SALT LAKE CITY, UT--The Little Train That Could from the best-selling book of the same name tested positive for the performance enhancing drug C.H.U.G. (carbohydouliceralgamene) last week at the 2004 World Steep Hill Climbing Championships in Utah.
Little Train, or LT, became famous as the protagonist in the popular childrens' book,
The Little Train That Could. With over four million copies in print, it is the true inspirational story of LT, the small, timid locomotive that overcame seemingly insurmountable odds by pulling a load of heavy boxcars up a steep hill. With every chug, LT kept forging ahead reciting the now-famous mantra, "I think I can, I think I can." In the end LT reaches the station chanting "I knew I could, I knew I could" and all the boys and girls of town cheer his personal victory.
LT's agent issued a statement. "LT admits to using performance enhancing drugs. LT says that for him it became harder and harder to live up to the pressure of always coming through for the children. As he got older he found it harder to compete with the younger, stronger trains. LT is deeply sorry for all the hurt he has caused to children around the world and asks for your forgiveness."
The news rocked the sports community. Reaction was one of shock and dissappointment.
"At first I thought this was a smear campaign. A complete sham " noted a visibly shaken Lance Armstrong, six-time winner of the Tour de France. "I know LT. I have trained with LT for years. I would have staked my testicle on him being clean. How he hid it from me I'll never know."
Officials at the WSHCC (World Steep Hill Climbing Championships) have called an emergency meeting to discuss the fate of LT's record of 74 consecutive gold medals. Insiders say a ruling will likely be swift and severe. "LT may well become the Pete Rose of Steep Hill Climbing" one official said, on condition of annonymity.
LT's publisher Little Golden Books Inc has called for a recall of all copies of LTTC from booksellers world-wide. It has asked elementary school librarians to do the same. It is also considering stripping Train of his Caldecot Medal as well.