The last two days brought closure to two cycling related drug cases. In one. the US Government announced that it is dropping its case against the former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. In a rare move of fairness, the Government stated that since it had been so vocal when launching the case, it was only fair that they announce the curtailment. Phil Ligget, longtime cycling announcer for Versus and NBC sports tweeted that at last there was closure for Lance and he could move on.
Alberto Contador’s case went the other way. The top Drug Enforcement Body in sports announced that the best general classification rider since Lance Armstrong was banned from Cycling competition and the upcoming Summer Olympics. Contador’s 2010 Tour de France Championship was vacated and given to Andy Shleck who had finished second: Contador is now one of an exclusive club of two riders having had their titles vacated; the other was a cheat whose own Mother said he was a cheat. The classy Luxembourger said he will not consider himself the Tour de France champion until he finishes first. Shleck should do well with his new team Nissan Radio Shack Trek (or whatever order the three names come).
Since Contador is out of the race due to his conviction, Shleck’s main competitors should include Cadel Evans, last year’s winner, Bradley Wiggins with Team Sky, and Levi Leipheimer newly with Omega Pharma Lotto. One hopes Levi’s new teams is strong enough to get him through the climbing stages.
It will be great for the sport if this year’s winner cycles drug-free.