Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10 Rules of Race Participation

As teams like Cofidis get invited to the Tour de France this year after being forced to run like rats post-doping-poz last year, while teams like Astanadiscovery are punished for crap they had nothing to do with, and guys like Stefano Garzelli, who's not alleged to have done anything wrong, get barred from the Giro while guys like Petacchi, who with a surely legit Therapeutic Use Exemption somehow accidentally managed to imbibe enough asthma meds in a single stage to fuel a drunken thundering herd of Budweiser Clydesdales for a week, get to ride it, it seems to me that some clarification is in order to be sure everyone understands ASO, RCS, UCI, WADA, CONI, and every other pain-in-the-@## acronym's perfectly fair and rational rules for race participation in 2008:

1. If you're busted red-handed, then wah for the cameras (because we all know you would've confessed even if you hadn't been) both before and after your suspension ends, you can ride.

2. If you raise valid due process concerns, shut the hell up and discreetly retreat into the background while your lawyer handles the hearings, or simply shut the hell up and serve your sentence, you can't ride.

3. If you protest your actual innocence, you can't ride *ever*.

4. If you're busted, but do lots of kid-friendly charity work, and are even prettier than Jan Ullrich, you can't ride quite yet, but while you're waiting, we're gonna install a 50-foot tall bronze statue of you in your hometown.

5. If we're still pissed at your boss because we never nailed Lance Armstrong for doping, you can't race.

6. If you're the subject of gross rumor and unfounded speculation as to your performance-improving habits, you're out. Unless we like you. Then you're in.

7. If we didn't tell anyone you skipped doping controls, then someone finds out, you're out. But your team is in next year.

8. If you're French, and we're French, you're in. If you're Spanish, and we're Spanish, you're in. If you're Belgian, and we're Belgian, you're in. If you're Italian, and we're Italian, but we're pissed at your team manager for reasons having nothing to do with you, you're out.

9. If you hire busted or Op Puerto-implicated dopers, then fire 'em after successfully exploiting their names for cheap publicity, you're in. If you hire busted or Op Puerto-implicated dopers, and keep them on the team, you're out. Unless you hire David Millar.

10. If neither you nor your team has done anything wrong, but we need you as a completely innocent pawn in our studly territory-marking !@#$ing match, you can't race. In fact, just hand over the ProTour license. But not til after you've paid for it.

Well, I hope that makes it easier for you to plan your seasons, boys. Allez, allez--if you've got any races to go to!


Anonymous said...

Just found out your blog, great stuff!!!

ASO and RCS are killing this sport together with the UCI.

I want to watch the best teams and riders race the best races, just simple as that.

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Damn, RJ! Wish I'd thought of that. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Is it the same to be speeding and to drive speeding and with alcohol? Punishments are different.
It's the same in doping: Astana'case is very different from Cofidis...
The great kazakh federation can be trusted, their athletes receive a year ban for blood doping when Italian cofidis rider receive 2 years for T !
Difficult to have confidence in a such team able to hire a new suspicious management and riders linked to Operation Puerto.
You should have compared Astana and Rabobank the 2 teams which have tarnished last Tour.

Anonymous said...

LOL funny!! You summed it up so well - the rules are obviously crystal clear!

Anonymous said...

Please post the rules on dailypeloton so those very holy posters can see what they're supporting. I think they want to destroy the sport to save it.

Great blog!