October 31, 2013 § 23 Comments
Former cycling professional and Tour de France contender Michael Rasmussen has released excerpts from his forthcoming autobiography that reveal the existence of widespread doping practices in the European pro peloton during his career. Co-authored with Danish sports journalist Pastry Kierkegaard, the book, “Charging While Charged,” exposes the use of banned substances among elite athletes.
According to Rasmussen, professional cyclists regularly used EPO and other drugs to pedal faster than they would have been able to without the banned substances. This little known fact has rocked the normally staid Danish Cycling Federation. “If what he says is true, this means that a great fraud has been perpetrated on the Danish sporting public,” said federation director Njal Saga.
“The drugs were used in such a way that we could avoid detection,” Rasmussen explains. “We took them secretly so that we wouldn’t be caught.” Athletes in other sports have expressed dismay at this revelation.
“If what Rasmussen says can be corroborated, then it means that other athletes might be using banned substances, too,” said Manuel Ortega de Coronado Castillo y Leon, president of the Argentine Football Society and Committee to Re-elect the President.
Descent into doping
In addition to his own drug use, Rasmussen claims to have taught doping methods to Ryder Hesjedal, the first Canadian winner of the Giro d’Italia. “I taught Ryder how to use EPO. When he used it, he rode a lot faster,” says Rasmussen.
Several doping experts, however, question this claim. “Its not 100% sure that drugs can always make you faster,” said Paolo Derrigade. “One cannot turn a donkey into a racehorse. However, if true, this could mean we’ve been hoodwinked by a lot of unethical sportsmen.”
In addition to EPO, Rasmussen reveals that professional cyclists used a combination of steroids and other illegal substances to go faster. By using these drugs, he says, the athletes hoped to win races that they could not otherwise win. “You could say they were cheating,” he admits.
Explaining his reasons for using banned drugs, Rasmussen goes on to say that “I took the drugs to go faster.” In this tell-all, provocative expose, the author also claims that doping has been in pro cycling for a long time. “Doping has been in pro cycling for a long time,” he writes.
These explosive allegations have already had consequences, with some questioning whether the Tour de France victories of fellow Dane Bjarne Riis, as well as victories by Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong could have also been achieved through the use of banned substances. Brian Cookson, head of the UCI, commented that “We can’t say anything until we’ve completed our own internal investigation, but if drugs were involved in those victories, there will be consequences.”
Rasmussen’s detailed description of what he terms “doping doctors,” or physicians who provided the illegal substances and administered them to willing athletes, suggests even broader patters of doping. When asked in a telephone interview if he believed that other athletes in sports such as football, baseball, soccer, and chess were also doping, Rasmussen answered, “Yes.”
Not everyone was shocked by the revelations, and some commentators were openly skeptical. According to Phil Liggett, a veteran reporter of the Tour, “I don’t believe it was widespread. Maybe the odd cheater here and there, but that’s it. The vast majority of the pro peloton is, and has always been, squeaky clean.”
August 11, 2012 § 59 Comments
Jonathan Vaughters has publicly admitted what we already knew, just in time for USADA’s supplemental briefing for Judge Sparks, which will almost certainly identify the eyewitnesses who will corroborate Lance Armstrong’s use of all kinds of nasty shit to win the TdF against dudes who were using the same nasty shit. Want to bet that JV will be on the list?
Too bad he doesn’t read my blog. I posted three form doper apology letters yesterday, and he could have sent in the “apologetic doper” form and saved himself a lot of work. He could have also saved himself some embarrassment. You know, the embarrassment from saying totally ridiculous shit that makes him look like a liar and a hypocrite, and that makes us look like tools for taking the time to read it.
Disclaimer: I’m not opposed to doping
Doping and drugs are fine if you want to do them. It’s a form of cheating, just like changing your line in a sprunt, cutting the course, lying on your upgrade request, entering a race while serving a suspension, racing in a category other than one stated on your license, or telling your wife that you’re not fucking your secretary.
And although I’d rather finish last (and often do) than cheat, it doesn’t bother me terribly that others break the rules any more than it bothers me that some happily married people are happiest in another woman’s bed. In fact, the hacker who beat me out for 56th thanks to his high-octane EPO protocol is probably a much nicer chap than some undoped asshole who intentionally chops my wheel and tries to take me down on a fucking training ride.
Which brings me to my next point: as Michael Creed so eloquently put it, even though doping wasn’t for him, he didn’t judge someone as a bad person for doping. There were plenty of dopers who he’d have been glad to have as neighbors, and other clean athletes who were complete douchebags.
So you’re condoning DOPING? Aaaaaaaaaahhhhgh!
No. But I’m not condemning it either. If you dope in some cheeseball masters crit and win $50, that doesn’t bother me. I wasn’t going to win it no matter what you did or didn’t take. If you dope in some big stage race and make millions as a cancer survivor while viciously destroying the lives and careers of people who call you a doper…that’s different. That’s evil.
But back to JV, and his sob-story about the evils of doping and how we must never again allow children’s souls to be killed through doping. Yes, he really said that.
I’ve bulleted his stupid anti-doping arguments, which he should have summed up by saying, “It’s cheating. Cheating is bad. So don’t cheat.” But nooooooooooooo…
- “Doping takes away childhood dreams.” Dude, childhood dreams die with childhood. Life is a nasty, brutish affair that ends horribly for everyone. No exceptions. It’s like the first time a young woman sees a big ol’ penis and gets told, “This is going in there.” Whoa! Major childhood dream massacre! Why should bicycle chasers be exempt from harsh reality? Answer: They shouldn’t be, and they aren’t.
- “Doping forces you to lie.” Whaaaat? Doping doesn’t force you to lie, being human does. Humans are liars. Batfuck, dishonest, conniving, duplicitous shits who will say anything to advance themselves. They may also tell the truth when it’s convenient, but hate to tell you, JV, people were lying long before EPO.
- “Doping forces young athletes to abandon their sport if they choose not to dope.” Wait a minute…that’s a negative? Trading in your stinky bibs for an Armani and a cubicle at Goldman-Sachs? Sign me up! Cycling is a cul-de-sac, and the only people in it are broken, or deluded, or drug-addled, or all of the above. The more young athletes who give up this ignoble pursuit as a profession and go get real jobs, the better. You can bicycle chase on the weekend.
- “Doping can make the difference in the TdF between 1st and 100th.” Not exactly. When most of the peloton’s doped, as it still is, the difference between first and one hundredth place is in your teammates, your tactics, your bike racing skills, the sophistication of your microdosing, and your ability to train far from the testers.
- “Riders who refused to dope, and walked away, were punished for following their moral compass.” Okay, everybody take off your stupid hats if that made sense. The whole point behind morality is to do what’s right, regardless of the consequences. In fact, it is only by taking the punishment of an unjust system that morality makes sense. You’re never punished for taking a moral stand, you’re rewarded for it because, asshole, morality is its own reward. Which is the main reason it’s so unpopular.
- “We’ve made huge strides. Just look at these Olympics!” No. I will not watch four Jamaican dudes run faster than the rest of the world combined and call that a celebration of clean sport. The only sport nastier than track and field is professional soccer, football, baseball, hockey, weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, basketball, horse racing…etc.
- “Athletes only dope because they just want a fair chance, a level playing field.” That’s like those dorks who say they want to win the lottery so they can make the world a better place. Next time you see them, they’re broke, drunk in a gutter, and covered in venereal sores. Athletes hate fairness. They want an edge, a leg up, a lighter bike, faster wheels, cyanide in their opponent’s coffee, anything to get ahead of the competition. Cycling was a cheat-filled sport long before EPO, and it will be one long after.
What I really wanted to write about was Mighty Mouse, Tree, Katie, and the other badasses who did Leadville today, not to mention their trusty sidekicks who made sure they were well fed and watered for this grueling event. Oh, well. Maybe tomorrow.
August 1, 2012 § 41 Comments
It’s simple. If you’re a grown man, and you’re shaving your legs, and you’re not a professional athlete or in the porn business, then you have a problem. The only question is “How bad is it?”
By now you MUST have heard about David Anthony, star of the New York Times, feature stud on VeloNews, zeitgeist at BikedoucheNYC, the 42 y/o Cat 2 full-on HGH and EPO doper who got popped at a fucking gran fondo in New York. If you haven’t, you should take the time to read these stories. They get the facts pretty much right, but they all miss the point completely.
David Anthony is a hero. Actually, he’s a king. The King of Wankers. The greatest wanker of our time, if not of all time.
Tawdry tales of a twit’s terrible trajectory
It’s incredible what Anthony achieved in the space of little more than three brief years. He went from middle aged Cat 5 neo-wanker to all-in Cat 2 wanker. Injecting EPO into his belly fat. Shearing 20 pounds off his 160-lb frame. Sleeping and whacking off in an oxygen tent. Pouring money into the pockets of private coaches who would analyze his power files, send him e-pats on the back, and stoke the raging fire of his drug-crazed frenzy. He left his starter dork club and moved up to racing with a big team, aptly named “Comedy Central.”
We can assume he got the bro deal on his frame as he blew a grand a month on drugs, spent his spare time in a wind tunnel, and notched some huge results, culminating in a 16th place after upgrading to Cat 2. Sixteenth place. And before you snicker and howl, how many 16th places have you ever gotten in a Cat 2 race?
Then it all unraveled. Busted at a lame-ass gran fondo, surrounded by hairy-legged freds and nice ladies who wanted to “do their first century,” he got booted from his team (losing the bro deal, no doubt), was banned by USA Cycling for two years, and worst of all became the object of ridicule in the lowest and filthiest and most depraved circle of hell, otherwise known as the online bicycle forum where anonymous people with handles like “Big Hammer” and “Wattmaster” pass judgment on real people they’d be afraid to say “Hello” to in real life.
After confessing, apologizing, revealing the drug trail’s intricacies to USADA, and displaying the kind of remorse that is never, ever, ever, ever seen by pro athletes, politicians, or people who shoot up movie theaters for fun, karma revealed the true cunty nature of her awful self and subjected him to a bike crash in which he broke his leg in three places and may never cycle again. He now walks with a fucking cane.
This boy went all in, and he went all down. The only thing that could have made his undoing more complete might have been an arrest for public masturbation or the discovery of unpaid child support bills. It’s not stated in any of the interviews, but he sounds single, so in addition to all the misery and public opprobrium, he also gets to be alone.
Put yourself in his shoes for a couple of minutes. Done? Now that’s some heavy shit.
I like my sinners covered in sin
Although you’ve become pariah non grata in the BikedoucheNYC scene, dude, you’re way fucking welcome on any of my rides. You are badass. You took what we all do and maxed out the mental credit card. You went to a place that lots of other idiots go, but few return from in such a shattered, broken heap. You don’t have battle scars, you have been mortally wounded and somehow survived.
And to top it off, you have a conscience. It is warped, fucked up, and was clearly out of commission for a period of years, but you still have one, and it’s come to the fore. You’ve not only confessed, you’ve repented. You are the reason we believe in justice, in the hope that people can do stupid things, be punished, and then be better people.
See, David, buddy, you’re not that bad. You got involved in cycling from the asshole end rather than from the sweet end. It could happen to anyone, and it does. The asshole end is the one that looks down on people for being slow, or fat, or clumsy. It’s the end that sneers at freds and wankettes because their lives have other trajectories, other priorities, other limitations, or other blessings that supersede racing a $10k bike around an office park on Sunday.
Once you climbed into the warty anus, where there are winners and everyone else is shit, you did the logical thing: you played to win. Unfortunately, you had enough early success to make the craziness seem real. If a 5 then a 4, if a 3 then a 2, so maybe one day a 1? Then, perhaps…
Yep, you should have kept counting, because the next number in that progression is “0.”
The crazies are all around us
Dave, your mistake happens to lots of pudgy, middle-aged bike racers. You’re hardly unique. You’ve been unathletic all your life, you’ve got the first stench of mortality firmly wedged in your nostrils (and it’s a smell that only gets stronger with each passing year), and you got involved in something that seemed to reverse the clock. Your body and mind are capable of so much, and it’s an incredible feeling, especially when you’re putting the wood to some snot-nosed punk twenty years your junior. Robin Williams fell into the Kook-Aid vat, so you’re in smart and good company.
The sweet end of cycling is not there, though. The sweet end is the end where the fun is the turning of the pedals and the admixture of people you meet on the bike. The sweet end is the one that whispers “We’re still dying, but what a happy journey it will be to the grave.”
The sweet end never lies to you, either. If you’re religious, it heightens your appreciation of life as you prepare for eternity with hot coals up your ass or eternity listening to bad gospel music. If you believe that this is all we get, cycling intensifies these few microseconds before we’re blasted back into nothingness for a zillion trillion eternities.
Come back to us, buddy
Go ahead and heal up your leg. Get some good PT. Make your physical recovery the keystone to your mental recovery. Hang onto one machine and sell all your extra bikes and TT shit on Ebay (if you’ve got Di2, I’m actually in the market for some if you can cut me a bro deal).
Then throw a leg back over and you’ll see that cunty karma has a sweet side as well. The bike will always welcome you back. If the BikedouchesNYC insist on giving you the stinkeye, fuck them. Find a group who doesn’t care and who rides for fun…fun, of course, meaning weekly beatdowns without having to pay an entry fee.
Get into the groove of riding not for a purpose, but because you can. And give me a shout the next time you’re in California. We’ll go for a pedal and laugh at the wankers, over whom, by the way, you will forever be king.
July 2, 2012 § 9 Comments
Stage Three of the 2012 Turdy France is shaping up to be the most interesting one since Stage Two, which was stupid and boring beyond belief unless you enjoy watching colorwheel puree roll in a big sausage clump until the last ten minutes, when it strings out into a line of testosterone and EPO and the lazyfucks who’ve done nothing for twelve hours dash to the line, cop a pose, and pretend that their win is somehow similar to anything ever done by Merckx or Gimondi or Coppi or Anquetil or Hinault or Lemond.
About the stage
The race begins in Orchies, a French city better known for its two cobbled roads that are used in Paris-Roubaix, the “Path of Prayers” and the “Slaughterhouse Road.” Orchies comes from the Latin word for “testicle,” as the rough roads, paved with giant cobbled flagstones from the days of the Roman Empire, would result in a punishing beating to every man’s testicles who crossed these roads in a wooden cart.
With the advent of Paris-Roubaix, early participants suffered severe testicular torsion from the battering atop the cobbles, and it was not uncommon for physicians traveling with the race to perform lateral “orchiectomies” in the field, often without anesthetic, before putting the hardmen back on their bikes to continue on to Roubaix. Thus the town of Orchies has contributed much to medical terminology and to the lore of the sport.
The stage finishes in Boulogne-sur-Mer (“Baloney on Toast” in English), where the riders will face a series of tough finishing climbs designed to weed out Horseface and Humpty Ugly, while still giving a chance to gritty workmen like Fabs and Jensy.
Note to douchebag wheelsucker Sagan: Don’t even fucking think about it.
The Badger’s picks and pans
This stage won’t win the Tour for anyone, but it will be the death knell for several, as the time gaps at the end will show who’s on form and riding smart and who’s a pudgy wanker now paying for all those donuts. This page of the official Tour site has an excellent analysis by Bernard Hinault. My translation is below:
Riders nowadays are pussies. This stage will strip away the pretensions of the manorexic little body-waxers and beat them into submission. Look for Monsieur Mullet to do something stupid here and miss the break or crash out. The narrow roads and succession of hard climbs at the end while much of the wankoton is still fresh will test not only his ability to follow complex drugs protocol, but his ability to maneuver in tight places. I fully expect him to deflate or miss the key move. If I were still racing, this is the stage where I would attack, take the jersey, and then beat up a few socialist women protesting for equal pay.
Wankmeister calls ’em
Horseface will cling tough like a dingleberry, but ultimately be wiped off when the toughest climbs stare him in the face. Humpty Ugly? Hopeless.
Darkhorse whose day has arrived: Few people other than his mother and aunt Sophie know the name of Jean-Christophe Peraud, the routinier from Ag2R La Mondiale, and indeed, we have to go back to 2010 for his best result, a case of septicemia that developed after a crash. Tomorrow Peraud will inflame the peloton like his very own bacterial blood infection and lay waste to the weak and the infirm. Watch for a solo glory finish. And yes, I guarantee it.
Odds on fave you all wish would win: Fabs has everything in place to win this sage. He has the fitness. The experience. The cute mangled English tweets on Twitter that keep @mmmmaiko all hot, bothered, and sleepless in Seattle. But you know what? He’s gonna lose. Peraud will follow Fabs after he accelerates away from the field. They will trade pulls to the end, when Peraud drops him with 3k to go. Now shut the fuck up. It’s gonna happen, I’m telling you.
Best of the rest: Sagan, followed by Yauheni Hutarovich of FJD-Big Mat. Why Hutarovich? Because of how much fun it’s gonna be watching Phil Liggett try to pronounce his name.
March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
I was in a great mood until about 2:03 PM on Tuesday afternoon. I opened my account on the NPR with an extraordinary solo victory, attacking on the westbound side of the last lap with fellow wanker Canyon Bob as the listless and lazy peloton watched what they thought would be another doomed-to-flailure effort. Having already charged up the bump on laps 1-3 and been easily reeled in by a barely breathing group of slackers, it made perfect nonsense to try the same hopeless maneuver on the fourth and final lap.
People were still amazed by what had happened on lap two, when Prez sneaked away with me and Canyon Bob, and then, in addition to risking a 3-up breakaway (extra sweat badly stains the immaculate white panels on his kit), Prez took a monstrous pull the entire last third of the way up the bump. A man walking his dog on the Parkway who had stopped while his puppy was pooping dropped a sympathetic log in his own shorts, so amazed was he to see Prez hammering on the point.
Anyway, there it was, lap four, Canyon Bob lighting the match on the suicide vest, then falling off the back like the burnt-out stage of a Saturn rocket while I toiled to victory. By the time I crossed the invisible finish line up by the trees, the chasers were so far back I could hardly see them. My dominating victory had nothing to do with the traffic light that had turned red shortly after I passed it and forced them to all stop and wait for ten minutes.
Raining on my parade
In addition to this glorious victory on the New Pier Ride, truth be told, our team has been in extraordinary form. We have new, very rad kits. This year alone I’ve upgraded to Cat 3, finished in the top 100 in every race I’ve entered, and am on schedule to upgrade via participation from Cat 5 on the track. Even the slightly skeptical would be forced to admit that this is THE YEAR, and that’s not even taking into account the overall domination of the team. Veggiemite, our meatless teenage wonder, has upgraded to Cat 4. Our 35+ guys are consistently rated the best dressed racers in SoCal by their wives. In short, this was the season of all seasons. We could feel it.
So imagine my shock, then outrage, when I learned (via Twitter, no less!) that we’d been bypassed in the team selection process for the Amgen Tour of California. WTF? Are you kidding me? I was like, “Okay, I get Shack and Omega Pharma and Liquigas, and probably BMC. But Pissell? Bontrager Liveweak? Colombian Cartel? Come on!”
Where were those losers two weeks ago at the CBR crit? Where are they every Tue/Th when we’re dusting it up mano-a-mano on the New Pier Ride? Don’t give me that Paris-Nice crap, either.
Taking matters into my own hands
So I called up race director Jim Birrell. “Yo, Jimbo. Wankmeister here. You’ve got some explaining to do.”
“Hello? Who is this?”
“Wankmeister. Team Ironfly. Quit playing stupid.”
“Look, I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are. What can I do for you?”
“Do for me? Do for me? You can put my team in the fucking AToC, that’s what you can do for me!”
“Is this Team Jelly Belly? Look, I know you guys have been with us every year for the last seven years, since our inception in fact, but your team no longer fits our marketing demographic.”
“Yeah. For years we thought people who ate jelly beans were fat, pre- and post-diabetics who used our most popular product, Sucreeze, which suppresses the overproduction of insulin in the islets of Langerhans.”
“But our post-tour research showed that the only people who really eat that crap are super-fit bike racers, in-line skaters, and hot lululemon yoga soccer moms. Exactly the people who never get diabetes.”
“I don’t think you understand, asshole. This is Wankmeister. The Wankmeister.”
“Oh, you’re that guy with the CompetitiveCyclist.com team. Nah, you wankers never had a chance.”
“Wankers? Why, you…”
“Don’t get me wrong. I get it. You’ve won like a zillion US races with Francisco Mancebo, and if that’s not a huge plug for our EPO product and its effectiveness with masters racers, nothing is. We get that.”
“Look, asshole, …”
“Problem is, masters racers will continue to buy our EPO product no matter how many busted pro dopers stay in the domestic pro peloton. The shit works. They know it. Messaging on that front is done. You could even hire David Millar. Wouldn’t make any difference.”
“This ain’t no fuckin Competitive Cyclist wanker, dude, this is…”
“Chad? Chad Thompson with Kenda-5 Hour Energy? Dude, you guys were never even on the short list.”
“I know, you inked a two-year sponsorship deal with us, thinking it would squeeze you in under the wire. Doesn’t work that way. We take your money and then fuck you in the ass. That’s pro cycling. Just like a CBR crit, without the entertainment of a Chris Lotts.”
“Why, you sorry…”
“Oh, it wasn’t just that. I mean, we still don’t even know what the fuck Kenda makes. Motor oil? Condoms? We went to the team web site, clicked on the ‘sponsors’ link, and all it said was ‘information coming soon.’ C’mon, Chad. What if we invite you guys and it turns out you’re a bong manufacturer? The Internets today are all about content.”
“And you really think…”
“I know, 5-Hour Energy, look we get that. But it’s kind of a competitor with our main product.”
“Which is what?”
“Epogen a/k/a EPO.”
“And 5-Hour Energy competes with you how?”
“That shit is like a triple caffeine suppository. It costs a buck fifty per bottle and will make you burn through a 45-minute crit faster than Thurlow Rogers going for a $75 purse. Epogen costs $700 per regimen, clots your blood, causes rectal cancer, will get you banned for life, and, if you’re popped using it as a masters racer, will get you a humiliating blurb in VN–’75 year-old masters racer places fourth out of five in Wyoming state TT, returns analytical positive for EPO. Which one would YOU choose?”
“Well, I’m not with any of those wanker teams. I’m with Team Ironfly out of Redondo Beach.”
“Ironfly? What the fuck is that? Reinforced zippers?”
“Internets development web sites and shit, and it’s fucking rad. Plus our kits are very rad. StageOne. Ring any bells?”
“Look, Mr. Spankmeister. We’re full. Sorry. Send us your team resume and we’ll take a look at it next year.”
That dude’s living in fantasyland. We’re skipping his cheapass event and sending our paperwork straight to the Tour. Yeah. Because that’s how we roll.