My Call With Lance

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Okay, I’ve given it some time and still don’t have the subject straight in my mind, but am feeling “pressure” to address Lance’s call to me. I’ve been trying to not think about the call with Lance. That is the best way to try to figure something out for me, not think about it and then when I’m riding or doing other long term physical activities, my mind tends to default to subjects that need attention and process them. Since I don’t really “get it” yet, I’m going to just start writing, stating the topics and addressing them. I’m sure it will come across as scattered and random, but that is sort of how the conversation went.

Let me back up a little. A couple weeks ago, out of the blue I got a phone call from Lance Armstrong. I’d been getting emails for a couple months, but didn’t think they were really from Lance, so I blew them off. I just got to California, was assembling my bike and my phone rang with an Austin area code. I answered it and it was Lance. We talked for about an hour about lots of things concerning cycling. Specifically doping in the sport.

I can’t really put my finger on why Lance called me, even though I asked him straight up why he called. I said that I was going to write a post on the call and what was the real reason he called. He answered back that he wouldn’t want to tell me what I should write on my website, but would hope that it would address the issue of the doping, sanctions and fairness.

There is no question that the guy is pissed off about the whole process. He thinks there is injustice in the whole process as it applies to him. He kept going back to a “theme” of what really seems fair.

He had some pretty good arguments and I definitely agreed that he has a valid gripe. He used a few analogies asking which is worse. Specifically, he brought up Rick Crawford and Ryder Hesjedal. He stated Rick Crawford admitted violations, buying EPO and driving it across the border into the US from Mexico and then distributing it to his riders. He wanted my view whether a rider using doping products or a coach supplying doping products is “worse”. Of course I thought the coach deal was worse. And Crawford received no sanction, because the statue of limitations had expired when the violation occurred.

The same with Ryder. No penalty because he “admitted” to doping a real long time ago. I agree, it’s bullshit. He probably views it as more bullshit when USADA went back and took away his Tour titles back way before either Crawford or Ryder admitted to their violations.

Like I said above, Lance feels he wasn’t treated fairly. I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about that. Most of you know my views on these guys. If not, it’s simple. You use doping products to race bikes and get caught, you should lose your privilege to race, ie. a lifetime suspension. But, that isn’t the current rules.

I told him outright that I thought that all the guys that “confessed” were not treated right. That they deserved to be suspended forever. But they weren’t. And he was. Seem fair? No, it doesn’t, to me either.

Lance feels he wasn’t given the same options that Vaughters, George, Danielson, etc. were offered. He says that Travis Tygart was outright lying about the whole issue on having him come in and getting a reduced suspension. He said the guy was trying to justify USADA’s budget because currently, they catch virtually no one. I agreed that the dope testing procedures that they do currently, are nearly valueless.

Lance used an analogy to football and gave the example of, what would I think if someone did an investigation into John Elway, from the Denver Broncos, and said they were going to take away his Superbowl rings from the 90’s. I told him that I wouldn’t be interested in it at all. He asked if I thought it would be fair?

I told him there was a big difference. For one, John Elway was retired. Lance was still racing bikes when the USADA investigation started. Two, I told him that most fans of football don’t aspire to be professional football players. Very few of us want to be a left guard for a professional football team. But, nearly all the people I ride bikes with would love to race bicycles professionally. I told him that when these guys say that the playing field was level, back in the day, that is total bullshit. Most of these professionals think that just because 198 out of 198 starters in the Tour, back then, were taking PED’s, then it was fair. What these guys fail to consider is that the pool isn’t just the few Tour riders. It is every bike racer that aspires to do it for a living. These guys were cheating all the juniors, Cat 3’s, even Master riders, from all over the world. They seem to think that they would be the best with or without doping, which just isn’t true.

Now that it is a couple weeks out, I think that Lance finally just called because he didn’t like my post about Frankie and George. I think he was calling to defend George. He said that Frankie wasn’t as innocent in the whole deal as it seems and that George was closer to right than not. He implied that Frankie didn’t “come clean” the way that it seems and that “we all were doing the same thing”. I told him I didn’t view it that way.

I don’t really care what Frankie did. He did seem to come out and confess his usage of EPO before he “had” to. Back in 2006. And he did it with dignity. He didn’t take anyone down with him. He definitely didn’t try to take Lance down with him. I respect that.

I told him that the reasons George is staying so afloat is that, for one, he, George, has stayed loyal to Lance. We, as Americans, value loyalty. And two, he has stayed relatively quiet about everything. I didn’t understand the upside for George to be talking to Frankie’s local paper and throwing rocks. I asked Lance why George did that and Lance said he didn’t really know why. He thought that maybe it was because George was writing a book and that all this was going to be included, but he wasn’t sure.

I don’t know why George is writing a book and asked Lance if it was for the money. He said he hasn’t asked George about it, which I doubt is true.

I’m not sure that Lance told me anything I hadn’t already read or heard before. It was very interesting hearing his perspective. He does present some very convincing arguments. But those arguments are not really addressing the real issues. He thinks the process isn’t fair because everyone involved isn’t being treated fairly. I agree that he should have an issue with that. But it is a very small part of the situation. He used drugs to win most of the events he competed in. That is the issue. Unfair sanctions is way down my list, but I can understand why he has problems with it.

I couldn’t help but give Lance my view on his current situation. I thought, or maybe still do think, that the reason he called was to try to control his legacy. I do think he would love to compete, on some level, but I really think that he is doing damage control. I told him he created his own problem now. And that is because he sounded so genuine and so believable throughout his whole career. So believable, that when it all turned out to be lies, that it completely destroyed his credibility. He still sounds genuine. Really genuine. But with no credibility, whatever he says now, is not going to be believed.

I said that I thought that his legacy would be what his legacy will be. I told him the best thing that he has going for him is that Americans are very forgiving to their fallen heroes. We really don’t hold grudges forever. We, as a country, don’t think any different about people from Germany, Japan, or maybe even Vietnam, even though not very long ago, we were in war with these very countries. We don’t hold long term grudges as a society. I think that will apply to Lance, and I told him just that.

I’d like to see Lance face to face and talk some more. It is easy sensing the flow of a conversation when you can actually see the person you’re talking to. The call was a little unsettling, initially, then after awhile, I started getting antsy, wanting to go out for a ride before the sun went down.

He told me that he isn’t riding his bike much at all. He said he is running some, but is really playing a lot of golf.

That really didn’t surprise me. Golf would be good for Lance now. It might be the best thing for him. I’d think that golf would allow him to focus his concentration on something as mundane as hitting a little white ball towards a little hole in the ground. Maybe this would work the same as bike riding is for me. Allow his mind to mull over problems, allowing him to deal with them appropriately. He should be playing a ton of golf, if that is the case.


78 thoughts on “My Call With Lance

  1. San Fransisco Jacks

    So, let me get this straight.. lance doesn’t have to work another day in his life and he’s playing golf and we are supposed to be sympathetic to his situation.. damage control? join pantani on a slippery slide to hell. Fuck em all.

  2. E. Normus

    For me, for what it’s worth, the way he attacked and destroyed peoples lives and character, because he perceived them as a threat, for denying him, or simply stating truth is worthy of a lifetime ban. So far A-Rod and the like haven’t lashed out to destroy anyone… yet… that I know of.

  3. Vanilla_Thrilla

    He doesn’t think he was treated fairly? Who gives a fuck what that sociopathic, lying, bullying, arsehole thinks.

    I say he’s getting exactly what he deserves. There are a lot of people in this world who deserve our sympathy. Little Larry Gunderson isn’t one of them

  4. John H

    Sure, so many were doing the same thing….but he also had a scorched earth policy with anyone who dared say he was doping. He persecuted people and ruined their lives.

    So yeah, I think it should be different for him. I think he should rot.

  5. VCScribe

    Unfair sanctions? Not quite sure about that. You have to take into account a lot of variables from individual case to individual case, and different legal systems have long histories of doing deals with the small fry to catch the big fish. Seems like that’s what happened here. Unequal sanctions? No doubt. But I’m not sure that flagrant violators have much of a case regarding ‘unfairness’ when they get the book thrown at them. Lance, not for the first time, is sounding like the sixth-grade ringleader bully who’s complaining because he got suspended and kicked off the four-square team while the other little snot-noses just got a couple of weeks of D-hall . . .

  6. Another Steve

    The complaint about a lifetime ban is BS. If he went to arbitration, he would have probably received at worst an 8 year ban and loss of 2 tour titles. He CHOSE to give in.

  7. Neil Kopitsky

    I love the irony of this: You are the guy who got stuck with the Diner bill, And Lance is asking you about how fairly the freeloaders were treated. You should have asked him to at least send you a fat bike.

  8. jim sully

    Yes, I have a sunset clause for our fallen heroes, although Mr Armstrong seems to have drawn the Cuban card though in terms of US cycling forgiveness.
    I like the fact that he had a chat w Mr T, …Keep askin the Q’s Steve,

  9. spinner

    Interesting post, Steve, thanks.
    How far will Lane go with his desire to “save” his legacy? Why doesn’t he “out” the doctors, coaches, and everyone else who actually helped him dope? Mr 53×12 would be a ‘good’ man start with….

  10. Jonathon

    For what it’s worth… I work closely with people stricken with NPD and can attest to the cruelty it dishes out to person suffering from it .Individual’s with this type of personality difficulty (NPD), struggle profoundly with consequences. In their struggle, they often use the mentality of “fairness” to try and reset the scales of their reality back into their favor. This “fairness” theme can be very persuasive and effective at recapturing support and adulation. The problem is that a person in this situation is attempting to reestablish a personality disease process (emotional cancer) that has compromised their ability to have healthy relationships in their adult world. In short, the world needs to be “unfair” and accepted as such for the personality disorder to begin losing its grip. As long as the “fairness” argument is in play, the war rages on and the disease persists, meaning the person continues to hurt themselves and others. I hope to see Lance escape the throws of his current state and begin experiencing the profound joys of humility and obscurity… NPD has no foothold in this environment, but it takes immense courage to live in this tranquil land of acceptance.

  11. Bob Sacamano

    This sounds a lot like a hitman getting a reduced sentence if he rats out the mobster who paid him to do the job. A lighter sentence from a small fish to get a bigger fish. It’s a normal part of our legal system. They never caught Lance for his crimes. They could never get John Gotti on the crimes he committed. It took a “teammate”, Sammy “the Bull” Gravano to rat him out . Lance is not Gotti. He’s not the top of this syndicate. He’s the rat trying to make the deal. I’m still waiting to see the big fish at the UCI go down. A clean sport starts at the top.

  12. Don Hobbs

    Whether or not Lance’s punishment is “fair” is irrelevant. It’s in place and there you have it. Nothing will be changed as a result of discussion on this blog or even if Lance gets some major groundswell of public opinion moving in his direction. When Lance changes his song to “I care about a clean cycling future and this is what I’m going to do about it” instead of “Why did they treat me so badly” I might be interested. And he could, remember how much impact he had when he took on cancer? Until then, he’s just a whining cheater in my book. Redemption is possible but it an’t cheap.

  13. RogerH

    Yes Broncos’ Super Bowls should be taken away if Elway cheated. In fact, Bill Romanowski has admitted to using roids during that time. A-Rod cheated, Yankees should have World Series taken from them as well in my opinion. For any sport in which the winners are cheating, they shouldn’t get to be the winners.

    How about just doing the right thing and cooperating with the the UCI, WADA, and USADA regardless of whomever else got whatever penalty, and/or if yours gets reduced or not.

  14. Justin

    Steve, you and Lance seem to agree that the current 8 year statute of limitations can result in injustices. The limitations period is the same for everybody – it was suspended in Lance’s case due to what USADA characterized as active concealment of the truth. In USADA’s view, some athletes were entitled to the benefit of the statute of limitations, while Lance was not, and some athletes were entitled to reduced sanctions for cooperating, while Lance was not. We never had a hearing on these issues because Lance decided not to contest them. The arguments he makes now, in the press and to you on the phone, he could have made at a hearing, supported by witnesses who were subject to cross-examination, etc. Had he defended on this basis he might have prevailed, and come away with a lesser sanction, but his legacy would be impacted in much the same way as it is now. In fact, had he contested the matter he might be known today as the rider who had a couple of Tour victories erased for doping, and escaped sanction for the rest of his Tour victories due to a technality – the statute of limitations. That is arguably worse than where he stands today.

  15. Jeff M

    Worried about his legacy and unfairness??? Seriously? This guy is unbelievable! Here’s a legacy idea: Stop trying to change and manipulate the past. What’s done is done. Donate a lot of time to the ‘cancer cause’ instead of golfing and let the public be the judge of your ‘precious’ legacy.
    Steve, you must find it very satisfying having the world’s biggest ‘cheat’ personally calling you up and belly aching to you about unfairness. I bet that ride you took after him calling you must of seemed surreal.

  16. Euro

    This is very interesting to me. I happen to live in the same city as George, and aside from racing in the same amateur events with him back in the early ’90’s have never had any contact with him. Yet for some reason, out of the blue, he decided to send me a FB message last week calling me out for sharing his article in the Detroit Free Press about Frankie. Weird stuff. I replied simply by saying “the truth hurts sometimes”. he hasn’t yet responded, but I am still wondering why he felt the need to contact me. I think he is about to get into some big time trouble either with USADA or the Feds…

  17. Ted Lewandowski

    This post only addresses the points of the conversation which was initiated by a call from Lance which is the tip of the iceberg of what LA actually did in his professional career – a Ponzi scheme of doping if you factor the other players (this call was obviously carefully orchestrated/narrated by LA since Steve already put him on notice that he will be writing about the conversation which is akin to someone saying btw I will be recording this call) .
    Everyone knows about the UCI ‘donation’ of $100,000 by LA but little has been written about how the coaching staff of US Postal were actually selling the team Trek bikes to pay for the doping program. Johan Bruyneel is still a free man and Jim Ochowicz is running the BMC Team as part owner after working for Thom Weisel the Godfather of this entire Ponzi scheme.
    I will just say this – in my opinion the USADA got involved after the FDA case which was led by Jeff Novitzky was suddenly dropped – and allegedly that was initiated by Bill Clinton after LA’s friend and mtb riding partner George Bush put in a call – the deal was that LA must ‘contribute’ funds to Hillary Clinton.
    Here is an interesting article about this by USATODAY

    What is actually interesting about this is that this Ponzi Scheme actually can implicate two former US Presidents – enough for a best selling book that is for sure.

  18. Ben Tarwater

    It seems like the word “fair” is being used, when, in some cases, the word “equal” should be used instead.
    Either way, not sure he is being treated unfairly. That comes from someone who blindly thought he was innocent up until the end.

    Pete Rose…. ever hear of him? Wonder what people tell their kids about him today? Bet it goes something like this…. “He was a great player at one time, but got banned for cheating (gambling)”. Not the legacy “Charlie Hustle”he was hoping to leave.

  19. Jean-Marie

    Hey Lance- This is your new reality, pal. How do you like it? You get one go-around at life, and arguably you f’ed it up- how does that make you feel? How is that going to affect the lives of your children and all of the people whose lives you made miserable? Think on that a bit longer.

    How about all of the people who believed in you who had nothing to do with cycling? How about all of the employees of LAF? How about people like those at Milkshake Media who got LAF off the ground, gave Livestrong its name and helped you create the thing that you hoped would become your legacy? These are the same people who worked tirelessly on your behalf to reach survivors and change their lives. You rode the wave– and then you pissed in it. Think about that. Think about how it could have been different.

    The only sympathy I have for you, Lance, is that you’re too stupid to realize that it all could have been so different.

  20. donkybhoy

    So Lance, who never played ‘fair’ in his life is upset that he is getting the treatment he deserves. He doesn’t get it.

    As for being equal, it was never equal for Lance and the others. Who had Hein on speed dial? Who had a backdated TUE accepted for steroids? Who had millions of dollars to squish people and their reputations when they spoke the truth?

    Sorry Lance, you still have not gotten all that you deserve and now you sound like a big baby who can take his medicine after dishing it out to others for years and unfairly i might add. Lance should be forgotten.

    I hop the qui tam case sucks all the cheating dollars he earned away from him.

    Lance is only taking care of Lance, when he could try and do some good for the sport. Trying to get people like Vaughters, Bassons, Emily O’Reilly and now Steve onside is all just PR BS. He is hoping to use this stuff in the future to promote Lance.

    I aint buying. Lance the leopard aint going to change his spots for a long long time if ever.

  21. channel_zero

    A few Americans on that list of people to be outed by Lance:

    Thom Wiesel
    Mike Plant
    Bart Knaggs
    Stapleton (I don’t remember which one worked for Armstrong)
    Going waaay back to an early Armstrong doper, Chris Carmichael.

    There’s no way Wiesel and Johnson should be allowed near sports administration with his roles doping riders. There is no doubt some people at Oakley and Nike deserve to be outed, but I don’t know how that worked.

  22. channel_zero

    Yes, thank you.

    It is clearer, to me, than maybe you realize.

    I would like to read about a conversation about stealing races from you. The doping talk is over. There’s nothing more to be said.

    On second thought, he’s kept the money, doesn’t have to work another day, and it would be the same old Lance talking BS. Don’t waste another moment on that cheat.

  23. chuck martel

    Rose didn’t get banned for cheating, nobody ever accused him of throwing a game or shaving runs or whatever. He might have used PEDs, though, or some other drugs.

  24. RGT

    …. I told him the best thing that he has going for him is that Americans are very forgiving to their fallen heroes…….We, as a country, don’t think any different about people from Germany, Japan, or maybe even Vietnam……. We don’t hold long term grudges as a society. I think that will apply to Lance, and I told him just that.”

    Probably the most ridiculous thing you’ve posted.

  25. Ted Lewandowski

    Actually I do – perhaps you don’t – so let me explain it to you. You give me $100 to invest in stocks for an agreed return – but rather than invest the $100 I pay another person their return on their $100 investment. Multiply this by thousands of investors and it starts to collapse when people start withdrawing their money (initial investment) so there are no new investors to pay the return for the initial investors.

    The Pyramid scheme is very similar to the Lance Armstrong deceit as it involved fellow pro cyclists, coaches, CEO’s, UCI and US Presidents in keeping the fraud going.

  26. RGT

    What I find ridiculous is not that Americans have a great capacity for forgivenss, it’s the comparison of the “fallen hero” Armstrong to the populations of post-war Germany, Japan and Vietnam.

  27. channel_zero

    This is an interesting point and illustrates how MLB sought to protect the confidence that the game on the field is really all ON THE FIELD, and not affected by some actor(s) in the game.

    The UCI and it’s child federation, USAC is the opposite of this. Controversy erupts when races are fixed during the race, (a difficult problem relative to baseball), doping positives are suppressed, and races are bought before the event, the head of the national and international federations is talking directly to athletes about their events.(!) The national federation responsible for rules enforcement run a pro team! (USAC/USPS, BC/Sky)

    All inappropriate behaviour all around that invalidates the idea that the race on the road is being decided on the road. To cap it all off, Lance thinks his the consequences of his cheating, stalking, personal attacks “isn’t fair.”

    It makes Rose’s betting on the Red’s seem like a minor offence. That is how thoroughly corrupted elite road cycling, Armstrong and all, really is.

  28. channel_zero

    We don’t hold long term grudges as a society.

    Pete Rose?

    My genuine hope is Armstrong gets the same kind of treatment many years from now, just like Mr. Rose. He’s earned it.

  29. RB1JIM

    Great article Steve. If Lance put as much energy into cleaning up the doping mess (difficult to watch pro races now and not wonder if the winner is clean) as he did in covering it up then people might forgive him. And as for the press looking the other way – well that is another story.

  30. Bri

    I agree there was a large discrepancy in the bans. Providing some with a 6 month ban, others have fondos while others received a lifetime ban is bogus. Their 6 month winter ban did absolutely nothing. Regardless of the length of the suspension it doesn’t make it right. What I would like to see is Lance come forward with information that is allowing others to continue to race. If it still exists in the peleton then please do what’s right and set the record straight. Hearing statements that someone doped but long ago but not recently when they win their biggest podium or that they never saw it or knew about it..well I am not buying it and you Lance could or maybe still can help shed some light so that it really can move forward in a positive direction.

  31. Adam

    If u thought lance and co were clean then u probably believe in the Easter Bunny, tooth fairy, and worst of all the imaginary guy in the sky! We’re all human and we make mistakes. Quit wasting all ur time bashing lance and go ride ur bike!

  32. Ted Lewandowski

    Laboratory Carbon Monoxide is still the best method of raising your hemoglobin count without the presence of any drugs – a scientist has to measure your body mass then give you the appropriate amount of carbon monoxide by inhaling it from a balloon and holding it in your lungs – not something to take lightly as too much will kill you. I was the guinea pig for this program 28 years ago with PHD biology students from Brown University – I was flying with doing single training rides of 25 miles per day – a time when Lance was riding his bicycle around the block.

  33. Dan Belling

    Sure it is hard to hate somebody that reaches out to you, hard to dislike a guy that is charming as hell.
    BUT – the old saying is – listen to what they say, but watch what they do!

    He is a terrible person, mean, dishonest, shall I continue.

    His argument about “Everybody was doing it” is also a challenge for me – I hate the ideal of making the doping legal. Mainly because nobody has ever given me a good answer on “at what age would you allow it?”.. and the reality is that it would start as soon as there is a trophy to win.

    So Lance – Call me up! I would love to hear your side. I can also give you a long list of people that would enjoy to speak to you about the damage you have done, by hiding behind your cancer story. You are a Fraud!

    Dan Belling – Temecula CA

  34. Ted Lewandowski

    The common belief is that LA got cancer only because he did steroids when he was a triathlete – so the doping goes way back.

  35. mike crum

    i cant believe you wasted your time talking to this guy. when you relized it was really him, you should have told him you aint wasting your time with liars and to never call you again, then hung up.

  36. Bill K

    Armstrong never cheated me. He may have been a major league jerk, but he was fun to watch.
    The king doper In a sea of dopers….Still can’t see why so many people hate him. I can see Steve hating him, because they both swam in the same ocean. Most of the rest of the haters who post on internet forums are just sad, sad people who need to get out there and pin a number on.
    (If you do race, an still hate him, that’s your right)

  37. Ted Lewandowski

    Who are you Bill K – you make an assumption that you are a pro racer since LA never cheated YOU. Are you a poser hiding under an anonymous name?
    If Steve was hating LA he would never give him the courtesy of listening to him for an hour on the phone call – the call would be much briefer than that.

  38. Jack Mason

    Lance Armstrong gave me tons of awesome racing to watch. US Postal is what woke up my joy to ride again. Alexander Vinokourov is my all time hero. He simply kicked ass. Doping isn’t right but Lance is correct. It was fair. They all cheated. Or leveled out the playing field. Wake up! They all cheat now. Pro cycling is full of liars. It will never change. Let the dope flow. Makes my TV time much better. Its not like athletes are curing cancer or working to end poverty. Cycling does nothing to improve society. Oh hold on… it does run up health my health care costs. Just f’n ride. More cat stories! Doping will end when porn isn’t on the internet anymore.

  39. Jack Mason

    I love Chris Horner. One of my all time cycling hero’s. Dude is high as a kite. Its all good. Makes for great TV time. Pro Cycling is like going to the circus. Always a good show.

  40. Bernd Faust

    To much hatemail here. Lets pray for Lance , George and all the living men and women and also for the dead f.e. Pantani , Flo Jo.. Those men and women are , were controlled by deamons, they are poor souls.
    A person who takes drugs to get ahead is mentally ill or otherwise not ticking right, this includes women who want bigger titts ,men who take Viagra for their Libido and so on. We ave a lot of “ill” kranke Leute living in our somewhat “weird” society.
    Mit freundlichen Gruessen
    Bernd Faust

    Quote from Albert Camus:
    I know of only one duty, and that is to love.

  41. chris

    Don’t get sucked in by this Steve. Everyone has an agenda. I like your blog because it’s straight talking,real living and racing. Keep your integrity and don’t answer anymore calls on this subject. For sure Lance will be trolling the comments section for reactions and general public opinion.

  42. JoelS

    I think they biggest absurdity is to think that drugs don’t fill sport from top to bottom. When the East German women looked liked men did the world freak out that they were the biggest scourge to sport since the Romans?

    Sure we want our athletes to be clean. But when money is involved, the athletes are really pawns. Yes Lance made a lot of money, does that excuse is complicity? No. Did many, many people, companies, UCI, America, etc., make a lot of money…..yes.

    Landis is really a little kid that made it, but he got popped. Everyone else somewhat stayed silent. He cried like a hurt little kid.

    We all play the game in business, ethical or not. You rationalize it how you want.

  43. Ted Lewandowski

    Chris – the best answer yet to this post – for sure this ass wipe is trolling the post for feedback.

  44. The Ghost of Marco Pentani

    I wish Lance would call and talk to me. I’d ask him if he thought paying over $2 million dollars, mostly in secret, to Michele Ferrari, for the most sophisticated and professionalized doping programme in cycling can be called a level playing field. When the rest of the field are making peanuts while you’re flying around in your private jet, tell me again how you were just doing what everyone else was doing. Win at all costs, Lance? Well, you did. Now the bill has come due for those wins – time to pay for your sins. You’re entire financial existence was built on a lie funded by government and corporations and on the backs of cancer patients across the globe. Fairness, that you cite so often, would seemingly dictate that you go back to where you started before the lie began. A poor, angry wannabe.

  45. Gummee!

    Wow. Lots of anti-LA feelings running VERY deep. Amazing that a guy that no one here knows engenders such harsh feelings.

    I ride and race for one person: me.

    I pin on numbers and go at it with the rest of my buddies. LA hasn’t ever affected how I ride, how I race, or even where I place in the races I’ve entered in my life.

    I ride to make me feel better.
    I race to push me to go harder/faster/longer than I can otherwise.
    I’m not out to beat you. I’m out to beat me.

    I watch pro cycling for the entertainment value and by golly, LA and Co have given me that. I’ll never be a pro. Heck! I’ll probably never make Cat 3 the way I’m going. Doesn’t stop me from trying.

    My $.02 and YMMV

  46. Ted Lewandowski

    Nice comment but I could have saved LA 2 Million by telling him you don’t need EPO to boost your red blood cell count – but hey – Michael Ferrari sounded more like an expert than me.

  47. H Luce

    Richard Nixon, who was driven from office before he was ever actually impeached, might be a better comparison. Of course, Nixon actually did some good things while he was in office, but he had his notorious “Enemies List” and he used the Department of Justice and the CIA/FBI and so forth to spy on them and destroy them. About 10 years after he resigned, he was resurrected from public shame as an “elder statesman”. Perhaps LA did some good during his career that might enable such a thing – but we haven’t even got to a confession of wrongdoing yet, so his bad works will most likely continue to follow him. The US “made friends” with Japan and Germany largely due to the demands of Cold War politics – and Vietnam, whose industries make cheap goods for Walmart and the like, has been resurrected due to economic advantage.

    LA’s argument that somehow singling him out is unfair is disingenuous. In fact, he got nailed, lied and lied and denied and denied, used political connections to squash a Federal investigation – and finally got treed like a coon by a pack of hounds. Then and only then did he come clean – partially. Sure, to be competitive in his level of racing, you had to dope. If you wanted to race clean and fair, like Tilford, then sorry about that, it wasn’t going to happen. So Tilford – who might have won a fair TdF, or a lot of them – was cheated of his opportunity. The same goes for everyone who decided to play by the written rules. Not only were clean competitors cheated out of fame, but also out of millions of dollars. To excuse LA’s misdoing by saying that “it’s just entertainment” is to compound the evil, because a lot of young people use famous athletes as examples for what they should aspire to. If we use sport a a means to promote a “win at any cost, even if you have to cheat and lie to do it” philosophy, it’s going to have really bad consequences for the rest of society.

    The only kind of golf LA should be playing is miniature golf – and I hope the windmill gets him every time.

  48. H Luce

    To excuse LA’s misdoing by saying that “it’s just entertainment” is to compound the evil, because a lot of young people use famous athletes as examples for what they should aspire to. If we use sport a a means to promote a “win at any cost, even if you have to cheat and lie to do it” philosophy, it’s going to have really bad consequences for the rest of society.

  49. Ted Lewandowski

    I hate to say this when I live in a glass house – but there is no way that Tilford never experimented with drugs when he began racing in the 1970’s – it was the same environment as in the 1990’s – just not EPO as the drug of choice – but amphetamines. If you say never – then why did Eddy Merckx do it being the best cyclist of the 20th Century – now having to wear a pace maker. to regulate his heart.

  50. Go Blackhawks

    I can understand some of Armstrong’s emotional reaction. Johan Museeuw, Pantani, Garzelli, Zabel, Heras, etc, were all champions and all dopers. None are as villified as Armstrong, and Pantani remains a hero for some reason. If Lance feels his treatment was unjust, perhaps he should focus his energy on creating a riders union and establishing a collectively bargained process for any number of issues, including doping charges. Cycling would be better off if it got beyond the good ol days.

  51. Devin

    Ugh, all I want is for people to stop giving him the time of day until he actually does something to make good. Just fucking ignore him- don’t give him the column inches, it’s just giving him a platform. He’s taken too much of our time already.

  52. Ted Ludeandowski

    Ted, you gotta check yo self before you wreck yo self. Not sayin, just sayin. Peace and love, hearts and rainbows.

  53. Daniel Russell

    I wonder if Hincapie is holding a similar threat to what Vaughters had when he said “But I’ll leave you with this: You might want to ask Floyd about his old boss. See if that leads to your doorstep? “?

    And no, Lance has not been treated failrly, he should be in prison.

  54. fat bike racer

    Lance is a bad guy and a piss poor representative of Americans. Go tell a vet with no legs how unfair life has been to Lance.

  55. Mark

    I think the big difference for Lance vs Hesjedal is Hesjedal admitted it but the truth had to be dragged out of Armstrong. He spent years hiding behind lawyers and as well as being cowardly, it tripped the by-law that meant the statue of limitations clock could go back to the day he started denying it all.

    Also some guys get nailed but many don’t so those that get caught feel its unfair they’ve been exposed when others did not. But that’s the risk they run and their perverse logic. The real unfair part was the cheating and lying, it robbed fans of genuine sport and stole races and income from the honest guys.

  56. Touriste-Routier

    There is tremendous irony here in that Lance doesn’t think he is being treated fairly, in that he sounds a lot like Floyd did. If Lance didn’t let his ego get in the way (if he stayed retired), and/or if Radio Shack hired Floyd, much of what has gone down in the past few years wouldn’t have happened to Lance. In the end, you reap what you sew.

  57. Brad Patton

    Yeah, Lance cheated. So did, and are, alot of others. What gets me is, during those years when Lance and co were winning, more people took up cycling. I followed LeMond, and liked Durand’s long breakaways, but was always just a casual viewer. Lance, Tyler, George, Dave Z., changed all that. It was exciting reading their blogs, and following them online. I always wondered how many present day Lance bashers owned the postal Treks, or bought Nike cycling shoes. I did. Why can’t people keep these guys at arm’s length? Why can’t us average joe’s follow their racing, let sport inspire them, and harness that to motivate their own cycling? Instead, we expect these guys to be not only superstars, but superhuman. I’m not defending the actions of the guys who cheated, but like Steve has said, the problem lies in the penalties. When Lance admitted doping, I emailed Steve Johnson of USA cycling telling him that penalties were unequal, and unfair, also saying that I would not be renewing my license that year. To my amazement i received an email back that pretty much says sorry you feel that way. What I took from that exchange is that the powers that be aren’t seriously looking at changing anything. Like Jack Mason said above, go ride your bike, enjoy the spectacle, but look elsewhere for a role model.

    Oh, and Lewandowski, I think everyone here can say that you are the baddest dude on the internet. You win.

  58. Brian Rach

    Interesting post. Won’t even bother reading the other comments since your a credible source and have been there and done that.

  59. David Pendlebury

    The definition of irony:
    Lance receiving his first treatment of epo to improve his performance …against chemo.

  60. Ted Lewandowski

    The second lesson in irony is that AMGEN produces EPO and is the title sponsor for the biggest domestic stage race in America.

  61. Another Steve

    Trying to blame Landis in this string is just like Lance trying to shift the blame. If you believe Landis is a crybaby, then you haven’t really followed the story. Landis stayed quiet about it for years. Then, he decided to tell the truth, but he decided that it was impossible to tell “part of the truth” and be truthful. In other words, it is still lying if he said he “doped in 2006, but didn’t with US Postal.” I watched the interviews. There wasn’t any crying. He didn’t say “it’s all Lance’s fault.” Don’t disparage someone if you haven’t seen it yourself.

    Lance cheated, and that included financial thievery from people. Landis is one, and the US Postal Service is another. They, like the insurance companies and the Sunday Times, deserve to sue to get some money back.

  62. Dog

    Cycling got press hits (and thus awareness) for EPO. Pharma companies have lots of restrictions on how they market. Lots of docs have nice bikes and follow the TDF. A smart marketing move for Amgen.


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