Tales from the Peloton, November 15, 2005
Lombardia, Italy, November 15 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) - The cycling world was rocked today when WADA chief Dick Pound, in conjunction with Lampre-Caffita Directeur Sportif Giuseppe Saronni, announced that David Loosli is - according to all currently available tests - clean.
"David Loosli is a bright beacon of hope to the world of professional cycling," said Pound. "If it is possible for one cyclist to be clean, can the day where we see as many as five or ten clean riders be far off?"
"I am both humbled and honored," added Mr. Saronni, "to have David Loosli on our team. We believe that he has a great future as a non-doping cyclist, and hope to help him continue to be the pre-eminent non-doper in the cycling world."
"Or only non-doper in the cycling world," Saronni corrected himself. "Same thing..."
Science community weighs in
While it is still unclear to the general public how a professional cyclist is somehow not doping, Scientists and nutritionists from around the globe have been dispatched to study Loosli. Asked what he thought of this phenomenon, Dr. Richard P Kelly, one of the world's foremost nutritionists, responded, "I have long believed that if one trained, ate, and rested properly, it would be - theoretically - possible to race as a professional cyclist without doping. Here, at last, we have proof."
Other scientists, however, remain skeptical. "Of course I am gladdened that David Loosli appears to not be doping," said American Screening Institute representative Sammakko Miyasaki. "This, however, does not constitute final proof that Loosli has definitively not been doping. We believe the safest course of action is to - for the time being - refer to Mr. Loosli as an 'alleged non-doper,' until we have developed additional tests over the course of the next five years, which we shall then run on his current blood, saliva, and urine samples." At that point, we believe we should be able to say, with 72% confidence, that Loosli either is or is not doping at this moment in time."
"Also," continued Miyasaki, "We're going to need a lock of his hair, a 4-inch-square sample of his skin, and one of his kidneys for our tests. Just to be safe."
As one would expect, the tight-knit community of professional cyclists is abuzz with the news that one of their own is not doping.
"I am very, very happy for Mr. Loosli, who I have never heard of before today," said currently-suspended four-time Vuelta winner Roberto Heras. "I wish him great success in the future as he races on the…the…excuse me, what team did you say he races on?"
Lance Armstrong also offered his congratulations to Loosli, but with a caution. "Don't assume that just because you're testing clean today means you're going to test clean tomorrow, OK buddy? Basically, don't count all your chickens 'til they hatch. And believe me, some of them chickens can take a good long time to hatch. As in years."
"Seriously, he tested clean?" asked a dumbfounded Tyler Hamilton. "For everything? Is that even statistically possible?"
"By the way," added Hamilton, hastily, "I'm clean, too."
How he did it
As one would expect, the public - not to mention professional cyclists everywhere - want to know how Loosli managed to test clean. "Well, at first it was easy, because as a racer outside the limelight, I couldn't even really afford the good stuff," admitted Loosli.
"After a while, though, I started thinking, 'Hey, what if I just never do start doping?' I know that sounds naïve, but I figured I'd give it a shot. And, well, here I am."
"Also," continued Loosli, "I never take cold medicine, or any other medicine for that matter. And I don't eat cold cereal - have you seen the ingredients lists for that stuff? I wouldn't be surprised if something in those boxes registered on one of the eight or nine new tests they're coming out with every week. Also, I stay away from soda. And processed cheese. And I don't use deodorant unless it's been approved by Mr Saronni himself. And, finally, I cycle my blood through a special chimera-removing dialysis machine on a thrice-weekly basis."
"You know, regular stuff like that."
Future looks bright
Reached for comment, incoming Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme said, "I wish to personally congratulate Mr. Loosli, who will be - by default - declared the winner of the 2006 Tour de France in a special ceremony this July." Continued Prudhomme, "This ceremony will last for the three weeks during which we would have otherwise held the race, if we could have found any other clean riders."
Elden Nelson blogs as the 'Fat Cyclist', where he dispenses useless advice, off-kilter opinions, and wrongheaded news on a daily basis.