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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Very sad to read how the fall of Lance Armstrong over drugs has led to the fall of many others in the cycling world, some in Australia.
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

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  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Moved the above post to a new thread as it is a rather big story now that it is confirmed and I am surprised there has been no post on it already. The UCI has now confirmed acceptance of the USADA findings.

    It looks like the seven Tours Armstrong "won" will now officially have no winner.

    It also looks like at a certain stage drug use was very widespread in the sport and perhaps the only way to be competitive. And I hope that is a "was" and not an "is".

  3. #3
    CC International Master Agent Smith's Avatar
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    He's in a lot of financial strife now - probably will be getting sued for the 5 mil in winning bonuses some insurance company previously tried to deny giving him.

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take it's place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." Lance Armstrong

    What a tragedy; that the man who was an inspiration to so many should be revealed as having built his brand by being a drug cheat.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  5. #5
    CC International Master Agent Smith's Avatar
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    Yes. What's sad is that before i thought he was the best athlete, Now he's just the best cheat, test avoider & liar.

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    The reason for no post was probably the absence of the Garvinator who was a keen poster on the subject.

    Having read many of the internet postings on Cycling News plus the press and several books on cycling history, plus that I was never an Armstrong fan, the whole thing is no surprise. The cyclists who say it is and the popular journalists who know little of the subject are kidding themselves if they say otherwise.

    Doping has been widespread in the peleton since at least WWII which introduced amphetamines into the arena. They were taken by such leading riders as Jacques Anquetil,, Raymond Poulidor, Charly Gaul and Tom Simpson in the 50s and 50s. Ideas that things like the Festina affair cleaned up the sport are a joke. There was, for example, an article in the popular press that criticised Armstrong, the "drug cheat" for beating Jan Ullrich in a TdF stage a few years ago. It is well known that Ullrich was also on drugs. To call these riders "cheats" is an odd Anglo Saxonism. Everyone (almost) was doing it and doping was/is part of the cycling culture. This is no great surprise when you look at how arduous the three Grand Tours and big races are and the UCI points system which virtually encourages it. If all are doping equally, where is the cheating? If nobody doped the results may not be different, just slower. Anquetil and Poulidor famously made an agreement not to dope in a particular race and the result was the same as it would otherwise have been.

    Much more needs to be done if drugs are to be eradicated. Serious thought needs to be given to whether total eradication is a realistic or proper aim.

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    An interesting contribution to the debate:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/rob...e-bare-minimum

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    An interesting contribution to the debate:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/rob...e-bare-minimum

    DJ
    Features the following fascinating paragraph from an ex-top cyclist:

    "At the last Tour de France I rode, a quick poll of my friends and colleagues in the peloton revealed that EPO was available to everyone regardless of the team budget or ambition. They weren't happy about it as the difference was no longer a question of how good an athlete you were, it was that plus how good your doctor was with the new drugs. The arrival of EPO and HGH meant the competition was as much about chemical warfare as it was about how fast you could race a bike. Of course those teams in at the very start of the substance abuse held a head start for the first few years, but eventually the lesser teams caught up and everyone could ride up a mountain at 30kmh with their mouths closed."
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

    Favorite movie line: Girl friend Cathy to Jack Ryan in "Sum of all Fears". "What kind of emergency does an historian have?".

  9. #9
    CC International Master Agent Smith's Avatar
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    Yes - doping does seem to have been endemic. Good to have it officially out in the open.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    To call these riders "cheats" is an odd Anglo Saxonism.
    It's not unique to English - a search for 'armstrong tricheur' on Google returns a number of hits. eg, Jean-René Bernaudeau in Le Monde:

    Le plus grand tricheur de l'histoire du cyclisme est tombé...
    ("The greatest cheater in the history of cycling has fallen...")

    But I see that Miguel Indurain is saying that he still believes in Armstrong's innocence and that he passed all of those drug tests and that should be that. I'm not going to argue that "doping=cheating"is the prevailing attitude everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    If all are doping equally, where is the cheating?
    It's quite clear that not all are/were doping equally. The testimony from the old US Postal riders describes preferential treatment given to senior members of the team; some were more reluctant to dope than others; some were willing to pay more to the top doping doctors; and of course there was a small minority of riders who rode clean.

    Furthermore, if the UCI was involved in covering up a positive test by Armstrong for EPO in 2001 (as alleged by Landis and Hamilton), then the sport was institutionally biased against at least some of the athletes (who failed tests and got suspended), and potentially biased against everyone who wasn't Armstrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    If nobody doped the results may not be different, just slower. Anquetil and Poulidor famously made an agreement not to dope in a particular race and the result was the same as it would otherwise have been.
    The standard counter-argument to this is that things changed with the EPO/blood doping era, which allowed heavier riders to keep up with the little climbers. And clean riders who finished 80th would have finished substantially higher if everyone in front of them wasn't doping, though how much higher is anyone's guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    Much more needs to be done if drugs are to be eradicated. Serious thought needs to be given to whether total eradication is a realistic or proper aim.
    I'm not sure what an alternative aim would be though (I'd be interested to hear you expand on this point, though I'm certain to disagree!). Many elite athletes will push/break through any barrier that is drawn, so allowing some form of limited, controlled doping would just shift the 'cheating' problem from "any doping at all" to "the wrong side of the controlled doping limits". Complete freedom to dope would see a return to the 1990's, with some cyclists thickening their blood so much that they slept with heart monitors ready to wake them up if they were at risk of having their blood clot. The racing would be spectacular, but I wouldn't like to see that sort of environment develop.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    I agree with Papp's last post. The whole thing is another tragedy. I feel sorry for Cadel Evans too as many will assume that his Tour de France win is drug tainted too.
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

    Favorite movie line: Girl friend Cathy to Jack Ryan in "Sum of all Fears". "What kind of emergency does an historian have?".

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pappubahry
    It's not unique to English - a search for 'armstrong tricheur' on Google returns a number of hits. eg, Jean-René Bernaudeau in Le Monde:



    ("The greatest cheater in the history of cycling has fallen...")

    But I see that Miguel Indurain is saying that he still believes in Armstrong's innocence and that he passed all of those drug tests and that should be that. I'm not going to argue that "doping=cheating"is the prevailing attitude everywhere.
    But I note that the others who commented in the Le Monde report did not use anything like the language used by J-R Bernaudeau. Moreover, the French hate Armstrong anyway. Contador and Valverde, two riders who were outed in questionable circumstances, also support Armstrong to a lesser extent.



    It's quite clear that not all are/were doping equally. The testimony from the old US Postal riders describes preferential treatment given to senior members of the team; some were more reluctant to dope than others; some were willing to pay more to the top doping doctors; and of course there was a small minority of riders who rode clean.
    One can drop the "equally". I don't think it matters in the overall picture.

    Furthermore, if the UCI was involved in covering up a positive test by Armstrong for EPO in 2001 (as alleged by Landis and Hamilton), then the sport was institutionally biased against at least some of the athletes (who failed tests and got suspended), and potentially biased against everyone who wasn't Armstrong.
    I think that Armstrong was a UCI protected rider, seen as the clean messiah following the Festina affair. Most of the other leading riders were charged with doping because they were expendable in the eyes of the UCI. Also they probably didn't pay money to the UCI. Virtually all the domestiques were ignored because one cannot realistically wipe out most of the peleton. Several prominent people have accused the UCI of corruption in this respect but even here they are not even handed. Paul Kimmage gets sued for defamation but Greg le Mond who is a much bigger fish doesn't.

    The standard counter-argument to this is that things changed with the EPO/blood doping era, which allowed heavier riders to keep up with the little climbers. And clean riders who finished 80th would have finished substantially higher if everyone in front of them wasn't doping, though how much higher is anyone's guess.
    This is true. The point is made by Robert Millar in the link I quoted earlier. It was also made by a Spanish (or Colombian) climber whose name I forget in an article in Cycle Sport some years ago. I'm not sure however if those riders personally achieved much except to set a fast pace uphill though Ullrich may be different. I don't include Indurain as he seems to have been physically exceptional (6'3", 80-odd kilos and an enormous lung capacity). Finishing 40th rather than 50th seems fairly irrelevant. There is, perhaps, the possibility that sprinters who wouldn't have made it over the mountains within the time limit were enabled to by using EPO. Without making any allegations, one wonders how Hushovd managed to break clear and whizz up a Cat 2 climb to gain valuable sprint points and hold the green jersey against Cavendish.


    I'm not sure what an alternative aim would be though (I'd be interested to hear you expand on this point, though I'm certain to disagree!). Many elite athletes will push/break through any barrier that is drawn, so allowing some form of limited, controlled doping would just shift the 'cheating' problem from "any doping at all" to "the wrong side of the controlled doping limits". Complete freedom to dope would see a return to the 1990's, with some cyclists thickening their blood so much that they slept with heart monitors ready to wake them up if they were at risk of having their blood clot. The racing would be spectacular, but I wouldn't like to see that sort of environment develop.
    I'm not quite sure what you refer to when you speak of an alternative aim. I assume you mean an aim other than total eradication. On your own admission, total eradication is not realistic because some people will always try to push the limits. It was suggested by a French doctor who died a few years ago and whose name I forget that use of some otherwise prohibited substances should be allowed to the extent necessary to make up for the debilitating effects of racing, especially the big Tours. Many of the ordinary journalists and others who brand cyclists as drug cheats have, I'm sure, no concept of the effect of a big Tour on the riders, A big Tour is like 20 marathons with intermediate sprints on successive days with only a couple of "rest" days on which the riders go for a 100k or so ride to keep their muscles in trim. Moreover nowadays the stages are almost all ridden flat out whereas years ago the first 2/3 or so of each stage were ridden piano. The use of drugs has something to do with this but the phenomenal improvement in fitness due to training and nutrition and the UCI points system also contribute substantially. What's more, seeing everyone flying along the old routes at 50kph average, encourages the organisers to make the routes even harder. The spectators love this so do we take their interests or those of the riders as more important.

    I don't pretend to have an answer nor, I think, has the UCI. The suggestion to give drug testing to an independent agency seems to have merit as the UCI's administration of it has to date been abysmal. Probably various factors will lead to a continued attempt at total eradication but other reforms such as of the points system are also needed to lessen the apparent compulsion to use drugs.

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamski
    I agree with Papp's last post. The whole thing is another tragedy. I feel sorry for Cadel Evans too as many will assume that his Tour de France win is drug tainted too.
    This is one of the problems. People should not make that assumption. I'd be confident that Cadel is not involved for various reasons that include his inconsistent results. But then I wouldn't have thought that Stephen Hodge would have taken drugs, knowing the kind of person he is. I see that Jonathon Vaughters says that Cycling Australia should not have allowed Hodge and Matt White to go as their experience is too valuable to Australian cycling. In the circumstances, I agree. It's a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denis_Jessop
    Many of the ordinary journalists and others who brand cyclists as drug cheats have, I'm sure, no concept of the effect of a big Tour on the riders, A big Tour is like 20 marathons with intermediate sprints on successive days ...
    Armstrong called running a marathon "without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done".
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner
    Perhaps he did it without EPO

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

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