Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why would someone cheat???

Not to be overly dramatic, but I am utterly devastated by the state of the Tour de France. I was loving the drama of the stages. "Vino" winning the time trial this past Saturday, then winning a stage in the Pyrenees on Monday after being dropped off the back of the peloton on Sunday. It's hard for me to comprehend why he would cheat. If you win a stage in the Tour, you're immediately pegged for a doping test. Even if you don't win, if you have a good run, you're chosen. And then they choose others randomly. Why, oh why, would he risk his reputation for that? I honestly don't understand the thought process. If you dope in this day and age in cycling, you're going to get caught. It just makes no sense to me.

Then my Michael Rasmussen gets kicked out by his team for lying about his whereabouts in June when he missed two random drug tests. He said he was in Mexico, but he was really in Italy. Sadly, the first thought is that he was doping in Italy, while practicing in the mountains to help build his blood for the Tour's mountains. Supposedly after ten days, anything he would have taken in Italy would be undetectable, but he would still have the advantage. Of course, nobody could tell you what he could have taken to do that, but it's France, so you're guilty until proven innocent.

Quite honestly, my heart is broken. I have loved the Tour for the past ten years or so and really love watching it and getting into it. I guess I can understand how it happens. One person starts to cheat, other people find out about it and think that if the powers that be aren't going to do anything about it that they need to do the same to compete on the same level. And then it just spirals out of control. It doesn't excuse anything, however, because at some point you need to do what is right, and might does not make right.

Al Trautwig mentioned at the beginning of today's stage (I had forgotten to put in a new tape this morning, so I'm watching now), how there are so many problems in sports today from Barry Bonds and his presumed steroid use (yeah right, if he didn't take steroids why did he refuse to provide a sample for a year?), Michael Vicks' indictments today of dog-fighting, the NBA ref's gambling, possibly on games he himself ref'ed and apparently, steroid usage in the PGA in order to keep up with Tiger Woods (first I had heard of it, but I don't follow golf, really), this is just one more sport under investigation. The difference, that I can tell, is that cycling is serious about cleaning up their sport and making it so that the clean person wins.

I think baseball gives the players union too much power. Why on earth would the union refuse to allow testing unless they know there's an issue? If you're doing nothing wrong, you shouldn't be scared of random urine testing. Right?

This morning I was ready to give up the Tour, but I had to find out what Phil & Paul had to say. They believe the tests - that Vino doesn't deserve our respect and admiration because he doped and that Michael must have been up to something to lie - and since they are my cycling gurus, I decided that the remaining riders in the Tour deserve the attention just as much now as they did before. I feel completely betrayed by Vino & Michael, as I'm sure all their fans do. I've always been a Levi Leipheimer fan, though, so there's no reason to abandon him or the rest of Team Discovery or my favorite sprinter, Thor Hushovd (although Tom Boonen is probably going to win the Green Jersey), so although I feel like crying (yes, I'm pathetic and I know it), I'm going to continue to watch the Tour and hope and pray and light candles that nobody else does something stupid, because I don't think the Tour (or me) can take much more of this.

ESPN is pathetic. They give zero attention to the Tour, generally, but you know they're going to be all over this pretending that they know something and I'm going to want to slap them. Or write a letter.

Oh! Letter writing! Update on the annoying as fucking hell remote control boats. I ran into the Corporation Land guy who was helping me over the forced vacation in the shitty cafeteria the other day (I bought popcorn from his co-worker for the United Way fundraiser for lunch). I'm an idiot and didn't recognise him as he was in a white shirt and tie and when I met him he had been a bit more casual in a polo shirt. And I'm low enough on the totem pole at work that I generally don't get the bigwigs in white shirts and ties saying Hi to me, so I assumed this guy was saying Hi to someone behind me. But he was looking straight at me. He figured out that I'm a complete dumbass and finally said his name. DUH! I felt like an idiot.

Anyway, he told me that the boats should be gone for good within 30 days! The building across the street is being shutdown completely, so the gates will be locked for safety reasons and they'll have to find some other poor people to bother. I told him that if the apartments have a party to celebrate that we'd be sure to invite him. And he said he'd be there.

I think the party will be the residents of the apartment sitting outside on a beautiful day just enjoying the peace and quiet. ;-)

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At Thursday, 26 July, 2007, Blogger Sal said...

What really pissed me off today was there wasn't a taxi in sight because the steroids addict was playing at the ballpark down the street. Don't let those bad bikers get you down. I'm glad to hear you'll get to have some peace and quiet soon.

At Friday, 27 July, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

That city does not have enough taxis, that's for darn sure. I can't tell you how many times I walked from the Wharf/Broadway area all the way home to my lovely ghetto apartment.

I'm doing better today. I'm mad now.

And it rained last night so no noise from the bars! I slept like a log!

At Friday, 27 July, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

Cheaters suck.

My husband teaches college physics and catches all kinds of cheating. The kids are surprisingly unsophisticated about it, in my opinion. These kids are engineering students. You'd think they would be more wily about their methods. I'm glad they usually get busted for it. I had to earn my degree. They should, too.

At Friday, 27 July, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Fermi - I worked at the Univ for ten years and I still hang out with a number of the profs and they have new stories all the time of incredibly bad cheating. Way worse than it was in my day. And the engineering students had a Oath of Conduct or something like that where they had to sign everything essentially declaring they did not cheat.

At Saturday, 28 July, 2007, Blogger Heather said...

I don't follow the tour but I'm so sorry to hear about how your guys let you down. That's always heartbreaking.

I am glad to hear the remote boats are going away!

At Saturday, 28 July, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

Cheaters never prosper, right?

30 days? Wow, that seems like a long time to deal with it and even then, it's only being handled as a default for something else happening.

At Saturday, 28 July, 2007, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - The Tour is really worth watching, even with the scandal, because the clean riders deserve to be followed just as the bigger names who apparently were only bigger names because they cheated. Tomorrow is the last day.

Beth - 30 days is nothing after 18 years! Just knowing the end is in sight is such a relief. And I don't care why it ends as long as it ends!

At Saturday, 28 July, 2007, Blogger Dave said...

Glad to hear about the boats going. Hopefully that building won't be sold to someone else who sets up an agreement with the boat people. I could just imagine you going down there and busting open a can of whoop-ass on those shitheels.

At Tuesday, 31 July, 2007, Blogger fermicat said...

It is finals week and PDM is still catching cheaters. These kids don't seem to realize that blatantly lying to your prof about classroom attendance in order to beg for more points is academic dishonesty. The student in question claimed to have been in class every day, yet somehow never managed to sign his name on the attendance sheet or answer any in-class questions. Idiot.

At Friday, 03 August, 2007, Blogger mr. schprock said...

I have a slogan for next year's Tour: "Let's all not cheat and see who wins!"


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