Pageviews past week

The cold world of alpine climbing.

The cold world of alpine climbing.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lance and how it relates to climbing?



"I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart."  Lance Armstrong

Personally?  I say fook the posers and USADA.

I don't get too wound up about anything, past my family, dogs, bikes and climbing.

I knew of Lance long before my own cancer showed up last fall.   I learned something about Lance when we "shared" the same chemo treatment, cis-diamminedichloroplatinum, trade name Cisplatin.

I got three, one day doses of Cisplatin.  Each literally shattered me physically.  And each dose  much worse than the previous cycle.  Lance did 4 cycles, each cycle 5 days long!  That is one  definition of real suffering.

By most accounts I figure I am a fairly tough guy when it comes to pain.  Lance lived through a entirely different level of pain.  Not one I would willingly follow.

How does this relate to doping and climbing?  When some yoho tells me they lead 5.11 trad and then can't get up a 5.8 crack without a hang or then wants to lead WI5 ice when they can't get up a Grade 3 cleanly, I shake my head and ruefully crack a smile.  "Waste someone else's time...not mine", is what I am thinking and not very kindly at that.

I don't care how hard you climb...just be honest about your skills with yourself and your partners.
 
Lance took on the best of his time and came out on top.  I can attest in a small way, that it took some serious effort in a couple of ways to get there.  More than most will have in them.   The same way I know what it takes to climb trad .11 or vertical ice.  The same way Ullrich, Basso, Pantini, Zulle, Kloden and the rest knew Armstrong deserved his wins.

Armstrong was never Cesare Maestri.  I am really sickened by the posers writing all over the Internet about Armstrong.  Most are  typically people who have never suffered or succeeded in sport or survived a serious illness and have no idea what it really takes to "win" at either.   I think Travis Tygart, and USADA has done a terrible disservice to the sport of cycling and Armstrong that can never be repaid.

As I said previous......I hold really strong opinions on only a few things that I'll care to share in public.  But in Armstrong's case, "FOOK 'UM!"

What are you on?




Update. August 30 2012

Got this link from Livestrong this morning asking for MONEY.  As a cancer survivor myself  and  9/2/11 diagnosis anniversary date coming up, I find LA wrapping himself in "cancer" instead of following through on his own claim of innocence shameful.  I am not pleased with USADA nor am I pleased with LA's reaction.  There are no winners here and much has been lost by both sides imo.   Lance has given only one thing to the Cancer community while taking in MILLIONS.  That was a gift of  HOPE.  And worth every penny no matter what the money trail is.  By not fighting the USADA what ever hope Lance did give is now gone IMO.   Lance is right about only one thing.  Time to move on.

I don't give a shit if he doped.  I do care if he continues to lie about it and hides from the truth while wrapping himself in the mantel of curing Cancer.

It is now time for BIG George ( George Hincapie) to earn his reputation.  He needs to stand up and tell the truth about what happened @ US Postal.

Take a moment to read these:

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/athletes/lance-armstrong/Its-Not-About-the-Lab-Rats.html?page=all

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/media/books/Lance-Armstrong-Case-Closed.html?page=1


Then watch the new video.

24 comments:

Matthew Wikswo said...

"I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. We all doped together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment, there were no free pharmaceuticals. The same courses, the same rules, the same drugs. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins, because we're all doping equally. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart." Lance Armstrong

Gear:30 said...

Indeed! I get so sick of people saying that Lance cheated without any REAL proof. Since when are people guilty until proven innocent in this country?

I've ridden and climbed with cancer survivors and others whose character has been tested and strengthened by enduring difficult things well. Their strong character has left me in the dust on difficult climbs just like Lance has done to others. I'm convinced that strong character can beat cheaters with no character anytime (assuming proper training has been put in), and that's what I believe Lance has done.

As soon as any of these other people who are trying to drag Lance down prove that they have half the strength of character that Lance has proven to have over the years, I'll be open to listen to their arguments. Until then, leave him alone!

I'm definitely not saying that Lance is perfect. I know he's made mistakes (as everybody has), but Lance has done a lot of good, helped and inspired a lot of people, proven to be an incredible athlete, and has never been PROVEN guilty.

I read this statement from Lance this morning. I couldn't believe what he's dealt with.

http://lancearmstrong.com/news-events/lance-armstongs-statement-of-august-23-2012

This whole process hasn't made me lose my faith in Lance or in good people's abilities to do amazing things, but it has continued to make me lose faith in some government agencies like USADA.

Gear:30 said...

*I guess it's not an official government agency, but it's tied to the government in various ways, which for me is not extremely confidence-inspiring.

Bruno Schull said...

Hi Dane,

Nice to see the posts about cycling—it’s great to find a climbing blog that address two of my favorite pastimes (climbing and cycling).

The whole doping issue is such a huge conversation. It would be great to sit down with a bottle of wine, and talk it all through (coming to Cham this year?)

In any case, I had a question for you about your recent post. It’s clear that you are an Armstrong supporter, and I respect your reasons. Without doubt, the man has suffered in ways few people will ever understand, and he obviously has incredible willpower and determination to win. Less clear is what you actually think about doping, and how this relates to climbing.

Do you think Lance doped during his career?

It seems there are two alternatives here. First, perhaps you think that Armstrong did not dope, and thus see the ongoing allegations as a witch hunt, a conspiracy, bad for cycling, and so on. In this case, I understand the link you make to climbing,--Armstrong worked hard for his victories, understands the effort and commitment necessary to succeed, has been honest with himself and others about his accomplishments, and so on.

On the other hand, perhaps you think that Armstrong did dope, but you don’t think it really matters in the end. In this case, I do not understand the link you make to climbing. If Armstrong did dope, then he cheated, he brought the mountain down to his level, and, worse, he misrepresented his accomplishments for personal gain.

It’s probably clear where I stand. I think Armstrong doped. I think that he has been lying about it for years. I think that the truth is important. I think that the ongoing legal battle is justified. And I think that in the end this process will be good for the sport.

In any case, I’m not trying to get into a whole did he/didn’t he argument. I’m just trying to clarify what you think, and how you see the different possibilities relating to climbing.

OK, all the best, and keep pedaling!

Bruno

Stephen Chase said...

Probably the most drug tested athlete in history. Never failed a test yet.
Been retired from professional cycling for years.

Can't we find a better way to spend our money and time.

How much of his time and money must he spend to defend himself against allegations made without any physical evidence.

This is ridiculous and bad, not only for professional cycling, but professional sports in general and for the US.

Who wants to be a professional athlete when an organization can preemptively take years of hard work away from you without a trial with a jury of his peers. No to mention without evidence.

Dane said...

Not everything I would like to say but part of it. More to come.

"I find it interesting that many assume LA is guilty. But no one here has seen the evidence or has first hand knowledge that he is. Speculation...simply speculation.

I suspect even fewer know what LA is/was capable as an athelete, with or without doping.

My wife and I shook hands with Floyd while he calmly proclaimed his innocence. Then, as we all know, admitted he used drugs.

When it was common place in the peloton and LEGAL to be hanging IV bags off of every rider, how in hell would anyone know what goes into the IV bags? No one here would that is for sure. As damn few riders would. Those poor naive souls.

Even more interesting I find that LA team mates when offered a place as a GC rider and the money to go with it were quite quickly BUSTED. Before that even with some stellar rides they stayed under the radar...or may be even clean.

Hamilton and Landis...as examples.

I've lived off TPN and IVs for months, unable to swallow water let alone food. What can be done with just an IV bag (which was legal at one time in the Peleton) is simply amazing.

No one is going to change their mind about LA no matter what the USADA decision. And not a single person here and damn few else where will ever know the real story of LA's use of drugs in general (be happy you don't) let alone performance enhancing drugs.


LA won the TdF from 1999 to 2005. He is arguably the most tested athelete in history and never a legitimate positive test in all that time. Easy to pick holes in that comment but not a single "legitimate positive test in all that time". If there were we wouldn't be were we are now with USADA.

LAs main competition in his TdF victories:
1999-Alex Zülle, Jan Ullrich, Marco Pantani
2000-Ullrich and Pantani
2001 Ullrich
2002 Joseba Beloki
2003 Ullrich
2004 Klöden, Ullrich
2005 Ivan Basso, Ullrich, Andreas Kloden and Alexandre Vinokourov

Go down the list. Busted for drugs or admitted to drug use in the same races:

Zulle-doper
Ullrick-doper
Pantini-doper
Beloki -Beloki and Alberto Contador inditted in Operación Puerto
Kolden- team withdrew from TdF on drug charges in 2007-doper?
Basso-doper
Vinokourov-doper
Contador- doper

Only Beloki and Kloden might be considered non dopers. Giving LA the same benefit of the doubt...but then his team has never withdrawn from the TdF for a positive test either.

1990 Lemond - he says baby ass clean
1991 Indurian- likely the last clean rider..but not for his entire career imo
1992 Indurain
1993 Indurain
1994 Indurain- tested positive for salbutamol in 1994, but both the IOC and UCI allowed Indurain and asthma sufferers to use Salbutomol at the time
1995 Indurain
1996 Riis--doper
1997 Ullrick--doper
1998 Pantini--doper

It is now 2012 not 2005. The 2005 leader board, with retrospect, was an obvious disgrace. Time to move on and put the time and effort into the future imo.


One point I'd like to make is it doesn't matter what I think Lance used or didn't use. There is no question that damn near every one else was using something during Lance's time in the Peloton.

PurpleJesus1994 said...

Damned near everyone. What happened to those that did not dope?

They didn't win shit and no longer race bikes.

Sad if you ask me. Even more sad is so many people are ok with cheating when they can convince then self everyone was or is doing it. Lame excuse if you ask me.

Non the less this is America and we are innocent till proven guilty.no way in hell anyone won the tour clean in those days or even today for that matter and for sure not seven times.

Money breeds money and And one of lances biggest sponsors was a gaint pharmaceutical company. Lab rats at that level could hide or mask anything they wanted in anyone they wanted. Its called staying one step ahead of the game and i am shit sure it is still running just as strong through the peloton today as it was then if not stronger.

Anonymous said...

"One point I'd like to make is it doesn't matter what I think Lance used or didn't use. There is no question that damn near every one else was using something during Lance's time in the Peloton."

I'm confused by your post.

So you think there is nothing wrong with doping or cheating, or think that somehow it doesn't matter?

You are prepared to say that if a particular sport is known to be dirty, then so be it and whoever wins it should be able to net millions of dollars and never be pursued for violating the rules?

You are saying that the under-oath testimony of fellow riders, physicians, masseurs as well as expert forensic analysis of stored blood samples are meaningless because Lance "never" tested positive? (Just like Marion Jones, by the way).

I find it staggering and shocking that so many people still stand by Lance. Sure, he survived cancer, and all credit to him. But he was also the dirtiest endurance athlete and biggest fraud in recent memory.

Full credit should go to the USADA for pursuing this case: the judgement will send a very clear message and I hope will help clean keep young athletes from making wrong, dangerous decisions in the future.

Dane said...

"I'm confused by your post."

Why?

"So you think there is nothing wrong with doping or cheating, or think that somehow it doesn't matter?"

Where did you read that? I said most if not all of LA's serious competition through his entire carreer admitted cheating or were caught cheating.

You may think LA cheated. Many do. But I have yet to see any proof. Mind you I am not stupid and have been doing endurance sports for 35+ years. And know how the human body works better than most. Hard not to raise an eyebrow at LA's results...

I HATE cheaters at any level. I also really dislike the folks who don't know what they are actually capable of but think it is a lot more than what they really are. And are always willing to tell you just how good they are. That kind of stuff isn't just poison it will get you killed eventually in the mtns.

"You are prepared to say that if a particular sport is known to be dirty, then so be it..?"

No, again where did you read that? I have said by implication that for the past 20 years the TdF and the pro Peloton has been full of cheaters via doping.

BUTt...fook me running....when you have to hook IV bags up to recover everyday....I would consider THAT cheating and it is still legal.

"You are saying that the under-oath testimony of fellow riders, physicians, masseurs as well as expert forensic analysis of stored blood samples are meaningless because Lance "never" tested positive?"

First I would like to hear all that "under oath" as you seem to have already. Bllod samples from 7 to 15 years old...come on?! Lots of smoke for sure but how about the real fire? May be we all missed that show with no arbitration....but then I wouldn't want my livihood controlled by the USADA either if the past was the only example. When a Federal Judge makes this statement I would reconsider "fair paly" and the "justice" being handled out as well.

"U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, in ruling Monday that the court did not have jurisdiction, acknowledged that "the appearance of a conflict on the part of both organizations creates doubt the charges against Armstrong would receive fair consideration in either forum." But that doesn't mean federal courts should intervene, the judge said, adding that "these matters should be resolved internally, by the parties most affected."

"I find it staggering and shocking that so many people still stand by Lance."

And I find it shocking that people who think they know everything...but actually generally know very little of the actual facts throw LA under the bus.

"Sure, he survived cancer, and all credit to him."

No big deal in this conversation. I know what Lance endured in part physically on the cancer side. But it has nothing to do with my thoughts on his legal issues or if he cheated or not.

As an endurance athlete?....be interesting to find another one that has taken that beating and made any kind of come back...drugs or not. BTW LA had to use EPO and a number of drugs TOTALLY banned from pro cycling just to stay alive during his chemo and rad treatment..

That shit doesn't just go away over night.

"he was also the dirtiest endurance athlete and biggest fraud in recent memory."

Really? You know this for a fact how? Your name George Hincapie may be or Johan? Bet not.

"Full credit should go to the USADA for pursuing this case..."

Actually I think their resources could be better used on CURRENT issues and not 7+ year old TdF results that will never be resolved fairly now.

"the judgement"

Judgement without a trail or even a seemingly fair trail by most accounts including a Federal Judge....hummmmm....interesting turn of phrase on your part.

We all get an opinion.

"will send a very clear message and I hope will help clean keep young athletes from making wrong, dangerous decisions in the future."

Finally something we can agree on.

Bruno Schull said...

Hi everybody,

These comments are broken into several posts to fit into the allotted space. I’ll try to be concise, but there’s a lot to say!

Arguing about Lance is like talking about religion or politics. It’s nearly
impossible to change anyone’s mind. But I’ll state my point of view as
clearly as I can, and offer some thoughts and questions.

Here goes:

First, I think that Armstrong was doping throughout most or all of his career. I think that this is the most rational conclusion based on the evidence.

Furthermore, I think that he has orchestrated a great deception and manipulation of the truth for personal gain, through conduct which may or may not be illegal, and which is definitely deeply amoral.

Last, I think that the ongoing legal action of the USADA and other organizations is both justified and necessary. Until we know the truth about the past, we can not move forward and improve cycling in the future.

OK, that’s my point of view.

On to the evidence.

Bruno Schull said...

(Continued from above)

What evidence do I see that Armstrong doped?

For dates and names and additional information go here:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/index-of-lance-armstrong-doping-allegations-over-the-years

Drug tests
Armstrong and all of his supporters frequently state that he is the most tested athlete in any sport, and has never once tested positive. Despite the great power of this idea, I think that it is a very weak argument.

First, there are many cyclists who have admitted doping but never failed a test.

Second, it is probable that positive tests have been covered up (see below)

Third, in some ways, you could say that Armstrong has failed (at least) four drug tests.

1-His test positive test for corticosteroids. This was dismissed with a doctor’s exemption (for a saddle sore prescription). Do we really believe all these doctor’s exemptions in sports? When other athletes have exemptions do we defend them, or suspect they are cheating? In this case, there is a witness who heard Armstrong and his doctors make the decision to write a prescription and backdate it to evade the test.

2-The Tour of Switzerland EPO test cover up. Was there a positive test? Was it covered up? Two fact are clear: Armstrong and Bruyneel had a meeting with a scientist from a Swiss doping lab around the time of the possible cover up to discuss EPO tests and results. Shortly thereafter, the UCI received a large sum of money directly from Armstrong. Both of these events are unprecedented. Obviously, riders and directors are not supposed to privately meet scientists from doping labs, and the UCI is not supposed to accept money from riders. The conflicts of interest are great. These events are highly suspicious, and have very serious implications.

3-The re-tested samples from the tour. When new EPO tests were developed they were applied to stored samples from past tours. Some of the samples showed use of EPO. A journalist obtained documents which showed that some of the positive samples belonged to Armstrong.

4-The USDA has samples from Armstrong from the tour which show evidence of blood manipulation. This is now part of their case.

Power measurements
There are different people making these measurements, but the strongest arguments are from the scientists found here:

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/07/cycling-performance-what-is-possible.html

Basically, given some information like weight and time over a climb, you can determine the minimal power output a cyclist requires to ride at that speed. The assumptions built into the calculation are extremely conservative, so you can be very confident that the cyclist must producing at least this minimum amount of power. When you perform these calculations for Armstrong, you arrive at power outputs which are physiologically impossible without doping.

Bruno Schull said...

(Continued from above)

Witnesses
The list is long. There are many people who have testified in one way or another that Armstrong was doping. Could every one of these people have some kind of personal grudge against Armstrong? Could every one be looking for financial gain and fame? This is what Armstrong would have us believe. Perhaps one or two—But all of them?

Behavior
In all his time, Armstrong has never shown himself to be serious about fighting doping or changing cycling. All we hear from him is that the sport is cleaner than it has ever been in the past, that all his victories were the result of hard work, and so on.

Armstrong has pursued a determined campaign to distance, silence, or punish anybody who questioned his position. This includes driving other riders from the sport and blacklisting journalists. In court, his legal team wage protracted battles to prevent evidence from being made public, to dismiss claims on technicalities, to fight over jurisdiction, and so on.

Armstrong was involved in cycling for many years at a high level. There is no possible way that, at the very least, and even if he was not doping himself, he does not have a thorough knowledge of doping in cycling. And he never talked about it. He never made an effort to be honest and open about doping in cycling

Armstrong enjoyed a position of great power and influence. He could have used that position to try to raise awareness about doping, and to change the culture of the sport. He never did.

Conclusion
Those are the various lines of evidence that have lead me to my point of view: drug tests, power measurements, witnesses and behavior.

When I evaluate this evidence, I try to apply the principle of Occam’s razor, basically, when presented with competing hypotheses, it makes sense to choose the most reasonable explanation which requires the least complicated supporting claims and assumptions.

In Armstrong’s case, we are forced to choose between two options:

1) Armstrong did not dope, but was somehow victorious while everybody around him was doping, reaching a level of performance never seen before in the history of sport, and that there is a long, ongoing, international, organized, anti-Armstrong conspiracy.

2) Armstrong doped, like many others before and since, and he participated in the culture of secrecy and denial surrounding doping, like many others before and since.

No matter what I might want to believe, I find the latter explanation far more likely.

Bruno Schull said...

(Continued from above)

There are a great number of interesting thoughts and questions that relate to the whole debate about doping.

Here are some relevant questions:

1-What is our role—the cycling public—in supporting or encouraging doping? What can we do differently?

2-What is doping? What about grey areas, like intravenous drips to hydrate or psychological medications?

3-Is there a difference between dismissive cynicism and rational suspicion? How can we tell the difference, and how does this relate to doping?

4-What are the different reasons that people want to believe certain things, and how does this effect their judgment?

5-Should we always respect the principle of innocent until proven guilty, or can a case be made that some individuals or communities should be considered guilty until proven innocent?

6-Is there a difference between something which is right in a legal sense and something that is right in a larger moral sense? Are there times when somebody might be legally innocent but our moral sense tells us that they are guilty? Or the opposite: are there times when somebody might be legally guilty but our moral sense tells us that they are innocent? And if we are prepared to accept the latter, what about the former?

7-Are things like due process and respect for individual rights and freedoms always the most important considerations, or are there times when truth or the good of the community are more important?

8-How do our answers to these kinds of questions challenge our legal system, our values, and our own behavior?

9-What about other dishonest things in cycling, such as buying and selling races? Does this occur and is it a serious problem?

10-Is cycling truly a sport—a competition between athletes—or is it a kind of show, where the results are all arranged beforehand? Is cycling some kind of combination of sport and show? How does this work?

11-Should we just make the sport open and let cyclists race any way they want? Would the sport have any integrity? What does integrity mean in sports?

12-How should we treat people who have done undeniable good in some fields, such as scientific research or humanitarian aid, but have done dishonest or amoral things in other fields? Should their behavior in one field influence the way we treat them in other fields?

13-How should we treat famous people and public figures? Should they be subject to the same laws as everybody else? Should they be subject to the same moral expectations as everybody else? Do famous people and public figures have a greater moral responsibility to lead by example? And, if they do have a greater moral responsibility, can we hold them accountable if they do not fulfill this expectation?

14-If you have the ability to be a force for good, and you choose not to exercise that power, should this be seen as morally wrong?

15-Solutions. A great deal has been done in cycling, but there is a great deal more that can be done. How can we change cycling in the future?

Anonymous said...

Hi and thanks for one of the best blogs ever!

Anyway, you might want to reconsider your stance about LA and his doping. Armstrong cheated during his whole career. It´s like someone claiming to have climbed a 5.14 route without mentioning that he was on toprope. It was extremely hard either way but ANYONE can see that leading/soloing is a different case. Lance was on doperope. Lance is a cheat and a bully and no amount of posturing about cancer (which was most likely caused by doping since junior) will change that. Also remember that his so called charity and similarly named organization are mostly making money to Lance himself and not to cancer patients. It's absolutely sick and disgusting. People who have cancer themselves or have close relatives/loved ones suffering from this crushing desease should acknowledge the difference between real charities and real cancer research compared to Lance and his sickening lies.

The evidence on his doping, cover-ups, corruption, bullying and fraud cancer charity BS is just overwhelming. Anyone with any intimate knowledge about professional cycling during the last 15 years realizes this.

If you are interested in some of the evidence concerning the LA-USADA case you might want to start reading from here:
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=18295


Lastly, USADA is not the one to blame. USADA has not damaged cycling. On the contrary, Lance and other cheats have and the one entity that is the most obvious and the biggest one to blame is UCI (International Cycling Union) and its' thoroughly rotten and corrupted presidents who have enebled the doping culture in cycling.

Lance was on epo, hemmassist, hgh, blooddoping and all the other stuf. What are you on?


Climb hard, don't cheat.
Cheers,
J

PurpleJesus1994 said...

When those who respond to the LA situation with the "everyone else was doped or all those years or his blood never once tested positive how many times, or this is a witch hunt" you really are setting a general or overall tone of acceptance.

I think part of the reason why people are having such a hard time accepting this case is in part due to the clear misuse of our governments legal system. This case if nothing else has made it shocking clear to the common man that our lovely government can set forth any dam tone they want with or without proper evidence. It has made clear to the common man whom has never seen the other side of the law just how damaging and unfair our legal system can be in reality. This is supposed to be "America The GReat LAND OF THE FREE" anyone who has been on the wrong side of the law knows dam well what a crock of shit that is. Those whom have not like to live life with their head in the clouds as though everything we are told and said to represent as a nation we do.

I also think that yes it is very hard for those with a direct tie to cancer to get their heads around the topicas LA has done so much for the cancer community. I think that is a very natural reaction and to be expected. As much as i once loved LA but now hate him i would also be torn. It is easy for me to not be torn over the situation as i have no personal connection to it through something like say cancer or a loved one.

In short LA probably did dope. We from the sidelines can speculate did he or didn't he dope? We can also speculate does USADA have enough evidence against him to convict him or don't they? At the end of the day the only one thing we can all say 100% without question is that it is horse shit that our government is put together in such a way that they can drag a man through the dirt just beacause they decide they want to. If they paint a good enough picture or make it uncomfortable enough for the accused they can either get the accused to just fold or better yet a jury to convict that person on false pretenses derived by the courts painting the picture in such a way to convince a jury of guilt. Smoke a mirrors have no place in our legal system but so much of our legal system is MONEY and smoke and mirrors. America the Fucking great my ass!!

Ben said...

Just curious if you've ever looked into some of the evidence against Lance first hand rather than getting them second hand from sources in support of Lance.

I ask not to offend but because I felt (and sounded) very similar to you for years until I decided to listen to the other side of the story direct from the horses mouth. I thought I had heard the arguments of his accusers but I hadn't, not first hand only from those attempting to disprove them. I was shocked and saddened by what I found. To echo the thoughts of Bill Strickland it was a little embarrassing how hard it was for me to accept, and how much it affected me.

Maybe you don't have time, or aren't interested but three of the resources that opened my eyes the most are below. Either way, no offense, and take from it what you will.

David Walsh's interview with NY Velocity: http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2009/david-walsh.

Greg Lemond's recorded conversation with Stephanie Mcilvain (oakley rep):
http://53x11.com/docs/greg-lemond-stephanie-mcilvain.mp3
(long but she basically confirms that lance admitted to drugs in his hospital room as claimed by Betsy Andreau)

A chat between Frankie Andreau. and Jonathan Vaughters: www.cbc.ca/sports/indepth/landis/instantmessage.html

Bill Strickland's "coming out": http://www.bicycling.com/news/pro-cycling/lance-armstrongs-endgame?page=0,0

Lastly I'll just say the "no failed tests" argument kinda felt silly when I looked at the list of cyclists who either confessed to doping or were caught because of police raids but never in their careers tested positive. Most of those you listed above fall into that category and combined they passed thousands of tests all while cheating.

Dane said...

Guys, I really appreciate the comments.

If anything I am very well read on the LA issues, his watts, the numerious contradictions and who is still in the LA camp and who isn't and know I am going against the tide here.

My wife and I spent some time with Floyd and believed him as well. We all know how that turned out.

I've had a yellow band for years that someone gave me. Never taken it out of the plastic. It is around here some where. But I would never have bought one. Take that for what it is worth. For the moment I am sticking to this:

"the plain fact that he was, as even his bitter enemy Floyd Landis told me when we spoke last year, "a badass on a bike.""

And a second thought in passing from just this morning.

"To us, today, Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist who ever lived, not a fraud who tested positive for a stimulant while leading the 1969 Giro d'Italia and had his 1973 Giro di Lombardia win stripped for the same. Joop Zoetemelk is the hardman who started and finished 16 Tours—a record—and won one. He's not a reprobate who was caught doping at the 1979 Tour, received a paltry penalty of a 10-minute time addition, and maintained his second-place podium spot. Jacques Anquetil is the five-time Tour winner who in 1961 took the yellow jersey on Stage 1 and wore it all the way to Paris, not a boastful cheater who said, during a French television interview, "Leave me in peace—everybody takes dope." And Fausto Coppi is il campionissimo, the champion of champions, not an admitted doper who said on Italian television that he only took drugs when necessary—"which is nearly always."

As a cancer survivor and before cancer I was never comfortable with Lance's connection to cancer. Although the Livestrong Foundation was one of the first places I went for info when diagnosed.

This morning it occurs to me that no one that has lived through the drug wars of their own cancer treatment will ever care if LA doped. He lived and then thrived. And I guess that is enough as silly as it might sound in this discussion. Hope is at times hard to come by.

Ben said...

A bad ass he was, no doubt about it, and like most of that type he tends to polarize. A lot of cyclists cheated then used the money and influence they gained only to party, for that difference alone I admire the good Lance has done a lot. He spoke at a company party and in about 15 seconds got over $200k pledged for cancer from the exec team, pretty good per diem there.

Not to pick at nits but I will say that many who have "lived through the drug wars of their own cancer treatment" do in fact care ( some very much) about if Lance cheated or not. Some very publicly, i.e. Charles Pelkey, and others I know personally. Should they care is a question I won't pretend to be in a position to answer.
Thanks for the great blot by the way.

Bruno Schull said...

Here's a comprehensive recent post about Armstrong and doping, which addresses many of the issues raised here, including the question of weather the USADA investigation was justified. There are also many good links to other sources.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2012/08/the-armstrong-fallout-thoughts-and.html#disqus_thread

Dane said...

" There would be no brazen denial in the face of perhaps a dozen team-mates all alleging the same thing, plus the testimony of experts and officials who explained how he'd done it. The blood values, possibly financial records, who knows what other evidence they had? Circumstantial perhaps, but there was a mountain of it. And make no mistake, Armstrong would have known what that evidence was - not specifically perhaps, but he'd know if the evidence existed, and would assume that those witnesses for USADA would have some pretty damning accounts, possibly backed with proof."

The real question is who does know? There are few credible sources imo. Landis? Hamilton? Any of Lance's past team mates? Little late to hear their forced stories don't you think? My thought? "Perhaps, possibly, assume" have no place in the discussion.

Dane said...

For those that haven't heard it, this is interesting..

http://www.msg.com/videos/the-dan-patrick-show-travis-tygart-824.html

Anonymous said...

Dane, do you think LA doped or not? A simple yes or no would be fine. Since you stated pretty clearly that you know a lot about endurance sports and well-read on the subject matter.
After all, the whole conversation is about LA the cyclist, not LA the cancer survivor.

Dane said...

"Did LA dope? Yes or no?"

I would like to see the *actual* physical evidence before making that decision.

I've watched LA since he was a kid. He is an exceptional athlete my any measure (then and now) and has been since day one. And never in that time the most likable competitor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUBTDIiKBNA&feature=related

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until I see proof of doping and not just opinions bantered about.

So I may well change my mind on LA but I may also be one of the last to be convinced.

Jon R said...

That was an interesting interview with Dan Patrick. I sounds like the evidence will be released in the next week or so and we'll all know the truth.

I could go on and on about all of this, but I think there are a few important facts to consider.

Athletes these days are more entertainers then sportsman. And the money involved in entertaining us is staggering. There are soccer players that make more in a year then the entire budget of a top cycling team. There are cheaters everyone in life, and where there is money and fame there are more. There will always be someone cheating in some form.

At the same time you can't make races like the TdF harder and harder each year. Doping become less about winning and more about survival.

Doping in sports such as cycling will never go away if countries don't enforce the anti-doping laws. Spain is a great example of this. It's clear that Puerto didn't go anywhere because the majority of the blood bags found belonged to soccer players. Until there is uniform application of the law for all athletes from all countries there will always be a few guys doing something and everyone else trying to keep up.

I think lastly the penalties need to be stiffer. When you are talking about substances that requires a doctors intervention then you are talking criminal activity. Most doping convictions are a two year ban. I think for some substances it should be life; it's inexcusable.