|Two-year suspension and|
stripped results for Hofmann
Ever-vigilant in their quest to end the scourge of doping in professional cycle racing, the UCI and WADA conducted a joint press conference this morning in which they outlined reasons and details behind three recent decisions.
The first is the retroactive suspension of Switzerland's Albert Hofmann, who confessed to the use of LSD whilst cycling in 1943. Brian Stüllbishews, acting as a spokesman for the UCI, explained:
"While LSD has not been recognised in the past as a drug with performance-enhancing effects, we felt that as its medical value is also questionable we needed to act quickly in order to prevent Hofmann's case setting a precedent - which is why we've worked fast and reached the decision to ban the rider after only 69 years.
At present, there is no evidence of widespread LSD use in cycling, and we want it to stay that way. Studies have demonstrated that the drug can have powerful psychiatric effects, and as far as we're concerned race organisers have a hard enough job already without having to track down riders who have left the parcours after being abducted by glowing elves, chasing flying unicorns and/or experiencing a sudden, impossible-to-ignore craving for 27 Mars bars and a packet of crisps.
Therefore, we have taken the decision to ban Hofmann from competition for a period of two years beginning on the 19th of April 1943 and he will be stripped of all results gained during that time."
When asked to cite the studies, Stüllbishews replied: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Bez out of the Happy Mondays - loads of stuff, really." He also noted that the tendency among some riders to see elves, unicorns and so on without first consuming LSD will be taken into account, holding up a photograph of Andy Schleck as he did so.
Hofmann was unavailable for comment when Cyclopunk tried to contact him, due to having been dead since 2008. However, his lawyer claimed that he would be unlikely to be all that concerned about the ban because he was a chemist, not a professional cyclist.
The second and third items for clarification relate to Dutch cyclist Daan de Groot, who has been found to have obtained an unfair advantage at the Tour de France. Stüllbishews once again summed up the case:
|De Groot escapes ban, cabbage|
not as fortunate
"It has come to our attention recently that there are concerns we take too long in reaching decisions. Therefore, we have decided to streamline our methods and processes so that we can begin to clear a backlog of cases. That we can now close de Groot's case is proof that we have been successful in this aim.
During Stage 13 of the 1955 Tour, when temperatures reached 40C, de Groot was seen to stop, get off his bike and walk into a field of cabbages where he plucked some leaves from one of the plants. He was then observed to place two of these leaves under the collar of his jersey and another beneath his casquette. This appears to have had a cooling effect which can be viewed as having granted him an unfair advantage over other riders who were not similarly equipped.
Therefore, we have decided that de Groot's stage victory that day will be disallowed and cabbage is henceforth banned from competition under new UCI Regulation 5,483,382.46, Part 3c, section 917, subsection 38.2, paragraph 285. However, the rider will not become subject to a ban."