Friday, October 12, 2012

Samuel Sánchez stands up for Lance























Lance Armstrong's definite fall from grace has provoked many a reaction during the last 24 hours. Most are saying "about time", but there's still a considerable minority in the peloton steadfastly standing by the disgraced Texan. In what is likely to come as a disappointment to many, Euskaltel leader and icon Samuel Sánchez appears to be one of the latter.

"Until the contrary is proved, he remains innocent", he told the Associated Press ahead of embarking on the Tour of Beijing's third stage on Thursday. "Lance has overcome many controls, and even until today he has never been found positive in any of them", he continued, clearly swayed by Lance and his lawyer's over-used, and unfounded one at that, mantra of Lance being "the most tested athlete in the world".

"About all the accusations that have been poured against him, we have to see what the goal of them all are, whether there's an economic motive there or they just want to harm his image. We still need to wait and see what decision the UCI reaches and see what they rule. The UCI are all the time saying they're working on today's cycling, not the cycling of the past", he added.

While Samu's amiable ways, welcoming grin and ever-dimplomatic answers have made him astoundingly popular, and rightly so, over the last decade both domestically as well as internationally, his answers in this case leave a lot to be desired for those looking for a big-name rider in the pack to step forward, break the omertá and tell Lance just what kind of damage he's done to their sport and their profession. Samu is arguably Spain's only true great at present never to have been implicated in doping-related activities, save for Joaquin Rodríguez perhaps, and as such could have been his nation's leading voice in the never-ending fight against performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. Are comments like these the way to go in that regard?

 Don't hesitate in letting your feelings on the matter show in the 'comments' section below.

9 comments:

Josh Buehner said...

It's not unexpected. Samu is never one to ruffle feathers, plus his actions speak louder than any words; not a wiff of doping allegations within a country mile of the Asturiano. i would like it if some riders would challenge Omerta tho...

As for Armstrong, this is just all too delicious on our side of the pond.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing, sure, but my opinion of Samu doesn't change. One somewhat misguided stance regarding Armstrong shouldn't force a person to recast him in a different light.

I suppose the more vehement reactions from the peloton would come from those that have crossed paths with Lance or those that looked up to Lance would probably have stronger reactions.

Besides, being completely anti-Lance as a pro-cyclist is a tacit criticism of the UCI, as they seem to be complicit in his drug ingesting forays into altered performance.

Ryan said...

I am not surprised Samu took a stance like he did. I highly doubt he ever saw Lance handling the EPO or even had any first hand accounts told to him. I'm sure his time in the pros has yielded stories and suspicions, but he is taking a diplomatic stance and continues his focus on racing.

Ryan said...

I am not surprised Samu took a stance like he did. I highly doubt he ever saw Lance handling the EPO or even had any first hand accounts told to him. I'm sure his time in the pros has yielded stories and suspicions, but he is taking a diplomatic stance and continues his focus on racing.

Nick said...

It little sad, but not surprised.

Maybe his mindset was that condemning Armstrong would simultaneously be comdenming teammates (Zubeldia, Mayo, Landaluze) who were equal or slightly stronger than Armstrong in 03-04.

It is a shame to hear him spew typical Armstrong fabricated talking points, but at least he didn't call USADA's action a witchhunt

Stephen said...

He's not alone though is he? The silence from within the pro ranks is deafening.

I didn't/don't expect many comments from current pro's, as much as anything I'm sure they are worried about the press reaction. Remember when Wiggins was initially asked about drugs and he said it was too easy to just sit accusing people? He was then castigated for not making a strong anti drug statement and ended up doing it a few days later for some peace and quiet.

I wish they would though, its certainly how the rest of us feel.

arnout said...

I think the Sanchez reaction is the worst though. It is ignorant at best. Really disappointed in it.

arnout said...

I think the Sanchez reaction is the worst though. It is ignorant at best. Really disappointed in it.

racejunkie said...

I'm a bit heartbroken by Samu's response but don't know I expected anything different--he's never one to talk smack about anyone else, and if he doesn't feel comfortable tearing in because he wasn't there at the time, I'll make myself assume it's just his excessive diplomacy. If he's not speaking up because of former Euskaltel guys, or not wanting to disturb the pond, that would be extremely disappointing.

 

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