Tour de France clean teams rock

The Tour de’ France is a great event. We went and watched the time trial in London last year and then the peleton head out through The City. This article has more commonsense about the Tour and drug testing than any other I’ve read <link>.

The story is that there are three teams in the race that are “clean” – Team Columbia and Garmin-Chipotle and Danish squad CSC Saxo Bank – and they have a new, but really simple and sensible way of testing.

“The new model relies on analyzing an athlete’s test results over time. That way, an athlete’s urine or blood sample on any given day will be compared with the most accurate control possible: himself. Any spike that departs from that baseline of biological values would strongly suggest drug use – without testers even needing to know what drug caused it.”

Brilliant. Don’t look for the drugs that are hard to find; just monitor the athlete against their own benchmark.

This quote is also a gem. “Don’t expect people to do unnatural things unless you want them to have to take unnatural things to do those things.”

The race is so tough that the temptation to do something to make it easier must be enormous. Maybe the organisers could make it a little easier and remove the need to take drugs.

Note also that Team Columbia has won four stages of the Tour de France this year. CSC also holds the yellow jersey (at the moment).


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