Mike Celzic is up in arms about the fact that only one rider in the Tour de France was tested a second time for illegal substances.
Three days before the start of this year’s Tour de Lance, every one of the 189 riders was tested for drugs. Two days later, the Tour’s medical folks tested one rider again — Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong submitted to six out-of-competition tests over the offseason. He’s been tested countless times during his six years of dominance. Every time he leaves a hotel to begin another stage in the race, journalists and drug detectives go dumpster diving, trying to find any evidence that the reason he keeps winning is because he cheats better than the rest of the field.
No one’s ever found anything.
But see, that’s the beauty of it.
Now, granted, I’m not peeing in a cup or letting them draw blood or who knows what so that they can test me. I’m asking someone else to go through it. And, no doubt, the opportunities to pull a fast one with test results increases with the number of tests run.
But the fact that they keep testing him demonstrates either that they don’t believe it’s humanly possible to do what Armstrong does or that they think the only way to beat him is to hope they can disqualify him.
In both cases, they look pretty bad and they open themselves up to the sort of outcry that Celzic raises. Like a baseball manager that keeps demanding that an opposing slugger’s bat be x-rayed over and over again, it mean that Armstrong has got into their heads. Big time. And how many times has that slugger, egged on by the constant harrassment, come back to park one with the game on the line?
The last thing on earth France should be doing right now is giving Lance Armstrong another reason to win this thing.