Armstrong saga

by Gkam84   August 24, 2012  

So the news story has hit over 50 comments. So I thought i'd bring this to the forums and see what people's opinion's are.

Here is a list of how the winners would look if Lance is struck from the records.

1999 Alex Zulle (after coming back from the Festina saga)
2000 Jan Ullrich (known doper but only d/q'd from 2005 onwards)
2001 Jan Ullrich
2002 Joseba Beloki (implicated in Puerto but cleared)
2003 Jan Ullrich
2004 Andreas Kloden (caught in 2006 tour)
2005 Ivan Basso (another one implicated in Puerto)

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Ah right, thats how it worked. I though they only had the power over America.

I'm still the winner of 99 Devil

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posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
25th August 2012 - 0:32


After reading all this about Lance ,should any other rider who has won a major tour be nervous?
What do you think?

posted by Apres-mapk [13 posts]
25th August 2012 - 2:01


I would be very nervous.

I also think that the blood passport may have some pro's in a cycle of they are damned if they stop cheating and only risk being caught by continuing doping (F Schleck perhaps?).

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
25th August 2012 - 13:37


I think we should just let it lie, just about every winner until a few years ago probably doped.

Let's just look forward, leave Armstrong alone and move on. It's positive that the sport has cleaned up in the last couple of years, mostly.

There was some expert on R4 this morning saying that power outputs of riders were down in the last couple of years, and that they are struggling on mountains that they used to fly up.You don't need me to tell you why!

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posted by _Karlos_ [65 posts]
25th August 2012 - 14:20


dave_atkinson wrote:
daloriana wrote:
Surely the greater debate is why cycling catches/has so many dopers.

cycling has so many dopers because doping is an extremely effective way of cheating, much more so than in many other sports. and it has the most active anti-doping controls too, inadequate though they still may be

Tennis is known to have dopers but incredibly lax controls. It lends itelf more to steroids than EPO. Its a running joke that Raphael Nadir has reoccurring injuries and retires from tournaments to avoid controls.

Athletics has been riddled with doping for years. This interview with Angel Herida is an interesting insight to how they avoid positive test results.

And this is before even talking about American Football and the amount of 'juicing' that goes on there.

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posted by zanf [724 posts]
27th August 2012 - 23:37


If the UCI "has" to follow USADA... then why haven#t they?


posted by didds [44 posts]
31st August 2012 - 22:16


I'm confused by it aswell. The UCI still seem to think they have the right to decide on this and are still waiting on the evidence.

From what I understand. The UCI will get the evidence when USADA finish with all the rest of the guys they are investigating?

Armstrong says he is innocent and that only the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), has the power to sanction him.

With the UCI giving the impression that it agrees with Armstrong, Usada is under pressure to provide more details of its case.
The BBC understands Usada would have done so already but for two reasons:
Armstrong was charged along with three doctors, a coach, and US Postal team manager Johan Bruyneel in June - and proceedings are continuing against three of them;
The agency has been concerned that its witnesses have to be protected from outside influence.

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posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
31st August 2012 - 22:47


It's such a complex and thorny issue. The debate will rage for a long time I think.

A big cornerstone of it for me is this: The assertion that if everyone dopes, then it's a level playing field. It's wheeled out by those Lance supporters who aren't naive enough to think he didn't dope, but still can't let go of his legend.
Doping doesn't create a level playing field, at all, and there are again many sides to this.
- Not everyone reacts to drugs in the same way. An aspirin for me might get rid of my headache, but you might still be in agony after half a packet. In the same way, if any of you lot were like me in my wilder days, you'll know that an E can keep one person going for 12 hours of constant dancing whilst another will be passed out in the corner within a couple of hours. Although that might be something to do with whatever else that person ingested, which brings me neatly on to...
- Not everyone has the same access to chemists, doctors and drugs. Because they don't come cheap, do they? With constant medical supervision, you can manipulate your blood levels such that you never fail a test. Micro dosing will mean your urine never returns a positive result. Armstrong's blood tests are apparently a consistently high plateau, not showing the peaks and troughs that are supposedly indicative of a doper... but this instead suggests that Armstrong was doping all the fucking time. That means he could train harder, for longer, every day of every week. Remember that rubbish Bond film with Begbie, who had a bullet in his brain so he couldn't feel any pain? And then Pierce Brosnan killed him with a giant golden phallus? It's just like that.
What was I talking about again?
- Armstrong was massive for the sport. MASSIVE. He opened up the hugely lucrative US market to the UCI in a big way. TV money, sponsorship, etc. If he failed his drugs tests, if he was ever stupid enough to allow himself to fail one (and as we know from various chemists talking openly about it, Victor Conte being the notable voice) it's only the dumb and the really dumb who get caught. But if ever he was to fail, the UCI would have been out by millions of dollars.
- Armstrong is a dick. A litigious, nasty, bullying dick. Who also happened to beat cancer and inspire millions, bringing hope to many and helping raise money to help other cancer sufferers. Which he may well have done to boost PR image and hence raise more sponsorship money, but fuck it. He's done good too.

Black and white it isn't, but USADA is right to chase him, and more importantly those still working in the sport, and bring them down. The irony that doping is the cancer eating away at sport surely isn't lost on anyone.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
1st September 2012 - 12:43

1 Like

Bashthebox; you seem very sure that Lance is guilty. I am no fan of Lance; reading his book gave me an insight into his dark mind that I did not like. But indulge me; look up the case of John Christie and Timothy Evans. Yes I am being over dramatic but this is an excellent case of an innocent person (Evans) being convicted because he was so obviously guilty that people failed to do their jobs properly. One of the people allowed to testify against Evans was Christie himself.... Keep an open mind.

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 14:07


Personally i couldn't give a stuff if he is innocent or guilty because the whole episode has dragged a sport / pastime i love through the dirt just to please one mans ego and cast doubts over a number of riders.

I hope it all ends soon and we can get on with watching 99% + clean riders.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

posted by stumps [3237 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 14:24


Sideburn: He's guilty. USADA had so much evidence there was no way he could fight them. He ran away from the case because it was the only possible way to save just a tiny bit of face.

Lance, the brand, is going to lose millions now. His charity will be badly affected in the long term. If he was innocent, he'd have fought the case all the way.

And Stumpy, it has nothing to do with ego. Lance isn't the only one involved here. It's also about Brunyeel, Pedro Celaya, Pepe Marti, Michele Ferrari and Luis Garcia del Moral. All of these people are still involved in the sport. There's apparently evidence that points to Armstrong doping during his comeback - that's 2009 to 2011, not exactly in the distant past.
We want a clean sport. So we must demand that those who have cheated come clean, or face the consequences. Otherwise, how the fuck does anyone learn?

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 17:47


I personally find the whole saga/episode very sad
Having read Lance's book and (hopefully) beaten the dreaded 'C' myself i found his book very inspiring
I dunno - perhaps i /we feel 'cheated' for believing so strongly in the guy

posted by Adey [98 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 18:46


Bashthebox; what evidence? I have followed this closely, all I have seen is the USADA; claiming to have 'overwhelming' and 'secret' evidence. Did we not invade Iraq on 'overwhelming' and 'secret' evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Google "September dossier" and remember that Dr David Kelly killed himself when he found what "they" had done with "his" evidence. But to date these weapons have proved mighty elusive... Keep an open mind...

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 20:49


I think McQuaid is in for an uncomfortable time, in the comic he says they,UCI, are not afraid to sanction.


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posted by antonio [1108 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 22:20


Sideburn, the evidence is coming. The case isn't solely about Armstrong, it'll have to go through due legal process for all the others too before everything comes to light.
It's hardly secret evidence - I'm not going to dignify your quote marks - it's mainly overwhelming witness testimony by the sounds of it.

Incidentally, anyone heard the rumours on the grapevine this evening? Apparently a positive blood test has been dug up for Armstrong. All will be revealed tomorrow, say the tweets.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
2nd September 2012 - 23:46


Yeah the evidence WILL come out, but not until the case is finished with because its not all about Armstrong, no matter how much he would like to spin it that way.

The blood test story has been doing the rounds for long enough, SOMEONE has kept it safe all these years, but has been receiving money via A foundation to keep it under wraps...... I think all with become apparent soon. But its something you post and its dark in colour Wink Wink

As for overwhelming wetness testimony.....doubt that. Its all caught dopers, "reformed" dopers and those who HAVE been caught but given a break to continue cycling as long as they testify Nerd

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posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
3rd September 2012 - 0:55


I have a number of 'gripes' against Lance; seeing him 'done' for doping would be the icing on the cake for me. But I want to see it done properly; beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise we will have conspiracy theories floating around; instead of the "grassy knoll" (jfk) it will be the "empty syringe". I wonder whether Lance would rather give up his titles than have intimate scrutiny of exactly who did what. Possibly because of potential criminal charges following? But maybe I am too suspicious/cynical.

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
3rd September 2012 - 10:22


SideBurn wrote:
I have a number of 'gripes' against Lance; seeing him 'done' for doping would be the icing on the cake for me. But I want to see it done properly; beyond reasonable doubt.

"Beyond reasonable doubt" - why? He's not up for murder.

The World Anti-Doping Code stipulates that the "standard of proof in all cases is greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt."

A document well worth reading by anyone with an opinion on the Armstrong case, by the way - after all, it's those rules that give USADA its authority here and set out the specific offences, sanctions, proceedings etc.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9507 posts]
3rd September 2012 - 12:39


Noted Simon; a poor choice of words from me! I meant, "reasonable given the circumstances". I would agree with what WADA say ie "more than a balance of probabilities but less than beyond reasonable doubt".

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
3rd September 2012 - 13:29


Having 10 witnesses to a murder would constitute a pretty closed case, no? Having 10 witnesses to doping is the same. These witnesses, for the most part, won't have failed drugs tests. So by the same logic, why would they *need* to testify? 10 witnesses to a crime IS beyond reasonable doubt.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
4th September 2012 - 0:30


Having 10 CREDIBLE witnesses to a murder would indeed constitute a pretty closed case. Yes I agree.

Having 10 witnesses to a murder, but a number of them also implicated, but turned witness for a lesser charge or immunity makes the case VERY open.

Here's how I think its going to go down. USADA is going to release the information the same day they give it to the UCI. It will then show all the witnesses??

Here are a few who have given evidence, talked about or implicated him in the past

Betsy and Frankie Andreu (He admitted using EPO)
Sheryl Crow (former junkie)
Kristin Armstrong (helped cyclist use according to Landis)
Floyd Landis (never shuts up about Lance and others doping)
George Hincapie (always been on Lance's side)
Levi Leipheimer (doped in the past)
Tyler Hamilton (doper)
Roberto Heras (doper)
Chann McRae (always been on Lance's side)
David Zabriskie

And here is the one I'm waiting to see on the list

Alberto Contador - If he is....He's cut a deal and thats how he got his ban back dated and returned so early Nerd

At the end of the day, there never needs to be a positive test if enough people come forward and say someone was doping

But one thing was clear: they were the crux of the antidoping agency’s evidence against Armstrong. And in the doping world, that is known as a nonanalytical positive — an athlete implicated not by a positive drug test but by supporting evidence.

Look at this graph aswell, Then look at who sits in all the blank spaces, Just a though, but if all those faces were doping, how did the "non dopers" keep up there towards the top??

I'm only talking till about 2006ish.....SO FAR this year no-one has been caught.....cleaner sport or better doping??

Greg LeMond once said

"If Armstrong's clean, it's the greatest comeback. And if he's not, then it's the greatest fraud."

Never a truer word spoken and we'll see in the near future which it is, I think its going to leave more questions than answers though.

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posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
4th September 2012 - 1:37


The point that I was trying to make with the case of John Christie and Timothy Evans was that many people gave evidence against Evans and consequently he was hung for murder. The irony was that one of the people who gave evidence was Christie; a serial killer and the real murderer. So, no, history records that 10 witnesses to murder does not always equal justice.

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
4th September 2012 - 9:29


Time hasn't allowed me to read this all in depth so apologies if I have missed something.

Also I should add that the evidence is looking bad for LA too.

BUT, it does seem that he was in a no win situation, in that when he said he would fight the claim it was said he must be guilty! Then he said he'd block it - ah! he must be guilty! Then he goes 'ok I will not fight it anymore' and guess what, he must be guilty!

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
4th September 2012 - 9:35


Armstrong case - I'm torn.

I loved watching him ride. If the main contenders were all doped or if they were all clean, I think Armtrong would still have won 7 Tour titles.

In the Times' serialisation if Hamilton's book, Hamilton says: "He was incapable of being paasive, because he was haunted by what others might be doing. This was the same force that drove him to test equipment in the wind tunnel, to be finicky about diet, to be ruthless about training".

The implication being that others were doping, so he would also have to dope. Hamilton lumps the doping 'preparation' together with the other areas of prepartion (training, planing, strategy) and calls it "Lance's Golden Rule", which he says was "Whatever you do those other f***ers are doing more."

If you listen to Armstrong respond to doping questions in the past he answers with a dodge - things like 'never failed a test'; 'most tested athlete'; 'never broke the rules'. This tells me that if he was doping (and I think that when it finally comes out, the evidence will be damning), then he firmly believed that at the time he was merely playing by the unwritten rules of the peloton, where top GC riders on the Tour were expected to dope - so much so that even non-dopers observed the omerta. If this is the case, then I can understand why he would refuse to admit to cheating.

So, on the one hand I feel he is being unfairly singled out. He didn't win those titles because he (allegedly) doped - I really believe that a clean Lance would still have won in a clean peloton.

On the other hand - Crying

posted by daddyELVIS [661 posts]
6th September 2012 - 22:49


Unfairly singled out my fucking arse. He was the one who, in the wake of Festina, took doping to a whole new level. He the most more money, had the best doctors, and beat the system hardest out of all of the dopers.

Doping doesn't make a level playing field, no matter how many times you hear it said. That's just bollocks. Before the Cancer/massive scientific doping, LA was a mediocre to good cyclist.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
7th September 2012 - 5:16


Maybe so, but I've thought for a while that the difference is in the perception - we view doping as being 'off limits', but those guys - particularly during the 90s-early 00s - viewed it as just another part of the sport; you ride a light bike, you train hard, eat/sleep right and ensure the right 'preparation'. Dope controls were just another distraction on their time, with press conferences, sponsor gigs, interviews etc, where they wheel out a performing monkey who says what others want to hear, regardless of the truth.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
7th September 2012 - 9:08


I am not thinking that Lance was singled out for special treatment; I am more concerned about a lack of special treatment! Possibly someone in authority (still in authority) did not want their 'Prize bull' (or 'Cash cow') tainted with Clenbu... Whoops! (sorry) ....the title "Cheat!!". As these stories suggest.

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
7th September 2012 - 11:21


And we also know from testimonies of people like Millar and Vaughters that doping wasn't just another bit of preparation, it was the incredibly difficult choice you had to make if you wanted to compete with riders like LA who were untouchable.

Basically, people like LA ruined the chance of other talented but clean riders having a winning career, and forced other riders who wanted to be clean down the doping path.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
7th September 2012 - 12:30


Lance forced others to dope?? Devil Devil Devil

DO me and everyone a favour......wise up.

Doping did not start and end with Lance. Its been going on since the start of the TdF and continues to this day.

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posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
7th September 2012 - 12:43


OK - 'unfairly singled out' is perhaps a wrong phrase to expalin my feelings on the matter. At the end of the day it's the US doping authority that has charged him, so they can hardly go after any of the other GC winners / contenders of the era anyway. I suppose, what I mean is that Armstrong has always been the main focus of condemnation in the court of public opinion, with others barely getting more than a mention.

If you've read Armstrong's books about his comeback, you'll know he didn't have the most money when he made his comeback - having been 'released' by Cofidis in very stressful circumstances (incidentally, David Millar's book gives a great insight into the indemic drug culture at Cofidis during this period - read that book and you'll realise that Lance wasn't the one who took doping to a whole new level - it was already there!).

If by the best doctors you mean Dr Ferrari - loads of cyclists (and other sportsmen) were also getting 'advice' from him. There were also a couple of other sports doctors at that time who were just as well respected as Dr Ferrari - again David Millar gives a good insight into this - and plenty of cyclists were consulting with this other doctors too. David Millar recalls paying £12,000 per year for the sevices of a certain Spanish doctor.

I never said doping makes a level playing field - however, Armstrong would have known that the main contenders in the Tour had a few extra red bloodcells coursing through their veins. What do you do, rely on talent & training alone, or give your own blood a boost to get your base-line somewhere near to the competition.

'Before the cancer / massive scientific doping, LA was a mediocre to good cyclist' Surprise . Professional triathlete at 16 years old and national champion at aged 18; won his first pro road race (beating an ex-world champ in the process); first Tour de France stage win aged 21; World Champion aged 21 (one of youngest world champions ever); 2nd place in Liege-Bastogne-Liege aged 22; got his second Tour de France stage win aged 23; won the San Sebastian Classic aged 23; won Tour DuPont aged 23; won La Fleche Wallonne aged 24 (first American to do so); won Tour DuPont again aged 24; diagnosed with cancer aged 25. If he'd have ended his career at that point, that was a top class palmares for such a young rider. Admittedly, he was a 1 day rider at that point, and needed to change to be a serious GC rider - but many experts are talking about Peter Sagan taking a similar course, eventually morphing into a GC rider.

Take a look at the history of doping in cycling, and who has been tested positive. Would you say that Merckx was a fraud? What about Coppi? Anquetil? What about the big names of the 70's, 80's, & 90's - are they all frauds? Face facts, Armstrong won his titles in an era (maybe....hopefully, towards the end of an era) where doping was rife throughout the pelaton. If he also doped then it's not really a surprise - but to pin the whole system and culture of doping at that time on Armstrong is laughable!

My biggest problem with the whole Armstrong case is if he doped during his 'comeback' years, when his Tour paticipation was supposedly about cancer awareness rather than winning. But going back to 1996 - 2005 and making Lance out to be the evil king of doping, what is the point of that?

posted by daddyELVIS [661 posts]
7th September 2012 - 22:30