Pro Cycling News – The Once and Future Cipo'?

Aug 23 2005

Daniele Bennati took his third group sprint of this year’s Tour of Germany, perhaps reviving his long-dead claim to as heir to Il Re Leone. Levi Leipheimer maintained his 31 second gap on Jan Ullrich to take the overall. Leipheimer’s teammate David Rebellin extended his contract with Gerlosteiner for blah blah blah…let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?

The guardians of responsible journalism at that bastion of ethical investigation better known as L’Equipe have decided to steal the show by alleging (once again) that Lance Armstrong is on drugs. Well, was on drugs. Way back in 1999. Well, not all of 1999. Just six times on the ’99 Tour. I mean, they’re pretty sure the six of the twelve samples they think are positive are his. Even if they did use a test that is notorious for false positives. Oh, yeah, I guess it’s all officially moot because there’s no alternate samples to test.

Guilty or not, it’s not news. Perhaps the oldest story in Lance Amrstong’s post-cancer career is that he’s allegedly on drugs. If he turns out to be on drugs, everyone knew all along anyway; if not, hey, he’s still innocent and no one cares. You can’t name a prominent professional cyclist not accused of taking drugs. Eddy Merckx was booted from the ’74 Giro on obviously contrived drugs charges. One of Jacques Anquetil’s hour record rides was invalidated because he chose to shower before peeing in the cup. I think my feelings on the topic are best summed up by two-time TdF winner Laurent Fignon:

“I don’t give a sh!t.”

For a guy that lost the Tour de France because he didn’t cut his ponytail, Fignon is an alright dude. The more I read about him, the more I want to buy him a drink.

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