Never Forget

There are debts which cannot be repaid, damage which cannot be repaired, wrongs which cannot be righted. All that we can do in those situations is remember that the debt exists, that the damage was done, that the wrong occurred. To help me to remember, I have painted the name Christophe Bassons onto the top tube of my road bike:

His name first came to my attention in the USADA Reasoned Decision about Lance Armstrong; he is mentioned on pages 34, 35 and 158 (PDF numbering 39, 40, 158) although if you haven’t read the entire thing thus far I recommend that you do. He is, to my mind, the most-wronged person mentioned in that report.

There are of course many other cyclists whose careers ended because they refused to dope. For example, the BBC is flying the flag for Scott Mercier. I chose Christophe Bassons because he is to my knowledge unique in that era as a top-level non-doper who publicly spoke out against doping in cycling. I say top-level although his Palmarès are only brief reading because it is very tough to win a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré at the best of times: it is something else to have done so riding clean when many if not most in the peloton were doping.

The other modification I am considering making to my frame is the removal of the UCI rainbow decals on the seat tube. Whether or not they covered up a doping incident in exchange for a donation in 2001 (cf. pages 51-52 of the USADA decision), they seem to me to have done more to protect the doped-status-quo in the period to 2005 than they did to protect clean riders. It seems to me there is a significant probability that they were corrupt, and I do not want the logo of a corrupt organisation on my bicycle.

One Response to “Never Forget”

  1. Vignesh Mudaliar (India) says:

    I am considering doing the same to honour what Bassons did and also in remembrance of what was snatched from him. I truly feel sad for Bassons because he was the only honest rider then. Just about 2 months ago I was an Armstrong fan. Now I feel like I have been conned.

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