Respect style. Respect a sense of flair, humor, symbolism and history.
Because whatever ever else you can say about Dope Doc #1, Eufemiano Fuentes, he’s got his whimsical side. Sure, call him dirty, a slime-ball, liar and cheat. He’s all those things and more, probably a bad dresser and a cheap tipper. But never question his sense of humor.
Here’s a man who sets up secret code names for himself and faithful servant Merino Batres using the character names of the most famous cartoon in French history. Asterix, the smart one, and Obelix, the bumbling hulk. The Adventures of Asterix began in 1959 and to date has 34 books in the series. No French boy grows up without these two.
Yes, Operacion Puerto was just such an adventure, a wild and secret ride around the world of doping. What else would you call a man with 100 bags of blood in the fridge? A man coding the bags by naming them after the name of the rider’s pet. Stop and appreciate the style, the irreverence and playfulness. Yes, drugs are bad but the sly humor cannot be beat.
And while you’re at it, consider that Mr. Ullrich was swinging by Eufemiano’s place to get ready for the biggest bike race in the world: The Tour de France. He was visiting a French cartoon character to prepare for the French race. How amusing symbolic is that?
Our hats are off to Mr. Fuentes. The man has some ethical issues he needs to resolve. But there’s no denying we need his style and humor.