Thursday, May 24, 2007

The whole truth

Some notable professional cyclists are confessing to doping these days, but the picture that they paint just strains my credulity.

"Aldag said he carried out blood transfusions to increase his red blood cell count and bought EPO on the Internet. "In 1997, for the first time I began to have a guilty conscience," Aldag, 38, said.

* He bought EPO on the Internet . . . in 1995? From whom? Drug-trafficking internationally? What, over a BBS? The Internet wasn't like it is today - eBay was only started in late 1997, was only first launched in 1995.***

"Zabel said he only took EPO for one week in 1996 before abandoning it because of the side-effects."

* Even though there are few side-effects discernible to the user, and Aldag said he could feel no side-effects. I'd venture a guess that Zabel's side-effects of winning two stages and the sprinter's jersey at the 1996 Tour de France might have been considered worth it.

* Even though an EPO test was only introduced to professional cycling in 2000, 3 to 4 years after the allegedly final doping incident. And Aldag says he used it up until 1999.

How about the whole truth, guys?

I didn't think it was possible, but the Bjarne Riis non-admission doping admission sheds even LESS light on the subject. That may take the record for the longest press release which says precisely nothing.

He was only slightly more explicit in the live press conference.

What's the French statute of limitations on such things? Would it be cynical to guess that everything these guys are confessing to happened well prior to the statute of limitations?

***Ah, Aldag's purchase of EPO on the Internet took place in 2002, which makes much more sense. Which he said he didn't use. Which doesn't.

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