Friday, February 10, 2012

Bans Are For Sissies: A Comprehensive Approach to Anti-Doping Reform

Problem: "retroactive" bans clearly mean !@#$: the guy's back on the road in a coupla months. And banning a rider after 6 years of dithering is ridiculous: the man's either already retired, or well past his useful shelf life anyway. And some guys, no matter what they do, they never get banned at all. Either way, they're all laughing their !@#es off. Conclusion: unless the governing bodies are willing to ban first and apologize later, or you get some lily-livered crybaby who blubbers for mercy immediately in regret over being busted in hopes of a reduced sentence, bans are !@#$%$#. Solution: Chain gangs. Look, the death penalty, while tempting, is (1) frankly a little bit harsh for snarfing a jolt of pre-race joy juice and (2) some sort of whiny "human rights violation" if you're a simpering socialist brie-eating ivory-tower criminal-appeaser country unlike the United States or, say, Iran. But chain gangs? Benissimo! And not just *any* ol' chain gangs--they're ultra-deterrent super-humiliating ProTour chain gangs! Yes, Alberto, you and your fellow dope-suckin band o' miscreants will not only be wearing some rusty medieval 80-lb. shackles right where it'd hurt to hold the handlebars and clip into the pedals, but you'll be specially assigned to shame yourself right in front of the folks it'll crush you the most! That poor bastard walking around exactly in front of the final podium in the 100-degree sun in a grotesquely obvious prison outfit with a broom handle with a metal point attached to it pickin' up yellow confetti while the Official Andy Schleck Fan Club covers you in lougies and the man himself stands above you on high gleaming in his brand-new maillot jaune? That's *you*, baby--enjoy that fresh air and exercise, *and* be on the cover of every publication in sports the next day! Wah, wah, the verdict was wrong, you lost your dignity for life and 20 bazillion euros worth of winnings and product endorsements--nothin' an "oops, sorry!" straight from the mouth of Pat "Dick" when you win your appeal can't fix right up, right? So who's with me--baby Schleck, you got a vested interest in this one, so long as Joha--uh, I mean, you got a vested interest in this one!
Look, here's the crew for the Giro d'Italia! that third-from-the-left Hinault?

And, A Shout-Out to Our Tom Boonen Fans: back on the Planet of Stuff That's Actually Relevant This Century, ain't it a real, genuine delight to see big Belgian babe-magnet Tom Boonen back on form and so confident once again at the Tour of Qatar? I *knew* getting him back into the discotheque and onto the white stuff (y'know...sugar) would get him back on top--way to go for once Quick Step, and who *knows* how that quiet Levi Leipheimer'll take off if he adopts this new training regimen! Oh, and feel better poor Cav...

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