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Thread: Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

  1. #1
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    The US Anti-Doping Agency brought charges against Lance Armstrong yesterday going back to 2002 and including his 2010 performance at the TDF...

    The immediate impact is that he's been suspended from competing in certain triathlon events including the Ironman world championships. Armstrong recently won the last 2 half Ironman events he competed in and has been training for the Hawaii Ironman championship.

    Am I the only person that thinks this is a witch hunt? Similar to baseball, at some point everyone needs to move on. Whether he doped, took steroids, or found some mystery plant that gives him magic powers - it's over with.

    At this point I wouldn't be surprised if WADA declares something suspicious with Andy Schleck's blood sample from the 2010 TDF, strips him of the title (which he was awarded when Contador was stripped), making Armstrong the 2010 TDF champion... only to have it stripped.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    It is weird how selective it is. I read a lot about steroids in baseball in the mid 2000s, and wrote a lot about it on my original blog. But sometime after Game of Shadows came out in 2006, it seemed like we had the big picture.

    Lots of people used steroids. Some admitted it, some didn't, but I don't see the benefit of continuing to prosecute the ones who did it most successfully.

    I don't remember feeling any particular satisfaction when McGwire finally came out a couple years ago and admitted he used steroids during his Wonder Years. To me, the idea that he wasn't juicing was just absurd.

    Similarly, I don't think any reasonable person argues that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens didn't use shitloads of powerful anabolic agents to dominate baseball in their late 30s and early 40s. Achieving better power numbers at those ages than they managed at younger ages, when they were already the best players in the game, is physiologically impossible.

    The same can be said for Lance Armstrong. Of course he was doping when he won all his TDF titles. But so were all his teammates and competitors. We know it, they know it. Do we really need to tie up U.S. courts to codify it, or to ban him from current competitions because of it?

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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Chapter 1,234 (or whatever) of the Olympics and other sports. The real contest is between the doctors looking for doping, and the doping athletes.

  4. #4

    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Someone at the USADA has a vendetta. Lance has been in the media again for doing Ironmans this year so this may have been brought out now to throw a monkey in the wrench, which it did. Lance has been banned.

    I know there are cyclists using PEDs in Portland's local bike scene and they are not even in the same universe as top grand tour guys. The amount of punishment endured in training and racing is absolutely nuts, not to mention being able to thrive and dominate.

    The way I look at it is somewhat of a level playing field. Everyone uses. Guys who are better tend to get onto big money teams with access to the best Docs and drugs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    After a federal judge wouldn't rule against the USADA, Armstrong gave up the fight last night and refused to appeal.

    An article on Yahoo sports is saying that he is effectively admitting his guilt since if was innocent he would have kept fighting.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/lance-a...nnocence-.html

    Honestly, this deck was so stacked against him I don't see how he could have won. The witch hunt would just continue ad nauseum.

    It'll be interesting to see if the the triathlon federations will continue to ban him. Of course, if he even places in an Ironman I am sure the USADA will step in with something.

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    Senior Member nate99's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    My guess is that he probably did some kind of doping that they were never able to detect. Maybe if I were more of a cycling fan I'd feel differently, but it seemed rampant if not universal with all of the people getting busted, including the guys that were testifying against him.

    In something that competitive, you have every incentive to find every edge you can get, and he managed to do it within the rules, in as much as they tried like crazy to catch him, but never did.

    In the end, he out rode a bunch of guys that were definitely doping, so either the doping does not make that big of a difference or he was doing it too.

    Not that it bothers me that much one way or the other.

  7. #7

    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Quote Originally Posted by "nate99":36nbnt6c
    My guess is that he probably did some kind of doping that they were never able to detect. Maybe if I were more of a cycling fan I'd feel differently, but it seemed rampant if not universal with all of the people getting busted, including the guys that were testifying against him.

    In something that competitive, you have every incentive to find every edge you can get, and he managed to do it within the rules, in as much as they tried like crazy to catch him, but never did.

    In the end, he out rode a bunch of guys that were definitely doping, so either the doping does not make that big of a difference or he was doing it too.

    Not that it bothers me that much one way or the other.
    ^^ This.
    Doping is/was rampant. Any athlete at that level who was NOT doing some type of doping wouldn't have lasted against everyone else.

    I remember learning about testosterone/epitestosterone levels in a grad school class, and how the normal ratio (if memory serves - sorry if the actual numbers are wrong) is around 1:1. The Olympics ban athletes who test out at 6:1 or above, and the average Olympic athlete tests at 5.9:1 (they have it down to a science). It's everywhere at elite levels, and to NOT dope is to compete at a distinct disadvantage.

    I don't condone it, but I don't have a solution either.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Quote Originally Posted by "Bytsi":4kb50oma
    The Olympics ban athletes who test out at 6:1 or above, and the average Olympic athlete tests at 5.9:1 (they have it down to a science). It's everywhere at elite levels, and to NOT dope is to compete at a distinct disadvantage.
    This to me makes perfect sense. I've often wondered why any pro athlete wouldn't do this. At that level you're still following the rules, and you aren't giving yourself an advantage other pro athletes don't have.

    Obviously I'm not an expect, but I doubt if that level of doping is enough to produce suprahuman strength and power. It would certainly enhance recovery and help maintain strength and power over a long season, and again I have no problem with that.

    My issue has always been with the level of doping that produces cyborgs like McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds in baseball.

  9. #9
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    In the online marketing world there is an expression called "Google Bowling."

    Basically, if enough webpages on enough websites say the same thing about you, it becomes true.

    During the Bush II administration if you Google'd "miserable failure" you saw that whitehouse.gov or the wikipedia page for the President was #1. Why? Because millions of websites has pages that linked to the White House with the text link "miserable failure."

    Google repeatedly denies that Google Bowling exists yet it is a common form of negative marketing used even to this day.

    I'll be the first to admit to a little sports idol worship of Armstrong. But my issue with the USADA case isn't about my admiration for the man. My issue with the USADA case is that effectively they are saying that hearsay is enough. They are saying that you can Google Bowl another athlete.

    Today it's Armstrong and 10+ years of speculation and rumors (and witch hunts in my opinion)... tomorrow it'll be less time. What's to prevent a group of athletes (discredited or otherwise) from pointing fingers to another and bowling them?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Dave, I haven't read about the case in any detail. But my understanding is that this is the result of a process resembling a criminal prosecution. USADA said it had 10 eyewitnesses, including Armstrong's teammates and at least one doctor. So in that sense it's probably more of a vendetta than a witch hunt.

    I don't know this, but I got the impression that if Armstrong had gone in and talked to USADA, instead of stonewalling them, he might've been able to avoid this. Then again, I don't know what USADA would've done with any information Armstrong gave them. If he went in and said, "Okay, we all know what happened. We know I did X, Y, and Z, all my teammates did it, and everyone we competed against did it," would USADA have been obligated to strip the titles anyway?

    Then again, it's possible we're being too cynical. Some of the articles I read about Armstrong's doping way back when show a sophistication that perhaps the other riders didn't have. He may really be a bad guy who gave himself a huge advantage over his competition. He may deserve all this. He certainly made a lot of enemies.

  11. #11

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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...ing-drug-free/

    Interesting article on 'drugging'.

  12. #12

    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    LA had physiological advantages back competing as an amateur triathlete, but so do all pro cyclists riding in the big tours.

    Being around cycling I know that there are individuals doping even at local amateur levels, and I've been told that to even survive the club level riding in Europe, much less win, PEDs are the norm. Just to be able to recover from the volume and brutality of the training.

    This leads me to believe all pro cyclists know whats up and are using PEDs of some sort. Their team directors know that if they want to have a job next year they have to produce wins to please the sponsors. They know other teams are doping, so does anyone believe they are not going to hook their riders up with Docs that will give them an advantage?

    btw what constitutes a PED anyway? Is Tiger having Lasik surgery to have perfect vision not a bigger advantage in golf than testosterone ever could be?

    Say what you will about Lance and his character, but he USADA pursuing him this many years after being competitive is a joke. Someone is looking to make a mark or justify a promotion.

    But wouldn't be interesting if there were a tax funded organization that were looking this closely at the financial sector's shenanigans that really do have consequences for all us?

  13. #13
    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    ^^ what he said!

  14. #14
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    +1

    I liked the op ed piece Sally Jenkins did in the Washington Post and LA and the USADA:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports...1_story_1.html

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    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Great piece. This sums it all up for me:

    How does an agency that is supposed to regulate drug testing strip a guy of seven titles without a single positive drug test? Whether Armstrong is innocent or guilty, that question should give all of us pause. How is it that an American agency can decide to invalidate somebody’s results achieved in Europe, in a sport it doesn’t control? Better question, how is it that an American taxpayer-funded organization can participate in an adjudication system in which you get a two-year ban because “there is no reason to exonerate” you? At what point is such an organization shut down and defunded?

  16. #16

    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Quote Originally Posted by "Lou Schuler":236vbm46
    This to me makes perfect sense. I've often wondered why any pro athlete wouldn't do this. At that level you're still following the rules, and you aren't giving yourself an advantage other pro athletes don't have.

    Obviously I'm not an expect, but I doubt if that level of doping is enough to produce suprahuman strength and power. It would certainly enhance recovery and help maintain strength and power over a long season, and again I have no problem with that.

    My issue has always been with the level of doping that produces cyborgs like McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds in baseball.
    I think extreme doping like that would only help in building size and aiding recovery. Do you think if doping went unmitigated you'd get the same kind of athletes in endurance sports?

    In baseball you need mostly explosive muscle, and as such it seems a bit more forgiving because you don't need the more comprehensive athletic abilities of a cyclist.

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  18. #18

    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Make blood doping legal. Problem goes away.

  19. #19
    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Agreed.

  20. #20
    Siltz
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    Lance Armstrong accused by USADA

    Face it, every successful athlete is genetically gifted with physical characteristics that make them good at their sport. Those who say they don't cheat either have superior genetics or haven't been caught. Every great athlete works hard and has the psychological tools needed to persevere. They are all looking for the slightest edge to put them over the top.

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