Floyd-osterone - Pump You Up!
If you take a look at some of the shots of Landis crossing the finish line on Stage 17, it's pretty clear that he's got a heightened level of testosterone. Heck, mine was raised just from watching the stage.
All jokes aside, I'm choosing to believe Floyd and the rest of the accused riders (see, Operation Puerto) until they admit to doping or until they are proven guilty of doping under through appropriate legal methods. However, that does not mean that I won't have a little fun with the headlines on occasion. As broad as this story has grown, I think it's good to keep things light so we don't get lost in dissecting it too much.
As a final thought on the topic, Chris from the Speedgoat blog did a great job of putting into words my feelings about this mess:
DOPEY'S STILL MY FAVORITE DWARF
Oh, o.k. so now they're telling us Floyd dopes, but uh, that whole absolute destruction of the Liberty-Seguros-Wurth team and massive shaft you clowns gave Alexandre Vinokourov. Well oops! We were totally wrong there, but now we're deadly serious again and you have to believe us. Ullrich and Basso will be dunked until proven witches, and Mr. Landis, well, we're going to send you back to the farm.
You know what? Test me. Minimal sleep, lousy diet, 20lbs overweight, and just generally one bubbling pear-shaped pot of stress, toenails to follicles. So show me the piss cup. I'll bet I'm positive for all kinds of things. Hell, anyone who's ever eaten at Kentucky Taco Hut or been Supersized will probably light that test up bright enough to land a plane. Better still, test a bunch of people. The community of cycling fans deserves to know what's involved with these tests. Test yourselves while you're at it. Let's see what a steady diet of Cheetos, Baskin-Robbins, and traffic exhaust fumes will do.
Either professional cyclists are the biggest bastards in the world--or one out of every 200 tests is going to come back with an "analytical anomoly." And you know what? If I rode a bike for six to eight hours a day for years, had a resting heart rate near the single digits, and ate a diet made up of Gu, Powerbars, and chemical powders sprinkled in my water, I think my physiological condition would be a bit "altered" too.
So enough already. I don't care what Dick Pound comes up with next. Stinky socks in Hincapie's hotel room, a Shiatzu massager in Leipheimer's car. Whatever. There's always going to be a positive result, and here's why:
Cycling's the skinny kid on the beach. I've watched NBA players double their muscle mass over the past ten years, and professional football? Once upon a time I tutored college athletes, and each week you could hear the linemen coming down the hall from further and further away. By their sophmore year, you could hear the elevator straining before they even reached my floor, and companies were already giving them free shoes. Baseball tough on drugs? Please.
Here's the deal. Nobody gives a rat's ass what those athletes do. Making a lot of money for somebody? End of story. Carry on, then, Atilla.
But endurance athletes are suddenly the whipping boy, suddenly under the microscope, and all I'm saying is that it's a recipe for disaster to pretend you can take chemicals out of endurance athletes. Hell, every Sport class mountain biker I know is mixing at least some glop into his CamelBak come race day. So unless we define what it is we think we want from these guys--bread and water only, or whatever--and until we make violations more reliable and obvious than they are now, I quit paying attention. After the damage done to Vinokourov and all the time and money lost in the implosion of that team, I'm holding all of these watch dog agencies and organizations to the same standard they hold endurance athletes: they're guilty until they can prove to me--fat bastard at home on the couch--exactly what somebody did wrong.