Doping on Team Lizard Collectors?

April 15, 2018 § 6 Comments

So, imagine this: A USAC licensed racer on Team Lizard Collectors comes up to an unlicensed rider and says, “Here, put this in your water bottle. You’ll go faster.”

Freddie says, “What is it?”

Doper McDopefuck says, “It’s like 5-hour Energy. It will speed you up.”

McDopefuck stuffs a handful of small packets into Freddie’s trusting hand and moseys off. Freddie mixes the powder with water and the next day takes off on a ride with a friend. Freddie notices unusual speed and power and extreme stimulation. After an hour Freddie’s heart feels like it’s about to rip out of the ribcage.

Freddie, who has high blood pressure, gets off the bike and lies down. Freddie can’t breathe and thinks a cardiac event is about to kick off. “What’s wrong?” Friend asks Freddie.

Freddie tells Friend about the powder and after recovering enough to make it home, goes online and checks the label on the packet. Surprise! It’s a legal supplement that contains a relative of DMAA that is on the WADA list.

Shit just got real.

Dopers in the mist

The first part of the problem is simple: What to do about Doper McDopefuck and any other buddies who are loading up on DMAA and its banned cousins?

Answer: Report them to USAC’s clean cycling program and get on with your life. They will hopefully be surprised one day with a pee-pee test and get run out of the sport.

And don’t tell me it’s the board’s job to out people. Only USADA/WADA/national anti-doping bodies get to sanction dopers. That’s why Chris Froome is still racing and about to enjoy a big win in the Giro and another in the Tour.

Recreational dopers

For those dopers who don’t race and who dope to win group rides or Strava, well, they are fucked up, but as Thorfinn-Sasquatch taught us, recreational doping is a very real thing. Pity the cycling club that starts to weed out its non-racing members who are taking drugs, because the vast majority of cyclists take some kind of drug at some point that is on the WADA list.

Inhalers, pot, ecstasy, amphetamines, viagra, testosterone, and a plethora of legal drugs are regularly consumed by members of your cycling club. So what? They may be using it to get an edge on the group ride, or they may be using it for the purposes that it was prescribed. The first purpose is hardly illegal, and the second may well be medically necessary.

Anyone who joins a cycling board and wants to play narc is going to find himself in a full-time Inquisition, resulting in a club roster of 1.

Pushers

The problem I have is with the Doper McDopefuck who pushes the drug onto the unknowing recreational rider. Those riders can suffer serious health consequences. The licensed racer taking a banned substance and passing it off to another rider deserves to be invited to go away and never come back.

Education

I’ve never heard of a club that has a drug education policy. We need one, and your club does, too. In the same way that we advocate for safety, for nutrition, for good training techniques, and for fair play, we need to advocate for drug health. That means talking with our members about doping, about why it sucks, and about why it doesn’t comport with the goals of our club.

The next time an unsuspecting rider takes a drug pushed off on him by someone who is doping, and that unsuspecting rider dies or gets horribly hurt, it won’t be enough to say, “We didn’t want to harm the reputation of our club.” To the contrary, doping is everywhere in cycling and in life, and we have a duty to educate so that people can make informed decisions.

For those who think that the reputation of their entire club has been harmed because they admit to having a doping problem, well, your reputation is going to be harmed a whole lot worse when someone dies or winds up with a USADA sanction like Meeker or LeoGrande. Tackle the problem head-on, don’t sweep it under the rug. It’s easy to be smug when someone on another team gets caught cheating, less so when it’s your own group of friends and riding pals.

For those who dope to cheat others in sanctioned races, rat them out and send them packing. There’s no shame in having lying, cheating, sonsofbitches in your midst. The shame is not doing anything about them.

END

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French Cat 3 dude wins asterisk

October 2, 2017 § 15 Comments

When I put on my headphones yesterday to listen to the news while I was frying up a pan of green coffee beans, I got a surprise: “Blah blah blah,” the announcer said in French, “cycliste blah blah blah” he continued, my ears perking up at hearing one of the only six works I know in that language. Then I got really excited when he said the other five, “velo équipé d’un moteur.”

I tried to pay attention to the rest of the blah blah blah but it didn’t work. The beans were starting to smoke, my grandson had landed and was scuttling the ship, and it was hard to concentrate and stir and block him from pulling out the carving knife from the drawer and jabbing it into my thigh.

Fortunately, a friend sent me a link to the TV interview, which allowed me to listen to it slowly and carefully, and after seven hours of review and Google translate I was able to pick up a couple more key words: “Cat 3.” Basically, a Cat 3 wanker (redundant) got popped for using a moteur electrique in a local bike race. And it made the national news. And the news guy asked, all in earnest, “If some wanker is moteur doping to win a local Fred fest, one must ask the question whether or not moteur doping is also occurring at higher levels du sport?”

To which I can confidently reply, “Non, non.”

The person accused of moteur doping, Henri Percival-Escargot d’Chatenay, was immediately available for a telephone interview with CitSB. I reached him at his chateau in Dordogne, a hellish little dump on the outskirts of Bordeaux known for some of the finest wine and cuisine on earth.

CitSB: So, did you really moteur dopage?

HP-EdC: Non, non, mais bien sur, non.

CitSB: So what was the deal with the moteur electronique in votre Cervelo?

HP-EdC: Eet was mistaken consumption.

CitSB: Beg pardon?

HP-EdC: Eet was mistaken consumption. I drink by mistake, pas d’idee que zere was moteur electrique in my water bottle.

CitSB: No, no, you didn’t drink the moteur electrique. They found it underneath your boteille d’eau.

HP-EdC: Ah, oui, oui, le bidon, En francais on dit “bidon.” Masculin avec “le.” But someone puts le moteur electrique zere and I don’t know it, comme avec le tainted beef de Alberto Contador, vous savez?

CitSB: So you’re saying someone stuck it there on le Cervelo beneath le bidon and you had no idea you were doing the ol’ dopage mechanique?

HP-EdC: Oui, oui, comme ca. Et aussi I was, comme dit-on, un vanishing twin, exactement comme Tyler Hamilton.

CitSB: What?

HP-EdC: C’est tres rare, mais j’avais un vanishing twin and zeez ees pourquoi they have found le moteur. C’est definitivement le moteur de mon vanishing twin. N’est-ce pas mine. Imposible et sacre bleu et etcetera.

CitSB: Okay, so it was your vanishing twin’s motor, not yours. That seems un peu incroyable, as they say in France.

HP-EdC: And I must tell you, I have passe les testing dopage 500 fois. Neffer positive, vous comprenez? 500 foix ils ont pris mon pee-pee, et neffer, neffer un positive. Je deteste telle tricherie. Je suis un sporstman très, très honnête.

CitSB: I’m not sure what the passed testing dopage has to do with anything. This a moteur electrique we’re talking about, Henri.

HP-EdC: Et je vous dirai anozzer sing. I would neffer do ze dopage electronique par ce’que on ne sais pas que serais les effets a mon santé. In fife ou six years, peut-etre le cancer, n’est-ce pas? Ou, how you say en englais? Le acne.

CitSB: I haven’t ever heard of motorized doping causing cancer or acne. That’s a stretch.

HP-EdC: Anyways, je n’ai aucune motif pour cette tricherie. Je suis tres fort. Je fait le training tous les jours. Vous voulez savoir what I am on? Je suis on my velo, zat is what I am on.

CitSB: We know that you were on the velo, the problem is that there was also a moteur electrique on the velo. So you + velo + moteur electrique equals cheating masters d-bag.

[Noise in background.]

CitSB: You okay?

HP-EdC: Oui, oui, deux visitors ont arrivée. I must go now. Merci pour le entrevue.

CitSB: Hey, what’s that clicking sound? Is someone cuffing you, Henri? Henri?

HP-EdC: Adieu.

END

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south_bay_cycling_awards_poster_2017_final

 

He seemed like a nice doper at the time

June 9, 2017 § 97 Comments

I wish I didn’t care about all the doping in SoCal masters racing, but I do. With regard to races that I actually enter, I can put it out of my mind thanks to the advice of a fellow leaky prostate masters profamateur, who wisely said this: “If you can’t race your bike without wondering who’s on drugs, this isn’t the sport for you.”

The team of Kayle LeoGrande, the guy whose doping shenanigans arguably opened the door for the fall of the House of Lance by going after immortal badass Suzanne Sonye, Kayle LeoGrande, the freakshop who “won” a national crit title from Steve Tilford in 2012 and later zoomed to a masters crit title amid shouts of “Boo!” and “Doper!”, announced yesterday that Kayle was leaving the team due to [insert surprisey-face emoticon] a USADA doping test result.

Screenshot (5)

Kayle got busted again? Hard to say for sure because shortly after their Facebag page blew up, the team deleted all the comments and even the team page. A quick check of USADA’s sanctions page shows no positive test results for the esteemed Mr. LeoGrande. Hopefully it was all just a mistake and he’s been reinstated with his national champion’s clothing, pro bike & wheels, and his customary cheering section.

But if it’s true, well, too bad, so sad.

When Kayle joined up with Team Surf City Cyclery there was a lot of outcry, but not from me, as the team voted to “give him a second chance” and added him to the roster. I thought then and still do that after you’ve served your time you should be allowed to race. That’s what the rules provide for, and masters doping isn’t first degree murder. Whether I’d want this unrepentant cheater on my team is another story. But if those guys on Team Surf City wanted to throw in their lot with a doper thug, that was on them. Now every single rider in that outfit gets to explain how they’re clean and it was only Kayle and no one had any idea and blah, blah, blah. As my grandpa used to say, if you lie down with pigs you’re going to smell like shit.

My problem is that I really do want to support bike racing and see it thrive, but at the same time I’m repulsed by the cheats. Whether it’s Thorfinn Sassquatch or Richard Meeker or now Kayle LeoGrande, these clowns make it such an uphill battle. Ironically, they don’t make it difficult for me; I’ve known about doping in the amateur ranks since I was offered my first syringe in 1986. But they make it so hard for me to recommend the sport, to encourage others to participate in it, and to back it financially.

And can anyone really be surprised that there is doping among — gasp — SoCal masters racers? After all, Kayle wasn’t simply busted for doping back in 2008. The arbitration panel’s careful legal language suggested that they found him to be a thoroughly unconvincing, pathetic liar. Check out these choice bits from the ruling in 2008:

  • He [Leogrande] misrepresented his use of an inhaler by initially calling it a puffer. When realizing the inconsistency with the doping control forms, he then went on to claim he had no idea of the contents of the inhaler, but trusted the doctor who had prescribed it.
  • Respondent [Leogrande] had numerous communications with Joe Papp during the one year period from July 2006 to July 2007. Respondent testified that Papp stored EPO at his home, thus it is very certain that he was in a position to have knowledge of EPO and the ability to obtain it. This close relationship with Papp, combined with the UPS note card, which does appear to be a receipt for E. (EPO) and G. (Human Growth Hormone) addressed to “Joe”, and which was signed by “Kayle”, which Leogrande denies was his signature, calls his credibility into question. For Respondent to disavow any knowledge of this card is unconvincing. The signature, in addition to being that of his unusual first name, looks to this Panel, to include the same script features as Respondent’s distinctive signature on the doping control forms.
  • Respondent’s [Leogrande’s] lack of denial or outrage when he spoke to Andreu, under either Respondent’s or Andreu’s version of the telephone call, is persuasive of his having used the Prohibited Substances (EPO, albuterol and testosterone) he was being punished for/accused of taking in that conversation.
  • Respondent [Leogrande] did not recall important events and conversations when it would have been very helpful for him to do so. Thus, he had no credible explanation for the conversations recalled clearly by Sonye and Andreu.

Whatever you pretend to be, don’t pretend to be surprised that a lying doper who was busted in 2008 might have returned to the sport and continued to lie and dope, and don’t be surprised as you read through the 2008 decision that the same ill thought processes might still be alive and well in the mind of this truly disturbed dude. This is a guy who lied, cheated, admitted to using banned drugs, and then had the nerve to sue for defamation the very person to whom he’d made the confession.

This isn’t some poor slob who was choking down tainted meat, or some up-and-coming kid who chose the needle over an unemployment line, it was a deliberate, calculating, corrupt liar whose first line of defense was to wreck the lives of those who dared tell the truth. On the bright side, it’s awesome to note in the arbitration decision against Kayle in 2008, that in Paragraph 65 it says that despite the fact that Suzanne Sonye had everything to lose by going against this doping doper who dopes, nevertheless she persisted.”

Hahahahahaha! Warren & Sonye in ’20!

And of course those who doubted that it was a new, improved, Kleen Kayle needed to look no farther than the famous Visalia punch-em-up, where Kayle exhibited violent behavior that looked less like a mature man and more like someone mentally overcooked on the fumes of ‘roid rage. With an apology and a bit of contrition his team let bygones be bygones. “Let Kayle be Kayle” they said, or some other such flibberflabber which everyone else interpreted as teamspeak for “STFU, dude wins races so IDGAF.”

But anyway, here’s what I know about watching Kayle race as a “reformed” ex-doper masters racer who was “given a second chance”: He was really good and one of the fastest in a crit but he wasn’t all that great. Because so many people dope now, there aren’t enough drugs in China for a saggy old fart like Kayle such that it will put him orders of magnitude above the drug-addled grandpa peloton. He won, but so did others. The Pollyannas pointed to that as evidence of a Kleen Kayle and a level playing field, but there’s a much worse explanation, which is that doping is now the norm because it has dripped down through the I.V. to the very lowest, contemptible, and delusional level of the sport: Middling masters racers.

How do I know? Because I’ve sat in a field as recently as this year and watched Kayle singe the nuthairs off of a 60-strong peloton, only to get brought back again and again and again. In the last race we did together I wound up off the front late in the race with him and it was like sitting behind a Ducati. “Just hold on,” he said as I bent over the bars trying to get small and looking like a giraffe on a barstool while he generated some impossible wattage, but not impossible enough that the peloton didn’t peg him back.

I slunk to the back, charred to the bone by my three-minute effort of sitting on, while Kayle took a breath, attacked again with two laps to go, and soloed for the win. Just another SoCal Sunday crit, dude.

And how doped was the peloton at Dana Point Grand Prix, where Kayle won his (hopefully) last race ever? According to one friend, it was the fastest race he’d done his entire life. To me this was just more evidence of what I’ve maintained for years: Doping in masters racing isn’t necessarily predominant at the top, but it’s absolutely predominant in the middle.

Nor is this bizarre level of speed and strength limited to the “young” masters racers. I’ve personally witnessed one old hack go from backass straggler to on-the-point hammerhead in a single season with no visible change at all to his physiognomy. I guess he just woke up in January and decided he would pedal harder than he had been for the last five years.

It’s the mid-level hacker with a zero percentage risk of getting caught who turns these mass-crit fields into NASCAR, because so many guys now are good for at least one 1200-watt effort, and where even if you’re doing drugs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s still not enough to reliably seal the deal as Meeker used to do almost every single time regardless of whether it was a hilly road race, a crit, a time trail, a sprunt … a whatever. USADA and USAC, far from having frightened masters racers into clean racing, have to reckon instead with the tidal wave reality that every year the dopers increase even as the number of racers evaporates.

And who’s quitting? The clean ones. There is a handful of also-rans on the SoCal masters circuit, guys who do everything right and who have all the right physiology, who can’t seem to close the deal on the big day because no matter how hard they train, you can’t out-train chemistry. And what about the ones who have no chance of winning and, more and more, who no longer have a faint chance of even finishing? Who remains under conditions like that? I’ll tell you who: The pathetic old meatbags like Dopey McDopester who are willing to pay good money to chase a tainted result, and the pack fodder frauds who lie to themselves that their testosterone and anti-aging supplements aren’t for bike racing but for their personal health needs.

Like Richard Meeker, this reprehensible SoCal crit cheat will go away and discover hiking, open a juice bar, devote more time to his family, find some part of his glory hole that hasn’t been inked, or *MAYBE* become a USAC-licensed coach for the seven juniors left in the state of California. Maybe he’ll even man up like Levi and start a famous grand fondue, or really serve the public like Jonathan Vaughters and start his own professional race team. But what he will not have left in his wake is destruction, ruined dreams, or shattered lives.

Because at this late stage in the autopsy if you still think it’s a clean sport with only the occasional random cheat, you’re almost as deluded as the cheaters.

END

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Victimless cheating? Or Dick Doper redux?

May 15, 2017 § 30 Comments

Last year I rode with a guy who was, uh, fast. He was in his mid-50s and when we hooked up he had already been going crazy hard for a month, thirty days of back-to-back riding that included unbelievable mileage and intensity.

We only rode together a couple of times. He was unbelievable. A big dude who climbed like George Hincapie when he was in his “mountain climbing” doper phase. You’d be sitting on this giant dude’s wheel and thinking, “Physics.” And then he’d toss the physics book into the ditch and climb like Quintana.

At the time I didn’t think he was doping. Don’t laugh when I say this, but it never occurred to me because I’m not really that suspicious or cynical when it comes to cycling and drugs.

Instead of chalking up his performance to drugs, I chalked it up to the fact that he was getting back on the bike after a long winter, he had stayed fit in the gym and on the trainer, and after all of the big miles and intensity he’d crash and crumple like any other normal old dude who pushed too much, too far, too hard, for too long.

This year our paths crossed again, and although I didn’t ride with him, I did see him briefly. His upper body was unbelievable. According to one of the guys who did ride with him, he claimed to have put on fifteen pounds of muscle over the last year. And he looked it.

That’s when my eyes rolled so far back in my head that if they’d had numbers they would have looked like a slot machine. There are a lot of things you don’t gain when you get old and creaky, and one of them is lean muscle mass. Maybe you firm up what you’ve got, and maybe if you eat perfectly and diet perfectly and do all the other hard things that no one in their 50s can possibly do, you gain a couple of pounds of muscle. But fifteen-plus pounds of lean upper body muscle in twelve months?

That, my friends, only happens with a lot of time in the gym and a shit-ton of steroids.

I was discussing this with a friend who is very young. He seemed to think that if you were young and doing steroids to get buff, you were not very smart because the risk of side effects is so huge. But, according to him, if you’re in your 50s and juicing, the risks are much smaller. You’re already old and bald and sexless anyway, and the side effects take way longer to kick in. Plus, in Dick Doper’s case, there was no crime other than the illegal possession of the drugs.

“Look at it like this,” my friend said. “He’s not racing so it’s not like he’s cheating. He’s not ever going to get tested so he won’t ‘ruin’ his reputation. He does it to feel good about himself, maintain the delusion that he’s exempt from the grinding passage of time, and he’s not hurting anyone else. What’s wrong with that? Do you hold it against people for standing in the mirror and counting their new veins?”

“Yeah, but that asshole crushes you on the bike. Thanks to the drugs, on informal, competitive rides he always wins. He’s practically unbeatable.”

“So? Don’t ride with him.”

“I don’t. Not after last year.”

“Then what’s your complaint? He’s taking your Strava KOMs?”

“I don’t play Strava.”

“So you’re simply jealous that another old bald impotent guy is faster than you are? You want to be the fastest old bald impotent guy?”

“Pretty much.”

“Didn’t the Rolling Stones have a song about that? Something about not always getting what you want?”

I resisted the urge to smack him, which urge was made easier by the fact that he was 6’4″, a martial arts specialist, and a cop. “It seems lame for some reason.”

“Is there a law or some kind of ethical rule against being lame?”

“No, but …”

“How is it different from buying faster equipment? You can buy mechanical speed just like you can buy the chemical kind. Is it lame when you can afford electronic shifting and light wheels, and some young kid is pedaling on a heavier, slower bike?”

“That’s different.”

“Of course it is. The difference is that you buy mechanical speed so it’s okay, but Dick Doper buys chemical speed on top of the mechanical kind. And that pisses you off because it makes him faster than you.”

“There’s a huge difference. I’d think he was lame no matter how fast he rode.”

“What is the difference, then?”

“Mechanical advantages are obvious. You can’t lie about them. And except in a few circumstances, the advantage they give is small and can often be compensated for by smart riding, drafting, or even by playing head games with your opponent. It’s a lot harder to hide your disk wheel. But chemical speed is secret, and its effects are different for every rider. For some guys, it turns donkeys into racehorses. For others, its effects are much less pronounced. Any given aero wheel will reduce drag the same amount no matter who’s riding it.”

“Piffle paffle,” he laughed. “You’re butthurt. That’s all.”

END

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First failed dope test at Rio Olympics: A cyclist, of course

August 10, 2016 § 10 Comments

The IOC announced this morning that after conducting a total of over 15,000 doping tests leading up to and during the first week of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the first athlete to fail a doping test was a woman track cyclist from Team USA, whose name is being withheld pending confirmation of her B sample.

“It’s incredibly disappointing,” said Slovic Bracentz, IOC spokesman for doping protocols, the official liaison between the game’s organizers and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which conducts the tests. “We’ve tested thousands and thousands of samples, and for us even one failed test is a black mark. We hope it’s the last one.”

The athlete spoke on condition of anonymity pending testing of the B sample. “I can’t believe it,” she said. “I did everything right. There’s no way I failed that test. The B sample will absolutely vindicate me and I can put this nightmare behind me.”

According to confidential sources who contacted CitSB via email late last night, the athlete who failed the test was seen shopping in a pharmacy nearby the Olympic village the night before the test. “She knew she was in trouble,” said the source, “and was trying to find doping products that would allow her to pass the test. She’d obviously been tipped off that she was going to be tested and was terrified that they wouldn’t find anything. Whatever she took, it was too late to show up in her urine. When they analyzed her sample she was clean as a whistle. Her only hope now is the B sample.”

IOC President Thomas Bach immediately took to Twitter to defend the integrity of the Games. “One failed test does not a clean Olympics make,” he tweeted, adding “IOC testing will always catch the cheats.”

Given the thorough testing before and during the Games, analysts are scratching their heads how the clean athlete made it through, especially in a drug-riddled event such as track cycling. “We don’t know how she could have failed the test. Clean athletes never make it out of regional competitions. We’re that rigorous.”

The athlete agreed. “The B sample will vindicate me. I’ve taken every drug offered by the team, the coaches, even that bald guy in the gym with the ball-bearing testicles. There’s no way my sample was drug-free. No way.”

Movement for Credible Cycling immediately applauded the IOC’s announcement in a press release. “People have said for years that you can’t catch the clean riders, but this shows you can. Each one of these cheats takes away from the hard-purchased results of young men and women who dedicate their entire lives to finding the right pharmacological enhancements that will allow them to compete with Russia. We support lifetime bans for athletes caught competing clean.”

END

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UCI announces breakthrough in mechanical doping analysis

April 19, 2016 § 17 Comments

Pierre Fauntleroy de Brinvilliers, head analyst for the Departemente du Dopage Mechanique at the UCI, announced a breakthrough today that will allow the world’s governing body for cycling to effectively combat the use of hidden mechanical devices in the pro peloton.

“We have expended many euros in the fight against dopage mechanique, employing only the best experts to assist in discovery of the technique the most effective for prevention of the dopage mechanique,” explained de Brinvilliers at a press conference earlier today.

According to de Brinvilliers, his team has discovered “a variety incroyable” of secret devices that allow riders to go faster. “Eet is beyond l’imagination, how zees professionelles are cheating the sport and the fans, and l’investigation suggests many are complicit, yes, with an emphasis especiale on les manufacturers, who eet appears are working hands in their gloves to promote l’cheating avec these cheating cheateurs who cheat.”

Using many of the same staff members who have led the UCI’s successful fight against traditional doping in cycling, the UCI has now mounted an equally vigorous assault on the scourge of mechanical doping. In addition to recruiting Tom Danielson, David Millar, and other respected ex-professionals to assist with public outreach, de Brinvilliers has assembled “le foremost equipage d’experts technicale in the entire world” to “detect and destroy” all “vestiges of dopage mechanique.”

At the press conference, the UCI’s Technical Division revealed the first results of their unannounced inspections. “We have gathered proof that virtually 100% of the peloton is now using dopage mechanique; initial inspections revealed widespread cheating, even on training rides,” according to Chief Inspector of Mechanical Doping, Jacques Clouseau, who presented photos of an array of doping devices discovered by his undercover squad.

“This first item,” said Clouseau, “is of undetermined function but is cleverly hidden in the rear of the bicycle. Our laboratory is performing tests to understand how it adds power and speed, allowing cyclists to cheat.”

derailleur

“This next item,” he added, “is perhaps more diabolical. Preliminary tests show that rather than adding speed, it appears to reduce it, which is counterintuitive, however, our working hypothesis is that by reducing speed illegally at certain points, perhaps, such as bends in the road, it provides secret and illegal methods of allowing the rider to accelerate later, which he would not be able to do if, for example, he smashed into the curb and broke his head.”

brakes

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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