Alberto Contador, Great Excuses, and Other Drug Related Thoughts

Type: Longish Ride
Distance: 30.2 miles
Time: 1:40
Average Watts: 193 watts
Normative Power: 211 watts
Average Heart Rate: 156 bpm
Total Work: 1,162 kJ
Average Speed: 18.1 mph

This was another outside ride and it felt really good to get out. I have to admit I went earlier than I wanted because Hoss has a piano recital this afternoon. I have to tell you it is great to see him succeed at something artistic. He has no problems with physical activity and sports. It is nice for him to expand the scope of what he likes to do.

This was one cold ride. When I started it was 25 degrees with heavy fog and my the end of mile 1 I had frost like you would see on the grass on my leggings. The frost spread to the spots where I had the most layers on. It was a cold ride, but for the most part I stayed warm. I have to say I don’t mind cold weather riding as long as the road is clear of ice and snow. I had my wife take this shot before I set out just to show how much of a Micheline Man 10 layers of cycling clothes can make you look like:

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I need to start getting some intervals put into my schedule, and I will as I start entering the next phase of my training. It will be nice to get my fitness levels up so my average power will be able to improve. Next focus will be pulling my weight down so I can improve my speed with the same power outputs.

Alberto Contador Vows to Appeal Suspension

I did lose a Follower this week — I think it was Contador himself. I think he was offended when I said his proposed suspension was deserved. Sorry Bert — come back soon. The invitation to train at my house this summer is still open. You won’t need that Visa to France I am guessing. Come on over pal.

If you have been under a rock, you may not know that the three time winner of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador, tested positive for Clenbuterol. The current proposal on the table is that he will be suspended for 12 months and will lose his 2010 Tour de France title. Contador has 10 days to appeal the proposed penalty, which will be decided by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It is the same process that all athletes who participate in internationally sanctioned sports who test positive for banned substances.

Of course Contador maintains his innocence and states that he never took a banned substance. He claims the clenbuterol got into his substance through beef that he ate. While possible, the tests of the beef production facilities where the beef could have been processed came up negative. Clenbuterol was used in Europe to improve beef production in cattle, but has been banned for many years.

Is Contador telling the truth? I don’t know and I am not sure there are many people who do know for sure. I would like to think he is telling the truth, but the data shows otherwise. To his credit, Contador does not claim that he didn’t have it in his system, but that he didn’t take it on purpose. I give the guy credit for that.

But you can read about that anywhere. Here I want to take a look at some of the best defenses I have ever heard from sports starts about how banned substances got into their systems. There have been some amazing, creative excuses, and I hope you can take some of these and use them at work and possibly at home.

My masseuse made me do it. This seemed to be the excuse for most of the people involved in the BALCO scandal. They claimed that a masseuse or trainer with some type of axe to grind rubber a cream on them that was tainted with testosterone. How to Use This: Honey, I swear all my buddies made me stay out too late and they rubbed tequila all over my skin.

I am just that much of a man. Floyd Landis and a handful of other athletes have tried this excuse for elevated levels of testosterone. They claim that their bodies naturally produce super elevated levels of testosterone. Like SUPER elevated levels of testosterone. How to Use This: When your boss catches you doing something wrong, just blame it on being a man. Follow up with a wink and it is sure to get you out of a pinch.

I am just that much of a woman. A female cross-country skier once claimed that when high levels of EPO were found in her bloodstream it was sue to “female physiology”. What exactly does that mean? Do ovaries naturally produce high levels of EPO? In that same line of reasoning, are flat-chested women more aerodynamic? Do they have an advantage in the pool? How to Use This: I am not going to touch this with a 10 foot pole. What am I, stupid?

I have a vanishing twin. This was Tyler Hamilton‘s excuse. He claimed that he had a twin that died in utero, which lead to foreign blood cells in a blood sample taken by doping control officials. Typically this is a sign that someone is blood doping, or putting extra blood into their system that does not belong to them to improve their aerobic capacity. How to Use This: Man the possibilities are endless here. If cookies disappear from your kitchen or cake from the break room at work, feel free to say, “Come on people, I have a vanishing twin. He/she makes me do things.”

It was something I ate. Contador isn’t alone in claiming he ate tainted food. It has been used by tennis players (Petr Korda) too. But my favorite variance of this is by German track star Dieter Baumann that someone had spiked his toothpaste to bring him down. While it may be possible, I somehow doubt it in each case. Can chemicals like this be absorbed AND processed into the bloodstream? How to Use This: This excuse is the most versatile of the group because you can use it for anything. If you want to take a mid afternoon nap at work, ring up your boss, offer up the excuse, and put your head down on your desk. Really, this is a great excuse!

Now this is not a comprehensive list, but one that can be used with impunity. I think excuses are great — letting our kids get away with making excuses every time they fail is genius. A total lack of personal responsibility is just what we should expect out of athletes. So if they can use excuses then I think I should be able to as well.

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...