Life post suspension is a particularly difficult time for a professional cyclist. Each day is a roller coaster of emotions - particularly when you are at the end of your career anyway. A real low note to end on.
Other "clean" cyclists decide early on in a promising career to call it quits early on because of personal ethics and being unable to reconcile themselves with the hypocrisy within professional teams. There are many life stories out there...
Either way the last few years in cycling have been tough ones.
The past, we now know, is littered with obfuscation, deflection and bare faced lies. The present is a dash of headlining confessionals, half truths and ill funded anti doping agencies wrestling to address gaping holes in testing regimes and the lack of a cross jurisdictional/regional testing regime, leaving a massive void where international riders are concerned.
There are 1178 ranked male MTB riders on the UCI today. That is MTB Elite XC list only.
According to a press release on Cycling South Africa there are 950 ProTour / Continental riders on the biological passport system. (the only reason I chose MTB is because that was the only consolidated list on the UCI site - road riding is divided on a continental competition basis). This implies that not all riders are on the passport system which means the playing field is not yet level.
The 50 riders tested in SA recently are not all on the biological passport yet, in fact I guess only a few are and of those that are most only have a few tests in their passport - hardly enough for a baseline I think.
But what about the future? Can we contain this thing that is threatening sport in general - not just cycling.
TRC's are for past and present transgressors.
The future cyclists are our only hope really. The next generation - given the right grounding, the right guidance from those willing to choose the "blue pill", the road less travelled, the high road could mean that in 10 years when the next generation ride the grand tours - that they may do it clean. But for other sports this may not be so easy, their Rubicon is yet to be crossed. The Oz Crime Commission is only the start. Thank god cycling may be on the road to healing...