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A French news agency reports that a team of scientists from MADA is to attempt to retrain a famous American cat to spot cyclists who dope. If successful, the new technique could be rolled out on other cats, starting with kittens.
Currently, Oscar curls up next to care-home residents about to expire, but Dr. Steffen F. Line of MADA believes the cat’s ability to sense when a person is close to death could be used in sport.
“Cats often can sense when their owners are sick or when another animal is sick,” said Dr Line.
“They can sense when the weather will change, they’re famous for being sensitive to premonitions of earthquakes.
“Oscar is not psychic, we believe he is picking up on biochemical impulses. We hope his talents extend to the ability of telling when a banned substance is being used in sports such as cycling.”
Cycling is currently reeling over a number of cases of sporting fraud, including in the ongoing Tour de France.
Patrice Leberk, CEO of the company which owns Le Tour, is a cat lover and would like to see the use of felines in anti-dopage.
“We’ve tried sniffer dogs. We’ve tried being nice to the riders. We’ve tried being horrible to the riders. Nothing seems to work. Oscar may be our last hope. My own moggie can hum La Marseillaise and if he can do that who knows what specially trained cats will be capable of?
“We need to catch them young, of course. I plan to donate some of my own kittens to further Dr Line’s research.”
Cofidis rider Bradley Wiggins said: “See, I told you Floyd Landis was guilty.”