Doping (maybe), Cysts, OLN and Norweigans – News

Jul 27 2005

So maybe someone (other than Dario Frigo) was doping at this year’s TdF? Samples taken from a Stage 5 rider (both leader Armstrong and stage winner McEwen were non-randomly tested that day) reveal traces of norpseudoephedrine, which, though nearly identical to the psuedophedrine in Sudafed is for some reason illegal. WADA commented that is was unlikely the result will be considered a real doping offense, and given the generally foul attitude of the aptly-named WADA chief Dick Pound, this probably means it was found in concentrations less than the 5µg/ml allowed.

Oscar Friere looks to be in trouble for this year’s World Championships. Friere, who could break the record of 3 world titles held by (among others) Eddy Merckx in his home capitol of Madrid, has been slow to recover from a cyst removal earlier this season. Friere will miss this season’s Vuelta a Espana as a result. Not that anyone in America will notice, though. Despite having some of its best coverage in recent memory, and drawing over 1.7 million people to the final stage of this year’s Tour, it remains unclear whether the “Only Lance Network” will be showing any of the ’05 Vuelta. After being able to catch every stage of Roberto Heras’ amazing comeback win in ’03, ’04 offered viewers only hour-long weekly recaps. The full listing of OLN’s cycling coverage for the rest of the season can be found here

One last item of note: there seems to be some debate (see comments) on whether or not extra salty licorice fish taste good. Well, they don’t. And, trust me, this is not an opinion only held by sissy men. In fact, it appears only sissy men enjoy those noisome candy abominations. Those in the know will be well aware of candy’s popularity in Norway; the same Norway from which this year’s maillot vert Thor Hushovd hails. Now get this: Mr. Most Consistent Sprinter was too weak to make it through 3 weeks of the Tour without having his mommy around to cook him up potatoes. “I get fed up with all that pasta,” whined a limp-wristed Hushovd. What a wuss. I bet he’d prefer a nice warm bag of salted licorice gummies.

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