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Meanwhile, senior official from France's anti-doping agency claims Armstrong was warned of doping controls...

Stars of cycling and other sports as well as sponsors have been reacting to news of Lance Armstrong’s life ban from sport and disqualification from all results since August 1998. However, the man who won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven times is still riding, finishing second in a local mountain bike race in Colorado yesterday. Meanwhile, a senior official at France’s national anti-doping agency has claimed that Armstrong was able to evade doping controls after being forewarned of them.

"Nobody needs to cry for me. I'm going to be great," insisted Armstrong after being beaten by 16-year-old Keegan Swirbul at the Power of Four race in Aspen, Colorado, where he has a home.

He was riding in the event less than 48 hours after confirming that he did not intend to go to arbitration to fight the five separate doping counts he had been charged with by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

The agency confirmed on Friday that it had banned him from sport for life and was stripping him of all competitive results obtained dating back to 1 August 1998, including his seven Tour de France victories.

The 40-year-old was able to take part in yesterday’s mountain bike race because its organisers are not bound by the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC). He is banned from competing in any event organised by a signatory to the WADC, or any member of such an organisation.

Among those who have commented on Armstrong’s case are the three men still alive who have each won the Tour de France five times, a record only the Texan himself eclipsed.

Miguel Indurain, who won the race five consecutive times between 1991 and 1995, at the time an unprecedented sequence, wrote in the Spanish sports daily Marca that Armstrong was still entitled to his seven victories in the race until a universally recognised organisation took them away from him and also described the USADA investigation against him as “strange.”

Armstrong also received words of encouragement from Eddy Merckx, the second man to win the Tour five times after the late jacques Anquetil. Quoted in an AFP report, the Belgian said: "Lance Armstrong is disillusioned and is up against an unjust process.

"At a certain point there's a disenchantment that sets in. Lance is saying to USADA 'do what you want, now I don't care'.

"Lance was always very correct during his career. What more can he do? All the tests he's undertaken, more than 500 since 2000, have come back negative. So, either the tests don't count for anything, or Armstrong is 'legit'.”

Less sympathetic of Armstrong’s plight was the other man to have secured five Tour de France five times, Bernard Hinault, who now works on the race including organising the podium presentations at the end of stages.

“I really couldn’t give a damn," Hinault told the newspaper Ouest-France. "It’s his problem, not mine. This is an issue that should have been sorted out ten or fifteen years ago and it wasn’t.”

Sports stars outside cycling have also been giving their take on the case.

World number 2 tennis player Novak Djokovic, winner of three of the sport’s Grand Slam events, told AFP: “When I heard that story, and many others, I'm disappointed as an athlete, because I know how much it takes to get to where we are and on the top of our own sport, how much sacrifice, commitment, hard work.”

Although tennis is a sport that has consistently been singled out by anti-doping campaigners as having a looser attitude towards testing and enforcement than others such as cycling, the Serb insisted that it was clean.

"In the end we are all seeking to have pure sport. I'm happy that in tennis we do not have that many cases and we are trying to keep that going to keep tradition and to protect the integrity of the sport.

"That's something that sends a strong message about our sport also to young kids because they look up for heroes and they look for role models."

Marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe was more forthright, tweeting on Friday: “Waking to news on Lance. Sad to see fall of a hero to many but moral of all is keep sport clean #drugcheatsout” and adding: “doping cheats yourself and your competitors but this has cheated millions around the world too.”

Armstrong, like Muhamad Ali or Pele, is a man who transcended his sport to become a truly global personality, and news of the sanctions imposed on him provoked comment beyond the sporting world.

Entrepreneur and Palo Alto Software CEO Sabrina Parsons, blogging for Forbes.com, said that she had been inspired by Armstrong’s story of his comeback from cancer to dominate the Tour de France but his decision not to contest USADA’s charges had made her revise her opinion of him.

“I am so disappointed in Lance,” she wrote. “If he really didn’t dope, it doesn’t matter now. By not clearing his name the cloud above him has gotten so big and so dark that we can’t see that fearless, amazing, relentless, hard-working athlete anymore.

“I was looking forward to giving my eight year old son his book, ‘It’s Not About the Bike’ in the next year or so. I was so excited in sharing this book and giving my son the inspiration to work hard and achieve what you want by working harder than everyone else  - just like Lance did. I remember how inspired I was when I read that book a decade ago.

“But now, I would have to have a discussion with my son about “doping” and drugs, and how Lance is embroiled in this scandal. Sadly, I will find other inspirational stories about athletes to share with my son.

“I will no longer hold Lance Armstrong up as a role model for my kids,” she added.

In what is seen as a show of support for the former cyclist, however, donations to his Lance Armstrong Foundation soared on Friday in the wake of USADA’s announcement, with $78,000 coming into the coffers via online donations, a 25-fold increase on the previous day according to its CEO, Doug Ulman.

Nike, which has sponsored Armstrong personally for a number of years as well as supplying clothing to the teams he rode for as well as those seven Tour de France maillot jaunes he won, has said that he will continue to receive its backing.

"Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position,” the sportswear firm said in a statement. “Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."

A senior official with France’s national anti-doping agency, l'Agence française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), has claimed that Lance Armstrong was regularly warned that he was due to be subject to a doping control.

In an interview with French national newspaper Le Monde, Michel Rieu, scientific advisor to the AFLD, recounted an incident in 2009, as Armstrong prepared to make his Tour de France comeback with Astana, where a random doping control was forestalled by 20 minutes by delaying tactics employed by the rider and his entourage – enough time, he insisted, for a urine sample to be swapped.

He also claimed that the alleged protection afforded to him went beyond the UCI and International Olympic Committee, saying that Nicholas Sarkozy, the former French President who viewed himself as a friend of Armstrong, had pulled strings following a lunch with the former rider at the Elysee Palace in 2009 to ensure the departure from the AFLD of its former chairman, Pierre Bordry.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

39 comments

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Cue the comments from the Lance-trolls parroting Lance's blatant "Never failed a test" lie.

He tested positive for corticosteriods in the '99 tour. 6 of his samples from the '99 tour tested positive for EPO, when a test for EPO was later developed and retrospectively applied. He had a "suspicious result" for EPO in the '01 Tour de Suisse - before the EPO test had been fine-tuned. Though we don't know the details yet, USADA say they have blood data that indicates doping from his comeback.

Lance *has* tested positive alright, he's just never been *sanctioned* for these positives - big difference. For some reason the UCI tends to behave very strangely when it comes to Lance and doping allegations - unlike how it would behave with any other athlete. The large amounts of cash Lance has paid to UCI have nothing to do with that, no doubt...

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festival [105 posts] 3 years ago
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Paul J wrote:

Cue the comments from the Lance-trolls parroting Lance's blatant "Never failed a test" lie.

He tested positive for corticosteriods in the '99 tour. 6 of his samples from the '99 tour tested positive for EPO, when a test for EPO was later developed and retrospectively applied. He had a "suspicious result" for EPO in the '01 Tour de Suisse - before the EPO test had been fine-tuned. Though we don't know the details yet, USADA say they have blood data that indicates doping from his comeback.

Lance *has* tested positive alright, he's just never been *sanctioned* for these positives - big difference. For some reason the UCI tends to behave very strangely when it comes to Lance and doping allegations - unlike how it would behave with any other athlete. The large amounts of cash Lance has paid to UCI have nothing to do with that, no doubt...

Exactly.

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hairyairey [298 posts] 3 years ago
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First of all, I don't think I would get on socially with Lance Armstrong if I met him. He has an arrogance that is very unappealling (in fact, I think he makes Sheldon Cooper look like a potential best mate). Some of the stuff written in his books is damaging to the sport, eg claiming that he gave a win to Pantani. If you are going to be generous, don't boast about it and I think it hurt Pantani as well. Similarly he boasts about spending time with a cancer survivor. I think it's indicative of someone who is desperate for approval (which supposedly is a female trait but some guys look for it too. I know I do a bit!)

So it wouldn't surprise me that he has made a lot of enemies that would not hesitate to make false allegations against him. It's also not unlikely that allegations would be made against him to detract attention from other drug taking.

If there is evidence that riders have managed to disguise drugs then that should be published and other rider's samples retested. It would have to be something like an unknown diuretic that isn't being tested for that's removing a drug from the body quicker. Or perhaps an unknown performance enhancing drug? In other words, there has to be verifiable evidence of drug taking.

Lance has always said that he cannot prove a negative, ie he cannot prove he hasn't taken drugs but according to him he's had 500 tests none of which have been positive.

There are many that suggest that life bans are the only solution. I do not agree I think it would only push the problem further underground.

I think therefore if the USADA succeed in having his victories revoked in the absence of any failed tests it will be damaging for all sports. Yes, drug cheating is bad but to be entirely capricious helps no-one. I would hope that the UCI rejects what the USADA submit to them if it is indeed baseless.

It does not surprise me that the judge is wondering about the USADA motives it does look like a witchhunt against one rider. I think it's just a massive publicity stunt and I don't blame Lance for saying he won't play their silly game any more. As for those that claim that Lance has seen the evidence against him already I seriously doubt that he has. I also doubt that evidence will be published about drug-taking at any point.

There is far too much cynicism about drug-taking in cycling already this helps no-one. I certainly don't want to get into speculation as to who it is who is going to testify against him, that doesn't help either.

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hairyairey [298 posts] 3 years ago
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PaulJ - unlike other cyclists Lance was given EPO as lifesaving treatment. How long the amount he was given took to leave his body is difficult to calculate and I don't think five years post treatment is unlikely.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Oops, some little clarifications:

- The Tour de Suisse test was a early EPO test, which hadn't been refined to the point that it resulted in a clear outcome (IIUC). With more R&D the test was refined, and the retesting of the '99 B samples was to verify it worked. Refs obtainable by googling for "Saugy", "Armstrong" and "Tour de Suisse". And there's an interesting interview out there with Michael Ashenden, a scientist involved in the EPO test development.

- I meant to say Lance has never sanctioned for the tests he failed, prior to this USADA case. Obviously, he has now, at last, been sanctioned.

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andyp [1448 posts] 3 years ago
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Five *weeks* post-treatment is unlikely. Five years is just crazy talk.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Bzzt, wrong, EPO becomes undetectable within some low number of days after use.

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onlyonediane [156 posts] 3 years ago
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According to Electronic Medicines Compendium, EPO if given subcutaneously would not be present 24 hours post dose. Hence the reason Dopers can micro dose and apparently not be detectable at doping controls.

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bikeyourbest [23 posts] 3 years ago
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Man, I love how the 'Lance-Haters' drop out of the sky like paratroopers everytime his name is mentioned...now it's like D-Day for them.

So they have no problem finding 1/20,000,000,000 of a gram of clenbutrol in Contador's sample, can detect transfusion evidence in Vino, Hamilton, Landis, on and on and on...the dozens of riders over the years...but are completely stymied when it comes to Lance? So the only think to prosecute him with is hearsay and conjecture? All these other riders are just really unlucky?

Please. Show me the proof and I will believe. Until then - in this country anyway - until that happens, there is a presumption of innocence until guilt has been proven.

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
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The word "hearsay" seems to be getting bandied about a lot.

Hearsay evidence is "so and so told me such and such happened" and is generally inadmissible in legal proceedings.

USADA says it has testimony from a number of eyewitnesses: "I saw such and such happen."

Very important distinction.

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Morpheus00 [40 posts] 3 years ago
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An open letter to Lance: I'm saddened that you have taken the worst possible way out of this situation. Defend yourself in the fitting legal arena and take the opportunity to establish why the evidence against you isn't credible. We could then finally say you've faced up to your accusers in court and convincingly demonstrated your innocence (as you know this is very different to protesting your veracity in the press conferences where you hold court, whilst deriding those who broke their silence against you). Or man up and fess up. Tell the world "I am the worst kind of cheat: the type that will encourage systematic doping, then scapegoat those who get caught in a noxious attempt to exonerate myself. I repeatedly castigated others, when I was the worst fraud of all. I berated cyclists and journalists who dared try to expose the corruption in the system and tried to snuff out their careers to keep my own shambling on. I am ashamed of my conduct and only hope now that the air has finally been cleared, and cycling exorcised of its most notorious cheat, that the sport I once loved can move on." But you didn't take either of these options. You have parted a coward and so turned the eye of suspicion back on the sport which, on either interpretation, didn't deserve you.

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Flippa [38 posts] 3 years ago
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They need to put all the evidence in the public domain so that it's all clear.

Lance Armstrong was not sanctioned for doping during his career, therefore to bring these issues up now when there was evidence at the time questions the whole testing procedures at those times. I know that samples are sometimes saved to retest at a later date when more advanced tests have been developed, but most of these tests are claimed to have shown positive at the time. So they should have been addressed at the time. If they are not addressed at the time, then this suggests that the issue goes far beyond Lance Armstrong and the whole system should be questioned. If tests relating to Armstrong were not addressed at the time, how many others were missed?

I understand that the USADA believes that they have evidence to show that Lance Armstrong was involved in doping, but they do not appear to be going about it in a very open and fair way. If this is as extensive as they claim it to be, then there must be other cyclists that they should also be investigating in exactly the same way, though this does not seem to be the case.

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Morpheus00 [40 posts] 3 years ago
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Flippa wrote:

They need to put all the evidence in the public domain so that it's all clear.

Lance Armstrong was not sanctioned for doping during his career, therefore to bring these issues up now when there was evidence at the time questions the whole testing procedures at those times. I know that samples are sometimes saved to retest at a later date when more advanced tests have been developed, but most of these tests are claimed to have shown positive at the time. So they should have been addressed at the time. If they are not addressed at the time, then this suggests that the issue goes far beyond Lance Armstrong and the whole system should be questioned. If tests relating to Armstrong were not addressed at the time, how many others were missed?

I understand that the USADA believes that they have evidence to show that Lance Armstrong was involved in doping, but they do not appear to be going about it in a very open and fair way. If this is as extensive as they claim it to be, then there must be other cyclists that they should also be investigating in exactly the same way, though this does not seem to be the case.

Google EPO detection and you'll discover why Armstrong was (almost) able to avoid detection in testing. This is why the issues werent addressed adequately at the time. If the corruption was as extensive you suggest, and I'd agree it was, then it's going to take years for the old ranks to break down and for people to start coming forward. This is what's happened and what has allowed the USADA to prepare a case so convincing that Armstrong cannot muster a defense against it. What is not open or fair about that? Armstrong is the biggest target in cycling that the USADA has the jurisdiction to pursue. Why would you expect that they go after someone else?

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeyourbest: The evidence is there, it's in the records of the UCI, of WADA. You just choose not to look.

As to why they can find clenbutoral in other riders. Well, clenbutoral is not a natural substance that you can find in the body, while EPO actually is. It's fundamentally difficult to differentiate the synthetic EPO the rider doped with from the natural EPO everyone produces. Further, different substances will be metabolised in different ways and at different rates.

To say "How come they catch other riders?" is a ridiculous defence, because very *few* riders get caught for EPO. And Lance *did* get caught using EPO! Unless you choose to be wilfully blind to what are recorded matters of fact.

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parf [4 posts] 3 years ago
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says it all perfectly! nice one morpheus00

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aloxe [8 posts] 3 years ago
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Exact and true ! It's crazy to see how people are still trying to defend him. Against logic against evidence, against testimonies...... What do they need ? À confession ? By the way he did it to its doctor when he dicover cancer the wife of one of his mate was there and testified, he never talk to him and her after, she get sacked and threathened by phone .........she was working with/for Oakley the glasses he wears and partially owns, like Trek bikes.
LA is powerful in the sport business and very rich also but nobody knows this part of the story they have the LA légend ...... big lies, dirty games with Uci, ASO and only one race le tour de France for 10 years. Come on wake up imagine he was Italian, Spanish or even kazakh how will you consider him ?

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hairyairey [298 posts] 3 years ago
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The problem is guys that the case against Lance is so far conjecture. If I understand correctly there was synthetic EPO supposedly detected however his medical condition when he had cancer was such that he was given this to keep him alive. From his book neither his oncologist or team manager expected him to live. From doing more research on this it appears that there is still not an effective test for synthetic EPO it's either the change of Hematocrit or the rate of change of new cells created that are looked at. The same effects could be accounted for by altitude training or sleeping in a tent with reduced oxygen levels (which Lance used to do and maybe still does). I say could because the rate of change is not publicised, probably because they don't want to encourage people to evade the limit (which would be very hard given that we already produce around 2.4 million red cells every minute).

I really do not understand how you can claim that all of a substance given sub-cutaneously can leave the body within 24 hours. The purpose of giving it that way is so that it is absorbed into the bloodstream slowly. I don't have Lance's medical records for all I know he may have been given this via an IV drip. In any event drugs are absorbed into various tissues in the body so you just cannot expect 100% of the drug to leave that quickly. Ever heard of the expression "you are what you eat?"

I find it really sad that people presume that because someone is a great athlete they must therefore be taking drugs (The US did this with a Chinese swimmer too).

All I have managed to find so far are claims that Lance took drugs from someone who initially denied taking them himself but it appears has now admitted it. So not a very reliable witness then, and someone I'm ashamed to admit I initially supported too.

Supposing I am wrong in presuming the most obnoxious Lance Armstrong is not a drug cheat. In that case there will be a paper/electronic trail of drugs being supplied to his team somewhere. If he was doing it, so was everyone else.

I expect and hope it'll all blow over soon.

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hairyairey [298 posts] 3 years ago
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Correction I meant 2.4 million cells per second.

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andyp [1448 posts] 3 years ago
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'I really do not understand how you can claim that all of a substance given sub-cutaneously can leave the body within 24 hours. The purpose of giving it that way is so that it is absorbed into the bloodstream slowly. I don't have Lance's medical records for all I know he may have been given this via an IV drip. In any event drugs are absorbed into various tissues in the body so you just cannot expect 100% of the drug to leave that quickly. Ever heard of the expression "you are what you eat?"'

Try looking at scientific papers rather than making assumptions. It's very easy.

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Ciaran Patrick [116 posts] 3 years ago
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The really scary thing is that agencies like the USADA csan not convict sports people with no evidence and no no court case. There is so much what if's and subjection that has not been tied in a court of law.

if the case was so strong the USADA should have gone to court but they pushed for a withdrawal its a game. lance is guilty of nothing until proven and as no judge has seen the evidence and come to a conclusion. that is why we have a judicial system, for a legally represented person to decided between two parties.

Look at the feeding frenzy above. It silly and pathetic. he avoided 500 tests and such if that was the case why not criminal procedures against the UCI or other bossies and people for supporting criminal acts and such.

No nothing else - this is a witchhunt to rival the macarthy era. There is no other way to see it. There is o way that some one can avoid 500 + tests without assistance from senior people but where is the prosecutions for this coming out. There isn't any.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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hairyairey: If all you can find against Lance are accusations from riders who doped themselves, then you haven't looked much at all into the Lance affair and/or you've only read his side of the story. Seriously, it's not hard at all to find that Lance has tested positive for corticosteriods in '99, or that his samples from that tour tested positive for EPO in retrospective testing. These are well-documented and widely reported facts. You can find interviews with scientists involved, who have no particular involvement in cycling, to back what is there in the WADA and UCI record.

As for EPO, there is a test for recombinant EPO. However, it's not detectable for very long, according to what I have read from experts (and I suspect you're not one). As you say, there are also tests that look at blood data, e.g. haematocrit, and for the proportion of reticulocytes (new blood cells) which can indicate EPO doping if high, and others I think. These tests exist precisely because the direct evidence of EPO doping disappear so quickly, while the resultant effects of it on the bloodstream persist for longer (if they didn't EPO doping wouldn't be much use to the athlete).

It's worth noting that the USADA say that part of their evidence they have, upon which they are banning Lance, is abnormal blood data, which doctors say is consistent with doping. The details hopefully will emerge in due course, once the USADA processes against other individuals are finished.

Anyway, the evidence that Lance has failed tests is very easy to find, and widely acknowledged. Not looking doesn't erase it. Further, psuedo-scientific clap-trap to suggest that rEPO could persist from a cancer treatment many years earlier, and persist *in the bloodstream*, based on little factoids about red blood cell production doesn't help make your argument look credible. (Also, which is it: you say can't find any evidence Lance tested + for EPO, so why are you trying explain how he could test positive?).

This isn't about _presuming_ that Lance is guilty based on mere hearsay and innuendo. It's about there being a huge amount of evidence, from indisputable analytical doping tests, to a wide variety of former staff and team-mates (including people who have no connection to the sport anymore, and who never doped themselves, have no interest either way) producing first-hand accounts that Lance doped himself, that Lance gave advice on how to dope, that Lance admitted to doping, that Lance provided doping materials and agents.

You either have to be a conspiracy theorist on the level of those who claim the moon landings to have been faked to believe Lance didn't dope. You have to believe that WADA, USADA, many anti-doping chaperones and scientists, Judge Sparks in Texas, Lance's former soigneur, many of his team-mates, are all conspiring against him! Only those few, still loyal people around Lance (generally all with financial interests in him, strangely) and Lance himself telling the truth, in the face of that evil conspiracy! Or else you have to the kind of person who is wilfully ignorant, so invested emotionally in the legend of Lance that you refuse to look at anything that might run counter to what you want to believe in.

NB: If there is any conspiracy at all, it's been at the UCI - protecting Armstrong from being punished from his *known* positive tests, and perhaps even helping him evade further controls.

NB2: The interesting thing about the '99 tour retrospective EPO testing was that 13 / 87 samples tested positive. Of the 13, 6 samples belonged to Lance. On the face of it this suggests that the peloton largely tested clean, and that Lance was on another level when it came to doping. I.e. it undermines any "level playing field" argument, at least for his '99 win.

Useful background reading:

Cycling news index to its Lance doping related stories: http://bit.ly/PgqQNc

English translation of "L.A. Confidentiel": http://www.sendspace.com/file/w3w826

Interview with Dr Michael Ashenden, who was involved in the development of the EPO test: http://velocitynation.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden

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Ciaran Patrick [116 posts] 3 years ago
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Paul J - No he hasn't been convicted and he has never tested positive and he has never been sanctioned and he still has not been proven with evidnece he has tested postive.

The problem here is that this causes more problems. If the USADA have this evidence they claim they should have presented it and and got a definitive answer but they chose not to. You have to ask why. Probably because they had no evidence because there is no evidence that Lance ever tested positive.

Now they have left an open field for people to be judges claiming this is the truth. maybe the police here should act in the same way. You're speeding, No I'm not, well we don't care your convicted, where;s the evidence you shout, we don't need any and we don't need to show it. Now that should be a great way to act. Most people would cry out in anger but why here do we say this form of law if justified.

The most disturbing thing here is that sports people can now be convicted without evidence and just of the say so of discredited bodies like the USADA. Who as far as I can see have an agenda that has nothing to do with cleaning up sports. More likely has a lot to do with political

The USADA bully with substantial jail terms for people to support there case. If Lance had avoided 500 + testing procedures where is the criminal proceeding against the UCI and those people in authority that colluded with him to avoid these test. there is none. There is no evidence except in the mob that are baying for blood and no evidence to support there case except conjecture and possibilities described on pages like this.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Ciaran, yes he definitely has tested positive for prohibited and controlled substances. You lose all credibility in any debate when you try to deny what are matters of fact. He just had not been sanctioned for those positives, before the USADA case.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Ciaran Patrick: The USADA process is fair and offers due process, and a Texas federal judge ruled it was so, against Lance's claims to the contrary.

Doping of itself is not necessarily a criminal offence in many countries (e.g. the USA). This is a private matter of contract law. Lance signed an agreement that he'd abide by certain private rules when got his licence to compete. He broke those rules, and is being sanctioned under those private rules.

If Lance didn't like that he shouldn't have signed up to those rules.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Ciaran, You're just factually wrong when you say that USADA chose not to present the evidence. Actually, the process is that Lance had the option to request an independent tribunal to review the evidence, hear arguments and cross-examination from Lance and USADA, and adjudicate on it. As part of that process Lance's side would have been given the evidence (if he hadn't already been given it). You can verify this by reading the USADA regulations, or if you're not bothered you can just take Judge Sparks word for it that the USADA process afforded Lance ample opportunity for fair, due process.

It was *Lance* who chose not to take this option.

Further, USADA are *required* to release a report to at least WADA and any governing bodies involved (i.e. US Cycling and UCI), detailing the grounds for their decision. So, *despite* Lance choosing not to contend it, we should still get to hear what evidence is, in time.

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jonathanfmcgarry [36 posts] 3 years ago
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We should look at what Armstrong said "I never cheated AND gained an unfair advantage...". What he meant to say is that he doped no more than any other cyclist. It's the defence of "we were all at it so what's wrong with that?". He was right, it's not about the bike it's about your drug regime.

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JonD [403 posts] 3 years ago
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jonathanfmcgarry wrote:

We should look at what Armstrong said "I never cheated AND gained an unfair advantage...". What he meant to say is that he doped no more than any other cyclist. It's the defence of "we were all at it so what's wrong with that?". He was right, it's not about the bike it's about your drug regime.

Yeah, that's how he and many may rationalise it (not to mention some of the LA fans) - Jan Ulrich's quote about being happy with his second places is an interesting line..I suppose as a convicted doper coming second to another alleged (I'm being generous here) doper he would be.

But according to Jonathan Vaughters
http://www.podiumcafe.com/2012/8/23/3262010/vaughters-confession-part-ii...
(from this : http://www.bicycling.com/garmin-insider/featured-stories/jonathan-vaught...).

If there's also some level of corruption wrt LA and the testing process (which it sounds is the case), then that may give him an edge wrt the most optimal doping - tipping the playing field in his favour.

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Shanghaied [46 posts] 3 years ago
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aloxe wrote:

Exact and true ! It's crazy to see how people are still trying to defend him. Against logic against evidence, against testimonies...... What do they need ? À confession ? By the way he did it to its doctor when he dicover cancer the wife of one of his mate was there and testified, he never talk to him and her after, she get sacked and threathened by phone .........she was working with/for Oakley the glasses he wears and partially owns, like Trek bikes.

The woman you are thinking of is Betsy Andreu, the wife of cyclist Frankie Andreu. She made the allegation in a civil case between Armstrong and one his sponsors. Supposedly she visited him right after his brain surgery where the doctors asked him if he's on any controlled substance, and Betsy Andreu claimed Armstrong admitted to taking basically everything under the sun. The thing is this incident was not remembered by any other of the dozen or so people present in the room at the time nor was it in Armstrong's long medical record. She visited Armstrong several times during his illness, and one explanation put forward was that she misremembered from another occasion when someone was explaining to her the drug used in his treatment, which included EPO and various steroids.

Betsy Andreu didn't work for Oakley, the Oakley woman you are thinking of is Stephanie McIlvain, who was Armstrong's liaison there. Greg Lemond said McIlvain told him that she heard Armstrong admitting to using various drugs. McIlvain denies that she had ever said such things.

As for the 1999 corticosteroid positive - they found traces of it in his urine, but it was under the positive range. He was later cleared by the UCI because he had previously obtained permission to use a skin cream containing corticosteroid to treat saddle sore. For what it's worth corticosteroid is basically the most common ingredient in prescription topical creams. All of the above is from reading VeloNews, so do check it out there if you have doubts.

As for the retroactive EPO tests, I don't know very much about them, so I don't have much to say. He could very well have failed them.

Although I do find the idea of retroactive doping controls interesting (ie saving samples so that they could be tested at a later date with better technology). IIRC in the Contador clenbuterol case it was said the amount found was so minute that just a few years ago it would have not turned a positive. While I personally believe that he was most likely guilty (especially after they found traces of plasticisers in his blood as well), there is a not inconsiderable chance that his tainted beef story could be true. That's because there was a huge health scare in China some time afterwards when several hundred people got food poisoning from clenbuterol used on pigs.

The thing is, a lot of substances banned by in sports are used legally or illegally in agriculture, mostly notably various steroids. And it's not inconceivable that they would be present in athletes' bodies after consumption, but just at a level that is not detectable with the technology we have today. But if samples are saved, they could very well return a positive some time in the future. The same goes for legitimate and sanctioned (as in having received permission) medical usage.

So would retroactive testing lead to more positives? And if results are going to be retroactively changed who will be the real winners? We are already seeing this in Armstrong's case, as pretty much every rider in the top five or six of the 1999-2005 Tours have been later convicted of some drug offence. Who should we name as the winners? Only riders who have placed low enough so that they were not adequately tested then and whose samples were saved?

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sam_smith [70 posts] 3 years ago
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Shanghaied wrote:

As for the 1999 corticosteroid positive - they found traces of it in his urine, but it was under the positive range. He was later cleared by the UCI because he had previously obtained permission to use a skin cream containing corticosteroid to treat saddle sore. For what it's worth corticosteroid is basically the most common ingredient in prescription topical creams. All of the above is from reading VeloNews, so do check it out there if you have doubts.

Shanghaied,

Interesting you should mention that, Emma O'Reilly, LA's masseuse remembers that incident very differently...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/26/lance-armstrong-doping-whist...

It saddens me that pro-cycling's love affair with EPO from 1990s continues to taint the sport's reputation today.

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Paul J [884 posts] 3 years ago
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Shanghaied,

No, Armstrong's test wasn't "under the positive range". It was a full-on analytical fail for corticosteroids. And no, he didn't have permission for it. He *should* have requested a therapeutic use exemption for the saddle-sore cream he says he used, *before* having used it ideally, certainly before competing after having used it (if the cream existed).

*After* the failure notification from UCI, Armstrong produced a doctor's prescription for a saddle sore cream, claiming he hadn't known it contained corticosteroids (an amazing lapse from a rider famous for his attention to detail). As other's have noted, Lance's soigneur at the time does not consider the explanation for the failure plausible.

The UCI accepted the back-dated doctor's note. Though, some might say it should not have. Regardless, it's indisputable that Lance has had positive tests for substances that should not have been in his body at the time. Which means he's being quite economical with the truth when he says he never failed a test, to put it kindly.

Here's another cyclist who couldn't treat a bee string cause he didn't have a therapeutic use exemption for cortisone cream and didn't want to break the rules: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/in_depth/2001/tour_de_france/1456643.stm. There is also a "Mouvement pour un cyclisme crédible", which is a voluntary protocol some pro teams are signed up to it (E.g. Slipstream/Garmin and various french ones), and one of the conditions stipulated to is that no use of corticosteroidds is acceptable. Riders have to be withdrawn from competition if they require such treatment - they can't just get a TUE. I.e. corticosteroid use isn't a trivial thing.

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