Nacht von Hannover Hannover

Jan Ulrich     Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia

Top 3 Finishers in 1998 Tour Test Positive

Names released by Le Monde

The top three podium finishers at the 1998 Tour de France took EPO during the race, according to a report published by French daily Le Monde on Tuesday. Italian Marco Pantani, Germany's Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich were named along with German sprinter Erik Zabel, who won the green jersey for the best sprinter that year.

All three named athletes have previously been identified as dopers. Julich admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs in 2012 and resigned from Team Sky, saying that during the 1998 Tour de France his wife confronted him about his behavior. After years of silence and cryptic comments, Ullrich came clean about his use of PEDs earlier this year. And Pantani, one of the greatest climbers in cycling's history, has long been associated with doping, dating back to his disqualification at the 1999 Giro d'Italia for an hematocrit reading above 52 percent, a sign of EPO or blood doping.

While Le Monde's report jives with accounts about Pantani, Ullrich, and Julich's past, it contradicts a 2007 statement made by Zabel, who confessed to taking EPO for the 1996 Tour de France. Contrary to the latest report, he had claimed to have tried doping for only a week, stopping due to side effects.

Since May, a debate has raged over the release of the names. The family of Pantani, who died in 2004, has come out strongly against naming riders. Last Friday, the professional cyclists' association also came out against publication.

“Publication of a list amounts … to an accusation of doping without any means of defense,” the CPS said, arguing that no counter-analysis was possible as the original samples no longer existed.

The release comes a day before the French Senate is set to release the full list of riders flagged as positive for EPO in retroactive tests from the 1998 Tour. A full dossier of more than 40 names is expected Wednesday.


whale almost eats divers california humpback humpbacks


WATCH: Whale Almost Eats Diver

Humpback was looking for sardines

Whales have never been known to intentionally chase or harm humans, but two central California divers almost found out what its like to be their prey when they narrowly avoided the gaping maws of two lunge-feeding humpbacks.

Divers Shawn Stamback and Francis Antigua were taking a break between scuba dives, snorkeling among a school of sardines, when they sensed something approaching. “When we got in, the whales were about a quarter of a mile away,” Stamback said. Little did they know the whales were keen on the sardines and closing fast.

Humpbacks can weigh up to 40 tons and NOAA’s whale-watching guidelines recommend that boaters stay at least 100 yards from the majestic creatures. Fortunately, none of the divers were hurt.


Photo: Kbh3rd

Missouri Man Shoots River Runner

Killed over trespassing dispute

A Missouri man is being charged with second-degree murder after shooting a man from a float group that he claims to have found on his property.

Thomas Dart Jr. and several friends and family members had stopped on a gravel bar on the Meramec River, near Steelville, when property owner James Robert Crocker emerged with a handgun and confronted the group about tresspassing, beginning an argument that ended wtih Crocker shooting Dart in the face at close range.

Loretta Dart, the victim's wife, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her husband was trying to prevent an altercation between Crocker and one of the river-runners, who had picked up a pair of rocks, when he was shot.

"My husband tried to calm the guy down," she said. "He went to the guy's arm to try to stop him, but the guy jerked back and popped him in the face."

Crocker is currently being held at the Crawford County Jail in lieu of $650,000 cash-only bail.


romanin mattingly hannibal cavemen skydiver falls


WATCH: Skydiver Lands on Baseball Game

Crushes the shortstop

Mattingly Romanin, shortstop for Missouri’s Hannibal Cavemen, was enjoying life as a minor league baseball player, shucking balls, downing a few ‘dogs on the sidelines, when a skydiver fell out of the clouds and kicked him in the face.

The skydivers were actually meant to land on the field as part of the pre-game ceremony. It was during the second landing that the collision occurred. The other two skydivers landed without incident and Romanin was able to return and play the entire game.

Romanin later tweeted about the incident, saying "Still in disbelief that actually happened." We’re sure many would agree.


Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley du

Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley duke it out on Box Hill.     Photo: Chris Barber

Tour Organizers Open to Women's Race

In talks to revive the women's event

The organizers of the Tour de France announced their willingness to discuss running a women's event alongside the men's race on Monday. Race executives have debated the proposal after a petition backed by Olympic road race gold medalist Marianne Vos gained more than 65,000 signatures in 11 days.

“We need to work out the right economic model, get the media on board and discuss with public authorities about closing the roads,” Jean-Etienne Amaury, chairman of the race organization, told Bloomberg. “All these parameters need to be planned. It’s not likely to happen next year.”

The petitioners, including cyclist Emma Pooley and triathlete Chrissie Wellington, would like to have the women's race run alongside the men's edition to capitalize on the latter's media presence.

Between 1984 and 1989, the Tour organizers hosted a parallel event for women. The race used the same finishes as the men, with shorter stages and additional rest days. The race folded after it failed to garner a "strong following or interest from television," Amaury said.