After a worldwide hunt for UCI anti-doping czar, Francesca Rossi, had come up empty for the past year, a slightly tired-looking Rossi turned up at a UCI Press Conference in the fatherly arms of UCI President-and-Ruler-For-Life Patrick McQuaid.
“I’m happy to announce that after a long search for our missing Francesca, she has returned home. Safe and sound,” declared McQuaid.
Rossi, the replacement for the outgoing Anne Gripper, had only been at her desk on the job for one day before going missing in action. Everyone in Aigle had been concerned for months that she had vanished without a trace. Swiss police were working with Interpol and authorities in North America to ascertain her whereabouts.
“Certainly, we had concerns that there was some sort of foul play involved. But I was always convinced that we would find Francesca in time for her appearance at our press conference here in Copenhagen,” commented McQuaid.
Rossi began to recount her experiences with a new group of cycling anarchists, called the “Kamikazes,” however within seconds of beginning her story, she was interrupted by McQuaid.
“Look, she’s back. We’ve done our best in her absence. Let’s not belabour this issue any longer. There’s no reason for her to re-live these awful experiences,” declared a protective McQuaid.
Rossi seemed rather out of sorts and slightly disheveled, with her hair in a pony tail, which was not her typical stylish self by any stretch of the imagination. After the press conference, Rossi was whisked away from the press corps in a black Range Rover to an undisclosed location.
McQuaid remained behind, as the press corps was handed a list of topics that he would not discuss, including Makarov’s ratified appointment to the UCI Management Committee, whether or not he would be seeking re-election in 2012 to his post, nor any comments on the only on-going investigation into Alexander Kolobnev’s positive doping control from this year’s Tour de France.
When Rossi was later reached via phone for final comments, she added, “I’m going to be more intelligent about divulging my whereabouts in the future, which does not mean I have been stupid in the past,” adding that McQuaid has assigned an Itera security squad to ensure her safety while she performs anti-doping czar duties.
For complete details on the the UCI presser, with video of McQuaid and Rossi declaring how they’re winning the war on doping in cycling despite a lack of intelligence, please read Daniel Benson’s piece at CyclingNews.com.