_freeman
^

Allez Cycling’s credibility

Jose Vicente ‘JV’ Araneta (The Freeman) - December 17, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Is the sport of cycling really facing credibility problems?

This is a very good question to ask considering what is happening in the sport today. Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his wins since the US anti-doping authorities heard hearsay evidence and maybe facing civil and criminal cases in the future. On the other hand, his former teammates who gave the testimonies against LA, were given 6-month suspensions, bulk of it during the off-season or where allowed to retire honorably.

Now, there is a group that wants to take over the UCI, cycling’s governing body who everybody believes is the root cause of the sports problem. “Change Cycling Now” is faced by 3-time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond, who will challenge incumbent president Pat McQuaid. Other members of this group includes journalists Paul Kimmage and David Walsh, US anti-doping expert Michael Ashenden and USADA chief Travis Tygart.

But does CCN have the credibility to change cycling for good? I am very suspicious of Lemond’s statement- “If we want to restore public confidence and sponsors, we must act quickly and decisively. Otherwise, cycling will die”. No Greg, cycling is like rock and roll, it will never die.

A change of leadership won’t mean anything without the support of the cyclists, just like in any organization. These anti-doping folks are so inebriated with their righteousness that they forgot where the real power rests. And until the cyclists themselves get together and form their own union, nothing will change, except that the Tour de France will more powerful than the UCI.

I would hope that cyclist would have the same union like the NFL players union. Early this year, the NFL suspended coaches and players of the New Orleans Saints for allegedly setting up bounties given to players who can inflict injuries to opposing players forcing them to leave the game. The suspensions ranged from indefinite suspension to three games. In an NFL season that has only 16 games, a 3-game suspension means 1/5 loss of salary.

The NFL is the most successful sport league in the USA and the most powerful. If player’s socks are too high or too low, a player gets fined. That’s how powerful and controlling the NFL is. In fact, the Super Bowl, the NFL championship, is considered as an unofficial holiday in the US.

With this backdrop, the NFL probably believed that those suspended wouldn’t fight back. But one player, Jonathan Vilma, did. He was suspended for the entire season but with the help of the NFL Players Association, he was able to clear his name and reinstated. Now, Vilma is not a Tom Brady yet the NFLPA supported him.

Now can you imagine a cyclist, a domestique at that, who tests positive? Who will he turn to if he believes the results were wrong? Will CCN help the rider?  Of course not! He will have to pay his lawyers from his pockets to fight the test. With cyclist salaries a pittance compared to the NFL, what chances do you think they’ll have? So spare me the rhetoric, what CCN should now is to help the cyclist form their own credible union, one that truly for the cyclists, not for show. (FREEMAN)

CHANGE CYCLING NOW GREG LEMOND JONATHAN VILMA LANCE ARMSTRONG MICHAEL ASHENDEN NEW ORLEANS SAINTS NFL NO GREG PAUL KIMMAGE AND DAVID WALSH PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with