Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WADA Farce!

Wa, Wa, Wa(da): irked by the Spanish decision to drop the Operacion Puerto case despite conceding widespread actual doping, and bouyed presumably by El Pais' massive assault on the judge in the case, WADA has quite belatedly petitioned the court a la UCI to be named as a party in the Spanish investigation so they can get access to the legions of damning files and conduct their own damn investigation, as both they, and UCI's Pat "Dick" McQuaid, are clearly (and literally) out for blood (bags). Man, WADA, you and UCI haven't required any actual evidence so far before you've gone around destroying the careers of every rider you don't like--why the sudden change in strategy? Meantime, El Pais, as noted, has helpfully lambasted the judge for a multitude of failings, including interpreting a lame law he didn't write, condoning illegal wiretaps, ignoring evidence that a combo of EPO and vitamin A caused brain problems for an anonymous cyclist, denying that Liberty Seguros throwaway Marcos Serrano's '06 Giro hospitalization was doping related, and letting Santi Perez and Tyler Hamilton off the hook for their blood-doping sins. That, and he smells, too!

T-Immobile: already whipped by a mortifyingly unsuccessful early-season run, with notable tanks in the Tour of California and virtually everything else they've competed in, implosion queens T "Eat Our Own Young" Mobile faced yet another humiliating smack as Andreas Kloden, tossed off the team for his egregious friendship with Jan Ullrich and wisely snapped up by Vinokorouv and Astana along with up-and-comer Mattias Kessler, took the overall at Tirreno-Adriatico in fine form after a second place finish in the time trial to Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher. Am I the only one thinking the team managers are starting to bang their heads against a pole in the sudden painful realization of what their vengeful short-sighted conduct towards these boys last season has cost 'em? Somewhere, at least if he's half as mean as I am, Jan Ullrich is smiling. Just a little.

Meeting of the Minds(less): I see UCI and the Grand Tours are set to meet again as promised in April, apparently over the GT's nonfulfillment of their nonpromise to take on Astana and Unibet as automatic wildcards in all their races. Y'know, if that's what you really wanted, UCI, why'd you walk away without it? It's not like you've hesitated to throw your bloated crushing weight around til now, to the detriment of the most beautiful races and most talented cyclists on earth. Afraid that every French rider in the peloton was gonna defy your poseur oligarch proclamations and show up at the Paris-Nice startline with or without your impotent threats?

The Wounded: Finally, Milano-SanRemo, already decimated by the combined effects of crashes and particularly disgusting viral infections, has taken a whole 'nother pack of hits, with Thomas Dekker and Danilo DiLuca out with the gross flu afflicting most of the rest of the peloton and Jose Joaquin Rojas knocked momentarily unconscious, but apparently luckily otherwise undamaged, in a nasty training-ride encounter with a car. At this rate, only Petacchi's going to be in shape to show up, in which case he might as well walk the freakin' corsa and save the wear and tear on his bike. Please, everyone who's left, try to hold it together just til this weekend!

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