Bradley Wiggins Should Have Stayed in Race, According to UCI President
OK, this is probably my last Tour post for a while... back to business, software and the village after this, but I heard this on the radio over breakfast and I can't see much about it online.
One of the most disappointing things for English Tour fans about Moreni's failed dope test [tdfblog] is the departure of his Cofidis team-mate Bradley Wiggins from the race, days before the last (and most Wiggins-winnable) of the individual time trials.
In an interview this morning on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme at about 07:45 (in case you can Listen Again to it), there was the question:
"We've had whole teams withdrawing. It's not just the two who test positive. It's the sense that those are the tip of an iceberg, isn't it? The whole team pulls out and you don't really know how many others in that team are affected by the same behaviour."
and UCI president Pat McQuaid answered:
"Well, I mean, the fact that the whole team pulled out is something which the UCI is quite annoyed about, in actual fact, and it was that the organisers asked the teams to pull out. It wasn't the fact that the teams pulled out of their own accord. The organisers said to them, as a result of the positive, that they got the one person and they said they want the whole team out of it. That actually goes against the rules and it shouldn't have happened. Erm, so, from that point of view, you can't put anything on the other riders. You can't say that the other riders are up to anything just because they're not in the race. They were asked by the organisers to get out."
The interview continues to point out how there's much more testing in cycling now than ever before, and more than in any other sport (remember, Puerto implicated footballers and others too), but it's interesting how the whole-team-out approach is criticised for removing the other riders on a team from the race testing!
Anyway, by the UCI president's reasoning, Bradley Wiggins should still be racing. Well done to UCI and the tour for catching Moreni and almost-well-done to Moreni for admitting it, but boo Cofidis for pulling the whole team out!