Monday, November 27, 2006

Paranoid Conspiracy Theories of the Week

French fried: undaunted by seven straight years of failure to make anything stick to Lance Armstrong, Le Monde is now tagging Lance as the nefarious Landis case lab-slandering cybercrook, apparently based on year-old deposition testimony by Betsy Andreu in the utterly unrelated arbitration case that not only did she think rabid self-centered fascist Lance hacked into her own computer in 2005, but that she heard 2nd or 3rd hand that he may've hacked into someone else's and also put a bug in then-wife Kristen's computer during their divorce to forward all her emails to his account. "Lance wanted to control everything," Andreu testified. Not that *that's* a surprise, but can someone kindly explain (1) how someone who spent apparently almost every waking moment for seven years plotting his Tour wins found time to learn how to do this and (2) why a guy who spent his few remaining waking moments since Landis bailed for Phonak viciously humiliating Landis for his egregrious personal betrayal (ie, desire for his own life), would remotely do anything to help him out?

The Very Worst Code Name in the World: Oscar Sevilla, meanwhile, is calling bull#$%& on reports that some of the 8 blood bags that recently tested positive for EPO in the OP investigation belonged to him, despite the allegation that one or more were allegedly code-labeled "Sevilliano", calling it a "conspiracy" and claiming he was "warned" "they" were out to get him and Francisco Mancebo. Holy Mary, even Eufemiano "how's the Giro going, Rudy?" Fuentes can't be *that* stupid, can he? Predictably, T-Mobile immediately chimed in to justify their crap treatment of Oscar, surmising it "would not be surprising if it's true" and "we had no trust in the words of some riders." Now, the question of skankbag dopefiend Oscar's actual culpability aside, does anyone else recall *not* hearing T-Mobile complaining during the years of doping rumors swirling about the boy when he was quietly winning for the team but the feds weren't yet all over his @#$?

Conspiracy No. 3: Sore loser/born again cleanster Jesus Manzano claims Fuentes' lawyers offered him around 150k euros to keep his damn mouth shut, which accusation has been met by curious silence by Fuentes' legal team. Not to give the tiresome Manzano's latest whining any credit, but when a pack of attorneys can't even come up with a plausible nonperjurious nondenial denial, you know someone's got a problem. Too bad Basso's house genius Massimo Martelli's already booked!

Translation Conflagration: Right after Tyler Hamilton's Italian-language press release about his Tinkoff signing appeared to contain an oblique doping admission--"Ho sbagliato--I made--a mistake and the price I had to pay was very high"--which was needless to say quite the hot quote after 2 years of fierce denials and eyebrow- raising inhaled-twin theories--Hamilton's team leapt into redemptive action, claiming that a translation error botched the original English quote, the ambiguous, perhaps weaselling, but certainly less controversial, "There have been mistakes..." Whew--that was close!

The Quiet Man: We love Roberto Heras (yes, even if he's guilty--bite me! fine, he was busted in the Vuelta already, he was punished, it was given to whatsisname who for a 2nd place finisher I note totally coincidentally without implying anything at all tanked disastrously this year, and I still miss watching watching him ride despite the persistent tug that his time trialing improved so exponentially out of nowhere--I concede hypocrisy on Heras without apology) has finally broken his silence to deny that he's a doper to Marca. Heras alleges that, despite repeated requests, his team has been denied any access to documentation or even details related to his B sample, leaving him utterly defenseless. Just what are these lab goons so afraid of, anyway? Anyway, he wonders every morning how it is after 1 year he still doesn't have access to his test results, misses the Tour, and is devastated that after 17 years of living for cycling he can't race. Free Roberto anyway!

Lust in His Heart: Finally, Landis too flat out sez he hasn't taken drugs, though he has thought, when down and not racing well, "I wonder if other guys are doing it and if I should look into it." Am I the only lawyer suddenly itching a bit here? Anyhoo, on his departure from Postal, Landis remains diplomatic, conceding that Lance is "not known for being the nicest guy," but opining that a guy who is obsessed enough to win the Tour 7 times is not exactly thinking the same way as most people on the planet. Y'know, where I'm from, we'd probably just say he's an, um....well, anyhow, it's nice that you're still nice, Floyd! Then again, Lance did apparently hack into the French lab for him...

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