Cycling and the war on doping...
Reading this article elsewhere on road.cc has left me wishing I had never been quoted as saying "nothing in the sport of cycling can surprise me anymore".
I neither know or particularly want to know Dan Staite but if he ever wanted me to make the short journey across Cambridgeshire for a chat and an explanation I would be more than happy to try and understand what happened and how he came to receive a two year ban for taking performance enhancing drugs.
Doping at the top level of sport I can't accept but I can see why it happens. Commercial pressure, a responsibility to fans and a desire to keep your job can be explanations but never excuses.
But for an amateur rider to appear to have taken EPO and to produce an amazing performance taking on Rapha/Condor/Sharp I am at a loss to fathom. Where was the lie going to end?
I am sat here feeling an element of sympathy for Mr Staite too though. Something somewhere inside his brain must have told him that this was a good idea. And it wasn't...
But it does open up some questions that he might be best placed to answer.
- Is there drug use in UK Pro and senior amateur scene?
- Was he doing this to chase a career and did he feel that doping was the only way to be competitive in cycling?
- How did he manage the risk? I wouldn't have thought it was administered in the same structured way it has been rumoured some pro teams operate.
British Cycling needs to move on and continue to prove its cleanliness...
...Team Sky are looking to appoint Neil Stephens?