Dthe curtain has fallen. And some questions remain unanswered after the Tour de France. For example this: How is Matej Mohoric’s gesture at the finish line to be interpreted after his victory in the stage last Friday? As a pantomime on the bike, he first put his finger over his mouth and then moved his thumb and forefinger from one corner of the mouth to the other. As if the Slovenian wanted to close a zipper. When asked about the message, the professional explained his mood to his own team after the raid two days earlier.
Around 50 officials had searched accommodations and the bus of “Bahrain Victorious” and confiscated cell phones on suspicion of possession, import and transfer of doping substances. Unpleasant. He felt like a criminal. But after careful consideration, Mohoric reported to journalists that it was also a good sign. Because control continues. And yes, the officials would not have found anything. The French public prosecutor’s office has not yet commented on the results of the action they have been preparing since the beginning of July. Mohoric expects the proceedings to be discontinued.
Shut up – or present something
That should probably also be the message of his gesture at the moment of triumph to all those who feel reminded of times and are skeptical of the incredible achievements of the 2021 tour because they have been lied to so often: Shut up – or put something in front of them. There is nothing. For now. No positive controls. But that is nothing new. Only one of Lance Armstrong was known until, under pressure from American investigations, he had to confess to have been covered for years. And this one did not count at the time because, as part of a follow-up control procedure, it did not meet the formal requirements for the procedure with A and B samples.
Armstrong was also capable of gestures. In 2004 he made the zipper in front of his world audience during a tour stage. This was to be understood as a warning to loud-thinking critics in the field: shut up! Those who didn’t do it, like the Italian Filippo Simeoni, were hit hard by the patron – analogously -.
To avoid any misunderstanding: The brave Mohoric cannot be accused of anything concrete. On the contrary. One could interpret his second gesture on the last few meters to the day’s victory in a completely different way: With his finger on his lips, the sensitive listener asks for silence: “Be silent, listen quietly” (Schiller). And see, you can already hear what is being whispered around the peloton. The cycling portal Cyclingnews reports of mysterious noises, heard from cyclists who have not been named. With big ears they believe they have received evidence of mechanical doping.
There is no question of electric motors, no. Do the supposedly unusual noises from the rear wheels come from an energy recovery system such as the one introduced by Formula 1 in 2009: recharge your batteries while braking? Nice theory. Implementation is probably only a matter of time. But there shouldn’t be any proof. The International Cycling Federation (UCI) carried out 704 bike checks up to the last day of rest. Bikes were x-rayed 106 times after a stage. The result of the UCI, writes Cyclingnews: only carbon and metal, everything clean.
However, the UCI seems to be on its guard. In any case, she wants to use a handy device next Saturday, just in time for the first men’s bike race at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, with which the bikes can be scanned while the bike is in motion and the results can be seen live on every corner of the world – a corresponding one Program connection required. Top athletes have long been scanned in the laboratory. In the meantime, efforts are being made to transfer data in real time. Then coaches will be able to recognize at an early stage what is (still) in their athletes, for example in team sports.
At the weekend, the ARD demonstrated how uncertain it is that people look into people. According to this, the forensic medicine institute of the University of Cologne found out on behalf of the broadcasters that even fleeting skin contact with specially prepared substances prohibited in sport can lead to positive doping tests, even with low doses. The Cologne anti-doping laboratory stated that the results of a test group would have led to a positive result in an emergency. In most cases, such results lead to a multi-year ban by sports courts because they follow the reversal of the burden of proof: the person who tested positive must prove that he is innocent. That has already been achieved, but usually only with a huge amount of effort. German sports law experts now see the legal basis for sports court trials tremendously shaken, while the World Anti-Doping Agency is apparently playing for a while with a strange remark: The number of assassinations is low.
How she knows this is her secret. This prediction is more plausible: According to the findings of the ARD, dopers will sense an opportunity. In Germany, however, since the introduction of the Anti-Doping Act at the end of 2015, they have to fear the public prosecutor for every positive test. Sometimes even before that. It sometimes takes a little longer to collect evidence. That’s why we don’t yet know what was there on the tour – or what wasn’t.