I have been involved in athletics most of my life, starting at the age of five. I played just about every sport in which I could participate. As a matter of fact, I have never been inactive since then. Of course, cycling is my primary function now. But for a few years, in my early days of teaching, I coached high school baseball. It was during this time frame (around 2005) when I started to notice a trend with young teens and even pre-teens who would come to some of our baseball camps: obviously overweight and out of shape in all forms, speculatively out of poor diets and video games, dozens and dozens of kids would come up to me during or after a practice and tell me that their mother is taking them to the doctor for asthma. It became a running joke with many coaches who deemed the statement as “fat ass-thma.” I cannot count the amount of kids who ran the bases one time or jogged a lap around the field and, almost in tears, would complain that they could not breath. “Of course you can’t, son!”
Many of you know where I am going with this. After just posting an article on this topic, low and behold, who pops up in the news? Yes, Froome’s drug test after Vuelta was hot, having double the legal limit of an asthma drug.
“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage,” Froome said in a statement. “As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.”
Okay, I am finally calling it on adorable, little Froomey. BS! Of course your “asthma” got worse, dude! You are climbing up mountains! Please do not comment and tell me that people do suffer from asthma. Obviously, it is a thing. What kills me is that this “elite” athlete is taking a drug that helps open his bronchial tubes and breath better. He also states that he tried hard not overdose. Again . . . BS! Of course, Team Sky Sky is now trying to argue that Froome “took the allowed dosages, but that the levels spiked on the day of the control.” What were those words . . . oh yeah, BS! Now, we are finally seeing a small tip of the “marginal gains” horse crap of which Team Sky is so proud. Yes, asthma inhalers were taken off of the ban list in 2010, so here is my question: let us say that I have a some weird blood issue. Can I get EPO prescribed to me and file for a TUE? I am sure that somewhere in the world I could find a physician who would claim some kind of blood problem and that I “need” the drug. Of course, who comes to Froome’s rescue now? The Union Cycliste Idiots, better known as the UCI. If I remember correctly, the UCI protected another athlete who use to ride for U.S. Postal . . . until they could not any longer.
Around and around the cycling world goes. What is amazing to me is the fact that so many people who something to do with the World Tour keep scratching their collective heads and wonder what they can do to gain respect and momentum again. I posted something a year or so ago, comparing “professional” bodybuilding and World Tour cycling. I will say it again: the day is coming when no one will see anything fantastic about top level cyclists because anybody could do what they do with the right mixture of drugs. Now, I do realize that is not all true. But there is some truth in it. Dominoes will continue to fall and so will the popularity of the sport.
Sadly, bon vélo . . .