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.”

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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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“Perky” Lea

December 18, 2015 § 37 Comments

Bobby “Perky” Lea tested positive for metabolites of oxycodone shortly after winning the national points race championship and his sanction was announced today by USADA. The best part of the sanction press release is the generic language that specifically talks about how USADA works with athletes to keep them from doing exactly what Lea claims to have done, i.e. used a drug without checking to see if it’s prohibited.

Below are his two exculpatory messages, with annotations in italics by Cycling in the South Bay to assist readers unfamiliar with the self-serving language used by drug cheats. The first message is an email that “Perky” sent out a few hours before the anti-doping violation and suspension were announced by USADA. The second is a contritely defiant letter posted on his web site.

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing to you tonight because I have some very important and time sensitive news I have to share with you. And I need to share this with you tonight because it will be public in the next 48 hours and I want you to get this from me directly.

Uh-fucking-oh.

And I also need to apologize for hiding this from you for so long.

Otherwise known as lying.

Over the last few months I’ve had more than a few conversations with many of you and I have had to either dodge questions or just outright lie about by (sic) coming plans.

I have been lying for a long time because I’m a liar who lies.

For that I’m sorry.

But, as you’ll find out if you keep reading, I’m really only sorry because I got caught, I plan to appeal, and if you are a careful reader you’ll see that I never admit to being a cheater. More of a mistake-prone fellow, and I’m sorry for that.

At first it killed me, and then either I started to believe my own story or it just came to (sic) easily, which was also scary.

I am so pathological that I believe my own lies. I’m a habitual liar; so much so that my lies come to me “easily.” This isn’t morally reprehensible or indicative of profound pathology. It is just “scary.”

And not (sic) it’s been eating me up again.

We call this a Freudian slip, Bobby. Soooo revealing considering the number of times you must have proofread this missive.

So on one hand it’s nice to finally be able to put this out there so I can be open and honest but on the other hand I hate to have to say it at all.

It’s nice to be able to come clean 48 hours before USADA issues a press release that will be distributed worldwide. Honesty is nice for a change. Kind of like a different pair of shoes. You wear the liar shoes for a few years, they get a bit scuffed, and then you put on the truthy shoes, at least until the CAS hearing.

So without further ado, here it is.

Pull on the fuggin’ hip waders.

Thanks for reading.

Suckers.

What follows is from “Perky” Lea’s web site. Enjoy. The annotations are mine.

Cycling has been a part of my family, and who I am, for my whole life.

So this is the most amazing and profound betrayal that can be imagined as I shaft everyone at once.

I can say from the bottom of my heart that I love this sport.

So much that I cheat at it.

I would never intentionally do anything to harm the sport or intentionally jeopardize my own ability to compete.

Despite being a habitual liar, dodging, dissembling, and outright lying, I would never lie.

On the night of August 7th, in a state of post-race exhaustion and having run out of my normal sleep aid, I made the poor choice to take my prescription Percocet hoping it would help me rest.

Everyone takes Percocet when they are tired, especially when they are out of their normal sleep aid. You’re probably wondering what my normal sleep aid is. It’s green tea, that’s what. Percocet though is a narcotic, and it is as addicting as heroin. Narcotics are the most widely abused prescription drug in America and because they have gotten harder to obtain they have driven addicts to heroin. In other words, it is something that everyone takes after a race when they are tired. Some of you may have read this article that says opiates are a sleep inhibitor that disrupt sleep architecture but that is bulldonkeys. Shit will knock you OUT. I would never have taken the Percocet in order to numb the pain so that I could win the points race. That would be crazy, for sure. Instead, I took a sleep inhibitor so I could sleep before the big race.

This medication had been prescribed by a doctor to help me manage pain and sleep while traveling for competition, especially in the event of a crash.

It is a known fact that doctors give you prescriptions for Percocet, a DEA Class II drug, not for actual pain, but “just in case” you crash and to help you sleep even though it’s a sleep inhibitor. Just walk into your doctor’s office, explain that you have sleeping problems and are often tired as a bike racer, plus that you might crash, and they will prescribe Percocet for you. Sure, it’s addicting and disrupts sleep architecture, but who’s an architect? I ain’t building shit, I’m racing bikes. And even if you don’t crash, it’s okay to take it when you are tired. I would be happy to show you the prescription and give you the name of the doctor but I forgot it and the dog ate it plus I think I got it in Bangkok. Narcotics, i.e. morphine, methadone, and oxycodone have never been used in cycling to mask pain from injury or discomfort from illness and I have no idea what “pot Belge” is. Narcotics would never raise an athlete’s pain threshold so they can continue competing through the pain. Because that would be cheating and cheating would be a betrayal of everything, especially all the things that I have betrayed.

Because it was late at night, and I was trying to sleep, I failed to check my prescribed medication against the prohibited list, an action I have correctly executed hundreds of times over the years.

I had the prescription from my doctor and never checked it against the prohibited list. Even though I carried it around for sleeping and pre-crash pain and post-race exhaustion, it never occurred to me to check whether a powerful narcotic that comes with a long list of side effects and warnings might possibly be prohibited. After all, lots of other narcotics are not prohibited like heroin, opium, and stuff. I think. Are they? Anyway, I was tired and it was late at night. When it’s late I just take stuff. If you were a pro you would understand. Plus, I have checked my drugs hundreds of times over the years. Now this doesn’t mean I’ve taken hundreds of prescription drugs, it means I have checked prescription drugs hundreds of times. I’ve actually only taken some aspirin once. And Alleve. But I’ve checked those two drugs hundreds of times because rules can change. So now you’re wondering what kind of drugs was I checking for those hundreds of times. I know. Sounds weird, but it was just aspirin and Alleve. And once I smoked a joint. But I didn’t inhale.

Had I done that I would have seen that Percocet is not banned when used out of competition, but is banned in-competition.

And if Grandma had balls she’d be Grandpa.

Had I done that simple check, the same simple check I’ve done in pharmacies all over the world, I would have reached for another beer or two and I would not find myself here today.

You see, I’ve been in pharmacies all over the world. Haven’t you? When you travel you want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and French pharmacies. When you’re in Mexico you want to see pyramids in the Yucatan and pharmacies. And in China you’d be insane to see the Great Wall and miss out on the pharmacies. Anyway, it’s a simple check and I’ve done it in a zillion pharmacies, checking everything I ever buy there, and then I’ve checked my prescriptions hundreds of times. But I never checked whether a prescription narcotic might be banned. My bad! Sometimes I am a silly fellow!!! (Sad face!)

Nearly 24 hours later, after winning the Points Race at the USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships, I was notified that I had been selected for drug testing and reported to USADA to provide a sample.

WHO KNEW???

The sample I provided showed trace amounts of noroxycodone, the metabolite of oxycodone, which is the active ingredient in Percocet. As a result of that finding I was given a 16-month suspension from September 10th, 2015.

I didn’t cheat. I didn’t lie. I didn’t do anything wrong. I simply was suspended as the result of a finding, kind of like having to wear a cast as a result of falling off a ladder and breaking your arm. Shit happens, right? Nowhere did the suspension call me a doper or a cheater or a douchebag, by the way. So I got that going for me.

As I write those words, 16 months, even though I have spoken them out loud, it’s difficult to wrap my head around what they really mean.

Does it, like, mean sixteen calendar months? Or does it mean “hire an attorney and appeal because I wuz framed!”

It’s even more difficult to accept that meaning. As an elite athlete, I think it’s only natural to spend a lot of time thinking about how best to wind down your career.

And how to wind it “up,” heh heh.

I think its only natural to want to craft the storybook ending; the ending where you walk off the track after the biggest success of your career.

Story crafting, making stuff up, fairy tales, it’s only natural to want to make stuff up when you lie all the time. And with the right “stuff” you don’t even have to make it up. You can make it real. You picking up what I’m laying down?

Or maybe you want to return to your roots, to the place where it all began, and say goodbye one last time. I think it’s only natural to want to end it on your own terms.

Which is totally different from crafting a storybook ending, and more like returning to the womb. And ending it on your own terms means, well, how do I say this? Here’s how: “CAS.”

Now that I’ve lost the ability to write my own ending, I’m left to answer some very hard questions.

“Why did I cheat?” however, is not one of them. Neither is, “Why did I lie?” And of course I’ve never asked, “How can I possibly write any of this crap with a straight face?”

When I look back at my career, how do I feel about what I’ve done knowing that I may have raced my last race?

How do I feel about having lied and covered up and dodged questions and traveled the world’s pharmacies and taken prescription narcotics as sleeping medication? How? I’ll tell you how: CAS.

Can I walk away from the sport today and feel content with what I’ve done?

Especially when I haven’t done anything wrong? When I’m basically being victimized because unlike what I did at all the world’s pharmacies I accidentally on purpose took some narcotics? Can I be content with using oxycodone as a sleep aid?

Have I accomplished what I set out to do?

Can I get the suspension lifted? The market for forcibly retired drug cheat US trackies is not too hot these days.

Does the ending change the body of work?

Although most people associate “body of work” with literature, science, music, or other intellectual endeavors, isn’t bicycle racing like that? Aren’t races a “body of work” like Einstein, Beethoven, etc?

I like to think that I know the answer to some of these but I think the reality is somewhere between knowing and hoping.

In other words, I know I’ve been busted but I sure as fuck hope I can beat this rap in CAS.

At the end of the day, I made a mistake and that was wrong.

I didn’t cheat. I made a mistake, like when you put on mismatched socks or when you drop an egg on the kitchen floor. Now you’re probably wondering what is wrong about making a mistake, and I’d agree with you. Mistakes aren’t right or wrong, unlike cheating and lying and deceiving. Those things are wrong but I didn’t do those things except for where in that earlier message I admitted to all that outright lying. I just took some narcotics to go to sleep instead of doing what I do at all the other pharmacies I visit and what I did the hundreds of other times I had prescription drugs.

I know that as an athlete, I am accountable for everything that I ingest, regardless of the source.

This doesn’t mean I cheated or that I accept my sanction or that I will ‘fess up, sit the fuck down, and take my beating like a man. Rather, I mistaked. I accidented. And if I’d been at, say, the pharmacy in TJ that I like to hit when I’m in Cali, I would have checked. That’s what I’m guilty of: Not checking.

I live with my mistake and I accept full responsibility for it.

However, not “full responsibility” as in “I accept the sanctions.” That’s different. What I accept is the responsibility of not checking. And I think we’ve all not checked stuff before. So in a way we’re all the same. Plus, it’s hard to check stuff when you’re tired.

To my family, friends, coach, fans, sponsors, and the sport that I love: I am deeply sorry.

You may be wondering “Sorry for what?” since I haven’t spelled it out and to that I can only say I’m sorry for not doing what I do when I’m at the pharmacy in Beijing: checking. But since I didn’t cheat I’m not sorry for cheating.

I remain committed to the strict rules and ethics that govern track cycling and Olympic Sport and I support any and all anti-doping efforts that help better it.

For other people.

However, because I want to end my career on the track and not in a lawyer’s conference room, I will appeal this sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

What in the fuck do I have to lose?

Thank you for reading.

Suckers.

Bobby

END

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You can’t say that, No. 5

December 9, 2015 § 8 Comments

Only problem is they don’t, and they’re not.

“If they [had] an equivalent [to EPO] tomorrow that is undetectable, everyone would be on it.” Lance Armstrong, on the current state of doping in the peloton. Cycling News, December 8, 2015.

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Imagine what he would have done to beat a field of, say, twenty.

Hickman, 49, won the 66-mile championship race out of a field of 10 riders in the 40+ age group. He has accepted a four-year ban for the doping offense. VeloNews, December 4, 2015.

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You mean they don’t just do it because they’re cheating douchebags?

“Simply looking away and not testing the athletes is the worst decision that a race director can make because it forces everyone to take drugs to try to level the playing field.” GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme, on why it’s important to drug test at gran fondos, Cycling Weekly, October 29, 2015.

END

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