British cyclist Mark Cavendish came away with a yellow jersey Wednesday at the Tour de France. But it wasn’t the yellow jersey he was hoping for.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere said Cavendish believes a spectator sprayed him with urine during the time trial.
“(Cavendish) explained to the other guys in the bus that the public was not very fair with him, and then somebody put some urine on him,” Lefevere told The Associated Press after the 11th stage.
“We are always happy in cycling that there is no hooliganism, but, of course, when there are 100,000 or 200,000 people on the road ... somebody had bad behavior.”
Lefevere said the urine dousing might be linked to anger among fans who claimed that Cavendish intentionally bumped into Dutch rider Tom Veelers and caused him to crash in the final sprint on Tuesday.
Cavendish was not sanctioned for the crash, and he was adamant that it was not intentional.
Anger over the bump is one possible motive. But given the sport’s history of performance-enhancing drug use, it’s possible the fan was just trying to give Cavendish a clean sample.
■ ROCKER ON ’ROIDS — While the baseball world is waiting for word of suspensions related to the Biogenesis clinic scandal in Florida, former Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker has an interesting take on the subject.
Rocker, who admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, perhaps is best-known for his racist, sexist and homophobic rants published in a 1999 Sports Illustrated article.
But he’s making headlines again this week for his opinions on PEDs in baseball. Rocker believes baseball is better on steroids.
“Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was a better game,” Rocker told CBS Sports Radio in Cleveland. “At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120 whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it’s almost like the circus is in town. They are paid to be entertained. They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 mph and some other guy hit it 500 feet. That’s entertainment. You’re paying to be entertained.”
Rocker does make a good point about the likelihood of the sport ever being entirely clean.
“The best tests out there, the ones the Olympics use, can only test for 500 molecular combinations of 50,000 possible combinations,” he said. “They’re going to cost ya, but the guys who want them can certainly pay for a chemist to build them.”
■ BEER MONEY, PLEASE — With the high price of tickets and travel, die-hard sports fans easily can find themselves short of cash for postgame celebration.
But fans of Leeds United, an English soccer club, got help from the team’s manager.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay, after Leeds beat Select XI 3-0 to start a preseason tour of Slovenia, fans chanted “Oh, Brian, it’s your round.”
Manager Brian McDermott responded by reaching into his pocket, pulling out 50 Euros and passing the money through the fence to fans.
COMPILED BY DAMON SEITERS LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL