open topic, for anything cycling related.
Armstrong beat all comers for 7 years in a row when everyone who follows cycling knows there were serious drug problems in the sport during that period. Armstrong went up hills faster than seems to be possible now. Armstrong never looked as tired as those going up hills slower look today - did you see Scarponi almost collapse on his bike in the Giro this year?
I just cannot believe that a clean athlete could do what I describe above. He won 7 tours because he had better and less detectable drugs. Mind you, if they strip him of the titles I have no idea who they could award them to given the drug use in the sport at the time.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
Most people are prepared to acknowledge that at the time that Lance won his seven TdF that many competitors were using some type of performance enhancing method, whether it be blood doping and/or EPO.
At the same time there seems to be this mind set that all a competitor had to do was use EPO and all of a sudden be turned into a champion.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Guys like Lance Armstrong worked their butts off to be at their very best, and did the hard yards to be super fit and ready for every race they contested.
He competed within the environment that existed at that time, and proved that he was the best there was.
Now the witch hunt is on by the holier than thou brigade who still cant believe that the guy was a freak with more ability and determination than everyone else that competed at that time.
Excellent point, Chuck ... guys who were suspended due to association or the evidence of witnesses (like Fuente) rather than actual chemical tests.
Thanks for the repost. We learn that retrospective testing found six of Armstrong's '99 tour samples positive. It's not just all about Floyd Landis being paid to say what 60 Minutes viewers wanted to hear.
I think Lance's life story with his single mum making sacrifices so that he could succeed is great, as are his seven victories (eight if we include Sheryl Crowe). But we can't trust a sport until we know it can prosecute its high profile stars as well as the small fish.
Was the Melbourne Storm the best team in the NRL in 2009? No, they were cheating the system.
The fact that it has taken the system longer to catch up to LA is in my mind a positive. The longer they are prepared to go back, the less likely people are to dope in future.
And LA deserves more scruitiny than most. For one, he has benefited massively financially from his success on the bike, two, he enjoyed more success on the bike than anyone else in the spot for a decade, and three, he's continued to paint himself as a lily white character.
Guilty or Not Guilty no-one is denying the guy was a talented bike rider, but that's not really the point. No-one would claim the Melbourne Storm weren't a very good rugby league side in 2009, they just happened to be breaking the rules.
Tom it seems you acknowledge that he doped but you want him treated differently to others that doped and were punished ?
I don't have any problem conceding that he was a talented endurance athlete that worked hard. I could endulge in all the PEDs I want and never make it to open A let alone get to Pro level, but there is a much much bigger issue at stake here!!
It's far from a witch hunt, there is compelling evidence that he doped, and the only person putting themselves up there as holier than thou is Armstrong.
Let me point out, I'm very much against drugs in sport, that give you a better or should I say give you the edge over everyone. I do however, not subscribe to the witch hunt mentality that goes on for the sole reason of a vendetta against someone.
The top and I mean very top athletes in the world, will have pi88ed off somebody on their way to the top because they have the ability to be totally focused and single minded in their approach to their training and this is why they get there 9 times out of ten.
I was beaten by cheats when I was racing but only some were caught and I remain bitter to this day about that. The only thing I indulged in was 1000mg of Vitamin E a day as this helped with getting more oxygen into my blood and also helped with recovery for me and it was not an illegal substance.
Like others have said, bring it to a head and lets get it, once and for all determined, not by some jerk that has an axe to grind or jealousy but by hard evidence and everyone should remember, it's hard evidence not innuendo that needs too be in place.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Truths and lies, politics, words and opinions. As if we will ever know the truth.
Better of riding your bike.
Looking at the bigger picture though we would be fools to trust politics and especially American politics and if you think this isn't politics then think again.
Two points, EPO is not your run of the mill PED. The reason for it's popularity was just how good it was and also the fact that it affected some better than others. The old "Donkey's into Race Horse's" bit. The idea that somehow because MOST of the top 10 were at it then that's okay then is the mentality that got us into this situation. Secondly its funny that because its Armstrong there is some vendetta against him the evidence is there if it wasn't he would have nothing to worry about. This is a Doping Agency not the French Media, not and English Novelist his usual excuses of personal retribution don't hold water.
We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works (Douglas Adams)
the best anecdote comes from Greg Lemond, who says he knew something was very wrong after winning 3 Tours, and suddenly being passed in the early 1990s on mountain stages by non-climbers who were previously grinding it out in the laughing group.
i guess another question is - why are popular and humble guys like Indurain able to escape the spotlight, while Lance gets put in the spotlight?
It does in Australian criminal law for offences of strict liability, like, say, speeding, or possessing banned drugs.
Re USADA etc., the onus only goes to the accused once there is evidence to support the allegation of doping. Although it's simpler than that. Both sides pick one of the three tribunal members, those two pick the third, and between the three of them they decide whether he did it or not..
What was going on in the 1990s and 2000s in cycling was a lot of drug use. We all know that. Hopefully it has reduced a lot now.
The question really is: how serious are we about stamping out drug use in sport?
The fact is that the drug cheats will always be ahead of the testers. So, if we're serious, then lets change the timeframe. If we're serious lets institute a drug testing system whereby all participants in every olympic final, the top 10 of every jersey in the Tour, Giro, Vuelta etc and whatever equivalents in other sports, submit blood an urine samples and these are tested 10, 20 and 30 years later when testing has caught up with drug use. If we're serious then that is the only way.
How far back do we go? Well, do we strip Carl Lewis and Flo Jo of their medals? What about the East German who beat Raeline Boyle into second at the Munich Olympics who later admitted she was using drugs? It's not an easy question but if we are up front about testing old samples and any positive test is retested and, if positive, the record is changed, then everyone knows the score.
I also look at the times up some of those mountains and how they cannot be matched today and I can't help wondering if the best athlete won, or the best pharmacist. I also feel for those who weren't on drugs, they are the ones who have truly been cheated and they deserve some plaudits. plaudits they won't get unless we expose the drug cheats.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
That all sounds very well, and the threat of such a system may inhibit some competitors from using specific performance enhancing substances.
In reality it is extremely impractical, and certainly leaves everything wide open to sample contamination and degradation which will make any results obtained totally invalid.
For over 40 years I have worked as a successful trainer in an industry where competitors are swabbed regularly, and where even ingesting innocuous substances such as chocolate or the use of over the counter cough medicines, even the use of excessive amounts of vitamins, or the use of some liniments does result in a positive swab and automatic loss of prize money, which in some instances could be over 100,000 dollars.
An industry where accidental sample contamination at the testing laboratory, or the accidental contamination of every day foodstuffs is a constant concern as this could result in a positive swab, and has done in far too many instances.
So if anyone should understand what is involved in training an athlete to produce their very best performances, and not run foul of the drug Rules I certainly should, even though in this instance the athletes were racing greyhounds. In an industry where the Rule is that all competitors must be presented completely drug free, and that includes all drugs and/or excessive endogenous substances, and hundreds of swabs taken from my competitors both prior and post race, none have ever resulted in a positive swab.
At what level is an athlete considered a drug cheat? Is the competitor that ingests a drink with 1000 mg of caffeine prior to a time trial, or towards the end of a gruelling day’s racing a drug cheat? Or the athlete that has themselves listed as suffering asthma and uses an asthma puffer prior to a race a drug cheat, even though they do not suffer asthma?
In my mind the answer is yes, yet this type of behaviour is a common occurrence.
In regard to the assumption that drug testing is always behind the eight ball when it comes to testing for new performance enhancing substances.
There is certainly no need for this to be so, as the scientific community always publishes advances in any field prior to possible drugs being produced, and regulatory Authorities and their chosen laboratories have every opportunity to come up with detection methods well in advance of any substance being used by athletes.
As far as I’m concerned if an athlete has passed the stringent swabbing methods in place at that time, that should be the end of it, no witch hunts 10 or 20 years later.
You make some very good points Greyhoundtom!
I don't have a problem with the caffeine side of things so long as it is not ridiculously high but asthma puffers when not asthmatic is a different kettle of fish to me.
Correct me if I'm wrong here but the testing agencies tell the athletes when or by when they will be tested and not just rock up on their door and say surprise, surprise, twinkle into the bottle for me please.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Foo, I think for cycling it's a mixture of testing.
At last year's TdF Andy Schleck apparently tweeted a complaint about the testers coming for him when he was in a restaurant one evening with guests.
AFAIK in the recent past it was only podium finishers who had to have good pharmacists ... journeymen in the peloton could get away with just about anything.
A few points:
LA has been charged on the basis of activities/results from 2009-2010. I think anyone would accept that is a more than a reasonable window of time to still be under investigation.
As someone who has a PhD in Biochemistry, I don't accept the idea that just because a sample is old that the results of any analysis automatically become dodgy - that's rubbish. Degradation will vary compound to compound, and while some things will no doubt become untestable over the years, other things will remain testable for literally hundreds of years - it depends on the nature of the compound and the assay used to test it.
I also think the issues of storage & contamination are fundamentally quite simple to manage and monitor.
The notion that you pass the testing and that's it again makes no sense. Look at how many dopers have escaped the net over the years. And it's all very perfect world to say the testers should be ahead of the dopers, but it just doesn't work that way.
There are a number of therapeutic substances that may be used during a non-competition period that would result in a positive swab during competition.
These can apply for instance to substances used to speed up the healing of injuries.
As it stands all therapeutic substances have a know withholding period that is primarily determined by ability of the laboratory to detect these substances.
Which is all good and well, however analytical laboratories are continually upgrading their ability to detect various metabolites of anything that could even vaguely be considered performance enhancing.
Why should someone that is prescribed a therapeutic substance and waits the appropriate period of time before recommencing competition, is swabbed, and the swab comes back negative, then be deemed a drug cheat five years later when the swab is retested with better detection methods?
This thread is pure proof of the main problem that exists here - 5 pages of people extolling their opinions as to whether he did it clean or dirty - and that is just this time the subject has raised it's head, I would hate to count up the posts in all the threads not just on this board but many others (not to mention the comments posted after news stories) by people who really have no idea as to what did or didn't happen. Trial by internet at it's finest.
2008 Specialized SWorks Roubaix SL - Zipps - Campag - Nuff Said
1986 Spokesman Model 11 Racing - Campag Nuvo Record - Stronglight - Shimano 600
Well, if it prescribed then it can be tracked and discounted. The reason for keeping the samples & retesting is so that everyone understands that they might be able to get away with it undetected today but they can still get caught in the future.
The only way to stop people giving into to doping is to make it pointless. For some people - if they think they can get away with it, they will. The only way to make the sport clean is to put obstacles like this in the way.
The only people I feel sorry for are the athletes who have to put up with random tests and the possibility of being done for doping through 'accidental' means (ie. performance 'supplements' with dodgy ingredients) in the effort to try and keep sports clean.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
You can say what you like, whether you are a supporter of Armstrong or not, that's fine as long as the post does not criticise the intelligence or the judgement of Armstrong supporters or non supporters. Then it's different.
How many are aware of his botched test in '99(?) to which he cited the excessive use of sunscreen to explain the anomally, or the fact he has twice refused requests for urine samples (which are required to be done immediately and under supervision) until he's cooled down/showered). Many current techniques for the use of banned substances and their maskinv agents are undetectable within 6 hours of their administration, and microdosoing is much much less again. Why has he paid close to $500,000 to Dr Ferrari during his carrer?
I'm curious as to why those who so vigorously defend the guy without haven't actually looked at any of the plethora of info relating to U.S. Postal or more recent times, think he shouldn't be srutinised. Riders careers have ended for less.
If he's found guilty, shame! If he walks away scott free, I'll hang a framed poster of him on my lounge room wall.
And as for this destroying the image of pro cycling? Pffft! Athletics is no different. I only wish all ball sports were as strictly governed, rather than the AFL for example banning reefer simply because it's players do enough damage to the sport's reputation off the field without available access another excuse for their behavour. Do any of us think that the NRL is played by merely talented athletes?
Last edited by The 2nd Womble on Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The only good Cyclist is a Bicyclist
Huge fan of booted RGers who just can't help themselves
the circumstantial evidence is pretty nasty. i remember reading that he tested positive to corticosteroids(?), then got his team doctor to produce a prescription for a saddle sore ointment. the prescription had a back-date on it, so the UCI reportedly accepted at face value that he couldn't have cheated, as the prescription proved it was given for genuine reasons. only someone who loved cancer and was determined to undermine Livestrong would suggest the doctor simply back-dated the prescription after he was caught
Hmmmm....I've read this thread for a few days but have resisted the urge to post. Good entertainment value tho'.....
Hmmm, he corrects someone for using "ensuring" instead of "assuring" while spelling lose as "loose" and now he wants to tell people they can only have an opinion if they have first hand knowledge
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