Luca Paolini – Cocaine

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Luca Paolini was removed from the Tour de France after a drug test that turned out positive for cocaine.  Is this a surprise?  Yes.  Not many guys get popped for cocaine.  Tom Boonen had a positive test a few years back, but it was out of competition, so he didn’t serve a ban.

Big difference here for Luca.  If his B sample turns up positive, then he probably will serve a 4 year ban, unless he can come up with some explanation why it is in his system without his knowledge.

The weird thing here, and the most interesting to me, is that when asked about Paolini’s cocaine positive,  Katusha spokesman Philippe Mertens said, “We’re very surprised because cocaine is not a substance that improves performance.”

I don’t know this Mertens guy, but he maybe should study up on drugs cyclists have used in the past to aid performance.

I wonder if Philippe has ever heard of pot belge, or Belgian Pot?  It’s been documented that it was rampant in the professional peloton until recently.  It is a combination of amphetamines, cocaine and heroin.  They probably just add the coke for a little extra high, since according to the Katusha team, it doesn’t improve performance at all.

When goofball spokesman for teams make asinine statements when their riders have drug testing issues, then it makes all the circumstances surrounding the positive seem more screwy, thus less believable.

It’s the Belgian beef tact that Paola Pezzo took when she turned up positive for nandrolone.  Back then, in the 90’s, the spokeman for Trek said that it was a mystery, since nandrolone was not a substance that would benefit a cyclist.  He probably should have done a little reading too.

And then Luca goes and apologizes for embarrassing his team on such a worldwide stage,even though he has professed his innocence.  Who apologizes for something they believe is completely wrong?  I wouldn’t, for sure. 
Anyway, it is a weird positive  drug test.  I think he finished in the 170’s on the stage he failed the drug test on.

Luca Paolini is 38 now, so if this all goes badly for him, then he’ll be Chris Horner’s age by the time he could race again.  I guess he’ll have to rest on his Gent-Wevelgem classic win this year. He can always look back on that with pride, for riding so honestly and clean his whole career.

Luca' heart seemed to be beating a little quicker than normal on stage 4 or the Tour this year.

Luca’ heart might have been beating a little quicker than normal on stage 4 or the Tour this year.

11 thoughts on “Luca Paolini – Cocaine

  1. Bolas Azules

    The old ‘performance drug cocktail’ has been around for years. At least 30 years or so by my experience. Any wonder why the lads end-up addicted to drugs in retirement?

     
  2. David Arnold

    The Italians like their coke….Pantani…Simoni…this guy and all the others I have forgot…as my Dutch friend said sometimes it takes a wheelbarrow full of PEDS to make a champion.

     
  3. The Cyclist

    Hahaha… LOL. “We’re very surprised because cocaine is not a substance that improves performance.” Wtf, does this mean they wouldn’t be surprised if he was caught with something that actually improved performance!?

     
  4. Neil Browne

    In my experience dealing with team’s PR person is that they aren’t the best person to be in front of a reporter. Often they got the PR position because they know the director and it was his way of helping out a buddy. Of course not all teams operate this way and hire capable media people, but that’s not often the case. And that’s always been my complaint with pro cycling – it’s operated in such an “un-pro” way. Anyways, I’m going to step off my soap box…

     
  5. Nancy

    he probably wanted to say that it is more a recreational drugs and somewhat more tolerated in Europe. It is a stimulant and had low effect on performance by comparaison to EPO, HGH, steroids, blood transfusion.

    I am sure he will find an excuse/contamination to justify the presence of cocaine.

     
  6. Jack

    Why aren’t you working for whatever organization controls or attempts to control doping amongst professional cyclists, Mr. Tilford?

     
  7. Jim

    Well, didn’t he come nearly last out of 170+ riders the day after his cocaine party? Obviously it didn’t help that much.

     
  8. El Jabón

    I always thought coke would HURT your performance…
    Regardless, punishment should reflect the fact that it is a recreational drug. THe Belgian pot thing is ridiculous to even consider. We are in 2015 here…
    Well, I hope Luca get’s out of this ok… my favorite rider

     
    1. elSid

      “I always thought coke would HURT your performance…”
      -Do a little research. Cocaine could definitely provide a useful “boost” of energy and motivation on a stressful tour stage. Especially where he might’ve been trying to play bodyguard to Kristof.
      “Regardless, punishment should reflect the fact that it is a recreational drug.”
      -Debatable, but doesn’t really matter. It’s not like the rules are a secret.
      “THe Belgian pot thing is ridiculous to even consider. We are in 2015 here…”
      -Yet here we are. Maybe not so ridiculous?
      “my favorite rider…”
      -Yeah, I like him, too.

       

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