Friday, August 24, 2012

Back To School and Lance Armstrong

These are cute, but I need to rant about ill-advised policy at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

My daughter bought some excellent shoes yesterday in preparation for a joyous return to school. However, my mind is running riot on the news that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)  stripped Lance Armstrong of his tour titles and banned him from Olympic sport.

My first thoughts about this were that the USADA, frustrated about not catching enough dopers in the present, is turning to the past, and will perhaps go as far back as 1868 when James Moore won the first ever bike race in Paris (Witnesses saw him imbibing a “pep” tonic of an undisclosed nature). When time travel becomes possible, the USADA has plans to journey to the future to have athletes pee in digital jars.

Obviously I’m upset, mainly because I make these bar bets that professional cycling can’t get any more ridiculous and absurd. (I’m now hearing my drinking buddy, known as The Spaniard, taunting me in his nasal voice, “You lose again, seƱor!”)

Calming down I realize it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work figuring out what blanks to fill in now that Lance is erased from history books. Taking the 2003 tour as an example here are the general classification rankings:
  1. Lance Armstrongguilty, guilty, guilty! Of loving (cycling) too much
  2. Jan Ullrich – All his 2005 cycling results were annulled due to issues relating to performance-enhancing drugs. So let’s skip this one
  3. Alexandre Vinokourov – Caught blood doping in the 2007 tour, next!
  4. Tyler Hamilton – He beat Olympic doping charges in 2004, but failed drug tests later that year. Best to keep moving
  5. Haimar Zubeldia – Congratulations!
 A rigorous searching for the word “doping” on Haimar Zubeldia’s Wikipedia page has turned up clear. Hail the new 2003 champion. (Note to The Spaniard: Zubeldia is Basque, not from other, nearby countries).

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