YOUR WEEKLY CYCLING DOPING SCANDAL

05.27.07 11 years ago

Have I got a deal for you: four for the price of one this week!  Who would've thunk it?  First, Ivan Basso may not be cycling competitively for a while:

Defending Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso should be banned from cycling for 21 months because of his involvement in the Spanish doping scandal, Italian Olympic Committee prosecutors recommended Friday.

Can you blame Italians for applying Machiavelli's tenets to their athletic pursuits?  Next, an American enters stage right:

American cyclist Joe Papp, who was one of the US Anti-Doping Agency's key witnesses in the Floyd Landis case, has been slapped with a two-year suspension.

I assume this guy's playground moniker was "Smear".  Then we have a massage therapist stating he administered an EPO injection (hopefully not like this) to 1997 Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich:

"Only once in France, I administered the shot. I injected it into his arm, it lasted about 10 seconds — like giving insulin to a diabetic patient."

Hmm, maybe I'll tell the ladies I'm a diabetic to account for my quick (but ever so thorough) performance.  Finally, Danish cyclist Bjarne Riis admitted to doping during his 1996 Tour de France win:

"I have taken doping. I have taken EPO," Riis said at a televised news conference. "I have made errors and I would like to apologize."

So that makes 3 of the last 4 Tour winners cheaters unless the Floydster and Ullrich are exonerated.  It's possible they didn't do it.  It's as possible as a sport where hemoglobin addicts race an antiquated conveyance capturing the hearts of the world. -KD

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