FDREU: crazy! it'
[sic] just keep going to new levels
This spicy little
back-and-forth was printed by Betsy Andreu and entered into evidence at the SCA
hearing. What it suggests is that members of Armstrong's team had their own
blood drawn after the Dauphin� Lib�r�, a warmup race before the Tour de France;
that they saved it to reinject during the Tour; that they did poorly in Stage 8
of the Tour because they hadn't received their blood packets; and that the
blood was brought in by motorcycle, in refrigerated panniers, and injected into
the riders on their rest day.
Soon after the IM
exchange came to the attention of Armstrong's people, Vaughters heard from one
of the Texan's lawyers and hastily produced an affidavit explaining that he'd
just been passing on second- and third-hand gossip.
It is cycling,
unfortunately, that cannot be taken seriously. Vaughters's recantation does not
change the fact that his sport is awash in pharmaceuticals and doped blood.
Vaughters, in fact, has emerged as a powerful force against doping in cycling.
"Obviously the sport is enormously tarnished," he recently allowed.
"This is, beyond doubt, the darkest time since I've been in
But there is
hope. Vaughters retired from racing in 2003, at age 29. With $50,000 of his own
money he started a team of young U.S. riders. Four years later Team Slipstream,
based in Boulder, Colo., is generating serious buzz in velo circles. Yes, it
races in the equivalent of Triple A cycling, but it's also drawing praise for
an antidoping program that is considered a model for the sport.
Slipstream's riders submit, at least once a week, to blood and urine tests
administered by the independent Agency for Cycling Ethics. "It's nothing
scheduled," Vaughters explains. "You get a call, you have this many
hours to go in." The tests establish baseline blood levels for each rider.
Should any of his levels fluctuate suspiciously, the rider faces
Among the teams
that will take the start in London on July 7, only CSC and T-Mobile have
similar in-house testing programs. Which means that 19 other teams don't. So
there will definitely be doped riders in the race. Again. What's a cycling fan
I'm going back to
the Tour. It is that intoxicating. For all of cycling's pathologies, I can't
think of a more inspiring sight than a group of climbers clawing their way over
the Col du Galibier. And when I'm looking for a sport with more integrity, I'll
grab the remote and surf for some pro wrestling. �