Bjarne, Basso, and Bonehead Europeans

Apr 26 2007

Ah, [inhales deeply] no racing today! (Ok, well, a little racing. But I’m gonna ignore it.) Nothing to fetter my otherwise irrepressible polemicism! I’ll begin with Bjarne Riis, who regrets nothing about the Ivan Basso affair. Bjarne, you bald-headed hypocrite, just a few months ago you were pining away like a jilted lover. You can’t be like “oh, I have regrets” one minute, then be like “I regret nothing!” the next. Sinatra would not approve. Furthermore, when you mumble about this “doubt hanging over the team”, are you forgetting about your old nickname? Or your earlier protege? Count yourself lucky there was no blood doping test when T-Ham rode for CSC.

And now there’s this whole Basso thing. He’s been suspended again. Not because of any positive test or new information, but because Spain sent blood bags to Italy. While the wine-filled meatpuppets that run the sport clap their chubby hands with glee at this obvious breech of protocol, Basso, just days before the Giro, is a little pissed. While in the end, it seems that CONI can’t force Ivan the Terrible to fork over DNA, he’ll probably get fired if he fails to do so. I hear Disco’s already looking to fill his spot.

And why, just as a reminder, are we subject to this uncomic absurdity? All this failure of due process, and suspending and ejecting on hearsay and conjecture? Why, the oligarchs trumpet, to protect the integrity of the sport. Never mind the decades of drug abuse and subterfuge that came before (indeed, when many current oligarchs were riders and managers) – no more cheaters in the sport! Of course, there are and always will be cheaters in every sport, and dopers certainly aren’t the only ones in cycling.

Why cycling’s current power elite vilifies the Puerto suspects so vehemently is beyond me. I suppose they want to look back on their careers and say, “well, I could’t stop all doping, but at least a prevented those Puerto guys from ever winning races again.” Except it’s already too late. If there’s any lesson to be learned from the Puerto fiasco, it’s the obvious impotence of a hard-line stance, especially in light of the freedoms it destroys.

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