• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    A Tour in Disarray

    The news that Rasmussen was sacked shocked me, but it was the withdrawl of his whole team and the whole french team that broke the last straw of sanity.

    Cycling is like a human body, struggling with an infection. Doping is like S. aureus, a small problem, typically constricted in a set location. However, if you do not treat your S. aureus infection with antibiotics, it may go septicemic.

    Cycling did not treat doping when it started, and didn't acknowledge the septicemia until the disease was too severe. Just like a bacterial infection that has progressed too far, it may be impossible to overcome doping. Often, when antibiotics won't work anymore, the body can only be saved by cutting off the infected limb. Other times, even that doesn't work, and the patient dies. Cycling is in the midst of a feverish fight with itself, and today it bit the bullet and amputated an arm.

    Rasmussen, the tour leader, axed without a true positive test, is like cutting the arm off above the fetid flesh--a desperate measure to stop the spread of the infection.

    The new tour leaders have never been linked to anything unethical, but it's too little, too late. Lance Armstrong's gone, and with him goes American interest. Germany is leaving too, and many more will follow because people's faith in the sport is gone. The infection is MRSA, and it's septic. The only way to cure the infection is to focus on limiting the spread to other sports, bury cycling as currently constituted (organization-wise), and start anew.

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