Pro Cycling News – The Texan Strikes Back

Aug 25 2005

No more stonewalling and say-nothing press releases from Lance Armstrong. No, he hasn’t admitted to doping (and, to save you the suspense, he never will, guilty or not), but he is going on Larry King tonight to protest his innocence to the country. In doing so, Armstrong becomes the latest person to apologize for not being guilty on that news program, following in the footsteps of such upstanding characters as Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar (post 9-11), Tanya Harding (post-Nancy Kerrigan) and Monica Lewinski (post-well, y’know…). Anyway, since it has to keep up with l’Equipe, Le Monde released a report today about a mystery man who visited Team Discovery with a “blue ice box” (apparently, we’re meant to conclude it was full of drugs) during this year’s TdF. After being tipped off by the Italians (yeah, there’s a reliable source), French police staked out Disco’s lodgings at Pau, but their cover was blown by a local TV news team.

Cyclingnews has even launched a titanic special report on the whole scandal. Included in it are your guide to doping and getting away scot-free, a close examination of the ethical issues involved, and an interview with TIAA-Cref director, fashion victim and former Postie, Jonathan Vaughters. Perhaps the best quote of the incedent comes from Jay-Veezee himself, as he comments on the relative ineffectiveness of HGH and steroids:

“The users can have their balls shrivel up and their foreheads grow larger and whatever and good luck to them, but it’s the oxygen vector drugs that are really powerful.”

Lost in all this nonsese are a few bits of actual news: Stuey O’Grady is out of the Vuelta (as reported yesterday) due to a knee injury, which will also keep him out of Worlds (these two second parts are new). This is good news for Cycling Australia, who might otherwise have had to deal with a wallaby fight between O’Grady and mate Robbie McEwen, because had each been selected to the World Championships Road Race team, and apparently they don’t get along. Also out of Vuelta is Relax-Fundabria rider Oscar Laguna, who was “unfit to race” due to a high hematocrit (which may actually have made him more fit, but that’s just how the UCI does things…) And finally, feast on these spy photos: some very ugly levers, and some very expensive wheels.

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