Thursday, July 26, 2007

Down with Capitalism!

The dismissal from the Tour de France of Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen is an example of everything that is wrong with capitalism.

Rasmussen was leading the race after defeating his rivals in the difficult mountain stages, but controversy surrounded him because his mislead, or lied, about his whereabouts in June. As a result Rasmussen had been warned by the cycling authorities.

In spite of these warnings Rasmussen had been cleared to race by the Tours organisers, the International Cycling Union (UCI) and his own team. Rasmussen had also been subjected to over a dozen drug tests during the Tour, without failing one. Neither the Tour nor the UCI had any grounds on which to disqualify Rasmussen.

His team's sponsor (the Dutch bank Rabobank), did not, however, like the association with Rasmussen and ordered, according to the New York Times*, Rasmussen to be fired. Rasmussen, unlike last years winner Floyd Landis who actually failed a drug test, will therefore not have any right to an appeal or fair hearing. Instead he is life work and career has been destroyed by a sponsors' arbitrary decision.

That's how capitalism works. The rules of law (and sport) are disregarded and individuals are destroyed in the pursuit of profit. I will never watch the Tour de France again!

* initially reported that according to Rabobank team spokesman, Jacob Bergsma, it was Rabobank who had ordered the firing of Rasmussen. See also this article in the Houston Chronicle.


At 26 July, 2007 21:36, Anonymous Charles said...

Hey Torsten,

Though I think there are much worse abuses of Capitalism, this is an interesting read. Your title instantly caught my interest. (Go figure...) :-).

Just for giggles, check out my most recent thoughts over at A Common Citizen. I am confident you will find it rather satisfying and perhaps a bit funny.

You guys staying dry over there? Hope you are all O.K.

At 27 July, 2007 11:33, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Your right Charles. I guess I let my emotions run away with me when I wrote the blogpost. It was pretty poor argumentation to blame the coruption of the sport on capitalism as a whole.

The whole set up of the Tour de France is a rotten to the core. The profesionsation of the sport, the hero worship, the direct involvement of corporate sponsors in team decision and the riders cheating has always been a part of the Tour. I shoulden't have been so surprised.

ps. While its been a very wet summer here in Southampton its far from the flooding. It always seens to flooding somewhere in England, but aparently its been really bad this year.


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