Professional cycling and Sarbanes-Oxley

Professional cycling is in serious  trouble.  The Tour de France this year was the Enron- Worldcomm moment for the Sport.   2-speed describes it well

Is anyone clean?  Professional cycling is a sport for the elite of the elite.  It requires a combination of superhuman genetics, non-stop training and a will to win that overcomes the agony of climbing 100+ mile hills for 26 straight days.  It appears that the self-selecting group of top riders in the world have found that there is no way to differentiate between themselves other than to push their bodies beyond their already distorted genetics..

The wheels below are Zipp 404’s. They are very sweet. Light but strong and aerodynamic.




But cycling needs another kind of 404.  It could also do with Section 806,  – (whistleblower protection),  and a good bit of Section 406, and Title VIII

Cycling requires  a decisive intervention.  Strong medicine of a different kind.  It is high time for the organising bodies,  the teams and the cyclists to get their act together. If they don’t there will be no sponsors, no TV coverage, no teams, and no tour.  Platitudes will not cut it. 

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8 thoughts on “Professional cycling and Sarbanes-Oxley”

  1. Some guy naked Michael May wrote the following letter printed in the opinions section of the USA Today. I totally agree, cycling is in trouble not because there are dopers, but because it’s the only sport willing to step up to the plate and test the athletes.

    “How many baseball, football, hockey and basketball teams could survive if officials drug-tested every player after every game? There wouldn’t be many teams left.

    I don’t understand how people can be excited to see Barry Bonds try to beat Hank Aaron’s home-run record but then say drugs are a disgrace on the Tour. Get real. I’d bet that drugs are a part of all sports, and I encourage every league to follow the lead of Tour organizers. Test Bonds after each game. Then and only then can critics of the Tour point fingers at the greatest bike race on earth.”

  2. As an avid cyclist and a compliance professional, I agree that cycling needs help. To me, the help needed is more in the way of transparency and process design than in regulatory oversight.

    The sport is living through the dark period now. If it can survive until the first offense means a lifetime ban and the majority of riders are clean, then cycling will go from pariah to pinnacle of the sporting world.

    What cycling needs is more transparency…testing dates, results (not details…just Ok or not), and some accountability for those responsible for managing the testing. Put it on the web…let’s see how many (the vast majority) test clean. Focus on the majority that follow the rules and earn their victories fairly.

    I’m optimistic that cycling will regain its deserved status as one of the great sports. I believe in the long term it will be rewarded for getting out in front of the issue. Until then, I’ll keep cheering for the winners to remain clean.

  3. Well put all – cycling do have a unique chance of showing the way for all other sports, albeit a hard task and quite ungrateful.
    But I’m sure they will succeed as ‘alea iacta est’ – no way back now!

  4. It’s never easy hanging dirty laundry out for all to see. And when the news stories get served up in sound bites all the general population hears is that a huge number of riders and entire teams were either ejected or withdrew.

    I have to agree with those who say to test every athlete after every event – across professionsl sport in general. Draconian, but so long as there’s big purses in actual prizes or advertising dollars at stake with the possibility of avoiding detection it can’t work.

    Doping aside…you have to love a 91-hour race that’s won by a 23-second margin!

  5. Sad to hear today on the news in UK that Discovery is disbanding next year due to sponsors pulling out. I hope that means that “Motorolla” lives on, but its not good.

  6. A great blog with some fantastic information. This is a real inspiration and has helped me loads. I myself have just got into writing blogs and would appreciate any advice in terms of content and blog layout etc. Any feedback would be good so don’t pull back on the punches as feedback is the breakfast of champs so they say. Cheers James

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