If you follow professional cycling or Lance Armstrong you know that recent discussions have centered around the surprise drug test the French sprung on Lance last month. The results of the tests were all negative but paperwork filed by AFLD (the French Anti-Doping Agency) says that he violated protocols by not staying under the direct supervision of the drug tester. In short, he took a shower for 20 minutes while the credentials of the tester were verified. You can see why this event has been dubbed Showergate.

Lance Armstrong at the base of Alpe D'Huez
Image by eugene via Flickr

I have one question for all you cycling fans out there. Are you surprised? I mean come on. The French have been after Lance for years because of his domination of “their” race. He won it seven consecutive times and with his return this year to professional cycling I think they are now worried he may win it an eighth time. You see, this is a French race and they haven’t had a native winner for 23 years when Bernard Hinault won in 1985. I don’t know about you but I think this has rubbed them the wrong way just a little bit. It may have even chaffed them some. Maybe they should have used some Butter in their shorts to help alleviate the pain of this long drought.

This “violation” along with the leaking of the report to the press is just another event in the long line of shoddy behavior by the AFLD. Their practices, procedures, and tactics have been so shady that I’m really surprised anyone even listens to them anymore. Am I glad they’re trying to find the druggies in the sport? Sure. But why does it always appear they have a personal vendetta against Lance?

Something else to consider is that with this comeback Lance has made a conscious decision to subject himself to the most stringent drug testing that has ever occurred in the sport. Knowing that, how stupid would he really have to be to take something? If he was going to get caught now would be the time. How much would he stand to lose? I honestly think that winning the Tour de France is a distant secondary goal to raising worldwide cancer awareness. If he were to take performance enhancing drugs, and get caught, do you realize the huge negative impact this would have on his cancer work? There’s no way he would take that chance.

I almost wonder if AFLD should change their name to Agency For Lance’s Demise. I guess we’ll have to wait and see who drops the soap first.

Now I’m off to investigate if Lance’s crash in the Vuelta Castilla y Leon was a cleverly designed plan by the French to keep him out of the Tour after he passed their drug tests. Is it mere coincidence that the crash occurred a week after the drug test? I think not.