What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Probable Cause?

Highlighting the lovely, due-process-free side of the Doping Prohibition Era: “Schleck unruffled after dad’s customs search.” The story: Johnny Schleck, father of CSC Tour de France stars Frank and Andy Schleck, was waylaid by French customs police while driving along the stage route Thursday. The cops spent at least a half-four searching his car, apparently looking for the magic juice that makes his sons ride so fast. They didn’t find anything, and sent Dad Schleck on his way. At the end of the stage, Andy, the younger son, opined (at least for public consumption) that it was no big deal that pop was pulled over and had his vehicle turned inside out by the gendarmes.

Well, Andy, might be right if he and Frank were notorious dope merchants and his father was returning from a trip to, say, Tijuana. It wouldn’t seem extraordinary for narcs or border agents to stop him and give him the once over, though even in the case of a family of crack dealers some legal niceties would be observed (in a prosecution, the cops would at some point have to show they had some cause for stopping their suspect; the issue of stopping someone just because a cop thinks they’re up to no good–well, that’s the issue at the heart of profiling). But we’re not talking about an arm of the Medellin cartel now. We’re talking about a bike race. And when it comes to doping enforcement, apparently anything goes.

At least that’s how it looks: Not even the little squib offered by L’Équipe, the unofficial news organ of cycling’s dope narcs, offers anything (English “translation“) about why Papa Schleck was pulled over, and there’s no hint in any of the coverage I’ve found that the police have had to explain their behavior.

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3 Replies to “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Probable Cause?”

  1. I got the impression he *was in the caravan* at the time he was stopped and searched, which makes it even stranger.

  2. There has been talk, which I placed no stock in, that Riccardo Ricco was targeted because of his dominating performance. This episode, occurring right after the Schlecks put on a show of strength, makes you wonder what’s really going on.

  3. But doesn’t merely participating in the Tour de France — or being related to someone participating in the TdF — constitute probable cause? And was your friend Cadel hinting at funny business among some of his competitors yesterday when he said, after the time trial: “There were some guys riding surprisingly fast. I got some time checks from the other riders and thought, ‘What’s going on here?'”

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