link of the day
Italy’s Olympic committee has handed down a life-time ban to Carlo Santuccione, the doctor at the center of the “Oil for Drugs” investigation that has involved several high-profile athletes, including Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca.
A disciplinary panel of Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Monday ruled that Santuccione could no longer associate himself with athletes, sporting events or organizations for the remainder of his career because of his involvement in the distribution of performance-enhancing substances. Santuccione had already served a five-year suspension from cycling, starting in 1995.
This is a start, but will it end here or will there be repercussions. In some ways, this is similar to what’s going on with baseball. A focus on the past and people who have a proven past track record involving doping. But at the same time, this also involves current riders. Will Di Luca be punished? Is there in evidence to punish him that’s not circumstantial. Also, people should remember that even though it seems to be in everyone’s best interests to confess (re: David Millar and baseball’s Andy Petite, for example), most people don’t. Their protests fall flat and we’re left wondering what the truth is.
Of course, just because we think someone dopes, that doesn’t mean they do. It’s hard to know anything these days. And with all the protests against the tests and DNA passports, etc, we might never know. But, hey, the more action taken, the better things might end up. And hopefully the new teams with their new doping measures will go a long way to turning this sport into a clean one.