradley Wiggins episode. Back to the three yesterday.
Incidentally, none of these include the Bradley Wiggins episode – which the dropping of expletives aside, now looks incredibly ironic. That Sky also has the doctor Geert Leinders in their employ notwithstanding.
The day kicked off with news that the Cofidis team hotel had been raided. Remy di Gregorio was taken into custody, provisionally suspended by his team (Cofidis) whilst there were two other persons also taken into custody. All of which relates to an investigation by the French Central Office against Environmental Damage and Public Health (OCLAESP) stretching back to last year (when di Gregorio rode for Astana).
Cofidis are on record to say they believe it was an “isolated case”.
However, there were reports that di Gregorio was the subject of a phone tap, so if there were other parties there is the chance they will be identified.
Secondly, we had Lance Armstrong re-filing an amended complaint to the United States District Court after his initial 80 page lawsuit was dismissed in a timeframe that left all cycling fans (and probably Lance himself) reeling with not only its speed but ferocity.
The amended lawsuit is now only 25 pages long. However, interestingly enough, it does not contain one single declaration from Lance. The original did not either.
Which means Lance has still not gone under oath (this time at least) to deny any wrong doing. However it does mean his lawsuit boarders on being baseless.
Either way, if judge Sam Sparks first reply is anything to go by, we should have our answer soon enough.
Last, but by no means least, was the news that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had given a lifetime bans to consultant team doctor Dr Michele Ferrari, team trainer Jose Marti, and team doctor Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral.
All as a result of the same investigation that Armstrong is presently appealing and all in relation to their actions during their time with the US Postal/Discovery Channel team.
This prevents all three from ever again having any involvement in sports that are a signatory to the WADA code and was accepted by all three men without contest.
It is also probably the most significant ‘saga’ of the day (trumping the poor French) as it represents one of the first major efforts to remove the men responsible for supplying, educating and administering doping products to riders.
The significance should not be underestimated and the USADA should be applauded for such a positive step.
The only other question remaining for now is how much bigger could the headlines get for the second rest day?
It’s going to take quite a lot to beat what happened during the first.
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