It’s a dangerous world in Bogotá, Colombia and Aigle, Switzerland.
Pro cyclist Oscar Sevilla was attacked with sticks and knives, beaten up and robbed of his race bike while out on an early morning training ride. He’s so shaken up that he wonders, at age 41 and with his career almost at an end, whether he even wants to go out training anymore.
Once a baby-faced star back in the days of Kelme, then a doper after Operation Puerto and now racing for the Colombian team Medellin-Inder, Sevilla suffered a broken arm and two broken ribs.
“I was afraid of the knives, but luckily it was all very brief and they left when the neighbors began to shout,” said Sevilla. “My hand was bent backwards and there was a blow to my ribs, they did not give me time to talk, I think my arm was broken with a stick, I do not know if I was lying on the ground, but [my wrist] was bent over backwards, it was horrible.”
It could have been worse. After all, look at what just happened to poor UCI president David Lappartient over at his headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland. He’d hoped and begged and prayed that somehow the Chris Froome salbutamol crisis would be resolved before the Giro d’Italia — a race Froome plans to try to win.
Sadly for cycling fans, the pro peloton, the Giro organizers and Lappartient, he was beaten silly by Froome’s legal team. They have him tied up, helpless and he doesn’t even know when the pain will end. Worse, there’s absolutely nothing he can do about it despite being the president of the governing body of the sport.
“When will it end? I don’t know to be honest. I hope as soon as possible. I said I hope before the Giro d’Italia but I don’t think so and I’m not sure that this is possible,” Lappartient told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Lappartient swept into office on a promise of being a man of action and energy and a better collaborator with the sports many stakeholders. He was supposed to be a breathe of fresh air, of optimism and innovation, after the plodding and ineffectual granddad Brian Cookson.
However, it appears that Lappartient is powerless to stop Froome from racing or speed up the legal verdict. He’s a victim of circumstances beyond his control as Froome holds the entire sport hostage.
“The procedure is long, questions have to be answered, documents have to be studied. Both sides have powerful lawyers and the case is far more complicated than usual,” said Lappartient.
We can all certainly empathize with Lappartient’s pain and anguish. Unlike Oscar Sevilla, he doesn’t have any broken bones — it’s far worse — he has a broken sport.