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Michael Rasmussen Death Watch

Sometimes we're simply too far removed from the situation to know where the line between justifiable ridicule and insensitivity lies. I can't find that line, so I'm just going to pretend for a moment it doesn't exist.

Michael Rasmussen has sent his already-dramatic doping saga into new realms. What had been Jerry Bruckheimer-action/drama has now shifted over into Days of Our Lives material. To wit:

  • The Chicken is spilling the beans to De Telegraaf (via Eurosport) about the reasons for his hiding out in Italy: marital strife. Actually, he says "relationship problems" though he doesn't specify which relationship. To his parents? His friends? Himself? I'm staying with the safe bet, his spouse. She's Mexican, so maybe he fled Mexico in sadness. And maybe he thought that if he told the UCI or his home federation of his change in plans, she'd find out and track him down. His excuse? "I wanted to train without disturbances preparing for the Tour and not be confronted with this. That is why it was better that the world thought that I was in Mexico." Right, because compared to Mexico, the Italian Alpes are so quiet and obscure, he only ran into one cycling journalist that whole week.
  • According to the same article, De Telegraaf will be running a part II which details his dalliance with Dynepo during this time. Of course, he tested non-negative for something akin to EPO shortly after disappearing, and disappearing made it far easier to juice up, and his results at the Tour were abnormally good... but that doesn't mean he did anything wrong. I'm sure this story won't uncover much.
  • Finally, the story came out over the weekend that ~:> contemplated suicide in the aftermath of his removal from the Tour. Given the depth of his humiliation, it's hard not to believe this. Like everything else he says though, it's hard to take seriously. Not my area of expertise, but usually suicidal people find a way to attempt it at least, right? My point isn't to make light of suicide, it's to question whether Rasmussen is simply being manipulative. There's a difference between being upset and having bleak, passing thoughts and being suicidal in the truly dangerous sense. Combined with the victim's role, the bad relationships, the terrible suffering he endured... and all because he was caught trying to steal the Tour de France. Shouldn't we cut him a break and award him the maillot jaune now?

OK, this is gross, I'm done.