There are a number of topics to choose from this week. The Celtic supporters in our midst may be heartened to note that I will write a precursor to the game with Manchester City. I was intending to write this today but it will take several hours to do it justice and I may not have the time. In the past I’ve made a rod for my own back by publishing more than one article at a time which resulted in several comment threads. On one occasion I published four pieces. However this was at the beginning of my one year sojourn into a number of topics which included the murky Hades that is Scottish football. At that time my articles did not elicit many comments. I have just approved my 19,000th comment, and as regular readers will know comment threads often run to three figures, with one of which featuring 144 comments. Attempting to moderate north of 250 comments per day is an arduous task.
Prior to writing this article, it’s worth noting that the initial voting for the UK Football Blogging Awards ended yesterday. This site, which only garnered the votes of 20-50 generous individuals from a regular weekday readership of 15,000 – 20,000, (with one day featuring 42,000 hits) has been undermined by the fact that I encouraged votes for the John James Site, which is my unique WordPress site (http://www.johnjamessite.com) and not @Sitonfence which is my Twitter site. Some individuals, following my lead, voted for @JohnJames which is not my Twitter site. Twitter is a platform to promote my articles. Should I decide to publish more than one photograph, it gets confused and defaults to a grid box. I can override this by attaching a photograph, but the Twitter format is so large that it dominates the page. As a consequence of this I have withdrawn the previous four articles from Twitter. I have no desire to have a site dominated by a photoshopped DJ dressed as a cheerleader, nor a running WC. Lavatory humour is not my natural metier, but the Aberdeen fanzine cover, and my DEFCON/DEFPAN interplay, was an opportunity that I could not resist. As this site tends to delve deep into topics, it’s important to add some levity by way of balance.The dear JJ articles are just as scathing as others, but are wrapped in Lady Bear’s Chanel-scented Mousquetaires silk evening gloves that she wears to the Opera and Ambassadorial receptions.
However even if my entire 4,170 followers on Twitter had voted for me, I would not make the shortlist. Some of my more enterprising followers attached my Twitter handle to the FBA handle to register their votes. This resulted in the FBA following my Twitter site. As a rule of thumb I don’t follow any sites as I tend to read only four on a regular basis with links from my direct message Twitter portal. I communicate with other sites offline. I made an exception to the rule with the FBA, but I was forced to reconsider as their retweets of other sites overwhelmed my page. There is a blog on Manchester United which is run by five individuals, which gives one an idea of how busy they are. Man Utd have 300m followers worldwide, so it’s safe to assume that their blogs far exceed my 20,000 readership, and my 50 votes. I guess I should console myself with the thought of better luck next time but I’m realistic to note that tribal loyalties to the Phil Mac/The Clumpany axis will always be prevalent. The objective eye that I have is not shared by many. There is also the distinct possibility that I will pack up my tent in a matter of days. Another year might bring more readers, but no more thanks.
This site has often highlighted the activity of the Bank of Rangers carpetbagger ‘Sir’ David Murray who used Rangers/ EBT to enrich himself and then threw away Rangers like a broken toy. On this occasion I intend to discuss another knight of the realm, the drug cheat that is ‘Sir’ Bradley Wiggins.
As a democrat I recognize the important role played by whistle-blowers. I worship at the altars of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. The former deserves a 2,000 word article of his own. Who could forget the Wikileaks footage of an American helicopter gunship ‘lighting up’ some Reuters correspondents as they ran for the cover of a black van. They were assassinated by a redneck computer gamer. If it were not for Assange, this would have been classified as ‘friendly fire.’
The Wikileaks data base is hosted in Sweden. During a visit to Sweden Assange slept with two Swedish girls. He did not rape either of these adult women, but a CIA officer, and a prosecutor trying to gain a name for herself, are insisting that he travels to Sweden to face questions. He has offered a video-link interview and a face-to-face in the Ecuador embassy where he has been granted asylum since August 2012, but the prosecutor is not interested. The charges have been trumped-up to use Sweden as a conduit for Assange’s extradition to America. If extradited Assange would be tried and convicted in a kangaroo court and killed by lethal injection for revealing some uncomfortable truths about American foreign policy and its powerful multi-billion dollar military lobby group of Republican Senators, whom have long since been bought and paid for. The British Government have spent north of £10m to ring-fence the embassy with a 24/7 police detail. This is considered to be money well spent to maintain our special relationship with the CIA. This is what passes for democracy in 2016.
We would not have heard of Bradley Wiggins cheating if it had not been for The Fancy Bears Hack Team. Regular readers of my articles should note that in this instance I’m not referring to the crack team of minimalist lavatory redesigners in the Rangers support. These blue bears have flights of fancy about continuation and £30m of investment, but any link is inordinately tenuous.
However this team is not a standard-bearer for democracy. It is a state-sponsored response from the Kremlin to divert the debate away from Russian state doping and on to the therapeutic use exemptions (TUE). They hacked into the computer records of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
In his memoirs My Time, published in 2012, which was written by a ghost writer, Wiggins asserts:
“I’ve never had an injection, apart from (when) I’ve had my vaccinations, and on occasion I’ve been put on a drip, when I’ve come down with diarrhoea or something and have been severely dehydrated.”
Mr Wiggins evidently forgot to mention the 40mg intramuscular injections of corticosteroid in June 2011, June 2012 and April 2013 – days before the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France, and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. In 2012, Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour.
Wiggins would like us to believe that he is an asthmatic. He defends his use of a powerful performance-enhancing steroid as ‘putting himself on a level playing field‘ with non asthmatics. Have a look at the following photograph of Wiggins on the Andrew Marr Show. As an ‘asthmatic’ would he not ask for the freshly cut flowers to be removed. He seems unduly comfortable with their pollen producing properties.
Wiggins is a multi-million dollar one-man brand so I can understand why his manager and PR agent would want to get him in front of the issue. If Wiggins had ridden into the studio on a Camarillo White Horse with a standard proclaiming ‘Just Say No‘ my reaction would be to look to the studio floor for the presence of horse shit. It stinks to high heaven.
Tom Dumoulin, the Olympic time trial silver medallist, has become the first high-profile rider to openly question Sir Bradley Wiggins’s therapeutic use exemptions for the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone prior to three of the biggest races in his career, saying of the matter that “it stinks”.
Is it not surprising to note that Wiggins and Chris Froome, Britain’s two greatest road cyclists, are registered as asthmatics on their medical records. Should Wiggins retain his medals, will the peloton of future Tours exclusively feature ashmatic riders?
Former dopers such as Jorg Jacksche and David Millar used triamcinolone and testified last week to its performance-enhancing effects. The presence in Wiggins’ team of the now-banned Belgian doctor Geert Leinders and the fact that Wiggins only appeared to need this drug in 2011, 2012 and 2013 rather than for any other race in his career, are not unrelated. As soon as the benefits of steroid abuse and the TUE caveat were spelled out to Wiggins, Leinders was on hand to provide him with a medical diagnosis of asthma and the intramuscular injections prior to grands tours.
The last word on this sordid affair is reserved for Tom Dumoulin who wrote:
“This is not something they do with normal asthmatics, let alone athletes who only have exercise-induced asthma. Apparently Wiggins’s injection also worked for weeks – then in my opinion you should be out of competition for weeks. That thing stinks.”
This is an omnishables for British cycling who had their most successful Olympics performance of all time at the Rio games. Would it be indelicate to ask how many of the 490 WADA registered athletes who use intramuscular steroids are in the British team?
Bradley Wiggins has created a hitherto unknown personal ailment to benefit from the injections of steroids prior to racing. He should be stripped of all his gold medals and title in no uncertain terms.