I get your drift, Joe, though I thought before opening the topic that you were going to put questions something on the lines of "how the f*** can the Tour be saved now?"
Indeed, just after Casartelli's death I distinctly recollect hearing some people opine, inaccurately, that 'this will finish the Tour'. It didn't, of course. But this is different. If TdF goes under, what will it say about all cycling? And I don't mean just race.
If you read the comments on the BBC website about the emerging fiasco, you'll find some saying that we should be applauding cycling for its determined efforts to stamp out the use of drugs. Forty years on from Tom Simpson's death on Mont Ventoux? Spectacular progress, eh?
I've just watched the coverage from the Partridge-alike on BBC Breakfast (Is This The End For The Tour / Cycling?). It's the only time they give cycling any coverage, other than track golds.
Catching dopers is bad news? All it means is that the system is (finally) working, after years of sweeping the whole problem under the carpet. Chucking not just the dopers but the rest of their teams off the tour is exactly the right thing to do - it means that it's in no-ones interest to turn a blind eye (or worse) to what individuals are doing.
After many false starts, the reaction of the organisers / governing bodies / sponsors now to doping is giving hope for the future.
It is irritating that the only real coverage the tour gets on the BBC is when theres a scandal. They're either interested in the sport (in which case report properly) or they're not (so why cover the doping scandals?), I can't stand this vulture-like flocking around scandal.
I've just seen the BBC 'news' item on BBC 24. Headlines implying that Rasmussen's sacking is doping related! Sky are saying he was "chucked out" of the tour and sacked! (Not just sacked, and implying the "chucking out" was the reason for the sacking). I want a news headline on news headlines! "All headlines are factually inaccurate".
Funny innit, how events are portrayed by the media, makes you realise everything/everyone suffers in some way at their hands.
The media always blow things out of proportion. It's their job. Funny how they never mention doping in football though...
Personally I'd say the bigger news story was the fact that Basque seperatists targetted the tour with a bomb t'other day, which could have led to serious consequences for riders and the general public watching the race, but that event was pretty much passed over, in favour of the 'doping' stories.