There’s been a lot of chatter on various sites about Riccardo Ricco’s current “situation” … but the upshot of a lot of it is that the sport will be better off (and cleaner) without him.

We’re assuming, of course, that the powers that be in the UCI and elsewhere really want to clean the sport up …

As long as it keeps making them money, they’ll continue to look the other way when riders get caught, unless somehow it’s leaked to the public first, or as in this case, it’s such a completely over-the-top boneheaded move, all the interested parties have no choice but to throw the book at the offender.

And all parties involved will continue to deny, deny, deny … is it any surprise that Contadoper is using the same language as Lance Dopestrong? “I’m the first, second and third most test athlete!”, “I’ve never tested positive (until now)!”, “It doesn’t matter that many of my teammates (past & present) have been busted in organized doping programs!”, “It’s a witch hunt!”

I love this sport. I always have, I always will … but enough with the wishy-washy approach to doping. Either clean the sport up for real … and I’m beginning to think the only way to do this is to offer a general amnesty to any riders involved who cooperate with authorities, and really go after the suppliers who are pushing riders to dope to stay competitive … or eliminate doping regulations completely and let racers kill themselves by pushing their bodies to and beyond their limits.

Riccardo Ricco will be out of the sport … but what of all the rest? Why is it that only Jeff Novitzky is taking any of Floyd Landis’s allegations seriously and investigating? Ah, because if his allegations are true, it makes the entire system look as dirty as it is.

At least the newer generation seem to be more solidly anti-doping … hopefully their efforts will truly be able to help effect a change in the mindset and culture of the pro peloton.

I’m not holding my breath.