Lance Armstrong - which came first?

by bikeleasingcompany   January 15, 2013  

We'll all be aware of the doping debacle and Lance Armstrong, particularly in light of the upcoming interview.

Armstrong has been accused of being a protagonist of doping within the sport. Clearly doping should not be tolerated.

I wonder though, did Armstrong adopt doping as as the only way to get to the top (and the real earning region) within a sport where he already knew doping was rife, or did his success create a situation where other competitors could only win if they doped, thus exacerbating the problem?

If you think about it, road racing has had to compete with lots of other sports for sponsorship, advertising etc. It (the UCI etc) needed to "build a brand". To do this it needed superstars who could be recognised the world over.

I wonder if that is the case that Armstrong will put forward in his interview?

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Which do you think came first?

6 user comments

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Hopefully in the interview he will admit to when he started doping. The Europeans particularly the Italians were probably the first to start taking EPO. He will probably claim that he had to dope to keep up with the other cheats.
He probably doped before he had cancer, however when he made his comeback he took it to another level. I have read that after the Festina affair in 1998 most teams and riders stopped doping and when samples from the 1999 Tour de France were retested there were few positives other than Armstrongs. Riders and teams probably returned to doping to keep up with Armstrong and US Postal.

posted by NeilG83 [281 posts]
15th January 2013 - 12:41


If you read Laurent Fignon's memoirs, he describes having had a poor couple of years (90/91 I think) then feeling good again in about 92. He felt he had what it took to win another TdF, but on the first real climbs, riding on the front and putting the hammer down, he was passed not by one or two, but by a mini-peloton of 30 or 40 guys, many of whom he didn't even consider to be classy riders. This eventually led to him feeling that perhaps he was past it and that he needed to make way for the younger guys. It was only in retrospect that he realised the truth.

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

posted by notfastenough [3683 posts]
15th January 2013 - 14:42


@notfastenough - LeMond said the same thing happened to him in 1991/1992. IIRC Greg knew he was a better rider and guessed what was going on.

Armstrong will undoubtedly claim that he was only doing what everyone else was doing. Look at the lengths he has gone to deny/issue lawsuits and so on. He will do and say anything he can to justify his actions and to paint a picture where he's not the bad guy. It's all bollocks. I wouldn't believe ONE WORD of what he says in this stage-managed interview, which is a sop to the American public. He's been shown to be a habitual liar and fraudster for 15 years. He is not sorry.

He should be put in a room with Nicole Cooke instead of Oprah.

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posted by Simon E [2296 posts]
15th January 2013 - 15:16

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Simon E wrote:

He should be put in a room with Nicole Cooke instead of Oprah.

Big Grin I like this idea. The bookies would like it too - odds on how many broken bones he would come out with?

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posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
16th January 2013 - 9:52


He re-ignited the doping arms race in '99.

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posted by PJ McNally [595 posts]
16th January 2013 - 13:55

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I've loosely followed this whole thing and wonder how much the UCI played in it all. There can be no fire without the required ingredients so to speak.

Lerk, sure others sports seemed ripe with doping but from early 2000s everything has gotten cleaner - talking bout athletics and swimming only, but have not *heard* any other sports being massive on doping either.

When Michael Phelps got 8 gold medals in Beijing - it honestly did not cross my mind that he could be doping, nor pretty much anyone else I knew - not like a taboo let's not speak about, but genuinely.

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posted by koko56 [334 posts]
16th January 2013 - 19:07