Paolo Salvodelli. An alternative punishment.
Man, those Italian anti-doping authorities are really COMING DOWN on retired rider Paolo Salvodelli. They are STICKING IT to El Falcon.
CONI, aka the Italian Olympic Committee, is recommending a take-that-doper! two year, eight month ban. A ban from what, exactly, and what meaning does this farcical “punishment” really carry?
The former winner of the 2002 and 2005 Giro d’Italia is sure taking a beating, huh? Yeah, that ban will prevent him for doing …. hmmm, what exactly? That absurdist ban is forcing him to …. well, uhh, can’t really say.
Justice is often bizarre and capricious and Italian doping justice even more so. Why even waste the money and time and resources to impose a penalty on somebody who is so finished with pro cycling that the ramifications have zero effect, meaning, symbolism, shame, financial hit or cautionary meaning.
It’s a joke, pure and simple and existential.
Then again, justice is hamstrung, locked in and forced to apply narrow penalties from a stupid menu of pointless options. The system is broken, the bullwhip is made of feathers.
Twisted Spoke thinks we need a whole new set of punishments for riders who no longer wear the pro lycra and contest pro races.
We have to get creative with punitive.
While probably too late to alter the disciplinary measures imposed on Salvodelli, we recommend the following set of nasty punishments that will surely convince the bad-boy and former Lance teammate that should he ever be reincarnated as a bike racer, he better tow the goddamn anti-doping line.
Paolo Salvodelli is herby sentenced to:
1) No eating pasta for an entire year — and judging by the size of his retired waistline, this will be quite a cross to bear. That’s right, you read the words correctly. NO PASTA. Drastic yes, corrective, hell yeah. No Italian — I’m talking to you, Filippo Pozzato, would dare take drugs if he knew pasta was off the menu for a significant time period.
2) No staring at hot Italian women for two years. Yes, this borders on torture but dopers need to pay the real price. For an Italian man, being forbidden to look at hot women for 24 months is worse than water boarding or bamboo shoots under the fingernails or battery cables on the genitals. Now you’re sorry, right, Paolo?
3) No high quality Barolos, Chiantis, Sangioveses or any other top shelf Italian wines. For his ethical and moral transgressions, Paolo must drink table wine for an entire year. Imagine how embarrassed Paolo will feel when his guests arrive and he explains he can only drink the cheap stuff. The punishment MUST fit the crime!
4) No good tailored shirts for one year and six months. Granted, an arbitrary time frame but then what else is Italian justice but disconnected nonsense? For any Italian man of style, sophistication and pride — he won two Giros juiced! — having to wear off-the-rack shirts is like being forced to wear horse-hair underwear. Forcing a man to dress in mediocre shirts sends a clear message to Paolo that EPO is a no-no and blood transfusions will not be tolerated.
At this point, you’d be justified in asking how much more a man must suffer, even a morally corrupt rider like Salvodelli. Well, we didn’t say strap him into the electric chair, right?
We take some measure of pity on the man who was just doing a lesser version of what Lance Armstrong did without the bullying, intimidation, character assassination and Oprah half-assing. Paolo has not persecuted an Italian mom named Betsina Andruelli who claims to have heard him lying about drug usage.
Nevertheless, justice is a harsh task-master and as much as we’d like to show a little clemency, that would send the wrong message to a sport that desperately needs to clean up the filthy bathroom.
Therefore we impose one final punishment on Paolo Salvodelli: he is not allowed to drive a car and must take the bus for two years.
Yes, take a moment, digest the horrors and indignation.
There is garden variety shame and then there is soul crushing, weep daily shame. For an Italian man, driving a fast car is on par with hot sex and maybe even more essential. It’s the fundamental masculine definition of an Italian man. So we reduce Salvodelli to pathetic whining and weeping tears and embarrassed wailing by forcing him to take public transportation.
We feel confident that our creative punishments are far more instructive and meaningful than some lame, pointless, far after the fact ban. Our forceful and damning punishments say, you’re fucked old man.