Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cycling: When the Shit Hits the Spokes

Forget the shit hitting the fan - in cycling the shit is all over the fucking place.


1) Suspended Tour de France 3 time champ, Alberto Contador disgraces Spain as a second doping test comes back POSITIVE for - get this - plasticines/plasticizers. Yes. Plastic. "The lab also found plastic traces that might turn up after a transfusion of blood from a plastic bag." Apparently, getting blood transfusions - blood doping - leaves small but traceable residues in the blood stream. Contador has 8 times the normal plasticine levels found in a normal human being. It's pretty much doomed him, his career and is making him go from superstar to persona non grata in all of Spain.

2) Retired cyclist Bernard Kohl talked to the press and said the following:
"People know in cycling that's it's not possible to win the Tour de France without it (doping). It's three weeks, 3,000 km and you climb (the equivalent of) Mount Everest four times. That's just not possible. Floyd Landis won the Tour de France and his average speed was 40 kph," Kohl said. "This year it was Cantador and it was also about 40. It was nearly the same average speed. Landis was doped." He leaves off there but you get the implication...Landis doped...Contador doped. Hell, he says you cannot win without doping.

3) A federal grand jury sitting in Los Angeles has been hearing evidence in its doping probe, and investigators have contacted American riders, sponsors and associates of Armstrong. The Lance Armstrong witch trial continues and it doesn't look good. There are conflicting stories from all sides. Postal riders swear they never saw doping, postal riders swear they doped all the time. It's a mess. All it would take is one little subpoena and the Feds could confiscate Lance's urine and blood samples and do additional testing on them (for plasticizers). Federal prosecutor's want to have it all in hand by January, when statute of limitations run out. Basically, by admitting that, they are saying that they want Lance's head on a platter. What is he accused of? You cannot get the official word. It doesn't exist. This is the most bizarre witch hunt in sports history.

4) Floyd Landis is regretting waiting so long to come "clean" - (you see what we did there?) "because he knew once he'd admitted lying, he would not be believed about the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in the sport. There were plenty of good people in cycling who made the same decisions I did," he said. "And it was never their intention to cheat anybody. It was never their intention to hurt anybody, it's just that it was so commonplace that you could rationalize it in your mind that you weren't hurting anybody." I guess ending your career in such a humiliating fashion can turn someone into a philosopher. At least he admits feeling sorry the most about lying to his mommy. (We met her and she's the nicest woman you'd ever want to meet. It's a shame.)

The bottom line? More and more cyclists are "coming out" and it seems performance enhancing doping regimens are the normal course of events not isolated cases. What can cycling do?

Lance - guilty or not?

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