Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Defending your honour, losing your credibility

Does anyone know if the Floyd Fairness Fund is still accepting donations?  I'd like to send some money. 

Here's the letter Mr. Landis received last week from the UCI.

Uh-oh.  Pat and Hein-y have had their "honour" offended because Floyd accused the UCI of "protecting certain cyclists."

Fast forward to Feb 12.  UCI press officer Enrico Carpani says that they (the UCI) are "pleased" with the  Spanish Federation's Contador investigation and further notes, "It is not beneficial to cycling to see Contador crucified."  You remember the Spanish Federation - right?  They are the ones that just cleared Contador of doping charges despite the fact that he failed two tests for Clenbuterol in his system.  It's so nice to see the UCI protecting wishing the best for Contador.
Pat McQuaid giving the "award of obscene hand-gestures" to Bertie in recognition of his now copy-protected fingerbang salute.

Floyd has written the UCI's attorney, Rolf Ditesheim (the man in charge of preserving Pat and Hein-y's "honour") two responses:

Hello Mr Ditesheim'

I haven't heard from you in a few days and thought I'd drop you a note with a few things to ponder. I'd like you to please try to reconcile this ( with your threat of litigation in light of todays exoneration of Alberto Contador. I look forward to your explanation.

Thank You
Floyd Landis

And Response #2:

Dear Mr Ditzensheim,
I hope something has not happened to you (!) I have been looking forward to getting to know you good. I have copied Mr. Verbeast at the UCI because a year ago he sent me a similar email asking for some kind of retraction. I don't know what you want retractioned though(!!!).

And I am not living in Switzerland now though and maybe you have a colleague that you trust (and with his records!!!) that can represent me in my upcoming trial. If he can represent me for 500 Swiss Franks that would be GREAT (!!) because I am broke. (that would be 250 swiss franks up front!!!).

One other thing is I want to request that the trial be in Zurich in the summer because it is beautiful there but cold. If Zurich doesn't work possibly San Diego(?????). I live here!!

Thank You!

This is a serious matter

(If you are wondering about all the odd (!!!s) and odder word choices in Floyd's response, I believe he's mocking Hein-y's writing style noted in a number of emails he sent to Floyd accusing him of being capable only of winning a yellow jersey in being a nuisance.)

At this point, I wish to stop and ask some questions to all those who have, like me, decided to waste far too much time following this saga.

1) Regarding "honour": Who actually sues somebody in order to protect their "honour" these days?  It's like some warped anachronistic medieval sentiment has suddenly sprung up in the midst of the soap opera - only instead of Pat and Hein-y challenging Floyd to a duel themselves, they've sent their briefcase-laden attorney/knight to fight in their stead.  I wonder if the letter also came with a virtual glove-slap across the face?

2) Regarding Contador:  Why isn't anyone testing the boy's hair?  Remember that it was the dark hair of 2008 Olympic silver medalist Dimitrij Ovtcharov which yielded a clean sample and thus provided the evidence that his positive Clenbuterol urine sample was likely from accidental ingestion.  If you didn't knowingly take Clenbuterol and recognized that your hair sample could exonerate you - wouldn't you willingly shave your entire head with the excitement of retaining your jersey and not being banned? (Ok - maybe not your entire head if you're Contador because he's got some scars up there - but at least one measely pointy sideburn. Shit, this investigation has gone on so long - Bertie could have grown an entire moustache and shaved it off to donate to the lab in his defense)

3) Regarding Contador #2:  What about the plasticizers found in Bertie's blood as reported by the NY Times in October?  The same plastic that is used to make transfusion bags was found in his blood at a level of 8 times over the limit during the 2010 Tour de France.

The UCI has now said that they will discuss the Spanish Federation's report with WADA and make a decision if they will appeal it or not - but what else could they say, especially considering the media's general sentiment on the issue of Bertie being cleared a farce.  As a spectator for the 2011 pro season, I think I'm going to be tuning my inner-cynic extra finely, unfortunately.  Cause this whole business is reading pretty damned high on the COMO CYCO Stink-O-Meter:

And if we didn't have Floyd publicly dropping trou' and pressing ham on the windshield of the UCI bus, who else would have the cajones to do it?  In some strange way, as a man with absolutely nothing else to lose, I think Floyd could be the person who could save professional cycling.


  1. Good grief, that made my head hurt. It's not so much the drugs, it's wrapping my head around the idea that peopl watch bicycle racing!

    Where I come from (the good ol' USA) people who have their honor insulted demand satisfaction, bitch slap you with a glove and challenge you to a duel. Or maybe that's only Homer Simpson who does that?

  2. A couple things: I loved the mustachio (but not very aerodynamic), and that is a very well trained cat.

    Contador has been given a second life, and hopefully the sport of cycling.

    If anyone has ever had to pee in a cup for their sport please read and know this.

    I suspect the Ditesheim letter is just cage rattling. (just trying to get a rise out of Floyd).

    @Anonymous: have you ever seen tour footage? I find it highly watchable (but of course I love the sport).

  3. Here's a detailed explanation why plasticizers are not to be considered in Contador's case or any athlete's case.

  4. A tour? What tour? I have gone on many tours so i do not know of which you speak. Will i need to pay extra for the audio tour?

  5. I have to say, I think it all boils down to the WADA rule that, no matter HOW it gets in the body, if the banned substances is found in your body, you're liable. I've had so many cyclists and even USADA officials preach that rule to me. So that alone should make this cut and dry.

    -He definitively had an illegal amount of Clenbuterol in his system.
    -Banned. That's the rule, you gotta live by it. End of story.