Friday, July 18, 2008

Kill Le Tour?

Go ahead and roll your eyes: I still believe most of the riders in the Tour de France are clean. For the record, I no longer think a fat man comes down the chimney on December 24th, and I think pro wrestling is totally bogus.

So is it painful to watch another batch of suspected drug cheaters get hauled out of the Tour? Another team drop out in shame, just a year after the same thing happened (and everyone swore that this year, it would be different)?

Sure. Will it kill the sport? You've got to be kidding me.

One keen observer of the scene, Bob Cullinan at, is even calling for a shutdown of the Tour. He argues it's the only way to really drag the doping out into the open, reasoning that a shutdown of the big money machine will force the clean riders to rise up against the dirty ones.

Of course, it won't happen, simply because the big money machine is so big. Despite all the scandals that have clouded cycling in the past, crowds still turn out, and bike geeks like me still hanker for gear just like the big boys ride.

Look: it's just like major league baseball. We can wring our hands all we want about the steroid users, but exactly how many people boycotted the ballparks when they had a pretty good idea the many of the game's biggest stars were doping?

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