Administering the final TKO combination to cycling's credibility, was news that the current leader and likely winner on Sunday has been thrown out by his team for not following the rules:
Team spokesman Jacob Bergsma said Rasmussen's withdrawal was ordered by their sponsor, Rabobank. It was linked to "incorrect" information that Rasmussen gave to the team's sports director over his whereabouts last month. Rasmussen missed random drug tests on May 8 and June 28, saying he was in Mexico. But a former rider, Davide Cassani, said he had seen Rasmussen in Italy in mid-June.Naturally Rasmussen insists he's clean. Blah, blah, blah. We've heard this before ... from Lance Armstrong. I have a hard time believing him with the current state of the sport. Was he just the one clean rider that dominated the sport? That's more xenophobia on the part of Americans. Of course Lance Armstrong doped, he was just a hell of a late smarter about it. We'll choose to ignore the past in this instance, but this last year of cycling should force to sport to take an extended time out and regroup.
Does cycling have a chance to become revelant and credible again? What actions must the sport take?
One option the Tour de France has it to say screw it, and let doping persist and just ignore it. That's the easy way out, and the incorrect choice despite surprising support.
Despite the onslaught of doping charges and cheating I believe their heading in the right direction. The sport has been so dirty for years, that a nasty bloodbath of news needed to be washed out of the system. More is coming. Forcing as many drug tests and regulations as possible isn't fun, but eventually the public embarrassment for guys like Rasmussen should be the biggest motivation. It'll be a long uphill climb.