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A week later, in the same region, an unheralded 23-year-old bike rider, Yves Mottin, wowed local fans by out-pedaling regional stars and winning a cross-country race. Two days later his parents discovered him dead in his bed. The family doctor refused to allow him to be buried without an autopsy. It revealed that he had been taking amphetamines. Police suspect a friend of Mottin's had smuggled the illegal drugs into France from Italy.
As in the case of Tom Simpson's death, it has not been officially announced that the soccer player or the cyclist died from an overdose of drugs, but French doctors, sports officials and fans and the entire press take it for granted. The Grenoble district attorney is investigating, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is following the case closely, the outraged press is denouncing drugs in sports, and perhaps fewer young athletic hopefuls are giving in to this form of Faustian notion.
Up in Kittil�, a small Finnish village north of the Arctic Circle, an elk shot another elk. That's what all the Helsinki papers said. Three hunters had stacked arms, the story went, and were making a fire for coffee. Three elk sneaked up on them and started stamping on the rifles. When the men tried to shoo them away one elk, a big bull, advanced threateningly. The men hid behind the fire, and the other two elk went on kicking the rifles around, until finally one went off, shooting the threatening elk through the heart.
After carrying the story for two days the press shamefacedly admitted it was a hoax. But we believe it, in principle. And we have a feeling the surviving elk will be back, and next time will know how to aim.
As everyone who has tried it knows, weekend skiing in the East is a sport closely related to rush-hour subway riding. One ski resort, however, is going to make it possible for skiers to run into fewer people this year.
The owners of the Windham ( N.Y.) Mountain Club in the Catskills have found business to be so good and waiting lines so long and restive that they have decided to convert the public facility into a private membership operation, as in golf, tennis and yachting. Anybody can use the club on weekdays, when crowds are generally light, but on weekends only members can ski. This year, at least, the membership will be limited to 400 so that everyone can count on 12 descents a day. Last season, believe it or not, a skier could seldom count on more than four.
THE BEAT GOES ON