Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Why Tour De France Winner, Bradley Wiggins, Has Already Claimed He’s Clean
Bradley Wiggins became the first English rider to claim cycling’s top prize as the 2012 Tour De France Winner. Not content with his win in Paris this past Sunday, Wiggins will be on his home turf of London where he’s seeking to win his fourth road racing gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. But, Wiggins already went on the record during the race that he was clean of the pernicious drugs that have dominated the sport for the last decade.
In the middle of the stunning win that saw him atop the highest podium in Paris on Sunday, an Op-Ed in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper appeared on July 13th, authored by Wiggins and defending his record as a clean rider. Why was he writing what amounts to a defense, even as he hadn’t tested postitive or been accused of anything? Because the sport of cycling has been so corrupted over the last decade, a winning rider is guilty until proven innocent.
Just this past June, 7-time winner, Lance Armstrong, was formally charged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for failed drug tests during competition. The USADA is seeking to strip him of his 7 Tour titles. Not only is Armstrong deep in the dope wringer, but we all remember Floyd Landis’ 2006 victory being stripped after testing positive for high testosterone ratios. He proclaimed his innocence almost as loudly as Wiggin’s defend’s his today.
It’s not just the Americans that have been cheating either. Alberto Contador, winner of the 2007, 2009 and 2010 Tour De France tested positive after 2010′s event and was stripped of his title. He even claimed it was bad meat that caused the posistive test. It’s gotten so that a win is almost a tacit admission of cheating.
Not so this year. According to Wiggins, the event is “‘a lot more human now with everything the UCI is doing.’” UCI stands for Union Internationale Cycliste, the body that governs the sport. Wiggins is also perturbed that some are calling this year’s race boring, saying “Quite often, the people who say it’s boring are the ones who say `he’s on drugs anyway.”’
So many top-tier riders–the actual winners and contenders in cycling’s most prestigious event–have tested positive, winners have to defend themselves of wrong-doing when no evidence has even been presented. By all accounts, Andy Wiggins is telling the truth and he won this year’s race fair and square, but it’s cycling’s veneer of corruption that’s made this year’s winner get defensive before he’d been accused of anything or even before the race had finished.
- Yeah Whatever