pjclinch wrote:The issues for me are mainly that Sky came on to the scene saying they were going to be cleaner than the whitest clothes in a Persil advert, and transparent and accountable with it... and that just doesn't stand up any more. It's not against the rules, but it's the sort of thing that doesn't sit well with people.
Did BW go out of his way to cheat? I don't think so, but David Millar's suggestion that Sky were gaming the system, and Shane Sutton effectively confirming that, again fails to sit well with being the most ethically pure game in town.
I don't think BW deserves to lose any special shirts, but knowing he got at least the nice yellow one legally but supplied with Rocket Fuel that was injected rather at odds with his autobiography's claim of no needles does mean I think a lot less of the achievements, and the athlete that made them.
I didn't like Sky on the simple grounds that the most effective tactic they use is spending more money on riding firepower than anyone else can afford and letting them wear everyone else down, 10 out of 10 for effectiveness but about 3 for spectator interest. But when the things one might like them for (being clean, transparent and accountable) turn out to be dubious PR then I get to like them even less.
The F1 comparison is not a good one. F1 is in part a technical development competition, and building a car that works most effectively in the rules is very much part of the game. The point of UCI rules is generally to take the technical aspects out, or at least reduce them. if everyone is on an effectively interchangeable bike then it's about the athlete. F1 cars are not interchangeable, pro peloton bikes are. Asthma medicines are, as I increasingly understand it, not either.
This was the interesting thing for me, it is now the "ethics" as opposed to the actual doping.
The concept is that they are using medicinal products for purposes other than treatment, in other words to increase performance.
Technically there was nothing illegal, but this has always been the practice, use drug until it gets on to the banned list then stop and find a new one.
What could be interesting is if this results in a change in doping laws.
Is it practicable to make it a "doping offence" to use any drug for a purpose other than the designated medicinal benefit?