you for showing me all of mankind's lofty ideals.
In the interests of quality health care and a few million dollars in his campaign account Utah's Senator Hatch has long championed the cause of food supplement fraud. Thanks to him and his consumer advocate cronies cyclists are free to purchase no end of products that at best do nothing and at worst a lot of harm for which the manufacturers are essentially immune from responsibility. Now, the Self is generally of the opinion that if Someone is stupid enough to buy this industrial sludge then Mr. Someone is probably better off with that Someone's money being what it might then be spent on something important such as drugs that really work. In this regard the Self must admit a kinship with our President who in the his Pre God Talks to Me Incarnation was apparently of the attitude that "A Mind is a terrible place to me caught sober." (sic). This, it is assumed was back in the time before only terrorists sold cocaine. Regardless, in a time of limited funds it is probably best that our Moral Clarity leaders go after parents who give marijuana to their cancer stricken children. *
*It is well known that pediatric oncologists advise parents to offer Brownies to their children undergoing Chemo.
But, this would be merely opaque were it not for the presence of real victims. In the best tradition of all who get caught taking birth control supplements, Scott Moninger, is taking the villains to Court. The Self has consulted with his colleagues at the Sports Law Firm of Stickem, Humpem and Gouge. Unfortunately, Self was advised that Sports Law Firms don't actually try cases. But, with the help of MKA the Self offers the following probable cross-examination of Mr. Moninger.
Attorney Nasty: Mr. Moninger, as I understand it your Team Mercury supplied you with supplements.
Nasty: And according to the testimony of the Team Manager you were advised not to take any products not provided by your official team supplement supplier.
Nasty. And yet you went to a store and bought supplements manufactured by another company.
Nasty. And you were told at the beginning of the year by your Team Manager that if you were caught with any illegal substances in your blood you would be suspended by the FEDS.
Nasty. And you were advised that you should not rely on the information on a bottle because often the label is wrong.
Nasty. And why then did you take something not provided by your Team?
M. Because I didn't think that stuff worked.
Nasty. But didn't it have the same ingredients.
M. Yes. But, I don't think it worked and this stuff I bought before seemed to work.
Nasty. You are aware of no reputable studies showing that taking all manner of amino acids does anything except give you expensive urine.
M. Yes, but cycling isn't about science.
Nasty. However, you do know that the stuff caused you to test positive for something that does work.
M. Yes, but if I wanted to take something that worked I would not have been caught.
Nasty. Say What.
M. Well, I never wanted to race in Europe because I'd have to cheat and I didn't want to cheat by taking drugs that work. So, I raced in the United States where I can take stuff that doesn't work and still compete. You see in the United States you only have to take stuff that doesn't work to compete, but if you go to Europe you have to take stuff that works.
Nasty. Are you saying that all the guys in Europe cheat?
M. No, I am saying that to compete in Europe you have to take stuff that works.
Nasty. But, stuff that works was found in your blood.
M. Exactly. And that means that I didn't mean to take anything that would work.
Nasty. Help me.
M. If I wanted to take something that worked I wouldn't have been caught because if you want to take something that works you don't take something that can be found.
Nasty. So, if blood tests for something that works it means the racer didn't mean to take something that works.
M. Or it doesn't work because if it shows up it probably isn't the stuff that really works but just the stuff that shows up on a test.
Nasty. Say what.
M. You don't understand. Can you not read French (parenthetically, a great trial tactic to blame the French.)?
Nasty. But, isn't the presence of steroids proof you took steroids.
M. Of course not. The presence of steroids is proof you didn't take steroids because if you took steroids you would have taken the stuff they can't detect. Are you not only Nasty but also STUPID?
N. So, let me get this straight. Evidence of Steroids is proof they aren't being used.
Nasty. And the absence of Evidence of Steroids is proof that someone took steroids.
M. Yes, if it is in Europe. Here it is just blood.
N. Okay, so let's assume we sold you bad stuff. What are your damages?
M. I lost income.
Nasty. Okay, how much.
M. Well I was going to ride for two more years.
Nasty. So, did you have a contract?
M. No, contracts are hard to get and my Team folded for not paying salaries.
Nasty. So, what is the standard pro Contract?
M. 12K of course.
Nasty. So, you lost 24K. Yeah, and I get to deduct my expenses because according to the Velofluff Legal Column I am a Pro and not a hobby racer.
Nasty. So, you lost 24 K.
You are keeping me from lunch over 24K.
Every issue of Velofluff has given voice to the new Head Fed's promise that the USCF will become a user- friendly organization and that pettiness is past. Thus it would seem implicit that the officials be more interested in being accurate than right even if it does require an admission to fallacy.
MKA is my friend and while that's not much to be it does come with the realization that as Rog would say I'm not going to tell someone whose fifty pounds overweight that eating the Ben and Jerry's Reduced Fat is going to make him look good tomorrow. He is petulant, annoying, demanding, and sulky, which is on a good day. However, he supports races, racers and does things that he would not want anyone to know*. He recently finished the PVSR Race and should have gotten ninth place, which would not matter, but what the place counts for So Cal Cup Points, which he won last year, as did David and Butch. Without the PVSR points he is pretty much out of the running. At the end of the last stage he went off to attend to an injured teammate. Only later and after the protest time did he learn they had listed him as DNF. The USCF once again putting form over substance refuses to even acknowledge that he finished the race, camera shots notwithstanding.
Now, the simple easy solution is to simply award Roger his points that he earned. But, no the USCF won't have it.
Someday when things get bad enough people who can handle the challenge of nuance will no doubt have to again clean up the mess left by the Moral Clarity. But those left behind can take solace that rigid autodactics will always be welcome at USA Cycling.
And this visit to seriousness has been long. It is as dark a place as remembered.
*Besides he and my other friends came to visit me in Freud's basement.
Ride Fast and Take Chances.