Monday, October 05, 2009

Halloween XXVIII: The Reckoning

"Fear Factor" is Right: yep, as our favorite US holiday of ghouls, candy corn, and pervy, gratuitously-nubile-flesh-infused slasher flicks descends upon us, the season's getting even scarier over in the European peloton: the UCI has announced, to the terror of every wiry little bastard with a Ferrari fund worth protecting, that it's retesting the 2008 Tour de France samples. CERA-snorting poster-boy-of-perfidy Bernhard Kohl, of course, is ecstatic, I mean, sorry for those of his scumly compatriots who evaded the narcs last time, pointing out that 'til that idiot Ricco' got busted, everyone was amped to the gills, and only breathed a great sigh of relief on the Champs-Elysees that the rest of 'em hadn't gone down with him. Oops--guess you schmucks miscalculated! Of course, I'm sure there's some fatal flaw in the latest lab procedures that precludes a usable, legally-sustainable B sample...

Not So Fast, Suckers: meantime, the French allege that at least two new doping products were in use at the 2009 Cleanest Tour Ever, and that the Inspector Closeaus at their anti-doping agency even saw discarded doping equipment in rider-accessible garbage cans, none of which is gonna help UCI fend off the latest charges that Lance's team Astana, and possibly a few others, were given suspiciously friendly treatment by the testing vampires, including buckets of masking-agent-friendly time to meander off on their own after doping controls were announced and a pass on testing for certain substances prohibited while in competition. Not that there's any reason for concern. I mean, aside from the fact that it was all totally accidental on the narcs' part, it's not like The One's gonna let any of his boys get in trouble. So don't worry little Contador--we all know he *loves* you!

Race Roundup: mindbogglingly, there's still actual racing going on amidst the usual late-season annual drug-fiend meltdown, which (speaking of drug fiends) includes the recuperating-and-hopefully-not-too-late-about-it Tom Boonen snagging a stage at Franco Belge, reborn 2008 Giro scalawag Emanuele "I Stole Simoni's Stage Win Like a Scumwad" Sella (now at Camariore) taking his own win, scrawny Danish scrapper Michael "Like I Was Cheating When UCI Knew I Skipped Pre-Tour Doping Controls?" Rasmussen relocating to Mexico to sensibly seek citizenship ride freelance and take his second win of his return, and at last Ivan Basso, of all pretty pretty comeback kids, taking a crit. Nice to see you all back (except for, you know, Sella. And Rasmussen. And....)--now Tom, just keep holding it together for heck's sake!

Question o' the Week: finally, I couldn't help but notice of late, as teams scramble to hire the latest reformed-n-rehabbed talent, that the noble 4-year ProTour ban on rehiring convicted drug felons into the big-league squads has gone gently--*really* gently--into that good night. Reasons, anyone?

No comments: