Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Slow Road to the High Road

What ever you think of Jonathan Vaughters one thing you have to give the man credit for is an effort to chart a new path both in the business of pro cycling and in running a healthy team. Sure, like all men, Vaughters plans, gods laugh. But all-in-all the course he has been charting and sailing for Garmin (currently Garmin-Cervélo) has been heartening.

Headlines of doping in cycling are a dime a dozen if that's you schtick. For some "news" organizations like the New York Times cycling is less a sport and more a drug invested European sideshow. For the NYT and similar landing a big fish doping (Lance for example) would be their winning the Grand Boucle. But headline grabbing sells papers, rarely the truth. Headlines are just that - lines - not even paragraphs, much less the whole story.

Cyclingnews today confirmed that Jonathan Vaughters is in the process of testing Thomas Dekker with possibly signing him to Garmin-Cervélo’s development team, but there are some big IFs before the ex-Pro suspended for EPO violations can spin a sprocket for the anti-doping crusader Vaughters.

"It's a slow process," added Vaughters, "but history has shown us that it's a mistake to bring an athlete off suspension back to the top level without a measured rehabilitation period."

"I asked him [Dekker] to contact WADA and offer his total cooperation with any questions they have on that [his EPO use]. That was a condition to even be considered. Not to sign." - read the whole CyclingNews article.

We don't hear enough about the work behind the races people like Jonathan Vaughters are doing to push the sport we all love into a more respectable future. Vaughters was on those early U.S. Postal Cycling teams and road as a pro through much of the dope-invested waters of the 1990's, he was a domestique and knows better than most it's a slow road to the high road, but sometimes you have to simply put it in the granny and grind it out to the top.

For the rest of us it's worth remembering doping headlines are just that - lines - not even paragraphs, much less the whole story.

Photo above - Jonathan Vaughters, CEO and Director Sportif of Garmin-Transitions from ESPN Magazine.

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