I walked into a bike shop in June for some spares and noticed a display on the sales counter for Power Balance bracelets. I instantly took them for nonsense, they are made from silicone and neoprene bands and are supposed to “work with your body’s natural energy field“. Yeah, right.
Only come July I saw plenty of pros riding the Tour de France with these bracelets. Presumably many were paid to display them but the likes of Alessandro Petacchi said he was given one by his physio with instructions to wear it at all times, except when eating and drinking apparently. Ale-Jet has never struck me as the most intelligent rider but the thought of him thinking “ooh, dinner time, better remove the bracelet” just makes him look even more stupid.
But now the Italian police are on the case. According to Corriere, the company distributing them in Italy is under investigation since the plastic bands are marketed as offering pseudo-health benefits, and in order to make statements like this, Italian law demands proof and justification.