I was more interested in this article from the Italian pink newspaper la Gazetta dello Sport (the Giro d'Italia's organizer - hence the pink). There's another doping scandal, blah blah blah. But even more delightful than learning that Denis Menchov might have been doped to the gills during the 2009 Giro, is the creative translation from Italian to English. Now the following sentence is a bit spotty but makes basic sense:
Austrian investigators say all'Humanplasma we would go some riders from Rabobank, including the Russian Denis Menchov, pink jersey, 2009, championship competitors and more skiers from Austria and Germany.Clearly Rabobank expanded their recruiting criteria not only to tall, nearly translucent and blond cyclists (see: Michael Rasmussen, Menchov, etc.) but also those willing to periodically swap out their blood. But the plot thickens as la Gazetta reveals some little known facts about former world champion Alessandro Ballan.
Pharmacist degree (obtained in Bologna) and preparation of fact (he often worked with teams Saronni) in recent years coupled with Stephen's Ice Cream, American, among others, Alessandro Ballan, the 2008 champion, breeder of horses more for hobby (the binomial breeder-trainer, and animal-athlete, frequently used in doping cases); doctor.Holy shit!!! Ballan was using horse blood for his doping?!?! And there's an American cycling team called Stephen's Ice Cream? Is this a new Stephen Colbert sporting project?
Alessandro Ballan loves his ponies
This is a rare instance where I hope *hope* that references about Ballan's being a breeder of horses for more than a hobby is a reference only to Ballan making a little stallion transfusion. Otherwise my mind has gone down the path of a love that dare not speak its name... and there are some things I'm not willing to do to become a cat 3 racer.
Sorry, Silver. Not tonight.
*update 4/9 - Ballan is suspended by BMC prior to the start of Paris-Roubaix this Sunday.