The men who ride thousands of kilometers in a couple of weeks on a push bike might have thought they were being clever by gaming the rules of TUE but a select committee of parliament has reported their excuses strain credibility and has left those who like to bet on cycling wondering if they should be backing their favorite athlete or just the team with the best doctors and doping programme available.
- Is anyone sure Bradley Wiggins is 100% not a cheat?
- Can Team Sky survive another drug scandal?
- Should you bet on cycling if it’s not a clean sport?
- Are other riders in the Tour de France on drugs?
I will not be alone in having put the odd bet on cycling over the years. The temptation to back one of the lycra-clad lunatics as they hurtle their way around the Tour de France sometimes overwhelming, however in the last few years its become apparent that this is no level playing field and that numerous riders beyond the poster boy for drug cheats Lance Armstrong have been taking medication to improve their performance, something so obvious that even the British parliament managed to figure it out.
Bradley Wiggins has assured those that like to bet on sports in the UK that he’s “100% not a cheat” but perhaps the very fact that he, a man with asthma, can win the Tour de France in the first place is a tad suspect, and if a select committee of MPs feels Team Sky has “crossed an ethical line” then you can probably bet on cycling suffering another nasty drug scandal in the near future, if only because if there’s one thing MPs are good at spotting it’s other people being just as unethical as they always are.
Were Team Sky Less Ethical Than Parliament?
Finding precisely those medications that will both be applicable to minor medical ailments AND be of performance enhancing assistance and then gaining exemptions from the cycling ruling body so you can claim to be operating within the rules (whilst pissing all over the spirit of them) does unfortunately mean that any bet on cycling you make should probably only be on those riders who are getting their daily injection of Corticosteroid Triamcinolone by their personal version of Dr Richard Freeman.
Team Sky (source: Wikipedia)
Dr Freeman refused to give evidence to the Digital Culture Media and Sport select committee, which doesn’t look good, and nor does the most successful cyclist in the UK being accused of getting performance enhancing injections in the world’s premier bike race. Naturally you can bet on cycling to claim this is all a storm in a tea cup, however if you’re in the UK gambling news headlines about yet another drug scandal in cycling won’t strip the sport of its last vestige of credibility, think again.
Can You Always Bet On Cycling To Be Worse?
- Lance Armstrong
- Pedro Delgado
- Sean Kelly
- Joachim Halupczok
- Luc Leblanc
- Stefan Schumacher
- Matt White
- Jan Ulrich
That none of this would have come to light at all if it weren’t for the fact the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) had its computer network hacked by the Fancy Bears is most lamentable of all, it would seem you can always bet on cycling to attempt to continue to portray itself as clean simply by fudging the rules a bit to allow for these apparently de rigueur competitive methods that are most likely employed by all the major racing teams, probably with the full knowledge of the governing body.
The Tour de France then might well once again tempt you to bet on cycling this year but should you choose to take advantage of local or UK gambling laws to do so, just remember it’ll be the riders with the best doctors, drugs and Therapeutic Use Exemptions that are likely to prevail and whilst sponsors and the authorities will throw up their hands should any riders get caught and claim they knew nothing about it, that now begins to ring quite hollow and the countdown to cycling’s irrelevance gains speed.