With Regard to Lance’s Issue, How to be Politically Correct?

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Lance’s problems with USADA, etc. has taken some weird turns over the years. This new problem he has is not any different. It is going to take a bunch of weird turns before it eventually comes to an end, hopefully an final end.

It is hard for most of us following the media reports not to try to draw the lines between the dots.

I thought it was pretty strange to see that George (Hincapie) was announcing his retirement. It seemed even weirder considering the time frame in relation to the USADA announcement.

Then the USAC released that Levi, Dave Z. George and Christian Vande Velde all opted out of potential Olympic slots. Man, did that seem super weird and coincidental. If these withdrawals had anything to do with each other and to the Lance issue, then it doesn’t look too good for Lance and Co. But, there is no way to connect these dots without a statement from one of the 4 guys. And I’ll bet you $100, there isn’t going to be a peep out of any of them before the Tour. All these guys are planning on racing the Tour, with big aspirations, so it wouldn’t make any sense for them to make any statements if it was going to bring out “ugly” news.

Chris Horner came and spoke out for Lance. I like Chris and think he’s a great guy and rider. He usually speaks his mind, but speaking out on this wasn’t the brightest thing he could have done at this time. Especially saying quotes like – “Do we have pictures of it? Video or testing? Because without that you really don’t have anything.”

I honestly don’t know what evidence that USADA has. They say they have blood samples from 2009 and ’10 that were manipulated. If that is the case, then they do have testing, Chris. I very much doubt they have any “video” of the supposed doping infractions. But, I know they have testimony. Floyd and Tyler’s for two. And if they have the testimony of any of the above mentioned riders, then I don’t think they need the video. Floyd and Tyler have credibility problems. But, none of the 4 guys above do. It would be very damaging.

And then there is Andrew Talansky’s twitter post (that was removed late). It is below. I have no idea why anyone would put their opinion out there, voluntarily, without a personal knowledge of the evidence USADA has. He is either an idiot or just super naive. Hopefully the later. Or maybe he is a psychic and KNOWS that USAC has ZERO evidence.

I very much doubt that USAD has zero evidence, Andrew. I have to assume that the powers at USADA knew what a shit storm they were getting into when they did this whole thing. I’d hope that they are smart enough to have some kind of information to back up their charges. If they don’t, then they need to go back to square one and completely reorganize, because their organization is severely broken. But, I very much doubt that is the situation.

I’m one of the least politically correct people I know. But this is a pretty sensitive subject. And an important one. This whole thing is going to take a lot of weird twists and turns the next few weeks/months. I have to assume that we are just at the edge of the avalanche of stories that are going to be put out there addressing this and more we don’t even know yet. And I’d bet these revelations are going to be a super surprise to some out there.

I haven’t really thought of what the end ramifications to the sport of cycling in America will be if this whole thing goes South. Nearly every current “hero” the US has in European stage racing seems to be connected to the story somehow. It kind of makes me sad. But not sad enough to allow it to just disappear. Things need to be set straight, once and for all. I hope this finally does do just that. It would be the only good thing to come from this whole mess.

31 thoughts on “With Regard to Lance’s Issue, How to be Politically Correct?

  1. Chris Black

    I really don’t understand why we are trying to deal with the doping problem by re-hasing the past. If there was a positive test, fine, but I don’t think it would take this long to confirm a positive test. I think we need to move forward. Spend the money to get riders who are currently cheating. I am all for increasing our license fees with a guarantee that every licensed race will be tested at least once each year. In over 25 years of racing, I have been tested exactly once; at a non-USAC event, RAAM 2000.

     
  2. Doug P

    I don’t agree that by sweeping past problems under the rug we can move forward. The sport of pro cycling is considered by most people to be the most doped sport on the planet. We owe it to current and future athletes to hit hard and have big names pay BIG fines, maybe jail. Teams will think twice before doping. Maybe we can’t completely stop doping, but efforts to stop drug use leads to lower doses. And that means fewer dead riders. It’s that simple.

     
  3. James Randy

    Just another smart kid (who thinks he’s smarter than he actually is) – see it on the internet all the time.
    PURE SPECULATION FOLLOWS.
    Horner knew Lance was dirty.
    Lance knew Horner was clean.
    That’s why they never rode together before.
    Finally Lance couldn’t ignore Horner’s raw talent and dedication, plus he’d done all he wanted to do, was at the end of his career, and gave him a ride – on the condition of keeping his mouth shut.
    Now Horner is being a friend (and I admire that).

     
  4. Bryan

    Here’s my solution: make doping mandatory. That way you level the playing field across the board.

    Good god, our nation has enough problems without wasting money on pursuing what is in essence a victimless crime – if a crime even occured!

     
  5. Tex-Mexican

    Two points: Armstrong may seem like the focal point of this new investigation, but the bigger fish is actually Bruyneel. This is just the tip of the iceberg to get to the systematic pushers, not just the users themselves. That’s why not to bury it in the past.

    Two words for anyone who thinks that it’s not possible to cover up a doping scheme: Jerry Sandusky. Not that the crimes compare at all, because they don’t. But Sandusky has allegedly been doing bad things for a long time and people allegedly knew it but did nothing about it for years and years.

     
  6. Kirk

    I am confused about what sort of “once and for all” this whole mess is supposed to precipitate? I assume it suggests we are at the dawn of a new clean era where gentlemen don’t seek an edge and there is no more doping and transfusing and lying. So something completely unlike the entire previous history of cycle racing, in other words?

     
  7. Jay Rob

    It is real simple. It is not the past. Bruyneel is still active in cycling. Homogolous blood doping is still used. Taxpayer dollars is a bullshit excuse. USADA exists for the purpose it is now carrying out. If you do not like it then you should have spoken up before they were created although I doubt you will bitch if they catch someone who is not your “hero”. Maybe all the tax exempt benefits Lance has used under false pretense can cancel out what is spent? See also Mellow Johnny’s Air LLC. There will ALWAYS be cheaters. But the message that MUST be sent is that if you do, you will be caught no matter how long it takes. I don’t want my son to have to be faced with the choices many of these guys had to make.

     
  8. Bri

    I can’t imagine anyone passing up the opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics. How about they USADA also take a closer look into this why they are at it.

     
  9. Bryan

    Armstrong is not my “hero” in any way. I’ve always thought he came across as a bit arrogant and even a bit of an ass; not necessarily the nicest person in the world. Regardless, what he has done with Livestrong is nothing but good and I hate to see Livestrong go down in flames due to this – which is what will likely happen.

     
  10. Jay Rob

    Bryan,
    Do some homework into actual funding of LAF. It is one of the worst charities in the world when it comes to actual RESEARCH for a cure. Unfortunately, the $ is not in the CURE, it is in the treatments and selling HOPE. LAF spends more on LEGAL and Mellow Johnny’s Air LLC with your TAX dollars then it does research.
    If Livestrong was procured with a lie, and does proportionately little to find a cure, then how big a loss I ask you will it be if it is no longer around? It will for NIKE and for Lance, but not for CANCER RESEARCH.

     
  11. Dave

    Horner-his participation in the Tour was in doubt …until his favorable comments about Lance. Now I see he has been selected. Just a coincidence?

     
  12. Sam

    Bri:

    Probably because they are going to take the fall and admit to doping. Their testimony will ban them from Olympic competition

     
  13. Jan

    Jay Rob,

    I don’t think that Livestrong is primarily focused on research, but rather on helping people deal with diagnoses with support and such.

    Both research and current supportive help are important, of course.

    [I have no clue re doping, except that if I could be 5% better at my job stuff (in academics), I probably would have taken whatever risk during grad school to have the opportunities in a tough market.]

     
  14. SalRuibal

    Thanks for your always sober (I hope) commentaries. It never ceases to amaze me that everyone is an expert except for the actual experts. Travis Tygart of USADA is the right guy for the job. Never leaks a thing, never comments with “wink-wink”. I’ve dealt with him for years and he’s always been a straight shooter. If you’re looking to beat him, bring your A game and have your shit together.

     
  15. 2Wheels

    Sam: I agree with you that their deselection from the olympics probably has something to do with the USADA enquiry and possibly an upcoming admission of doping infractions, but a recent CAS case fought by Dwain Chambers and David Millar allows dopers to compete in the olympics as long as they are not currently suspended. Wouldn’t this mean that they could say they have doped in the past but are now clean so would be free to compete? Otherwise maybe its more of a PR exercise that they don’t compete..

     
  16. MM1

    2Wheels Millar and Chambers have been cleared to compete because they have served their bans. The GB Olympic Ctte attempt to impose lifetime bans was overturned by CAS. This situation is quite different.

     
  17. Roberto

    If you want to know the cycling consequences of Lance going down, i’ll be happy to tell you. No U.S. rider will win a grand tour, or major European race again, or at least for a long time. Which is what all of Europe wants anyway. If you think European riders are going to quit cheating, you’re sadly mistaken. Do you remember what it was like in the 60’s and into the 70’s. U.S. cyclists were a joke to them, and it’s exactly what would happen again. I don’t condone cheating, and at the Masters level, it makes me sick. But i’m not the one that’s going to have to race in the U.S. my whole life, because I can’t compete in Europe. Lance was so talented, that he could have probably been in the top 20, racing clean. But should he have to lose. I have made no secret of the fact I doped, just to be there. And while not being proud of it, I have no regrets. Since i’m probably the only one on this blog, to have seen what goes on first hand, it galls me that you guys are so certain of what should happen to Lance. Get over it, I don’t consider him to have cheated, because all of his top competitors were on the same stuff. When you show me a completely clean peloton, i’ll say hang the cheaters. (And I do say hang the Masters, because most of us are clean.) Until then, it is what it is.

     
  18. Bill K

    If guilty, Armstrong has to be some sort of evil criminal genius. All of his competitors, who come close, get caught. He continues to pass just about any test they throw at him. (so far)
    If it’s true, he’s have to be awarded some sort of prize as a truly “Epic” cheater.
    It would be hilarious to see “Big Jan’s” name move up there as one of the most winning TDF riders.

     
  19. dking

    Jay Rob, I don’t think I follow what you’re saying. Does LAF claim to be a reseaerch funding organization? You know who I think should burn in hell? Any of these organizations helping disabled vets, or vitims of child abuse. I mean clearly they’re only helping the victims and as we all know now, thanks to your brilliant assessment, at is the mark of a valid non-profit.

    dk

    p.s. I hope Mother Theresa is burning in hell for all the crap she pulled. Feeding the hungry, promoting peace, pa-lease! Show me some research old lady or shut the hell up.

    p.p.s this rant has little or nothing to do with Armstrong or LAF. It’s a response to an ignorant statement.

     
  20. Doug B

    It does seem like a wierd coincidence that those 4 all took their names out. I doubt Hincapie really thought he’d make it anyhow, maybe saving face, while looking good letting the next gen get a shot? I could see Levi and VDV putting more emphasis on the Colorado tour and not wanting to interupt their build up, since they know they weren’t going to medal, nor is anyone else from the US in the road race. Zabriskie, I can’t guess. I’m probably wrong, but thats my .02.

     
  21. Dave J

    yawn… why waste my time reading your dribble anymore. You need to grow up and move on… maybe even get a real job cause I think you have lost touch with reality… well… maybe you never had any reality. Its just not worth reading anymore…bye.

     
  22. Bob Cummings

    I am “relatively” new to the sport as this is the start of my 5th season of racing and do not know the history of the sport but love it none the less.  Starting at 38 years old, I have went from cat 5 to cat 1 in this time.  I often wonder in the races who around me is using illegal performance enhancing drugs. It seems really simple that at a certain level of race and above if you were to drug test the podium, that drugs would disappear.  The incentive to dope it would seem would be to win. If you know you will get tested if you do then you will just race clean. Am I naive and missing something?  Help me out here. 

     
  23. channel_zero

    Roberto,

    Without dope, at best Armstrong was talented on a national scale. It’s almost impossible to find a time in his career when he wasn’t using PED’s.

    If he actually had the natural talent to win a Grand Tour, then he would have been racing on the sharp end of countless races. Like Lemond and Hinault in their era.

    But no. We get one and done racing practically never to be seen at the front of a race until next July.

    Smells like doping, looks like doping, acts like doping, but I just don’t understand. Right?

     
  24. Just Crusy

    Seems to me some people are now and will be strong supporters of Lance and/or his Live Strong entity (whether “for profit” or “non-profit”) regardless. At the same time, others are going to come out against Lance. These are the fans.

    Completely aside from the above fans, various lawyers representing various legal interests, governing bodies, individuals etc. are going to spend a lot of time in and out of court generating professional fees.

    And aside from both of the above, various corporations that sell bikes, entertainment, television rights, etc are going to make business decisions about how to make a profit.

    And through all of this, there is one guy that has to generate publicity, keep his name in print, do whatever it takes to keep those donations rolling in. If the Tour is out, then it’s the Leadville, or maybe the Ironman. This USADA thing is probably putting a crimp in his business plan. It’s business. Just sayin’.

     
  25. G

    I think Lance doped as much as channel_zero says, and I think Livestrong is a joke of a foundation, and I think USADA should absolutely pursue this, and I think the “it’s a waste of taxpayers’ dollars” argument is the stupidest thing I have ever heard (there are any number of wastes of $$$ literally 10000X larger than this), and I think cycling seriously needs to clean itself up and pushing the past under the carpet is not the way to do it, but I still sort of think Lance is my hero and I probably would have done the same thing in his shoes.

     
  26. Dave

    This is about truth in sport. This is about how sport reflects in society in general. Would you want to go to the doctor who cheated on their exams to complete medical school? If we allow cheating in sports, we degrade society as a whole. What does it tell our children if someone is allowed to cheat and win? Not the message we want to convey. Cheating is morally wrong, and those that do it should be prosecuted .

     
  27. Redzing

    Channel Zero–I think that these are valid points. What do you think about Lance in say, 1993? He had a fairly good season throughout, winning the triple crown domestically, a stage in the Tour and of course the World Championships. Then again, that was the Worlds where shit riders like Bjarne Riis were going off on long solo break aways and hard men like Kelly, were getting shelled. The whole EPO thing is a fucking disgrace, and I can’t even really watch 1990s/2000s cycling re-runs because of it.

     
  28. Doug B

    Look, we all know he did it. Why waste taxpayer money trying to prosecute? It won’t change most opinions, and it won’t help clean up future riders. Yes it was morally wrong, but I think the current generation is beyond that. Why continue to drag our sport through the mud?

     
  29. Jay Rob

    The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) mission statement is clear: “USADA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport, and protecting the rights of U.S. athletes.” http://www.usada.org/files/pdfs/press-kit.pdf.

    Yes, USADA is funded with your tax dollars, “74% from the federal government and 26% from the USOC” in 2009. Id. But, the argument that USADA is somehow mismanaging or wasting those funds by investigating Lance Armstrong is logically incoherent. Their stated purpose is to preserve the integrity of competition. That is exactly what they are doing.

    Is it the course of action opposite to that which they have undertaken which would demonstrate a waste of almighty tax dollars – if they failed to adhere to their stated purpose and ignored evidence of doping. Then, my friends, then you would have an argument.

    Unless you have had your head in the sand for the last 14 years or more, there is no question LA doped. Whether he beat a tainted field at their own game is not the point and faulty rationalization. It is real simple. The message needs to be:

    You cheat, you get caught, you get punished. PERIOD.

     
  30. Kirk

    Which is his punishment, the house in Aspen or the house in Austin? Or the place in the Caribbean?

    At this point, even if they strip Lance of some titles he still stood on the podium, he still banked the $$$$, he still screwed starlets and models. Everyone made money off him, including the people who wanted to hang him. If that is punishment, I hope Novitsky sifts through my trash next!

     

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