I guess the French anti-doping agency AFLD thought they missed something in those previous 23 tests.
By Lance Armstrong’s count, when French officials collected a sample of his hair on Tuesday, it represented the 24th time the anti-doping agency has carted off some byproduct of the seven-time Tour de France champion’s body since he resumed cycling last August.
Testing, particularly in cycling and particularly in France is not remarkable; the sheer amount of testing, and this latest method, is what makes the story worth noting.
An official from the French anti-doping agency took six (6) clumps of hair from Armstrong, leaving the champ’s locks disfigured to the point of no return. Armstrong shaved his head shortly after the sample was collected.
This was the first instance the agency collected a hair sample from Armstrong.
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The anti-doping agency has averaged three tests a month since Armstrong came back in 2008, which leaves numerous questions to consider.
While at face value, the tests seem like your run-of-the-mill witch-hunt carried out by bitter Frenchmen who thought they were rid of the dominant Texan, I’m not convinced.
Is it possible that they will be auctioning Armstrong’s blood and urine and hair on Ebay? Probably not. But perhaps they are using the leviathan heap of grotesque Armstrong souvenirs to engineer a clone. (Look for Pierre Armstrong
in the 2030 Tour.) Or, maybe, the hair will be used to complete a government-sponsored voodoo doll.
No one can be sure at this point.
In all likelihood, it is merely a witch-hunt. This is nothing new. The French anti-doping agency has hounded Armstrong for as long as anyone can remember for no discernible reason other than the fact that, perhaps, the Texan is too good.
They heaved a collective sigh of relief upon Armstrong’s short-lived retirement in 2005, and his comeback likely induced a collective and incredulous, “Sacre bleu!”
But the Texan is back and so, therefore, are the ubiquitous French sample-collectors. Maybe the hair will do the trick and maybe not.
"At the end of the day, I have nothing to hide," Armstrong said. "You want to come and get blood, urine, hair, whatever you want, come on."
Here’s hoping the next time the AFLD comes for Armstrong, they don’t walk in with a chainsaw and walk out with a leg.
Scott M. Crisp is a Dallas writer. He often claims to have had bit roles in movies he has never seen. You may twitter with him at http://twitter.com/scott_m_crisp.