Thursday’s mail bag: License issues, dopers and those pesky reporters

It's not about the licenseDear VeloNews,Call it bureaucracy, call it fair, unfair or simply logical (see"Jeansongets U.S. license"). As a competitor myself, and without goinginto the issue of one's getting a license from Canada versus from USA Cycling, I just want to know if Ms. Jeanson is going to give her fellow competitors a reason why she tested with a high hematocrit before world's last year. Like a few years ago, Paola Pezzo never bothered to explain to any of us competing against her as professional mountain bikers how she tested positive for Nandrolone. That same year, as she won

It’s not about the license
Dear VeloNews,
Call it bureaucracy, call it fair, unfair or simply logical (see”Jeansongets U.S. license“). As a competitor myself, and without goinginto the issue of one’s getting a license from Canada versus from USA Cycling, I just want to know if Ms. Jeanson is going to give her fellow competitors a reason why she tested with a high hematocrit before world’s last year.

Like a few years ago, Paola Pezzo never bothered to explain to any of us competing against her as professional mountain bikers how she tested positive for Nandrolone. That same year, as she won many races, she never bothered to explain to us, the ones who really deserve an explanation, what happened there.

I am still waiting…
Jimena Florit

Follow the rules not the innuendo
Dear Editors and VeloNews readers,
Y’all are welcome to speculate on Geneviève innocence or guilt.USA Cycling is not. They issue licenses based on the rules of the organizationand the laws of this country. I’m not inclined to have a lot of faith inaltitude tents, so I’m incredulous myself, but USA Cycling is not at libertyto say, “We have no evidence to speak of, but… well… We thinkyou’re cheating. So although you’re a U.S. resident, we’re not going toissue you a license, because we don’t feel like it.”

Is that the response you expected from USA Cycling? USAC is not in aposition to demand medical records from anyone, you, me, or Geneviève.Under the jurisdiction of USADA, Geneviève will probably receivemore out of competition tests than any North American except Lance, Horner,and the Barry family. I’m as anti-doping as the next guy, but the onlything worse for this sport than doping is rampant speculation about dopingfrom people who are not in a position to know what’s actually going down.

The situation is not as simple as it seems. Look at all the Nandrolonepositives. Did you know that Nandrolone is another name for DECA NOR 50which is the most popular steroid for recreation bodybuilders, but remainsin your system for longer than any other steroid. I can’t personally speakabout Amber’s or Kirk’s or Scott’s character, but none of them are stupid.If you were going to take a steroid, would you take the only one that staysin your system for up to a year? Me thinks not. If you were going to testpositive for a contaminant, it would most likely be DECA. I’m not sayingthey’re absolved of any responsibility for knowing what goes into theirbodies, but I’m near certain none of them took it intentionally. This “getthose damn dopers” attitude is not going to solve our problems.

On a somewhat related note, in a Wednesday letter, Paul Spencer writes:How can any country that doesn’t automatically send their current nationalchampion to the Olympics be taken seriously?

He uses this as an example of why USA Cycling is clearly superior toCanadian cycling. Surely you’re kidding, Mr. Spencer? Is this an attemptat irony? We don’t send our current national champion to the Olympics.I actually don’t know of any country that does.
Geoff Rapoport
San Diego, California

It’s not the bureaucracy that’s doing it
Dear editor,
I am responding to some of the comments made about GenevièveJeanson’s licensing woes. Jason Gareau writes that the Canadian CyclingAssociation doesn’t seem to want to support Jeanson in her quest for aracing license. He and a couple of other readers state that the Jeanson’situation is due to some culturally determined monolithic bureaucracy thatpervades Canadian life.
 
Jeanson was unable to compete in last year’s Worlds or gain a validCanadian license this year due to an abnormally high hematocrit level priorto the World Championships last October. Canadian Cycling Association regulationsstate she must explain this unusual level. To date, she hasn’t submittedthe documentation required to explain this result. The solution seems simpleto me. Submit the necessary paperwork that explains why your level wasabove accepted limits, submit it early enough so you don’t jeopardize yourseason, get your license and then you are free to compete for your countryand any  team you like.

This has nothing to do with defective Canadian institutions (contraryto what some maple leaf cyclists think, the CCA does not represent ourentire nation). Further, the CCA is merely doing what it should do – wait for a legitimate explanation of an elevated hematocrit level from one ofits former licensees. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Jeanson or anyoneelse. And since when is a high hematocrit test result “just an excuse”for not issuing a rider a license or preventing them from competing, asPaul Spencer claims? Please. And a wee bit of hysteria comes from JeanGareau. He claims this is just another example of Canada doing its bestand brightest wrong. A little exaggeration perhaps? This is just an athletewho failed a health test and has yet to meet the criteria for setting thesituation straight. No reason to pull down the flag and move the familysouth, surely.
 
Jeanson needs to meet her obligations then get on with her season.She is a great athlete whom I have followed closely since her early days.I am looking forward to watching her this season but she needs to stepto the plate on this one. And I hope against hope that she is clean. Otherwiseit’s another cyclist not worthy of cycling fans’ respect and admiration.
 
Sincerely,
Sandra Bender
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Don’t blame the messenger
Editors,
To be sure, sports reporters love to jump on a doping story in cyclingor any other sport, but reporters aren’t causing the drug scandals andthey aren’t fabricating a story when drugs kill an athlete.  I reallyenjoy professional cycling but I can’t understand why the sport can’t cleanitself up.

It’s pretty ridiculous for those like Bradley McGee (see “McGeelashes out” in Monday’s EuroFile) to urge us to focus on the athleteswho aren’t cheating if we can’t tell the difference. Those in the pelotonwho are “clean” but know who the dopers are and keep silent aboutit are every bit as guilty.

Complicity perpetuates the problem and convinces me, like Jean-PaulEscande, former head of the French National Doping Commission, that cyclingprefers not to face the problem.  If the public abandons professionalcycling it will be cyclists that cause it, not reporters.
David Gilbert


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