the UCI confirmed today that LA will indeed lose all his Tour titles and a whole lot besides. “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” said
Pat McQuaid at the conference. reports that he was reading off cue boards written in red lipstick and being held by the UCI’s honorary president Hein Verbruggen at the back of the room are yet to be confirmed. McQuaid looked a little queasy at one point but was reported to have eaten at least three slices of Humble Pie before the conference, which may or may not have been the cause of the indigestion.
several windows in the building shook but the cause was not the amount of hot air in the room (surprisingly), but apparently the effect of a collective and massive weary sigh let out across the globe by cycling fans fed up to the back teeth with the sludgy porridge that the hierarchy of the sport and the majority of the media had been feeding them over the past few years. several canaries in the vicinity are reported to be bereft of life as a result.
‘they did it,’ a man in the street said later, referring to the UCI decision, ‘cos they had no other choice. talk about pirates walking a rotting plank.’
in another thrilling development, Monsieur Phil Ligget, recently of Indignant Avenue, has miraculously had the hand that was shoved up his backside for the past decade and a half removed after prolonged surgery. his first reported words were slurred but thought to be ‘Get Ze Bugger Out‘. the Englishman seemed to be having some trouble with his size 9 nike sneaker that had become lodged in his mouth, but after eventually spitting it out he went on to weeble that:
“I hate the thought that I built these people into superstars in the minds of the public when they cheated. But if you look deeper down, they all seemed to have been cheating. I’m totally bemused by the whole thing now. I cannot believe it was so endemic – I didn’t know it was going on.”
by ‘deeper down’ we can only assume Mr Ligget means down just below his nostril hair and above his top lip, for it seems that a lot of the doping and much of the truth were actually right there all along.
returning to McQuaid, the Irishman went on to praise Bjarne Riis, owner of the SaxoBank team and a former pro rider who admitted to doping during his career. “Bjarne Riis has his place in cycling. He admitted to doping and admitted to his past, and he is trying to use his past to create a better future for the sport. There is a big difference, at this moment, Lance Armstrong has not admitted [to doping].”
then – wait, let’s grasp at this logic before it disappears altogether – if LA does admit to it all, he can come back?
there are claims however by Tyler Hamilton – whose evidence played more than a minor role in the downfall of LA – that Riis sent him to doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in 2002. it is also worth noting that Matt White lost his coaching job as a result of the evidence gathered in the Armstrong investigation. seems to be that the Australians could teach the UCI a thing or two. however, when crankpunk contacted the Australians, a man with a difficult accent merely recommended velcro-strap shoes for McQuaid & co so that their shoelaces no longer caused them to fall over their own feet. mate.
the UCI may well point to a new rule introduced in July last year that is set to ban anyone with a doping past (unless the ban was for less than 2 years…) from returning to a management capacity within a UCI ProTour team. the ruling however will not be applied retroactively. which is odd, seeing as riders such as Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde had their suspensions applied retroactively, meaning they could return to the sport much sooner than the actual period stipulated in their original bans.
that this new ruiling is not to be applied retroactively is somewhat of a relief, if i may be honest, because many of us thought maybe we’d seen the last of convicted Kazakh doper Alexandre Vinokourov, that throwback to the LA era. phew… relax folks, he’ll be back at the races next year with his Olympic gold and his Astana team. along with Riis, Zabriskie, Vande Velde, maybe even Leipheimer, and for sure Jonathan Vaughters…
i leave you with more comedy, this wonderful sketch starring messrs. Paul Kimmage and Phil Ligget… [for ‘Norwegian Blue’ insert ‘Cycling’s Credibility’, ‘Armstrong’s Legacy’ or ‘UCI Impartiality’. any, or indeed all three, will suffice…]
As I said on Facebork; Every time Pat McQuaid opens his mouth, I throw up a little in my own.
This all leaves me so very far from satisfied. Not evenly remotely on the same continent as “satisfied”. Without the removal of Pat and Hein, our sport can never regain credibility. The Revolution® is upon us… sharpen your pitchfork and light your torches, it’s time to storm the castle walls!
thanks for the thoughts Tim. and i agree. i’d like to see the riders come out now with some sort of joint statement, or a new rider body, or something…
They need a powerful rider body/ union that will ensure they have rights. As a rider, I’m sure your frustration levels run high on a regular basis.
The sport of cycling is beyond beautiful. The UCI continues to make it look cheap and tawdry. It’s beyond “unfair”.
as a rider participating in UCI races yes, it is. it’s not so much the getting beat by dopers (which has happened personally), it’s that so many people just feel that all they can do is shrug and say ‘ah well’. that’s the saddest part. i’m going to be writing in the coming days about how we can make things better and about the problems in the Asian peloton too
I look forward to your commentary and insight.