Zee French to Armstrong: Ne Douche pas!


By now much of the cycling world has heard about the stink caused by Lance’s post-bike-ride shower in France, but if you’re not here’s the Cliff Notes version:

Lance came back from a training ride to find a French doping lab agent in his driveway asking for samples of his blood, urine and hair. According to the French, Lance put up a protest. According to Lance, he had no idea who the nut was in his driveway, so he asked if he could take a post-ride shower while his team manager and the UCI sorted things out. When they figured everything was okay, Lance gave up the DNA.

Then the French started bitching. The twenty minute time spent showering must have somehow compromised this test, even though the results came back negative. As did the other twenty-three tests he’s done this year.

As my friend Otis Rubottom mentioned in Twitter today, there haven’t yet been enough jokes about the French and the stereotype about them not liking to shower, so as a fair-and-balanced journalist, let me just fill that capacity by saying (sarcastically) for the record “and clearly the French were upset because Lance violated the nation’s anti-showering regulations, taking an out-of-competition cleansing lasting more than one minute.”

After the millions-and-millions of dollars that Lance’s Tour rides have brought to the country (in terms of tourism, media rights and more) I just don’t get their dogged determination to defame him without anything that looks like evidence. Possible fines for “attitude” when giving blood, urine and hair samples? Heck, if someone took blood from me twenty-three times in a year they’d better be giving me cookies and juice when they’re done.

Here’s an idea Lance–forget the Tour. I know that you say you want to get back in the spotlight and raise the visibility of your anti-cancer crusade. I’m all for the idea of increased publicity, and good on you for that. But how’s this for an idea?

Skip the Tour, do the Giro and the Vuelta, as well as and other non-Frnech classics. Forget the Tour de France, forget the negative publicity of the French. How’s it going to help your campaign if you get kicked out of the Tour on some trumped-up charge? Take your campaign to Italy and Spain, I’m sure they’ve got people there that could use some help in the fight against cancer, and you won’t have to spend time telling the world why you like to shower, either.

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