Yannick Noah got a little worked up in the Le Monde newspaper — that’s The World, for those who didn’t major in French.
The French always see themselves at the center of the world and that’s they’re singular charm and irritating trait.
He intimated that Spanish athletes were using a “magic potion.” All of Spain is supposedly up in arms and the Contador trial hasn’t even started yet. Simmer down, folks, lots more excitement coming soon. Keep your eyes on the tainted steak and don’t worry about the retired French tennis player Priorities, people.
So the magic potion comment was a doping reference — for those who didn’t study Yannick Noah allusions in school — and while he is a retired tennis player and afro-pop music star, he’s entitled to his opinion after a few glasses of Bordeaux.
Now, the esteemed and well-respected Inner Ring thought Noah was out of line. No question the man overstated his case but still there’s a grain of truth buried in every greasy bag of pomme frites.
Anyone who has followed the doping cases of Spanish riders and the nationalist and lenient rulings handed out by the Spanish Cycling Federation has fair reason to offer a critique. Everyone from UCI president Patrick McQuiad and the people at WADA on down are appalled by Madrid’s idea of justice.
The biggest doping scandal is cycling — Operacion Puerto — happened in Spain, not France or Germany or Italy. (Not that Italy doesn’t have its problems — Grial and Mantova, anyone?)
But we’re going to cut Yannick Noah some slack. First, it’s only been six weeks since he learned that he and five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault are half brothers. That would shock anyone.
Then, hey, he’s a hugely popular pop musician in France so being a hipster musician, he’s given to sweeping statements and dramatic bombast. Whatever. At least he’s quotable and has something on his mind. Let’s not forget Spain’s Oscar Pereiro stating just a few days ago that: “In my sport we have made fifty thousand mistakes, we are fools. That cannot be hidden.” More than a little reference to the home country in that one.
And third, man, he is still a little angry at those Spanish clay court specialists from the late 70’s and early 80’s. Five sets against those relentless and exhausting baseliners is just a miserable work.
Twisted Spoke thinks Yannick should have left the dirty work of dumping on Spanish athletes to the Badger. Nobody bats an eye when he launches one of his old school tirades.