After a weekend which saw some bizarre race commentary from Universal Sports co-hosts Steve Schlanger and Todd Gogulski during Vuelta al Pais Vasco, WADA confirmed what the rest of the cycling world suspected during their commentary when they returned an adverse analytical finding in a surprise out-of-commentating anti-doping test.
“After conducting a random out-of-commentating test on April 7th, 2012, we found substances that would indicate possible performance enhancements by both Steve Schlanger and Todd Gogulski. In line with our code, we have forwarded the file to the UCI for follow-up. As of today, Schlanger and Gogulski have not requested a review of their B sample,” stated a representative from WADA.
Most of the cycling world were expecting to the duo to be nabbed for commentary doping after their performance on April 6th, 2013, when they made a series bizarre on-air references about Movistar rider Nairo Quintana. Instead of the typical veiled commentary made popular by most journalists and analysts, the Universal Sports pair chose to publicly question the validity of Quintana’s performance.
However, legal representation for Schlanger and Gogulski are incensed over the findings, saying his clients were the victims of a “witch-hunt” and “target-testing.”
“It’s a proven fact that 90% of the commentating pool would return an AAF. My clients are being singled out for actions echoed in commentating booths around the world. The fact that this “out-of-commentating” test should happen to occur the day after they caused a well-justified uproar is the sort of problem facing the entire sport today,” stated Steven Sondhurst, legal representative for the beleaguered duo.
In keeping with WADA rules, Universal Sports immediately took action to suspend the duo from commentating duties pending an investigation into the matter.
“We will be cooperating fully with WADA and the UCI to get to the bottom of this situation. However, we are shocked that these two credible journalists would be singled out after so many commentators on Sporza and Eurosport have been known to be guilty of journo-doping in the full presence UCI brass and yet have escaped testing and sanctions,” stated Bonnie Fromstein, a representative from Universal Sports.
WADA refuses to divulge what may have been the substances discovered during the out-of-commentating test. However, other commentators have been speculating as to what the duo may have been guilty of ingesting.
“We all know that comments like the ones that occurred on April 6th are usually the result of some sort of hallucinatory product, maybe even something peyote-like, which is also used for commentator medicinal purposes. If it was peyote, I’m sure there will be the appropriate Therapeutic Use Exemption produced to explain the positive,” commented one Eurosport commentator familiar with the situation.
Some in the commentary pool were not as pleasant in their assessment.
SBS Cycling Central pundit Phil Gomes wrote a well-reasoned rebuttal to the duo’s on-air comments in addition to tweeting,
“Schlanger and Gogulski’s take was particularly egregious, and seemingly misinformed, a cheap shot.”
No word from the UCI when a resolution to the case will be had. The duo remain on “administrative paid leave pending investigation” status at Universal Sports.