Armstrong to USADA: You’re long on stale allegations and short on evidence

posted at 6:01 pm on June 24, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

To any readers who might follow me on the Twitters (@erikajohnsen, hint hint!), I feel the need to issue fair warning and apologize in advance: I am a huge cycling fan, and the Tour de France is just around the corner. Really, I am just absolutely nuts about cycling — it is the one sport I have followed almost religiously year-round since I was a teenager. So, while I usually try to restrict my tweets to at least generally political topics, cycling’s greatest race starts in less than a week, and I just might not be able to contain myself.

There are occasional instances, however, when the realms of politics and cycling intersect, affording me the perfect excuse to blog about it — and to a lot of us tifosi, this relentless persecution of Lance Armstrong is about as annoying as it gets.

I’m no Lance Armstrong devotee myself (although, that’s nothing against him, more just that I always found it irksome when the English cycling coverage often turned into the Tour de Lance instead of focusing on the many great cyclists out there), but the continued inquisition has got to stop. Some people just can’t stand a champion, and Armstrong has been the target of especially high-profile attention ever since his first Tour de France victory — even though he’s never once failed a doping test.

After a two-year, multi-continent, federal grand jury criminal investigation failed to convict Armstrong earlier this year, you’d think they’d finally just let it go and let the man enjoy his retirement, but alas:

Lance Armstrong filed a scathing response Friday to the latest doping allegations against him, accusing the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency of violating its own rules and possibly breaking federal law during its investigation.

The agency said Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and other improper methods to win cycling’s premiere event, the Tour de France, from 1999-2005. Friday was the deadline for Armstrong to respond to USADA’s warning that charges were pending before his case moves to the next stage. …

The letter said USADA’s case is “long on stale allegations disproved long ago and short on evidence” and “offensive to any notions of due process.” …

Armstrong’s attorneys say they believe USADA investigators coerced false testimony from witnesses by promising not to charge them with doping; they argue this could violate bribery laws. …

Armstrong’s letter also challenged the 2009-2010 blood tests, which were taken during his two-year comeback from retirement. Armstrong passed all his drug tests during that period and posted his testing results on his website, Livestrong.com, and no charges were brought, the letter said.

While everybody would love it if the greatest sport in the history of sports (in my humble opinion) were perfectly clean, and of course the responsible organizations need to conduct thorough investigations in order to deter doping — enough already. A lot of people have had it out for Lance Armstrong for years, and maybe he deserves the extra scrutiny, but they’ve failed to incriminate him every single time.

These extended witch hunts get the media to only focus on the negative aspects of cycling, and don’t do much to bring in new fans. Please, it’s time to let it go and move on. Lay off Lance and focus on the active members of the sport, instead of continually dredging up old news and wasting resources — the USADA is mostly funded by your tax dollars, by the way.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Here’s hoping Lance is clean…

Khun Joe on June 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Even more pointless than the Clemens trial.

rbj on June 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Where you ensnared by Channel Four’s coverage of the event?

lexhamfox on June 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Clean or not, anything that pisses off the French is OK with me…

bugsy on June 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Lance Armstrong in clean until proven dirty. However, his confrontation with Tyler Hamilton in an Aspen restaurant emphasizes what a jerk he can be sometimes.

RayinVA on June 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Cheater.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

I’ve liked Lance Armstrong since he was a kid winning triathlons before he devoted himself totally to riding a bike. As a 16 year old kid he was beating the best. Over and over again they try to figure out how he’s winning. He must be doing something… What he was doing was brashly focusing and intensely training… harder than anyone else. He’s tough and he’s arrogant like most winners are. He didn’t cheat… he’s just that good. No one has been more closely watched and tested than Lance Armstrong. Let him compete… go ahead and test but let him compete! Watching him motivates… and we all win!

BobScuba on June 24, 2012 at 6:12 PM

A lot of people have had it out for Lance Armstrong

Erika, I’ve always heard the phrase as “A lot of people have had it in for …” or “A lot of people have been out to get …”

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

One has to laugh at the “he was just focusing harder than anyone else”. And “he just trains harder”. And “it’s the cadence”.

Everybody at the top of the peloton back then was cheating. Armstrong is enough of a psycho to, unlike all of his rivals (few of them actually tested positive), try to keep the fable going.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Viva le Tour! I’m really big for Andy Schleck but he’s injured so I’ll have to pick someone else to root for. As far as Lance, if the French couldn’t get him years ago what makes USADA think they have a chance, talk about a witch hunt.

tim c on June 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I seriously don’t understand why people believe lance… what’s more likely to have happened… Lance Armstrong was doping or Lance Armstrong’s accusations that the USADA coerced false testimony?

The same people who believe Lance Armstrong probably believe Tiger Woods hasn’t been taking PEDs… despite the fact that Woods ballooned in his late 20s and had a doc busted for giving out PEDs.

I while I used to like him a lot, I couldn’t care about him…

http://blog.livestrong.org/2012/02/03/livestrong-joins-mayor-bloomberg-with-donation-to-planned-parenthood/

ninjapirate on June 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

The man can exchange 3 times the amount of air with his lungs that I can, and his heart can pump 50% more blood than mine, that’s proven science. Maybe this helps Lance with the endurance events? Naw, he’s gotta be cheating. /s

Mini-14 on June 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM

“Liberals” using any tactic they can think of to go after someone because they don’t like him. Wow. How original…..
“Liberals” can’t stand exceptionalism in any form, unless it’s some made up “coolness” or “oratory skills” or ‘intelligence”….as long as they LIKE that person…..then not even FACTS can stand in their way to idolize them.

KMC1 on June 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM

So, while I usually try to restrict my tweets to at least generally political topics, cycling’s greatest race starts in less than a week, and I just might not be able to contain myself.

…mmmmm Erika!…anybody that thinks cycling isn’t a form of politics in a good portion of Europe and South America…they’ve been into JugEars bag of weed!
With the kind of writing you’ve given Hot Air… since coming here…I don’t care if you knock people off their bikes.

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Erika, I am glad you are working here at HA. I agree with almost every point you just made. I became a big cycling fan sort of late in life but no less of a fan. Seeing the Tour de France in person is on my bucket list.

d1carter on June 24, 2012 at 6:22 PM

“Liberals” using any tactic they can think of to go after someone because they don’t like him. Wow. How original…..
“Liberals” can’t stand exceptionalism in any form, unless it’s some made up “coolness” or “oratory skills” or ‘intelligence”….as long as they LIKE that person…..then not even FACTS can stand in their way to idolize them.

Lance Armstrong is a huge liberal… and a huge fraud.

ninjapirate on June 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

One has to laugh at the “he was just focusing harder than anyone else”. And “he just trains harder”. And “it’s the cadence”.

Everybody at the top of the peloton back then was cheating. Armstrong is enough of a psycho to, unlike all of his rivals (few of them actually tested positive), try to keep the fable going.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

…sooooo!….like….what are YOUR… medications?

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2012 at 6:25 PM

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Please don’t feed Moby Troll…

OmahaConservative on June 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM

One has to laugh at the “he was just focusing harder than anyone else”. And “he just trains harder”. And “it’s the cadence”.

Everybody at the top of the peloton back then was cheating. Armstrong is enough of a psycho to, unlike all of his rivals (few of them actually tested positive), try to keep the fable going.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Are you arguing with yourself again?

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Are you arguing with yourself again?

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Check out the Missouri swing state headline…

OmahaConservative on June 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

The man can exchange 3 times the amount of air with his lungs that I can, and his heart can pump 50% more blood than mine, that’s proven science.Maybe this helps Lance with the endurance events
Mini-14 on June 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM

So, you’re convinced that he cheated to beat YOU – or people with your athletic abilities – on those events. Right…

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Are you arguing with yourself again?

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM

What’s your doubt? Yes, most of them – and all of the contenders were cheating. Yes, very few tested positive.

Do you think Bjarne Riis or Marco Pantani ever tested positive?

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

So, you’re convinced that he cheated to beat YOU – or people with your athletic abilities – on those events. Right…

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Can you comprehend the written English language or are you insane? Both?

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Erika Johnsen, The First Conservative Cycling Fan.

TXUS on June 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Are you arguing with yourself again?

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM

What’s your doubt?

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Oh I have little doubt.

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:37 PM

C’mon CW, dont let Moby hijack this thread…

OmahaConservative on June 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Erika, I really enjoy reading your insightful posts, and I admire your superb writing. On the other hand, I’d like to point out that my writing skills are still vastly superior to yours because you made a minor mistake in the last paragraph – “which hunts” should be “witch hunts”

Love,
me <3

milk on June 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I must disagree, Erika. Thjat “two-year, multi-continent, federal grand jury criminal investigation” was not primarily looking at whether LA had doped in the past. This investigation appears to have eye witness evidence that he did dope. I also love cycling, and I hate cheaters. If LA cheated he should be prosecuted. The more so because of the way he proclaimed his innocence from every mountain. Moreover, he went out of his way to bully and intimidate anyone who suggested that he doped.

Simply because it’s in the past (but not too far in the past, LA rode the TdF in 2010 and only retired last year) is no reason to ignore his doping. He profited greatly from cheating and should be forced to disgorge those ill gotten gains — assuming he is found to have doped and those he cheated choose to take him to court.

While I hope to see him and his reputation face justice, I will be the first to say that he beat others who also doped. In fact, I believe most of those who stood on he podiums with him after his seven TdF victories have either been found to have dope or been under investigation.

Pigilito on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Even more pointless than the Clemens trial. rbj on June 24, 2012 at 6:06 PM

What, this thread?

Akzed on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

We need a massive letter writing campaign to the USADA demanding that they cease the continued persecution of Armstrong. I’m not even a fan of the sport of cycling and even I can spot a witch hunt. Let the testing that has been done on Armstrong in the past stand as is. Winners shouldn’t have to be subjected to historical inquisitions based on questionable retesting of old samples and testimony obtained under pressure from their competitors. If they don’t pass the tests done when they are competing in a particular event, they should rightly lose their standing in that event and be subject to discipline. Otherwise, they need to let sleeping dogs lie. Sports enthusiasts grow weary of attempts to dredge up old laundry and tarnish the records of revered sports champions. Frankly, I find the whole thing distasteful and stupid. We know that athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs for many decades and that most will never be exposed. Sports organizations should simply focus on improving drug testing for the future and not on dubious inquisitions that seek to destroy the reputations of athletes for competitions that they have won and passed the tests given at the time of the event. Lance passed the many tests given him when he competed in the past. The USADA needs to get a life and stop the nonsense.

NuclearPhysicist on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

OmahaConservative on June 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM

…ok!…thought it might be medication like Dr T…it get’s doopy!…don’t just feel like telling it to Shut Up all the time… when everybody keeps reponding to it…I put myself to sleep!

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Lets face it, those trying to bring Armstrong down are RACISTS!

Hey! It works for Obama and Holder!

GarandFan on June 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

These extended which hunts get the media to only focus on the negative aspects of cycling, and don’t do much to bring in new fans.

While I respect Erika’s content, either her expression or that of her transcriber are highly suspect.
I expect she meant.

These extended which witch hunts get the media to only focus on only the negative aspects of cycling, and don’t do much to bring in new fans.

I hope this is an error on the part of her transcriber and not of her own. We are in serious danger of losing the language and this is a good example of how and why.

Pokeyarw on June 24, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Cheater.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

^
Troll.

novaculus on June 24, 2012 at 6:45 PM

We know that athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs for many decades and that most will never be exposed. Sports organizations should simply focus on improving drug testing for the future and not on dubious inquisitions that seek to destroy the reputations of athletes for competitions that they have won and passed the tests given at the time of the event.

NuclearPhysicist on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Alistair Overeem retired Brock Lesnar from the UFC and passed (nonrandom) drug tests before that fight… but then failed a random drug test a few months after the fight. I personally think the previous bout should be ruled a No Contest but the commission let him keep the win.

http://letstalkfighting.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/alistairovereem-before.jpg

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02190/alistairovereem_2190017b.jpg

http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2008_3/SOTA_sagat4.jpg

ninjapirate on June 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

So, you’re convinced that he cheated to beat YOU – or people with your athletic abilities – on those events. Right…

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Can you comprehend the written English language or are you insane? Both?

CW on June 24, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Saying that Armstrong didn’t cheat because of his superior aerobic capacity relatively to a normal person – which is exactly what that poster did – is bizarre.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I haven’t followed it close enough to have an opinion one way or another if Lance Armstrong was doping or not. I’d like to think not, but dunno.

But why the he11 is the non-profit USADA getting 90% of its funds from the Feds? From what I understand many/most of the PEDs that are prohibited in sports are in fact legal drugs but aren’t considered kosher in terms of keeping a level playing field. If/when illegal drug use is involved we already have agencies to deal with that. The sports themselves have an incentive to keep clean from cheating – they could lose fans and revenue if they get a bad rep.

Look at MLB – they did have a large PED problem but have taken somewhat effective steps to combat it once it became known. Congressional hearings did not drive that move – fan disgust and dropping ticket sales drove that move. Let the free market work, dog gammit!

beancounter on June 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Lance has been tested repeatedly. They would knock on his door at almost all hours to take a blood or urine test. He passed EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Gee, could it just be that he is that good? Could it be that he is innocent of doping?

mimi1220 on June 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

novaculus on June 24, 2012 at 6:45 PM

…when the veterans start requesting to let them talk to themselves…I know it’s time!

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Frankly, I find the whole thing distasteful and stupid. We know that athletes have been using performance enhancing drugs for many decades and that most will never be exposed. Sports organizations should simply focus on improving drug testing for the future and not on dubious inquisitions that seek to destroy the reputations of athletes for competitions that they have won and passed the tests given at the time of the event. Lance passed the many tests given him when he competed in the past. The USADA needs to get a life and stop the nonsense.

NuclearPhysicist on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

What you call “dubious inquisitions” have been far more successful than testing in the effort to out cheaters. Again, many Armstrong rivals and teammates who eventually confessed to be cheaters never tested positive either.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:49 PM

NuclearPhysicist on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Nah, we need to buy Hornet Sting a bus ticket and send her over there with a can of lighter fluid and a box of matches to set their a$$ hairs on fire.

novaculus on June 24, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Armstrong has never failed to pass the many drug tests he’s submitted to, unlike many top riders who have failed at one time or another. It’s possible he used HGH but so could all the riders in the last 20 years; there hasn’t been a test for that. If they want to take away his championships due to supposed use of HGH they should take away all bike championships for the past 20 years.

It looks like a personal vendetta. What is to be gained by this now? If they didn’t catch him using drugs for the dozen or so years he was riding competitively, then give it up.

I’m also looking forward to the Tour de France, makes exciting TV (yes, really).

waelse1 on June 24, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Really, I am just absolutely nuts about cycling — it is the one sport I have followed almost religiously year-round since I was a teenager.

Erika, you obviously haven’t been introduced to rodeo and real men, riding and roping and “cutting” things that have a mind of their own and don’t need oil to operate, men wearing real clothes and not something that looks like the gimp outfit in Pulp Fiction. ;-)

TXUS on June 24, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Like Bonfire of the Vanities, it is not the Truth they seek, but they are glorifying in the Process.

As a disclaimer, I think bicycles are toys, like a skateboard or windsurf board and should be banned from any traffic controlled road. They are a hazard, without the proper safety equipment, maneuverability, acceleration, crash integrity, driver visual acuity, water resistant brakes, signaling equipment, road adhesion, etc. They are a dangerous, moving menace when the weather is good, let alone in a downpour where their brakes just “go away”. Racing courses, fine. American roads and city streets, no.

And don’t even get me started when the Liberals put their little babies in the tow-behind tent with scooter wheels and no protection while every person in the USA with a car has to put their child in a certified Child Safety Seat that looks like an ejection seat from an F-22 Raptor.

Bulletchaser on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Moby.

Bmore on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Bulletchaser on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Motorcycles too ?

Bmore on June 24, 2012 at 6:57 PM

These extended which hunts get the media to only focus on the negative aspects of cycling, and don’t do much to bring in new fans.

Which hunt?

Oh. That hunt.

Don’t worry, Erika, ol’ Lance ‘Lefty’ Armstrong isn’t going to let no pathologically envious Frenchies take away his crown even if the U.S. Government is helping them to do just that.

FlatFoot on June 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Isn’t Mr. Armstrong retired? What is wrong with these people? Let it go, move on.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2012 at 7:02 PM

while I used to like him a lot, I couldn’t care about him…

ninjapirate on June 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

I don’t like him for the way he treated his wife that stuck with him through his cancer battle. Then he took up with Sheryl Crow and now he’s a baby daddy with some other woman.

TxAnn56 on June 24, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Cycling is a famously dirty sport (and I too am a fan). But seriously, anyone who follows it and reads the biographies knows that the doctors and techs are always one step ahead of the doping testers. When they found out about EPO, which isn’t even really a drug, that was some big breakthrough apparently…despite the fact that everyone had been using it for years.

Ditto all the rest of the treatments.

We’re not talking simple anabolic steroids here, but designer drugs way ahead of the testing curve.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Lance was taking all of these things and just stayed ahead of the curve. Heck it was probably technically legal. But let’s get real here, next to greyhound racing it’s about the most chemically dirty sport on the planet and that’s not going to change. It takes a certain type of mental and physical ability to do the Tour – especially on the back of the Giro. 2000 miles in 3 weeks at high speed? Sure you could do it without enhancements but when everyone else is, ahem.

Not saying he’s guilty but just because he passed some tests back then doesn’t mean he wasn’t enhanced. In the end though it really doesn’t matter at all.

CorporatePiggy on June 24, 2012 at 7:03 PM

I care just enough to say I don’t care.

yubley on June 24, 2012 at 7:03 PM

TxAnn56 on June 24, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I agree, I don’t want to make him a hero but if these guys couldn’t prove it while he was actually competing, they need to let it go.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Bulletchaser on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Bicycle, motorcycle, car, doesn’t matter what I’m riding or driving, I drive like the road is a giant obstacle course populated by drivers who may at any moment do the unexpected and try to kill me. That takes more energy than the level of semi-attention many drivers exhibit.

And has anyone else noticed the distinct effect on the mind exerted by red lights at intersections? I’ve seen it time and again. A few seconds exposure, and the susceptible are astrally projected into another dimension. Only repeated honks of a car horn will bring them back to our universe.

novaculus on June 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Bulletchaser on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Amen, Brother! However, I’d prefer that the government not be in the business of regulating either cyclists or child seats.

Let the market decide, i.e., if enough cyclists riding on roads (paid for by our gasoline and other transportation taxes, which they don’t pay), get run over or whatever, maybe they’ll decide to take their little bikeys to roads less traveled.

Likewise, while I might argue that parents who choose not to put their little ones in safety seats are taking an unreasonable risk, and one that I would not take, it is not the government’s role to be involved in these or in so many other choices the people should be entitled to make on their own.

That said, I hope Armstrong nails these bastards to the wall!

TXUS on June 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

CorporatePiggy on June 24, 2012 at 7:03 PM

I would have thought he would have all sorts of medication in his system from his cancer treatment. It’s not like you get to quit taking it all of the sudden, it is usually years after being initially treated.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

1999
1st – Armstrong
2nd – Alex Zulle – admitted taking EPO, never tested positive for it
3rd – Fernando Escartín – systematic team doping exposed in 2004, never tested positive

2000
1st – Armstrong
2nd – Jan Ullrich – admitted to extensive use of EPO for his entire career, never tested positive for it
3rd – Joseba Beloki – implicated in Operacion Puerto in ’06, never tested positive

2001
Same GC

2002
1st – Armstrong
2nd – Joseba Beloki
3rd – Raimondas Rumsas – “On the day of Rumšas’ third place finish in the 2002 Tour de France, police discovered corticoids, erythropoietin, testosterone, growth hormones and anabolic steroids in the car of his wife, Edita Rumšienė”. Never tested positive till that point. – eventually tested positive for EPO

2003
1st – Armstrong
2nd – Jan Ulrich
3rd – Alexander Vinoukourov – Never tested positive for PEDs. A blood test implying a homologous transfusion in 2007 – after the introduction of the biological passport and Armstrong’s retirement
– framed him.

2004
1st – Armstrong
2nd – Andreas Kloden –
Andreas Klöden travelled to the Freiburg University Clinic for an illegal blood transfusion after the first stage of the Tour de France 2006, an independent commission has ruled. In a report issued Wednesday afternoon, the commission which investigated doping practices carried out by doctors at the clinic said that three riders – Klöden, Matthias Kessler, and Patrik Sinkewitz – received transfusions of their own blood on Sunday, July 2, 2006. . Never tested positive.
3rd – Ivan Basso – Got a two years suspension after the “Italian USADA” went after him. Never tested positive.

2005
1st – Armstrong
2nd – Ivan Basso
3rd – Francisco Mancebo – implied in the Operación Puerto doping case. Never tested positive.

This not to mention the amount of Armstrong teammates – Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Leipheimer – that have admitted to using doping. Or how races are now much slower and you don’t see those crazy climbs typical of the Armstrong/EPO era.

It takes a gigantic leap of faith to believe that everybody else was cheating except Armstrong – and that he could still win and often with ease. And to believe the USADA is actually coercing witnesses.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Isn’t Mr. Armstrong retired? What is wrong with these people? Let it go, move on.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2012 at 7:02 PM

He was doing iron mans and triathlons. But due to these allegations, he has been suspended and can’t compete. Guilty until proven innocent. It seems as if some folks in the cycling world can’t bear to see him competing even outside of bicycle racing.

novaculus on June 24, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I enjoy cycling myself, but I can’t imagine watching it.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 24, 2012 at 7:17 PM

agree, I don’t want to make him a hero but if these guys couldn’t prove it while he was actually competing, they need to let it go.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I agree, just because he’s a jerk in his personal life doesn’t mean he cheated in his professional life. I think all the fame went to his head. They’re trying to do to him what they did to Clemens. Maybe the sports world has something against Texas icons.

TxAnn56 on June 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Here’s hoping Lance is clean…

Khun Joe on June 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

I take two showers a day.

And I still have both balls. Knock on wood.

Lanceman on June 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I take two showers a day.

And I still have both balls. Knock on wood.

Lanceman on June 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Heh…

OmahaConservative on June 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I’m a Tour de France fan and I strongly suggest that for the sake of cycling, do a reset. Leave Lance alone. From now forward, vow that NO cheater can get away with it. Make it IMPOSSIBLE for them to cheat. If it involves taking a piss and blood test every day, then so be it!

Decoski on June 24, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I agree, just because he’s a jerk in his personal life doesn’t mean he cheated in his professional life. I think all the fame went to his head. They’re trying to do to him what they did to Clemens. Maybe the sports world has something against Texas icons.

TxAnn56 on June 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The national sports media are just as liberal as the lame stream news media, and sometimes I think even more so. There’s no question that the vast majority of them share the same politics as do the LSM news reporters, journalists, and opinion hosts. That said, it’s not just Texas sports icons that they have in their sights. Sportswriters, too, suffer from Watergate Syndrome, the desire to bring down the mighty and get a book and movie out of it. Whores all.

TXUS on June 24, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Great news for all the cycling fans. Both of them.

Old eagle on June 24, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I NEVER knew Lance had never failed a drug test…from the coverage all these years that’s been background noise, I just assumed he had a dirty test in there somewhere…sheesh…unbelievable and unfair to continue to try to make something stick to him.

ellifint on June 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

As a disclaimer, I think bicycles are toys, like a skateboard or windsurf board and should be banned from any traffic controlled road. They are a hazard, without the proper safety equipment, maneuverability, acceleration, crash integrity, driver visual acuity, water resistant brakes, signaling equipment, road adhesion, etc. They are a dangerous, moving menace when the weather is good, let alone in a downpour where their brakes just “go away”. Racing courses, fine. American roads and city streets, no.

Bulletchaser on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I’ve never seen your posts before, but I like you. Here in Tucson people are obsessed with bicycling, “share the road”, “give a bike 5 feet” etc. We have places with bicycle lanes that the bicyclists insist upon riding on the white line next to traffic. I live on a road in the county with a 1 foot edge, several blind curves, and a [rightfully] 45 MPH speed limit that bicyclists with death wishes insist upon riding, sometimes side by side. The excuse is, “it’s only a few seconds of your time to slow down until you can go around” — an attitude I find to be enormously selfish, yeah, it’s only a few seconds (depending upon how many of them there are), but it is my time and they are taking it away from me to further their own pleasure while they may be depriving myself and others of getting to our destinations in order to enjoy our own pleasures. I frankly find such bicyclists to be selfish boors who think of no one but themselves.

… and don’t get me started on groups of cyclists blowing through stop signs or other obstructions that would earn motorists a citation.

Hint to cyclists I may have offended, stop riding like you own the road, be courteous to the drivers paying for the roadway and you will have no fuss from anyone.

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 7:44 PM

look closely andI bet you see the USADA is staffed by liberals. there is something in the liberal mindset that refuses them to allow any American to be a Champion esp one that people look up too. Instead they have to sully all USA champion’s names, hint that they got the title by use of drugs or by hook or crook. It is the same mindset that says AMerican took all the wolrd’s resources and our national wealth was ill gotten.

unseen on June 24, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Okay folks settle down…I have a little knowledge about this, being a former world class cyclist myself, drug free. I also know one of Lance’s former teammates extremely well, who knows things.

He doped…a lot….period. Forget the “I never failed a test” crap, there are a lot of cyclists that were doped that never failed a test. He actually has failed a drug test once, but got a backdated TUE (therapeutic use exemption)after the fact. He also had blood tested from early Tours showing EPO. The tests just didn’t exist at the time of the doping controls, but did a few years later where they happened to analyze some frozen samples from past Tours. There’s a lot more out there most of you probably haven’t heard.

Some of us weren’t interested in putting stuff in our bodies just to get a better result, as tempting as it was, and trust me it’s a little discouraging to know that you are investing so much time and effort, only to be at an immediate disadvantage to somebody willing to dope. Put yourself in those shoes before you claim it is a witch hunt and buy into the Lance Armstrong is a cycling God story.

Hopefully I burst a few bubbles here.

moo on June 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

And don’t even get me started when the Liberals put their little babies in the tow-behind tent with scooter wheels and no protection while every person in the USA with a car has to put their child in a certified Child Safety Seat that looks like an ejection seat from an F-22 Raptor.

Bulletchaser on June 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

IMO all the laws that “require” safety devices in transportation devices (cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, bicycles, etc) should be rescinded and replaced with, or more accurately have added a simple caveat of you can’t sue anyone for anything if the safety device is not utilized. In other words if you are not using a safety belt and you are injured in a accident. Tuff it’s on you.

1791 on June 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 7:44 PM

I’m with you and our new friend, Bulletchaser, when it comes to this cycling on public roads phenom. There are a number of cyclists who fathom the situation and actually understand they’re riding on roads built for motorized vehicles, and do their best not to become a hazard or a hassle.

My problem are the ones who think THEY own the roads and that the rest of us should yield to their hobby or passion, riding an effing bike.

Yes, the statists see cyclists as being on the “green” side of transportation, and hence pass ordinances and laws favoring them over others, like us, who pay for the streets and roads. It’s all part of the Big Green Delusion, where they mandate that we all drive bikes to work, like in China, their utopia, so as to minimize global warming or climate change or what I like to call by its scientific name, Hoaxus bullshitus.

Just another intrusion by government and the choosing of winners and losers. Much like some King tried to do to us a couple of centuries or so ago.

TXUS on June 24, 2012 at 8:14 PM

It takes a gigantic leap of faith to believe that everybody else was cheating except Armstrong – and that he could still win and often with ease. And to believe the USADA is actually coercing witnesses.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I confess to not following the sport closely, but didn’t LA have the advantage of being the only rider who specialized on one race? I seem to remember that he was often criticized for Not doing anything else on the circuit. Is it hard to believe that training for a particular event would improve your chances there?

It also sounds like the USADA is rally behaving outrageously on this.

An offer of immunity is a bribe. It puts the witnesses interest at odds with the truth.

A statute of limitations should not be reset when a person claims innocence. That just encourages baseless accusations to reset the clock. The only way you avoid resetting the time frame is to not oppose the charges?

I would like to believe that he was clean but I do think that the USADA has the responsibility to investigate. That doesn’t mean that they can run roughshod over rules and fairness.

OBQuiet on June 24, 2012 at 8:14 PM

he survived cancer… he has an ultra-high pain tolerance —

that said, was there any cyclist who finished all 21 stages in the past 20 years that wasn’t on PED’s – so either wipe out the last 20 years of records, or stick a sock in it

TdF television coverage is great. You get to see the French countryside, without having to deal with the French… ;)

phreshone on June 24, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Sorry, no. Armstrong was regularly beating people who _were_ proven to be doping regularly. I recently read the piece “Lance Armstrong has Ruined Cycling” (google it yourself) and it made a pretty indisputable point: doping increases stamina and speed by about 5%. It’s impossible Armstrong could have consistently beat all those dopers without doping himself. It’s probably a fact he doped in self-defense, rather than unilaterally disarm, but let’s just dispense with the fairy tale that he did everything with “increased focus and effort” or a superhuman physiology. He cheated, deal with it. I especially like the guy above who blames it on liberals. Let’s leave the crackpot conspiracy theories to the left, shall we? Armstrong cheated, deal with it.

babygiraffe on June 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

No doubt Armstrong is a fine athlete, but he’s also a cheater. How many people do you know who have been cured of testicular cancer that metastasized to the brain, stomach, and lungs? That’s a death sentence for 99% of people. For Armstrong, he got off the steroids and the cancer went away. And now he’s back on them. So he’s a cheater, and he’s stupid. But mostly stupid.

Rational Thought on June 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I confess to not following the sport closely, but didn’t LA have the advantage of being the only rider who specialized on one race?

OBQuiet on June 24, 2012 at 8:14 PM

No. Others did the same.

I seem to remember that he was often criticized for Not doing anything else on the circuit. Is it hard to believe that training for a particular event would improve your chances there?

He did other stuff – they need to compete to get in shape. It’s just that the TdF was his only Grand Tour race.

It also sounds like the USADA is rally behaving outrageously on this.

I don’t see how. It’d be very important to finally get Armstrong. Important for the future of the sport. Allowing a high-profile athlete like him to get away with it would set a terrible precedent and a very bad example for future generations of sportsmen.

An offer of immunity is a bribe. It puts the witnesses interest at odds with the truth.

A statute of limitations should not be reset when a person claims innocence. That just encourages baseless accusations to reset the clock. The only way you avoid resetting the time frame is to not oppose the charges?

I would like to believe that he was clean but I do think that the USADA has the responsibility to investigate. That doesn’t mean that they can run roughshod over rules and fairness.

This isn’t a criminal investigation.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

moo on June 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Well, the former teammate has had ample opportunities to testify under oath. If he has done so, he either wasn’t credible, or what he “knows” led nowhere.

At some point the statute of limitations has to run on this stuff. They have tried repeatedly and failed to prove any wrongdoing. They are trying again. In the meantime, having proven nothing over decades of testing,they are depriving Armstrong of the right to pursue a livelihood. Something needs to be done about that, because that is too much authority, period. Particularly when it is wielded by nincompoops.

novaculus on June 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

These extended which hunts

Better a Which hunt vs. a Who or What hunt, don’t you think? ;-)

nukemhill on June 24, 2012 at 8:28 PM

If you believe he cheated like everyone else, how do you explain that the most tested athlete in history come up negative EVERY single time?What drugs was he injecting that everytime he was tested, he came up negative? I don’t care what other cyclists say, I want to see the scientific proof. They have nothing to lose by spouting insinuations. Show me-seeing is believing-if or when that happens then we can all throw him off the Eiffel tower.

Static21 on June 24, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Viva le Tour! I’m really big for Andy Schleck but he’s injured so I’ll have to pick someone else to root for. As far as Lance, if the French couldn’t get him years ago what makes USADA think they have a chance, talk about a witch hunt.

tim c on June 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

..one of the side benefits of this thread is it spotlights one of the most arduous athletic accomplishments anyone can achieve in annually. In a 25-stage race with the variety of terrains and types of stages ~~ flat, mountain, TT, team time trial ~~ literally 10 seconds of inattention can cost the GC leader the maillot jaune and the tour.

But side form the athleticism, it is literally a month-long soap opera where riders get pisssy with the press, their team mates, other riders, and their coaches.

Also, the French hate it when anyone from another country wins — especially Americans. Armstrongs 7 victories will had had them hopping mad and rest assured they literally crawled up his backside looking for doping problems.

Tim, you ever race, by the way?

~an old CAT 3.

The War Planner on June 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Had nothing to do, so I was reading HA threads. This one interested me for some reason. I see comments that are heated on both sides of this story, comments about Roger Clemens, and comments about doping athletes in general.

What I can’t figure out, is why the heck does anyone care what some dopey athlete puts in their body? Does it cause you harm? The only harm it seems to cause me is the idiotic government commissions and Congress investigating this crap like it makes any difference, and spending my money to do it.

Athletes are there primarily to entertain us, especially the professional ones. If they feel they can enhance their ability to entertain us by doping, and if they are stupid enough to do it, well, that’s their business. Frankly, I enjoyed watching Bobby Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Lance Armstrong perform. If the drugs made them better, then what’s the problem?

NOMOBO on June 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Ask his Ex-Wife or Sheryl Crow if they think he’s capable of cheating.

1. Couldn’t care less, unless someday a final answer makes people stop wearing those asnine yellow wristbands.

2. Guy’s an amoral leftist scumbag, couldn’t care less how fast he rides a bike. Scumbag.

Oh, and as for those ‘clean’ tests? Blue collar ‘rodeo clowns’
(and I’ve worked with many of them) ROUTINELY beat piss-tests for all kinds of dope just to keep their CDL’s. People with access to expensive technology probably have an easier time of ‘beating the system’. (Yeah, Clemens never used ‘roids or lied about it, and OJ didn’t kill Nicole and her friend, right? Wake up.)

a5minmajor on June 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 7:44 PM

You ever drive up Mt. Lemmon highway? Can’t tell you how many times we drive up there and get stuck behind cyclists riding in the middle of the road! Especially going back down…they act like they own the place!!

Equality 7-2521 on June 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Obviously there are some Armstrong trolls even at Hot Air…

It’s not all that hard to evade detection on your drug tests. It used to be very easy actually. As far as my friends testimony, he has done so, but you’re still going on the word of one person vs. another, and it (correctly) is not sufficient by itself to find somebody guilty of doping offenses.

Put yourself in the shoes of an athlete that has dedicated so much of his life into competing at this level, but chooses to do so cleanly. Should that person just accept the fact that they are going to lose to somebody who isn’t so ethical? If so, you’re a jerk.

So those of you arguing that this should be dropped, that pay your taxes and complain about the “freeloaders” off the government should just shut up and accept that they are more astute at working the system, and your taxes will be higher as a result. Live with it.

moo on June 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

You ever drive up Mt. Lemmon highway? Can’t tell you how many times we drive up there and get stuck behind cyclists riding in the middle of the road! Especially going back down…they act like they own the place!!

Equality 7-2521 on June 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Same thing going through Gate’s pass to get to Avra Valley and the Desert Museum. Narrow, narrow road, bad enough just worrying about cars, you’ve also got to worry about all these health nuts cycling for pleasure.

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM

unseen on June 24, 2012 at 7:46 PM

…good to see you posting more frequently again!

KOOLAID2 on June 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Erika Johnsen, The First Conservative Cycling Fan.

TXUS

I’m both a life long conservative and big cycling fan since the days of Greg LeMond. Currently training up to get licensed to race again.

Chime in Cycloservatives.

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

How much don’t I care? This {———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–} much.

So, why comment? ‘Cause I cannot stand all those bicyclists on narrow country roads, dressed in those weird spandex outfits and I blame Lance. He also dated Sheryl “only one square per restroom visit” Crow, so I hold that against him, too.

Do I think he cheated? Meh, probably, but I really hate the spandex-wearing wannabes who seem to think that it’s a great idea to ride double and triple wide on hills and curves in no passing zones.

*breathe*

Fallon on June 24, 2012 at 9:10 PM

I wanted to believe that Lance was clean. I also wanted to believe that Marco Pantani was clean. If you watch films of both of them racing you will see that they both got greedy and on certain mountain stages made it way too obvious. In the Giro Pantani chased down a break away up a mountain looking like he had wings – the only problem was that he didnt need to chase them down to win – at all. So why waste the energy? He got busted the next day. In several of Lance’s early TDF victories he did the same on several mountain stages. The epic stage when he looked back and took off on Ulrich looked too good to be true. It likely was. If you watch the races in the last several years you can see the difference – there arent any more magical flights up mountains and no one is flying anymore. My Grand Daddy taught me that if it looks too good to be true – it probably is.

iam7545r on June 24, 2012 at 9:11 PM

1. Couldn’t care less, unless someday a final answer makes people stop wearing those asnine yellow wristbands.

a5minmajor on June 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Oh sheesh, I forgot about the stupid wristbands… Arrrrgh!

Fallon on June 24, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Oh geez – Gates Pass is worse than Lemmon, hands down. The scenery out there is stunning but you can’t enjoy it even as a passenger bc you’re too busy worrying about running over one of those nut burgers!!

Equality 7-2521 on June 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM

I’m both a life long conservative and big cycling fan since the days of Greg LeMond. Currently training up to get licensed to race again.

Chime in Cycloservatives.

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

+1

Bernard Hinault for me though.

CorporatePiggy on June 24, 2012 at 9:34 PM

It was all the second-hand smoke from Krusty Crow !!! Honest !!!

viking01 on June 24, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Same thing going through Gate’s pass to get to Avra Valley and the Desert Museum. Narrow, narrow road, bad enough just worrying about cars, you’ve also got to worry about all these health nuts cycling for pleasure.

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM

..AZ, when I was racing, our team kept preaching the mantra “equal rights; equal responsibility”. We’d chase down the “Freds” (wannabes) and give them a serious lesson/lecture on that principle — mainly because they’d pisss off drivers who’d then take it out on us.

In a similar situation to what you and Equality describe, we’d do our best to accommodate automobiles ~~ single pace line; over to the right as much as is safely possible. While cyclists have a right to the same roads you do, there’s a lot less metal involved and they/we would definitely come out second best. Like so much in life, it often does not pay off to be an assshole.

The War Planner on June 24, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Armstrong competed on a level playing field and he didn’t have any advantage over the other premier cyclists he competed against.

Leave him alone already!

OxyCon on June 24, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Really, I am just absolutely nuts about cycling — it is the one sport I have followed almost religiously year-round since I was a teenager. So, while I usually try to restrict my tweets to at least generally political topics, cycling’s greatest race starts in less than a week, and I just might not be able to contain myself.

..Erika, ask Ed if you can start a few open threads on the Tour. It’d be fun to bat this around.

Chime in Cycloservatives.

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 9:00 PM

+1

Bernard Hinault for me though.

CorporatePiggy on June 24, 2012 at 9:34 PM

..good luck 8th AF. I thought you could just go out to the crits and enter an open race or automatically start our as a CAT 5. Lord, things have changes. Keep us posted.

And Laurent Fignon’s death last year was devastating. The guy lost a heart breaker to Le Mond but was always the pinnacle of grace and comportment. The sight of him breaking down after that last stage TT loss made me a fan of his for life.

The War Planner on June 24, 2012 at 9:47 PM

The thing I think people will find most shocking about this is that someone actually watches cycling.

Voluble on June 24, 2012 at 9:49 PM

The War Planner on June 24, 2012 at 9:40 PM

If all riders were like you, nobody would complain. Here in the Northwest area of Tucson, we get a lot of bicycle clubs that periodically do group rides, about 10 to 20 riders, riding side by side, sometimes 3 to 4 deep on winding two lane roads. .. .and then they act annoyed and put out when motorists speed past them when a break occurs. Yeah, that makes people really supportive of the sport.

AZfederalist on June 24, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Let the market decide, i.e., if enough cyclists riding on roads (paid for by our gasoline and other transportation taxes, which they don’t pay), get run over or whatever, maybe they’ll decide to take their little bikeys to roads less traveled.
TXUS on June 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

As a former road cyclist, that criticism always chafed my butt. I paid plenty of gas taxes when driving my car, probably more than most drivers. Why can’t I ride the same roads I helped pay for on my bike?

But alas, the roads are a crazy and dangerous place, full of enraged motorists and impolite cyclists. I take my two wheels on the trail now. Slower speeds, better scenery, softer landings. I will always miss the sound of the peloton cruising along (single file), but I now prefer the comfort of my dual suspension MB.

BigAlSouth on June 24, 2012 at 9:59 PM

These extended which hunts

Think you meant “witch” hunts Ms. Johnsen.

Marcus Traianus on June 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM

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