Exclusive: AFLD Alleges New Astana Improprieties; Astana Unlikely at Tour de France

04.16.2009 | 9:02 am

PARIS (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – In a startling turn of events today, the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) announced it is proceeding with disciplinary action toward several key members of Team Astana, essentially eliminating any chance the Kazakhstan-based cycling team has of competing in the 2009 Tour de France.

The extraordinary sequence of events began approximately one month ago, when an agent of AFLD asked Lance Armstrong for blood, urine, and hair samples. According to Armstrong, the American cycling star — having just returned from a long training ride — then evidently requested and obtained permission to take a shower while the AFLD representative’s credentials were verified.

Today, however, AFLD president Pierre Bordry revealed that there is much more to the story.

“Yes, Armstrong did ask to take a shower,” stated Bordry, “But he did not follow up by saying, ‘Mother may I?’”

Continued the AFLD official, “If Armstrong had correctly followed the protocol clearly stated in the Mother May I (MMI) handbook, he would not be in the trouble he is in. Because we totally would not have said, ‘Yes you may.’”

Concluded Bordry, “Armstrong purports to be a professional cyclist. If he doesn’t know how [MMI] is played, that’s his own problem and he’ll have to deal with the consequences. As you recall, Mr. Armstrong himself recently said, ‘It’s their event, their country, and their rules, and we have to play by those.’ Well, Mr. Armstrong, here in France we play MMI. And until you hear ‘Yes you may,’ you most certainly may not.”

Contador Out Too

In a press conference today, the AFLD announced that Armstrong is not the only Astana team member in hot water. Said a spokesman for the AFLD, “Today, in a routine out-of-competition collection, one of our representatives requested that Astana team member Alberto Contador fill up a sample bottle with urine.”

Continued the spokesman, “At this point, Contador immediately complied. However, the AFLD had not preceded the request by saying ‘Simon says.’”

“The rules are clear and unequivocal,” concluded the spokesman. “You don’t do anything until you hear ‘Simon says.’ Contador is banned from all professional cycling for two years, effective immediately.”

“It’s true. He totally got me,” said the Tour de France winner and former hopeful. “I had nailed each of the instructions leading up to this — roll up my sleeves, stand on one foot, shave my left armpit — but he got me on that last one.”

Said Contador ruefully, “Man, sometimes these French drug controls can be really tricky.”

More Problems for Astana

Armstrong and Contador — arguably two of the strongest podium contenders for the 2009 Tour de France — are not the only Astana members facing charges from the AFLD. According to the press release sent out today, other violations from the team include:

  • Levi Leipheimer: Refusing to provide a hair sample. “In my defense,” said Leipheimer, “I didn’t actually refuse to provide a hair sample. I simply don’t have any hair. What were my options?”
  • Andreas Kloden: Failure to acknowledge that Jerry Lewis is a comedic genius. Kloden defended himself, saying, “I have watched The Nutty Professor, the Patsy, and The Family Jewels. I tried to find the humor in them. I really did. But it’s all just mugging and variations on one silly voice. How is that funny?” “If you don’t get it, just say so,” retorted the AFLD spokesman.
  • Chris Horner: Eating Hot Pockets. “Those things are an abomination and we will not permit anyone who eats such things in our country,” said Bordry.

AFLD Not Done

Once in contention for an unprecedented podium sweep at the Tour de France, Astana is now unlikely to participate in the race at all. But the AFLD housecleaning is far from over. “Unfortunately,” said Bordry, “there are many more non-French teams who have exhibited suspect behavior.”

Concluded Bordry, “We will not rest until all these nefarious cyclists have been removed from contention, making way for a truly clean team — such as Ag2r-La Mondiale, Agritubel, Bouygues Télécom, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, or Française des Jeux — to take its rightful place on the podium on the Champs-Élysées.”


  1. Comment by Matt | 04.16.2009 | 9:09 am

    Good one Fatty…you totally had me at first…(thought it was real news)…you are one funny man!

  2. Comment by Weiland | 04.16.2009 | 9:11 am

    How frightening true this probably is…

  3. Comment by plum | 04.16.2009 | 9:13 am

    15 days too late Fatty!

    So, you’re contending that my fake news is failing to be timely and / or accurate? I take umbridge, sir! – FC

  4. Comment by The D | 04.16.2009 | 9:24 am

    You know the French are getting ridiculous when you actually feel compelled to double check this story with a Google search. Anyone ever played the “CNN or Onion?” game before? Well, you kind of have now.

    That said, I think they’re on to something with the Hot Pockets ban. You’re on notice, Mr. Horner!

  5. Comment by Anonymous | 04.16.2009 | 9:28 am

    Of all the FCFNS reports you have done – this one is pretty much TRUE! You forgot the Red Light/Green Light clause though…

    I believe that the widening investigation just caught Bruyneel for this offense. Redhanded, so to speak. – FC

  6. Comment by josh | 04.16.2009 | 9:38 am

    This years Tour de France winner will be determined by a game of red rover

    “Red Rover, Red Rover, send ________ right over”

  7. Comment by Sramtaro | 04.16.2009 | 9:39 am

    AFLD now has grounds to ban Fatty from the TdF for misspelling umbrage. French origin words are also under the purview of drug control organizations. This year I really won’t watch if there is any monkey business keeping real contenders from participating. That’s like 30+ hours of riding trainer television as opposed to genuine riding in July. Even if it isn’t ASO doing the saber rattling, I just won’t be party to that.

    Oh, that “umbridge” spelling is embarrassing. I blame JK Rowling. – FC

  8. Comment by bikemike | 04.16.2009 | 9:42 am

    (in best/worst jim gaffigan voice) hot pocket-hot pocket.

  9. Comment by Andrea | 04.16.2009 | 9:45 am

    IF Horner can eat the hot pocket’s lava center without flinching, I think he should be able to ride no matter what.

  10. Comment by Newt | 04.16.2009 | 9:51 am

    Horner deserves credit if he can keep the Hot Pocket down…

  11. Comment by Aaron | 04.16.2009 | 9:57 am

    Maybe that could be a new Fatty Triathlon event, “Hot Pocket eating”.

  12. Comment by MikeonHisBike | 04.16.2009 | 10:00 am

    That was a classic. I’m glad you started your post by saying it was from the Fake News Service.

  13. Comment by GenghisKhan | 04.16.2009 | 10:19 am

    Josh said:

    “This years Tour de France winner will be determined by a game of red rover

    ‘Red Rover, Red Rover, send ________ right over’”

    I think you meant:

    “Red Rover, Red Rover, send <> right over”–right?

  14. Comment by GenghisKhan | 04.16.2009 | 10:20 am

    Uh, that should have been:

    “Red Rover, Red Rover, send right over”–right?


  15. Comment by GenghisKhan | 04.16.2009 | 10:21 am

    Third times the charm (yeah, better be worth it/funny!):

    “Red Rover, Red Rover, send some Frenche dude right over”–right?

  16. Comment by Sandy | 04.16.2009 | 10:21 am

    Do Not Do That To Me! I never went over to http://www.cyclingnews so fast to check to see if it was for schizle. April 1st is long gone. Whew!

  17. Comment by GenghisKhan | 04.16.2009 | 10:21 am

    “Frenche”?! I give up.

  18. Comment by Jim | 04.16.2009 | 10:43 am

    Oh wait a minute.

    Was that supposed to be satire?

  19. Comment by bikesgonewild | 04.16.2009 | 10:52 am

    …i heard the story differently…

    …i heard that after getting permission to shower from the tester, lance said “johan, watch my back” as in “check this guys credentials” whereas what the tester heard was “wash my back” & tried to get in the shower w/ armstrong…

    …being “french” & fully expecting to shower w/ lance, the man was offended by the subsequent rejection & therefore later changed his report…

    …but the chris horner /// “hot pocket” thingy is true…

  20. Comment by Gordon | 04.16.2009 | 11:08 am

    In “real” news did you see that Astana did not pay its team last month? http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/news?slug=ap-astana-wages&prov=ap&type=lgns

  21. Comment by BikeCopVT | 04.16.2009 | 11:10 am

    Remember folks you heard it here first…

    Win Susan!

  22. Comment by Rob M | 04.16.2009 | 11:33 am

    There seems to be a great misunderstanding about Armstrong’s suspicious behavior that day. I will try to clear up this matter.

    Fatty, you correctly report that Armstrong had finished a lengthy bicycle ride in France. He wanted to take a shower.

    That is suspicious behavior. I have ridden public transportation in France and, believe me, the French do not see a need to shower.

    That does it. Now, I’m banned, too.

  23. Comment by GenghisKhan | 04.16.2009 | 12:02 pm

    I’ll second Rob M on the Fench PT. Any request to shower is, at a minimum, circumstantial evidence of subversive and/or illegal/illicit behavior. That alone should get LA banned for life from cycling and from France! The latter, of course, not being all that big of a deal… ;o)

  24. Comment by mikeb | 04.16.2009 | 12:18 pm

    You just wanted to show off using all those
    apostrophies over letters in french words.

  25. Comment by WheelDancer | 04.16.2009 | 12:26 pm

    Way too funny, way too close to the truth.

    I think a renaming of the organization should be considered; Anti Non-French Winners Agency.

  26. Comment by Freddy Freshlegs | 04.16.2009 | 12:32 pm

    All things being equal – and parody is beyond equal – if they keep this up, then the Giro will become the premier event and Le Tour will become second-tier race!

    Do you suppose Versus is in frantic negotiations right now to get the Giro into their programming schedule? They should be. I would be GLUED to it. – FC

  27. Comment by jayzen | 04.16.2009 | 12:57 pm

    Wow. You had me. I’m so used to reading this kind of thing in the real news. So relieved when I got to the MMI rule…

  28. Comment by Dnwilliams | 04.16.2009 | 1:15 pm

    Hot pocket haters…clearly it has been a while since you all were in college! Hot Pockets and Ramen noodles for life!

  29. Comment by bcd | 04.16.2009 | 1:35 pm

    while i get the joke, Lance did mention that he thinks he might be refused entry to the 2009 TDF b/c of this.

    “there is a very high likelihood they prohibit me from riding in the Tour.” — 3:44


  30. Comment by Clydesteve | 04.16.2009 | 2:14 pm

    what i heard is that the tester said Marco… while Lance was in the shower, but got pissy when Lance refused to answer: Polo !!

  31. Comment by tibiker | 04.16.2009 | 2:23 pm

    Loved it fatty, hilarious. The sad thing is that it’s so close to being “true news” instead of “fake news”.

  32. Comment by Kendall | 04.16.2009 | 2:35 pm

    I needed a laugh like that. Hilarity indeed.

    @Josh – loved the Red Rover, Red Rover comment. Anyone going to watch the tour this year should make a “Mother May I” sign.

  33. Comment by Jason Mitchell | 04.16.2009 | 2:51 pm

    I wouldn’t put it past the Frenchies. Nice one Fatty!

  34. Comment by Kris | 04.16.2009 | 2:59 pm

    In defense of the AFLD…Hot Pockets are the devils food.

  35. Comment by Lars | 04.16.2009 | 3:23 pm

    Fatty, you’re giving the AFLD ideas.

  36. Comment by Charisa | 04.16.2009 | 3:58 pm

    He has no hair – hahaha :)

  37. Comment by Todd Olson | 04.16.2009 | 5:29 pm

    My heart skipped a beat when I read the headline. I can’t believe they still use the antiquated MMI handbook. Oh, well never trust a country who lists snails as a delicacy.

  38. Comment by Dobovedo | 04.16.2009 | 5:45 pm

    “Eating Hot Pockets”

    awwwwwww crap. I guess I’m now out of the Tour too. And I was really hoping to move up on the GC this year with all the other favorites removed.

    Loooooove the Hot Pockets.

  39. Comment by Dobovedo | 04.16.2009 | 5:47 pm

    oh.. and to all the commenters who said negative things about Hot Pockets, I agree totally. They are the devil’s food and should be banned. But I love ‘em anyway.

  40. Comment by Freddy Freshlegs | 04.16.2009 | 6:12 pm

    @FC – If VS secures Giro broadcast rights (and oh-how-I-wish-they-would) we’d need a new drinking game focused on Bob Roll pronouncing it, “GUY-ROH THE EYE-TALIAN”.

  41. Comment by graisseux | 04.16.2009 | 6:15 pm

    I honestly think I’m going to go pick up some beef and cheddar Hot Pockets.

  42. Comment by bruno | 04.16.2009 | 6:48 pm

    OT comment

    check out graham watson’s site and read the “graham’s view”. His take on the racing of the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, and Paris-Roubaix is great. It might be just me, but he made the races seems 10 times more exiting than I thought at first.
    definitely worth the time spent reading

  43. Comment by Rodney D | 04.16.2009 | 9:05 pm

    Back when I raced, they asked me for a hair, urine and stool sample. So I gave them my shorts! Boom, Boom..

  44. Comment by buckythedonkey | 04.17.2009 | 2:29 am

    This is nothing. Just wait a few years for Dave Brailsford to transfer all that GB Olympic track success to the road. The prospect of a rosbif winning the Tour de France will surely unleash hell!

    Hey Jodi, don’t worry, I’d love hang out with you! I’ll even wear my BSNYC T-shirt. Can we do that shoot-the-bloke thing at Coney Island please?

  45. Comment by cyclingtips | 04.17.2009 | 5:55 am

    too funny!

  46. Comment by TomE | 04.17.2009 | 9:02 am

    Fatty – I just noticed the Livestrong update at the top of the page….LOVE IT!!!! Keep us informed!

  47. Comment by Phil | 04.17.2009 | 9:16 am

    Nice profile on the LAF email!

  48. Comment by Michael in TN | 04.17.2009 | 9:24 am

    Fatty going big time:
    Team Fatty story in the LiveStrong newsletter and on the LiveStrong Challenge Website:


  49. Comment by MTB W | 04.17.2009 | 9:46 am

    Obviously, when Lance said he was going to take a shower, the Frenchie didn’t understand the word “shower” since there is no french translation. When Lance came back smelling like soap instead of stink, the Frenchie knew something odd was going on.

    Fatty, congrats on the great article in the Livestrong website!

  50. Comment by buckythedonkey | 04.17.2009 | 11:12 am

    LAF: “For the past 15 or so years, biking … has been essentially Elden Nelson’s one and only hobby/activity/obsession.”

    Er, and “eating” surely.

  51. Comment by buckythedonkey | 04.17.2009 | 11:13 am

    Great write up…just great. WIN!

  52. Comment by chriscreates | 04.23.2009 | 1:10 pm

    You didn’t say “Simon says Comment” so I won’t… but Mother may I laugh my head off?


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