As a life-long cyclist I find it hard to despise fellow rider and Eurosport commentator David Duffield as I have got to give some respect to a guy who held the End to End trike record. But think back a year or two. Do you remember when he absolutely refused to acknowledge drugs in cycling? He would refer to riders having a bit of bother. Of course in recent years he had a perfect ally in Sean Kelly who has his own reasons for choosing to ignore drug use in cycling. The French version of Willy Voet’s book Breaking the Chain throws some light on Kelly’s reasons for maintaining a steadfast silence.
Can there be any doubt that the conspiracy of silence, of which Duffers was part, has been a major cause of continuing drug use? What incentive was there for the UCI to upset the apple cart while the sport escaped criticism from the media which was happy to go along with the charade. For me the defining moment was Riis’s destruction of Indurain on Hautacam in the 1996 Tour. When a journeyman pro can treat a super champion like Indurain with distain it becomes clear that the results of races are meaningless. And Duffers? He just joined in the worship and praise of Mr 64% without a questioning word.
Now Duffield finds that he is hopelessly swimmimg against the tide, that his head in the sand attitude is losing him his few remaining fans so he is, at long last, gently criticising the dopers. It is too little too late Duffers. You have for more than a decade been part of the problem and you can never be part of the solution. Hand in your microphone and spend your remaining days in your local boring the customers with tales of wine and cheese.