Zirbel freed & out come the haters

Good news is that Tom Zirbel’s sanction has been reduced, as he indicates in this except from his blog earlier today:

Um well…so I guess I have some good news. Turns out I can race this year due to a string of random events that played out starting last October. Remember when I lamented on this blog a few months back about Di Luca because he got a reduction in sanction for providing details of his doping practices? And then I said something to the effect of “if only I had actually doped or had knowledge of dopers, I too could get a reduction”. Well, at some point after that rant I met with a person who had incriminating knowledge of a suspected doper and I eventually helped convince that person to approach USADA with that information. USADA found that information so useful that they decided to reduce my sanction because of it.

via Enjoying the Ride.

Bad news at that the haters are coming out to play as well, if the chatter on Twitter is indicative of general feelings. For example:

Okay … I get that some people will doubt his initial story … but now to call someone who is actually trying to do something to keep his sport clean a snitch? And then people wonder why more people with info on doping in the peloton don’t come forward.

Keep in mind that that when he was sanctioned, he accepted the ban instead of fighting it all the way up to the CAS, and moved on. Thankfully, there are also guys like Adam Myerson to put a little perspective on things:

My thoughts are that he’s a victim of the system, not a doper, and I’m glad he got his ban reduced.

I think the way his ban was reduced is part of why he’s a victim of the system, and his own thoughts echo that. It’s not the way he wanted his ban reduced. But he also isn’t in charge of the rules of the game, he’s just stuck having to play it. You can’t expect him not to accept the reduction in his sentence even if he himself thinks it’s a strange way for it to have gotten reduced. Part of me thinks USADA is looking at Contador, knows Zirbel got a bad deal, and found a way to, in the end, give him the 1-year ban he should probably have received in the first place.

Zirbel seems to me to be a righteous dude, and he walks the walk, in my opinion. I may be a sucker, but I buy it, because it doesn’t ever seem to have been for his own profit. He’s not shilling his good deeds and heroism as a marketing ploy, a la LA. He’s just quietly doing good work in his personal life, before, after, and unrelated to his ban.

via On Zirbel | Cycle-Smart.

I’m with you, Adam … welcome back, Tom … I hope that you get a contract and continue to show the cycling world your talent the way you did before all this happened.