... and the notion of attending to the foibles of the anti-doping world take some funny twists sometimes. Yet a recent (within the hour) search of information regarding the Tour de France 2010, came across this stunning article, by Cyclingnews:
According to the article, "the French government recently announced that it cancelled its plans to increase taxes on television rights in sports, which would have supplied the agency with 4 million Euro of its budget." Currently budgeted (according to the author) at Euro 8.7 million, the AFLD and its Directeur, Pierre Bordry, are facing budget cuts that threaten its very existence.
Could this be due to the fiasco between it and the UCI, as reported by WADAwatch and other media last fall? Could it be due to its six-month report for Q1 and Q2 2009, which revealed a huge amount of 'cannaboid' use amongst French athletes?
(Report in FR)
How powerful (need one ask?) are the French Football (soccer) leagues and teams, as well as the networks that carry their games? Let Cyclingnews tell us:
Because there is no guarantee that the AFLD will still obtain the promised finance, Bordry questioned his government's willingness to continue an independent fight against doping in sports. When the government announced its plans to increase TV rights taxes, senior officials of French soccer declared that it wasn't up to them to finance the fight against doping in France.
No mention of French Rugby (nearly as widely broadcast as French football); nor the lesser TV sports like basketball, handball, equestrian and NOT Alpine skiing, which went off French TV many years ago.
More questions arise, and this brief post may require intense follow-ups in the near future.