Lance Armstrong steps down as Livestrong chairman as doping plot thickens

posted at 6:41 pm on October 17, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

I’ve covered the cycling beat before, and I figure that now with all of this doping fallout happening I should probably stick with it — but I stand by what I said before. It’s not that I have any personal, emotional investment in Lance Armstrong’s innocence (indeed, I’ve always been rather inclined to think that he isn’t innocent), but rather, I’m still wondering what it is that the USADA hoped to accomplish by pursuing their extended witch hunt against him.

In August, in the face of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency continuing to search for evidence against him and threatening to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles (which, nobody is really sure that they’re actually entitled to do), Lance Armstrong decided he would no longer spend his retirement fighting their long-running crusade against his cycling career. Plenty of people took this as a complicit admission of guilt, and the USADA promised that they would shortly produce their full case against his character — and now that the details are finally bleeding out, Armstrong’s other corporate partners are slowly edging away from him, and he’s stepping down from leadership of his cancer-fighting organization. From the Associated Press:

Lance Armstrong stepped down as chairman of his Livestrong cancer-fighting charity while Nike and Anheuser-Busch each said they were cutting ties with him as fallout from the doping scandal that has swirled around the famed cyclist escalated Wednesday. …

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report last week detailing allegations of widespread doping by Armstrong and his teams when he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.

The document’s purpose was to show why USADA has banned him from cycling for life and ordered 14 years of his career results erased — including those Tour titles. It contains sworn statements from 26 witnesses, including 11 former teammates.

It’s one of cycling’s dirtiest not-really-a-secret secrets, but there is a lot of sketchy doping activity that goes on in the upper echelons of the cycling community, and it can be next to impossible to compete in the top competitions without doing so. A lot of individuals, coaches, managers, teams, and etcetera are constantly staying just one step ahead of the doping controls, and at that level in the sport, there can be a lot of pressure to put up or shut up.

There is a heck of a lot that’s messed up about it all, but I’m not sure that it was productive to turn Lance Armstrong into a symbolic mascot of all of cycling’s wrongdoing and then singlemindedly persisting in destroying him. Maybe their overall goal was to make an example out of one of the sport’s greatest champions for maximum-impact exposure of cycling’s seedy underbelly, but I don’t know that basically offering amnesty deals to other participants in exchange for testimony is any less seedy, nor that ruining the person who’s brought more American coverage and interest to the sport than any other and breaking half of your own adjudication rules was the right way to go about it.

It sounds like at least some riders are somewhat encouraged by the developments, but whether this will actually be a catalyst for industry reform, as well as whether or not cycling’s image benefits from this whole affair, is a very mixed bag.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I’m so glad I didn’t buy, er “donate”, to get one of those stupid yellow bracelets… That is all.

Fallon on October 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

I did what now?

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I too want to know why they took Lance to the woodshed. As his team testified, EVERYONE WAS ON DRUGS. ON EVERY TEAM.

Yet Lance gets crucified.

The whole thing is very fishy.

CorporatePiggy on October 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM

To be honest, aside from the minor health risks I think they should allow the drugs. You’re never going to wipe them all out and yes it does favor the richer teams (they’ll buy better scientists and develop better compounds faster) but money is an advantage is every pro sport…

If you want your EPO you can keep your EPO.

EPO usage is a victimless crime.

Uh oh, I sound like Gary Johnson.

CorporatePiggy on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

If I were him, I would enjoy my net worth of approx. $125 million bucks.

I’d like to know what these miracle drugs are that can allegedly enhance a person’s performance but be undetectable.

Blake on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

By the way, if you’re one of those delta bravos who sports one of those yellow bracelets, it’s time to ditch it. And while you’re at it, get rid of the aviator sunglasses too.

Nessuno on October 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Seriously Armstrong is guilty, and now that the evidence became overwhelming he decided to jump ship.

No sympathy for him.

Raquel Pinkbullet on October 17, 2012 at 6:53 PM

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Shadow on October 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I’d like to know what these miracle drugs are that can allegedly enhance a person’s performance but be undetectable.

Blake on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

They’re highly technical designer performance enhancers created by very talented chemists. They’re not anything like as a basic as anabolic steroids (which would not work anyway).

They tend to boost red blood cell count, and generally enhance the amount of Oxygem the body can process, plus shorten recovery times.

Because they’re so new and so custom, it takes years for the doping agencies to work out they are being used and work out tests for them. EPO was only the tip of the iceberg, it’s gotten much more complicated.

CorporatePiggy on October 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I did what now?

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM

You cheated. But I will still say “Hey” to Scrumpy.

SparkPlug on October 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I think their “proof” is shaky at best and the determination to “get” him is bizarre. I’m not a fan of the sport or particularly the man but sheesh, what does a human have to overcome to get a break? And now he can’t even celebrate his miraculous recover from cancer. What little interest I had in the sport is gone now.

Cindy Munford on October 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Lance is a guy who fought and survived metastatic testicular cancer and now we are to believed he would further risk his life by doping himself to win a race. As a cancer survivor myself I say get real people.

bgibbs1000 on October 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Heard a guy on the radio this morning, likening his disappointment in Lance with his disappointment with Obama after voting for him in 2008.

jus’ sayin’

socalcon on October 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Drugs and doping have been part of all pro sports for years. Is the USADA going to go back and re-litigate past World Series results, past Super Bowls, past NCAA championships, past Olympics? (Did Kim Rhode, our 5 time shotgun champ eat extra carrots the night before.) Let’s get real, if Armstrong and co were smart enough to get by the checks at the time, then they should be good to go. Its not that I endorse cheating or bad ethics, but trying to push around the edges, whether it is slippery swim suits or extra caffeine should be judged by the standards at the time and not 10 years after the fact.

KenInIL on October 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I’ve covered the cycling beat before, and I figure that now with all of this doping fallout happening I should probably stick with it — but I stand by what I said before. It’s not that I have any personal, emotional investment in Lance Armstrong’s innocence (indeed, I’ve always been rather inclined to think that he isn’t innocent), but rather, I’m still wondering what it is that the USADA hoped to accomplish by pursuing their extended witch hunt against him.

Yeah, stand by the guy who donated to planned parenthood during while Komen was being assaulted.

Anyone who still stands by Lance is nuts… and any conservative who who still stands by him is a useful idiot.

ninjapirate on October 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I don’t know who dopes and who doesn’t – in most sports – but I expect a modicum of actual proof, aside from rats ratting on people.

24 people can testify I drank a bottle of Jameson in an hour- then got in the car and drove. Cop pulls me over, I blow a .01 He tests again, I blow a .01 – takes me to the hospital – it shows .01… I pass a FST.

Guess what I am. Walking away.

Odie1941 on October 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

To all denigrating Livestrong…why should cancer research suffer because of Armstrong’s actions?

tdarrington on October 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

He is a Lib that bankrolled the baby grinding Planned Parenthood.

…..and left his wife and young kids.

Did he dope? Nike thinks so. It’s like Mark McGuire all over again.

PappyD61 on October 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

What hero is next? Will we discover that AllahPundit has been on the Juice?

faraway on October 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Not everyone was on drugs. That’s a misconception.

There were plenty of riders who decided to do the right thing – and because of that they saw their career cut short.

Riders like Christophe Bassons. Have you ever heard about him, Erika? Or riders like Moncoutie. Even riders like Frankie Andreu and Jan Vaughters. Not to mention all of those nobody heard about because they knew they couldn’t compete in the pro peloton without doping.

Have you ever heard about Betsy Andreu, Erika? What Armostrong and his group of bullies did to her and her family?

Erika, you’re totally wrong on this. Armstrong was a cheater and, worse, a bully who took doping to a whole new level in the peloton.

People should really read the USADA Reasoned Decision and the riders affidavits to understand the case goes a little beyond a sportsman doping.

And yes, going after a rider like Armstrong after he finished his career sends a very powerful message to the peloton. Armstrong was thought to be all-powerful and too influential and rich to ever be touched.

Plus, Armstrong was offered the same deal all his teammates were: come clean and get a six months penalty. He decided to keep lying. Witch hunt? Please.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Armstrong made the mistake of making the French look like sissies.

Seriously, I have yet to figure out just why they staged this vendetta when it is clear that everybody was doing it. Have you seen serious cyclists? Not hard to figure out that doping is at least a possibility to stay in competitive shape.

Happy Nomad on October 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

What hero is next? Will we discover that AllahPundit has been on the Juice?

faraway on October 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Well that would explain his picture on the ad for HA.

Happy Nomad on October 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM

To all denigrating Livestrong…why should cancer research suffer because of Armstrong’s actions?

tdarrington on October 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Hardly any of the money Livestrong raises goes to research. I think in the last few years they didn’t spend a dime in it. They’re a cancer awareness organization, their spending primarily goes on advocacy and lobbying.

Armstrong travels around on Livestrong’s private jet though.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Good riddance Liestrong.

JStew on October 17, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Drugs and doping have been part of all pro sports for years. Is the USADA going to go back and re-litigate past World Series results, past Super Bowls, past NCAA championships, past Olympics? (Did Kim Rhode, our 5 time shotgun champ eat extra carrots the night before.) Let’s get real, if Armstrong and co were smart enough to get by the checks at the time, then they should be good to go. Its not that I endorse cheating or bad ethics, but trying to push around the edges, whether it is slippery swim suits or extra caffeine should be judged by the standards at the time and not 10 years after the fact.

KenInIL on October 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

This “game” they play is dangerous. They use drugs and treatments that are untested having no idea what they might end up getting in the future. It may even be possible that his cancer was a result.

I have no idea how to stop this in professional sports. No idea if it is even possible. But one thing for sure the thinking that you can get away with it by beating the test needs to be ended. You instead need to be thinking if I do this it could cost me in the future when it is discovered what I did.

Using Armstrong this way though is little better than the real crucifictions the Romans performed. Punish all or none.

Obviously this crucification idea is now throughout government.

Steveangell on October 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM

NO

You flippin’ well bring your evidence into a court of law, have it properly adjudicated and live with the judgement!

This Kangaroo bullshit is completely ridiculous, and slammers hating a man’s accomplishment and ripping this away without due process is crap.

So say believers in LAW.

heldmyw on October 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Bobby Knight auctions his rings. Lance have rings?

On the other hand Obama lies professionally and he will soon be making millions through books and speaking engagements. Crime pays?

sdbatboy on October 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I’m so glad I didn’t buy, er “donate”, to get one of those stupid yellow bracelets… That is all.

Fallon on October 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Yeah! Screw cancer research! Kidding, know what you meant.

Cheater or not, dude raised a bunch of money and awareness to cancer research. So can’t hate on him too much. And considering that nearly every top 5 finisher in the years he won have been convicted of cheating I won cry too hard for them either.

nextgen_repub on October 17, 2012 at 7:11 PM

There are so many riders who were competing clean even during Armstrong’s dark ages: Lövkvist, Steffen Weigold, da Cruz, Eric Leblacher, Moncoutie, Tombak, Fedrigo, Casar, Albasini, Elmiger, Pinotti, Stetina…

They just never were very successful.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

“Lick it Lance, i don’t wear yellow!” – Lisa Lampanelli

GhoulAid on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Good. Dude is a coward who was an activist last year to put another huge tax on smokers in California.

jaygatz33 on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Going after retired riders – especially the most successful ones – is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of doping amongst current riders. How can people not understand this?

Breaking up the omerta is arguably the most important thing to clean the peloton.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

There is a reason why nobody knows or cares about them, aside from “cyclists”… The didn’t win anything big and they didn’t generate millions in marketing $$$’s from America.

I think it’s great you know cycling well – akin to my love of fly tying events.

Odie1941 on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

IF Armstrong was innocent he WOULD not have stopped defending himself.

Raquel Pinkbullet on October 17, 2012 at 7:18 PM

You cheated. But I will still say “Hey” to Scrumpy.

SparkPlug on October 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

It ain’t cheatin’ if you don’t get caught.

Yogi Berra or someshit.

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Seriously Armstrong is guilty, and now that the evidence became overwhelming he decided to jump ship.

No sympathy for him.

Raquel Pinkbullet on October 17, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Agreed. He deserves none. Was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt before, but the evidence is overwhelming.

I too want to know why they took Lance to the woodshed. As his team testified, EVERYONE WAS ON DRUGS. ON EVERY TEAM.

Yet Lance gets crucified.

The whole thing is very fishy.

CorporatePiggy on October 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM

No, “everyone” was NOT drugs. How sad that you’d try to make excuses for Armstrong in this way. Armstrong has done a lot of good, but he has also brought shame upon not only himself, but also his team, his sport, and his country. We ought to expect better.

Armstrong CHEATED.

bluegill on October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

“Lick it Lance, i don’t wear yellow!” – Lisa Lampanelli

GhoulAid on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

They’re usually already naked when I hear that.

Here, fishy fishy fishy!

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:20 PM

having been involved in a lawsuit before i can tell you that sometimes fighting for your innocence isn’t always the right choice. it costs a LOT of money. i can only imagine what it would cost armstrong to go against a quasi-government agency where cost is not an option. anyone who assumes he’s guilty because he gave up fighting, needs to think about that!

people also need to remember, while america loved the guy, the french hated him and were constantly suspicious, so he was tested as if he were guilty and he never failed a test. most people who assume he’s guilty don’t realize how often he was tested (including off season).

lastly, the idea that everyone in cycling seems to be doping so therefore he must have as well, fails to take into account the fact that the reason we know about all these cyclists who cheated was because they failed a drug test! he never failed a drug test! ever!

i don’t know much about armstrong, but he strikes me as a guy willing to put in the hard work to accomplish a goal. heck, he retired and then goes into running marathons and triathalons. a cheater would have ended up fat and lazy after retirement.

jetch on October 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

“Lick it Lance, i don’t wear yellow!” – Lisa Lampanelli

GhoulAid on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

They’re usually already naked when I hear that.

Here, fishy fishy fishy!

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:20 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA

GhoulAid on October 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA

GhoulAid on October 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

The fishy was thrown in ’cause that gilled idiot showed up.

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

No, “everyone” was NOT drugs. How sad that you’d try to make excuses for Armstrong in this way. Armstrong has done a lot of good, but he has also brought shame upon not only himself, but also his team, his sport, and his country. We ought to expect better.

Armstrong CHEATED.

bluegill on October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

And you know this to be fact exactly how? Because they said so?
Right.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

lastly, the idea that everyone in cycling seems to be doping so therefore he must have as well, fails to take into account the fact that the reason we know about all these cyclists who cheated was because they failed a drug test! he never failed a drug test! ever!

jetch on October 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

You have no idea what you’re talking about.

The large majority of these “cyclists who cheated” we know about never failed a drug test. Even among his former teammates who have cooperated with this investigation, only 2 out of 11, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, ever failed a drug test.

Read the Reasoned Decision and the affidavits to understand why that argument is just a bad joke by now.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

And you know this to be fact exactly how? Because they said so?
Right.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

No. Because it’s an idiot.

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

If I see another yellow livestrong bracelet……

portlandon on October 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Going after retired riders – especially the most successful ones – is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of doping amongst current riders. How can people not understand this?

Breaking up the omerta is arguably the most important thing to clean the peloton.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

..you seem to know about cycling — particularly the pro peleton. You ever race? Just wondering because there’s a lot that goes on on the “inside” even in the old USCF here and there’s a lot of folks who “enhance” their performance with products not necessarily outlawed, etc. The whole thing’s a mess.

I say we let the European peleton (and all who go pro) do ANYTHING they want. Have Colombians with Killer Whale lungs grafted in, sprinters with all the fast-twitch muscle tissue they can shove into their gastrocs, and domestiques so juiced to the gills that they have glowing yellow eyes.

When a few of them vapor lock in the final kilo of Alpe d’Huez then maybe others will question if it’s truly worth it.

Regards,

old, fat former CAT 3

The War Planner on October 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Candy Crowley would like to point out that the USDA has technically not hurt Lance Armstrong at all (physically speaking).

ModerateMan on October 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Roger that. So the most tested athlete in history who never failed a test is guilty based on heresay evidence. So why don’t we just throw out the rule of law for everyone. If I claim Gill is a moron, it must be true because I said so.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

If I see another yellow livestrong bracelet……

portlandon on October 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

..they make great bunjee cords and are super for keeping mics attached to HTs and bundling loaded clips of ammunition. I scored a gross of ‘em for just such purposes.

Want me to send you a couple of dozen?

The War Planner on October 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

I might be able to summon some outrage for Armstrong and his team if I thought for a moment the French policed their own representatives in the sport at 1/1000th the zeal that has been applied to US cyclists. Instead I keep wondering how much the French bribed US officials to continue their investigations in order the cleanse their Tour de France from the stain of American success.

Socratease on October 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

You cheated. But I will still say “Hey” to Scrumpy.

SparkPlug on October 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

It ain’t cheatin’ if you don’t get caught.

Yogi Berra or someshit.

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

…then how do you explain the training wheels?

KOOLAID2 on October 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

The only reason the Tour de France was big news (and money) was because Armstrong kept winning it. So, it riled up a bunch of people and they took down Armstrong. Now the sport can drop back off the radar and take its place with curling as being utterly irrelevant.

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Candy Crowley would like to point out that the USDA has technically not hurt Lance Armstrong at all (physically speaking).

ModerateMan on October 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

I hope not. I can’t see what the United States Department of Agriculture would have to do with this. :p

BillH on October 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

And you know this to be fact exactly how? Because they said so?
Right.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Did you read the report? Doubt it.

They did retests. Did a lot of his team turn on him and confess, yes they did. Tends to happen when a conspiracy gets taken down. Thge team doctors are certainly going down.

Olly North should have done hard time for Iran Contra but that boy sang like a bird.

Maybe not EVERYONE was on drugs, but the people and teams who matter (as in the winners) were. I am amazed they haven’t gone after Indurain, but then it is possible that he wasn’t because he was a physical freak the like of which cycling has never seen before…

CorporatePiggy on October 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Note the witch hunt started the moment Obama’s pallies the Socialists won in Fwance.

Sekhmet on October 17, 2012 at 7:54 PM

As a former national and international ranked cyclist who knows some of the participants in the whole mess, including one of them very well, you folks who defend Armstrong don’t know what you’re talking about. There have always been cyclists who chose to and attempt to ride clean, yet they don’t stand a chance with a doping culture. This was not a witch hunt, but a long and slow process of finally accumulating enough information to sanction one of the worst offenders of doping in the professional ranks. The power and money that Armstrong accumulated gave him an exceptional ability to take down anybody who chose to challenge him over the years.

moo on October 17, 2012 at 7:58 PM

I’d like to know what these miracle drugs are that can allegedly enhance a person’s performance but be undetectable.

Blake on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

The most common one they were using is erythropoetin, which is secreted from our kidneys in response to a need for more erythrocytes. It signals the bone marrow to complete the maturation cycle for new red blood cells. Used as an artifical stimulus, it creates abnormally high levels of red cells and oxygen transport, hence more endurance. The traditional doping test for it is to measure a rider’s hematocrit, which is a small centrifuged sample of blood, giving one a percentage value of cell components to serum. Normal is in the 40% range,,,I believe the testers were using 50% as evidence of EPO usage. One way Armstrong et al beat the test was to inject physiologic saline IV to dilute down the hematocrit to below 50% if they knew a test was coming. From what I’ve read, they may have had a mole(s) in the testing office to warn them of upcoming tests.

a capella on October 17, 2012 at 8:03 PM

CorporatePiggy on October 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Never…….failed…….a…….drug…….test.
End of story.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Starlink on October 17, 2012 at 7:53 PM

This is one of those things that he would go broke trying to win through the courts. Stick to current riders.

Cindy Munford on October 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM

..you seem to know about cycling — particularly the pro peleton. You ever race? Just wondering because there’s a lot that goes on on the “inside” even in the old USCF here and there’s a lot of folks who “enhance” their performance with products not necessarily outlawed, etc. The whole thing’s a mess.

I say we let the European peleton (and all who go pro) do ANYTHING they want. Have Colombians with Killer Whale lungs grafted in, sprinters with all the fast-twitch muscle tissue they can shove into their gastrocs, and domestiques so juiced to the gills that they have glowing yellow eyes.

When a few of them vapor lock in the final kilo of Alpe d’Huez then maybe others will question if it’s truly worth it.

Regards,

old, fat former CAT 3

The War Planner on October 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Ha, not even close to a pro. I don’t race competitively, I entered a few amateur races as a junior; when I have time I race some locals to stay in shape and have fun.

I agree the doping culture permeates the entire sporting and it seems to be getting worse in amateur cycling. My dad has been entering in cat. 3 and Masters races for decades and he knows cases of entire families doping. A 55 year old acquaintance of him has travelled to Andorra, Spain, to consult with a doping doctor. To win $250 and a medal someday, I guess. My boyfriend has been doing amateur races in Europe every Summer and PEDs are endemic. It seems that as the situation improves slightly in the pro peloton it’s been getting worse in amateur cycling..

The sport needs to be cleaned up. I believe that starting at the top is important and might change the culture at lower levels too.In any case, I’m a pro-cycling fan too and I want to see a peloton as clean as possible competing. I don’t get much enjoyment out of the seeing Dr. Ferrari competing against Dr. Del Moral.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I’d like to know what these miracle drugs are that can allegedly enhance a person’s performance but be undetectable.

Blake on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

There’s a reason why Lance Armstrong paid more than one million dollars to Dr. Michele Ferrari. I assure you it wasn’t for the design of a “high-cadence training program”.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Never…….failed…….a…….drug…….test.
End of story.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Wrong. He has failed a test, in 1999, just after his “comeback”. Nothing that a backdated TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) from one of his team doctors for a corticosteriod from a cream he supposedly used for “saddle sores” couldn’t fix.

There were also frozen blood samples from 1999 that tested positive for EPO. Since an EPO test didn’t exist in 1999, they couldn’t find it then, but once a EPO test was developed several years later the samples were found to test positive. However due to “chain of custody” arguments and the fact that it was several years later sanctions were never issued. There was also a test from 2001 from the Tour de Suisse that tested positive for EPO. It went away after a nice donation to the UCI (the governing body) from Armstrong.

Armstrong doped before he developed cancer. I also know of more than a few cyclists who developed cancer at a young age, and I would argue that although they may have been predisposed to cancer in the first place, their PED use was probably a contributing factor. I’d ask them, but most of them are dead now.

moo on October 17, 2012 at 8:28 PM

If I claim Gill is a moron, it must be true because I said so.

chewmeister on October 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

No, it’s true period.

Lanceman on October 17, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Armstrong is the only cyclist that most Americans know anything about and the only reason for them knowing that (and giving more than a moment’s notice to the sport) is his Tour wins. What the USADA has managed to do is simultaneously destroy their only hero and most American’s sole reason for caring even a little bit about cycling.

29Victor on October 17, 2012 at 8:31 PM

There is a heck of a lot that’s messed up about it all, but I’m not sure that it was productive to turn Lance Armstrong into a symbolic mascot of all of cycling’s wrongdoing and then singlemindedly persisting in destroying him.

I can’t stand people who work overtime to break, bend or see their way “around” rules.

Your moral-equivalency is a stain on this site. This conspiracty-theory of yours is fodder for overnight-AM radio.

Road cyclists are a notoriously absurd lot of poorly-adjusted, self-perceived over-achievers. Rules be damned, right? No need to stop at a light….just roll through. Single-file? Screw it.

I sympathize with anybody whose need for adrenalin sends them speeding away on something that rolls. I get it…more than you know. What I cannot tolerate is that a MAJORITY of road-cyclists I witness are scofflaws.

The tone of your piece reminds me why I ride MTB and MX.

Capitalist Hog on October 17, 2012 at 8:33 PM

29Victor on October 17, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Are you morally bereft or just faking it?

Capitalist Hog on October 17, 2012 at 8:35 PM

People should also stop with the “it’s the French” jingoist nonsense.

Greg LeMond was a multiple time Tour winner who actually beat French riders for the yellow and he’s loved in France and everywhere over the world. Armstrong was always disliked among cycling fans, in a large part because it was so obvious he was cheating to win but became popular with the casual fans, especially in the US.

Plus, no country has done nearly as much as France to fight doping. French riders and teams are much more trustworthy than any others – especially when compared to Belgium’s and Spain’s cycling scenes.

That’s a big reason why, in the last 15 years, it’s been so difficult to find French riders in the top-20 of Grand Tours, even though they’re still pretty good at amateur/youth levels.

(not endorsing the French decision of making doping a public policy issue – the reason they’re much cleaner is because the police and the courts are heavily involved in the anti-doping fight. I believe that’s unnecessary and uncalled government interference).

joana on October 17, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Armstrong is the only cyclist that most Americans know anything about and the only reason for them knowing that (and giving more than a moment’s notice to the sport) is his Tour wins. What the USADA has managed to do is simultaneously destroy their only hero and most American’s sole reason for caring even a little bit about cycling.

29Victor on October 17, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Maybe we should go the East Germany route then. Creating sport idols for the peasants.

Google Greg LeMond. He was one of the most successful riders ever, he’s an example of clean racing, he had the guts to call out Armstrong when that wasn’t popular or easy (and, as everyone else who dared to do so, paid highly for it: Armstrong and his allies destroyed his business. By the way, Trek needs to do more than dropping Armstrong, they need to apologize to Greg LeMond).

joana on October 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

To all denigrating Livestrong… why should cancer research suffer because of Armstrong’s actions?

tdarrington on October 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I have to admit I don’t understand the draw of cancer clubs like Livestrong and Komen. I just don’t. I think it’s a bizarre reaction to having or knowing someone with cancer. I’ll mock the yellow wristbands and pink ribbons ’til I die, probably of cancer, lol.

Fallon on October 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Maybe we should go the East Germany route then. Creating sport idols for the peasants.

Google Greg LeMond. He was one of the most successful riders ever, he’s an example of clean racing, he had the guts to call out Armstrong when that wasn’t popular or easy (and, as everyone else who dared to do so, paid highly for it: Armstrong and his allies destroyed his business. By the way, Trek needs to do more than dropping Armstrong, they need to apologize to Greg LeMond).

joana on October 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I’d suggest we do the exact opposite — worry about things that really matter, and relegate the Tour de France to — “hey, didja know those crazy bike nuts have a multi-day race that covers all of France? Weird, huh?”

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I’d suggest we do the exact opposite — worry about things that really matter, and relegate the Tour de France to — “hey, didja know those crazy bike nuts have a multi-day race that covers all of France? Weird, huh?”

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

That’s really going the East Germany way. Or the III Reich way, for that matter.

I couldn’t care less about what you matters to you, totalitarian creep. Stop trying to say people what they can care about.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I’d like to know what these miracle drugs are that can allegedly enhance a person’s performance but be undetectable.

Blake on October 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

As others have said, EPO was undetectable via testing for almost all of Armstrong’s career. The tests had not yet been developed to find it. They still can’t find the EPO itself, but have to look for changes in the blood oxygen level that suggest EPO usage.

Another undetectable tactic Armstrong used was self-blood transfusion. Basically draw and store bags of your own blood over a period of time and then transfuse it into your body just before a race to increase your blood volume and oxygen-carrying capacity. Illegal under cycling rules for a long time, but there is no test to detect it since it is your blood.

AngusMc on October 17, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I will not believe Lance Armstrong is guilty until/unless he formally admits it. When he first won Tour De France they were upset an American won, so they wanted to crucify him from the start. Then he won again, and their rage grew. Winning 7 times in a row? How dare an American do that! Some might even say how dare anyone! It’s not fair! This is a European sport! They kept hounding and hounding him until he finally broke.

hadsil on October 17, 2012 at 9:23 PM

I’d suggest we do the exact opposite — worry about things that really matter, and relegate the Tour de France to — “hey, didja know those crazy bike nuts have a multi-day race that covers all of France? Weird, huh?”

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

That’s really going the East Germany way. Or the III Reich way, for that matter.

I couldn’t care less about what you matters to you, totalitarian creep. Stop trying to say people what they can care about.

joana on October 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Since when did “I’d suggest” become totalitarian? And when did I advocate forcing people to care about something or not? We all have foibles and interests — I think it’s a crying shame what taxonomists have done to the genus Pseudotropheus, for example — but I’d expect the general populace to say, “huh?” or “oh, really?” if I started on any level of detail. I wouldn’t start telling you “Google Maylandia and Metriaclima. They should go back to 1922 and apologize to Regan.”

Hobbyists become passionate about their interests, but it should be remembered that their passions may not be shared globally. Lance Armstrong brought a large new audience to the sport of cycling….and now that he has been brought low, I doubt if the level of interest will continue. There will always be the die-hards…..but they’ll be playing with their own money and not massive sponsorships.

In the greater scheme of things, and in the arena of public discourse, we need to be focusing more on honest-to-goodness “real” totalitarianism, and not the latest badminton scandal.

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Oh, and: “hey, didja know those crazy fish geeks want to split the Pseudotropheus genus into halves, but they can’t even remember what they want to call the new pieces? Weird, huh?”

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM

hadsil on October 17, 2012 at 9:23 PM

You may be surprised to hear that Armstrong was not the first American to win the tour. Greg Lemond won three times. And he has been an outspoken opponent of doping in cycling.

moo on October 17, 2012 at 9:39 PM

I do not understand how people make people like Lance a hero to begin with. They do not impress me. Not actors, not athletes, basically, no one that is effectively nothing more than an entertainer impresses me as a hero. Society suffers for making these people heroes, and the people suffer by trying to live up to the expectations of being heroes.

astonerii on October 17, 2012 at 9:42 PM

It’s not that I have any personal, emotional investment in Lance Armstrong’s innocence (indeed, I’ve always been rather inclined to think that he isn’t innocent)

Hello Erika! I know that you were not hired to be some intellectual heavy weight here at Hotair but come on, a bit of honesty wouldn’t go amiss. I re-read your 06/24 post, the one you linked at the beginning of this post and nowhere did I read that you were “rather inclined that he isn’t innocent”. I read “relentless persecution”, “continued inquisition”, “Some people just can’t stand a champion”, “he’s never once failed a doping test”, “extended witch hunts”… But I guess it’s time to do some flip flopping now that no one can really sing the “there’s no proof!!!” song any longer :) Have a good evening!

1215 on October 17, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Lots of conviction here without trial or evidence. How American. How conservative. Maybe in a few months y’all can go and have a beer summit with Armstrong.

29Victor on October 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Lots of conviction here without trial or evidence. How American. How conservative. Maybe in a few months y’all can go and have a beer summit with Armstrong.
29Victor on October 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM

There’s plenty of evidence. And a person doesn’t have to go to trial before you can form an opinion about what they have done.

HidetheDecline on October 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM

They’re going after Armstrong right now in the way they are for a reason. This USADA is a quasi-governmental organization staffed most likely by anti-American Leftists and they’re in collusion with the “folks” in the White House to deconstruct an American legend- a White Hero.

Just for the election. It’s a McLuhan-esque psychology of crowds strategy. It’s how these pukes work.

sartana on October 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Gee, a sports “hero” turning out to be a cheat and a liar. That doesn’t happen very often./

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 18, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Hobbyists become passionate about their interests, but it should be remembered that their passions may not be shared globally. Lance Armstrong brought a large new audience to the sport of cycling….and now that he has been brought low, I doubt if the level of interest will continue. There will always be the die-hards…..but they’ll be playing with their own money and not massive sponsorships.

In the greater scheme of things, and in the arena of public discourse, we need to be focusing more on honest-to-goodness “real” totalitarianism, and not the latest badminton scandal.

cthulhu on October 17, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Nonsense. Armstrong has been retired from cycling for 7 years now – disregarding the attempted comeback – and cycling audiences aren’t any lower. Road cycling is a global sport that doesn’t really depend on a single market. The difference is the casual American fan who would follow the Tour – and no other race – when Lance was winning it. However, in the grand scheme of things, that’s pretty irrelevant. It’s like the NBA Finals being played by Boston, NY and Chicago versus LA: it boosts ratings for those few games, which is nice and all, but it’s not exactly paramount to the economic viability of the league. Plus, now you have English and Australians doing the same because of Evans and Wiggins.

If you don’t care about cycling, it’s your prerogative. Don’t tell others they need to worry about “serious stuff” because you don’t like their hobbies though. The condescending presumptuousness is impolite. Rude.

joana on October 18, 2012 at 2:35 AM

They’re going after Armstrong right now in the way they are for a reason. This USADA is a quasi-governmental organization staffed most likely by anti-American Leftists and they’re in collusion with the “folks” in the White House to deconstruct an American legend- a White Hero.

Just for the election. It’s a McLuhan-esque psychology of crowds strategy. It’s how these pukes work.

sartana on October 17, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Ridiculous. They’ve been going after Armstrong for years and, for that matter, Armstrong is a hardcore liberal. Some of the people in USADA, not so much.

In fact, maybe people should be wondering why the Obama appointed (and black) US attorney André Birotte dropped down the case against Lance Armstrong – when there’s so much evidence he committed perjury.

Is it related to Lance’s donations to some California Democrat/left-wing organizations?

Maybe some enterprising journalist could look into this.

joana on October 18, 2012 at 2:40 AM

On the other hand Obama lies professionally and he will soon be making millions through books and speaking engagements. Crime pays?

sdbatboy on October 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

In Obama’s case it wasn’t “crime” it was “politics”. Now, please don’t ask me to explain the difference. I can’t.

swinia sutki on October 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Lance Armstrong got what he deserved. He was a cheat and a fraud. But having said that, we have a cheat and fraud in the White House and a cheat, fraud AND a MURDERER buried with honors at Arlington Cemetery.What does it all mean? It means the system seems to work for most of us both NOT for privileged Democrats triple protected by money, political power and an adoring MSM.

MaiDee on October 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

It’s one of cycling’s dirtiest not-really-a-secret secrets, but there is a lot of sketchy doping activity that goes on in the upper echelons of the cycling community, and it can be next to impossible to compete in the top competitions without doing so. A lot of individuals, coaches, managers, teams, and etcetera are constantly staying just one step ahead of the doping controls, and at that level in the sport, there can be a lot of pressure to put up or shut up.

Oh wow, the “everyone does it” defense. I gotta say, that is a pretty weak argument. The truth is, if you don’t dope and fail to finish in the top 10 you are much more of a winner than if you dope up and finish first. It’s like cheating on a test, the “A” you received doesn’t mean anything because you cheated and didn’t learn anything. Your ignorance will show up when you open your mouth and prove that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Dollayo on October 19, 2012 at 6:44 AM