Bottled hypocrisy

Monday, 29 March 2010

Liquigas have won a court case againt Manuel Beltran, see cyclingnews.com for the full story. I think they were right to take taken Beltran to court following his positive test for doping in the midst of the 2008 Tour de France. The Spaniard caused the team embarrassment and reputational damage and if grounds exist to pursue a cheat, all the better.

But the Italian superteam has followed the news with a preposterous press release:

[The case was brought] primarily by the desire to send a strong message against those who destroy cycling. Liquigas Sport has always maintained strict internal discipline against doping, and this action proves it. We also believe it is a historic event for the whole world of cycling, as well as an important precedent in the battle to protect the sporting ethic.”

So says Liquigas Sport chairman Paolo del Lago. Pull the other one! This is the team that hired Ivan Basso, despite Article 12 of the UCI’s Pro Tour code prohibiting a team from signing a banned rider within a four year period. The same incident saw the association of pro teams open criticise the team for breaking the ethical code and Liquigas quit this group.

So protecting the sporting ethic? I don’t think so, this is a team that exists to sell bottled gas, not to promote ethics.

David N. Welton March 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Interestingly, but not really related to cycling, Italy's antitrust organization recently fined Liquigas for having participated in a liquid gas "cartel".

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