News is moving quickly today so I knew I should have held back on the blog. Just as I was about to shut the computer down up pops a tweet that the UCI has issued a press-release. No, this isn’t a dispatch from the @UCI_Overlord but a real press release from Aigle itself. Entitled “Suspicion is not the same as guilt” the gist of the release can only be read from the innocent roadside-standers perspective as an admission of complete failure and, wait for it, a statement that suspicion is not the same as guilt but it might as well be. The release states that the leaked list is a “superficial but practical procedure” to assist the targetting of suspected riders. This would be fine if a) the procedure was kept confidential to protect all involved, including perhaps securing such information by password or better still shredding and b) it actually led to something rather than being suferficial and in no way practical. Have we seen any evidence of this information being used for any practical good? Which leads me to the second point, the UCI are playing the same game as many of the rest of us:
While advocating the principle that “suspicion is not the same as guilt”, it can however been seen that the system enables anti-doping tests to be targeted more effectively and therefore also enables the fight against doping as a whole to be enhanced.
So suspicion is closer to guilt than innocence on the scale. It certainly crosses from any middle ground fairly quickly. If the UCI wants to ensure their procedures are trusted, they need to remain robust. We’ve seen the questions raised over labs who have leaked dope test results. For the governing body to be ensnared in this smacks of further evidence of incompetence at the top. Office security is simple to implement. Failure to do so leads to suspicious minds. We know where that leads, especially when it comes from the top. I’m sure “Boss Hog” and his very own Roscoe are all rubbing their hands with glee.