Fallout from the controversial “sauna photos” has finally caught up with team Liquigas-Cannondale. A raid by the Italian version of Children’s Protective Services on the team’s camp, just hours before their presentation to the press and sponsors, almost brought the event to a halt.
Alerted to photos of three young men seen lounging provocatively in a sauna wearing only team issue bib shorts, this special branch of the Italian police was taking no chances that these young men were being coerced into something possibly more nefarious.
“The photos being circulated on the web portrayed three young men in a highly embarrassing situation. Logically, we assumed that they were being forced to pose in this manner. I mean just look at those photos – would you let someone take a photo of you like that unless you had a gun to your head?” explained Lead Detective Aurelio Zen.
After an explanation by Liquigas-Cannondale management and speaking to the three riders in question, the matter was cleared up.
“We showed the polizia other team’s photos and they concluded that awkward posing tinged with homoerotic themes was a standard practice in professional cycling,” said team manager Roberto Amadio.
However, as a precaution the Italian authorities alerted their Belgian counterparts to the recent QuickStep team photos that had appeared on numerous cycling websites:
“We’re concerned that the QuickStep riders might be part of a human centipede experiment,” said Zen.