By Emily Senger - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 0 Comments
Disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from a master’s-level swimming competition in Texas…
Disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from a master’s-level swimming competition in Texas this weekend after his registration was disputed by the swimming governing body.
The report, from BBC News, comes after reports Wednesday that Armstrong was registered to compete in three events at the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships at the University of Texas.
U.S. Masters Swimming is not covered by the same rules as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has barred Armstrong from competing in any of its events for life, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. In fact, swimmers at the master’s level aren’t even tested for drugs at all. Rather, the point is to encourage swimming among older adults.
But, swimming’s international body wasn’t ready for Armstrong to make his sporting comeback in the pool after he finally admitted to years of doping during his professional cycling career. The Switzerland-based FINA sent a letter to the competition, saying that Armstrong should not compete, reports the Associated Press. Armstrong pulled out of his own accord.
By Bookmarked and Jonathon Gatehouse - Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM - 0 Comments
What the Great White Whale was to Captain Ahab, Lance Armstrong is to author David Walsh. To suggest the Irish sportswriter was obsessed with cycling’s greatest fraud doesn’t do it justice. The relationship between pursuer and quarry was closer to folie à deux. Walsh spent 13 often-very-lonely years trying to convince the world of what he believed was painfully obvious—St. Lance was a cheat. And Armstrong expended just as much energy trying to discredit, humiliate and destroy him.
A journalist with the Sunday Times, Walsh had been covering the Tour de France for a decade when he first met Armstrong in 1993. Initially, he liked and admired the painfully blunt and nakedly ambitious Texan. But when Armstrong returned to cycling’s greatest test in 1999, after his near-fatal brush with cancer, he was clearly a different man: thinner, meaner and much, much better. In four previous Tours, the American had been a threat on the flats, but never in the time trials or climbs (over nine career mountain stages, his best finish was 39th.) Now suddenly he wasn’t just competitive, but unbeatable, laying down scorching rides that eclipsed the feats of men who had already been exposed as dopers. That year, on his way to his first of seven yellow jerseys, Armstrong even failed an in-race drug test. (It was explained away with the help of his doctors and the UCI, cycling’s governing body.) Walsh knew the story didn’t add up, and he earned Armstrong’s eternal ire by pointing it out.
But that’s really just the starting point of Seven Deadly Sins, which chronicles more than a decade of incremental discoveries, denial and enabling. Walsh paid a heavy price for his doggedness—publicly vilified, ostracized by many of his compatriots and forever awash in legal actions. Although, as he describes, many of his sources had it much worse: there were no ends to which Armstrong wouldn’t go to protect his empire.
The book is a victory lap, and as the title suggests, as much about the author as the subject. But Walsh’s engaging and wry style makes even the rehashed aspects of the story well worth the trouble. And for sports fans, and in particular writers, Seven Deadly Sins should stand out for its lesson: if something seems too good to be true, it almost invariably is.
Visit the Maclean’s Bookmarked blog for news and reviews on all things literary
By Jessica Allen - Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 9:56 PM - 0 Comments
Talking points on Girls, Season 2, Episode 3
He said, she said is a discourse on the second season of Girls from two points of view. (Find previous conversations here.)
Hannah has a meeting with an editor who says she’ll pay her $200 to write about her first-time cocaine experience. She then procures the drug from her downstairs neighbour, Laird, who is a recovering addict. Marnie has a run-in with the obnoxious artist, Booth, who kissed her last season. Elijah accompanies Hannah during a night of cocaine and dancing, and accidentally confesses that he and Marnie had sex. Hannah, high and livid, drags Elijah, along with Laird, to Booth’s place in order to confront Marnie about being a bad friend.
- One of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers gave me a lovely compliment on that shirt. They don’t construct a sleeve like that anymore. (Jessa to potential customer at her outdoor vintage boutique)
- I love when young people are passionate about something and then they just give up the second they have to struggle. (Booth to Marnie)
- You’re a con man who somehow talks people into paying way too much money for derivative art by convincing anyone who’s never heard of Damien Hirst that you’re a genius. (Marnie to Booth)
- This is not going to be a night of dancing around in your mother’s Volkswagen with a bottle of cough syrup and a box of McNuggets. (Elijah to Hannah)
- I am just so jazzed to write the f–k out of this story. (Hannah to Elijah)
By macleans.ca - Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM - 0 Comments
‘Will you rise again?’ Oprah Winfrey asked the disgraced cyclist
By Aaron Hutchins - Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:18 PM - 0 Comments
By Anne Kingston - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM - 0 Comments
Forget “no-holds-barred,” this will be a staged cage-match
Lance Armstrong’s face-off with Oprah Winfrey this week (airing Thursday and Friday) promises to be the most calculated comeback since Cheap Trick dusted off the Lycra. And not only for the disgraced cyclist, who’s obviously using the manufactured platform to try to beat the odds facing him, just as doping once did. The sit-down between the two formerly invincible halo brands is clearly synergistic: Winfrey needs the ratings boost, and to reclaim her spot as America’s go-to confessor for lapsed celebrities; Armstrong, shunned by former sponsors including Nike, and by his “Say it ain’t so, Lance” apologists, desperately needs to tap into what’s left of the “Oprah effect.”
There’s an innate conundrum here, of course. Halo brands are conferred on institutions and people (Mayo Clinic; Mother Theresa) with a unique ability to inspire and perceive unimpeachable credibility. Armstrong, for a time, held the world in thrall with his seven Tour de France wins (all now stripped), beating cancer and, in 1997, founding “Livestrong,” his once-venerated, now disgraced charity. Winfrey, meanwhile, inspired the masses “to live your best life” wearing a Livestrong bracelet. That shared ability to uplift transformed both into commercial juggernauts; people bought whatever they were selling.
But now those halos are tarnished, Armstrong’s far more than Oprah’s—a calculus that means he has far more to win, she more to lose. Despite his repeated claims of innocence, he was outed as a liar, manipulator and user by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency last year in a damning, 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running, labyrinthine doping scheme. Winfrey’s sway, specifically her hold over the cultural zeitgeist, has also sagged since she stepped down from her daily pulpit in 2011 to run the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Ratings have been poor; the enterprise has been plagued by bad press; the “Oprah effect” never kicked in. There have been no defining moments for which she is famed—Tom Cruise couch-jumping, visiting Michael Jackson in Neverland, Jennifer Hudson forgiving the man who killed members of her family. Now the few people who subscribe to OWN are stuck with interviews like a recent emotional chit-chat with Rihanna who described her former, physically abusive boyfriend Chris Brown as the “love of her life.” (Winfrey didn’t even bother to talk some sense into her.) To top it off, there’s the growing blowback (complete with evidence) that the anointed “experts“ Winfrey unleashed on the world, among them Drs. Phil and Oz, are quacks.
In wrangling Armstrong, Winfrey might have met her nemesis—if only because their fame is derived from the same inspirational, “live-every-day-strong” wellspring. It’s unlikely we’ll see a repeat of Winfrey’s 2006 smack down of James Frey for fabricating parts of his memoir. At the time, her lacerating fury was widely celebrated as triggering some sort of national catharsis, a necessarily proactive “truthiness” blood-letting.
This highly anticipated sit-down, however, looks more like a WorldWideWrestling staged cage-match. Billed by OWN as Armstrong’s “first no-holds-barred” interview, it now looks like Winfrey’s been co-opted as the final stop of his week-long Apol-alooza. It was originally scheduled for one night; now allegedly there’s so much material, it has morphed into two 90-minute segments aired over two nights to milk primo ad revenue. Whether they’ll get what they paid for is doubtful. When Winfrey was promoting the show on CBS earlier this week, she coyly hinted that she hadn’t gotten the full goods: “I would say he did not come clean in the manner I had expected,” she said. “It was surprising to me.” Considering that Armstrong was surrounded by lackeys and lawyers choreographing his every move, it would seem entirely predictable.
What Armstrong wants is simple, if not easily obtained. He wants back on his bike to regain his money-making mojo. There’s also a lot to pedal from. He’s facing a mountain of litigation—from his former cycling team, from people who lost libel judgments after daring to suggest he used performance-enhancing drugs. Then there are regulators who want him under oath on the stand. For some reason, they don’t see a chat with the once-Mighty O as the equivalent of a real-world admission. It’ll be fascinating to see how many others agree—and just how transcendent a halo brand can be.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM - 0 Comments
Citizens in Elliot Lake finally get answers and Lance Armstrong comes clean
It’s a welcome sight to see a country other than the United States taking a lead role in the fight against al-Qaeda. France launched air strikes in Mali to head off armed extremists from expanding their grip on the country and over- taking the capital, Bamako. This week, France took the case for intervention to the UN, paving the way for the deployment of African troops to back up Malian forces. Canada also said this week it would send a military transport plane to support the mission. Without France’s bold intervention, the security of North Africa— and, by extension, Europe—would have been at serious risk.
From the rubble
Seven months after their mall caved in, killing two and wounding 20 others, the people of Elliot Lake, Ont., are about to get what they desperately want: answers. Justice Robert Belanger, who will oversee the inquiry into the tragic collapse, announced hearings will begin March 4. The judge also issued an important preliminary ruling, denying a request from the mall’s owner, Bob Nazarian, to keep his finances secret. As Belanger wrote, Nazarian’s bank statements—and how much of that money was spent on main- tenance—are “directly relevant and of significant importance.”
By macleans.ca - Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM - 0 Comments
Breaking news on cyclist inspires late-night confessions
By Scott Feschuk - Friday, January 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM - 0 Comments
Scott Feschuk salutes those whose failures made us feel better about ourselves
So the Mayans were wrong, the world didn’t end and I’ve lost my last, best excuse to put off cleaning the basement. Thanks for nothing, 2012.
On the other hand, the outgoing year did us one favour: it produced a bumper crop of high achievers who suffered very public failures. Let’s take a moment to salute those whose personal catastrophes made us feel by comparison much, much better about ourselves.
David Petraeus. In a country in which Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree on whether Clint Eastwood looked stupid talking to a chair, Petraeus was admired by partisans on both sides. In 2012, he once again brought together red state and blue state in a shared thought: shouldn’t the nation’s top spy know better than to use Gmail to make naughty talk with his mistress? He’s the head of the CIA—surely he has access to advanced cryptographic devices or a shoe phone. At minimum, Petraeus could have dispatched a shadowy figure to a darkened parking garage to pass along secret messages: “The Falcon thinks your thighs are shapely, Snowman.” Continue…
By Charlie Gillis - Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM - 0 Comments
2012 Newsmakers: Lance Armstrong’s arrogance in the face of incontrovertible truth. Livestrong, as if.
When the shock had worn off and tempers had cooled, the wonder lay not in his misdemeanours but in his resolve. It’s one thing to cheat, another to lie. But to cheat and lie for so long—to draw in teammates, to bind them with threats, to lay waste to their reputations when they confessed—who among us could have done it? We’re used to learning our heroes have feet of clay, that they dope or drive drunk or cheat on their spouses. This was different. Lance Armstrong wasn’t revealed to be human this year. He was revealed to be inhuman.
The lies took more than a dozen years to fall away, hanging this summer by the threads of Armstrong’s brazen denials. Since the first whiff of suspicion back in 1999, when a former French rider spoke publicly about widespread doping in cycling, Armstrong had been on the offensive. He publicly attacked that rider, Christophe Bassons, inviting him to “go home” from the 2000 Tour de France. He ridiculed and sued the truth-sayers who followed—riders, journalists, and racing officials who alleged widespread doping at the highest echelons. In a 2001 TV ad for Nike, Armstrong all but laughed in their faces: “What am I on?” he snarled. “I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?”
But the drip, drip of revelation kept coming, culminating two years ago in the stunning admission by Armstrong’s former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, that he and Armstrong had taken the blood-doping hormone erythropoietin (EPO) before and during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours. Finally, in October, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published its jaw-dropping report on doping on the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery teams Armstrong had led in his seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong wasn’t just a participant in the teams’ doping program, by USADA’s estimation; he was the doping program. His unquenchable appetite for Tour victories, the report said, “led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions, but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own.” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM - 0 Comments
This week: kidney swap, Lance Armstrong, and protesting MP Kelly Block
Economics is the dismal science, but three Canadians who received new kidneys in August must feel good about it. The Vancouver Sun profiled a chain of donations made possible by the National Kidney Registry under a system devised by economist Alvin Roth, who won this year’s economics Nobel for applications of game theory. Three incompatible donor-recipient pairs in Ontario, B.C., and Quebec made a successful three-way swap of kidneys, bringing the total number of transplants performed under the registry to 141.
Is Somali piracy ending? The International Maritime Bureau reports that over the first three quarters of 2012, ships reported only 70 attacks off Somali shores, compared to 233 in 2011. Only one ship encountered trouble between July and September. The bureau praises EU-organized warships and stronger security aboard merchant vessels, but pirates still have 11 ships and 167 hostages captive.
Bike gang boss
Loathsome Lance Armstrong hit bottom as the International Cycling Union (UCI) accepted findings of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, banning the superstar for life and vacating his seven Tour de France championships. The UCI had been reluctant to act against Armstrong, but overwhelming evidence that Armstrong led (and provided muscle for) a doping conspiracy left cycling’s governing body with no choice. Nike has led an exodus of sponsors from Armstrong, and he may forfeit almost $4 million in Tour winnings.
The new Parti Québécois cabinet has promised that Bill 101 will not be extended to daycares, something the province’s family minister had seemingly threatened to do in an interview with La Presse. Nicole Léger’s comments expressing the intent to deny language choice in daycare was met with wrath from the opposition Liberals, whose interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier said, “There’s a limit on the state deciding everything for people.” The Parti Québécois’s minister responsible for language, Diane De Courcy, quickly popped Léger’s trial balloon. “Applying Bill 101 to [daycare] . . . is out of the question.”
By macleans.ca - Friday, October 19, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
Glenn Beck’s new shill, a star turn for a senator’s spouse, and an MP stands up for shark fin soup
Time to move on
Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair has “no regrets” about venting to Norwegian referee Christiana Pedersen about two dubious calls she made during the Olympic team’s controversial loss to the U.S.A. this August. “I don’t regret what I said,” Sinclair said in her first comments since being slapped with a four-game suspension and fined $3,500 by FIFA for “unsporting behaviour.” We may never know what Sinclair told the ref, but she backed down on suggestions that Pedersen wanted a U.S. victory: “No, I don’t ultimately believe she went into the match hoping the U.S. would win.” It was a face-saver for both sides. FIFA defended itself against match-fixing allegations, and Sinclair stood up for her team against two lousy penalties. Soccer Canada will pay her fine, and the suspensions will be in meaningless friendly games.
There may be truth to the theory that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can eventually generate a hurricane. British artist Damien Hirst is weathering a storm after news that 9,000 butterflies died during a summer-long retrospective of his work at the Tate Modern gallery in London. The free-flying insects, an installation he called In and Out of Love, were part of a retrospective including his famous dead pickled shark and other iconic works. Some butterflies were killed when visitors stepped on them or brushed them off their clothing, but most lived out their life cycle in the gallery, a Tate spokesman said. Hirst said a butterfly expert was hired “at considerable cost” to ensure conditions were perfect. Many enjoyed longer lives than in the wild, he said, “due to the high quality of the environment and food provided.” The flap didn’t stop almost 500,000 visitors from touring the exhibit—among the Tate’s most popular ever.
A giant leap for mankind
On Oct. 14, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner stood perched on a tiny shelf the size of a skateboard, ﬁxed to a capsule he’d ridden to the edge of space. Then he jumped. Baumgartner plunged over 39 km—more than three times the cruising height of a jetliner—reaching a maximum speed of 1,342 km/h and landing safely with a parachute in the New Mexico desert. Sponsored by Red Bull, Baumgartner’s mission was more than a publicity stunt; it was a testament to how the human body can cope with the extreme conditions of space, and made him the first human ever to break the sound barrier in a skydive (one of several records broken that day). But Baumgartner wasn’t thinking about that as he jumped. Before stepping off his perch, he radioed to mission control: “I’m coming home.”
With his outsized salary, me-first attitude and admitted steroid use, New York Yankees third-baseman and three-time league MVP Alex Rodriguez has never been an easy guy to like. But his popularity is now plunging to unheard-of lows after his bat fell silent in the post-season, which resulted in him being demoted in the line-up and benched. A-Rod’s meltdown came as the sporting world watched another implosion of a former star: seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, whose career is now officially in tatters after details about the official investigation into his team’s massive doping scheme became public.
Tea Party denim
Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck has apparently identiﬁed an underserved fashion market in America: libertarian hipster dads. This week he became the latest celebrity to roll out his own line of selvage jeans under the label 1791 Supply & Co. (named for the year the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution). After berating Levi’s for outsourcing manufacturing overseas, Beck is promising $129 pants in “straight” and “classic” cuts (no youthful skinny jeans here) that are “100 per cent made in the U.S.A.” The pitch comes complete with a bizarre, Americana-laden commercial showing a bearded man wielding a hobby rocket, lighting its fuse, and then running away full tilt. Perhaps because he suspects it’s a dud?
A Google homage
Google’s homepage art on Oct. 15 may have single-handedly revived the reputation of Winsor McCay, creator of the 1905 fantasy comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. Gerald Lynch of Tech Digest was so impressed by the animated recreation of McCay’s style, where Little Nemo falls into “Google Land” and has surreal adventures, that he pronounced it “the best Google Doodle ever” despite never having heard of the strip before. McCay-mania spread so far on the Internet that the National Post published an article on the controversy over whether or not he was born while his mother was visiting Canada. You know someone’s famous again when Canadians want to take credit for him.
A bowlful of controversy
At Jade Restaurant in Richmond, B.C., Conservative MP Alice Wong recently enjoyed a controversial meal: a bowl of shark fin soup. The dish is banned in Toronto and North Vancouver, while other communities—including Richmond—are considering following suit. Several shark species are endangered, and the techniques used to fish them are notorious; but Wong, who reportedly only invited Chinese media to witness her meal, insists municipalities should butt out and let Ottawa decide whether to enact a ban. Restaurant owner David Chung went further, calling a ban “culturally insensitive.”
Back on the market
The standards by which we, as a society, judge the possibility of monogamy—that is, the marriages of Hollywood stars—continue to crumble. First, after 30 years together, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman decided they were no longer interested in mutually diminutive matrimony. According to Radaronline, DeVito’s flirtatious ways were to blame and now the short, bald 67-year-old is “embracing the single life” (step one: shopping around for a new sports car). Meanwhile, Hollywood hunk and celebrated phone-thrower Russell Crowe is back on the market after nine years of marriage to Danielle Spencer. Her partner on the Australian version of Dancing With The Stars is rumoured to be the problem. DeVito will no doubt be calling Crowe soon in the hopes of procuring a wing man.
A few weeks removed from pleading guilty to a mid-air disturbance, Maygan Sensenberger took to the runway in Ottawa as a model citizen, or at least a model. The 23-year-old wife of 69-year-old Sen. Rod Zimmer took her turn on the catwalk as part of Ottawa Fashion Week, modelling the work of Canadian designer Gwen Madiba. “She may be shorter than all the other models, but she’s beautiful and glowing,” Zimmer told the Ottawa Citizen. Sensenberger, who was sentenced to probation after her mid-flight squabble with Zimmer became a minor media sensation, is also apparently taking acting lessons and, according to Zimmer, is up for a role in an upcoming movie to be filmed in Ottawa.
It’s a checkpoint there, Charlie
Mauritania is a dangerous place, even if you’re the president. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was shot by one of his own soldiers at a military checkpoint. The shooting immediately set off alarm bells in the strife-torn country, whose most recent military coup brought Aziz to power. But the recovering leader announced from his hospital that his injuries weren’t due to terrorism or another coup, but rather, mistaken identity: he was driving home alone after a relaxing weekend trip, and didn’t bother to stop at the checkpoint even after warning shots were fired. Mauritanians can rest easy knowing the only danger they face is from their own trigger-happy soldiers.
Air Canada to the rescue
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were named hosts of the 70th annual Golden Globe awards this week. The announcement that the 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation stars will team up has fans anticipating all kinds of funny for the Jan. 13 show, particularly after Fey was skipped over as an Academy Awards host in favour of comedian Seth MacFarlane. The duo replace the merciless Ricky Gervais, who hosted the Golden Globes for the past three years—and made the once marginal awards show a must-watch event. The Golden Globe gig won’t be the first time Fey and Poehler have teamed up, and fans are hoping their hosting duties might resemble something like their Saturday Night Live classic, with Fey as Sarah Palin and Poehler as Katie Couric.
We are all Malala
The entire world, it seems, is praying for Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old gunned down by the Taliban for speaking out against them, and promoting education for girls. She was flown to Britain this week, where doctors say she is making good progress.
By Barbara Amiel - Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Barbara Amiel says it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the sanity of cyclist’s decision to end fight against doping allegations
Rarely do I get to the point of wanting, truly, to throw a brick at the television screen. Generally I just have a mumble at the onscreen 1,080-pixel face, saying what a load of merde. But the kitchen TV was new, so I withheld heaving a saucepan at the smug, bald dome of Kevin O’Leary, one-half of CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange. You can see how incensed I am from the ad hominem note that O’Leary is bald.
At issue was Lance Armstrong’s decision last week to stop fighting doping charges and the nullification of his seven Tour de France wins by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). “Enough is enough. The toll this has taken on my family and my work,” said Armstrong, “leads me to . . . [be] finished with this nonsense.” O’Leary’s response was a seven-times incantation (well, nine, if you count a slightly different formulation) of “If you’re not willing to fight, it’s a submission of guilt.”
Armstrong has fought doping allegations for 13 years. He has passed dozens of blood and urine tests, survived a criminal investigation and was facing a USADA hearing, a court with no proper rules of procedure. I don’t know whether Armstrong did or did not take performance-enhancing drugs, but it doesn’t require rocket science to see the sanity of his decision.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 4:40 PM - 1 Comment
Gifts we’d give to the most memorable personalities of the year
The new mom of twins gets two Metro Babycotpod cribs ($595), a “Bandit” Doll ($65) from Vancouver’s the Cross (ships across Canada) and a Hudson’s Bay blanket, to keep her Canuck roots strong. For René Jr., the start of a broader musical education: “Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings” (Columbia/Legacy, $130).
Infamous for her blood diamonds, compliments of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, the supermodel could use some conflict-free bling: ethically sourced sapphires and Canadian diamonds from Brilliant Earth ($1,150).
A tea kettle, of course. How about this Michael Graves design from Alessi, along with a sample of soothing herbal brews? As for all those righteous tears, Beck could use a fresh pile of Paul Smith handkerchiefs ($42), all 100 per cent woven cotton. This striped one is nice, though he might also like the white one that says: “Bless You.”
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Friday, July 2, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 2 Comments
Accusations of cheating are louder than ever as Lance Armstrong gets on his bike
Lance Armstrong’s Twitter feed has more than 2.5 million followers. Among them, apparently, the many men charged with making him pee into a cup. Last week, the world’s most famous cyclist and his RadioShack teammates went on a reconnaissance mission to check out the mountain stages for this year’s Tour de France. “Headed to the Pyrenees now,” he posted from his phone, just before lunchtime.
Three hours later, when their convoy pulled up at the hotel, representatives from both the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) were waiting, testing kits in hand. The seven-time Tour champion allowed himself a not-uncommon moment of snarkiness. “Nice communication guys,” he tweeted before heading off, under watchful eyes, to the bathroom. Minutes later, a little lighter and cooler-headed, he was back online. “For the record—I don’t mind the controls. Part of the game. Test me any time, anywhere, result will always be the same, nothing to find.”
By Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze - Friday, November 21, 2008 at 5:12 PM - 3 Comments
You gotta feel bad for Annika Sorenstam. The 10-time major winner, and arguably the…
You gotta feel bad for Annika Sorenstam. The 10-time major winner, and arguably the best female golfer ever, failed to make the cut in her last professional tournament after posting a three-over in the second round of the ADT Championship in West Palm Beach, Fla., which left her two shots off the cut. Yet something tells me that Annika–who won a staggering 72 LPGA tournaments during her career and is the only female golfer in history to shoot a 59 in a single round–will be back for more. I mean let’s be honest, for her to miss the cut in the last tournament that she enters is sort of like Lance Armstrong falling off his bike on the final stretch off his last Tour de France race, or Roger Federer losing 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 in the first round of his last appearance at Wimbledon. She’s too good, and too damn competitive to go out like this. I hope that you come back Annika for one more go around and leave as the champion that you are, or at least a former champion who can still make the cut.