The media are still pretending that the west coast is 3 hours behind the east coast. Shhh. We’re not supposed to know this yet…
Yep, Lance was a doper. Which I could actually forgive (even though the seeking-Oprah’s-benediction thing is totally transparent), because the fact is the whole sport does it.
But Armstrong went out of his way to smear and try to destroy people who told the truth about him, and even won several large court judgments that we now know were obtained through fraud.
Some of those people are now suing him to get those judgments back. Floyd Landis has filed a federal whistle-blower suit against Armstrong for defrauding the US Post Office. His life has become … complex.
He’ll still come out of this with a lot of money, but nobody will ever forget the things he did to try to protect his kingdom of lies.
It’s also still a fact that he was an amazing cyclist, drugs or not. In a sport where — let’s face it — all the top athletes were doing everything they could to get a slight edge, Lance had much, much more than an edge.
On his best days, he dominated the field in a way very few cyclists ever have; the epic battles with Marco Pantani and Jan Ullrich, the time trials where he absolutely blew away the competition, the insane climbs in the Alps when he would get up on the pedals and dance, and just rocket away from the lead group like a cycling god.
But athletic talent and human decency don’t always correlate, and Lance Armstrong may be the prime example.
I can’t help wondering, though, if Sheryl Crow knew he was hitting the EPO.
I just bought the Kindle version of Tyler Hamilton’s book, and I’m sort of dreading it. A cyclist friend tells me it totally settles the issue of whether Armstrong was doping during his TdF wins, and not in Lance’s favor. This would not surprise me, but I have to admit I still had a tiny flame of hope that Armstrong really was a clean rider. And I’ll mourn the day that tiny flame is extinguished.
Good thing the same anti-doping standards were never applied to musicians. Jazz and rock would be nonexistent.
Lance Armstrong dropped his fight against doping charges tonight:
Lance Armstrong called it quits late Thursday in his battle to end an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a move that will most likely mean a lifetime ban for the seven-time Tour de France champion.
And an AP breaking news alert :
Breaking (10:45PM EDT): USADA to strip Lance Armstrong of 7 Tour de France titles, ban him from cycling for life.
AUSTIN, Texas - August 23rd, 2012 - There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.
I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.
If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?
From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.
The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.
USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.
Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.
Before the start of Stage 10 in the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong gave an in-depth interview to reporters about the recent doping allegations from Floyd Landis; VeloNews has a good report on it: Lance Armstrong hits back at systematic doping allegations, addresses ownership of USPS team.
Speaking to reporters in depth for the first time at this Tour de France about swirling accusations leveled by Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong on Wednesday flatly denied being involved in systematic doping at the former U.S. Postal Service team for which both men rode.
“As long as I live, I will deny that,” he said before the start of stage 10. “There is absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated… Absolutely not. One hundred percent.”
The New York Times reported Tuesday that federal investigators issued subpoenas to riders to appear before a grand jury regarding allegations of doping on the Postal team. No names have been revealed, and Armstrong said Wednesday he had not been subpoenaed nor contacted by Jeff Novitzky, an investigator for the Food & Drug Administration who is pursuing Landis’ claims. The New York Daily News on Wednesday reported that team sponsor Trek Bicycle received a subpoena.
As for what other USPS riders may or may not have done, Armstrong said that was beyond his control.
“I can’t speak to what they did themselves,” he said to reporters outside the RadioShack team bus. “I can’t control that. It would be like me asking you, do you think there is any abuse of performance enhancing drugs in the NFL in the offensive line? Most people would say probably yes. But does that mean that (NFL quarterback) Peyton Manning is guilty? I mean, I can’t control what other riders do. I really can’t.”
He also said he did not believe any former USPS rider would corroborate Landis’ claims that Armstrong doped while on the team, and along with team director Johan Bruyneel, taught Landis how to dope.
The French have found a technicality they think will let them keep Lance Armstrong out of the Tour de France this year.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong could soon face disciplinary proceedings from the French anti-doping agency AFLD, following what it says was improper behaviour during an anti-doping test carried out on 17 March 2009.
In a statement issued today, the AFLD said that Armstrong did not obey the rules of the World Anti-doping Agency’s International Standard of Testing, specifically Article 5.4.1, which states that the person being subjected to an anti-doping control must remain within the sight of the doping control officer from the time of notification until the sample is collected.
The AFLD release stated that the UCI has already confirmed its right to open disciplinary proceedings against the American. “Via a letter dated April 8 sent to the Agency, President Pat McQuaid has, in his response, stated that the combined interpretation of the world [WADA] code and UCI anti-doping regulation conferred upon the AFLD the jurisdiction to open possible disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Lance Armstrong.”
The WADA code article in question states, “when initial contact is made, the ADO [anti-doping official], DCO [doping control organisation] or Chaperone, as applicable, shall ensure that the Athlete and/or a third party (if required in accordance with Clause 5.3.8) is informed…. of the Athlete’s responsibilities, including the requirement to… remain within direct observation of the DCO/Chaperone at all times from the point of notification by the DCO/Chaperone until the completion of the Sample collection procedure.”
Earlier this week, Armstrong responded to news that the AFLD had raised objections to the incident. He issued a statement saying that he and team manager Johan Bruyneel were attempting to verify the validity of the person requesting the samples and Armstrong was permitted to leave.
“We told the tester we wanted to check with the UCI to confirm who he was and to make sure he wasn’t just some French guy with a backpack and some equipment to take my blood and urine.
“Johan stayed with him and in his presence called the UCI to find out what was going on. We asked if it was OK for me to run inside and shower while they made their calls and the tester said that was fine.”
It’s becoming a daily occurrence: VeloNews | Riccardo Ricco tests positive; Saunier Duval team withdraws from Tour de France.
French anti-doping authorities and Saunier Duval team officials confirmed Thursday that Italian climbing sensation Ricardo Ricco (Saunier Duval) has tested positive for a new form of the blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).
Informed of the positive just an hour before the start of Thursday’s 12th stage of the Tour de France, Ricco was taken by gendarmes to a local police station for questioning. Within minutes of Ricco’s departure, his entire team voluntarily withdrew from the Tour.
Saunier Duval director Joxean Fernandez told reporters that it made no sense for the team to continue.
“It’s a decision from the team; we were not forced to pull out of the Tour de France,” Fernandez said. “He is our GC leader, so logically we can not start the day and act as if nothing has happened.”
Congratulations to Australia’s Cadel Evans for holding on to the leader’s yellow jersey, but I have to admit that my enjoyment of the Tour de France has been pretty much destroyed by the continuing drug scandals: Second rider tests positive at Tour.
Barloworld’s Moises Duenas has been pulled from the Tour de France after a urine sample provided after stage 4 showed signs of the blood booster erythropoietin.
Police later found banned substances in Duenas’ hotel room, according to a statement on the Barloworld Web site.
The Spaniard was in 19th place in the overall standings, 6:43 behind overall leader Cadel Evans, following Monday’s stage to Hautacam. The team was informed of the positive test by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) on Wednesday morning and Duenas was immediately suspended from the team.
Duenas is the second rider to have failed a drug test for rEPO at the Tour after a sample provided by Liquigas’s Manuel Beltran showed evidence of the same drug.
Here we go again: Tour rider Beltran tests positive for EPO - official.
AURILLAC, France (AFP) - An anti-doping chief at the Tour de France confirmed to AFP on Friday that Spaniard Manuel Beltran, who rides for the Liquigas team, has failed a doping test for blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).
Confirming an earlier website report by the L’Equipe sports daily, Pierre Bordry, the chief of the French national anti-doping agency (AFLD), confirmed the Spaniard had failed a test. …
Beltran is now likely to be thrown off the race, although the same sanction could be applied to his entire team.
An inside look at the ugly prevalence of high-stakes pharmaceutical cheating in professional cycling, at Der Spiegel Online: Pro-Cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz Revisits Doping Scandal: ‘Your Main Concern Is Not to Get Caught’.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Sinkewitz, how did you find out about the positive results of your doping test?
Sinkewitz: It was around noon on July 18, three days after my accident. I had been given a sedative and was being taken to the operating room in a wheelchair. My phone rang, but I didn’t recognize the number.
SPIEGEL: Who was it?
Sinkewitz: I don’t remember, perhaps a journalist. He asked me to comment on the fact that I had tested positive for testosterone in a random test at a training session on June 8. June 8? Testosterone? I really didn’t understand what he was talking about. I told him that I was about to go into surgery. I remember that I was wondering where I could get more information. But I was under anesthesia 10 minutes later.
SPIEGEL: When you received the call, was it already clear to you that you had been caught?
Sinkewitz: No, I wasn’t fully aware of it until the next morning. The patient in the bed next to me told me that the newspapers were reporting on the test, and it was on television all day long. I stayed in Hamburg a few more days, and during that time I received a visit from Rolf Aldag, the sporting director at T-Mobile. He advised me to tell the truth.
SPIEGEL: And what is it? What exactly happened in the Pyrenees?