Paris/AP - The future of The Tour de Farce, an institution in cycling since 1903, was saved today when the FDA announced it would take over sponsorships of ALL teams participating in the event for 2009.
Plagued by the continued use of performance enhancement and pain suppressing drugs since its inception in 1903, the Tour was in danger of disappearing as most sponsors announced they would no longer participate in the embarrassing scandal riddled event.
One French official said there was more dopes in the event than at French bank Societe Genenerale, subject of another Spoof story earlier in the month, where 31 year old trader Jerome Kerviel avoided detection and lost $7.2B, (5B Euros) for the bank with unsupervised trading. The bank has since imposed random drug testing on all its traders and investment bank managers.
An FDA spokesman, speaking off the record, said the agency would be providing all performance enhancing drugs currently seeking Agency approval, and would be working with The Red Cross, which would be providing blood exchanges spiked with additional oxygen and containing 10% ethanol. Both agencies would have a control group of riders that only received placeboes in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the drugs and transfusions.
The FDA has long been under fire for the length off time it takes for drug approval. "Our sponsorship of the Tour de Farce will greatly reduce our backlog of enhancement drugs waiting for approval. We should know the beneficial effects by the time the Tour reaches stages 15-17 when the riders begin to attack the Alps. The drugs used by riders who gain the summit will all be deemed " approved" and immediately be available for sale on a government regulated Internet site," an agency spokesman said.
The FDA said death benefits will be made available for family members of all riders who were issued the placebos, up to a limit of $10,000 US, or 5 Euros, depending on the exchange rate at the time of the event.