You don't have to read my entire rant here, but at least jump to the last paragraph for the link to sign the petition.
Here we go again. The fucking French are tired of getting their asses kicked every year by foreigners in the Tour de France. Usually this just means that they do everything they can to implicate as many foreigners, and especially that years winner, in doping scandals with their bullshit lab work and defamatory press coverage by French newspaper Le Monde. They failed time and time again with these tactics against Lance Armstrong, and the only reason they've shut up about him is because he threatened to keep coming back and kicking all their girly French asses if they didn't shut the hell up. They managed to succeed against Floyd Landis and stripped him of his title, despite the fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) admitted that the French doping lab fucked up and had no way to determine whether Landis' positive tests were legit or even if they were his samples for that matter.
This year they're taking it a step farther. Last year was perhaps one of the most doping-tainted Tours ever with 3 riders(including pre-race favorite Alexandre Vinokourov, and Michael Rasmussen, who was the overall leader when he was booted by his own team after missing drug tests) and two entire teams dropping out because of doping. It was eventually won by the young Spanish phenom Alberto Contador with his teammate and American legend Levi Leipheimer finishing third and on the podium for the first time in his career. They tried to nail Contador after the tour because his name came up in another doping investigation(a teammate mentioned him once in passing in one phone call), but a judge cleared him immediately. Leipheimer has never been anywhere close to a doping scandal and was once more poised to take a run at the title. The French know that Levi is as clean as they get, so what do they do? The Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) decides to ban his entire team(Team Astana, which he has just joined) from competing in this years Tour(or any of the other premier races owned by ASO). They claim it's because Team Astana had some troubles with doping last year. OK, so "some troubles" might be letting them off the hook, the entire team had to drop out after leader Vinokourov tested positive, but that was before Levi or Contador was on the team. In fact almost all the riders are different from last year, as well as completely new management. Team Astana has also adopted some of the most rigorous anti-doping controls of any cycling team, and spends more on anti-doping than any other pro tour team. The only thing about the team that has stayed the same is their name. It seems pretty obvious that this is nothing more than a transparent childish ploy to keep some of the best riders out of the competition. How can they honestly believe that banning two of last years top three finishers will be anything but bad for the sport. The Tour is by far the most famous of all cycling competitions and is the holy grail for any cyclist because the best of the best compete against each other. If you take the best out of the race, it's just a bunch of dipshits in spandex riding through the mountains. And how would you like to be the guy that wins the Tour without challenging those racers? Wouldn't that be a bit like a normal person winning a gold medal in the Special Olympics?
I know cycling has always been a much bigger deal over in Europe than in the US, but without the relatively recent influx of American interest thanks mostly to Lance Armstrong, there is more money and interest in the Tour de France than ever before, and now they're willing to sacrifice all that out of fear of another American whooping up on their toad eating asses. So heres the deal, check out Levi's website, http://letleviride.com and sign the petition. In fact sign it with every email address you have and spread the word to anyone else who might sign it. Will it do any good? Maybe, maybe not, but it can't hurt.