How Many Times Are They Going to Strip His Medals?

Didn’t they already take away his seven victories a month ago? How many times are we going to go through this? He’s lost all his endorsements, the anti-doping agency got their scalp after a ten year vendetta, he still has never tested positive, and was basically convicted on the hearsay evidence of other dopers. Dopers who, by the way, conveniently won’t be punished thanks to their testimony.

I eagerly await the ten year long vendetta the anti-doping agencies will now wage on the folks who just “magically” won the Tour today now that Armstrong’s medals have been vacated. Again.

This whole thing is such a joke. And you can not tell me this was just about doping. This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.






160 replies
  1. 1
    jacy says:

    My brother works at the anti-doping agency. And, yes, it was a vendetta. They felt they had to “save face” or they would look weak.

    Way to kill anyone’s interest in cycling as a sport.

  2. 2
    PigInZen says:

    Cycling is the dirtiest sport around. Certainly that contributed to the suspicion surrounding Armstrong. I personally cannot believe that someone WAS CLEAN while participating in that sport.

  3. 3
    DFS says:

    @PigInZen: Zackly. If everybody’s cheating — and let’s be real here, EVERYBODY was cheating — then it’s a level playing field anyway.

  4. 4
    Ugh says:

    This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    To what end?

  5. 5
    El Cruzado says:

    This was the International Cycling Association accepting the USADA’s decision.

    They are the ones who actually had the power to strip Mr. Armstrong of his Tour the France titles.

    And they had the good sense to leave those seven tours vacated (with no winner). Considering how rampant doping was back then, that’s for the best as chances are some random guy you’ve never heard about would end up the actual winner.

    So at the very least that should be about it, and Lance Armstrong never won a thing.

  6. 6
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    My co-worker was a big Armstrong/Tour fan and he’s convinced that Armstrong is as guilty as they say he is.

  7. 7
    SatanicPanic says:

    Lance Armstrong made for one my favorite George Carlin bits.

  8. 8
    The Red Pen says:

    If everybody’s cheating—and let’s be real here, EVERYBODY was cheating—then it’s a level playing field anyway.

    It’s time to realize SNL’s “All Drug Olympics.”

    WWF shows steroid-twisted freaks pretending to compete. Imagine how popular steroid-twisted freaks actually competing would be.

  9. 9
    grass says:

    No one won the tour today. There will be no new winners.

    I can’t believe people are still defending this man after he ruined financially people who actually told the truth about him.

    Fuck Lance. He was the epitome of what was wrong with cycling – organised cheating and bullying.

    Also, to answer your question, this is the UCI, confirming they won’t challenge USADA. Hopefully a closer look at NFL and other sports is going to start, cos you can’t tell me that isn’t stuffed full of steroids.

  10. 10
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    Lance Armstrong did make a lot of enemies.

  11. 11
    MB says:

    You’re not paying very good attention, John.

    And because I tire of explaining that the earth orbits the sun, and not vice versa, will everyone who wants to weigh in about what travesty of justice this is against Cancer Jesus, please see the primary source material at http://cyclinginvestigation.usada.org/ before posting a single thing.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    It should be pointed out, that after investigations, Congressional hearings, and criminal trials, the only athletes to actually get convicted were both black (Barry Bonds and Marion Jones).

    Caucasian heroes Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong had the complexion for protection.

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    They will strip them again and again and again until he finally learns his lesson!

    Actually, when the USADA did their thing a couple of months ago, and all the new articles read “Armstrong stripped of titles” I thought, “Wait, how the hell does the USADA control who wins the Tour de France?” And of course, it was all just sloppy reporting and sloppier headlines. ‘Effen press, no standards at all anymore.

  14. 14
    MB says:

    @PigInZen:

    That’s bullshit. Cycling appears to be the dirtiest sport because it’s the sport that done more testing. The NFL is clean, right?

  15. 15
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    I honestly don’t know the quality of the evidence – but if they did have good quality evidence, I can see why they’d want to turn their big guns on Armstrong. But I’d hope it was seriously damning evidence. (I haven’t vetted it myself because I honestly just *don’t care*. I mean, if Armstrong’s being railroaded, that’s an awful injustice – but I know people who are actually *behind bars* who’ve been treated unjustly, and if I had a magic evidence wand, they’d get first dibs on its use.)

    At the same time – honestly, what does it matter at this point? You *can’t* turn back the clock and make the second place people the winners. Sure, you can *name* them the winners, but honestly, who cares?

  16. 16
    J. Michael Neal says:

    It may or may not have been a vendetta, but there was significantly more to it than hearsay evidence. A number of those that testified spoke of direct interactions with Armstrong concerning doping. That’s not hearsay. You may or may not find it credible, but it isn’t hearsay.

    And it also strikes me that it would be a rather large coincidence if everyone on Armstrong’s team was doping but he was not. As for this:

    . . .he still has never tested positive . . .

    that says a lot more about the reliability of the testing regimes than it does about Armstrong. Do you really think the NFL is clean despite going years without reporting a positive test?

  17. 17

    John, you’re missing some angles on this. You’re a low info cycling enthusiast. Which is fine and vastly preferable to being a low information voter. The mythos of the Uniballer is falling apart.

  18. 18
    Hill Dweller says:

    @DFS: Not necessarily. The wealthier athletes tend to get the best shit, administered by the best doctors. Armstrong was never caught because he and his doctors had turned doping into a science. They were always way ahead of any testing.

  19. 19
    WarMunchkin says:

    Bullshit – vendetta or not, the “500 drug tests passed” line is just a talking point. These guys amassed an absolutely massive body of sworn statements and evidence over *years* that all point to cheating on Armstrong’s part. And the other dopers were punished – one was even stripped of a 2004 Olympic Gold medal.

  20. 20
    Corner Store Operator says:

    From a PR perspective the thing with Lance is that not only did he deny doping for so long but he did it in this way where he acted like everything was a huge conspiracy against him and that everybody hated him, and that it was so beyond the pale to even suggest that something was up.

    Well, all of his teammates have shown that it was all a lie. Its always the coverup that is worse than the crime. If he had just come out and admitted it along with everyone else this wouldn’t be such a big deal. Of course its personal, everything is, but in this case I think Lance is getting some of that karma coming around to bite him.

  21. 21
    Shalimar says:

    @DFS: It isn’t a level playing field if one team is much better at cheating than the other teams. I don’t know enough to evaluate, but the accusations are that US Postal was more organized and efficient in their cheating, which would have given them an advantage even if everyone else was doing it too.

  22. 22
    Spatula says:

    This whole thing is such a joke. And you can not tell me this was just about doping. This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    DING DING! BINGO! BINGO! EXACTAMUNDO!

    A fake example must be made.

  23. 23
    NCSteve says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Imagine how popular steroid-twisted freaks actually competing would be.

    No need to imagine. We’re there.

  24. 24
    max says:

    This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    Now who’s trolling?

    max
    [‘Who is this Lance Armstrong of which you speak? Is he the guy that does that dance that’s going around?’]

  25. 25
    Barbara says:

    John, technically it is not true that Armstrong never tested positive. He did test positive once and according to reports was allowed to provide a backdated prescription that explained his positive test.

    It would be easier for me to sympathize with Armstrong if he had not, himself, basically waged nuclear war against anyone who said negative things about him, beginning with Greg LeMond. He tried to intimidate and threaten others.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    This whole thing is such a joke. And you can not tell me this was just about doping. This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    Agreed.

  28. 28
    burnspbesq says:

    If the Tour organizers were behind this, I would say yes, it’s a vendetta, because what Armstrong did (gagner tandis Americain) is unforgivable.

    And I do think the anti-doping people are a bunch of sanctimonious scolds (I’ve heard some pretty unflattering stuff about Dick Pound from a good friend who is a former partner at Stikeman Elliott, Pound’s law firm).

    But you’ve gone too far in suggesting that a “conviction” based on the testimony of “little fish” who were “given immunity” in exchange for their testimony is inherently unsupportable. That’s how organized crime cases have worked for the entire history of organized crime. And I don’t think there’s much doubt that doping is endemic in pro cycling. We may never find out how Armstrong managed to never have a positive test, and I don’t rule out the possibility that he is actually clean, but there is now enough circumstantial evidence to convice.

    Finally, it should worry you that your stance on performance-enhancing drugs could easily have been lifted straight from the pages of Reason.

    Fin

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    I was a NORBA competitor for a few years. Most riders, even for sport class races (lowest on the totem pole, that’s me!) doped. I did not, there was no point. I’m just too big to be a competitive rider against anyone but small-timers.

    Was this a vendetta? Probably. If you’d ever met Lance Armstrong, even once, you’d know why. Possibly the biggest asshole on the planet. He was going to piss someone off one day who would have the power to take him out and sure as shit that’s exactly what happened.

    Be nice to the people on the way up, etc. Lance didn’t bother with that weak-ass shit. He loved stomping on people and making sure that everyone knew they’d been stomped. He deserves everything he’s getting and a cherry on top for good measure.

  30. 30
    Dave says:

    The disappointing thing is that Armstrong, with his compelling tale of beating back cancer, could have won the Tour just ONCE and still done everything he has done since then with charity and the like.

    Instead, he had to be the world-beating Colossus and now it’s all gone to shit. Just like Clemens and Bonds – two guys who likely would have made the HOF based on their body of work before they started juicing.

  31. 31
    Buck B. says:

    You’re talking out of your ass here, Cole. Go read this Times story and tell me Armstrong isn’t a sociopathic, cheating piece of shit.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10.....trong.html

  32. 32
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And I do think the anti-doping people are a bunch of sanctimonious scolds . . .

    This.

    @The Moar You Know:

    Probably. If you’d ever met Lance Armstrong, even once, you’d know why. Possibly the biggest asshole on the planet.

    And this. The entertainment value here has been watching a bunch of sanctimonious pricks act like an asshole towards an asshole acts like a sanctimonious prick towards everyone. Now if only they would all disappear.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PigInZen:

    Given that they’ve had to declare “no winner” for the past 7 Tour de France races because all of the top finishers were doping, it doesn’t look as though anyone was racing clean. The guys who finished in the lower part of the upper rankings are the ones who weren’t doing well enough for anyone to bother to test them.

    I have to agree, though, that cycling is probably no dirtier than any other professional sport. They just test more often and test more rigorously.

  34. 34
    John Heywood says:

    Bullshit. It was a massive intimidation, bribery, and doping scheme concocted by Armstrong. There was no vendetta, only a merciless pursuit of an extremely unprincipled and wealthy man who used everything in his arsenal, including threats of violence, against any that would stand up to him. Betsy Andreau was right, and she was attacked mercilessly. The evidence gathered was from a broad spectrum of riders, including many on his team. They didn’t escape punishment. The 6 month suspension instead of 18 was to encourage folks to turn state’s witness. They got all of their wins stripped too. And Levi Leipheimer just got fired from his new team.
    And no, they didn’t all dope. Some refused and either had their professional careers ended or seriously curtailed. And as the doping controls got more stringent, only the super-elite got the “little white bags” and medical help that enabled them to evade testing positive.

  35. 35

    I agree. Now we can go back to not giving a rat’s ass about the sport of cycling.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    This whole thing is such a joke. And you can not tell me this was just about doping. This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    Well, no. A sport which has a long history of illegal doping shot its own tires out. Cycling, apart from Armstrong, was largely marginal in the US. It ain’t gonna recover.

    And yeah, other sports have problems as well.

    But for sheer corruption, it’s hard to beat the Europeans. I recall this one tidbit when I was listening to a BBC news story.

    No fewer than 15 football bosses have been murdered in Bulgaria in the last decade. Margot Dunne explores reports of deep rooted corruption and matchfixing in the country’s top league.

    Makes doping sound quaint by comparison.

    @Cacti:

    It should be pointed out, that after investigations, Congressional hearings, and criminal trials, the only athletes to actually get convicted were both black (Barry Bonds and Marion Jones).

    True enough, as far as it goes. But tons of athletes of all ethnicities have been stripped of Olympic titles, for example, and banned from competition.

    One of the cycle sports sites has a good breakdown of the charges against Armstrong and invites readers to decide whether the evidence is compelling or not.

    The FDA investigation of Armstrong should finally provide a definitive legal answer—judged by a jury of his peers to be innocent (or not worthy of being indicted) or guilty. We’ve distilled 10 of the most salient allegations for you. If you were on a jury, your vote would be based in large part on your response to these arguments

  37. 37
    GoogieCat says:

    I certainly do hope this starts affecting other sports.

    *cough*Rafael Nadal*cough*

  38. 38
    Shalimar says:

    @Spatula: When Spatula agrees with you, it’s seriously time to reevaluate your opinion because you’re most likely ignorant or full of shit.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    Lance seems like a total ass, but he sure was fun to watch race. Doesn’t excuse what he did, nor what he did to people who tried to turn him in. Not at all. Still loved watching him race, especially live.

  40. 40
    MoZeu says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Thank you pointing this out. The misuse of “hearsay” is something that drives me bananas.

  41. 41
    Napoleon says:

    I guess this means that when the Olympics starts stripping metals from Lance it will finally send Cole over the edge.

  42. 42
    jibeaux says:

    Well, Lance Armstrong certainly made me never want to watch a Tour de France again in the future, or in the past.

    h/t to the Bugle podcast, I think it was.

  43. 43
    ding dong says:

    Armstrong was a Bush supporter. He should have lost all his medals based on that alone. Wait….you had to be a dope to vote for Bush. Wonder if Scott Hamiltons a doper being that he endorsed Romney.

  44. 44
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I tend to agree. Masking agents explain why he “never tested positive”. Also, it would be a bit odd, wouldn’t it, if everybody was cheating and the one guy who wasn’t somehow pulled off 7 victories in a row because of his will-power and clean livin’?

    It would be a great story if Armstrong really did win all those races while living an enhancement-free life, but I just have a hard time believing it. I guess I’m a horrible, cynical person.

  45. 45
    dman says:

    The true shame is the lack of character in any of these Sports figures. Minute up admit you cheated because everyone else was and then maybe something will get done.
    Nothing worse than egotists trying as hard as possible to hold on to pst glories. Plus the fact that the lying is mostly cause of the hordes of cash they have made while living the lie

  46. 46
    Wag says:

    @grass:

    100$ on. Couldn’t agree more, and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.

  47. 47
    ericblair says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Given that they’ve had to declare “no winner” for the past 7 Tour de France races because all of the top finishers were doping, it doesn’t look as though anyone was racing clean.

    So now what. If testing doesn’t improve, as a racer you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t and it all comes down to who’s got the best anti-doping agency after their ass. Any time you’ve got poor controls and strict after-the-fact enforcement you’ve basically given the enforcement agencies arbitrary power over everyone.

  48. 48
    MoZeu says:

    I never could stand the man and could care less even if it was a vendetta. One might well ask oneself WHY a vendetta, and the simplest answer to me seems to be that he was an egotistical asshole who bullied other people. Not a great way to make loyal friends.

  49. 49

    “…eagerly await the ten year long vendetta the anti-doping agencies will now wage on the folks who just “magically” won the Tour today.”

    The problem is, a majority of the 2nd through 10th place finishers over this time frame have already been busted for doping in other races. Some of which have also been stripped of their titles.

    Look at the charts at the bottom:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D....._de_France

    I love cycling, having managed a bike shop in college, but professional cycling is so horrid it must basicaly be killed off to save itself. It should go away for a few years and come back a different sport.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    I’d much rather the investigative resources were put into bringing our Galtian Masters to justice than people who excel in any kind of sport. The Galtian Masters hurt a lot more people with their activities than sports people do.

  51. 51
    Alex says:

    Armstrong was one of the reasons doping was so rampant. He paired cheating with teamwork to create a whole team of doping athletes.

    He was one of the ringleaders in the cycle-doping circus. No tears for Armstrong from me.

  52. 52
    Cacti says:

    @Dave:

    Instead, he had to be the world-beating Colossus and now it’s all gone to shit. Just like Clemens and Bonds – two guys who likely would have made the HOF based on their body of work before they started juicing

    Bonds would have absolutely made it. Clemens I’m less sure about. If you look at their career arcs, Roger probably started riding the A-train a few years before Barry, when his HOF resume was still arguable.

    By age 30, Clemens had dropped below 200 innings pitched per season. The next two seasons (1995 & 1996) his innings continued to drop and his ERA continued to climb. The Red Sox brass concluded that his best days were over, and they had a very public falling out.

    The very next season, at age 34, Roger discovers the fountain of youth in Toronto, leads the league in innings pitched and ERA, and posts a career best in strike outs.

    By the time Barry discovered his late career “rejuvenation” he was already the only player in MLB history with 400 HR and 400 stolen bases.

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @Hill Dweller: I still am amazed that the protocols did not include saving blood samples for 5 or ten years, then retesting. How stupid can you be, given the rapid advances in both hiding and detection, to NOT have that be the testing protocol?

    If there were now ten years of samples from Armstrong, that are NOW testing positive, this would not be a 150 page report.
    It would be three graphs and conclusions.

    The NFL probably has testing protocols from the 1800’s.

  54. 54
    GeneJockey says:

    So, what – now NOBODY won those Tours? They just erase the whole thing?

    I saw a graphic that listed the podium finishers for all the Tours where Lance was on the podium (so it included his 3rd place ‘comeback’ Tour). They greyed-out any rider who had been implicated in a doping scandal.

    There was one guy left, I think the 3rd place finisher in 1999.

    I think once someone’s retired, if you haven’t caught them, that’s it. They get to keep their laurels – unless anyone suggests the WADA investigate Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, and Indurain with the same fervor.

  55. 55
    300baud says:

    As far as I’m concerned, if Armstrong dies today of shame, the anti-doping folks are welcome to dig up his bones annually and parade them around as an example. The doping agency was right to nail him; who would have taken them seriously if they had let him ride off with his 7 fraudulent world championships?

    Armstrong didn’t merely cheat. He organized the cheating and pushed others into it. He was a major cheating innovator. And then he lied about it for years and years, using his cancer halo and his carefully constructed media image to make his accusers look bad.

    Having watched somebody die of cancer, Armstrong can go fuck himself. Not only did he use cancer to help him play the victim/hero, but he named his fucking charity the Lance Armstrong Foundation, guaranteeing that whatever good it was doing would be severely impacted once his cheating came to light.

    I’m with Buck. Armstrong’s a narcissistic sociopath.

  56. 56
    Beauzeaux says:

    No point in having a vendetta when the target is a well-known “nice guy.” Targeting an asshole is much, much easier.

    For me, the convincing testimony was from George Hincapie. Not an asshole. And no ax to grind either.

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    If you’d ever met Lance Armstrong, even once, you’d know why. Possibly the biggest asshole on the planet.

    I knew everything I needed to know about Lance’s character, when he ditched his wife who stood by him on his death bed for Sheryl Crow.

  58. 58
    danimal says:

    Cole, think of this in political terms. The US anti-doping agency is a regulator. Lance Armstrong Inc. was suspected of being a polluter. The regulator found evidence of polluting by Armstrong, Inc. Armstrong Inc bought the local newspaper, donated to local charities, continued polluting and unleashed a massive propaganda campaign extolling his innocence.

    The integrity of the regulator was questioned extensively; and for a while it appeared Armstrong Inc. got its way. The regulator, recognizing the importance of maintaining its credibility, amassed a rock-solid case against Armstrong, Inc., and used the heaviest regulatory artillery available. Armstrong Inc relied on its positive public relations and charitable activities to support its stonewalling.

    IOW, it HAD to be a vendetta to maintain the rule of law. Of course it was a vendetta, Armstrong forced the issue.

  59. 59
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    @Cacti:

    It should be pointed out, that after investigations, Congressional hearings, and criminal trials, the only athletes to actually get convicted were both black (Barry Bonds and Marion Jones). Caucasian heroes Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong had the complexion for protection.

    Hear bloody hear. This.

  60. 60
    jibeaux says:

    @The Other Bob: If it was just who could enjoy a nice fall outing on the greenway the most without suffering injury, I would do that.

  61. 61
    virag says:

    @MB:

    this.

    armstrong tested positive for steroids. he used all of his resources to cover up the positive tests and to start the ‘he passed 500 drug tests’ nonsense. of course, the epo test didn’t exist for many years, and we have the dead riders holland and belgium to detail the trial and error nature of early epo doping.

    regardless, low-information is 100% correct. armstrong was/is not only a shameless cheater and liar, he is also a an all-american rat bastard.

    andy hampsten told someone he felt like it was christmas recently. hampsten, greg lemond, and the rest must be giddy in private over mr. cheat-to-win finally getting busted.

  62. 62

    This is a fascinating tribalism test for us all.

  63. 63
    Ed in NJ says:

    This is Pete Rose all over again.

    Until Armstrong comes clean and admits what most people already know, he will continue to be treated as a pariah, and rightfully so.

  64. 64
    gttim says:

    Vendetta? Bzzzzt! The vendetta was by Lance against any cyclist who did not go the Lance way. Do some actual reading on him and his methods. He ran many clean cyclists out of the sport. He turned in cyclists for doping because they were no longer on his team. He and his manager told cyclists on his team to dope or be kicked off the team. The damage done by Lance was not the doping, but the way he ran his team, the way he went after other cyclists and the way he behaved in general.

    Want to see omerta in action- 18 seconds into the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taWGQNKUgQQ

    Lance Armstrong is a piece of shit. He always has been. Read up.

    BTW, Livestrong was set up to shield him and contributes nothing to cancer research, but a lot to flying Lance around and paying his legal bills. And Livestrong.com is not the same as Livestrong.org. Outdoor magazine did a nice story on him. Read up.

  65. 65
    John says:

    If an entire sport is doping, isn’t it better to just allow doping and let the chips fall where they may than to basically have every single event under a cloud of suspicion?

  66. 66
    Cacti says:

    I also have to say, in the case of Barry Bonds, it was more than a little amusing to watch white America’s revisionist history RE: Hank Aaron.

    When Hank Aaron broke the HR record, he was the villainous negro, stealing Babe Ruth’s record, and got death threats for it.

    When Barry Bonds became the new black villain, it was “How dare he besmirch the accomplishments of beloved elder statesman Hank Aaron!”

  67. 67
    Cassidy says:

    I’m guessing the NFL doesn’t have a lot of doping. THey did all that during college. Now it’s just medicinal use of TRT.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @GeneJockey:

    So, what – now NOBODY won those Tours? They just erase the whole thing?

    As far as I can tell, that’s exactly what happens. No winner for seven years’ worth of Tours.

  69. 69
    taylormattd says:

    Are you serious?

    And by the way, the whole “never tested positive” isn’t exactly true either. Truthy enough for St. Lance and his rapid devotees.

    Did you even look at the evidence against him? Geez.

  70. 70
    taylormattd says:

    @gttim: *Nods*

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    I’m just sick of corruption in sports.

    And banksters.

  72. 72
    Buffalo Rude says:

    As my little brother asked: I wonder when they will strip him of his victory over cancer?

  73. 73
    SFAW says:

    Next up: USADA and RNC investigate rumors regarding Greg LeMond and non-existent shotguns.

    Also, too, there are rumors of Eddy Merckxxxx lawyering up.

    In other news: Darrell Issa, looking for someone to balance the Armstrong debacle, has issued a subpoena for Major Taylor. According to unnamed sources, Issa is having a difficult time contacting Mr. Taylor, who has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

  74. 74
    Wag says:

    @danimal:

    This. Well put.

  75. 75
    taylormattd says:

    @Brachiator: “One of the cycle sports sites has a good breakdown of the charges against Armstrong and invites readers to decide whether the evidence is compelling or not.”

    Is that article old? It appears to be. It talks about some of the people having been recently subpoenaed, yet we now how their testimony. All of which is terrible for Lance.

  76. 76
    Cargo says:

    “yep, that cycling, it’s a dirty sport full of felons and dopers! Now, where’s my remote, football’s on”

  77. 77
    Kane says:

    He cheated. He lied. He became a multi-millionaire off of those lies. He promoted himself as something he wasn’t, and he encouraged the media to portray him as an American hero. He looked people straight in the face and repeately lied to them for years, and he publicly vilified those who questioned him. He asked millions of others to trust him and to defend him, even though he knew all along that he was deceiving them. Even with a mountain of evidence against him, he is not man enough to take responsibility for his actions. He is a pathetic individual, and I have no sympathy for him.

    If you’re unwilling to hold Armstrong accountable for his lies, then don’t expect others to hold Romney accountable for his. I’m so sick of all the lies and the different rules for the “special” people.

  78. 78
    SatanicPanic says:

    @John: I don’t know about other sports, but steroids just made the game of baseball stupid. Games with McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, et al. became marginally successful home run derbies, and no one really wants to watch that more than once.

  79. 79
    RareSanity says:

    I don’t care about what happens to Lance Armstrong one way or the other…I have never followed cycling enough to have any emotional investment in its’ participants.

    However, I would relate the situation, as I know it, to baseball.

    Everyone knows that baseball gave tacit permission for players to use steroids. They were trying to come back after the strike…and as pitchers that played for my Braves, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine said, “Chicks dig the long ball.” Balls were leaving the park left and right, there were people in the stands and everything was lovely…until it wasn’t.

    Everyone from that era is tarnished, that’s just the way it is, and all of that occurred over the course of about a decade, this is no different.

    In my opinion, Lance Armstrong cheated. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens never tested positive for anything either…nobody has a problem accepting the word of unsavory characters speaking on their steroid use. Why? Because Bonds and Clemens were too often assholes in public. Armstrong seemed to save his assholery more for his teammates and people close to him, plus he raised money for cancer research.

    Whether or not, “everyone was doing it”, is irrelevant. When the shit hits the fan, be it performances just start looking “too good” (baseball), or your winning pisses off the powers that be (cycling)…if you’re cheating, you make yourself an easy target, and in my opinion, Lance Armstrong cheated.

    So what his teammates were also doping? If you’re doping, you’re likely to be around other people that dope. You’re not going to surround yourself with a bunch of people that follow the rules if you’re breaking them. The fact that it was ALL of his former teammates should count for something.

    They don’t stand to gain anything. Individually, they weren’t at the top of their sport then, and it’s not like they are just going to jump into cycling now and win everything, now that big bad Lance is gone. Armstrong hasn’t been competing for awhile now, if they stood to benefit from Armstrong not competing, wouldn’t they already be benefiting?

    If you cheat, whether or not the governing body has no means to test for it, or is looking the other way while you do it, you STILL leave yourself open to being called out for cheating.

    All of these governing bodies, have no issue with throwing any number of athletes under the bus, if it will benefit the governing body. Even if that benefit, is only the smug self-satisfaction, of discrediting the “foreigner”, that dominated the sport for so long.

    What he has done for cancer research, and for bringing attention to the sport of cycling, will not be forgotten…nor should they be. Those are positive things that will last longer than any controversy. However, as far as his athletic accomplishments…he cheated, and those accomplishments have been taken away.

    It’s the same thing as getting pulled over on the highway for speeding. You tell the cop, “But the person in front of me was going even faster!” The cop looks at you and says, “You were still speeding, and I stopped you…not the person in front of you”.

    Such is life.

  80. 80

    @Elizabelle:

    I’m just sick of corruption in sports. And banksters.

    You’d almost think there was a streak of corruption running through all of our elites.

    Good thing that we have so many Very Serious Peoples to tell us otherwise.

  81. 81
    Barbara says:

    @Cacti: Honestly Cacti, I don’t remember Hank Aaron’s record being perceived this way at all. It might be here I lived, but what I remember was people being really excited. I remember my dad (we’re white) practically jumping up and down about how historic it was. Remember, Hank Aaron (at this point) played for Atlanta — in a state not renowned for racial tolerance, nonetheless, baseball fans everywhere like new records.

  82. 82
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    No, it wasn’t. Read Paul Kimmage’s piece in the Indo. The Armstrong-Bruyneel nexus corrupted cycling for a decade. It made Festina’s operation look amateurish. It exploited the greed and mendacity of the UCI. It turned spouses into collaborators. (See Kristin Armstrong’s latest piece in Runner’s World.) It imposed mob discipline on those riders who chose to speak out.

    Perhaps this might make the case better to John: you know that top-end college sports are systemically corrupt. There are payments under the table, boosters who set up players with fancy cars and presents, hangers-on who hire a bunch of strippers for a boat party, recruiters who tap up high school kids. (And that’s before we head into Penn State territory.) Occasionally, the NCAA decides to put the hammer down on the colleges that are violating their (bullshitty) rules with impunity and hands out a bowl ban and scrubs the record books and strips scholarships, but that doesn’t mean the stadiums and tailgates aren’t going to be packed out.

  83. 83
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @RareSanity:

    plus he raised money for cancer research.

    Cancer awareness, not cancer research. Easy thing to get confused, but it’s similar territory to Komen: the most prominent cancer charities seem to be the ones that fall on the awareness side of the fence, not the ones that do the research or the treatment.

  84. 84

    They should have taken Michael Shermer’s advice and granted past doping offenses (real or otherwise) amnesty.

    Now what do they have for all their efforts? Do they really think this was good for cycling? Guess who won’t be tuning in to cycling much in the future. A lot of people that’s who. This just re-enforces in many would-be and former fans that cycling is a croc, that it’s full of dopers, and that its heros are false. Well played. Welcome back to the irrelevant sport status that you enjoyed before Armstrong became a household name.

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @GeneJockey:
    I like how someone is supposed to compete under a given set of rules and does so under the intense supervision of the sanctioning body without being caught or anything proven is so wrong that (s)he can be vilified for years. It’s is always, we know he is doing such and such but no one can prove it. I worked in professional sports for 3 decades and we worked hard to find cheaters. We frequently did but more often found that there was nothing wrong. The athlete really was that good on that day.
    The event is over the books are closed, move the fuck on. Otherwise you are engaging in a personal vendetta. And I have seen a few of those. They debase the entire sport and in my mind worse than the original offense. The sports anti-doping agencies are worse than the WOD or the evangelical bullshit, just on a smaller scale. Without vendettas and bluster they have nothing to show for their “work”. They have to dig deeper and deeper to show they are doing anything. And when they don’t find anything… I don’t see this as anything more than like the FL gov getting welfare drug testing while owning(or is it his wife?) a drug testing lab. It’s self-serving, nothing more.

  86. 86
    geg6 says:

    @virag:

    I’d just like to say this to your entire comment but especially this:

    andy hampsten told someone he felt like it was christmas recently. hampsten, greg lemond, and the rest must be giddy in private over mr. cheat-to-win finally getting busted.

    QFT. I was a huge Greg LeMond fan and I’ll bet he’s laughing his ass off at Armstrong’s comeuppance.

  87. 87
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @pacem appellant:

    This just re-enforces in many would-be and former fans that cycling is a croc, that it’s full of dopers, and that its heros are false.

    If you’re going to be more than a passing-nod fan of cycling, you accept its tainted history, just as if you want to watch NCAA football and men’s basketball, you need to accept that the “student-athlete” mythos is bullshit.

  88. 88
    Arclite says:

    @danimal:

    Cole, think of this in political terms. The US anti-doping agency is a regulator. Lance Armstrong Inc. was suspected of being a polluter. The regulator found evidence of polluting by Armstrong, Inc. Armstrong Inc bought the local newspaper, donated to local charities, continued polluting and unleashed a massive propaganda campaign extolling his innocence.

    Perfect analogy. Thanks, Danimal.

  89. 89
    Tuffy says:

    If there’s $100k or more on the line, EVERY. SINGLE. ATHLETE. is doping.

  90. 90
    Tractarian says:

    John, you’re out of your element here.

    First of all, last month was the USADA ruling. They banned him, but did not have the power to strip Armstrong of his titles. UCI did. Today was the UCI ruling.

    And you really need to read the USADA evidence before you start spouting off about “vendettas” and “everybody did it”. The fact is, not everyone did it. Some teams were had more widespread programs; none were more widespread and comprehensive than that of USPS.

    And even most of the riders who did it got pressured into doing it by team officials and doctors and, yes, Lance.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. The UCI had, for years, turned a blind eye to doping. That’s something else the USADA evidence shows: the official testing procedures were, shall we say, somewhat less than comprehensive.

    But that doesn’t mean this was a witch-hunt, and it doesn’t mean that Lance is absolved of responsibility.

  91. 91
    catclub says:

    look on page 14 of the Report Independent Investigation Analysis Samples from the 1999 Tour de France.pdf

    appendix P from the USADA U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team Investigation

    It says that WADA explicitly does NOT do retrospective testing,
    and has no protocol for even considering it. Idiots.

    How could that be? Somebody wants no positive tests.

  92. 92
    Cacti says:

    @Barbara:

    Honestly Cacti, I don’t remember Hank Aaron’s record being perceived this way at all. It might be here I lived, but what I remember was people being really excited.

    Death threats, hate mail, and even an attempt to kidnap one of his daughters, who was a student at Fisk University.

  93. 93
    E. says:

    Speaking as an American who actually raced bicycles on a youth team in Italy (Bianchi) in the mid 1980’s:

    It should be noted there were plenty of people during the “Armstrong Era” that attempted to race bicycles professionally without doping. You haven’t heard of them, of course, because none of them stood a chance, and they eventually took work as waiters, construction workers, and if they were lucky coaches of youth cycling teams.

    Read the testimony: Armstrong didn’t just play along, he mastered this system and crushed anyone who opposed it. His fall could not have come soon enough.

  94. 94
    geg6 says:

    @Barbara:

    Yeah, I have to agree that no one I knew begrudged Aaron. But I live north of the Mason-Dixon, my dad was about as liberal as it comes, and he was really the only person in my family that gave any sort of a shit about baseball. (And now that he’s gone, none of us do. ;-))

  95. 95
    RareSanity says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I (mistakenly) thought that they were the same thing.

    I know that awareness of these things is important, but it seems like the lion’s share of any money raised under the banner of a disease, is better spent trying to cure it.

    Only raising money for “awareness” kinda makes an organization sound like an advertising agency, masquerading as a “cause”.

    I know that Komen also gave money to Planned Parenthood, which isn’t a cure, but it is more than just “promoting awareness”. Does Armstrong’s organization really only spend money on awareness?

  96. 96
    Rosalita says:

    @ding dong:

    Scott Hamilton endorsed Romney.

    Say it ain’t so! Endorsing Romney… oh the pain of it

  97. 97
    Barbara says:

    @Cacti: I accept what you say, and yes, it seems crazy because it was crazy. I am glad my household and neighborhood were a lot saner.

  98. 98
    catclub says:

    @MB: I did at least go there.
    A lot to read. see my previous comment @ 91

  99. 99
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @John:

    If an entire sport is doping, isn’t it better to just allow doping and let the chips fall where they may than to basically have every single event under a cloud of suspicion?

    There might be an audience who’d watch for the prospect of which cyclist dropped dead on a HC climb, but it’d be a small one. Cyclists have been guinea pigs for all manner of shit, and “allow doping” just doesn’t work as an answer. Jonathan Vaughters talked about this recently:

    “If you make everything legal, believe me, some people are going to push things way beyond where they are now,” he argues. “Some people will say no to what is essentially suicide, so the winner is the guy who’s willing to risk his health more than anyone else.”

  100. 100
    Greg Laden says:

    Yeah, but what about Arthur, what are they going to do about that? http://scienceblogs.com/gregla.....hat-to-do/

  101. 101
    SRW1 says:

    Armstrong’s successes were built on a lie, he was a cheat and a bully. His assumption was that he could outrun testing technology, especially with a little protection from his friends at the UCI.

    The claim that Armstrong never tested positive is true only in the narrowest of technical definitions, namely that his samples were negative in the initial tests when the sensitivity was still insufficient. When some older samples were retested after the sensitivity had been improved, many more were positive and some of those positive samples could be traced to Armstrong. There is a reason why Armstrong to this day is refusing official retests of his other TdF samples.

    WADA is doing exactly what it needs to do to to have any chance of getting a grip on doping: Demonstrate to the cheats that while they might succeed initially, WADA is in it for the long haul and that there will be consequences, even if it takes a while to catch the cheats.

    I also applaud that Armstrong’s TdF win’s will not be awarded to any other riders. The probability is that they were doping as well and cycling needs something like the black hole of no Tdf winners during the Armstrong era as a stark reminder.

    The question is whether UCI or anybody else has the courage to clean the Augean stable that is the UCI.

  102. 102
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Barbara:

    I was an 8-year old in Michigan, and this is the way I remember it, too. The accounts of hate mail to and death threats against Aaron weren’t reported at the time.

    And, oddly enough, some of Ruth’s detractors accused the Babe of being part black. Go figure…

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @DFS: Not necessarily. Some people are helped more by EPO & steroids than others. If you already have a great lung capacity & metobolize oxygen great, etc. the drugs don’t help you that much, they help the schmo who’s body doesn’t do that well NATURALLY.

    Edit: The titles should remain vacated. No moving anyone up in that era.

  104. 104
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Cacti:

    But not widespread at all. Not the overt shit Jackie Robinson faced in ’47.

  105. 105
    Spatula says:

    @Shalimar:

    When Spatula agrees with you, it’s seriously time to reevaluate your opinion because you’re most likely ignorant or full of shit.

    Wow, man. That’s deep and conclusive.

    Awesome. You go.

  106. 106

    You know who is into cycling these days? Barry Bonds.

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/sp.....ace/23277/

  107. 107
    MikeF says:

    You’re turning into a cycling Truther, Cole. Quit it. Or at least, read the report.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): You may have just not been paying attention.

    I think Aaron was getting noticeable police protection at the time. Yep – google shows St Petersburg Times, Aug 14, 1973

  109. 109
    MB says:

    @catclub:

    And I appreciate you going there. I’m quite happy to argue the merits of what’s been presented. But the head-in-the-sand “never tested positive!” and “vendetta!” bullshit I hear from the dead-enders is truly too much to bear.’

    FWIW, the only way I think cycling as a sport* has hope is if the UCI is burned down to the ground and rebuilt. WADA and Dick Pound merit a hard look, too.

    *And really, people, nobody gives a shit about you shitting on it as niche sport. Get back to your drunken tailgating where you cheer for a bunch of ‘roid ragin’ assholes.

  110. 110
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @catclub:

    Link, please.

  111. 111
    eemom says:

    So desperately do I long for distraction from Teh Election, that I am reading this thread avidly even though I care nothing about sports or Lance Armstrong. I may even weigh in on whatever football is on tonight.

  112. 112
    Ruckus says:

    BTW, I’m not saying that Armstrong did not dope. I’m saying that he and everyone else competed under a set of rules and procedures to find people cheating on those rules. Under those rules and procedures he did not get caught. The sports sanctioning body enforces the rules not the law. If the rules are written too loosely or enforced poorly then the sanctioning body is stupid. That the rules may have been written poorly does not change the fact that they are the same rules for everyone participating. That the sanctioning body did not try hard enough to find cheaters is a different subject and one open to interpretation.
    Some of this is like, why aren’t all the financial wizards in jail? Did they break the law as it was written when they did the stupid fucking stuff they did? If no then that is why they are not in jail.

  113. 113
    Spatula says:

    @Cacti:

    I knew everything I needed to know about Lance’s character, when he ditched his wife who stood by him on his death bed for Sheryl Crow

    Hey Janice Judgey: Half the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce for a million different reasons.

    Go use your Magic Judging Wand on someone else, bluenose.

  114. 114
    Danil says:

    One question I’ve had for a while: “if Armstrong is cheating, why is he so much better at THAT than everybody else?”

    Am I going to find the answer to that question in the USADA report?

  115. 115
    SFAW says:

    Re: multiple

    Yeah, Henry Aaron received a lot of threats. The publicity about them didn’t rise to the level of James Meredith getting shot and so forth, but it was known – if not exactly contemporaneously, certainly within a relatively short time thereafter.

    I was always a Willie Mays guy, not an Aaron acolyte (although he was a truly great player, of course), but Henry had a lot to deal with from the racists.

  116. 116
    Marshall says:

    Only serfs submit to drug tests. The 0.01% never do.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SFAW:

    I’m sure that very few other people in the thread got the Major Taylor reference, but it made me LOL.

    ETA: For those who don’t read “Bicycle Times”: Marshall “Major” Taylor

  118. 118
    Steve says:

    You can defend the integrity of a sport by punishing cheaters, but you can’t defend the integrity of a sport by punishing everyone who ever won at it. Even if they were all cheaters!

  119. 119
    ploeg says:

    @SRW1:

    The question is whether UCI or anybody else has the courage to clean the Augean stable that is the UCI.

    Doubtful, and in any case, it’s not the UCI per se that needs cleaning. The whole thing is driven by dirty management companies and even dirty sponsors (that is to say, the people who pony up the money that pays the bills). If the UCI drives out the dirty management companies and dirty sponsors, the UCI drives out all that money too. And maybe you get clean management companies and clean sponsors to make up those losses, and maybe you don’t.

    Edit: One would think that this all goes without saying, but there is an appalling number of UCI critics who think that replacing the honchos there will do the trick, and don’t consider the likelihood that a clean sport will be a smaller sport.

  120. 120
    Alex S. says:

    Nice to see how many here condemn Armstrong. I agree with the Cole/low-information cyclist comments.

  121. 121
    Spatula says:

    It is hilarious and bizarre to read all of these self righteous Obots carry on about how Lance Armstrong is an arrogant prick who was Mean!, Mean! I tell you, on the way to the top of the ladder in the ever so important realm of professional BICYCLE RIDING; how he only got what was coming to him and it is vitally important that the principles and RULE OF LAW be upheld.

    Meanwhile these same unprincipled maroons are A-OK with PBO letting the Bush and Cheney Crime League completely off the hook for various unwarranted wars, fraudulent intelligence, torture, the waste of trillions of dollars, thousands upon thousands of deaths, and god knows what else.

    I am one of those crazy people who believe principles apply evenly across ALL aspects of life.

    Which is why I’m unpopular here. :D

  122. 122
    Chet says:

    It was a massive intimidation, bribery, and doping scheme concocted by Armstrong.

    Oh, obviously. And the countervailing view – that this is about an extra-judicial organization on a witchhunt – is just a conspiracy theory. Scheme vs conspiracy – wait, what’s the difference again?

  123. 123
    Spatula says:

    @Kane:

    If you’re unwilling to hold Armstrong accountable for his lies, then don’t expect others to hold Romney accountable for his. I’m so sick of all the lies and the different rules for the “special” people.

    Are you an Obot? Because if you are, I now point and laugh at you. Let me know when he decides to hold Bush and Cheney accountable, ok?

  124. 124
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Spatula:

    Thread over: Reductio ad Obotum.

  125. 125
    Hal says:

    Armstrong is a douche.

    In July, Mr. Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven times, used a whopping 330,000 gallons of water at his lush Spanish-colonial home, with an acre of gardens and a swimming pool, city water authority officials said.

    This tremendous flow of H2O, which is 38 times what the average household in the city uses in the summer, comes as Texas is going through a dry spell and officials are asking people to cut back on watering their lawns. “We are definitely short on rain,” Lisa Rhodes, a spokeswoman for the authority, said with a sigh.

  126. 126
  127. 127
    300baud says:

    @RareSanity:

    I know that Komen also gave money to Planned Parenthood, which isn’t a cure, but it is more than just “promoting awareness”. Does Armstrong’s organization really only spend money on awareness?

    In 2011, they spend about $5m on grants for cancer survivorship research. They spent at least $10m on fundraising and advertising. They spent less than $23 million on other “program” expenses, but their financial statements are vague enough that it’s hard to tell how much the program expenses are also promotional. I saw nothing to indicate they spent money on research related to curing cancer.

    So I suspect them, like Komen, of being primarily a marketing organization. Given that Armstrong is one of the world’s most dedicated liars and cheaters, as well as a master self-promoter, I am not particularly surprised.

  128. 128
    The Other Chuck says:

    Do you still call it a witch hunt if there really _are_ witches everywhere you look?

  129. 129
    Scott says:

    After the whole Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds thing, I kinda did a 180 on the whole idea of steroid/Blood doping cheating. Why not just make it legal?
    If an athlete knows the risks, and chooses to do it at personal risk, then why not? If it improves their performance and enables them to make more money…If you could do that in your profession, wouldn’t you?
    Also, too, nobody would give two shits about cycling in the U.S. other than the “Fuck Yeah! America!” BS.
    And, also, too, of course the NFL is ate up with steroids and HGH. Just look at the old NFL Films videos from the 60’s and 70’s. Buncha old, fat guys pushing each other around, except for the Steelers(sorry John) who helped introduce steroids to the league.

  130. 130
    Roy G. says:

    Great news for Romney! Surely he can find a place for Mr. Liestrong on his ticket o’liars.

  131. 131
    catclub says:

    @Hal: Well, the term douche for someone using a lot of water makes sense. ;)

    If only they could use something like the price of the water to limit excess consumption!

    Water rights are crazy. I remember learning that farmers were using vast amounts of water, at prices far below city water prices, because they had been written into previous water laws. (The various shares of water rights were set [in many cases] in the late 1920’s. Unfortunately that happened to be a period of excess rainfall, relative to the mean since then.)

    So I suspect you could find some laundry, or other business using huge amounts of water ( but paying for it, just like Lance did). Whether the big users are being subsidized in Austin, I do not know.

  132. 132
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @catclub:

    As I suspected, nothing about racism in there. Nothing to discern between racist threats and the threats from unhinged fans of those whose records he was approaching at the time (Aaron was also on his way to breaking Musial’s total bases record).

    More importantly, it’s certainly not the type of institutional racism which Cacti presents as the motivating factor behind the Bonds prosecution- a theory which I think is full of shit. How obviously juiced does a guy have to be?

  133. 133
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Probably. If you’d ever met Lance Armstrong, even once, you’d know why. Possibly the biggest asshole on the planet.

    Hard to imagine Armstrong is a bigger asshole than any of the following: the deserting coward, Darth Cheney, Dubya OvenMitt Rmoney, and Paul “Randroid Freak” Ryan.

  134. 134
    yopd1 says:

    My wife just ran the Super-Frog Half Ironman in San Diego that is sponsored by the US Navy Seals and the money goes to a charity the seals are attached to. Lance Armstrong ran and won the race (in record time). The thing is, the only reason he could run the race is because it they aren’t affiliated with USATA.

    Guess what. It was a boon for them. They actually had more competitors this year than ever, more publicity and Armstrong did a joint fundraiser for the Seal’s charity and LiveStrong. So, I don’t really care. He’s done more good in the world than most and continues to do it where he can. I’m sure the publicity for the Triathlon was pretty small compared to other races, but it made a hell of a lot of difference here.

  135. 135
    Gogiggs says:

    @El Cruzado:
    So, anyone other than Lance Armstrong?

  136. 136

    Did y’allz read the Tyler Hamilton article in Outside? Good info in there. As Mcmegtard frequently intones, YMMV.

    http://www.outsideonline.com/o.....-race.html

  137. 137
    Hal says:

    @catclub:

    Any idea how much 330,000 gallons of water would cost in a month in Austin? I’m really curious to see what his water bill would be. Assuming there no subsidies for simply having a ginormous house.

    Also, why do so many mansions come in the Spanish colonial style?

  138. 138
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Thanks, but I have to confess, I’m late to the game, too. I didn’t know about him until a few years ago. Pretty impressive guy, though.

    Eddy Merckx, on the other hand, I knowed about for years. But I think I’d rather have known Major. (Never mind that I don’t speak Phlegmish.)

  139. 139
    PJ says:

    @yopd1: A successful criminal or con man always does good to someone, that’s how they get people hooked. Investors made very good returns with Bernie Madoff for years. Mobsters are sure to spread money around to charities in their neighborhoods and make sure they are safe. Hell, that’s how Bloomberg got himself a third term, by literally buying off interest groups that might stand in the way of him crapping on the two-term limit voted in by New Yorkers. I’m sure if GW Bush showed up at a charity sports event in some parts of the country, it would also boost receipts.

    The only things Armstrong has on his side right now are piles of money and the ability to manipulate public sentiment. If his past is any measure of his future, he will use those tools for all they are worth. You need to measure the damage a person does against the perceived good that so moves your heart.

  140. 140
    chris says:

    A personal vendetta against a pathological liar?

    I’m ok with that.

  141. 141
    AnnaN says:

    The problem I have with this whole mess (and being a huge cycling fan) is that, FOR THE STANDARDS OF THE TIME Armstrong never tested positive. This is akin to a state changing it’s drunk driving laws to make a .08 blood alcohol level a DUI offense and then charging everyone who was pulled over and blew a .09 but got off when the legal limit was .10. It’s an absurd abuse of governmental power.

    Should we go back and re-test Indurain’s samples from a dozen years ago? Is the USADA going to go back and re-check LeMond’s samples because, gosh, let’s face it, there was no way he could have trumped Fignon in that last ITT without a little sumthin sumthin coursing through his veins.

    For all intent and purpose, USADA was a vendetta because Justice had the files and knew they couldn’t get a conviction with the testimony and lack of a positive test. Therefore, it was turned over to a kangaroo court that pressured its “witnesses” into making statements and had the ability, without due process, to ruin a guy’s life. Disgusting.

  142. 142
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Scott:

    If an athlete knows the risks, and chooses to do it at personal risk, then why not?

    Because informed consent is murky in situations like this, especially where money is involved — I’m not going to excuse the BALCO athletes, but a lot of them weren’t exactly up to speed on what was in the “supplements” they were receiving. This isn’t like the libertarian argument on recreational drug legalisation.

    @Danil:

    One question I’ve had for a while: “if Armstrong is cheating, why is he so much better at THAT than everybody else?”

    You’ll find the answer in the report, I think, because it talks about the way that the amount of money behind the team made possible a level of sophistication that made other teams look like weekenders.

  143. 143
    Mike Lamb says:

    @AnnaN: I have some sympathy for this argument, although he had a lot anomalous results while he was competing.

    I was a Lance fan, probably still am. I enjoyed watching him race. But the idea that he was so naturally gifted that he could crush known dopers doesn’t pass the smell test. And then there’s the fact that no one who left USPS/Discovery could replicate the results that they had with their new teams.

  144. 144
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Cacti: Not seeing the racism angle here. They tried Clemens twice for perjury. They expended ridiculous somes of money trying to get him. Armstrong, to my knowledge, never testifed under oath regarding doping, so there’s no potential for perjury.

  145. 145
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ploeg:
    If you clean the corruption and the doping gangs out of top-level cycling, and are left with a much smaller sport, then so be it. At least it will have a chance to grow again as a sport with clean competitors and honest sponsorship.

    As for John Cole’s post, I find it very disappointing. Per the NYT story, USADA found Armstrong to be a major force, maybe even the major force, for corruption and cheating in cycling. And not on hearsay testimony, either, as amply noted upthread; but on “hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, e-mail correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses”. The evidence against him looks comprehensive and damning. By choosing not to contest it, he has consented to sanctions against him on that basis. I find it hard to see how Armstrong has been the victim of a vendetta.

    Should doping be legalized in cycling, if it’s already so pervasive and accepted? I believe not. It’s still cheating, as I understand the ethics of sports; and I expect there will be medical consequences later in life, possibly severe ones, for some cyclists who have doped, as there have been in other sports. This is why doping is banned in most sports (and all Olympic ones) and why it should still be banned.

  146. 146
    mellowjohn says:

    @ding dong: as a matter of fact, hamilton did serve a suspension (2 yrs, iirc) for doping.

  147. 147
    Paul says:

    This was a personal vendetta against Armstrong.

    OK – So we should no longer go after cheaters? I have seen your other postings where you, for whatever reason are defending Mr Armstrong. I’m not following your logic.

  148. 148
    Cacti says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    Not seeing the racism angle here. They tried Clemens twice for perjury

    Black guy and white guy from same sport, same level of public recognition, and charged with the same offense.

    Which one was found guilty, which one walked?

    A story as American as apple pie.

  149. 149
    Cacti says:

    @Spatula:

    Hey Janice Judgey: Half the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce for a million different reasons

    In Lance’s case he was famous, and by FSM, he deserved a trophy gal that was worthy of his stature.

    Whataguy!

  150. 150
    SFAW says:

    @Cacti:

    Not unlike Bruce Kardashian Jenner, that slimy fucker.

  151. 151
    Spatula says:

    @chris:

    A personal vendetta against a pathological liar?

    Yeah…too bad we can’t get PBO to launch one against GWB.

    But then bicycling IS more earth shattering than two wars, torture, fraud, waste, and thousands dead, it’s true.

  152. 152
    SFAW says:

    @Cacti:

    Yeah, but they really fucked up the prosecution of Clemens, and it sounded like their case (as presented) had more holes than Romney’s “integrity.” (Not saying he would have been convicted if they hadn’t. Also, no idea whether the prosecutorial fuckup was due to incompetence, or by design.)

  153. 153
    SFAW says:

    @Spatula:

    You know who else launched a personal vendetta?

    Just sayin’.

    (I mean, if the thread has been Obotomized for no good reason, then I figure I can Godwinize it with impunity.)

  154. 154
    300baud says:

    @AnnaN:

    The problem I have with this whole mess (and being a huge cycling fan) is that, FOR THE STANDARDS OF THE TIME Armstrong never tested positive.

    So you’re saying that being a good cheater is the same thing as being a good sportsman?

    The problem with your analogy is that they didn’t change the standards. Doping was always forbidden. The correct analogy: I drive drunk and hit somebody. But I’ve taken something that fools the breathalyser, so I blow 0.00. During the trial, however, several people testify that I was knowingly drinking right before I got in my car, and was bragging about my ability to beat a breathalyser.

    But that’s still not a good enough analogy, because it misses out on him being a ringleader. As Amir says at #145, he was a major pro-doping force.

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    More importantly, it’s certainly not the type of institutional racism which Cacti presents as the motivating factor behind the Bonds prosecution- a theory which I think is full of shit.

    Really? Bonds and Clemens were accused of the same thing, and made very similar admissions. Bonds was convicted. Clemens was acquitted.

    How obviously juiced does a guy have to be?

    Apparently there’s some sweet spot between Clemens and Bonds that made Clemens less obviously lying about taking steroids than Bonds. Hmm. I wonder what the difference between them could possibly be … Such a mystery.

  157. 157
    blingee says:

    So now wrong again Cole is defending Armstrong. More world class fail sauce from wrong way Cole!

    Armstrong DENIED people who played by the rules their moment of glory through 7 tour de France wins. Then he made massive amounts of money from all that epic cheating. That fucker will NEVER get what he deserves which should be a hell of a lot worse than what he is getting now.

    Defending Armstrong at this point with all the facts now out in plain view is worse than trying to Defend Rmoney for all his obvious bullshit. You get a head wound in Iraq or something? I really wonder about your reasoning abilities.

  158. 158
    Nunya says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/20029617

    “A Texas insurance company is demanding the return of $7.5m (£4.7m) in bonuses from cyclist Lance Armstrong”

  159. 159
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Apparently there’s some sweet spot between Clemens and Bonds that made Clemens less obviously lying about taking steroids than Bonds. Hmm. I wonder what the difference between them could possibly be … Such a mystery.

    They were both tried for and acquitted of perjury. Bonds was found guilty of obstruction of justice. But there are big differences here: Clemens was being tried for lying to Congress- that’s it- while Bonds was accused of perjury in a bigger case, that against BALCO. Tried in different districts by different US Attorneys with different juries.

    BTW, Bonds wasn’t the only athlete tried and convicted in the BALCO affair. So were Trevor Graham and Tammy Thomas. Take a look at Thomas. Now ‘splain to me the racism.

  160. 160
    Mike Lamb says:

    @blingee: Stop talking. You are clueless. Go back and look at the results from Armstrong’s TDF wins and tell me who was playing by the rules.

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