Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is Anyone REALLY Surprised?

Well I suppose that every sportsfan in the world knew deep down that Lance Armstrong's complete and utter dominance of cycling was too good to be true. Lance has some s'plainin' to do:
The director of the Tour de France said it was a "proven scientific fact" that Lance Armstrong had a performance-boosting drug in his body during his 1999 Tour win, and that the seven-time champion owed fans an explanation. In a story Wednesday, Jean-Marie Leblanc praised L'Equipe for an investigation that reported that six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the 1999 Tour tested positive for the red blood cell- booster EPO. The French sports daily on Tuesday accused Armstrong of using EPO during his first Tour win in 1999. "For the first time _ and these are no longer rumors or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts _ someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body," Leblanc told the paper. "The ball is now in his camp. Why, how, by whom? He owes explanations to us and to everyone who follows the tour," Leblanc said. "What L'Equipe revealed shows me that I was fooled. We were all fooled." - Associated Press
It seems like Lance went up and pulled a Palmiero. For shame! Sure he hasn't lied to congress yet, but there's still time. Lance you dink, how's it feel to have an asterisk placed next to every athletic accomplishment in your career? If you need some group therapy I'm sure Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire are around (rooting around behind the local pharmaceutical plant looking for substances to use 'unknowingly'). I guess it's easier to LiveStrong when your juiced.


At 16:05, Blogger fin said...

Do vitamins count?

At 16:29, Blogger Ben said...

Another Armstrong Allegation, The French Have A Grudge

I’m sick and tired of the French, who have a history of hating Lance Armstrong, looking for anything to tarnish the American athlete’s reputation. Currently, the director of the Tour de France, Jean-Marie Lablanc, has stated that Armstrong “fooled” him into believing that Armstrong never took performance enhancing drugs.

This is absurd. A closer look at the evidence clearly shows room for speculation on this situation. First, the samples were taken in 1999. Six years ago! They were just recently tested and have apparently repeatedly tested positive for EPO (whatever that is). Leblanc states that “these are no longer rumors, or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts.” Any defense lawyer could easily rip apart the facts of this situation. For example, where have the six urine samples taken from Armstrong been stored for six years? Have they been tampered with during those six years? What about the chain of custody? How do we know that no body with nefarious views toward Armstrong never had access to the samples? The simple answer to these questions is that we have no idea.

The French, and in particular the French media, have had a grudge against Armstrong every since he started winning the famed bike race. Armstrong has won the race seven times--more then any other cyclist, including French ones! Heaven forbid that an American should get off his lazy butt and actually work hard and out cycle the best cyclists in the world. The explanation must be that he cheated! I’m obviously being sarcastic, but the French opposition to Armstrong, a cancer survivor and American hero, puzzles me.

Let me be clear. If Armstrong is ever proven to have definitively taken performance enhancing drugs, (i.e., failing a current drug test) then I will be the first in line to denounce him. But the most heavily drug tested athlete in the world has yet to ever test positive.
Shame on Mr. Leblanc and the French in general for trying to tarnish one of the most celebrated athletes of our time. The French do not deserve to have such an illustrious sporting even held within their borders. Armstrong is one of my favorite modern athletes. If an until, and I seriously doubt it will ever happens, Armstrong is proven to have taken some kind of performance enhancing drug, I will remain a fan of his.

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At 17:26, Blogger Alius said...

I think all of your points are legitimate to some degree. I will not concede, however, that the French, as a nation, are out to get Lance Armstrong. Whenever someone dominates a sport for so long people will get suspicious. You say a defense lawyer would easily rip apart that statment. Perhaps. Unfortunately, this isn't a court of law, it's the court of public perception and in today's world of juiced up atheletes there is no innocent until proven guilty clause. I find the 'nefarious tampering' scenario a bit hard to believe. If someone did hold a grudge and had power enough to fake samples and changed medical documents why would they wait until Armstrong had already retired? Why not put the plan into motion after his 3rd, 4th, or even 5th Tour victory? I guess only time will tell what is really going on, but mark my words I will follow this story closely. Thanks for stopping by.

At 12:36, Blogger Johnny Wadd said...

The real surpise here will be with what the american media decides to do with the info. Bury it no doubt.

At 22:36, Blogger Trée said...

Yes, let us believe a French tabloid rag trying to sell as many papers as possilbe on the back of a retiring Armstrong rather than the results of 300 controlled drug test. And this is from 1999 where there is no proper samples to confirm or deny the test. Non-story, except to the extent that is sells more papers. Some stupid SOBs in the world who buy this line of French shit.

Is Lance clean? Don't know. I do know this latest case just stinks with $, French $ in terms of paper sells. What a jaded fucking world. Makes me sick to see this crap.

At 16:04, Blogger Mitch said...

EPO is a drug used to increase the red blood cells, the ones what carry oxygen. Lance has admitted he took the drug as part of his recovery from cancer.
I think its fair to have a little bit of skepticism about Lance's "cleanliness" with regards to drugs but only in that its an astonishing feat to perform to the levels he has for the length of time he has. I do not discount the immense capabilities of the man but the rumours of doping have been around for a long time.
He had a long term relationship with a doctor since convicted of doping infractions. A former team mate has made statements to the affect that doping was present while he was riding with Armstrong. The team mate was convicted of doping at a later date.
Ben is wrong to cast doubt on the samples. They weren't stored in the back of a closet somewhere. They were stored at a lab that has a world class reputation for testing for EPO. Why were the '99 samples tested? In 1999 adequate tests for EPO were not available, if you're going to dope it makes sense to use something you know they can't find no?
Whatever the case, whatever the motives, you cannot dismiss the good things Lance has done in his career, the motivation he has given so many people, and doping or not, the tremendous skill he displays when he rides. I for one will wait until WADA makes a statement about the validity of the results before I decide if he's a good guy or a bad guy. He's still not the world's greatest cyclist, that title goes to Eddie Merckx, but he is right behind Merckx without a doubt.

At 12:37, Blogger Mistress La Spliffe said...

Who cares. The important thing about these sorts of competitions is a level playing field, and almost every cyclist on the tour is on something. Try staying in the same hotel as them between legs - the bastards are tip-tapping up and down the halls all bloody night because they're too fucking speedy to sleep.

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At 02:04, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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