Following up on what started as "the French, worst losers ?" a couple of events have unfolded or will unfold soon that are worth mentioning.
Pat Mac Quaid, Hein Verbruggen's protégé, has been elected new President of the UCI. The face changes, the same politics will probably prevail, business is the priority, not fair races, not athletes' health.
In one week, 11 Belgians will appear in court, likely to hear that their case will be judged on the penal. (three of them were already suspended - 4 years - by the sport's federation last year).
Who are they ?
A vet, well known as a major source of supplies in several sports esp. cycling and horse racing
Two middle persons
Seven pro riders, including former world champ, twice UCI champ and multiple major classics winner Johan Museeuw (2x Paris-Roubaix & 2 x Tour of Flanders among others), first class rider Jo Planckaert, three times cyclo-cross world champion Mario Declerq and less known figures.
What are they accused of ?
Following extensive police investigations carried during 2002 and 2003, a number of illicit practices and products have been either discovered or irrefutable availability recorded.
The list of products would impress any hospital in the geriatric, cancer, dialysis and a couple of other departments. Learn:
Aranesp (extract from Chinese hamster ovary-used for kidney diseases)
Eprex (from mamals - used for patients with cancer)
Pregnyl (extract from women placenta)
Somatropin (growth hormone)
Geref 50 (growth hormone)
DHEA (also called the "super hormone" or "the mother of all hormones")
Synachten (a popular cortico-steroid known in the peloton as "Dr X's candy")
Solar Cortef (same)
Osandrolone (anabolic steroid)
Undestor (testosterone also known as Andriol)
Salbutamol (also known as Ephedrine)
A few products that did not make it to the internet yet
...and one unnamed product which has no known medical reference.
Many were available in ready-to-use syringes, others were pills or tablets.
The quantities involved show at evidence that besides personal consumption, most of those people were actually part of a distribution chain.
It is not uninteresting to note that these riders were never caught "positive"....
It is now known (scientifically tested and conclusively proved) that even EPO can be kept below critical hematocrit level if administered smartly by experienced doctors.
Expect further developments, the iceberg starts crackling.