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Tales from the Peloton, October 8, 2005

More Armstrong allegations from L'Equipe!

New charges go way beyond doping

Paris, September 6 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) - French cycling newspaper L'Equipe will make several serious new charges against Lance Armstrong in its next issue, based on leaked reports from a reliable source who wanted to be absolutely clear he is not Dick Pound.

"I am not Dick Pound," the source who sounded very much like Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), is quoted as saying in L'Equipe. "Furthermore, I would like to make it clear that I - I mean, that Mr. Pound - had nothing to do with leaking this information to you."

"However," went on the mysterious-but-somehow-familiar voice, "Since Armstrong continues to thumb his nose at me...I mean, at WADA...and at the French public in general, I have no choice but to lay bare our startling findings."

Serious charges go way back

The new L'Equipe article probes deep into the dark corners of Armstrong's life, some of which many people would have thought long lost to history. Once told that the news of their upcoming report had been leaked by an "unnamed" source, L'Equipe agreed to providing an interview with Damien Ressiot, author of the article.

Said Ressiot, "Once we had decided that six-year-old urine was fair game, we found ourselves in a whole new world, journalistically speaking. First of all, we broadened the scope of our investigation to include blood draws from personal doctor's visits when Armstrong was being treated for cancer. You would not believe the array of drugs he was taking back then. EPO, painkillers, you name it...that guy was dirty, I'm telling you."

"We also went and talked to some of his fraternity buddies back at the University of Texas," said Ressiot. "They said Lance did some serious drugs, and no small amount of drinking back in his college days. They said, and I quote, 'Dude, he was a total bong hound!'"

Confronted with the fact that Armstrong did not attend University of Texas, Ressiot responded, "Well, maybe they meant another Lance. But you have to admit it sounds suspicious: a guy named Lance going to a college in Texas. Is Lance Armstrong from Texas ? Yes, he is. Do I really have to connect the dots for you?"

"Next, we expanded our array of trusted sources of information to include Cindy, of the Psychic Friends Network. At $3.95 per minute, we were initially not certain that we could afford to hear what she had to say. But when she started telling us what was going on in Armstrong's head, we knew we had struck gold."

Asked for an example of what Cindy had revealed about Armstrong's alleged improprieties, Ressiot responded, "Well, that he's very competitive by nature, for one thing. And he doesn't take kindly to direct confrontation."

Pressed for more specifics, Ressiot said, "Well, I don't want to give away all the juicy stuff, but we talked with some of the kids he knew back in elementary school. Did you know that Lance was called "Underpants Lance" by some kids, and "Lance Arms weak" by others? We think we can make a good case that this cruel, unusual, and relentless taunting drove Armstrong to the morally bankrupt position in which he finds himself today."

New WADA charges

L'Equipe will not be relying solely on investigation into his early (and sometimes very, very early) history to make its case against Armstrong. Ressiot explained that he has damning information that came directly from WADA itself, although - due to the confidentiality agreement between him and his extremely anonymous source - he can reveal neither the source of the information, nor the methods used for reaching his conclusions. This is unfortunate, because the charges presented against Armstrong are quite far-reaching. They include:

* Blatant drug usage: Rode the entire fourth stage of the 2004 Tour de France with an IV drip (all carbon fiber) rigged to his bike.

* Has made pact with the devil: Sold soul to win the 2003 Tour de France, causing Ullrich to fall in final time trial.

* Foul language: Reportedly swears like a sailor.

* Kitten killer: Just to be mean. Has also been sighted hanging out with Ozzy Osbourne, where they enjoyed an afternoon of biting heads off bats.

* Enjoys red wine with fish: This may be the offence that really has the French in a twist.

* Wearing white after Labour day: He can be just...so...gauche.

* Mother was a hamster. Father smells of elderberries . This is the most serious taunt the French have to offer, so they must be angry indeed.

Armstrong reacts

Lance Armstrong was swift in condemning this most recent of charges. "I'm not going to race the Tour de France again, so you can tell Dick he can give these so-called 'leaks' a rest," said Armstrong. "Seriously. I'm done."

Asked for comment, Pound was emphatic: "I have no idea what you are talking about!" After which he continued, albeit much more quietly, "Are you sure he won't come race in the Tour again? How do you suppose he'd react if we just said 'Please'?"

(Elden Nelson is the creator of the 'Fat Cyclist' blog, where you can get more fake cycling news, addle-brained opinions, and useless advice.)

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