I thought Mark Morical’s cycling commentary “A Victory For The Ages” would be about Bend cyclist Chris Horner’s Vuelta win, but it was mostly about doping.
At least Morical got his facts straight and allowed that it was an impressive performance. Probably the reason Horner wanted “no questions about doping” was that he’s tired of the same questions again and again.
Then Pierre Kolisch’s letter said that Horner had a “well-choreographed absence from the post-race (drug) test.”
That’s wrong: It wasn’t “the” post-race drug test; it was an “out-of-competition” test, like pro cyclists get all season long. And the USADA said that Horner was not at fault — the problem was a miscommunication between testing agencies. So Horner has never been sanctioned for doping, never been directly linked to it and has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The USADA’s mistake, along with Horner wanting to talk about cycling, not doping, is enough to “taint” his victory and make him a “juicer”? That’s not right.
Professional cycling has had drug problems for a long time, but things have gotten better since 2008: There’s more testing, better tests, and a “biological passport” record to continually monitor each rider’s body chemistry. And Horner’s made the latter public to show he has always raced clean. We should take Horner at his word and celebrate his Vuelta win — and interview him for his hometown newspaper!