TMK - It always makes me wonder why so many dopings claims get made just before the TDF each year.
When you think about it doing it this way is a very good tactic! Wait until the eve of the Tour then ban 4-7 riders and cause massive team and race disruption. What better way to send a message against doping?
I still think the fight against doping is doing harm to the image of cycling and a waste of time. It obviously doesn't work as when riders are caught it 'should' be a big deterrent to those thinking of doping. Instead they continue to find more and more riders so therefore one could assume the chance of being caught is very slim.
The decision of an athlete to dope is the benefit vs risk of being caught. Taking my beliefs as an example, i believe they all take some sort of banned substance (hear me out before you flame me). Lets say there are 200 riders and 10 get caught each year. You have a 5% chance of being caught but your odds greatly decrease with type and timing most likely down to less than 1% if you get it all right.
A 1% risk of a 1yr-2yr ban vs greatly improved results/better team/more income etc. The question then becomes, why 'wouldn't' you dope! Just something to think about.
The biggest impact they could make will be outrageous fines to riders and make them virtually bankrupt. Aside from that, they need to improve their testing for blood doping. The fact that riders are getting caught for using EPO in the off season says to me that riders are then storing that blood and swapping to blood doping during the racing season thus lessening the chance of being caught.