He’s baaaaaaack!!!!

February 4, 2015 § 66 Comments

The Facebag almost broke on Monday when someone posted a photo of the results in the 50+ masters race at the Red Trolley Crit. There atop the leaderboard sat Richard Meeker, returned from a 2-year doping ban and picking up where he left off: Making fools of the best old fart racers in the state, make that the nation, make that the world.

According to eyewitness accounts, Meeker the Beaker a/k/a Loose Leaf Powder a/k/a Mr. Kleen rabbit-punched breakaway companions Mark Hoffenberg and Thurlow Rogers with a finishing sprint so vicious that all they could do was loll their tongues and do the Harpooned Whale Bellyroll of Death as Sir Toxic blew across the line in a blur.

None of this should have been surprising. Rich doped (to no one’s surprise), was busted (to everyone’s surprise), mounted a pathetic tainted supplement defense (to everyone’s undying hilarity), and has now returned with a vengeance, which he will be serving up nice and cold. If you plan on racing in the 50+ category in SoCal this year, and you’re super fit and super fast and super good, I hope you like the sound of “second place,” because whether it’s a time trial, a hill climb, a crit, or a rolling, windy course, the unrepentant, proud owner of a two-year doping ban is going to stomp your nuts.

‘Cuz you know, when it comes to bike racing, Rich Meeker does it all.

What was surprising, nay, astounding, is that the Beaker signed up for the race under the banner of Surf City Cyclery. This is surprising because according to at least one rider, he wasn’t even on the team.

Despite strenuous politicking to be allowed to join, the members reportedly held a ballot and emphatically voted not to let Sir Toxic on the team. No matter to Rich, though. Despite the vote reportedly taking place a month ago, which means he would have been well aware that he wasn’t on the team, he is listed on his 2015 license as a Surf City rider, and he apparently rode the race in a Surf City club kit that’s for sale to the general public. After this horrendous wardrobe malfunction, I heard that he received a call from management and was told to cease and desist.

It will be entertaining to see whether he continues to show up claiming to ride for Surf City and whether he changes his license. Alternately, it will be fun to see which team he rides for next and to hear the pathetic excuses that people give for allowing this unrepentant leper to ride on their team. The fact that he still maintains his innocence and refuses to admit to wrongdoing puts him on a lower level than Lance & Co., who at least admitted what they’d done and are now suffering the consequences, however mild they may be.

As far as I’m concerned, I could care less whether the guy races, although there’s no shortage of people who wish he’d find a different sport to cheat at. He’s done his time, and the rules say that he’s allowed to return to the fray. It was heartening to see people on Facebag comment that the real first and second in that race were Hoffenberg and Thurlow, and it’s encouraging that there are teams who refuse to be associated with him. Perhaps his strategy of throwing Hammer Nutrition under the bus is making teams and sponsors and potential teammates wonder who he’ll point the finger at the next time USADA rolls into town.

But of course we always save the best for last. Rich and his wife have opened an organic drink bar in Corona del Mar, catering to the beautiful set’s desire for healthful, tasty nutrition. The name?

Sejuiced.

Some shit you just can’t make up.

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You can’t say that, No. 5

January 29, 2015 § 24 Comments

Are you sure you’re the guy asking to be allowed to have your ban lifted so you can compete?

“I would probably do it again.” Lance Armstrong, affirming that if given the choice to do it over, he would take drugs and cheat. BBC Sport, Jan. 26, 2015.

How much is a dozen, again?

“I was an asshole to a dozen people.” Lance Armstrong, reflecting on his bad behavior while apparently forgetting that he had duped millions of cancer survivors and millions of cycling fans. BBC Sport, Jan. 26, 2015.

Which is frankly better than the Crazy Bitch from Hell spigot.

“When the going gets tough, he turns on the charm.” Betsy Andreu, on her contempt for Lance’s attempts rehabilitate himself. BBC Sport, Jan. 27, 2015.

That’s why we’ve created http://www.getlanceanewjacketandpairofshoes.com; PayPal accepted.

“But when I saw him last year, he was alone, he was badly dressed, he avoided eye contact, he didn’t seem happy.” Christophe Bassons, former Lance victim, reflecting on the fallen hero’s demeanor and embarrassing couture. BBC Sport, Jan. 27, 2015.

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You can’t say that, No. 5

January 21, 2015 § 14 Comments

So does the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“At the end of the day I know what I did and didn’t do.” Sad-faced Stuart O’Grady, explaining why he’s not bothered by accusations that he doped throughout his career rather than the “just a few times” to which he confessed. Cycling News, January 18, 2015.

He thought that the only cheating douchebag in the pro peloton was, you know, him.

“I had no idea. I didn’t want to think that the men I was racing against were cheating.” Disappointed with broken childhood dreams doper Stuart O’Grady explaining that throughout the “dark era of cycling” he thought that he was the only rider who had ever used drugs. Cycling News, February 26, 2014.

Except that an isosceles triangle has two equal sides. But that’s it.

“I didn’t know anything at all.” Doped up doper Stuart O’Grady’s former team boss Roger Legeay, who managed him for eight years, who was himself busted for doping in 1974, and who oversaw Jonathan Vaughters at Credit Agricole — the ambassador for clean cycling who admitted to systematically doping while on the team. Cycling News, July 26, 2013.

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You can’t say that, No. 4

December 26, 2014 § 6 Comments

It’s the new he’s-innocent-because-he-took-too-much defense.

“The way the doctors have explained it to me, the amount they’ve found is an amount that’s almost impossible to have in your urine so we’re definitely behind the rider and we believe the rider 100 percent.” Lampre-Merida coach Brent Copeland on why rider Diego Ulissi couldn’t possibly have been doping using a salbutamol inhalant during his two Giro stage wins because he was apparently over-doped. Cycling News, June 25, 2014.

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Six puffs, on the other hand …

“It is important to know that salbutamol does not make you stronger … Cyclists know that you do not go faster if you take five puffs. You must understand that this is not doping.” Italian national team coach Davide Casani, explaining that Diego Ulissi’s positive result for the banned substance salbutamol, which improves breathing and oxygen uptake in aerobic sports, isn’t really doping. Wieler Fits, June 26, 2014.

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Well, perhaps not “absolutely.”

“Absolutely inexplicable.” Lampre team doctor Carlo Guardascione, at a loss to explain how Diego Ulissi’s salbutamol levels were almost double the allowed limit. Cycling News, September 12, 2014.

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You can’t say that, No. 3

December 20, 2014 § 15 Comments

Ok, jealousy plus erythropoietin.

“It’s only jealousy.” Mauro Sangambrogio before testing positive for EPO, explaining to his DS Luca Scinto why everyone suspected him of doping. Cycling News, June 3, 2013.

***************

And while you’re at it, could you make “as soon as possible” sometime in 2020?

“I can only say that I am in disbelief about what has happened and will request the counter analysis as soon as possible.” Mauro Santambrogio, the day after testing positive for EPO, which was a few days after assuring team boss Luca Scinto that he was clean as a whistle. Ansa.IT, June 3, 2013.

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Sort of like Cupid with a needle in his ass.

“I’m not a criminal … but within my environment, I felt like a little god.” Mauro Santambrogio after receiving a 2-year ban for doping, explaining why he had felt the need to cheat. La Gazzetta dello Sport, October 12, 2013.

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Now, however, I have a different set of problems.

“My testosterone levels were low and I had erection problems, plus I had fertility problems. That’s why I was prescribed Andriol.” Mauro Santambrogio, facing a lifetime ban after testing positive for testosterone a few days before the expiration of his ban for testing positive for EPO, which was in turn was a couple of months before he was to resume his pro racing career. Cycling News, December 18, 2014.

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You can’t say that, No. 2

December 18, 2014 § 23 Comments

Incredibly, his mother forgot to tell him that something can be both a favor AND forbidden.

“I threw the bag in the suitcase without covering it. It was mixed with clothing. I didn’t know I was doing anything forbidden, just a favour.” Mexican racer Jose Alfredo Aguirre, busted at the Alicante airport in Spain with EPO and human growth hormone in his carry-on baggage, allegedly given to him by his coach. Cycling News, December 16, 2014.

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For example, he would totally dispense with that “getting caught” stuff. And the kidney failure.

“I wouldn’t dope, or I’d at least do it differently.” Disgraced, banned, and self-admitted “idiot” Riccardo Riccò at his book signing, explaining what he’d learned from a career that ended when he almost killed himself due to a botched home-job transfusion. Cycling News, December 17, 2014.

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But then, goshdangit, they made him pee into that little cup-thingy after the race.

“After having served a suspension in 2011, I never expected to find myself in this situation again.” Old fellow Todd Robertson, 51, after receiving an 8-year ban as a repeat doper at masters nationals in Bend. USADA sanction list, May 14, 2014.

***************

Or, it could just be the rather pedestrian story of another cheating dirtbag.

“I am confident that this will soon become a dramatic story about professionalism and family, with the outcome of the results of the counter-analysis that will be demanded by my lawyer.” Matteo Robattini, just prior to the counter-analysis demanded by his lawyer that confirmed he had in fact doped with EPO. TuttoSport 24-Ore, September 17, 2014.

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UCI reluctantly licenses non-doping team for Pro Tour

December 11, 2014 § 26 Comments

Armenian pro team Ride-Kleen has been awarded a WorldTour license for 2015 following extended deliberation by the UCI’s License Commission. The license will be subject to monitoring for 2015, according to UCI chief Brian Cookson, “In the event any non-doping anomalies occur.”

“Ride-Kleen is happy and proud to announce that we have received a 2015 World Tour License and will race at the highest level of the sport in the upcoming season,” a statement on the team’s website read. “Thanks to riders, staff, family, sponsors, friends and fans for your support.”

While the License Commission has ratified Ride-Kleen’s registration for 2015, it will be subjected to an independent audit and forced to adhere to stricter operational requirements for the coming season.

UCI president Brian Cookson stated, “The case of the Ride-Kleen team remains a very serious situation for our sport given the fact that no one in their organization has ever been implicated in doping. We shall be following the situation very closely and are planning to review the results of the audit. Meanwhile, the team will have to comply with the requirements imposed by the License Commission to ensure that they are brought up to speed in blood manipulation and other standard cheating methods as quickly as possible. The combined effect of this is that until they have demonstrated a top-to-bottom commitment to doping, Ride-Kleen can be considered very much to be on probation.”

Cookson said earlier that the approval from the UCI License Commission came before it received the new allegations by an Italian investigation which accused Ride-Kleen of systematic non-doping. The statement by the commission confirmed this. “If evidence of systematic non-doping is confirmed, and witnesses testify that the team is not run by a bunch of lying, cheating, scumsucking dirtbags, we will certainly re-evaluate the situation and, if necessary, require withdrawal of the license.”

The License Commission was asked to review Ride-Kleen’s status after the non-EPO positives of brothers George and Goody Twoshoes, and the failure of trainee Sammy Samaritan to test positive for steroids or any other banned substances this year.

With regard to the Armenian team’s poor record of non-doping in the past, the commission stated that Ride-Kleen’s current system of learning how to dope properly has strengthened its doping efforts. “The team has initiated a reorganization of all the support personnel of its riders in order to strengthen its fight against non-doping within the team to ensure greater cheating and access to powerful and potentially life-threatening drugs,” the commission wrote. “In view of the years of non-doping cases that have occurred within the team, it is therefore essential to monitor the implementation of such measures on the ground. They will need to have at least two bona fide mutants capable of riding with Froomster and Alberto by next July.”

Ride-Kleen has also volunteered to adhere to the strict standards proposed for the 2017 WorldTour, joining eight other teams in squirting every possible PED into their butts, posting “how-to” videos on YouTube, and working closely with George Hincapie’s youth development team to ensure that proper doping methods are learned early.

Ride-Kleen team manager Billy Boyscout, who himself served a ban for refusing illegal blood transfusions the 2007 Tour de France, was accused of working with unbanned doctor Suzy Straighennarrow, and referring riders to her in 2010, where they allegedly learned and implemented various strategies to ride without blood transfusions and Betsy. Ride-Kleen has been implicated in a number of other non-scandals in their eight-year existence, including the infamous 2011 Tour stage in which the riders were found to have water in their water bottles.

Italian website Tuttobiciweb got this reaction from Boyscout, who is with the team at the Big Baptist Summer Teetotaling Retreat in Waco, Texas. “We’ve been through some really difficult moments and the last few days haven’t been easy because there was obviously a lot of tension amongst the guys, worried that they’d be stranded without a team if the UCI decided to come down on us for non-doping. Now we can finally concentrate on getting ready for a great season and ramping up the EPO shipments from China. That’s the only thing that matters,” he said. “And now, if you don’t mind, my boys are waiting for me to tie the tourniquets and do our first ‘training’ session with the Ferraris.”

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