Amgen Tour of California
I've been following the coverage of ATOC via CyclingNews.com, an excellent source of up-to-the-minute information. Their live report runs about 15 minutes ahead of the television coverage, so it's easy to keep up with the action. But there's another story that caught my eye this morning. It's under the First Edition Cycling News for Sunday, February 24:
Female inspector watches Quick Step riders shower
Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step) was selected for a doping test at the Tour of California on Friday after the time trial, so a doping controller was sent to get him out of the team camper in San Luis Obispo. The controller entered the camper just as all eight of the Quick Step riders were showering, so the controller observed all of them until Hulsmans was ready to leave.
But the controller was a female, upsetting Hulsmans. "I don't think it is normal that a woman is indicated for that job," Hulsmans complained to Sportwereld.be. "We politely asked her to leave, but she refused. What were they thinking? That I would try to escape through the roof?"
He further wondered what would happen if the situations were reversed. "Would they send a man to look at eight naked female athletes?" he asked.
It's an interesting question. And I have my own modest proposal as an answer. If the anti-doping authorities insisted on having male inspectors observe as women showered, I suspect the agencies would be vastly more popular. There really should be equality and fairness, after all. And in that spirit, I think it would be a genuine step toward better cooperation if the authorities hired female swim suit models, trained them as anti-doping inspectors, and sent them in to observe. The only fair way to do that, of course, would be if they were naked and soapy too.