Here is your official Alberto Contador game card for those scoring the doping allegations at home.
The Alberto Camp Supporters
Fran, his brother. No surprise there, huh. Blood is thicker than blood in a transfusion bag.
Bjarne Riis, his desperately hopeful new employer. No Pistolero, no Saxo.
Johan Bruyneel, perhaps thinking ahead to signing Alberto, post suspension.
Bert from Sesame Street. That’s right, the kids are in ‘Berto’s corner.
Most of Spain, all of Pinto. Home court rules.
UCI president Pat McQuaid, doing backflips to protect the biggest star in cycling and keep the sport itself from imploding on his watch.
Suspended Radio Shack rider Li Fuyu. He’s thinking if Contador somehow gets away with less than a two year ban for clenbuterol, his own ban should be shortened.
Lance Armstrong. Yet another Tour de France winner with doping problems damages the Boss’ own claims that he won seven clean as a whistle.
The Anti-Alberto camp
Italian anti-doping investigator Ettore Torri. Man, he pulls no punches.
Spanish meat butchers. They’re ticked that the world suddenly thinks Spain has doped riders and crummy steaks from chemically altered cows. Call it Operacion Carne.
Dr. Jordi Segura, of the IOC-accredited laboratory in Barcelona, and developer of the test for plasticizers in IV blood transfusion bags. Suddenly, Jordi is the new star of the testing protocol hit parade. Welcome to the show, JS.
Hans Joachim Seppelt, a journalist with the German TV station ARD, who first made the plasticizer claim. Hans just can’t keep his hands off Alberto’s throat.
The French riders. Best expressed by Sylvain Chavanel: “Right now, amongst the riders, I can tell you that we’re not that shocked.”
The French sports newspaper L’Equipe.
Rasmus Damsgaard, who developed and ran the internal anti-doping program at Saxo bank and Astana.
Francesco Botré, head of the WADA-lab in Rome. On record saying, “If someone has a very, very high level of plasticizers in the urine, it would be hard for that athlete to explain how that happened if not from doping.”
Lance Armstrong. Yup, he’s a fence sitter. Under investigation for doping himself, the Texan has to be getting a big laugh out of non-pal Alberto Contador’s troubles. Misery loves company.
Unavailable for comment either way.
Buried roughly 130 feet underground for what — two months — the 33 Chilean miners have not been kept abreast of developments in the Contador doping allegations.
Government officials have refused to tell the miners as the news may “mentally destabilize” them and further weaken their ability to survive in their ordeal.