sogood wrote:vander wrote:except for the kingpins such as Lance...
Yes, according to USADA's reasoned decision.
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No, I don't think that is quite it. I think he lied for about the same amount of time as the rest, but made the mistake of winning more than they did. So envy, among other things, is playing its part.
He will probably not lose as much financially as we might expect. For all that e.g. US Postal complain, they invested and it brought returns. They are not going to lose out just because he has now been shown to be a cheat. Will they retrospectively lose the benefits they gained by sponsoring him all those years ago? So what's to compensate?
Two other things strike in this affair.
The first is holier than thou attitude from almost every man and his dog, sneering at Armstrong while forgetting that he and his team were not doing anything unique, they were just doing it better. Every other team was at it in one way or another.
The other thing that strikes is that nothing like enough noise is being made about Verbruggen. Based on everything we hear, it would be entirely reasonable for an ordinary person to conclude that he is both corrupt and culpable. It is difficult to see how McQuaid can avoid being similarly tarred.
I understand the argument on this however if winning becomes life and this can be the make or break it - it is not an easy decision. We have seen a lot of athletes succumb who is would be fair to say that they are otherwise of good character. The consequences, as we have seen in the Armstrong case are losing places on team and getting dropped - losing out on real chances. Many of these people are easily forgotten, they are the true heros. They have lost careers and also the success and financial advantages.
If you read the Tyler Hamilton book you see how people become ostracised, I was surprised to see how Hamilton was rejected even by one of my hero's Jens Voigt is himself is relatively outspoken against doping, is seen to be clean though also has admiration for Armstrong.
When doping is an exception, this helps the culture of cycling... and sport.
The other part is "cycling culture" where it was the dirty and protected secret - I don't know how (or if) this can be (or if it should be) accessed, influenced and changed. What can however help is keeping drug testing up to date, using the knowledge of convicted dopers to constantly improve and update the system so it becomes hard to cheat and this mentality spreads through cycling that doping is extremely risky... and not worth the risk.
No, success is related but not the reason - where is plays a part is that if he didn't win, there wouldn't be interest however the difference is the entire story, coverups, bribe accusations, conspiracy in supplying, firing teammates who wern't performing, suing others, lying under oath.
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He ran a doping team, he wasn't an individual doper silently trying to keep up, and that entire doping team was there to provide him with TDF race wins, and the teams resources were dedicated to not being caught, which when you look at most of the other dopers caught, that was not the normal situation.
He was an enforcer of the omerta and used his doping team to stop riders succeeding who wanted out of the drug thing, whether or not it was necessary to win races.
When it came for his turn to face the evidence the first time round, he paid for and succeeded with a defamation suit in the UK seeking huge silencing damages, even though he knew the allegations were true, the second time round when it was USADA, he instead tried to have the jurisdiction of the USADA voided in court and when that failed he pulled political strings. I mean seriously where would USADA be if US athletes with money could just baulk it in court or call a pet senator and get the funding yanked. ie his attitude to drug enforcement was entirely destructive.
So now he wants drug enforcement to be constructive with him ?
The concept that Armstrong nearly ruined the sport is preposterous he brought the sport to the masses made it such that TDF got major airtime. Prior to him it was pretty much an "obscure " European sport. Frankly I would rather watch the 2004 Tour again and again than be put through the pain of boredom that was last years tour, for all the interest they may have well been using ebikes. It was a great sleeping pill. As for a clean peleoton I don't think so. Porte and Froome for starters made massive progress, must be Sky's "training" program. Based on his performance perhaps Evans was clean this year. Of the most interest from the interview will be to see if there is a clean up in the UCI because they are complicit in the whole doping affair.
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I'm not a pro coach, but I'm willing to venture an answer.
Not only was he doped up to the eyeballs, but he was supported by an entire team of riders whom he had influence, coerced, or bullied into doping as well. And team management, coaching and medical staff must have aided and abetted in a systematic and coordinated doping program for it to remain undetected.
I came to this conclusion around after the 5th TDF win. USADA's reasoned decision states exactly what I then concluded.
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Sure, he did a lot to raise the profile though I am not putting it down to Lance bringing cycling to the world. What he had done now is ruined the image of cycling in the public eye and affected sponsorship at clun and amateur level. What kind of a sport is it when someone can win the most popular event seven times doped, it devalues the attractiveness of cycling
Yes, he has ruined/affected the sport and had a broad reaching influence, but he hasn't completely damaged cycling, the sport is already repairing itself, the anti-doping measures will futher improve and changes continue to bring the sport away from that era.
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Hopefully, with what has gone down the sport of cycling will come back bigger and stronger in the eyes of the Joe Public. My biggest concern is, that the corrupt officialdom that exists and make no mistake on this point because the only way a rider or team can get away with doping on such a large scale is for someone to be guiding them.
You must have an intimate knowledge of procedures and protocol of the testing system, otherwise how, do you stay out of the view of officials?
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
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