Astana criticise Decision

Astana, the team of defending champion Alberto Contador, was among those not invited to compete in the 2008 Tour de France today.

Two American teams, Slipstream and High Road, were invited to take part in the Tour. It is the first time more than one U.S. team has been invited to the world’s most prestigious cycling race.

The Amaury Sport Organization announced Thursday the 20 teams invited to the premier race. Last month, ASO excluded Astana from its races this year because of doping violations in the last two years. As a result, the Tour de France in July will start without Contador.

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Apparently Astana are upset, because other clouded teams are allowed to take part.

Shame! The other teams acted immediately upfront when there were alleged impropriety. They realized their reputation were that important.

I guess winning at all cost does come with a price. The price of losing your reputation.

Protecting reputations sometimes demands drastic action. If I recall correct Rabobank did that when they fired Michael Rasmussen. Their timing was more appropriate – isn’t that a time trial concept? – although they left it a bit late!

There are so many lessons for management teams from this, as follows:

1. Act before it is too late

2. Deal with issues before they become full scale crises

3. Understand the value and nature of reputation. What do you value the most?

4. Learn the art and science of Reputation Risk Root Cause Analysis. Astana could have acted long before.