The award for the stupidest drug positive this side of the Ulrich meltdown of 02 goes to, Tom "the tominator" Boonen. Apparently I was mistaken in attributing his Mullet to impenetrable-to-Americans eurotrash fashion choices. It seems he is just a walking talking throwback to the go go eighties.
Apparently Tomito is a bit of a party boy. His driver license suspended twice in recent months due to DWI and extreme speeding in his fastcar. With his pockets full with millions in endorsements, the undying worship of all of belgium and an epic trouser python, who could blame him for some hubris? Allegations began this winter when belgie cross star Tom Vanoppen tested positive for cocaine. Vannopen in turn allegedly implicated the Bonnikie as his coke dealer. Belgian police investigated but found no evidence and did not press charges. Now he gets pipped for a cocaine positive in an out of competition drug test. What the fuck Tom? Really. The only reasonable statement in the current environment is "boy did I really fuck up, I need some help, I am taking the rest of the season off to figure some stuff out and I will see you next spring in the classics", not his weasily quasiapology that was no doubt highly influenced by his lawyers and possible pending legal action due to his positive test.
What would posses someone who is drug tested as often as a pro cyclist to develop a cocaine habit? I can't relate, but I bet it is hard to figure out that a little blow in January might lead to a need for a bit more blow during the season, but cycling is strewn with cautionary tales of people who slid from the performance enhancing habit onto the recreational habit and then on to ruin. How could you start in the first place? Especially right now? Someone should be hammering this home to these guys who have more money and skill than brains. The team doctor? A handler? I have no idea, but get on it pro cycling, I am holding you responsible if you can't figure out how to keep Boonen from turning into another Pantani.
I wrote most of this when the news broke, but did not get around to finishing it until this AM, since then I have read a bunch of good blog posts that helped me finish this one. The Boulder report weighs in here with
tongue and cheek speculation that cocaine is the forefront of the new wave of retro doping abuse leading inexorably to strychnine doping like the did in the early 1900's six day races , The BKW takes Tom to task for not getting the Memo, the short one, that should be tattooed on the inside of every pro cyclists eylids "Don't embarrass our sport anymore.". flahute has some good points from a different perspective, I don't really buy into the recreational drugs are not the same at performance enhancing argument, especially when coke is a reasonable stimulant with a long history of performance enhancing use, alone and mixed in Belgian pot, but like I said, I can't relate, others have different experiences that are worth reading. But I do whole heartedly agree with him that this is Boonen's wake up call, he needs to get turned around before the Tom Boonen memorial kermisse is all we know of him.
Surf over to velonews for the details...
Friday Group Ride #322
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