Road map to success? Andy Schleck weighs up his options in the woods of the Luxembourg Ardennes.
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RadioShack rider on Julich, Armstrong and bio passport
Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) has claimed that cycling is already doing everything it can to combat doping and said that the Lance Armstrong case belonged to “another era.”
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins following as US Anti-Doping Agency investigation in 2012, as well as all other results from August 1, 1998, including his third-place finish at the 2009 Tour, just behind Schleck.
“The Armstrong affair, that was another era,” Schleck told Le Monde. “We’re ready to accept other measures but I don’t believe we can do any more. Some people want to change cycling, but cycling has already changed. The Armstrong affair harmed us but we can take lessons from it, develop things within the existing framework and with the tools at our disposal.
“What do we, the riders, have to do to prove that we don’t dope? We have the biological passport, the whereabouts system, we are the most tested athletes… We need to attract people to watch cycling again, but we can’t do more than we are doing today.”
Projections and analysis of riders’ power outputs has been an increasingly popular feature of media coverage of the Tour in recent years, but Schleck dismissed the idea of using such data in the fight against doping.
“I don’t think it would enlighten the public that much to know those statistics. On the Tour, we have peaks of watts and that’s completely normal. That changes from one day to the next. For me, the biological passport is the sole way to control riders. There should maybe be more tests, and not just for the best riders.”
Schleck was also sceptical about Sky’s implementation of a “zero-tolerance” anti-doping policy during the off-season, which saw Bobby Julich and Steven De Jongh leave the management team after they confessed to doping during their riding careers.
“It’s their decision, but a guy like Bobby Julich, who admitted to using EPO but changed his attitude afterwards, should not be disowned. I know him for a long time. At Saxo Bank, he helped me a lot and he was one of the cleanest on the team. Everybody has the right to a second chance. Look at David Millar: he tested positive for EPO and today he does a lot for anti-doping.”
RadioShack-Leopard parted company with manager Johan Bruyneel following the release of USADA’s reasoned decision on the Armstrong case, and Schleck admitted that he was happier to be managed by Kim Andersen and Luca Guercilena. “Last year, I had the impression of being alone, abandoned by Johan.”
Schleck begins his 2013 campaign at the Tour Down Under, which gets underway on January 22. His brother Fränk, meanwhile, will learn on January 30 whether he is to face suspension for his positive test for the diuretic Xipamide during last year’s Tour de France.