His court time would be VERY limited too.
Don't kid yourself.
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It would be great to get the drugs out of the sport. After all I can't tell if they are riding 32mph doped or 26mph clean when I'm watching on tv, so I don't need to see these doped performances.
But the sad truth is that they all (or most) still dope to compete at the highest level because the controls aren't good enough and most of the time they can beat the tests. I think that all results from the advent of EPO 92? 93? 94? through today are a lost cause. We can take away the 7tdf wins (which I personally don't care about) and move the rest of the finishers up one place and it won't have any more meaning than if it stands the way it is today.
Cycling gets a bad image because of all the drugs, but cycling tests more than other sports and sanctions are harsher (compare to football (either one)) which is a good thing. Personally I don't really have too much hope that athletes will compete clean, which is very unfortunate, but the busting of LA and his teammates and the knowledge of how they beat the controls can only help make things better IF the people in charge use the information to improve things.
Life lesson #1 - pick your battles!
I think the USADA is on a vendetta and them thinking they have jurisdiction over a French bike race is a sham. I also think it would cost him plenty out of pocket. He's following his lawyer's advice.
I'm not a big LA fan, this is my reaction to the USADA and their actions based on no formal charges and no trial...but 20 yrs from now if my grandkids ask me who won the TdF 7x in a row I'll reply Lance Armstrong.
Last edited by tbvvw; 08-27-2012 at 05:19 PM.
This is on top of all the first hand accounts of people who came out to say he doped in the past. Now we have 10 former teammates and friends giving sworn testimony to USADA. I don't know what they said but they obviously implicated LA or this thread wouldn't exist.I agree.. but... why not make it public?
Isn't LA the one not making it public by not going through the court proceeding?
A few things :
EPO has a half life of 5 days. Anything tested in 05 that was taken in 99, and frozen, would be too far degraded for testing. It was proven that the tests and numbers released by Le Monde were falsified.
If you think that losing 25 pounds wont make you any faster, regardless of cancer, and/or drugs, you're head is up your ass. Look at Wiggins. When he was a track WC, he was about 25 pounds heavier, and climbed like a stone...
The larger point is, and who gives a good GD if Lance doped...
The system is flawed. The USADA has a virtually non-existent burden of proof. Circumstantial evidence, secret witnesses, and a hand picked panel of "Judges" are what convicted Lance in the eyes of the USADA.
There are NO positive tests. If you find one, please produce it. The Federal Government couldn't find one. The French Government couldn't find one. The UCI and WADA, for all of their faults, couldn't find one. I guess the word of some guy on VWVortex, who read something somewhere will suffice though.
The USADA is stating that Lance had "abnormal blood values". What the hell does that mean? I saw the charts, so what? It means nothing without a printout that says he had CERA in his blood.
The witnesses? Hamilton and Landis? Two guys who have been convicted of doping, as well as crimes, and lied about their positives until they simply ran out of lies. Yeah, I trust those guys.
And the other "witnesses"? yeah, a few of them NEVER spoke to Tygart, and/or the USADA. I know this for a fact through first hand knowledge.
And the panel from the USADA that produced the verdict? Yeah, those guys were hand-picked by Tygart. 3 guys had picked to rule by the prosecution? Noooo, that's not biased at all.
One of the panelists was accused of sexual assault against a woman, and basically came to an agreement (An Alford Plea) with the Court that the prosecution had enough evidence to find him guilty, but to save face, he took a lesser charge of indecent exposure.
You want that guy passing judgment on you?
The USADA broke their own rules. The statute of limitations is 8 years, but somehow, all charges against Lance goe all the way back to 1998? I'm no math major, but that's 14 years. They have also applied TODAY'S rules to occurrences in the past. They have now, just in the past 48 hours, made the effort to amend the statute of limitations to make it 14 years? Coincidence? I think not...
Layman's terms? It's like saying that you got pulled over at a DUI checkpoint in 2001, when the Law was .10, and you blew a .092. The Law changed to .08, and now, the governing body where you live has decided to re-visit your case, and charge you with an 11 year old DUI. Dirty pool? Yep. Same idea? Yep.
Eddy Merckx, who is largely held as The King, and who got popped TWICE for doping (positive tests BTW...no "abnormal blood values" called the process into question by saying that even if Lance WAS on dope, yet he somehow passed hundreds of drug tests, then the whole testing process should be scrapped. Got a point, don't he?
Like I said before...
I don't care. If he doped, he doped...so did everyone else during that era. Actually , it's gone on since professional cycling began. Look up "pot belge". Those guys used to put sh*t into themselves that folks today wouldn't use at gunpoint.
And I'll make this point...
the 2012 edition of the Tour ranked as the fastest ever...yet they're clean now? OK.....
It means nothing to me. I still like pro cycling. I'll still watch the old DVDs of Lance's races. I'll still throw my leg over the bike, like I have for 25+ years, and enjoy my rides.
Last edited by merckx56; 08-27-2012 at 06:50 PM.
... you're not a hipster. But you definitely have hipster tendencies. Stay vigilant... like diabetes, you can manage this.
This thread sucks -Quattro Krant
No they're not clean now either.
The guy is a genetic freak. That could be the reason why he's managed to beat cancer when it was already protruding his brain.
When he said that he didn't have what it takes to win TdF, he was only 20. There is a reason why cyclists no matter how strong they are don't win their first Tour until later stage. That's because they still lack stamina, which takes many years to build.
Anyway, I am going to stick by LA until he is proven guilty. Until then, it's a witch hunt by USDA and media screaming "Lance is stripped of all 7 titles!" while he still isn't.
I just think doping is endemic to the sport, and if you want to win you are practically forced to dope. The lack of positive tests doesn't mean much to me since I think the testing is intertwined with under the table acceptance of the inevitability of doping. Full fledged hard on testing would change, some would say ruin, the sport as we know it.
Lance probably thinks his alleged doping is justified since its the only way he could play "fair" in a sport which is so taxing on people's bodies that doping once upon a time was openly accepted as a necessary evil.
I think Lance is an amazing athlete and inspired a lot of people, though his cult of personality got so big that it was bound to fall apart.
This is perhaps childish on my part, but you can't say he minds attention:
Last edited by robw_z; 08-28-2012 at 07:55 AM.
Because the USADA follows WADA rules, which the UCI also has to fall into lock step with because of their close alliances and protocols, it's just as binding.
This is telling.
I am just finishing with a documentary called Presumed Guilty. It was filmed by a couple of young Mexican attorneys working toward the release of a young man (Antonio Zuniga) who was wrongly convicted of homicide in Mexico City. Through all of the testimony and what they call "face offs" where the accused gets to question the accusers directly, the credibility of the so-called eye witness testimony is called into question over and over again. The arresting officer can't recall actually being present at the arrest. The star witness finally admitted to not seeing Zuniga at the scene and couldn't remember what he looked like. When the prosecutor is asked why she's having Zuniga tried, she merely laughs, shrugs and says, "Because that's my job.".
Despite all of this, the Mexican kangaroo-court still convicted him. According to the film, 95% of convictions are done so without ANY physical evidence. 92% of convictions are based solely on eye witness testimony. Eventually the case was overturned on appeal after he had spent over 800 days in jail.
So I started to ask myself, "How could anyone look to ruin someone's life on such flimsy evidence."
And then I remembered this thread. I think that the overall desire to see justice, as we perceive it on a personal level, will sometimes allow us to grind right past another individual's liberty. In the end, it's not really justice that we seek, but revenge. Especially when we perceive the things that we hold dearly as being threatened.
I don't know if Lance is clean or dirty. The only person who really knows is Lance. However, I think that there are a lot of people who simply want to see him buried because, in the end, it's good for their sport. It "sends a message".
Last edited by Seabird; 08-29-2012 at 01:03 AM.
Now think about that for a while.Originally Posted by Ben Stein
I am in the boat that believes the bulk of elite athletes; especially endurance athletes are more than likely on something. The “something” in question that they take, we just don’t know about. Lance unlike many athletes had the financial means to purchase and more than likely hide things that other athletes in his same sport could not get their hands on. I just believe that LA is the perfect storm. He was great, but found things to take that pushed him past just being great. In sports that are decided by inches and seconds, all one needs is just an edge.
I take everyone back to Balco and specifically the “cream and the clear” that we found several athletes on. Nobody knew cream and the clear existed. There was no test out there and scores of elite athletes were on it shattering records or making significant advances in respective sports. It wasn’t until someone sent in a sample and said you may want to test this and start looking for it, which forced everyone to become aware of its existence. I think today’s elite athlete has moved on to the new cream and clear.
Just recently in baseball, I heard several people in the sport use the term “stupid” for some guys that were recently caught and suspended for doping. I think word “stupid” was a reference implying how could you possibly get caught on “that” when everyone doing it is now on “this.” In no way do I believe these guys are saying you are stupid for taking anything, they are saying you are stupid for going down to Mexico and getting the over the counter stuff when we have people that sell us the high tech designer stuff the league cant test yet or looks past based on its current protocol.
One athlete that scares me to death is Usain Bolt. I hope and pray that we don’t find out later that he is on something. As a former sprinter, I can tell you what he is doing is so far off the charts that many sprinters, coaches, and people that follow track and field are scratching their heads. He is literally crushing long standing records while shutting it down mid race against the stiffest competition in the world. Not only is the competition stiff, the field he is besting is running some of the fastest races in Olympic history.
Also, this isn't a criminal thing. AFAIK LA isn't facing going to jail, just losing his titles. The whole innocent until proven guilty by testing thing doesn't work here because the testing catches so few. Most cycling dopers have been caught through police invesigations of doping doctors. There is quite a list of dopers that have never failed a test.
At the end of this process LA will still be living the good life, no matter what happens.
Now think about that for a while.Originally Posted by Ben Stein
Vorsprung durch Technik
He's been tested and been answering allegations for what 13 years? Test after test has proved nothing, so what's left is a pathetic witch hunt and what people believe and are willing to say.
What a circus.
You can't defend against what people can't accept. You can never be vindicated for what people are intent on believing. Is it true? It doesnt matter. What matters is that it will never end. He can defend this for the rest of his life...it won't matter.
This decision gives him more, not less legitimacy. Life is short. The only person you really need to answer is to yourself and at some point, enough is indeed enough.
Last edited by BetterByDesign; 08-31-2012 at 03:13 PM.
Vorsprung durch Technik
People have come forward before against LA, and the threat of lawsuits has shut them up in the past.
Drug testing is only one method of collecting evidence. Saying because he passed a drug test and therefore he's innocent is similar to saying that because a robber is not caught red handed, that eyewitness testimony from people who knew the robber and saw him commit the crime doesn't count.
Unfortunately because of others who have never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, but were later found to be cheats after all (Marion Jones is a good example, and many others from the Balco situation), the fact that you have never tested positive only means you are smart enough not to test positive, not that you are clean. This has been proven time and time again unfortunately.
As I've said before, if you know how the drug regulations in sport work you know that if you test positive for a performance enhancing drug, you are guilty unless you can prove that the test is false (through the second sample test), that the testing protocol was violated, or that the doping was inadvertent (this last one does not apply to testing in an event, only out of competition testing). Athletes agree to this protocol when they get their license to compete. There is no innocent until proven guilty.. it's fail the protocols and it's up to the athlete to prove their innocence.
The USADA said in their statement:
"The anti-doping rule violations for which Mr. Armstrong is being sanctioned are:
(1) Use and/or attempted use of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents.
(2) Possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfusion equipment and blood parameters measuring devices), testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents.
(3) Trafficking of EPO, testosterone, and corticosteroids.
(4) Administration and/or attempted administration to others of EPO, testosterone, and cortisone.
(5) Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and other complicity involving one or more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations."
The USADA invited LA to the tribunal to answer to these allegations. He chose to not defend himself ergo he's guilty. While it's not exactly that simple, clearly the USADA feels they have a strong enough case that they can prove these allegations.
For whatever reason, LA isn't fighting this. His "I don't need this crap anymore" excuse is just that. If he cleared himself, he wins the right to say STFU to every doubter. That principle is worth EVERYTHING, I would think (it would to me, if I were in his custom made cycling shoes).
I would wager his legal team has been given either all the evidence the USADA has (which is a legal protocol, but IDK if that applies to a tribunal like this, which isn't a legal trial afaik). or parts of it -but clearly enough to decide to take a cop out 'i don't need this crap' position and leave it ambiguous enough that believers can say 'there's no proof' and the USADA won't release the evidence because LA declined the tribunal and their allegation stands, therefore no need to release their evidence.
Armstrong's personal assistant of 2 years blasts his character and believes that he cheated.
Hm. I'm really torn by this one, because IMHO this is a story that is full of villains with no heroes.
I'm no fan of Lance. I was, at first, completely taken by his story of his return from cancer and his subsequent domination of the peleton. It was truly one of the most astonishing and uplifting stories one could possibly imagine.
That said, as time went by I also began to feel uncomfortable about his character simply because it became evident that everyone who crossed him got the equivalent of a nuclear bomb dropped into their shorts. "If you cross Lance, you gonna be singing soprano," was the message I strongly heard.
Which brings us to the doping allegations. Do I think he doped? Very possibly. If I had to make a bet, I would put my chit on yes. The entire sport was dirty, and within that context his performance was just superhuman. While the people who have made allegations against him aren't exactly pure by any means, notice that he went after each and every one of them like a badger who has just been called a skunk. Methinks the man in tights doth protest too much.
Anyway, he's not a nice guy.
That said, while I don't particularly like or admire Armstrong as a person, the fact is that he somehow managed to avoid testing positive on any drug tests (perhaps because he was clean).
Meanwhile, we have a quasi-governmental agency on his ass. As a general rule, I am very distrustful of government agencies that are given certain police powers with very lax oversight, and this one certainly fits that description. As the court noted when it threw out Armstrong's final challenge to the agency, this pursuit of Armstrong reeked somewhat of a vendetta. I REALLY distrust anyone who has governmental powers (even if limited) and a vendetta. And they don't have any positive drug tests -- just a bunch of circumstantial evidence.
So while I neither like nor admire Armstrong as a person, and perhaps as a rider, in the end the question comes down to which side reeks more to me? In this case, I have to side with Armstrong, simply because the other side, to me, has overreached. There's a reason courts are so strict about due process -- it's to protect people from agents with a vendetta and a subpoena.
In this case, a pox on both of their houses.
(That said, I do have to at least acknowledge the millions of dollars Armstrong has raised for cancer research, and the role model he has been to cancer patients. Even mean, possibly bad, people can do good things.)
Last edited by dts; 09-01-2012 at 11:28 AM.
I have no doubt in my mind Lance doped. So what.
So IF he is stripped of his 7 titles - what will be the process of determining the winner? How will they know for a fact that the person that they are giving the title to didn't dope as well?
1999 - Alex Zulle - 2nd place - admitted doper
2000 - Jan Ulrich - 2nd place - stripped of TDF win due to doping
2001 - Jan Ulrich - 2nd place - stripped of TDF win due to doping
2002 - Joseba Beloki - 2nd place - In 2006 he was among those implicated in Operación Puerto
2003 - Jan Ulrich - 2nd place - stripped of TDF win due to doping
2004 - Andreas Kloden - 2nd place - In 2009 allegations emerged claiming that he used the Freiburg University Clinic for an illegal blood transfusion during the 2006 Tour de France.
2005 - Ivan Basso - 2nd place - In 2006 he was among those implicated in Operación Puerto
So do they go to third place? 4th Place?
I say - just let it go.