Tour de FrancePhil -- Saturday, July 20, 2002 -- 04:37:28 AM
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What Armstrong argues for is special treatment from the USADA for being successful, it's wrong, and his allegation that USADA is some sort of fly-by-night witch-hunt organization is bizarre & damaging to American sport.
The editorial's author notes a critical fact - Armstrong asked for this USADA investigation. What he doesn't like is that they found sufficient evidence to bring charges, stating that he looked forward to vindication from the USADA. It's not their fault they went another way based on their investigation.
I've seen some depressing appeals online in the wake of this - that Armstrong's charity work is too important for him to be sullied by such an investigation, that the government should cut USADA's funding because of it, etc. All the wrong morals. It demonstrates the importance of Livestrong to Armstrong as a way of creating public bias against investigating him. Saying you're against Armstrong because of his doping has gotten emotionally linked to being against helping cancer patients among some people.
The real danger for Armstrong IMO is if USADA flips one or more of the docs/trainers accused of similar shenanigans along with him.
Pre-Operation Puerto, about 80-90% of the guys in the peleton were doing exactly what Armstrong is accused of. Everyone knew the risks of getting caught, and decided the benefit from potential rewards was far larger. (Gut says it's somewhat better now, and the slower times on mountain stages compared to days of yore might bear this out.)
I'd tend to see a really thorough investigation that doesn't just stop at Lance as a good thing for the sport.
A longtime friend of his who wrote about his comeback and covered his career, Bill Strickland, turns to face the fact that Armstrong's most likely guilty. From a little over a year ago, but nicely written.
I THOUGHT I'd stop being a fan, hate him too much to appreciate him. That's what we're told, that we must either admire him or alternately despise and pity him. And I do: I admire him and despise him and pity him—for the years of lying as much as the cheating—and I'm enraged and morose, and I think he owes us something and he should just disappear, and I could keep going like this and some days have. Can you imagine that? A 46-year-old guy all twisted up because of the ugly way a cyclist did beautiful things on a bike?
I don't know how you'll feel. I don't know, if you're not already there, what might lead you to believe that Lance Armstrong doped. It wasn't Floyd Landis for me, or the federal investigation, or any public revelation. My catalyst was another one of those statements that was never said by someone I never talked with. It was not from one of Armstrong's opponents. It was not from anyone who will gain any clemency by affirming it under oath.
It was an admission that doping had occurred, one disguised so it could assume innocence but unmistakable to me in meaning. The moment I received it felt strangely like a relief, and after all these years unreal and apart from what was happening, like those odd instants that sometimes immediately follow the death of someone you love, when grief is eclipsed by gratitude that the suffering has ended.
Italians find a $465,000 payment in 2006 from Armstrong to pro-doping Dr. Michelle Ferrari, who is banned for life by the Italian Cycling Federation. Anyone found to have worked with Ferrari faces suspension from cycling within Italy.
Armstrong is going to regret the stridency of his previous denials as things move along.
Don't be stupid. Of course he's not.
On a more upbeat note, if anyone's on Twitter @tweetersagan is a laugh-out-loud Peter Sagan parody feed. Whoever's running it is a genius.
Frank Schleck tests positive for a diuretic, leaves Le Tour, denies doping. The positive hit in question may be questionable and have non-doping causes.
Totally could be. But it also seems extremely odd; the Schlecks have been adamantly anti-doping, so it's a shock if it confirms. I don't buy him being "poisoned" for a minute, though.
His B test came back positive.
Seems weird to me like it does to Greg. Something's just a bit off. I wonder if he felt like he simply wasn't prepared for the tour this year and when Andy broke his pelvis, he simply didn't feel like he could pull out. It was a diuretic, so that could indicate he felt as if he hadn't prepared quite enough for the mountains? Or at least, without Andy there he hadn't prepared enough?
In light of today's news, I just want to mark the passage of time. Remember this conversation?
Ah yes, but Lance 'blood doped', & wasn't on steroids. Can't catch of baggy of pills when you're blood doping. Just need to catch them drawing buckets of blood out of you and pumping it back in. (so hard to miss... /sarcasm) Still doping. Very sad :( And what's with the idea of just withdrawing?!?! He'd had enough, but he should have kept fighting it if he thought it was a vendetta! I'm not sure I feel about him losing a title that's almost 20 years old. (1993 Tour.) It's not like he's just completed a session of blood doping in the last tour & will lose the last 7 years of titles. This is stuff going back 20 years (and forwards). Surely there should be a reasonable time limit on this. Was the 1992 winner investigated for supposed doping? (just throwing it out there - have at it.) And they certainly don't have any physical evidence from his 1993 ride. Just from 2009 & 2010. Doesn't one need to provide physical evidence these days to prove a doping charge? I'm just a bit sad he's not pushing forward with his defense. It just seems he's given up with a no-admission.
And the sport is so much more on top of cheating now. Look at Contador, and catching the minute trace of whatever-it-was.
Even after it all, he did win 7 tour titles with no chemical assistance: his alleged (do we still call it alleged?) doping came all from his own blood cells.
I think stripping him of ALL his titles is a harsh penalty. There, I said it.