I didn’t have time to watch the Men’s olympic road race. I woke up later than I wanted and sat at my dinning room table shoving breakfast down my gullet while following along on my tweeter feed. I had an actual ride to get to. Which isn’t to say the men weren’t actually riding, they were. It’s just when pressed for time my choice is to get ready and out the door for something that’s more important than me. I did however have the same reaction as everyone else. “NOT VINO!!!” is all I thought.
Like I said, I wasn’t alone in this, but the more I thought about the more ok I became with it. Vino is a cheat. He’s doped and served his ban. He’s bought races and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out that he was also a corrupt politician. Ostensibly Vino is so hated because he cheated. While at the same time we (myself included) hold up David Millar. For the most part Millar is the repentant ex-doper who is constantly using his past as a marker for his current performances. While he still holds to the rules of Omerta, we like him because he’s willing to own up to his past.
Vino on the other is unrepentant. There has been no apology, no tears. Just the acceptance that he was caught, did his time and is now back trying to blow races apart. Its the lack of repentance that makes him the villain, not the doping. Same goes for when he was accused of buying the 2010 edition of Leige. He denied it, which is what one does in that type of situation.
Fact is, Vino and Millar are living different versions of the same life. For us fans, to not apologize, is a slap in the face. But there is a kernel of honesty there. Vino is telling us “this is how I view life, this is how I live”. That doesn’t make it any more palatable, but like Vino getting popped for doping — it is what it is.