Tour de France Finally Clean!

07.24.2007 | 12:41 pm

PARIS, 24 July 2007 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – Following the positive homologous blood doping test of Alexandre Vinokourov and subsequent withdrawal of Team Astana from the Tour de France today, Race Director Christian Prudhomme announced that everyone else racing in the Tour de France is clean.

“Well, that about wraps it up,” said Prudhomme at a hastily-called press conference. “We finally got the last doper. Everyone else racing the Tour is as clean as a whistle. Possibly even cleaner. You can now watch the rest of the race with full confidence that everyone still in the race — especially all those guys who had like half an hour’s advantage on the once-frontrunner Vinokourov — are not doping. At all.”

Asked about current race leader Michael Rasmussen and the cloud of suspicion hanging over him, Prudhomme responded, “Well, is he still in the race? Yes, he is. So he must not be doping, or we would have caught him, just like we have caught all the dopers.”

Smiling for the press, which was completely reassured, Prudhomme noted, “It’s a fantastic time to be a fan of professional cycling, now that we’re finally finished cleaning the sport up.”

Fans and Racers React
“I used to worry about whether some of the pros were doping,” said Matt Carter, an American cycling fan visiting France to see the Tour firsthand. “But now that the sport has these really reliable drug tests in place, anyone who’s foolish enough to cheat will be caught and punished. I’m just glad that Alexandre Vinokourov was the only one left cheating, and that the other GC guys — each of which was just about forever ahead of Vino — aren’t doping.”

“I sometimes used to look around me and wonder,” said Levi Leipheimer, a clean racer for Team Discovery, “which of the cyclists around me are doping. Now I no longer have to worry about that, because all the dopers have been caught, leaving only the honest racers in the peloton. It’s a great feeling.”

“Yeah,” agreed teammate Alberto Contador, a clean Freshman racer currently in second place in the Tour de France. “I don’t understand why anyone would need to dope anyway. I mean, look at me! I don’t dope, as clearly witnessed by my negative test results, and I’m still able to take first and second place, stage after stage after stage!”

“What’s crazy,” said Nick Abbott, an Australian race fan, “is that Vinokourov somehow thought he could get away with it! Didn’t he realize that anyone who dopes is going to get caught by this foolproof dope detector machine WADA has built?

No More Tests Needed, Ever Again
WADA Chief Dick Pound took today’s announcement as an opportunity to say, “I’m very pleased that we’ve finally arrived at the point where our sport is all cleaned up. Effective immediately, there will be no more tests, since they are no longer necessary. Also, I am disbanding WADA, since it has so thoroughly done its job that it is no longer necessary.

“I feel immensely gratified,” concluded Pound, “to have played my part in this highly effective anti-doping campaign in the great sport of cycling. With the capture of the final doper in the pro peloton, we’ve crossed the finish line, and we’ve won. It’s a great day for all of us.”


  1. Comment by Stephanie | 07.24.2007 | 12:59 pm

    ha… i thought you were joking, until i just went to versus website. Wow.

  2. Comment by Jason | 07.24.2007 | 1:03 pm

    After about an hour of angrily reading story-after-story of dishearting Tour De France news this really lifted my spirits.

    Awesome post – yet again Fat Cyclist Fake News Service has the true scoop! Too bad I hadn’t read this before ordering my Dopers Suck jersey ( )

  3. Comment by James | 07.24.2007 | 1:06 pm

    I was hoping you’d jump on this with a Fake News piece. You didn’t disappoint.

  4. Comment by MTB W | 07.24.2007 | 1:11 pm

    This would be funnier if it wasn’t so sad. The Pound part was great – unless he is being tortued, the words “cycling is all cleaned up” and “I am disbanding WADA” will never cross his lips. How long before Rasmussen is DQ’d? After he wins?

  5. Comment by bikemike | 07.24.2007 | 1:12 pm

    hey, it rhymes.

  6. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 07.24.2007 | 1:18 pm

    well, at least armstrong was clean. right?

  7. Comment by fatty | 07.24.2007 | 1:18 pm

    mtb w: whoever wins will be DQ’d. didn’t you see the press release?

  8. Comment by aussie kev | 07.24.2007 | 1:54 pm

    you have once again made me smile – it is just devastating news for the whole cycling community – fatty your story runs along a similar thread to david millars interview in – a shocked millar saying he cant believe people cheat – “hello pot this is kettle !!!!!” – keep up the good work fatty

    k :-)

  9. Comment by Alberto | 07.24.2007 | 2:19 pm

    Thanks, Fattie. I’m glad we can all sleep sound tonight. What’s on for tomorrow’s stage? Goat-herding in the Pyrenees! Jesus! Le Tour de la Transfusión!

  10. Comment by Al Maviva | 07.24.2007 | 2:22 pm

    [Update by Fatty: I had to excise all of Al's comments. They were really quite profane and unsuitable for this site - my kids and mom read it. Plus, what he suggested we do to those caught doping was so shocking that it practically peeled the skin off Kenny's skull - see the pictures in the post below. I knew right away his comment had to come down, since I don't want to be held liable if he ever carried out his fiendish plan. When I think about medieval-style historic crimes against humanity, I'll always think of the Sack of Rome, the Inquisition, and what Al wants to do to Vino. Yes, it was terrifying and weird, even for him. I hope he seeks professional help.]

    There Fatty, my fake pre-censorship will save you some time that would otherwise be spent censoring my comments on the Vino matter.

    “This Comment brought to you by Al’s Fake Fatty’s Censorship Services, Inc.”

  11. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 07.24.2007 | 2:24 pm

    Having watched Vinokourov for years, I had decided that he was incredibly strong, but tactically stupid. Now it turns out he isn’t just tactically stupid, but completely stupid.

    I think everyone in the pro peleton should submit to a blood and urine test every week. No prize money is awarded and no results published until 5 years after the race (every race, not just the Tour). That allows testing to catch up with doping.

  12. Comment by MAJ Mike | 07.24.2007 | 2:52 pm

    Two words for Vino: Beneath Contempt.

  13. Comment by AMG in Texas | 07.24.2007 | 3:04 pm

    Now we know that Floyd Landis cheated!!! Can you see the similarities in the performance after you dope??? You lose 30 minutes on the stage. (Medical science will prove this point shortly, but until then just believe me).

    The Dope de France… what a race it was. And Vino actually had our sympathies!!!

    Kenny, at least Vino wears a helmet! (Sorry… couldn’t resist that one).

  14. Comment by Born4Lycra | 07.24.2007 | 3:07 pm

    Vinokourov you are a wa**er!
    Al whatever your treatment for the wa*ker is I’m in favour. I hope his governement and sponsor jail him.

  15. Comment by Bob | 07.24.2007 | 3:22 pm

    I’m just glad that all the racers in Leadville are going to be clean.

  16. Pingback by » Links Of The Day: 24 July 2007 | 07.24.2007 | 3:30 pm

    [...] Tour de France Finally Clean! [...]

  17. Comment by KatieA | 07.24.2007 | 3:42 pm

    I have to say, I never understood the phrase “clean as a whistle”.

    I have a whistle for basketball (and training clients – THAT’S fun) and it’s full of my spit.

    Not that I’m saying my spit is really dirty, but I wouldn’t exactly call the whistle clean…

  18. Comment by ellrod | 07.24.2007 | 3:44 pm

    After the dismal first week, the great TT, followed by a dismal first stage in the Pyrenees and then a wonderful comeback on 13, I thought …

    … Floyd Landis.

    Stage 13 was just too good to be true.

    But it’s past funny. It’s just sad. Not tragic sad. Not funny sad. Just wish it weren’t so kind of sad.

    Next thing you know and it’ll be NBA referees involved in point shaving.

  19. Comment by ellrod | 07.24.2007 | 3:54 pm

    Irony from Yahoo story:

    “”With a guy of his [Vinokourov's] stature and class, in cycling’s current situation, we might as well pack our bags and go home,” said British rider David Millar, who came back from a two-year doping ban in the Tour last year.”

  20. Pingback by Vinokourov: afastado por doping « Pedaleiro | 07.24.2007 | 3:56 pm

    [...] O que dizer? O Fat Cyclist, conhecido por sua fina ironia publicou hoje este post: Tour de France Finally Clean! (O Tour de France finalmente limpo!) Sigo a linha do “antes tarde do que nunca”. Já é um grande avanço, nunca tivemos tantos atletas punidos imediatamente como agora, mas acredito que há muito por se fazer. E não só no ciclismo. [...]

  21. Pingback by The Coach’s Box » Blog Archive » Le Tour: No vino, noooo! | 07.24.2007 | 4:35 pm

    [...] I’ll watch Le Tour tonight, but I don’t know if I’ll care much about who wins the stage (unless it’s Cadel). It will be sad not to see all those riders in the turquoise jerseys – it will be sad not to see Vino – but that’s the price that must be paid. I’d love to one day be able to say with confidence that the Tour is finally clean, & not be forced to defend the event to my friends & colleagues. Astana, Cycling, de, Doping, Drugs, France, Klouden, Le, Rasmussen, Tour, VinokourovBookmark to: [...]

  22. Comment by Gareth | 07.24.2007 | 4:47 pm

    Of course this situation has never occured before…

    Lets see, guy gets dropped, loses big time to the contenders, blows them away several stagess later, gets pinged for drugs.

    Could never happen twice….

  23. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.24.2007 | 5:10 pm

    I’m not sayin’……..I’m just sayin’……………….

  24. Comment by solidjack | 07.24.2007 | 5:25 pm

    This just makes the Great Divide race and the like (watch the Iditarod some day. That is impressive, only a matter of time until someone gets caught doping the dogs in that) that much more impressive. I have been bragging up how Le Tour was only 5 days from finishing this morning and nobody had been caught yet. Well, at least it didn’t make the big sports network coverage as Mike Vick has dog fights on his property, an NBA official Pete Rosed some games and Barry Bonds may be in jail at this time next year.

    I don’t even know who to go for anymore….I think I am gonna skip the tour coverage in the morning and just go for a training ride.

    Good article fatty.

  25. Comment by Jeremy | 07.24.2007 | 5:32 pm

    I say we let them dope all they want. At least we wouldn’t wonder.

  26. Comment by walter | 07.24.2007 | 5:34 pm

    Call me cynical, naive (or both or worse), but what I can’t figure out is this: presumably they all know that the stage winner gets tested by definition, so why on earth would they court extra risk by winning the stage rather than just taking time back? Is whoever is administering the stuff telling them it’s undetectable? Do they not know what their doc is giving them? (Hard to believe in the case of blood transfusions…) I just don’t get it.

    Sad. Very sad.

    (Is it even sadder that I’ll still watch the rest of the race?)

  27. Comment by Jose | 07.24.2007 | 6:07 pm

    I don’t know if it’s just me but there is a smell, I am not sure about it; it smells like rotten Danish chicken … right? Is he next? How about the Spanish contender and his “Operacion Puerto ties? This list is really getting longer and longer …Who is next?

  28. Comment by formertdffan | 07.24.2007 | 6:41 pm

    sooo disappointing — i loved seeing the battle of wills, now it just seem to be a battle of pills.

  29. Comment by hades | 07.24.2007 | 7:02 pm

    Wow Al, that is truly twisted, but justified – it has that certain Je ne sais quoi that traditional doping punishments don’t have. Unfortunately, I’m sure Fatty will just censor your great suggestions. C’est la Vie.

  30. Comment by LanterneRouge | 07.24.2007 | 7:32 pm

    What is the argument for not legalizing doping? If they all do it, doesn’t that level the playing field? These are adults and professionals, if they want to destroy their own health and shorten their careers why not let them? You want to put Dick Pound out of a job? Legalize this stuff. I can tell you this much, I would much rather watch the best cyclists there are fight it out in a doped up Tour than see a 2nd tier pro (yeah I’m looking at you Landis) win a supposedly clean one.

  31. Comment by MAJ Mike | 07.24.2007 | 8:48 pm

    Just to be clear, Floyd is being accused of a totally different kind of doping, one that doesn’t make any sense for a single day of improvement actually. Vino is accused of doing something that would only be helpful over the short term. It isn’t even apples and oranges, its apples and carburetors. While Floyd may or may not have doped, the evidence is so doubtful and it was so mishandled that it cannot reasonably claimed as proof of it.

  32. Comment by semi_cyclist | 07.24.2007 | 9:14 pm

    Mr. Pound said there’s no more need to continue testing…some unscrupulous person would probably try doping in the future. Sad to think that, isn’t it.

  33. Comment by gewwez | 07.24.2007 | 11:57 pm

    I’m sure all the French cyclists are clean!

  34. Comment by Philthy in Oz | 07.25.2007 | 12:12 am

    Vino, enjoy your holiday in the Siberian salt mines. You’ve earned it.

  35. Comment by acparis | 07.25.2007 | 12:18 am

    gewwez: it is interesting that the French police and customs agents did not stop and search any French team buses during their “random” search the other day!

  36. Comment by Tim D | 07.25.2007 | 12:28 am

    The tour is and always has been about cheating. Throwing nails down behind the leader, punching challengers, taking the train, giving rivals doped or poisoned bottles, deliberately routing people off course, hanging on to cars, drafting motorbikes, getting a push. If the issue is cheating per se, why aren’t any of the above punishable by a two year ban. If the issue is rider health, then there are better ways to achieve this than threats of bans.

  37. Comment by gewwez | 07.25.2007 | 12:49 am

    acparis: do you see any french riders in the top 30 positions? i can’t spot any.

  38. Comment by gewwez | 07.25.2007 | 12:53 am

    tim d – that’s a great story about the guy who was dq’d coz he took a train ride

    reckon even i could beat rasmussen that way

  39. Comment by TheLurker | 07.25.2007 | 4:35 am

    It gets worse.

    LanterneRouge – “What is the argument for not legalizing doping?”

    Off the top of my head I’d say:
    1. Injurious to health, possibly fatal. See EPO induced heart attack/blood clotting
    2. As 1 and may not be effective. See the ongoing debate about asthma inhalers and salbutamol.
    3. Riders may not be in a position to make informed decision on safety or otherwise of “treatment”.
    4. Riders, esp youngsters, may be pressured into accepting “treatment”

    By banning doping, at the very least, you give the riders a solid reason to turn down any offers of “treatment”.

  40. Comment by TIMK | 07.25.2007 | 5:17 am

    Fatty, you can’t keep up with the cyclists themselves in terms of absurdity:
    Vino says,
    “I think it’s a mistake in part due to my crash. I have spoken to the team doctors who had a hypothesis that there was an enormous amount of blood in my thighs, which could have led to my positive test.

    “I heard that I made a transfusion with my father’s blood. That’s absurd, I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka.

    “The setting up of our team made a lot of people jealous and now we’re paying the price. It’s a shame to leave the Tour this way, but I don’t want to waste time in proving my innocence.”

    VODKA! Holy smokes, that rocks!

  41. Comment by dailytri | 07.25.2007 | 5:57 am

    Submit this to The Onion

  42. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 07.25.2007 | 8:22 am

    I have doping fatigue. I’m glad that the teams are being held more responsible for doping, but one guy gets caught doping and the other eight riders have to go home.

    It has been long held by civilized societies that people are not punished for the actions of others. Holding a group responsible for the actions of a single person is an ancient form of terrorism, made famous by the Germans in WWI. “If a single shot is fired at our troops, we’ll burn your entire city, and execute your civil leaders.”

    The problem is that if you fine the teams, you’re punishing the sponsors. I’m pretty sure Discovery Channel isn’t going to sign a contract that stipulates they’ll be responsible for a 2 million dollar fine if one of their riders tests positive. Sponsorship money would dry up.

    The answer is to make it easier to test positive, but make the punishment for doing so less severe, e.g. two weeks out of competition. Here’s the main problem with the current anti-doping regime: It forces riders to fight to the death to prove their innocence, or more specificially, discprove the validity of the testing program.

    Fatty asked me to write up my ideas a couple months ago, but I was too lazy. I guess I’ll go ahead and do it.

  43. Comment by AMG in Texas | 07.25.2007 | 8:22 am

    This is to translate the post by our portuguese speaking “Pedaleiro” (pedalist):

    Vinokourov: afastado por doping « Pedaleiro Says:

    July 24th, 2007 at 3:56 pm
    […] O que dizer? O Fat Cyclist, conhecido por sua fina ironia publicou hoje este post: Tour de France Finally Clean! (O Tour de France finalmente limpo!) Sigo a linha do “antes tarde do que nunca”. Já é um grande avanço, nunca tivemos tantos atletas punidos imediatamente como agora, mas acredito que há muito por se fazer. E não só no ciclismo. […]

    Oh what can I say? Fat Cyclist, known for his refined irony published this post: Tour de France Finally Clean! Continuing in the lines of “beter late than never”. This is a great stride forward, never before have we had so many athletes punished immediately like now, but we still know that there is still plenty left to do. This is so not cycling!

    This is from the AMG in Texas translation services (spanish available also :-))

    Here are some zingers I came up with:
    – Why do all drugs have French sounding names??? They are TDF sponsors!!!
    – Why do the fans line the road in the TDF??? To provide cover for the drug dealers!!!
    – Why does the TDF go up such remote and obscure locales??? To avoid having the peloton stop at all the doctors offices along the route!!!

    Al… do you have any more???

  44. Comment by AMG in Texas | 07.25.2007 | 8:41 am

    Here are some of the comments heard in the Astana’s team meeting upon hearing the news on Vino’s doping:
    - Team doctor: How did this happen??? Did I transpose the numbers on the bags???
    - German rider: “The swien… hogging all the drugs now are you?? Bad enough that you hog all the glory!!”
    - Other rider: “You mean that was real blood in the bag and not EPO??? Maybe that explains why I have this new twitch.”
    - French rider: “No wonder I have the aftertaste of vodka… I thought I ordered a Bourdeaux!!!”
    - Team manager say: “Boy it’s so hard to find good help these days…”
    - Team cook says: “Hurray, I can now cook something other than pasta!!!”

  45. Comment by Will | 07.25.2007 | 9:21 am

    The only Jersey worth following this year is the Pink jersey.

  46. Comment by axel | 07.25.2007 | 10:38 am

    well, the clean tour lasted for one day thanks to Moreni… he rides, no, he rode for a clean team, just like Sinkewitz.
    Still, it is just like wrestling, very entertaining anyway.

  47. Comment by LanterneRouge | 07.25.2007 | 11:03 am

    Oops! Missed one. After yesterdays comments, I had kind of hoped that Moreni was on David Millar’s team. Just to give that extra bit of irony.

  48. Comment by Al Maviva | 07.25.2007 | 11:37 am

    Q&A with a Doper

    - Why do they call it doping?
    Have you listened to the lame excuses we offer? Dope isn’t the root word of doping for nothing. Besides, “dumbing,” “cheating,” “lying” and “betraying” were already taken.

    - Don’t steroids shrink your gonads?
    Yes, but this makes it easier to sit on your bike. Loss of sexual function is a benefit, not a side-effect. Plus getting steroid-induced testicular cancer can also help your performance, see e.g. Armstrong, L. Although that may have been a dopey excuse, I’m not sure.

    - Isn’t it cheating?
    Of course it is. But you don’t believe in silly, antiquated notions like right and wrong, do you?

    - What about the children?
    What about them? I hear if you grind them up and run them through a centrifuge, the thin layer of opaque material on the 21st strata is an excellent source of human growth hormone.

    - Don’t you feel doping compromises your performance?
    If I was worried about compromises, I wouldn’t be making deals with the devil, now would I? Hey, is it warm in here, or is it just me?

    - Are you going to admit to doping?
    Are you insane? What, you think after ten years of sticking needles in my @55, lying to everybody I know, cheating my fellow competitors, violating the law and rules of my sport, endangering my health, undercutting every result I ever achieved in any race, and endangering the game itself, that a little bit of prickly conscience is going to make me sing like a canary? Try again, pal.

    - Are you going to quit doping?
    Yes. Sure. Absolutely. I’m clean already. Telling the truth, too. Clean as a whistle. No I won’t submit to a drug test. What, don’t you trust me? What kind of a piece of cr@p are you, to not trust me, your cycling hero?

  49. Comment by ellrod | 07.25.2007 | 11:39 am

    Now Moreni.

    It’s too bad that doping is overshadowing a great TdF.

    I thought today’s stage was outstanding with the top 5 GC riders in a chase with 10k to go and, ultimately Ras, Leip, and Contador fighting it out over the last 2 K for the win. A great stage win for Chickenlegs but also very nice positioning for Leiphamer with a TT coming up on the weekend. After watching Ras and Contador duke it out on the last climb, I thought there would be a rematch today. But R. dropped him in the last k.

    Does it get better than this?

  50. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 07.25.2007 | 12:06 pm

    MAJ – I’m as suspicious as the next guy when it comes to the Landis case. Both suspicious of Landis and the system that he’s tangled up in. But if the Landis case has been bungled to the magnitude his defence is saying, it’s just as likely that Vinokourov’s positive was caused by some lab technician not rinsing out the centrifuge between samples.

    In more general terms, while I’d like to see a level playing (racing) field and opening up the sport to whatever the athletes are willing to subject themselves to would achieve this, one day my children may wish to become professional athletes and while it will be their choice, it’s not a choice I’d enjoy seeing them have to make (or live with).

  51. Comment by AMG in Texas | 07.25.2007 | 12:14 pm

    PARIS, 25 July 2007 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – “Now we know that the BIKE makes no difference!!! ”

    We sent our roving reporter to get the scoop on the latest developments from the TDF. This is his report…

    “Any bike will do”, says Ratmussing being interviewed by the Fat Cyclist News Service reporter, “I could use a tricycle and still put the wompum on the peloton. You see, when you use enough drugs, you get so skinny that you generate no wind resistance. And if you use the RIGHT kind of drugs, nobody will be able to detect it. You know what I say to the peloton when I make my move? Na Na Na Na Na You cant catch me!” Getting a little cocky he adds: “In fact I say that to WADA, UCI every day!” In response to the question regarding his glowing tongue, Ratmussing offered no comment.

    There is a rumor that the French are working on a new seat for the TDF next year. It will change color when it detects illegal substances in the riders sweat. It will come in one color… black. It will turn white in a stripe from the front of the seat to the back. It will be called the “Pepe le Phew” seat!!!

    Interviewing Dick Pound on the R&D efforts to create this new seat he comments: “It will be much easier to spot the cheaters. Those stinkers, they will get what for if they try to ruin MY SPORT”. In response to the question on how they will market the new device, Mr Pound adds: “We will be creating a new line of TDF t-shirts for the fans, and a new jersey will be given to the cheaters… black and white with stripes (as well as a ride to the nearest jail). For the kids there will be plastic hats with a long tail resembling a skunk.”

    So there you have it cycling fans, the latest developments in the world of cycling.

  52. Pingback by The “This Proves the System is Working” Fallacy « Love, Life and Bicycles | 07.25.2007 | 1:47 pm

    [...] Bad analogy.  Fat Cyclist says it much better, and with irony. [...]

  53. Comment by TeeBone | 07.25.2007 | 3:18 pm

    Looks like they were even more proactive than predicted. They DQ’d ‘The Chicken’ – er, maybe we should call him ‘The Chicken $hit’ now – even before he became the official champ. Bravo Fatty! Well done!

  54. Comment by miles archer | 07.25.2007 | 4:08 pm

    Some of my co-workers rode with Levi last year on a charity ride. I wanted them to ask him how he keeps from getting caught. They declined to ask him.

  55. Comment by stack | 07.26.2007 | 10:18 am

    What if MLB worked like TdF….

    October 7, 2008

    Dontrelle Willis expelled following Game 3 no-hitter
    Selig: “Doping Controls Work”

    Tampa Bay: Baseball suffered another brutal setback today, with the shocking report in Sports Illustrated that Dontrelle Willis tested positive for a banned substance following Game 3 of the World Series last night. The Milwaukee Brewer pitcher had just come off a no-hitter victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that many pundits already referred to as one of the greatest performances in World Series history. “I can not begin to say how disappointed I am,” said Milwaukee manager Gabe Kapler. “But I can assure you this is as far as it goes.”

    According to sources within Major League Baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig is planning on suspending Willis and forfeiting Milwaukee’s 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay, but the team will be allowed to continue the series. In a press conference last night, Selig appeared to agree with Kapler’s sentiments, “It is inconceivable that any player would risk doping in the current environment, but clearly we can see that our new doping controls work.” In a written statement, Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio said, “While I am saddened by this accusation, it is important that we protect the rights of this player, and that for the good of the game, that all sides remain calm, and allow the process to follow its due course.”

    The positive doping test by Willis echoes the 2007 World Series Scandal, when the sudden death of Jason Giambi led to the exposure of a massive doping network and the expulsion of dozens of marquee players and the suspension of World Series winning New York Yankees for the entire 2008 season. A FBI investigation stemming from Giambi’s collapse during a three-homerun performance against the Boston Red Sox in game one of the 2007 American League championship series led to a raid of Yankees offices and arrests of the team doctor and training staff on narcotics charges in the days following the Yankees subsequent sweep of the Cardinals in the World Series. This prompted New York Michael Bloomberg to cancel the planned parade down the city’s Avenue of Heroes. Shortly thereafter, federal indictments were issued against 17 members of the Yankees championship squad and nearly 100 other players – including members of every other playoff contender. Commissioner Bud Selig responded by unilaterally banning the Yankees from playing in the 2008 season and gut the rosters of almost every team in baseball.

    The MLB Player’s Association has demanded that the league reinstate Willis. “Once again, the witch hunt has taken precedence over due process,” said spokesman Greg Bouris. “How can we trust a lab or the commissioner when test results are being leaked prior to the verification process? This is not only unfair, but a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.” Bouris stated, referring to the so-called “emergency pact” negotiated following the sit out of the 2008 All-Star game, when players took the field but refused to play during the nationally televised event.

    It is not clear how fans and advertisers will react to this latest scandal. Ironically, MLB showcased Willis’ performance this season, capped by yesterday’s no-hitter, to advertisers as an example of the sport’s success in overcoming the doping scandal. After the suspension of the Yankees, baseball’s most profitable team, and the expulsion of dozens of the most popular players, advertised defected in droves. However, Dontrelle Willis, a sinewy phenom who came across as the antithesis of the muscle bound doper, posted a brilliant season and appeared in advertisements for lucrative sponsors such as Miller and Pepsi. Executives at both firms stated that they are now questioning whether to pull their ads from the remaining games, and an unnamed source within Fox Sports, the broadcaster for the World Series, said that the network does not plan to renew its contract with MLB, which expires this year.

    The World Series between Tampa Bay and Milwaukee, two small market teams whose rosters were unscathed by last winters bloodletting, was the lowest rated since the 1994 strike. Similarly, regular season ratings were down twenty percent from 2007. Internet chatrooms and bars across America seem to reflect the public’s growing ambilivance towards the national pastime – and dedicated fans’ growing suspicion of the process. “It’s a set up,” said Brian Kapellusch, President of “The lab is based in Florida. The press found out before the commissioners office, and Bud [Selig] punishes Dontrelle [Willis] before he has even seen the evidence, or tested a B sample. It’s absurd.” A patron at Kelly’s Bleachers, a bar located within site of Milwaukee’s Miller Stadium, reflected the frustration of many fans, “How do I explain this to my kid?”

  56. Pingback by Another scandal rocks the Tour on the last day... - RiderX | 07.29.2007 | 12:09 pm

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  57. Pingback by The Old New Thing : Stuart Stevens takes performance-enhancing drugs in order to see what they do | 07.30.2007 | 7:07 am

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  58. Pingback by "Fat Taxes" and Skinny Results — Paparazzi Gossip Hollywood News | 09.24.2007 | 5:34 am

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