Thursday, July 17, 2008

This Just In: Tour de France Riders Find Drugs Helpful


Like many of you I awoke to the news that Saunier Duval rider, Tour de France sensation, and Giro d'Italia first loser Riccardo "The Cobra" Ricco has failed a drug test.  (Actually, I awoke to the sound of drag racing--best $22.95 I ever spent--but found out about the Ricco thing shortly thereafter.)  The test showed he was taking erythropoietin, but it was CERA and not EPO.  If I understand it correctly (which I'm sure I don't), EPO is like regular Coke and CERA is like Diet Pepsi Max.  While this is certainly disappointing and bad for the Tour, it's hardly surprising--it's kind of like discovering the Beatles may have been experimenting with LSD during the recording of "Sergeant Pepper," or that your favorite porn starlet may have had a breast enhancement.  I mean, the guy carries a picture of Marco Pantani in his jersey pocket.  He wanted to get caught!  Nonetheless it's certainly yet another setback in the Tour's attempt to change its image.  It also raises more questions than answers, chief among them:

--Ricco has a naturally high hematocrit level already, so isn't this like a sex addict taking Viagra?  (Or more accurately Cialis, the Diet Pepsi Max of erectile dysfunction medications?)


--Is there any truth to the rumor that a movie version of the scandal is already in the works, and that The Cobra will be played by "G.I. Joe" arch-villain Cobra Commander?



--Will the Tour organization, the cycling press, and the public at large have any patience for the vigorous denials sure to follow this positive test result?

--Has Ricco already engaged personal injury attorney Daniella Levi, who has obtained millions of dollars for her clients over the years?




--Have Astana been vindicated, and will a smug Johan Bruyneel be played by John Travolta in that same movie?


--Will Jonathan Vaughters and team Garmin/Chipotle, who test themselves once every 14 days, be able to contain their own smugness?

--Between AFLD testing and their own tests, how is it even possible that the Garmin/Chipotle riders have any blood left?  Could this be an elaborate subterfuge, and could bloodletting in fact have performance-enhancing benefits that the rest of the sporting world has not caught on to yet?

--Should the ASO just allow doping at this point and implement a Maillot Dopage for the highest-placed drugged rider?

The answers to these questions of course are: yes; doubtful; maybe; no; probably; hopefully; absolutely not; absolutely; and definitely.

At any rate, without Ricco's explosive (if drug-addled) riding we can look forward to a docile paceline the rest of the way to Paris.

84 comments:

Peter said...

Yeah Baby !!!!

Anonymous said...

ha! from Germany

Jonathan said...

podium for australia???!!!

Peter said...

actually Paul Riser or Timothy Daly should play Johan Bruyneel . Infact Johan Bruyneel could play Bill Bixby in the upcoming remake of " Courtship of Eddies Father "
People let me tell you 'bout my best friend,
He's a warm hearted person who'll love me till the end.
People let me tell you 'bout my best friend,
He's a one boy cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy.

Anonymous said...

wow. just missed with a sneaky early peak. you pricks are seriously needing a life. i'm starting the juice tonight. the podium shall be mine! ps. um.... who called the ricco thing? that's right. moi.

rmckittr said...

People who base their whole day on posting first here make me sad for the sorry state of their lives.

g said...

missed the podium. must be clean.

Jonathan said...

where is everyone? i have a moment of glory, AFTER reading the post, and it's like everyone is still in bed or something.

i guess there's something to be said for staying up late watching dodgy pirated live feeds of le tour...

Anonymous said...

top ten

Anonymous said...

And with the Barloworld riders "crashing out" of the race faster than a brakless fixed gear rider... should we wonder if they're just avoiding the doping controls? Could they suck that bad?

mary poppins said...

If your riding and doping in the tour, why attract attention to yourself by winning by a long way?
cadel is smart

nacl said...

Sodium!

Patu said...

this is bad for cycling and for the fans.
The good part is the in Italy (Giro)and Spain (Vuelta) they don't control the guys so much, what i want is the bicycle show, if they that drugs or not is their problem, they are free for kill themselves.

Sorry about my English

Cheers from Portugal

Anonymous said...

I have nothing clever to say, but I did actually ride my bike yesterday so I kinda feel smug and vindicated.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Ricco will look back and regret more--ruining his career and upsetting millions of tour fans eager to believe it was 'just a few bad apples,' or that outfit?
mb

Anonymous said...

more questions remain:

- Did ricco inject CERA into his penis to avoid detection?

- Is there a role in the movie for Michael CERA? (you know, the kid from Juno)

Anonymous said...

I was just watching the le tour coverage today. Ryder Hesdejal is sporting a mowhawk with the argyle pattern buzzed into his head.

Take off eh!

Kinda reminds me of back in the 80's when kids were shaving the nike swoosh into their hair.

Anonymous said...

i guess it's over. no more whinning. no more heart-felt hand wringing. dope is in sports. and it's here to stay. Maillot Dopage indeed. i seriously suggest that cycling stop this era of self-flagellation and let it be. no other sporting organation seriously gives a fuck about dope. pros are on dope. 'nuff said. movie folks are on dope. governors are on dope. my ex is on dope and who gives a fuck. the sport that through whatever twisted series of coincidences and weirdness somehow grabbed me and hooked me needs to let it be. riding changed my life. and probably about a million other's lives. for the better. i hate to see this shit sprayed across the media landscape every fucking july. boy, i can't wait for the first relative or work friend i see, to ask me about it....again. pros are on fucking dope.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the Saunier Duval team photo on their official site?

http://www.saunierduval-prodir.com/cyclingteam/riderDetailN.jsp?idrider=1137515749423

It looks like all of the heads are photoshopped on to the bodies a la manbabies (http://manbabies.com/)

Jonathan said...

I agree with Patu about the advantages of being more lax about the drug use.

Really, this witch hunt for drug use is simply ruining the sport. The truth is that performance enhancing drugs have been around for a very long time and will remain. It sucks, it's not really right and it is cheating, but in the end it's hurting the sport more to test and publicly humiliate the riders more than solving the problem.

Athletes are extremely insecure perpetual teenagers regarding their abilities and performance, so taking a magic pill is all too enticing. Using drug war tactics isn't going to work. It sure has worked on millions of teenagers in America who's drug use has increased with the propaganda efforts of law enforcement rather than declined.

A better solution would be to test for the drugs and if you test positive to either have a set number of seconds added to your time or to be placed further back in the pack on the starting line. I think that would take away the benefit of using the drugs in the first place and maybe stop some athletes from taking them.

Andrew said...

people who base their day on complaining about people who base their day on wining the posting sprint rock!

Another 10 hours of wasted television watching and more shit I need to tkae from the idiots at work.
Bastardo!

chiggins said...

Wonder if his tattoo looks anything like this.

SD said...

I think Whinning is a perfect description of Cadel's racing style. He's a whinner!

Anonymous said...

@jonathan's
"A better solution would be to test for the drugs and if you test positive to either have a set number of seconds added to your time or to be placed further back in the pack on the starting line. I think that would take away the benefit of using the drugs in the first place and maybe stop some athletes from taking them."

Maybe I am on drugs, but this doesn't make any sense. This will not take away any benefit of using drugs because athletes will still take drugs in hopes of not being discovered. What better deterrent is there than publicly humiliating the athlete and his team and then banning said athlete for a couple of years from his livelihood? This is a rhetorical question. (Thought I'd throw that out there.)

aaron said...

what's wrong with using the same doping controls all year. it's like the french pride themselves in fucking up their own race so it's media mess. i'd say the french news paper that sponsors the race has nooothing to do with this shit. maybe they should just stop having the tour. the french are miserable people and love to bathe in the misery of others.

c.speranza said...

marco pantani was the greatest cyclist of the modern times.
his positivity to epo and his death are still a hot case in italy, several duputies avoided to close the case for the last years.
Riccó is a young talented racer and i don't know how many french got pissed off by wathcing him climbing like nobody else...in any case, it is not 100% proven, let's wait the next tests. certainly the tour without Riccó is sensible less worth.

FIDO said...

I am totally crushed. Are you saying that all pron starlets have breast implants? Man oh man, what's next accounting scandals, steriod abuse in baseball, gay marriages. What am I to do now. I might as well conclude that Robin Hood was really just a thief, Pinoculo wasn't real, and my girlfriend was a virgin when we started dating. Man, guess all my hopes are shot. Where's the whiskey?

Erik said...

The sad thing for me is I was just starting to like the particular style of his egomania. Now he's just juiced to the gills. And Ricco's 5'8" and I'm 5'8", does this mean I have to lose 80 pounds AND take Michael Cera to prom to be as good a climber?

ant1st said...

first!

stack-up said...

I love Ricco's bright yellow crocs. It just goes to show no matter how good a racing cyclist you get to be, or how many drugs you take, you will still wear the same stupid shoes that all CAT 1-5 do before and after races.

ant1st said...

aarons are miserable people and love to bathe in the misery of others.

ant1st said...

aaron, I thought the french did not bathe?

ka_jun said...

Hahahahaha...a Daniella Levi sticker of approval AND Cobra Commander...awesome!

Mongo Pusher said...

Johnathan Vaughters does look really pale all the time. I think you might be on to something with the Garmin-Chipotle Bloodletting Cult.

leroy said...

Not the Cobra!

I haven't felt this disappointed since someone tried to tell me that it was drugs -- and not the fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches -- that did in Elvis.

It has to be a mistake. Yes, that's all it could be. A horrible, horrible mistake.

I say we organize a blood drive for the Cobra. He could use a little push up this hill.

And I'm sure that when all the testing is done, we'll learn that CERA is a harmless natural product -- more like the popsicle stick and two rubber band treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Cunego Lover said...

Sweet drag racing alarm clock!

As for Ricco, you could see his nihilistic meltdown from a mile away. Or kilometer away, as it happened in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Let Daniella Levi Ride!

Anonymous said...

peter: Pepsi;
anonymous 8:56 : Coke;
jonathan: Fanta.

drug user said...

drugs rule!

urchin said...

According to one article at least, Ricco tested positive for BOTH rEPO AND Cera. Put that through the caffeinated beverage metaphoratron...

Anon 9:02--can't claim any previous predictions if you post anonymous, now can you? C'mon, it only takes a few minutes and you can put up a tiny picture too...

Anonymous said...

BSNYC wrote: "without Ricco's explosive (if drug-addled) riding we can look forward to a docile paceline the rest of the way to Paris."

Isn't this attitude EXACTLY what's wrong with cycling? Just how the fcuk do you guys think Pantani got to be so exciting?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let them dope, let them hold onto the team car, let them take the train, short cuts, sabotage their rivals. Jeeze, just put an f**in gas engine on the bicycle, whatever.
Just don't expect people to follow the rules because that would ruin the sport.

Mike said...

Coincidence that Ricco's choice of bike is the Scott Addict Limited. I think not.

chainrings di biopace said...

i have always thought travolta's face looks like it was sculpted with silly putty. look at it.

bikesgonewild said...

..."que cera, cera,
whatever will be, will be,
the future is ours to see.
que cera, cera"...

...w/ apologizes to actress/singer doris day & the lyrics of the 1956 winner of the 'academy award for best original song'...

...just seemed appropriate...

fro said...

sorry urchin. it's the altitude chamber thats making me forgetful and loopy. prepping for my epo cycle starting tonight. in 6 weeks i'm gonna be fast. kiss my arse suckers! je suis le roi du sport class.

IrvClemens said...

What color would the maillot dopage be...

Anonymous said...

blood red of course

Anonymous said...

eric said: "And Ricco's 5'8" and I'm 5'8", does this mean I have to lose 80 pounds AND take Michael Cera to prom to be as good a climber?"

-Well, if you give Michael Cera a lift on the back of your bike up the Passo dello Stelvio on the way to your prom, you might become a good climber. You may also lose 80 pounds that way, too.

ant1st said...

i've decided that instead of cheering for riders to win, i'm going to start cheering for riders to get caught doping, that way i won't be dissapointed anymore. Go Contador!

yonk said...

F' Ricco.

Now, where's that pudding?

erik k said...

Maillot Dopage

jza said...

Made for TV movie version......starring your favorite and mine.......TONY DANZA as legendary cycling manager/hemaglobin manipulator!!!!

mojito said...

Ricco Makes Phil Cry. Tonight, Versus, 8pm.

C.P. said...

Me oh my, Daniella Rides The Snake! Ricardo "The All Venom, no Snake" Cobra

Yee

Haw!

Anonymous said...

He bears a striking resemblance to the Sherminator.

leroy said...

Eirk K --

Re the maillot dopage:

I inject!

Ooops, I meant:

I object!

Damn, I am gonna miss The Cobra.

I wonder if the KOM jersey has polka dots to hide blood stains from needle sticks.

frilly said...

Wow, Ant1st. Being a little harsh on Bertie, aren't you? Convicted without trial.

Looks like he might have the last laugh after all. They shoulda let little Levi ride.

Matt said...

Should I refuse delivery of that Saunier Duval kit I just ordered???

Brendan said...

Anyone else been humming Huey Lewis' classic hit "I want a new drug"...

leroy said...

Matt -- refuse delivery of your Suanier Duval kit?

Are you kidding?

That's going to be a collector's item!

Or at least a blood collector's item.

Midi said...

Ricco was so obvious that claiming you saw it coming is akin to predicting a break with less that 2 mins advantage and 70km to go on a flat transition stage is going to get caught.

I thought he was a wanker drugs or no drugs.

I also think that docile paceline is exactly what we won't see.

in fact controlling the pack has been difficult this year?

Anonymous said...

Ricco... no suave.

AnnaZed said...

jeez erik k, sacrebleu!

Anonymous said...

Likening taking dope to using a gasoline engine to drive the bike is a completely incorrect analogy, as are the other bad analogies above.

If I jump on a motorcycle I can easily beat any rider in the Tour. Even The Cannibal couldn't keep up with me.

On the other hand, if I take EPO, I'm still going to be a slow ass cyclist and still have zero chance of getting on a Tour team, much less surviving the Tour.

Dopers in sport are finding small chemical advantages in a very competitive environment. They still are motivating their bike over 2,000+ miles using nothing but their legs...it's still cycling. If they were hanging onto team cars etc, it wouldn't still be cycling.

Do you have a problem with them sleeping in hyperbaric chambers? Do you have a problem with them using all sorts of medical advantages to perfect their nutrition and training? They are already freaks both genetically and in how they treat their bodies.

So, how do we even identify what is dope and what is "natural"? It's a bit arbitrary. A lot of the things that are legal at your local GNC are synthetic and aren't something you could go pick off a bush anyway.

The only really decent argument for anti-doping is that it's dangerous to the athletes and therefore to the people who idolize them. The only problem with this argument is that we still let the athletes do other, even more dangrous things. Ask Beloki if EPO is more dangrous than descending...

Would I want my kid to use EPO (or steroids, or, or or)? No way! But if pros want to, why should I care?

Simon said...

Erik: Nice, but was leaving Armstrong's name on there intentional, or an oversight?

Hoges said...

jonathan at 8:58am.. good onya mate! the other two will get disqualified for doping and you have the title.

Jonathan said...

Anon 10:43am

I'm really not sure the public humiliation thing is working either, because they're still trying to get away with it. I believe that was your point of why my idea wouldn't work, so fair enough my idea will work as well as the current strategy is working.

Maybe, Anon 8:22pm has it right why should we care?

Really, how do we know the guys in the 20's and 30's weren't on the performance enhancing drugs of their day? I'm willing to bet they were!

Millard Baker said...

The 2008 Tour de France is very disappointing for me. It is supposed to be the premier cycling event in the sport. But most of the top cyclists have been kicked out or pulled from the Tour.

It is no longer the premier race if it doesn't have the top riders.

I'd rather have the best of the best compete in the Tour de France (doped or not) than a Tour that only catches a percentage of the doped riders while allow most doped riders to slip by...

bikesgonewild said...

...umm, millard...lemme see, astana's out, so that means levi & bertie along w/ one of the world best support riders in chris horner, aren't at 'le tour'...

...& ya haven't got boonen, who figures into a number of sprint finishes a year at this race, yet always rides at the back on every climb & then there's little 'rickie riccardo' who we've "assumed" up until now, was one of the world's best, yah ???...but maybe not so much now...

...& to be honest, hopefully we won't see for years to come...

...so, if i'm missing anybody else, lemme know but yer logic doesn't seem to hold much water...

bikewhorder said...

I don't care about doping, I'm just here for laughs, and speaking of laughs, did you guys check out any of the other GI Joe clips? I haven't lauaghed so hard since the day I discovered BSnyc. Look up "pork chops" or "funny as hell". I couldn't breathe!

Midi said...

its against the rules..

do you have rules or not... if you do then breaking them implies penalty.

trhe riders are going enforce a no dope policy on themselves in the end.. there was no way Ricco was going to make it up the GC in the alps..

no way.

anybody who thought he was going to get away with it is absurdly out of sync of a growing consensus they are not part of.

they would have found him positive even if he wasn't!

erik k said...

Simon... there are never any oversights. Even if Lance didn't dope, and I really don't know, someone who was pulling for him along the way did. nobody's got completely clean hands

Millard Baker said...

Bikesgonewild, that's exactly my point! This year's tour is disappointing with many top riders missing...

Anonymous said...

Frank says...

About the UCI & ASO

If the UCI and ASO think they are cleaning up the sport of cycle racing they are fooling themselves. The matter comes down to one thing - money. If the UCI and ASO had real balls they would hit the teams with major fines, fines they could use to help to fund further tests, because as WADA says, these test are expensive - win/win.

This practice of expelling a rider every time they test positive and the team subsequently sacks the rider is absurd and frankly it's a joke. Teams have to have more responsibility to their riders than just firing them if they test positive.

Teams & Directors

If Bjarne Riis, TdF winner and admitted EPO doper, is allowed to profit from cycling and he currently runs and owns one of the most powerful teams in all of cycling - CSC. Yet nothing is done to keep him out. Why should we really believe the ASO & UCI really care about the current cheats in cycling today? It's just business as usual.

I won't even go down the Armstrong path because unfortunately, he was never caught nor has he ever admitted to it. So based on those facts, I will take it for what it is, so everyone who accuses him is either A. A liar or B. Stating a false opinion.

Nobody has yet proved anything on him - don't get me wrong I am not defending him, I am just stating what the facts are as we know them today, not perpetuating mindless rumors.

At the end of the day the UCI has very little to no power and the ASO is just a greedy French ORG who wants to be seen as doing the right thing instead of really doing anything to fix it - the first time anything goes wrong they point their finger at the UCI, but they really don't care to fix the problem, but they are, to put it plainly, too French to care.

Case in point had Rasmussen been a Frenchmen there is no way in hell the ASO will toss him out of the 2007 tour with one week left wearing yellow - no way.

More to the point, Danish Bjarne Riis admits to EPO and has his titles and jerseys stripped, yet Frenchman Richard Virenque while on the Festina team nearly brings the Tour to its knees in 1998, although never admits to doping, where his team is caught with massive quantities of illicit substances.

To this day Virenque is allowed to keep all of his king of the mountain jerseys and still holds the record of most ever KOM's. Oh, but I forgot, he never admitted it and was never caught...

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