Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dodging the Bullet

Rainbows and Unicorns: so, the campaign to put a happy face on the disgusting injustice and foregone conclusion that is the Floyd Landis investigation is in full swing, with WADA's Dick "Dick" Pound expressing boundless confidence in the sadly misunderstood and truly diligent French lab, which of course has undergone the strictest quality controls in the world (damn, am I the only one thinking they seem to use more rigorous standards in the factories that pour melamine into dog food?) and USADA's lawyer humbly--and hilariously--asking us all to "reserve judgment" until "both sides have been heard." Well, if by "both sides," one means "WADA's, with Landis desperately forced to play catch-up with apparently deliberately limited access to grossly mishandled dubious evidence after he's been completely publicly bushwhacked and presumptively declared totally guilty at every polluted step by the endless leak-happy freaks involved in this hideous travesty," I suppose both sides have been heard...

Whew!: Just when it looked like the Grand Tour organizers would be forced to face the consequences of their ill-considered vow to bar "all Operacion Puerto-implicated riders" from the Giro, the Tour, and the Vuelta--said consequences being 107 cyclists having to be barred from the start lines, not to mention the other crooks-on-wheels implicated in various other on-tap doping hoo-has should the Grand Tours ever grow both a conscience and a spine--UCI's Pat "Dick" McQuaid reassuringly thundered that, due to the large volume of Op Puerto documents still left to review, the implicated riders fortunately--I mean, unfortunately--can't possibly all be IDd in time to bar 'em. The result? Ivan Basso, the retired Jan Ullrich, and a handful of Manolo Saiz' proteges excepted, most every cheating skank in the peloton will get to ride the Tours, and, for a select few, bask in podium glory in Milan, Paris, and Madrid to boot. Well, *that* sure saves the teams' (and frankly, the Grand Tour organizers') @#$es!

Doctor, Doctor, Can't You See I'm Burnin', Burnin': and, in the wake of the accused T-Mobile doctors' rather surprising refusal to sue their accuser/ex-soigneur for defamation over allegations of systemic doping in his spankin' new book, and the busy German prosecutors' recent announcement that they're opening an investigation (as is the docs' hometown university), a perhaps justly suspicious Bob "Everyone But Us is Dirty" Stapleton has suspended the good medics from providing medical care to his squeaky clean band of brothers. Hmmm...where to turn, where to turn...perhaps, say, Quick Step might provide some leads?

Michele, My Belle: so with a cheerful Michele Scarponi offering up his DNA to all comers at his CONI hearing--thereby assuring us all that, at a minimum, he wasn't stupid enough to leave bags of blood lying around Dr. Fuentes' pad, at least--the question remains, what of pretty boy-without-a-country (well, team anyway) Ivan Basso? Two hours into his hearing yesterday, it was adjourned by all parties, with the hope of a new date prior to the Giro, nothing accomplished, and no word on whether Ivan'll yack up a DNA sample. Luckily, it seems that Discovery never planned to have Ivan do the Giro anyway, pinning their hopes on Yaroslav Popovych instead, just as it was always going to be Levi Leipheimer for their Tour. Um, why exactly did they hire him in the first place then?

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