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

joana on June 24, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Proof positive that every single racer that never failed a blood test is guilty. Let’s string ‘em up.

applebutter on June 24, 2012 at 10:24 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

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

ninjapirate on June 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

You have proof to back up your assertions, yes? If not, pound sand up your azzeses.

chewmeister on June 24, 2012 at 10:27 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

It’s a gigantic leap to accuse someone that is innocent.

And heaven’s that a government agency would coerce any one, why it’s just unbelievable that any government agency would do such a thing.

Honey, along with politics, you have proven you know nothing about sports.

Take a look at Dara Torres, she has been hounded for years…competed in the Olympics for the U.S. in swimming at the age of 41—41 (and a record 5 Olympics) unheard of, obviously she has been using drugs by your standards.

Winning a silver, she could still win (setting an American record)often and with ease…a sure sign by you of a drug induced, drug enhanced, athlete…good grief.

right2bright on June 24, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Someone named “moo” knows a guy who knows a guy.

Well, that settles it then.

Chriscom on June 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM

So, why comment? ‘Cause I cannot stand all those bicyclists on narrow country roads, dressed in those weird spandex outfits..

Fallon

Always a topic for heated debate. While I agree that beginner bikers riding 2 and 3 wide are highly annoying, there’s nothing I can do about them when I’m not in their group. When alone, I hug the white line and pray that the gas-pedal-heroes will allow me the 3ft that is mandatory by law (in OK).

Often that does not happen, and I am subjected to a 1-3 ton weapon capable of taking my life. I’ve been hit by a teen running a stop sign and whacked on the shoulder by a wide mirror on a pickup. Again, all while riding by myself and hugging the side of the road. Is it really worth someone’s life to be that impatient?

On the weird spandex comment, go ride a bike for 75-100 miles and see what a pair of gym shorts and a floppy t-shirt will do for your skin.

Let’s all share the road.

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 11:11 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”.

joana on June 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Yes of course, no one works harder or focuses more, why it just “happens”…like I stated, you know less about sports than you do politics.

Jerry West (he is the logo for the NBA) must have been a real druggie, everyone who knows his story doesn’t believe the amount of work he committed to as a youth.
Drugs, it had to be drugs…

right2bright on June 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM

The French did find something illegal in his room once, soap, deodorant and toothpaste!

flytier on June 24, 2012 at 11:17 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

You can just hop in as a 5, but those guys scare me to death with their bike handling (please, no offense to you great Cat5 handlers). The last race I did was as a Cat 3, and the skill level was head and shoulders above the 4s. I’ve got til next year and I’m training pretty hard right now.

So agree about poor Fignon. What a sad ending for his career and life. At the time, my inner immature “Amurrican” was so glad Greg beat him in the ’89 TDF and then the worlds just weeks later. Looking back and watching those races now, your heart just breaks for Larent.

Checkout Youtube channel “CHICKASMITH” he has hundreds of cycling videos up. For those of you that cannot imagine watching cycling, Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin are the best commentator duo in the history of sport, fact.

:)

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

According to these standards, Justin Verlander must take drugs because he was throwing harder in the 9th inning today than he was in the first. Nobody can throw 100 mph in the 9th inning right?

flytier on June 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Chime in Cycloservatives.

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

Amen, fellow Cycloservatives! Huge cycling fan and rider, both road and triathlon. We currently have the opportunity to watch the grand tours in person – saw Contador take the lead on one of the mountain stages during last year’s Giro. With luck, we’ll see the Vuelta this year and the 2013 Tour.

To Erika – I *knew* there was something I liked about you!

To the guys whining about cyclists on ‘public roads’ – please, take a moment think about what it is that makes you think those cyclists don’t pay road taxes just like you. How much road tax do you pay anyway and is it really worth all the mental agony you’re putting yourself and the cyclists through? Do you think that’s going to be a good line when you have to explain to a cyclist’s family why? Finally, when you’re in the comfort of your several-thousand-pound metal-encased frame on four wheels, speeding past the guy on the 18-pound bike, imagine just for a moment roles were reversed – I think you’d want that three feet of space too. We currently live in Italy – and there is no safer place to be on an Italian road than on a bike – until an American comes along in their car (trust me, I live near a lot of them). American drivers drive like every move made by someone else on the road is a personal affront and a conspiracy to make them late – and Heaven help the impeding cyclists out to improve their fitness. Please, for the sake of your families and ours, take a deep breath and relax about the small stuff. Or jump on a bike and try it yourself!

Finally, to the USADA: Let. It. Go. We all realize you want a Barry Bonds moment in your quest for funding, but you clearly have nothing new in all the years you’ve been going after LA. Maybe he doped, I err on the side of thinking and hoping he didn’t. That whole evidence thingy is what gets me. But if we’re going to operate on innocent until proven guilty, you need to let him race until you have something definitive…like a judgment.

Right on June 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I always thought that he & Sheryl Crow broke up because she was so outspokenly liberal.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM

“which hunts” ??? Which hunts are which hunts and which hunts are witch hunts?

starboardhelm on June 24, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Checkout Youtube channel “CHICKASMITH” he has hundreds of cycling videos up. For those of you that cannot imagine watching cycling, Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin are the best commentator duo in the history of sport, fact.

:)

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

..8thAF, you have it nailed about CAT 5s. They’re good people, but new guys don’t hold their line too well and get really tense in a crowd.

I rode for a team in Long Beach, California (Velo Allegro) and they told me when I joined, all new riders had to go on at least three special training rides before they could go with the rest of the team. They drilled drafting, pacelines, lead outs and racing tactics into us. Then they recommended we go to a four week course at the CSUDH (7-11 Olympic) Velodrome and learn track cycling. That got me hooked on track cycling and I used to race there a number of Saturdays for a couple of seasons.

Nothing like a miss-and-out with a twenty racer pack centimeters from your handle bars, fixed gears, and no brakes to hone the skills.

I upgraded to III on experience, not points. I never won squat; I was just pack fodder — and used to get dropped like a bad habit.

;-)
Keep me posted on your progress and the best of luck!

The War Planner on June 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM

8thAirForce on June 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

..oh yeah, I forgot: put in the big ring and don;t look back!

The War Planner on June 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM

He doesn’t say he didn’t dope. He just says that he never tested positive for illegal drugs. Whatever they were testing for at the time. But that’s more than they have — which is ‘gut feelings’ and ‘some guy with an ax to grind says’. Who testified against him? And who would get the trophies if they take them from Lance?

starboardhelm on June 24, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Meh. Maybe I’m just more of a Keith Bontrager type biker. Back in the day when I helped a couple of friends run a high-rnd bike shop, the consensus of most of the customers and the gang that hung out was “big freaking deal” about PEDs. And yes the shop sponsored racers.

If a drug is otherwise legal, why on earth the obsession with an athlete using everything at their disposal? “Purity” in sports, whether drugs or pro vs amateur, or even journalism, as in unbiased, is an Utopian farce.

With the USADA, here’s another agency that needs to sink or swim without one cent from taxpayers.

AH_C on June 25, 2012 at 12:07 AM

Lance Armstrong is not a pleasant person. He admits as much. Raised without a biological father, suffered with an abusive step-father, angry at God and the rest of the world, he turned to riding a bike as fast as he could. None of that means a thing to the topic at hand, but it is background.

Literally hundreds of studies, articles and research papers have been done on the unusual, often referred to as “super-human”, physiology of Lance. A heart considered to be approximately 35% larger than normal for his body type, a lung capacity similarly above the norm, and a metabolism which produces less lactic acid than over 90% of elite athletes, all combine to give him an instant and significant advantage over his competitors. Oxygen is the fuel of the muscle, and his body transfers oxygen unlike any other known to man, while suffering less pain for the same amount of effort. News flash, those benefits are precisely what the doping materials for endurance events are designed to accomplish.

After his cancer, part of the recovery regimen included the drug EPO, a banned substance for cycling and most other endurance sports. He had to stop using it long before he could return to competitive cycling, and since it was something he had been taking while hospitalized, of course the testers were looking for it.

They never found it. Or anything else. The only thing anyone has ever been able to point to is that all of his top rivals have been caught, leaving them with nothing but a question as evidence: “How could he beat them if they were doping and he wasn’t?”

That is their proof. That’s all of it. Sour grapes. Nobody could win like that against cheaters if he wasn’t cheating also.

Of course, if his name hadn’t been Armstrong, if he wasn’t a Texan, an American, the responses would have been much different. The Euro crowd, starting with L’Equipe, just cannot stomach an American who destroyed Big Mig’s record.

I don’t care terribly much for Lance Armstrong the person. His politics are weirdly liberal, his personal life has been a nauseating roller-coaster, mostly of his own doing. But Lance Armstrong the cyclist was the purest competitor I’ve ever seen. Someone who holds those ideals for competition should be a conservative; liberals want everyone to win, which really means everyone loses.

Freelancer on June 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM

To the guys whining about cyclists on ‘public roads’ – please, take a moment think about what it is that makes you think those cyclists don’t pay road taxes just like you. How much road tax do you pay anyway and is it really worth all the mental agony you’re putting yourself and the cyclists through? Do you think that’s going to be a good line when you have to explain to a cyclist’s family why? Finally, when you’re in the comfort of your several-thousand-pound metal-encased frame on four wheels, speeding past the guy on the 18-pound bike, imagine just for a moment roles were reversed – I think you’d want that three feet of space too. We currently live in Italy – and there is no safer place to be on an Italian road than on a bike – until an American comes along in their car (trust me, I live near a lot of them). American drivers drive like every move made by someone else on the road is a personal affront and a conspiracy to make them late – and Heaven help the impeding cyclists out to improve their fitness. Please, for the sake of your families and ours, take a deep breath and relax about the small stuff. Or jump on a bike and try it yourself!

Right on June 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM

You are exactly the kind of person I was talking about. Yeah, why should I sweat having to round a blind corner on a legally 45MPH road and encounter a bicyclist, or worse, two or three riding side by side at 20 MPH? Why, it’s just my impatience to get where I want to go in a timely manner! Shame on me! I should be driving 25 MPH on that road just in case one of you is out enjoying your time off while I have to waste my time off going half the pace that I should be able to go. How selfish of me! You are absolutely right! I should realize that your free time is sooo much more valuable than mine and that you absolutely need to be riding on that narrow road, despite the fact that there are miles of bicycle paths or wider, safer roads that you could ride elsewhere.

As far as your comment about multi-thousand pound vehicle vs. 18 pound bike. That’s exactly my point. Why in the world are you endangering yourself and the sanity of motorists around you when that is not necessary? I don’t want to have to say to someone’s family, “I’m sorry, he was being stupid, he and a friend were side by side on the blind curve, I came around, there was a semi in the other lane, I put on my brakes, but it was too late”

Really, is riding narrow roads that important that you want to take away the free time of other people while endangering your own life?

AZfederalist on June 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Wow, that was weird, got the quote and quotee all reversed.

AZfederalist on June 25, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Freelancer on June 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Sounds like he took a chance of a recurrence of his cancer for these jerks. Too bad about his childhood, probably why it turned out that Tiger Woods wasn’t the saint people thought he was either.

Cindy Munford on June 25, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Shortly after the French elect a Socialist, the USADA re-re-re-visits Lance Armstrong, zee Aymayricain eengleesh speeking peegdog who zinks he von ze Tour de FWANCE ovehr pehrfectlee goood FWENCH reederz!
\
Coincidence? Mais non!

Sekhmet on June 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM

As for bicyclists being douchey on public roads, rolling down my windows and cranking Limbaugh makes the Austin, TX version want to turn down the nearest street for some reason….. >:)

Sekhmet on June 25, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Right on June 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Yeah, well what if I can’t give you that 3 feet? What if it’s impossible to give you 3 feet because the road is so damn narrow and I can’t see around the corner? What if you’re obstructing the flow of traffic? Look, I think the point that AZ and I are trying to make is that there are PLENTY of other roads that cyclists can ride on without causing traffic jams or putting themselves and drivers in danger. When they pick the roads that are narrow, winding and have no room for a bike, they’re basically saying “DEAL WITH IT.” And that pisses me off.

BTW, well said AZ. I don’t think these people can understand where we’re coming from unless they were to see these places themselves.

Equality 7-2521 on June 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Sekhmet on June 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Hilarious. Thank you.

Equality 7-2521 on June 25, 2012 at 1:13 AM

I’m one of those Tucson bicyclists that you guys are calling “those people”. I pay my vehicle registration and taxes and have just as much of a right to the road as you guys do. I hug the shoulder and pray to god every time someone whizzes by on my left that it’s not the a-hole with an attitude that doesn’t think that I belong on the same road as cars. Well, guess what, I do belong on the road. As for the attitude, I find a lot of drivers with attitude, even with me obeying every traffic law and staying as far to the right as possible. The only difference is that the guy in the 4000- pound car wins the argument every time. And the courts are woefully lax towards inatentive or angry drivers that mow cyclists down. Most often, there are no felonies and little jail time, even when the motorist kills the cyclist.

So tell me how you are inconvenienced having to be more careful going up Gates Pass or Mt Lemmon? Got a Doctor’s appointment in Summerhaven? There are a lot of pedestrians out there as well, I’d hope you slow down and arrive at your destination a couple of seconds late.

If you see a cyclist disobeying the law, honk your horn and let them know just like you would any other user of our public roads system. Otherwise, I don’t see what’s up with all of the anti-cyclist hatred. If any of you lived in any other part of the world, you’d find that cyclists are much more prevalent and are afforded a lot more courtesy than here in the USA.

Hey, did you know that bikes were around before cars? Did you know that bike racing used to be the most popular sport in the USA? Did you know that the original African-American athlete to break through in a “white only” sport was a cyclist named Major Taylor, who won numerous championships before baseball was even invented?

Chuckie on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Soo, this guy beat all his rivals consistently, rivals who were doping … we know they were doping because they were caught or are dead .. yes cyclists die young from doping ….or admitted it, yet he didn’t dope. Guy’s superman.

I used to love cycling too, but I’m not interested in watching dopers.

Hope on June 25, 2012 at 1:41 AM

He doesn’t say he didn’t dope. He just says that he never tested positive for illegal drugs. Whatever they were testing for at the time. But that’s more than they have — which is ‘gut feelings’ and ‘some guy with an ax to grind says’. Who testified against him? And who would get the trophies if they take them from Lance?

starboardhelm on June 24, 2012 at 11:52 PM

The linked article plainly states that Armstrong denies doping.

JannyMae on June 25, 2012 at 1:49 AM

I’ve never been a competitive cyclist, but I commuted on one all through college. Bicyclists have as much right to be on the roads as anyone else, spandex or not.

Of course, once they’re on the road, they’re subject to all the usual road rules: turn signals, stop signs, traffic lights, stay in a straight line. And basic courtesy, of course, such as staying to the right so faster traffic can pass on the left.

As a practical matter, bicyclists should always ride in as straight a line and be as predictable as possible. You don’t want motorists to have to guess at what you’ll do next. And you really don’t want them to have to veer into another lane because they’re not sure if you’re about to wobble out into the middle of the lane.

And if it slows you down for a few seconds, that’s just one of the hazards of slow moving traffic, which is always possible on a public road. Demanding not to be inconvenienced by slow-moving traffic is not reasonable.

All that said, sometimes cyclists annoy me too. Mostly those who insist on riding against traffic, not keeping to the side, and not following the rules of the road.

But drivers who drive badly are annoying, too.

There Goes The Neighborhood on June 25, 2012 at 2:16 AM

AZfederalist on June 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Equality 7-2521 on June 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Guys, here’s the deal: Cyclists are going to be on the road with you, so it becomes a matter of common courtesy in every situation. You’re right that there are roads cyclists would have to be suicidal to ride on…like freeways. In a lot of other locations, there may not be a whole lot of good options between A and B, in many cases, the road *is* the reason to ride there in the first place. Many mountain passes are this way because of the challenge involved.

Cycling is a lot like piloting a helicopter, with about a thousand different things operating in harmony to bring about your demise. Whether it’s the road condition, the heat, the hills, the off-lead dog, the angry or inattentive driver, or even your own bike. So on a 45-mph descent with blind curves, even a minute road divot can make the difference – adding an impatient driver alongside just compounds the dynamic.

Large groups of cyclists are unlikely to ride in double or single file, what can I tell you, it’s a social thing. Most European drivers recognize this and simply pass when safe, usually a matter of 30-45 seconds. That’s what I do too (i.e., don’t think for a minute you are unique in encountering cyclists when driving). Many larger rides will also have designated ride leaders to police errant cyclists. But there’s no reason for a small group of riders to take up an entire lane – and personally speaking, I will correct that situation when I see it. I’ve seen my share of jack@$$es in both cyclists and motorists – and neither contributes a whole lot of positive to the situation, resulting in discussions like this (if not a ride of silence).

So there’s a balance there – and it very much becomes a matter of safety. But there’s absolutely no reason cyclists and motorists can not ride on many of the same roads. Somehow we’ve managed ’til now.

If you see a cyclist disobeying the law, honk your horn and let them know just like you would any other user of our public roads system….If any of you lived in any other part of the world, you’d find that cyclists are much more prevalent and are afforded a lot more courtesy than here in the USA. Chuckie on June 25, 2012 at 1:31 AM

But hey, at least we’re talking about it!

Best,

Right on June 25, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Someone named “moo” knows a guy who knows a guy.

Well, that settles it then.

Chriscom on June 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM

The “guy” was Armstrong’s teammate, roommate, and knew him well enough to be one of the very few who was in the room with him when he was “dying” of cancer and admitted to the use of steriods, HGH, amonst other PED’s.

You sir are an ass…and you and most of the other commenters here clearly haven’t spent more than a few minutes following the sport or have only paid attention to the soundbite statements of the Armstrong group.

How many cycling world champions do you know? How many Olympic champions? How many Tour riders?

I thought so. So before you make fun of people who do maybe you should spend a little time and really read everything that is out there. Of course you still won’t have the entire story. Go have another beer.

moo on June 25, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Freelancer on June 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Great summary – thanks!

Right on June 25, 2012 at 5:17 AM

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.

Ummm…why?

While everybody would love it if the greatest sport in the history of sports (in my humble opinion) were perfectly clean…

Oh, my. You’re sort of crazy, aren’t you? Cycling’s doping culture makes baseball’s steroid culture look like a non-story. Cycling is a weirdly staged and corrupt sport, maybe uniquely corrupt. It is also uniquely boring.

Jaibones on June 25, 2012 at 6:33 AM

Being an ex-cyclist (cat 3 racer), I’ve been hearing stories about LA since long before he became a TdF champion. Back when Greg LeMond was the hero of the day, faint whispers were heard about this guy in Texas, who was an ex-triatlete, that had the most amazing VO2 max and couldn’t be exhausted. Testing on him showed he could work at 95% max without tiring for hours and hours…everyone said that one day, he would be amazing…

Fast forward a couple of years, and every month you’d hear a story about how disappointing this Lance Armstrong was. He could win the single day races, even become a world champion…but, he just couldn’t compete in the most prestigious tours. After LA won the a 3 race million dollar bonus, I first started hearing the rumors about him cheating and how the races were “fixed” just so that LA could win…but, he still fell out of the TdF with apparently no ability to keep up with the big boys…

Fast forward to the post-cancerous period. The initial take was that this guy would never return to pro level, but his trainer said something that *always* made me sit up and take notice…LA had retained his VO2 max (of course), lost a tiny bit of muscle mass due to lack of training (which he would gain back), and had lost over 23 lbs of tissue (mostly cancerous tissue mass). That combination would result in amazing performance gains, because 23 lbs, when going up a mountain or pulling yourself through the wind on a long time trial, would make more difference than any amount of training the other cyclists could do.

LA also did something no other cyclist did before him. He trained *exclusively* for the TdF. Every other cyclist in history had always trained to win every event they could, and trained to peak during the big tours (Spain, Italy, & France). LA instead, just trained for the TdF and took other victories (Suisse) if they came and paid his team by helping them to win every other event if they could.

LA is the single most drug tested athlete on the planet. No one has been under more scrutiny or been subjected to more rigorous testing than him. Never…failed…a single…test. I don’t care how much Greg LeMond cries, I don’t care how much other cyclists cut deals to get off from lifetime bans for their own drug abuses, LA is clean scientifically and the USADA needs to go find something else to do, hopefully on current athletes (yes, I know LA is competing in triathlons) in professional sports.

What are we going to do next, go back and subject Eddie Merckx to drug testing because he was “too good”?!?

Leave LA alone and get on with it already USASA!

Geministorm on June 25, 2012 at 7:58 AM

BTW, cycling is an exciting sport. I’m a huge fan and the stories of these athletes are very intriguing. To the novice, the team work involved is unapparent, but to those that watch, it is crazy to see. Every year, my wife groans whenever July nears, because she knows I’ll be glued to the TV at night to watch the long version. But, without fail, she and my kids invariably find favorites that they cheer for and get just as involved as I do, it’s hard not to cheer for the underdogs in a breakaway that just might make it to the end without getting caught by the peloton, or that lone mountain “goat” climbing away from all the rest and suffering from exhaustion…

I’ve never seen tougher athletes than cyclists. They compete on the edge of human endurance and can die from the efforts they put in to win a giant mountain stage. They are also nearly fearless, with no protection (yeah, that helmet means diddley squat to a rock at 40mph) and zooming along in rain, snow or down mountains at incredible speeds (if you ever rode a bike at 60mph down a winding road, it would scare the schnitzel out of you). While the sport has been rife with drugging scandals, the truth is most of the pros do not drug because they know they’ll get caught. People notice (these teams are extremely competitive, and others are always looking to catch another team cheating) when their athletes perform abnormally, which is normally how these guys get caught. Cyclists are tested in labs, wind tunnels, monitored, and watched all the time. When they start doing things that aren’t “normal” for them, people notice…

Geministorm on June 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Something that I always find annoying are folks who use Europe as an example. I do not give a crap what they do in Italy, France, Germany, or Great Britain. If i did, why heck, I just might move there. We are not Europeans! If you don’t like it here, stay in Europe since they are so obviously superior to us rubes here in the states. Why golly, you can just take advantage of their superior health care, banking systems and early retirement age! According to the news that seems to be working out real well. I find the American tourist cliche to be particularly hilarious. I live in the D.C. area where we get thousands of foreign tourists, and I can assure you they are every bit as bad if not worse. They are rude, self centered, and most of them stink of B.O. and cigarettes. I am sure the rude American tourists who run down the poor Italian cyclists at least bothered to shower before they left there hotel.

Okay I’m done with my rant, when I see the superior European ways posts I just turn into a black frothy rage.

gator70 on June 25, 2012 at 8:29 AM

It is also uniquely boring.

Jaibones on June 25, 2012 at 6:33 AM

No, it really isn’t.

ALL sports are boring to watch, particularly on television. Live and in person, yes, there is some excitement there, but even then it’s rather like watching it on TV with a crowd of people. It’s more about the social interaction than the game.

I was also a big cycling fan in my early 20′s and even at the height of my obsession I couldn’t stand more than 30 minutes of watching it on television. And that was during Lance’s first major climb to Tour ascendency. (We are about the same age)

Frankly, I just don’t understand most people’s utter obsession with watching sports. I could understand wanting to play them, (exercise, having fun with friends, spirit of competition, etc.)or even wanting to go to live events (for the “social” aspect). But on TV or via the internet?

BORING. Zzzzzzzzzz.

Stop wasting your lives watching other people excel on television. Get off your duff and go DO SOMETHING INTERESTING. Even if it’s just exercising, pursuing a hobby or going and playing with your kids (if you have them) almost ANYTHING is preferable to vegging out on the bark-a-lounger watching other people sweat.

wearyman on June 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

They are rude, self centered, and most of them stink of B.O. and cigarettes.

gator70 on June 25, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Well, you’ve got the French tourists pegged!

yubley on June 25, 2012 at 10:51 AM

This is enough to make me consider becoming a Libertarian.

PolitiJim on June 25, 2012 at 11:01 AM

you’d think they’d finally just let it go and let the man enjoy his retirement

Botched investigations do not translate to innocence. Guys surrounding him, very close to him, have been found guilty of doping yet somehow he was Snow White? He is still cashing in on his wins and if he was cheating then it is only just he get punished at some point. Obviously it’s my opinion that he is guilty (I wouldn’t be surprised if the testicular cancer was related to his injection site), suspected him long before the fingers started being pointed in his direction and, frankly, was sick of his being constantly held up as Superman and Mr. Wonderful (ask his ex-wife if he is Mr. Wonderful) even before that. I stopped subscribing to Outside and Mens Health magazines because I was sick of seeing his face on the cover of either every other issue.

peacenprosperity on June 25, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Just so that the gas pedal warriors know that some cyclists are considerate, there is a 2-lane stretch of Route 66 here that was great to ride on but has been completely abandoned since an up and coming 16 year old racer had his career ended when he was struck from behind by a van.

I completely avoid all known car vs bike trouble spots.

8thAirForce on June 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Botched investigations do not translate to innocence. Guys surrounding him, very close to him, have been found guilty of doping yet somehow he was Snow White? He is still cashing in on his wins and if he was cheating then it is only just he get punished at some point.

Punished for what?

Guys surrounding him been found guilty so of course, he’s guilty too?

Guilt by association, eh?

And I suppose your own friends are squeaky clean? How would you like to be punished for something one of your friends did that you had no part of.

As far as I’m concerned, until there is proof that he had been doping… and by proof, I mean actual evidence, not word of mouth… then he hasn’t been doping.

Smoovious on June 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Hey y’all. Take a break from Lance bashing and chek out the Urban Downhill bike race in Valpariso, Chile:

The Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Race is a legendary urban bike race and is more extreme than skydiving out of an exploding F-18 piloted by Charlie Sheen – while chugging a 2 liter of Mountain Dew. The rider must brave jumps, stray dogs, and flights of stairs along the steep downhill path. The first person perspective provided by the excellent helmet cam lets us take in every glorious and frightening detail. Do yourself a favor and watch this one in full screen mode.

Checkit: http://www.gadling.com/2011/03/03/downhill-bike-race-in-chile-is-insanity-at-its-finest/

BigAlSouth on June 25, 2012 at 5:46 PM

For all you Lance bashers, I have one question. Where’s the evidence?

Not anecdotal “well everyone else was so he must have”. Not “it’s impossible to have beaten the dopers without dope”. Not some other guy you essentially bribed saying, “I saw him dope”. None of which proves a damn thing. If the agency that’s been looking for over a decade can’t prove a damn thing I can’t wait to see you turds expose this mountain of evidence you’ve stumbled upon.

Some of you people (yes you people) are disgusting that you would willingly stand by while some group funded with your tax dollars seeks to bring down someone with ZERO evidence. I hope you suffer the same crap you’re implicating Lance in.

StompUDead on June 25, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Hey, moo. “The guy” (and his wife) helped to get that case tossed out of court without a judgement, because their testimony was found not to be credible. In a European court, supporting the World ADA case against LA, and it accomplished bupkis. Get used to it.

And by the way, steroids or HGH could easily be deadly to a survivor of the particular cancer which had infested Lance’s body. No way he touched either, nor had a need to. He was already significantly more muscular than all but the sprinters, those drugs wouldn’t do anything valuable for him, they would have been all risk, no reward. No, only an oxygen-transfer booster would be a useful enhancement in his case.

Freelancer on June 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM

AZfederalist on June 25, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Equality 7-2521 on June 25, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Hey if you guys are frequently encountering cyclists on narrow roads, around blind curves, then you need to adjust your driving for the possibility, just as you would for an area where deer frequently cross the road, or farm tractors are commonly on the road. If you can’t stop within the distance you can see, you need to slow down.

You have just acknowledged that you are aware of the possibility, so adjust your driving to the conditions. If you knew that 4 months out of the year a shady spot often had icy on the road, you’d slow down. It is the prudent thing to do. Give other human beings a break.

MTinMN on June 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM

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