Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yet Another Press Corpse

by Ken Houghton

UPDATE III: The Freaks go all Marley on us, suggesting the Tour just"Legalise It."

I spent most of yesterday waiting for a story about the withdrawl of the Astana team (in the wake of the strange test result of Alexandre Vinokourov*) to mention Andreas Kloden, then fifth overall and a strong contender for a podium spot, if not the maillot jaune (yellow jersey), coming into today's stage.

It never happened. The "story" was solely Drugs in Bicycling.

So on the day when Michael Rasmussen put in a marvelous ride—winning the stage late and all but clinching the maillot jaune—the "news" is that
Christopher Moreni (one of the riders tested randomly during Stage 11) tested positive for non-natural testosterone.
Moreni was in 54th place overall at the end of Wednesday's stage, 1 hour, 56 minutes and 11 seconds behind Rasmussen.

Not exactly a major story.**

And so the "news" situation has become absurd:
One of Switzerland's largest daily newspapers, Tages-Anzeiger, is stopping race coverage from the Tour de France immediately and will only report doping-related stories, an editor said on Wednesday....

Buechi said the Zurich newspaper's editors had decided just to give the stage and overall standings on the sports pages, alongside stories from their reporter following the Tour on the latest developments in the doping affairs.

If we want to stop pretending that sports is news, I'm all for it. But if all you want to report is the salacious and the absurd, just stay on the Washington, D.C., beat with the rest of the Press Corpse.

UPDATE: Courtesy of My Loyal Reader. It appears there will be two Discovery Channel riders on the podium, and the Swiss can probably cover this:
Michael Rasmussen, the leader of the Tour de France, was withdrawn from the race and dismissed by his sponsor, Rabobank, late last night after the doubts over his ethical credibility reached a head with accusations of lying to his team....

“Rasmussen has violated the rules of the team,” a Rabobank team spokesman said. “It is not sure if the team will continue in the race.” ...

His dismissal ended a torrid day that also saw the withdrawal of the Cofidis team of Bradley Wiggins, the British rider, in the aftermath of the failed drugs test of Cristian Moreni. The team’s Italian rider tested positive for testosterone after the eleventh stage to Montpellier.

UPDATE II: And so today, again, is a sad one.

*No Mankiwian economist would assume Vinokourov is guilty, since the stage winner is automatically tested and the chance of getting caught would reasonably approximate 100%.
**Need proof? Quick, name the last three players suspended for violating MLB's steroids policy.

Labels: ,

Why are we to suppose the chance of getting caught 100%? Because 100% of the people who have gotten caught have gotten caught?
Ken can correct me if I'm wrong, but I read the 100% comment as making fun of a portion of the post-Bush-CEA Greg Mankiw weltanschauung, as in "I will assume the stupidest shit as needed to make my point."
Because as the winner of the stage, you will get tested: 100% guarantee. And something as silly as taking a transfusion the night before—and a transfusion NOT of your own blood (getting your own blood put back in is an old trick; they were doing it in hockey in the late 1970s)—would be asking to get caught.
Close, but I was assuming the "perfectly rational" Mankiw-world in which he makes Brad de Long incredulous. In that world, Vino is innocent.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?