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For the first time I have my doubts about Lance(19 posts)

For the first time I have my doubts about LanceLazyrider
Jul 9, 2001 4:03 PM
Armstrong and the doping controversy. I know, I may be naive and the guys at my LBS would tell me that most top pros do it and have for many years but I guess I was in denial. Not that it really matters in my life, they should just let these guys all do it then, like bodybuilders so the field would be even. Anyway, I read the article on the internet from the London Sunday Times with an interview about and with Lance and there sure is a lot more connections than you may think (ie. Dr. Ferarri who is the godfather of doping in cycling). Even Kevin Livingston was implicated with scary jumps in hemocrit levels in a few months time. The thing that struck me most was that Lance called a meeting with the reporter immediately and asked to have his lawyer present which may be just a precaution but still seems suspiciuos. I have a signed Courage poster of Lance in my living room and trust me I wouldn't necessarilly want this to be true, but I am also not a knucklehead who is in denial. Doping is rampant in elite cycling and why would Lance and USPS be any different?? Below is the link for the article, read it with a open mind either way and comment. I was a little disturbed by it. Think about it though, what these atheletes put themselves through is truly unnatural in the TDF. Training is one way to prepare yourself, but these guys are deemed supernatural. I think I see why and I feel better about my own abilities as a cyclist (or lack thereof)as I don't even drink coffee let alone performance enhancing drugs. HMMM maybe if I did what could I have been????? Regardless GO LANCE
and there's no easter bunny either...ColnagoFE
Jul 9, 2001 4:24 PM
I'd be surprised if Lance NEVER used some substances to get ahead in his entire racing career, but given his extremely high profile now I'd be surprised if he's done anything in years. He'd be an idiot to even touch the stuff given the heightened testing and sensitivities surrounding TDF drug use. I imagine the press has been scouring his trash cans and anything they can get ahold of to "prove" he is doping. The press would love to prove him a doper. Everyone loves dirty laundry. And I'd have my lawyer there too if there was the slightest dount I could say something that seemed to make me guilty. The press loves to twist people's words.
re: For the first time I have my doubts about Lancelook271
Jul 9, 2001 5:45 PM
Perhaps this is another case of the modern "you're accused, therefore you're guilty" thinking? Remember, he has never been proven to have taken any "illegal" substances, and, like the the other poster said, he'd be crazy to now since there's such heightened awareness of the use of EPO and other substances. Dr. Ferrari, though having a tainted reputation, I'm sure has advice/knowledge that is beneficial without the illegal substances. I'd have my lawyer there, too, just so I wouldn't say something that could be misinterpreted ort mis-read.
I agree with you guys that one in innocentLazyrider
Jul 9, 2001 6:15 PM
until proven guilty but trying to be objective about this whole subject would lead any logical and rational person to think it may be a possibilty. Here in the U.S. where cycling isn't that popular and where Lance is seen as a hero, stories like the one in the link I gave aren't common. The author stated that Lance and him traded remarks for over 1 1/2 hours. Why would Lance bother talking for so long about this issue unless he wasn't trying to undo the damage his association with Dr. Ferrari made? Also, on, there is mention of his attempt to break the hour record which explains his connection to Dr Ferrari. However, this seems like calculated public relations or damage control to some degree to explain his connection. The TDF should be of paramount importance, not some potential future attempt at the hour record. Also, lance stated in the article that he never spoke with Livinston about the drug suspicions which seems unusual that he wouldn't of spoke with a friend about such an issue. He obviously has. I agree that Lance would be stupid to risk so much by doping at this point, but it seems that drugs are as common in cycling as they were in bodybuilding and accepted as a reality among competitors. Anyway, I am thinking now what is the big deal if he does use drugs? If it is so common, then it is just making hime competitive. The part of the article that also made me wonder was the part about the cyclist who is suing the US cycling team for making him take injections and Carmicheals possible settlement. If this is all true then I think we all should be suspicious. I don't know the truth or do I feel entitled to but it is interesting.
I believe Lance is cleanoffrhodes
Jul 9, 2001 6:01 PM
After all the stuff I have read about Lance Armstrong I believe him 100% when he says he is drug free. Why would he risk his life, he was allready near death once. I am sure Ferrari has more knowledge than just EPO use. Just because I had friends who used drugs in high school and college doesn't mean I used them also.
you say he is careful? he'd better be..cyclopathic
Jul 9, 2001 6:50 PM
just think of all the money made in and around TDF /sure some illegal gambling going on somewhere/

At this point of time it wouldn't really matter if he does or doesn't take any banned substances, he can be as well framed
Jul 9, 2001 7:55 PM
Sure, anything is possible, but it doesn't seem likely that Lance would drug up under such close scrutiny. I'll wait for the blood & urine test results, and leave wild speculation to the trash papers. And don't hold your breath to see a headline like: "LANCE CLEAN AS A WHISTLE" That doesn't sell papers.
Yellow JournalismJon Billheimer
Jul 9, 2001 9:19 PM
I, for one, am totally sick of the obsessive muckraking, continual innuendo, and base tabloid journalism with respect to Lance and the USPS. It has become worse than distracting. It is destructive and panders to our basest voyeuristic instincts.

Did Lance ever use illegal drugs? Who knows? Even if he did once upon a time, does that mean that he does now? Of course not. Has there been or is there any evidence or proof? No.

In my not very humble opinion, I don't think since his illness that there's a snowball's chance in hell that Armstrong would be drugging. Have you ever been mortally ill? I have. And you don't EVER want to do anything to risk your life again, believe me. Furthermore, Lance has too much to lose personally, financially, and professionally if he ever got caught.

If this sounds like an emotional rant, it is. I think this malarkey has been carried way too far. And I'm sick of it. If Lance says he's clean, I believe him, unless or until there's physical proof otherwise. And believe me, the UCI, the government of France, and everyone else concerned is doing all there is humanly possible to produce the evidence. So let's can the speculation and appreciate the superlative athletic achievements of Lance, and for that matter the rest of the tour cyclists.
re: Yellow JournalismBQ
Jul 10, 2001 9:18 AM
I agree. Unfortunately, this nonsense often goes with the territory of being a world-class champion at anything. I hate the treatment Lance is getting by the press, but it's not that unusual, either. It doesn't matter to the press that he rigorously trained for the TDF. They want dirt, so they pry under rocks looking for the worst in humanity. For better or worse, this is a part of the cost of a free press. The press can uncover some very important things, but it also leaves room for the muckrakers and rumor mongers looking for a quick way to sell trashy stories.

After reading the original post and checking out the link, as hard as the reporter tried, I found Lance held his own very well. He didn't spread rumors about others, nor did he attempt to speak for them. Frankly, I thought the story was rather low on facts but high on innuendo. Just more trash.
More InfoSimpleGreen
Jul 9, 2001 9:11 PM
Here's more info for you guys to chew on.

1.) An excerpt from the Arizona Daily Star Sports Section from July 8th, 2001.

"* Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong made a very public training appearance with his U.S. Postal Service cycling team in February. What wasn't publicized was that Armstrong returned alone to Tucson in March and spent three weeks living on Mount Lemmon. He would cycle to Tucson each day, spend four or five hours working out, and then bike up the mountain to his retreat each afternoon. He also was a frequent visitor to the UMC Cancer Center (unannounced), where he would spend time with children in the cancer ward. Unfortunately, one of Armstrong's former teammates, Tucsonan Gord Fraser, is not participating in the Tour de France this year. Fraser's team was one of those on the bubble that was denied a berth in the starting field. "

Here's the link where I got it from. Scroll down a ways to find the excerpt.

High altitude training for LA. This is nature's way of boosting hematicrit levels. This might a reason why he talks to Ferrari--let's hope that's the ONLY reason.

2.) LA was a phenom when he was a kid doing triathlons. I think he has the natural ability to do what he does.

What do you think about the recent stories? Perhaps LA doped in the past in the pre-cancer days. The stories we are getting make this a possibility. Only a total dumbass would get back on stuff after what he's been through. Damage control is mega-important for sponsorship dollars. If he even is found to be a drug user in the public eye, he loses credibility. His cancer foundation would lose, his endorsements would be gone, etc. Some people on this board or other cyclist may think that doping is part of the sport. But for everyone else, he would be a pathetic man. He would also break the hearts of a lot of people who have put their trust and hope onto him for whatever reason.

There's a lot at stake here!!

This is a logical responseLazyrider
Jul 9, 2001 9:54 PM
Thanks. I agree that Lance was a phenom when he was young and he definitely does have an irregular ability that most do not possess. And I agree that there is a lot of money at stake and he must respond to negative press. Why would he risk his reputation though knowing he would be a target for the foreign press to jump on?? The fact that he survived cancer doesn't exclude him from doing drugs now though. Doping is just so common among elite cyclists apparently that one must feel pressured to participate to be able to compete. The thing that struck me in the article that I originally posted was the young cyclist who has a lawsuit against U.S. cycling team and the connection to Lance via trainers and coaches. And the doctor who was "let go" because they no longer needed him which he felt was due to his refusal to take part in systematic doping years ago. I wasn't aware that there is a videotape according to the article of a US postal car dumping a bag with 160 syringes and bloody gauze with Actovigen (a bloodboosting product as described i article) Now is Actovigen a banned substance? Does it matter? They may be ahead of the curve and just because a drug isn't currently on the banned list of substances, doesn't it still constitute doping????? It seems obvious that something was going on and all of our desires for it not to be true will hopefully be upheld but reading this article is disconcerting.
Cycling one of the cleanest of professional sportsLBS Guy
Jul 9, 2001 9:47 PM
The only reason Cycling has the reputation for doping and drugging as it does is because its one of the few sports that actually bans substances from being used, take Baseball for example, there's actually statements in the rule book about no athletes being tested for performance enhancing drugs, and that there are no banned substances from the sport, and to say that you have doubts about Lance doping is just as bad as saying he is doping. If elite cyclists used banned substances than why would all the teams have rules layed down that doping will void the contract and the cyclist will be ejected from the team, like what happened in the Giro this year with Dario Frigo, he was caught and thrown from the team, if the pelaton was using banned substances then nobody would be able to win a race because all the stage winners, points leaders, GC leaders, and any random rider is tested for the banned substances, so those of you that are disgracing cycling, by saying oyu have doubts, and that everybody uses performance enhancers, your just disgracing yourself and disrespecting other cyclists,
And rememeber, its not the bikes fault you cant ride good
Come on, don't be that naiveLazyrider
Jul 9, 2001 10:07 PM
of course they will put into contract that if anyone is caught using a banned substance they will get booted. That doesn't mean that there isn't systematic doping under the care of the doctors and coaches and they probably agree that if someone gets caught they will "cut them loose" for the team's sake. Plus the key issue is that people may not be taking banned substances but other drugs not currently on the list. A technicality I guess. I once read that Arnold Schwarzenager was taking drugs that very few people were able to get their hands on when he won all those Mr Olympias. Was he natural?? Please don't say yes. Point is that doping occurs at every major elite athletic level. I continuously would say no way Lance is doping, but if you read the article, it has to create some doubt. Be objective and you cannot deny that it doesn't stink. If what the article says is true that USPS staff were seen dumping syringes, bloody gauze and packaging that contained a bloodboosting product miles from their hotel. You have to admit it doesn't look good. There doesn't seem to be a denial of this which seems odd. Maybe I am missing something but the American press doesn't deal with this issue here so accusing foreign press is easy. Hey I hate the French as much as anybody else but this was a British journalist who had the interview with Lance. I DON'T WANT IT TO BE TRUE BUT IT MAY BE A POSSIBILITY. Did you read the article?????
Cycling one of the cleanest of professional sportswscott
Jul 10, 2001 7:39 AM
While I agree with you that the reason cylcing has a black eye over doping is the fact that they're doing something about it, I think your way off base regarding the team stances on drugs. It's all about sponsers. You're riders need to win and they may need to take drugs to do so (I would say the days of organized TEAM doping are over, but maybe I'm naive), winning gets you publicity. Yet if your riders get caught doping your in danger of losing the sponsers so you have to dis-own them if they get caught. You need to read Willy Voet's book. Festina riders were injecting stuff daily (mainly corticosteroids and EPO, but also growth hormone, anabolic steroids, and concoctions of various drugs, i.e Belgium pot)and never failed drug tests. The soigneurs and doctors know what is detectable and what is not, and sometimes can beat the test even with detectable substances. Remember, EPO up until recently was undetectable, you could test someone until they had no blood or urine left in their body, but if your not testing or can't test for the performance enhancing substance, your not going to detect it!
Read his bookAtombomber
Jul 9, 2001 10:05 PM
There is no way to know if Lance tried anything before his bout with cancer, but there is no way in hell that he would put anything into his body that would risk his future (cycling and health). Just read 'Its not about the bike'. You'll get an understanding of what LA went through, though you'll never truly know.
Interesting article...but no smoking gun...MeDotOrg
Jul 9, 2001 10:25 PM
...for those too young to remember, that was what Richard Nixon's defenders said about the Watergate affair: that you needed a "smoking gun", some direct evidence to tie him to the crimes. Nixon conveniently provided a the smoking gun with tape recordings.

I don't think Lance Armstrong is that stupid. Let's face it: doping has gone on for a long time in cycling. I have no doubt that many of the best cyclists have used EPO or other performance-enhancing drugs in the past. Lance has probably been around drug use and is reluctant to talk about it. It is one thing to say you are clean, it is another to inform on friends who might not have been.

Call me naive, but I believe the biggest component of Lance Armstrong's success is the fact he had to re-build his body after cancer therapy. He was able to remake himself in the image of a better cyclist.

Would I be suprised if Lance Armstrong took a performance-enhancing drug at sometime in his career? No. Do I think he does now? Probably not, given the white-hot light of publicity.

My hope is that drug testing will become so sophisticated that people won't be tempted to attempt to cheat the system. Failing that, that the best riders wouldn't want to chance their careers.

If I'm honest with myself, I don't want to believe that Lance took drugs during his Tour wins. His is such an heroic journey I don't want to believe it is tainted.
Too many cynics...not enough beleiversOnly300
Jul 9, 2001 10:43 PM
I am an Armstong fan and highly doubt that he uses banned substances. He very well could be using them, but it is sickening to see how things get blown out of proportion. Other factors can lead to his amazing performance; Lance has a naturally high VO2 and he has an incredible traning regimine.

The European press is always looking for that amazing story, regardless of how they try to "create" it. That is not journalism, it's sensationalism. Also, in France, you are guilty until proven innocent. That idealism allows for total speculation. Yes, doping is a serious problem in cycling. The press does not help mitigate the problem at all, it only makes it worse.

Go Lance...We know what your on...your bike
Sunday Times articlePaulCL
Jul 10, 2001 7:27 AM
From reading the article, it appears to me that the reporter had already decided that Lance is a doper and that's what he was going to write regardless of what Lance said. Can you blame Lance for bringing his attorney?? If I was about to be tried in the press, I would want my attorney present also. For the last year, in Europe, Lance has been inundated with innuendo, false accusations, etc about doping. The reporters are out for blood.

As for the infamous Dr. Ferrari...beyond his doping credentials (which are quite impressive), from reports, he is very knowledgeable about the health of cyclists. Maybe he is the best docter for cyclists, who took a wrong turn. Because Lance may have seen him as a patient or consulted with him does not mean he is a doper. Don't draw conclusions from weak circumstantial evidence.

I agree with a previous post that Lance may have tried the stuff earlier in his career, but it would be really stupid to use the stuff now. He has more to lose than to gain from using drugs.
According to Phil Liggett12x23
Jul 10, 2001 5:05 PM
The interview was taken several months ago. He says he has known the journalist several years, and the journalist thinks it is impossible to compete the TdF without doping. And, of course, who better to interview if you intend to publish near the beginning of the Tour.