Here’s how I see what is currently happening in cycling; drugs have always been here. I was flipping through a TDF picture book and came across a picture of Eddy merckx, Freddy maertens, Roger devlamink, all walking their bikes in protest of random drug testing in the TDF.. in 1968!! So drugs have always been a part of the sport.. in fact all sports. But why the attack on cycling? Here’s my theory; pro cycling contracts are getting bigger than the sport and its sponsors can support. So someone high up the ranks decided it was time to thin the herd. Armstrong was a one man show in cycling for a healthy chunk of time. No one was going to touch him and no one, while he was around, was going to make that amount of money.. not even close. Then he retired. The sponsorship bar was raised extremely high. The almighty American dollar entered the sport.. then contracts opened up.. doors were wide open for Lance’s replacement. But too many new names came in making demands of sponsors and team management to build teams with strong rider to support key guys. Let’s remind ourselves that everyone at this point is doing drugs. Now, have a closer look at cycling compared to a stadium sport like football. Where is the sponsorship return? Is there a return? There are no ticket sales to bike racing, at least not enough to quantify the sport’s existence. Football, however, banks on it.. we build massive stadiums, sell tons of logowear, tickets and consession on top of it. The marketing monster behind the American stadium sport is an economy in itself. Cycling isn’t, nor are a number of other “euro-alternative” sports. Do football players use drugs? Of course! But why would you slow down that money making machine? I was just watching Ken Burns “10th Enning” on PBS.. this show was an epiphony for me. A decade ago now, baseball struggled with the drug issue.. there’s was a little different. A battle for new records by players, again, making millions.. way more than they deserved. Not just one player (ala Lance) but three!! McGuire, Sosa and Bonds. Super stars.. all busted in time using performance enhancers. Did it impact ticket sales and viewership? Nope. Back to cycling. What now? Cycling will right itself. In time anyway. Just like it did after the Festina affair of 96/97. The contract/sponsor dollar will correct itself and we’ll get back to good old fashioned doped up bike racing!