Sunday, April 25, 2010
THIS is how you do it...
Alexandre Vinokourov-this is how it's done, for all you cats out there who don't know how to serve the draconian and absurdly harsh penalty of two years for getting caught using performance enhancing drugs in pro cycling, which in his case turned out to be a transfusion of someone elses' blood during the highly stressful and uber-competitive Tour de France. Here is a list of what not to do, what to do and how to go about doing it.
1) Shut The Fuck Up and do your time like a man.
Meaning, you don't go around whining, bitching and moaning, protesting your innocence. You don't set up legal defense fund like disgraced American rider Tyler Hamilton did with his "IBelieveTyler.org" website, preying on his naive fanbase and basically shaming them into paying for his legal defense on the basis that he's such a nice guy from Marblehead, Massachusetts it's just not in his DNA to cheat.
Well, the other thing that wasn't in his DNA was the blood Hamilton transfused into his system to win that Olympic gold medal, a prize he got to keep on a bullshit technicality. Apparently the administrators of his blood transfusion mixed his bag up with another riders', causing the illegal transfusion to show up in a doping test. He was definitely busted for the same exact thing a few weeks after the Olympics.
Not that it matters, but just for the sake of laughs here is the story-this idiot spent tons of money on his defense. He tried to get the arbitrators hearing the case he had two differing blood types in his system due to something called a chimera. The technical definition of a chimera is an animal that has two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells that originated in different zygotes. This is something found commonly in the animal world but rarely in humans. In laymans' terms, Tyler claimed he had a twin brother who was never born because those cells never developed, but he retained the differing blood values all the same.
I know this is funny, but please stop laughing and keep reading.
This is what he almost bankrupted himself for. But wait, it gets better. AFTER serving his well-deserved two year ban he gets fired from the only European team that would give him a second chance. He looked the owner in face, lied and told him he had no involvement in the Spanish "Operation Puerto" drug scandal. This was a clinic where bags of blood (with rider's nicknames on them) meant for re-infusion before important events were found in the refrigerator of a gynecologists' office, along with tons of other doping products-
Next time Tyler, don't use the name of your dog to keep track of which bag is yours. It's a dead giveaway-
He kept on with the denials after documents revealed payments by Hamiltons' then-wife Haven to the doctor running this doping operation.
*Note to Haven-using your maiden name for the transactions doesn't fool anyone. That's the oldest trick in the book-
(Click photo to enlarge)
His complete doping diary was found in the possession of the good Doctor Fuentes-(Click photo to enlarge)
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Hamilton was fired but continued with the denials and wound up racing on a bullshit domestic US team, Rock Racing, a last-chance saloon for the doping hobos of pro cycling. He then unceremoniously undermined this opportunity by testing positive yet again for some crap called DHEA. For this second offense (really his fourth in total), he got a multi-year suspension, which at his age meant the end of his racing career. He stated he used this product to self-medicate for depression and vowed to become the poster boy for people suffering from this disease, which is as pathetic a cop-out as anyone can stoop to. So now he's training people for a living, which is an even bigger laugh because this guy has shown that without the huge amount of drugs he was taking it is clear he couldn't hack it in the pro peloton without them. So what in the world can this asshole teach anyone?
2) Don't needlessly prolong the inevitable with a bullshit court case.
The general public will accept a cheater and forgive. But going out of your way to deny the shit you were doing in a courtroom, that's inexcusable. Vinokourov had the money to contest his positive doping result in a court of law, but decided against it. For one, the cost would have been exorbitant. Secondly, as a national hero in his native Kazakhstan he really did not need two years of negative publicity that would have lowered his profile to that of a common street rat, of which the Kazakhs are all too familiar with, being that rats were a staple (dare I say a delicacy) at the dinner table during those lean years under the boot of Nazi Germany back in the 1940's.
Vinokourov quietly went about his business, which involved putting the final touches on a high-scale fitness club in Monaco. He kept training and got back to his winning, attacking style of riding as if he never left. He kept his family intact and never involved them in the whole sordid affair. He didn't write a book full of bullshit lies and obfuscations like "Roid Floyd Landis did-
Take that yellow jersey off, cocksucker-you don't deserve to be be seen in it.
The original title of the book was...
"Positively Stupid-How I became the only jagoff ever to be stripped of the leader's jersey at the Tour de France because I don't know how to cheat and get away with it."-
Here he is at a book signing-
"Count Floyd" took Hamilton's MO of screaming his innocence from the rooftops to another level by writing about it and profiting from the venture. Everything in the book is a fucking lie. He is known by riders who've raced with him for taking some of the biggest doses of human growth hormone (among other drugs) they've ever seen , to the point where other riders who were doping alongside him were saying "damn, that's a lot of drugs he's injecting". This reputation of ingesting performance enhancing drugs in mass quantities goes back to his amateur days.
His blood profile showed signs of manipulation all through the Tour, yet his then gerbil look-alike ex-trainer Allen Lim wants us all to believe that Floyds' highly suspicious performance was physiologically within the realm of possibility. Yeah, motherfucker. We are that fucking stupid as to believe such crap.
3) Don't become a martyr for clean cycling when you DO return.
No one wants to hear any self-righteous bullshit about being a born-again dope-free rider ala David Millar of the Garmin team, especially if you come back and ride like pack jelly with no real results to speak of. Let your riding do the talking and keep moving forward, because what happens is you wind up talking about shit you know nothing about in such vague terms that it makes no sense for you to even speak on the subject. The details that people are interested in, if a rider even knows anything, are usually things that are not in his best interests to reveal. We all know how Frank Serpico wound up after testifying about police corruption-shot in the face in some tenement building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Don't be that rider who gets blackballed into oblivion-you still need to work and to be shunned by the one industry you've ever known in our life is too high a price to pay knowing you would have accomplished nothing with breaking the rule of omerta.
Everyone knows that doping in cycling involves doctors, team directors and the gangsters who supply the drugs. The whole putrid mess is highly organized from the junior levels on up. Unless one is willing to blow the lid off the whole thing with names and details, better to keep quiet and be thankful you haven't wound up like Hamilton and Landis-broke, pathetic shells of their former selves with their careers and marriages in tatters, living in a van down by the river. Who the fuck needs that shit in their lives.
4) Show absolutely no contrition or remorse, and announce your comeback in the most arrogant manner possible.
When Vino announced to the cycling world he was going to race at the earliest possible date after his suspension was over, he did so at a press conference at the same hotel the team manager of Astana, Johan Bruyneel was staying in at the start of the Tour de France. Vino defiantly reminded "The Hog", as Bruyneel is affectionately known (for the Herculean amount of drugs he is said to have ingested during his racing days) that Astana was HIS team and that he was riding as a member of his team ASAP no questions asked. If for whatever reason Bruyneel didn't like it, Bruyneel was the one who had to go, not him. And he did this while wearing a T-shirt that read "Vino Is Back". In yellow, of all colors. Gotta love the balls it takes to pull shit like that off with a straight face.
Vinokourov had the right to do this, as he was the man who put the team together, gathering the necessary sponsors from his native country and getting everything organized. It WAS AND IS his team. To make such an announcement during the most important race of the year in the same hotel his soon-to-be-relieved-of-his-duties team manager was staying at takes cojones the size of the country he represents. So Bruyneel left soon after, because that's how they roll up in Kazakhstan. Do what you're told how you're told to do it or get the fuck out. I love it. So Bruyneel had to get his monkey ass outta there. And Vino not only stayed but managed to retain the services of not only the best grand tour rider of this generation in Alberto Contador but replaced "The Hog" with the director sportif who guided Marco Pantani to his best grand tour wins, Italian Giuseppe Martinelli.
So Vinokourov has done his penance the way he was supposed to and returned from his suspension to win one of the monuments of the sport-the one day Classic called Leige-Bastogne-Leige, personally one of my favorite races on the whole ProTour calendar. Congrats, brother-that's how you rep the Republic of Kazakhstan!!!
The start of the race-
Looking relaxed on the Cote de Stockeu...
The leading breakaway...
The final, unanswerable attack-
See you later, motherfucker...
The obligatory gritting of the teeth, exhibiting maximum effort...
Crossing the line...
...and the victory trophy!!! How sweet it is!!!