Goat Got as Press Tries (Allegedly) Geared Up Granny.

by wjohngalloway

While Scott does sterling work tilting at the Windmills of Aigle I’ve been neglecting this blog.  I’ve mentioned struggling to find time for these unpaid endeavours so often that it’s become a mantra. The simple truth though is that, whilst I’m conceited enough to believe I can write passably, I’m not passionate about the the “craft” of writing. It’s merely a means to an end. I only post when I have no other way to talk about things that mean something to me.

So, here’s something that’ll take more than 140 characters and I’m not doing other media (at the moment).

The latest cycling legend to be accused of having feet of clay is the venerable Jeannie Longo. 52 years old and owner of a palmares that makes Eddy look twice. As the decades passed and Longo kept winning the rumours of dopage gathered as quickly as the trophies she was taking from women half her age. As those rumours came to a head this week Longo claimed to be “the most tested athlete on the planet”. Given the length of her career I’d be inclined to take her word on that above the word of The Texan, who also claims that distinction.

Is Longo guilty? Well, I have an opinion but it’s only that, an opinion. All athletes deserve the benefit of the doubt until due process has run it’s course, even if that course takes longer than the time it takes to rear a Catalan cow.

So, as I sit here, Duvel at my side, you may well ask “Why the hell is John wasting my time if he’s not ranting about Jeannie Longo doping?”

Two words. Joe Papp.

Now, on the face of it, Joe should be the poster child for the rehab path that Scott and I have espoused since the early days of The Velocast. Don’t ostracise or demonise genuinely repentant dopers. Welcome them back and use their expertise to cleanse the sport of the corrupt subculture that’s existed for decades. Turn poachers into gamekeepers. I still believe that’s the way forward.

There’s something about Mr Papp though. Laying aside the fact that his cocktail of sampled PED’s reads like a wine list, he also admits to being a supplier.

I once had a weird Twitter exchange with him in which all of my posts were public and all of his replies were DM’s. I’m a firm believer in public debate so I un-followed Joe so he wouldn’t be able to DM me. The conversation stopped.

Derek, my co-host on the Flammecast used to get particularly apoplectic about some of Joe’s posts.

Let’s forget the past though and focus on today, let’s focus on a piece by Shane Stokes over on VeloNation . Which, by the way, you should all visit regularly. Great site.

Let’s focus on this quote:

“At this time I have not been called to testify in the case of Jeannie Longo, though it would not surprise me if based on my activities as an intermediary between various professional and amateur athletes and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH, I was asked to recount my dealings with a certain client in France who purchased EPO,”

I’ll keep this brief, since my beer is warming. The correct answer to the questions put to to Joe if he genuinely wanted to support due process and make a difference in the fight against doping would have been.

“I have no comment at this time”

Then go away and testify and be part of the solution.

If instead you choose to say (here it comes again)

“At this time I have not been called to testify in the case of Jeannie Longo, though it would not surprise me if based on my activities as an intermediary between various professional and amateur athletes and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH, I was asked to recount my dealings with a certain client in France who purchased EPO,”

What you are actually saying is

” I know more than you, I’m important, and by the way I sold Jeannie some good shit! Look at me please! I’m cool and in the know. Honest guv!”

In short, self aggrandising, attention seeking, playground level boasting totally at odds with respecting the previously mentioned due process. Lacking in class. Sleazy.

Happy to have a discussion any time if you disagree Joe.

Don’t get me started about Rebellin and Katusha. This retweet by Geraint Thomas says it all.

Update 10/9/11

Today I’ve received feedback from other’s who have been recipients of Mr Papp’s DM Twitter exchanges. I’m not alone.

In the interest of balance I’d also like to point folk at this post by Cyclisme Spandelles. Well worth a read. Mr Papp has been participating in the comment thread so I’ve left him a couple of questions.