Urinating on the gift

April 6, 2016 § 41 Comments

I paid little attention to the faux exploits of Dan Bilzerian as he pedaled his way to a cool million or so in a bet about whether or not he could ride from Las Vegas to Hollywood in 48 hours. But I did pay attention to the controversy it generated in my little corner of the universe, because shortly after winning the bet Bilzerian posted a Facegag video with this charming bit of literature:

bilzerian

Two things stand out:

  1. Hates gays.
  2. Hates cycling.

So he’s probably not going to be someone I invite to my next Gay Men’s Fitness Ride. But what bothered me wasn’t this painfully short dude trying to make up for it with daddy’s money and a bushy beard, but it was that people in my cycling community got their teeth caught in their zippers over it.

Bilzerian allegedly spent upwards of $60k at local bike shop Helen’s in Santa Monica and another bundle on the coaching services of Nate Loyal. Then, after the ride he stuck a fork in their eyes by laughing at our “fake” sport, pocketing a ton of money, and merrily skipping back to his stock-in-trade of misogyny, small penis machismo, and Instagram blather.

This pissed off some other Westsiders, one of whom is named Tony. He was not, shall we say, amused, and a host of other cyclists were enraged at the insults that Shorty sprayed on our sport like a fire extinguisher filled with shit. Bilzerian had succeeded in doing what he apparently does best: Playing to his audience (non-cycling misogynistic gay-hating couch potatoes) and showing the middle finger to everyone else. Oh, and picking up a cool million.

So first things first, and you’re not gonna like it. This was an impressive athletic accomplishment. I don’t care if he drafted. I don’t care if he had 7-time-Tour-de-Doper Lance Armstrong offering coaching advice. I don’t care if he rode a recumbent.

What matters is that an avowed non-cyclist pedaled from Vegas to Hollywood in 48 hours. It’s a long ass way and most Americans, let alone the congenital sloths who make up Bilzerian’s fan base, couldn’t do it if their clogged arteries depended on it.

But it gets better. The dude proved that you don’t have to be very fit or very athletic or very ANYTHING to ride your bike hundreds of miles. If you have the desire, motivation, and money, you can do it, and better yet, you don’t even need the money. Anyone mildly desirous of getting in shape and having fun can, with a bit of preparation and commitment, ride a bike incredible lengths and achieve amazing stuff.

For that Bilzerian deserves credit. He’s the ultimate Fred and he did it his way. What’s not to like?

Now that you mention it, a couple of things, for example, he’s a homophobic misogynist who beat self-important cyclists at their own game.

Can I back up a sec?

Bilzerian didn’t beat anyone except another gambler. He didn’t win a bike race. He didn’t pin on a number. He didn’t contest an event with multiple entrants under a set of rules. He sure as fuck didn’t line up at San Dimas. He bet some other dude some money and won and claimed to have mastered the sport of cycling, which according to him isn’t even a real sport. I won a game of flag football against some little kids, proving that the NFL is a joke.

Right.

And the people who helped him on his way? Well, they got paid for it, and apparently they were paid pretty well. If Bilzerian had come to me after getting run over by a truck I wouldn’t have turned down his case just because he’s a douchebag.

The only thing this guy did that bothers me at all is this: He created a division among good people where none needs to be. Tony was right to take a stand and criticize the guy’s misogyny and hatred of gays and he was right to scorn Bilzerian’s claim that he has somehow exposed cycling as a non-sport. But Helen’s and Nate were also right to take the money and do the job. If every bike fitter and bike shop had to police the politics of their customers before providing their service, there would be few bike shops and even fewer bike fitters. In fact, providing services based on the customer’s sexual orientation is exactly what the states of North Carolina and Mississippi have just done, and it’s not turning out well for anyone.

The wasted part is that Bilzerian was introduced to the nicest bunch of people and invited to be part of a global fraternity. We are men, women, and children of every persuasion, ethnicity, nationality, and political belief. We ride for fun, for work, and for transportation. And for the most part we prefer riding to not, and are happy to see new people share in our passion.

Small Dan Bilzerian couldn’t see, or wasn’t interested in the gift. And instead of politely handing it back with a “No, thanks,” he urinated on it, then dumped it on the dinner table.

That’s too bad, but not for us. The gift is eternal and easily washed off, re-wrapped, and passed back on to your friend, your spouse, your child, your grandchild, or the neighborhood kid.

And if he ever gets tired of being a professional douche, he’ll find that the gift is all cleaned up, ready, and waiting for Dan Bilzerian, too.

END

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Fresh doping meats starts apparel line, medical web site

March 27, 2016 § 27 Comments

New doping meats Michael Buckley of Reno, Nevada, accepted his four-year doping suspension for doping as a doped doper with grace, courage, humility, thoughtfulness, and optimism tinged with regret.

Buckley’s masters cycling profamateur agent, Hoydinck van der Leyen van Poppkorn, issued the following statement:

“Michael wants to apologize to his Specialized-Touchstone Masters teammates, none of whom dope or knew anything about doping in general or his doping in particular, his wife, his kids, and of course his mom and dad and brother Biff. This doping suspension for using dope and being a doper in no way defines who he is, his ethics, or his character. He plans to move forward to put this one-time mistake behind him and work to foster an environment where doping does not have to be an option for California masters profamateurs trying to achieve their dreams and win the 35+ Festersore RR in East Stonefuck, which has twelve entrants and a $12 prize list.”

CitSB caught up with Buckley, the doping doper meats who doped, and got an exclusive interview.

CitSB: That was a pretty heartfelt statement written by your agent.

Meats: Yeah, he’s good. Fuggin’ Belgians know how to say “sorry” for doping, y’know?

CitSB: What’s next for a washed up masters profamateur doping meats like yourself?

Meats: I’ve had a long time to think about this since December, that’s a full three months.

CitSB: One full “cycle.”

Meats: Exactly. And I want to make the sport better. It’s not right that we profamateurs have to choose, in the quest to actualize our dreams of winning the local training crit, between racing clean and being loaded to the meats on doping meats. I want a sport where you don’t have to choose. Where it’s not meats or nothing.

CitSB: Wow, that’s really impressive. How are you going to achieve it?

Meats: I’m going to start a web site.

CitSB: A web site?

Meats: Yeah. It’s called Gastrocnemia Patients Group.

CitSB: Is that even a word?

Meats: Yes. It comes from the gastrocnemius vein, one of the veins of the leg. There are a lot of people out there with gastrocnemiitis, a rare disease of the leg veins that inhibits the uptake of things you put in it.

CitSB: Uh, okay. And what does one do on this web site?

Meats: It’s for informational purposes only. How to obtain maximal uptake for the leg vein in case you’re really ill and need to put something in there.

CitSB: I see.

Meats: And I’m also going into cycling apparel.

CitSB: Do tell.

Meats: There’s a high demand for custom, bespoke, made-to-measure cycling clothing, high end stuff that is clean, fits well, lasts forever, and stands out on the group ride.

CitSB: Do you have a name for the line?

Meats: “Meats.”

CitSB: “Meats”?

Meats: Uh-huh. That’s trademarked, by the way, so shoot me a copy of this interview before you publish it so I can have my lawyers proof it to make sure you don’t infringe on my Meatsmark.

CitSB: So why the name “Meats?”

Meats: Because it takes a lot of power to, you know, make the big meat sing.

CitSB: Are we still talking about cycling?

Meats: You know, the big meat. The big ring. That’s what we used to say when we were drilling it in the 53 x 11. “He’s making the big meat sing.”

CitSB: Got it. Singing meat. What are the first product offerings on this … Meats … website?

Meats: We’ve got the red “Extra Watts jersey” for $631 per vial, the “Recovery bibs” for $589, and the “Race Day speedsuit” for $1,550 in two monthly treatments.

CitSB: Are you on Strava by any chance?

Meats: Yes. That’s part of my marketing strategy.

CitSB: It is?

Meats: I’m going to get lots of KOM’s using my Meats to raise Meats brand awareness and awareness of gastrocnemiitis.

CitSB: Do you think people might actually be turned off by Michael Buckley, a doping meats doper who doped and got caught cheating by doping against other people who also might have been doping?

Meats: No way. People will understand that you make mistakes. Ask forgiveness, never permission. Toss in a few rebel alleycat unsanctioned races and talk a little smack, maybe get a few tatts, I’ll have a whole new career turning my life around just in time to age up for 45+ masters nats.

CitSB: Hasn’t this all been done before?

Meats: Not that I know of.

CitSB: What’s your Strava handle, by the way?

Meats: “Meatsquatch.” But you can’t write that. It’s trademarked.

CitSB: Of course.

END

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Where has all the fun gone?

March 22, 2016 § 35 Comments

After the fuss and feathers of Dick Doper died down, I felt depressed.

In one sense, Dick Doper really did win because he makes me realize what one commenter pointed out, which is that this Keystone Krook is a completely minor player in what has to be a worldwide, multi-billion dollar enterprise of cheating and crime.

And Dick’s doings have affected a lot of people. When I get my ass stomped in masters bike races, some other rider always mutters to me about “the dopers.” As much as I like to attribute my shitty bike racing results to a lifetime of bad judgment and little ability, it takes the fun out of it when you cogitate overmuch on the possibility of who’s doing what.

It’s like that for a lot of people. They want to compete but they don’t want to pay the money and spend the day away to get annihilated by cheaters. I dare you to call that kind of experience or the doubt and skepticism and cynicism it induces “fun.” In the past I’ve always subscribed to the sound theory that “If you want to race bikes you better put doping out of your head or it will ruin it for you.” Dick is another crack in the dike for me, and a completely collapsed dam for a lot of others.

But it’s even less fun than that, because his great results on Strava in conjunction with his drug dealing make it hard to escape the conclusion that people are literally Strava doping. And not this kind, either. So even though I don’t play Strava, the people who are in that particular sandbox as an alternative to human racing have their fun taken away by the same kind of cheating and by many of the self-same cheats.

Of course people have always cheated at games, but there were either fewer of them doing it in local races or we were a lot less informed about it, or both. In the old days if you were a cheater there weren’t many bike options in town once people found you out. But now you can cheat, get booted out of one group, and seamlessly cruise into another. Hell, people will even admire you as a renegade and buy your doper-branded clothing.

It makes you wonder where you can ride a bicycle to enjoy healthy competition and a fair fight. Dick proves that as long as there is anything at stake, be it glory or Internet bragging or a few bucks, a lot of people will cheat to win. There used to be shame associated with cheating, but how could there be now? George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer have shown the little fellows like Dick Doper that as long as you can turn it to your advantage, lying and cheating are just extra rules of the game you have to know about in order to win, kind of like the off-off-menu at In ‘N Out.

But it’s also a good feeling to see that so many people find his lousy behavior as lame as I do. It’s also gratifying when you wind up on the same side of a fight as Steve Tilford. It’s like being on Muhammed Ali’s team. You’re not only fighting for what’s right, you’re teamed up with the guy who’s going to knock the shit out of everyone else.

Best of all, Dick Doper’s behavior seems to show that he has zero remorse for what he’s done. To the contrary, shortly after his plea deal he and his wife began sending out groundless cease-and-desist letters to people who were simply reporting facts, or, as in my case, simply making a joke about a dumb name. That seems like a  violation of the conditions of his plea deal, not to mention a pretty obvious lack of remorse. Maybe someone will bring it to the attention of the U.S. Attorney’s Office here in Los Angeles and also point them to the unbelievable amount of traffic and discussion this has generated in the cycling community.

Wouldn’t it be great if at sentencing time on July 20, the judge took into account Dick Doper’s lack of remorse and hit him with the full $100k, 1-year jail sentence?

That would almost qualify as a happy ending. But it still wouldn’t make it fun.

END

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Don’t pick on me

March 21, 2016 § 151 Comments

I got a phone call from (213) 282-1231 on Friday night, just as I had settled down to mud wrestle with Ulysses for an hour or so. I didn’t recognize the number, so I ignored it.

Imagine my surprise when I listened to my voicemail and heard this cease-and-desist message:

Cecilia Sasso claims to be the co-owner of Brandt-Sorenson cycling apparel company, the firm whose name was previously sullied by co-owner Nick’s two-year doping suspension. Nick’s last name, Brandt-Sorenson, prominently appears in this docket sheet for the criminal introduction of a misbranded drug into interstate commerce, a violation of 21 U.S. Code § 331(a). The docket sheet reflects his prosecution for the illegal sale of EPO, actovegin, and other goodies without a prescription; i.e. he was a “very bad boy.” Scroll through the linked packet to read Nicky’s guilty plea.

Sasso followed her message to me with this email:

cease_and_desist_email

This didn’t exactly qualify as the most intimidating cease-and-desist letter I’ve ever received, and I wondered what in the world she was trying to say. Then I realized that Sasso may have actually gotten something accidentally right when she wrote “your resent blog post.” It’s true, I was feeling a bit resentful at the time I wrote it.

It was hard, though, to stop giggling at the buffoonery of someone who thinks that trademark protection means that no one is allowed to say anything about the mark without her permission. What a great way to silence the press, and it took a cycling underwear designer to figure it out: Just trademark the item and then no one can say anything bad about it. Of course if that’s how things worked, Trump would have trademarked his whatever a long time ago.

Next, I checked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s online database to determine whether “Thorfinn,” “Sassquatch,” “Thorfinn-Sassquatch,” “Brandt-Sorenson,” or “Brandt-Sorenson Cycling Apparel” have been registered as federal trademarks. They haven’t and I’m thinking about how much fun it would be for someone to file federal trademarks for these names so that they can be used in conjunction with products and services related to anti-doping, profamateur masters doping, Strava doping, and the especially insidious problem of apparel doping.

I emailed Sassypants right away to get some more information before I hurried out to not delete, edit, or amend my blog:

Hi, Cecilia

Thanks for the email. Can you explain how I have infringed on your trademark?

Thanks,

Seth

Law Office of Seth Davidson
Pacific Tower, Suite 500
21250 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503

To which she gave me this edifying response:

Hi Seth, I’d just prefer not to have my trademark “sassquatch” “thorfinn-sassquatch” used on your blog, as the context could dilute the mark and/or confuse my customers! Thanks for understanding, Cecilia Sasso

Of course there are lots of things I’d just prefer not to have, too, but that’s rarely enough to give my desires force of law. And I will say that it was pretty presumptuous for her to think I understood how calling out Nick Brandt-Sorenson for being a doper and for confessing to breaking federal drug laws would “dilute the mark” and/or “confuse my customers.” To the contrary, the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it became.

Nick, who goes by the Strava handle “Thorfinn-Sassquatch,” has been diluting the brand for years by appending his drug-soaked monikers to the entire clothing line. And how could their customers be confused? He was suspended for two years for doping, stripped of his national bike racing title, and the news was broadcast globally.

Far from seeing the error of his ways, he has now completely clarified what the brand stands for by entering a guilty plea to federal charges for selling misbranded drugs as part of a scheme to sell doping products to other drug cheats. Instead of saying his customers are confused, I’d argue they are stupid beyond repair if they don’t understand that Nick Brandt-Sorenson’s name and nickname could potentially be viewed as reflective of a lowlife doper, a hypocrite, a drug dealer, a convicted criminal, a fraudster, and a first-class shitball who is now trying to make money with his clothing line from the very class of people he cheated when he raced.

All of this raises the next question, which is …

Wait a minute. I forgot to mention that Sasso’s panties had also been tied into a monkey fist with an eye splice by cycling icon, anti-doper, and world renowned blogger Steve Tilford, who had also — according to Sasso– infringed on her mark when he laid into “Dick Doper” Nick Brandt-Sorenson for his misdemeanor conviction, a dope peddler peddling to pedalers.

According to Tilford’s blog, Sassy-Dick sent him this gem of a cease-and-desist letter:

Good Morning, I wanted to inform you that your internet blog Stevetilford.com contains damaging and false information about our trademark “brandt-sorenson”

Specifically:

“He served a 2 year ban for testing positive at Master’s Nationals a few years ago.  But that obviously didn’t slow him down.  He decided to profit from it by becoming a drug dealer.”

The accurate information is available publicly through the Federal Court filing system. The incorrect statement is damaging and negligent. Please remove any reference to our trademark “BRANDT-SORENSON” from your blog and comments section.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Brandt
Cecilia Sasso

co-owners BRANDT-SORENSON Cycling Apparel

Now, here is some free advice for Sassy-Dick: You might not want to fuck with a guy like Steve, whose “fucks to give” account must have run out years ago when it came to dealing with people like you. This is the same Steve Tilford who spoke truth to power about Lance and doping in the pro peloton, and who now appears not very afraid of also speaking truth to the small-time crook who still hasn’t gotten the memo that dopers suck. If anything, the Thorfinn-Sassquatch Dick Doper Brandt-Sorenson Line of Faux Rapha Cycling Underwear should be sending Tilford a handsome thank-you check for what he didn’t say.

Why?

Because the real crime isn’t that doping is killing the sport of cycling, it’s that doping has killed actual cyclists. While Dick Doper prances around in the underwear that he and Sassypants whack out in their rag factory, illegally purchased and administered performance-enhancing drugs have taken lives and ruined many more. Fucktards like Dick Doper have descended from ruining their own pathetic lives into endangering the lives of others by facilitating the doping lifestyle of:

  1. Click
  2. Buy
  3. Inject
  4. Race a masters event or grand fondue or Strava segment
  5. Get a trinket
  6. Preen at the coffee shop while pretending you didn’t cheat.

Let’s point the finger up the asshole where it belongs. Dick Doper diluted, sullied, and shat all over the Thorfinn-Sassquatch-Brandt-Sorenson-Cycling-Apparel name with his own drug use by cheating his way to win a master’s bike racing title. Then he damaged the brand again by illegally selling EPO through a fraudulent website using a fake name, as well as by selling “enhancing” substances to suckers that are not even approved for human use. And Sassypants Sasso thinks that I’ve “diluted” her rag-factory-cycling-apparel operation by (humorously) suggesting in my blog that “Thorfinn-Sassquatch” is a stupid Strava moniker?

That’s like having your husband break both your legs in a drunken rage and then suing the little old lady in the hospital waiting room who accidentally stepped on one of your toes.

Funnier still is that Sassy-Dick appear to have finally understood that having a convicted criminal and busted doper associated with the Brandt-Sorenson Cycling Jockstraps and Twatthongs apparel line is probably going to ruin whatever bogus trademark lawsuit they may be contemplating. Or, they’ve finally concluded that having a cheater-cum-doping-crook prominently associated with the firm may not be the smartest marketing move on the block.

So Sassy-Dick went back to their website and tried to delete all references to Dick Doper, but though they furiously tried to delete him from the web site, Sassy-Dick must have flunked web editing 101 because even though their “new” about page has deleted all references to Droopy Dick Doper, the HTML is still screeching his presence loud and clear. D’oh! Where’s a 12-year-old when you need one? Check this nifty screen shot:

view-source_brandt-sorenson_Page_5.jpg

What’s particularly awesome about his CV (aside from the fact that he graduated from a college that apparently doesn’t have a name and that the USAC website doesn’t show him with a single California state crit title) is that Dick claims to have “stopped racing after competing against some of the world’s top professional cyclists.” I’m not sure how much of a Pro Tour hotbed the USAC masters scene is, but you’d think that in the name of full disclosure he’d have added “at about the time I got caught doping in a national championship race and stripped of my title.” Integrity, however, does not appear to be one of the core corporate values over at the Anemia Patients Group doping website or the Thorfinn-Sassquatch rag factory.

In technical legal terms, I think at this point it’s fair to ask “Do these two have a brain?”

And if they do, could they please stop sharing it and get a separate one for each cranium? There would probably still be space left over for a sofa, table, and wide-screen TV.

Nick Brandt-Sorenson, doper who doped, dope-selling doper, and dope-selling co-owner of Brandt-Sorenson Cycling, and dope-selling user of the Thorfinn-Sassquatch nickname for Strava, admitted to the following criminal acts reproduced verbatim below from federal court records as part of his plea agreement. Read them carefully because they are heinous, except for the part that describes Dick as a “professional masters cyclist,” which is hilarious. After all the jokes I’ve made about the SoCal profamateur masters racer, we finally have a real one and he appears (where else?) in a federal criminal case for (what else?) intentionally selling dope to a doper so he can dope.

In or about 2011, defendant was a professional masters cyclist, living in the Los Angeles, California, area. Defendant had also created the online blog “Anemia Patient Group” under the guise of providing “theoretical” information about various performance enhancing drugs and substances “for research purposes.” In fact, defendant used the Anemia Patient Group blog to obtain customers to whom he would sell performance enhancing drugs and substances. For example, the blog advertised various prescription drugs and substances for sale “for research purposes,” including erythropoietin (“EPO”), human chorionic gonadotropin (“HCG”), Actovegin, IGF-1, and pentoxifylline. Defendant also created and used the fake name “Eric Horowitz” that he used to do business in connection with the Anemia Patient Group blog.

Defendant obtained the prescription drugs from a source in China and European online pharmacies, and then had them delivered to his home address in Los Angeles, California. He then mailed the drugs to multiple professional and amateur athletes. In or about March 2011, defendant sold a vial of EPO to an athlete in Colorado for $631.

Defendant had previously sold that athlete performance enhancing drugs, including EPO and human growth hormone {“HGH”), through the Anemia Patient Group blog . On March 12, 2011, defendant sent the EPO from Los Angeles, California, to the athlete in Boulder, Colorado, using the United States Postal Service. At all relevant times, defendant believed that the athlete would be using the EPO himself and that the athlete did not have a prescription for the EPO.

EPO is a prescription drug that is used to treat kidney disease, anemia, and other serious medical conditions. In addition, some athletes illicitly inject themselves with EPO in order boost the production of red blood cells, which in turn increases the oxygen carrying capacity of their blood, causing them to perform at a higher level. Due to its performance enhancing qualities, as well as the serious health risks associated with non-medical use of the drug {potentially including blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks}, EPO is listed as a prohibited substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) Prohibited List.

In addition to the criminal proceedings against him, various drug cheats have been sanctioned by USADA in connection with the ongoing investigation of Dick Doper’s Anemia Patients Group web site. It’s not hard to imagine that, like Joe Papp, Dick’s ripple of filth and crime will continue to besmirch others, not limited to Sassypants and the Thorfinn-Sassquatch-apparently-not-federally-trademarked Brandt-Sorenson brand of cycling underwear and hyphens. As Jack from Illinois put it (not his real name), “Doping isn’t killing the sport of cycling, overpriced clothing is.”

That a scuzzball like Dick Doper nee Brandt-Sorenson could invent a fake web site purporting to help sick people, use it as a front to illegally import and sell potentially deadly drugs to profamateur wankers, get busted, confess to his misdeeds, and then piously object to his trademark being “damaged” sets a new level of ballsiness, one that exceeds his incredible KOM’s, some of which are approachable only by UCI Pro Tour racers in the prime of their careers.

But wait, I know how he manages that KOM stuff. Pan y agua, baby.

END

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Can I have a splash of calf’s blood with that?

March 17, 2016 § 67 Comments

I was bummed to hear that rag merchant and ex-profamateur doping pro Nick Brandt-Sorenson got popped for selling EPO and other banned substances through his blog and that he now faces a year in jail or perhaps a slot on the 2016 Olympic track team. I was mostly bummed because here I am selling $2.99 subscriptions and Nicky is selling vials of EPO on HIS blog at $641 a dose. I need a better business model.

I was also bummed to learn that he was selling Actovegin, a derivative of calf’s blood, as a doping product. What B.S.

Everyone knows that calf’s blood is what you put on your eggs in the morning, along with a sprinkling of nails and cement chips to toughen you up for the day’s training. Which is why you put it on your eggs, and maybe a splash in the blender when you’re whipping up your first breakfast batch of bloody Mary’s. Tomato juice tastes better with real blood in it, autopsies show.

But putting calf’s blood in a syringe and squirting it up your boteetum is just wrong. Actovegin is a deproteinized ultrafiltrate of calf serum and does not contain blood cells to increase oxygen transport. It has been tested by anti-doping laboratories and no prohibited substances have ever been found in it. More to the point, the drug is not approved for sale, importation, or use in the United States and has no accepted medical use in humans except as a chaser for Cholula-Cholula and Huy Fong Srihacha.

As a result of Brandt-Sorenson’s guilty plea in federal court, the U.S. Attorney has referred his case to the Strava Sentencing Division, where the High Lord Justices will determine his punishment. Brandt-Sorenson, who goes by the Strava handle “Thorfinn Sassquatch” [Note: I did not make that up], has regularly devastated the local L.A. cycling community with weekly “Uh-oh!” emails from Strava.

The High Lord Justices will now consider whether or not to strip him of his KOM’s and force him to return his Strava winnings. Local riders were outraged to learn that someone on Strava was actually selling doping products.

“That wanker!” said Biff McPuddinhole, “Strava is a place for purity and clean competition! He has ruined it and stolen my childhood dreams!”

Smedley Stinkbottom, noted notary public and Stravatista, concurred. “When I get up at 3:00 AM, down a gallon of espresso, and hit a segment to take advantage of the prevailing tailwind on my electric bike, I expect that others on the leaderboard are playing fair. This really makes me question humanity.”

At press time Brandt-Sorenson’s attorney was negotiating for jail placement where a slim, dainty, hairless man would not become another inmate’s “wife.”

END

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UCI discovers honest pro cyclist

February 1, 2016 § 28 Comments

This weekend the cycling world was stunned to learn that what for years was simply a rumor, is in fact true. According to an investigation launched by the UCI, there is now proof of mechanical doping in the pro peloton. However, the UCI revealed an even more stunning discovery just a few hours later.

After three years of intensive investigation that spanned six continents and involved background checks of thousands of riders, “We have found an unimpeachably honest pro cyclist,” announced president Brian Cookson.

The rider, Stanley Olive, was found living in a small apartment in Ghent. Olive rides for the Continental IV mostly-professional-except-Mondays-through-Fridays-level team of Sam’s Pantry Meats and Lawn Furniture. “He’s really honest,” enthused Cookson, “and has never been known by anyone to lie, cheat, OR steal. He’s a real find.”

Olive, who was raised in East Framington, has lived in Belgium for twelve years pursuing his dream of racing professionally full time. “I’ve done a bit of everything,” said Olive when contacted by CitSB, “except drugs, mechanical doping, trading victories for cash payoff agreements, fixing local crits with the combine, cutting the course when the commissars aren’t watching, using illegal equipment, hanging onto team cars, and lying about my whereabouts to the doping authorities.”

When asked how that was working out for him, Olive replied, “It’s been rough.”

END

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Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, stop digging (Bobby Lea, Part 2)

December 21, 2015 § 48 Comments

I swore I wouldn’t waste any more of my already limited brain cells on this drug cheat, and specifically ignored the butt-licking, fawning interview that Bicycling Magazine did with Bobby Lea after he tested positive for Percocet.

But people kept asking me if I’d seen it and eventually I caved. It made me so angry, not because Bobby changed his story in less than 24 hours (that’s what lying liars who lie do), but that so many toe-licking, jock-sniffing, earwax-collecting “fans” swallow the whole wad of smelly pus and cat hair without so much as a hiccough.

It’s okay to be willfully stupid; that is why we have Donald Trump. It’s okay to believe in fairy tales; that’s why we have Islam, Christianity, and homeopathic medicine.

But it’s not okay to ruin the party for everyone else by crapping in the punch bowl after you’ve drunk your fill.

So here are just a few of the salient absurdities from Bobby Lea’s non-tearful non-confession, and my comments after.

Interviewer: You said in your letter that you took Percocet the night before track nationals when you ran out of your normal sleep aid, and that you have a prescription. What was that prescription for originally, and had you used Percocet previously?

Cheater Lea: I got the prescription for Percocet for two reasons. It was primarily for pain management in the event of a crash. I got it right before a trip to Japan and Taiwan in 2014. I knew that if I crashed over there, I could take it and make it home to the hospital and to doctors that I trust. And the second reason was as a sleep aid. Sometimes that’s the most comfortable thing in coach and I’ve used it on occasion to sleep on those transatlantic flights.

CitSB Comment: Note that in his original “apology” letter, Lea says that the Percocet was prescribed ” … to help me manage pain and sleep while traveling for competition, especially in the event of a crash.” Now, a day later, it is primarily for pain management in the event of a crash. This is significant because, as I pointed out earlier, drowsiness is an adverse reaction to Percocet that is on the label. No physician prescribes a drug so that the patient can “benefit” from the drug’s adverse reaction. In Bobby’s case, the story is absurd because if you have difficulty sleeping, we have a class of drugs that help you sleep. They are cleverly called “sleeping pills.”

This leads to a problem with Lea’s new explanation, and the problem is this: Now that he’s admitted to using the drug, he has to answer the question of what he got the drug for, which in turn raises the question of how doctors prescribe Percocet in the first place.

Percocet is a classified by the DEA as a Schedule II Controlled Substance. This means that it may not be prescribed without a “legitimate medical purpose.” Doctors who do so are subject to criminal penalties, and the DEA has, in recent years, aggressively pursued and shut down pill mills that gin out fake prescriptions for Percocet addicts.

Getting a legal prescription for Percocet isn’t easy, in part because doctors have become wary of patients who fake complaints in order to get their drug habit filled. Simply telling the doctor that your back hurts or that you have a burning sensation when you pee, or showing up at the ER at 3:00 AM with a bit of road rash won’t crack the safe.

So what was Lea’s legitimate medical purpose for taking Percocet? He started off in his apology letter explaining the existence of the prescription to help him sleep, but that’s not a legitimate medical purpose for Percocet and the burden is on Lea to now prove that that is in fact why it was prescribed. He could produce his medical records and reveal the name of the treating M.D., but he hasn’t. Why not? Well, first off it might show that the M.D. was committing a felony by prescribing Percocet for something that wasn’t a legitimate medical purpose.

Another possible reason he doesn’t trot out the prescription is that he has no prescription; perhaps he bought the drugs illegally. Another possible reason is that his medical records might reveal that he obtained the prescription by lying to his physician about the “legitimate medical purpose” for which he got the prescription. It’s hard to imagine an ethical doctor prescribing Percocet for future injuries. Doctors don’t typically write prescriptions for things that might happen to you, and even if they did they wouldn’t prescribe Percocet.

Doctors can write multiple prescriptions for Percocet that you can fill sequentially, but they typically only do this if you have an existing injury or chronic painful condition. The notion that Lea’s M.D. is dispensing Percocet so Bobby can cope with the horrors of “transatlantic flights in coach” is silly. It also raises the question of whether he’s ever looked at a map. What transatlantic flight from Pennsylvania gets you to Japan and Taiwan?

Lea’s explanation is even shoddier the more closely you examine it. He claims that he got the prescription in case he got hurt in Japan or Taiwan, conjuring up images of witch doctors hacking off limbs with tree saws while the patient grimaces in pain–as if those two countries don’t have access to Percocet and every other synthetic narcotic in the advanced world’s pharmacopeia. Japan and Taiwan have world class medical care and world class pharma. Bobby wants us to believe they don’t know how to treat road rash and a broken collarbone?

So now Lea is in a bind. The prescription of Percocet as a sleeping pill potentially violates federal law because it’s not a legitimate medical purpose. Nor does the prophylactic prescription fly because doctors don’t give you drugs for “potential” injuries, and because the places he claimed he wouldn’t have access to treatment provide world class, first world healthcare.

These things all point to a person who doped, which means that in the Bicycling interview he does what habitual liars do: He changes his story. The Percocet was now primarily in case he crashed, but also for those transatlantic flights. But this doesn’t help the aforementioned problems–Percocet still isn’t indicated for sleeping–and it creates another: If he only uses it “on occasion to sleep on those transatlantic flights,” why is he popping it the night before a race in Carson, California?

Answer: It’s less likely that he popped it the night before a race in Carson so he could sleep, and likelier that he popped it a couple of hours before the race for its performance enhancing effects, as cyclists have been doing with narcotics for more than a hundred years.

Interviewer: You wrote that the night you took it you didn’t do what you’ve done so many times before: check to see if a medication is on the banned list. I’m sure you’ve run the scenario again a million times. Why didn’t you?

Lea: You’re right, I’ve thought about that so many times. There’s a couple of things [pause]. Although I can’t recall in my memory typing in the drug to check it, I really, really have trouble believing that I never would’ve done that. So I have to, although I can’t remember doing it, I have to believe that I had done that because I just don’t think that I would’ve been so careless taking a real-deal drug like that so recklessly. The second part is that the way I’d seen it used, from people that I trust, there were no red flags to me. There was nothing I’d seen that was showing me that using it in the manner that I did was problematic [from a doping standpoint]. It’s a commonly used painkiller in cycling, especially for crashes. I know people have used it as a sleep aid on flights. To me, the thought of using it to ride a bike faster is ludicrous, it helps to sleep, so that part never really crossed my mind.

CitSB: Now Bobby has had a few hours to reflect on the absurdity of his initial claim that an experienced pro would have never checked to see if the prescription narcotics that he had been taking on long flights since 2014 was on the WADA list of prohibited substances. Keep in mind this is a guy who’s taking Percocet in order to sleep en route to competing in bike races where he will be tested for banned drugs. And on none of those occasions it occurred to him to check the drug’s status?

It’s not remotely credible, especially when bookended by his admission that he’s checked other prescriptions hundreds of times, and especially when the prescription was from 2014, and especially since he admits that he uses it occasionally. So he does what liars do: He changes the story.

In the Bicycling interview he now claims that even though he doesn’t remember checking, he must have checked. He never would have not checked. But compare that with the certitude of his apology letter, which must have been proofed by his agent, his lawyer, and of course numerous times by Bobby himself: “Because it was late at night, and I was trying to sleep, I failed to check my prescribed medication against the prohibited list … ” There’s no gray area: He knows he didn’t check, and there’s nothing to indicate that he had checked before and learned it was banned.

Unfortunately, the new tale concocted for Bicycling’s gullible readers, that he must have checked he just doesn’t remember doing it, creates more problems. And here’s the biggie: If he did check in the past and forgot about having checked, why did he still take the Percocet? If the answer you’re expecting is, “I forgot Percocet was banned in competition,” you’ll be disappointed.

He never says this in the interview; rather, he leaves that to the reader to infer. Why?

Because once he admits that he checked, and then admits that he saw it was banned but took it anyway, he’s got an intentional cheating violation and a four-year ban. It’s sad to see the way he fumbles his way into the non-explanation. After claiming to have checked “I have to believe that I had done that,” he wanders off into a non-sequitur that wouldn’t even be believable in church: “There was nothing I’d seen that was showing me that using it in the manner that I did was problematic [from a doping standpoint]. It’s a commonly used painkiller in cycling, especially for crashes. I know people have used it as a sleep aid on flights.”

The issue of course isn’t whether he’s seen other people doping, or whether he thinks it’s problematic, or whether it’s commonly used for crashes (it’s not), or whether he knows a cousin who knows an aunt who has a friend who uses it to sleep on flights.

The issue is whether he checked–he now claims he did–and why, after checking and seeing that it’s banned, he intentionally ingested it before a big race. At some point you wonder why his agent, who was listening on the phone, didn’t jump in and tell him to shut up, because he then adds the worst thing of all: “To me, the thought of using it to ride a bike faster is ludicrous, it helps to sleep, so that part never really crossed my mind.”

Of all the lies, this is the one that can be fact checked with laser precision: Percocet does help you ride a bike faster and that is not ludicrous, it is a physiological, medical fact tied to the drug’s ability to deaden pain. What’s ludicrous is that a 2-time Olympian either didn’t know that his prescription narcotics were banned (Gambit #1), or that he knew they were banned but didn’t know they were performance enhancing (Gambit #2).

And then, to continue in this nitpicky vein, doesn’t this line jump out at you in all caps? “IT’S A COMMONLY USED PAINKILLER IN CYCLING … ” Well shit, Bobby, yes, it is, and that is exactly what you’re being busted for since even you don’t claim to have flown a transatlantic flight from your girlfriend’s place in Santa Monica to the Carson velodrome just down the 405.

So if you’re USADA, what do you believe? That Percocet, which is not a sleeping pill, is used for sleeping, or that Percocet, which reduces pain and enhances performance, is used by an elite athlete before a big race to reduce pain and enhance performance? (Oh, minor detail: He won the race. Lucky fellow.)

The rest of the interview is unremarkable as it continues in this vein of not-even-barely-credible excusifying, with one exception. In his apology letter he says he supports clean sport, then in the interview gives a long explanation about why he has chosen to fight his case all the way to CAS. It would have been interesting to hear the Bicycling fan-with-a-typewriter ask Bobby how it is that a U.S. track racer can fund the $500/hour legal fees for his appeal, but hey, journalism requires, you know, work.

It would have also been nice to see someone call this clown out simply because his appeal will cost USADA a ton of money, money that they now get to spend chasing a doper instead of funding additional tests at additional races to keep dopers like him on the back foot.

I guess with supporters of clean sport like Bobby Lea, who needs enemies?

END

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