Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DON'T DRINK FROM THAT SIPPY-CUP!

That was NOT lemonade in that sippy-cup!
Yesterday morning was unlike most other mornings. I awoke to the sound of someone banging on my door, which has happened exactly never since I moved to Boise. I heard the first round of banging, but convinced myself it was either the wind, or perhaps an angry deer, and ignored it. The second round of banging was unmistakable though -- someone was at my door. I threw on pajamas and staggered, still mostly asleep, to the doorway. I was greeted by a clean-cut man in his late fifties with a badge around his neck. He was holding a small suitcase, and had a piece of paper in his hand. Was he a repair man? Was he trying to sell me something? Was he serving a summons? "Hi, I'm Steve, and I'm a representative from USADA," he said. He informed me that I was today's lucky winner! I was being offered the chance to donate a sample of my urine so that it could be tested in a laboratory for banned substances! Wow -- an offer I literally couldn't refuse.

While still extremely groggy, I invited Steve inside. He started explaining how he was here on behalf of Amgen, and went over how the testing process would work. Meanwhile, I started making coffee because I'm really not used to interacting with other humanoids before I've had my coffee, especially if they expect me to use complete sentences.

Now, I've been tested plenty of times, but this time was different -- this time I wasn't selected randomly. I am, for the time being, part of USADA's registered testing pool of athletes, which means I have to provide my whereabouts information, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so that guys like Steve can track me down and surprise me with out of competition drug tests. Steve was there for me, and me alone. Wow, I thought to myself, this isn't an accident. I'm actually worth USADA's time. Crazy.

Steve was really nice. He was patient, professional, and helpful. He had no problem hanging out and making conversation with me while until the coffee had kicked in and I was ready to collect my sample (read: carefully pee into a sippy cup while another man watches). All in all, the actual sample collection and processing was identical to the other tests I've done. If you're curious what I mean, read through my account of my first piss test back in 2007.
More pink paper for my file. 

I'm so glad that the Amgen Tour of California is taking such great care to insure that their race will be a clean one.

Oops....

Did I just let a cat out of the bag there?

I guess now might be a good time to go over my upcoming schedule. I've got a pretty busy next few weeks. I've posted my tentative schedule on the right side of my blog. Take a gander. Remember, I'm only on these rosters provisionally, and bike racing is a fickle sport, but for now there's my schedule. Get excited people -- I sure am. See you out there?

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