Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Turnin' the Screws

You've Come a Long Way, Baby (Not That the New York Times Would Know It): in response to IOC honcho Patrice Brunet's call to arms in purging the cycling world and its verminous riders of evil, Floyd Landis, once upon a time a virtual deer in the headlights in the immediate post-'poz' '06 Tour de France media flipout, has, with over a year of playing defense under his belt, written a graceful and impassioned call for due process, specifically for holding the shamefully low-rent biasfest doping prosecutions over at USADA and WADA to the same stringent (and still not foolproof, but certainly a step above "if the witch sinks and drowns, she's innocent") standards as, say, the feds are held to in the real world. Particularly, he opines, it might be nice for an athlete to see the evidence against him without having to spend 10 months and hundreds of thousands of euros (and woe to those lacking either time or team-leader cash reserves) to get what any stumbling incoherent meth-snarfing stoner on "Cops" gets without blinking a bloodshot stuporous eyeball. While we're at it, it might have been nice not to bushwhack Landis with a crap suspension start date in reward for being force-fed his "agreement" not to race on spotless French soil in return for the French vultures generously postponing his hearing there until he was free enough of USADA's clutches to actually make his way back to the country for it. Ah, after all he's been through, still such innocence! And his reward, for trying to save others if not himself? A smug article in the New York Times lauding the heartwarming post-red-handed-bust (literal) jailhouse conversion of St. David Millar, who cried soulfully amidst the rats in his Biarritz cell as the guards apologized for the unfortunate inconvenience to such a fine human being, "My God, what have I become?!" Anyone else getting unpleasant flashbacks to a key scene from "Jesus Christ Superstar" here? I know I'm ready to drop to my knees and start wailing. Anyhoo, in between misty-eyed tributes and a brief discussion of Slipstream's stringent anti-doping plans (and we all know how well those work, right T-Mobile?)--everyone's based in Girona, no training alone to avoid temptation, everyone gets an easily-tracked Blackberry, e-registering all whereabouts at all times with WADA--and an an even briefer mention of such monster Slipstream talents as big Maggie Backstedt and Dave Zabriskie, the Times of course slags recent peloton scumdoers, including a couple of anonymous "top riders" at the Tour this year (and I object to Iban Mayo not being included in that tally, at least for quality purposes!), some whiner from Astana who's complaining about his human rights violations, and--the only one mentioned by name of course--the "disgraced" Floyd Landis, "banned for testing positive for testosterone" on the way to sleazily taking the race. Floyd, you might send your little editorial over to the contextless tools at the Times sports pages. Free Landis (and Iban)!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the Times did not have cycling writer Edward Wyatt write that story.

Perhaps he knew it would be a Slipstream puff PR piece...