Danish pro “Chicken” Rasmussen reveals doping in pro peloton

October 31, 2013 § 23 Comments

Former cycling professional and Tour de France contender Michael Rasmussen has released excerpts from his forthcoming autobiography that reveal the existence of widespread doping practices in the European pro peloton during his career. Co-authored with Danish sports journalist Pastry Kierkegaard, the book, “Charging While Charged,” exposes the use of banned substances among elite athletes.

According to Rasmussen, professional cyclists regularly used EPO and other drugs to pedal faster than they would have been able to without the banned substances. This little known fact has rocked the normally staid Danish Cycling Federation. “If what he says is true, this means that a great fraud has been perpetrated on the Danish sporting public,” said federation director Njal Saga.

“The drugs were used in such a way that we could avoid detection,” Rasmussen explains. “We took them secretly so that we wouldn’t be caught.” Athletes in other sports have expressed dismay at this revelation.

“If what Rasmussen says can be corroborated, then it means that other athletes might be using banned substances, too,” said Manuel Ortega de Coronado Castillo y Leon, president of the Argentine Football Society and Committee to Re-elect the President.

Descent into doping

In addition to his own drug use, Rasmussen claims to have taught doping methods to  Ryder Hesjedal, the first Canadian winner of the Giro d’Italia. “I taught Ryder how to use EPO. When he used it, he rode a lot faster,” says Rasmussen.

Several doping experts, however, question this claim. “Its not 100% sure that drugs can always make you faster,” said Paolo Derrigade. “One cannot turn a donkey into a racehorse. However, if true, this could mean we’ve been hoodwinked by a lot of unethical sportsmen.”

In addition to EPO, Rasmussen reveals that professional cyclists used a combination of steroids and other illegal substances to go faster. By using these drugs, he says, the athletes hoped to win races that they could not otherwise win. “You could say they were cheating,” he admits.

Explaining his reasons for using banned drugs, Rasmussen goes on to say that “I took the drugs to go faster.” In this tell-all, provocative expose, the author also claims that doping has been in pro cycling for a long time. “Doping has been in pro cycling for a long time,” he writes.

These explosive allegations have already had consequences, with some questioning whether the Tour de France victories of fellow Dane Bjarne Riis, as well as victories by Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong could have also been achieved through the use of banned substances. Brian Cookson, head of the UCI, commented that “We can’t say anything until we’ve completed our own internal investigation, but if drugs were involved in those victories, there will be consequences.”

Wider fallout?

Rasmussen’s detailed description of what he terms “doping doctors,” or physicians who provided the illegal substances and administered them to willing athletes, suggests even broader patters of doping. When asked in a telephone interview if he believed that other athletes in sports such as football, baseball, soccer, and chess were also doping, Rasmussen answered, “Yes.”

Not everyone was shocked by the revelations, and some commentators were openly skeptical. According to Phil Liggett, a veteran reporter of the Tour, “I don’t believe it was widespread. Maybe the odd cheater here and there, but that’s it. The vast majority of the pro peloton is, and has always been, squeaky clean.”

Wankmeister cycling clinic #12: Wazzup with Lance?

August 25, 2012 § 19 Comments

Dear Wankmeister:

I’m not a cycling fan because it’s so boring. Riding bicycles? For a living? But I read that Lance Armstrong got busted for doping even though he passed 500 piss and blood tests and is the most tested athalete in the history of sport. WTF?

Curiosity-like,
Rover

Dear Rover:

He is the victim of a witch hunt. This where people hunt for witches, which don’t exist in the real world. So they find an ugly old lady with a droopy bosom and scraggly hair, call her a witch, and then put her on a giant wooden scales with a duck to see if she floats like a piece of wood in water or sinks. Then they burn her. Have you ever seen shirtless Lance Armstrong? Major droopy bosom. No scraggly hair, but a pretty scraggly face. Ergo witch. Now they’re going to burn her. Him. It.

Salem (means “peace” in Hebrew)
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I’m a Harvard-educated attorney who specializes in personal jurisdiction. It’s absurd for USADA to claim that they had jurisdiction over this matter. Pennoyer v. Neff.

Case restingly,
Natty Turnbull

Dear Natty:

The legal issues in this case are exceedingly complex. Please see the handy-dandy chart I’ve devised to help you crack the “code.”

Legal Issue Legal Precedent Legal Outcome
Who has the most $? USADA USADA wins
Who has jurisdiction? The richer party USADA wins
Is USADA a govt. agency? They act like one USADA wins
What is the statute of limitations for doping? Fucking forever USADA wins
Is Lance a douchebag? Last 20 yrs. of his behavior Yes
Where is Johan Bruyneel? Never missed a big race Living in a cave
Who gets Lance’s jerseys? Bjarne Riis: Kept ‘em The only clean team in sports: US Kegel Team
What happens to Vaughters et al.? [Keep a straight face here] Nothing
What’s the evidence that he doped? [Quit screeching with laughter] Come on. Really, now.

First Year Lawyerly,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I’ve been a Livestrong fan since its inception. Now my son Billy is asking me shit like, “Daddy, is Mr. Lance a cheater?” and “Daddy, are you going to quit wearing those cheater bracelets?” and “Daddy, what are you going to do about that big tattoo?”

Chagrinedly,
Roll J. Model

PS: Do you know anyone who would like a couple of crates of really cool yellow bracelets, extra cheap?

Dear Roll:

If you cave on this, your relationship with young Billy is toast. Forever. The best defense is an overwhelming offense. See if you can get him to crack with one of these opening gambits–

  1. “Son, if you believe he’s a cheater, then you’re calling me a liar for calling Mr. Lance a great champion. Five is kind of young to be living on the streets, isn’t it?”
  2. “Son, if it’s written in the media it’s a lie. The media are liars, every single one of them, except the ones who refuse to be suckered in by the lies of the media. So who are you with? The liars or your Dad and Mr. Lance? Choose wisely. It’s cold in the winter when you’re living on the streets.”
  3. “Son, it really hurts to have you say this about me and Mr. Lance. But it’s going to hurt you more when I get through beating your ass with this belt.”

With discipline,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

Justice has been done. A terrible cheater and fraud on humanity has been brought to account for his misdeeds. This is the happiest day of my life.

Thankfully,
Tubby Benders (Former hall monitor)

Dear Tubby:

I’m very happy for you. Now please go to Costco. I hear they’re having a 2-for-1 “Get a Life” sale this week. You can borrow my membership card.

Contemptuously,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

LA did a lot of good by curing cancer. Shouldn’t that count for something?

Perplexedly,
Freddy Samaritan

Dear Freddy:

Let’s imagine you raped the shit out of a bunch of kids. Then, while you were raping the shit out of them and fucking them up for life, you formed a charity through your famous football job to help displaced children, which also helped you find more kids to rape. After factoring in the good you’d done for those kids you actually helped, do you know what you’d be? A child rapist and a convicted felon. Get it?

Ethically unchallenged,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

When can we get back to cycling?

Bored to death with this shit,
Average Joe Cyclist

Dear Average Joe:

Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, Riviera Village, Redondo Beach, California. Life begins again.

Damn straight,
Wankmeister

Giro d’Italia 2012: Cav penetrates mystery of Elia, reclaims heath

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Stage 2 of the Giro began in Herning and ended in Herning. Herning? What the fuck kind of name is that? Some ancient Viking king who plied the sea lanes between Scandinavia and England, plundering the hapless forebears of Wiggins who cowered, britishly, under the wrath of the ruthless, fork-bearded marauders?

Uh, no.

Herning was originally a heath, which is a barren wasteland. The heath accounted for millions of acres of land, all useless for agriculture, and all created as a result of the complete deforestation of the primeval forests by the Vikings, who clearcut the entire nation to build their ships. What they left behind was the medieval Superfund site otherwise known as Denmark.

In the 1860’s, when Denmark’s population began to explode, which is to say sometime after the Danes had been beaten to a bloody pulp by the Germans but before the discovery of porn, the starving and ill-tempered Scandinavians decided to reclaim the heath. “What we lost without, we will build within!” was the rallying cry.

Herning is one such reclamation project, created in the 1800’s, literally springing out of the waste of the earth.

That was then. This is now.

Not surprisingly, one of pro cycling’s biggest waste reclamation projects, “Mr. 60 Percent” Bjarne Riis, hales from Herning. A confessed drug cheat, architect of the T-Mobile systematized team doping program and general scallywag, it is only appropriate that the Giro would pay homage to its doping roots by kicking off 2012 in Mr. 60 Percent’s hometown.

Fortunately, Mr. 60 Percent and his Saxo Bank squad have put the terrible doping excesses of the 2000s, 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s, 50’s, 40’s, 30’s, 20’s, 10’s, and Aughty-Aught’s behind them, and have turned a new corner with clean cycling, except for the team’s star rider who is languishing under a doping ban for tainting his meat with clenbuterol and who was stripped of his 2011 TdF title and forced to write “I am a doping cheat” ten thousand times on the blackboard. But that is all ancient history.

The second page in the new history of clean sport and fair play from this year’s Giro was written by none other than Mark Cavendish, chubby sprinter dude who ate donuts and sucked wheel while the ten fastest guys in the pro peloton did all the work for 199k during Stage 2 and then delivered him safely to the last 200m, where he showed the power and speed of a smallish, angry, well-rested lardball that had been shot from a cannon.

This and other similar pre-arranged, predictable, stable return on investment-type finishes are programmed for the Giro’s entire stay in Denmark…or are they?

Elia, Ingvar Cronhammar, the Inverted Vault of Doom and the Danish Curse of “This is Bullshit”

Just a short distance to the east of the Master Start in Herning is one of the world’s great mysteries, rivaling Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids of Cheops, and Mitt Romney’s stance on healthcare.

It is Elia, the brain child of Ingvar Cronhammar.

Shaped like an inverted volcanic caldera, this hollow semi-sphere rises 30 meters out of the heath, where its top is punctuated by four massive steel cylinders. A furnace buried within the belly of the beast belches fire at random intervals, and the cylinders are made to especially attract lightning bolts. The acoustics of the beast’s empty bowels are such that they throw the growls of thunder back in the face of the gods from whence they were uttered.

The awe and majesty of this extraordinary “living” sculpture is captured on countless YouTube videos, where bored tourists and their colicky children can be heard off camera saying, “Is this it? We traveled all the way to fucking Denmark for this? This is bullshit!”

This, of course, is exactly what anyone looking for an actual sporting event is saying after a mere two days of Giro racing in Denmark.

Americans get all misty-eyed, the British stiffly shake hands, everyone else rolls their eyes

If you ever doubted the complete sporting fraud of modern pro cycling, Stage 2 didn’t even bother to hide the sham. Cav’s post race commentary said it all.

“[Teammate Ian Stannard] did 150 kilometers alone reeling in the break – he did incredible.” So pleased to know someone else did all the work, Mark.

“I was really looked after at the finish and kept sheltered. Geraint took me perfect and went exactly when he was supposed to. I was able to come off him and win the stage so I’m very, very happy.” So pleased to know that your race strategy consisted in being looked after. Did they warm your bottle and burp you prior to the lead out?

However, before Dick Fitzenceider sends me a snide comment reminding me that THAT’S CYCLING, it bears remembering that this awesome display of laziness and sloth by the reigning world champion is only a prelude to his true race strategy…pick up a few more wins and then quit.

“If Mark is thinking on the Tour and on the Olympics afterwards, as it’s the case, I think he will not finish the Giro.” Suspended meat-tainter Alberto Contador, on Cav’s near-certain withdrawal from the race.

The Manx La-Z-Boy rushed to his own defense in a roundabout way, claiming that Contador had been misquoted but then failing to confirm that he’d ride the race beyond the 13th stage, when the Giro goes from a donut feast to a force-feeding of nails and broken glass.

“I’ve planned to stay until the end. I never want to stop a race and leave the team.”

Check back on Stage 14 to see if “planned to stay” and “never want to stop a race” has equated to “willing to bust my ass for 22km up the Col de Joue and 27km more up to the finish at Cervinia at the end of a 205km stage.”

Wankmeister predicts that by the time the 14th stage concludes, the Manx La-Z-Boy will be sipping tea and chomping donuts back home in the Isle of (Not Quite) Man. Bets, anybody?

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