Armstrong drops fight against doping charges

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Bartelby, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    971
    What evidence does the USADA have against Armstrong?

    From what I read it's just a bunch of cyclists who are willing to come forward to testify against him and a couple of inconclusive positive results for blood doping.

    Where is the cold hard evidence?

    All of it is circumstantial evidence, which admittedly is quite persuasive but nonetheless is circumstantial.

    Anti-doping detection tech must surely have advanced to a point where the labs should be able to detect if Amstrong's test samples are tainted. Afterall, his 7 tour de France victories took place quite some time back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  2. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,356
    That's the important part. Eye witness testimony with zero corroborating evidence wouldn't get you very far in a courtroom.

    Until you can produce some failed samples I think you have to leave him alone.
     
  3. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    A dozen or more eye witness testimonies will get you anywhere in a courtroom.

    Its also not testimony of a single quick event which has in fact wrongly sent people to the scaffold, but of a series of events over a considerable period of time.
     
  4. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    Eye witness testimony is not circumstantial and there are three instances with doping evidence.

    Doping evidence is actually expert testimony about what the results of the test reveal.

    All of this was to be brought forward for his public rebuttal, but he chose not to bring forward a defence.




     
  5. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916


    Eyewitness testimonies from a dozen non-credible witnesses won't get you anywhere. Period. You need evidence of clear and definitive physical proof to go along with that witness testimony to get anywhere in a real court room. The chances of you convicting an icon of Armstrong's stature in a real court room with just circumstantial evidence is shoddy at best.
     
  6. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    You're just ignoring the ignoble capitulation of Armstrong before the overwhelming case against him.
     
  7. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,810
    I'm getting very tired of people trying to claim that the witnesses aren't credible. The only one you could really 100% argue as such is Floyd Landis. However, I brought up quite a few other names of Lance's former teammates who have or are believed to have testified against him. Nobody bothered responding to that...

    Big George Hincapie is believed to have testified against Lance. George has never tested positive and is one of the most respected members of the professional peleton. Dave Zabriskie of Garmin is also believed to have testified, he has not tested positive. Johnathan Vaughters is a former US Postal rider. He never tested positive, but has recently come out and said that he doped during his career while with US Postal. Again, I referred to a quote from Johan Bruyneel stating that there was NO DOPING going on at the team.

    And look at the people Lance associated himself with...2 doctors who are now under lifetime bans from the sport.
     
  8. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    If everything else fails, the USADA could try to revive the old judicial concept of spectral evidence. Spectral evidence refers to evidence based on dreams and visions by witnesses, and was fully admitted in the Salem witch trials in 1692. Eventually, spectral evidence became unadmissible, but only on the grounds that the Devil could easily impersonate an innocent person and thus deceive the visionary witnesses. At any rate, this agency should start by moving its headquarters to the town of Salem, in order to feel more at home.
     
  9. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    LOL cycling as a sport was already destroyed with all those positive doping tests for other star cyclists, regardless of anything that happened or didnt happen with Lance. I dont even care about Lance's case much either way, all that is certain is that EVERY Tour de France rider is probably a major doper these days. Cycling is such a boring sport these days anyway, I wouldnt mind at all if it dissapeared. Especialy that the era of the true cycling greats who are in another league from Lance doping or not like Merckx and Indurain are long retired, replaced by boring 1 trick ponies like Armstrong and Contador.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2012
  10. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,810
    ^^I don't really like Contador, but he's not even close to a one trick pony. He rides every race like he's trying to win it. He's also won all 3 of cycling's grand tours.
     
  11. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,356
    And how would Hincapie feel if, during Lance's trial, someone happened to drop his name in relation to some PEDs?

    Do you think that would be enough motivation to go along with whatever the USADA says?


    There is zero concrete evidence. Zero. If he was doing so much doping all the time, why can't they produce a failed sample? Apparently they still have plenty of samples left over from his touring days. It's 13 years since the first TDF victory. Go pull out one of the samples and show us what drugs are in it.
     
  12. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    I quite like the idea of a 'fallen idol'.
     
  13. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,504
    Straw man argument logic there though.

    If Armstrong is a dugs cheat then his testimony by that logic cannot be relied upon either. Since we don't know yet if he is or not *supposedly*, perhaps we're just listening to the lies of a cheat...

    You have mentioned physical proof a number of times and it is an odd comment. You don't need physical proof at all. The testimony of people who have firsthand knowledge of the situation is often all that is required to convict people on even serious criminal charges - stuff generally much more serious than PEDs use in sport.

    Likewise, the circumstantial evidence comment is similarly flawed. When evidence of his positive test was proffered a couple of years ago the immediate response by his supporters was not to look at it impartially, rather to avoid it completely and go for big character assassinations and accusations of incompetence. To me that confirmed his guilt all those years ago. People with nothing to hide act like that imo - there were many ways those test results could have been handled and he and his PR machine decided the dirty fight would be their tactic. Well, now the tables have been turned and people he once trusted have helped close the noose on him suddenly that sort of approach is nasty or unreliable?

    This boils in some ways down to people believing what they wish despite masses of evidence to the contrary - either way. His supporters claim all evidence which points to guilt is tainted... and his critics claim all anecdotal evidence or opinion is gospel.

    Until Armstrong comes out and says "I did it" many people will have it in for him regardless. He's a legend of sport no doubt and has achieved untold compared to his peers.

    Then again, so did Carl Lewis - and he turned out to be a monumental fraud (as did Linford Christie).
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  14. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,754
    Location:
    So Cal
    I agree. Floyd is an idiot - I'm sure the USADA would not have used him. But there are plenty of credible voices.

    I feel bad for those who 'wanted to believe' - but sometimes reality is tough.

    Amen. It's a freak show now. US pro baseball looks well run and clean compared to it.
     
  15. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I would like all sports to be drug-free. But they aren't. Cycling is one of those sports where you basically have to dope and use PEDs to compete at the highest level. So, imho, Armstrong's, and many other cyclists', use of these aids isn't cheating.

    The use of PEDs in sports where it isn't the norm is cheating.
     
  16. dParis

    dParis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,747
    Until an organization recognized by all decides to the contrary, the tour victories are Armstrong's.

    At least that's what 5 time TdF champion, Miguel Indurain says. He also characterized the USADA's pursuit of Armstrong as "strange" and "without scruples".
     
  17. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,517
    Location:
    In the place where there is no darkness.
    And in the Stalinist courtroom of USADA, they bring in whomever they wish. In a court of law that adheres to due process, there are several very good[and obvious] reasons why expert witnesses need to be approved by both prosecution and defense.
     
  18. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916

    Evidence of what positive test? The test under most objective scientific standards would have been physically impossible. 6 years gives EPO too much time to degrade, meaning there is no way you could have possibly get such accurate readings. Everyone and their mother that was objective KNEW this, and that's why those "positive" tests were thrown out the window, because everyone knew it was a load of BULLCRAP.


    You need a mountain of circumstantial evidence to put someone away. You need real evidence that a crime of some sort was committed, you need to reasonable motive, and reasonable means of opportunity. There has never been a test that has demonstrated that Armstrong was anywhere close to abnormal on an elite athlete scale (except one steroid positive that was legal, and another 'test' that was blatantly unobjective). There was no PR machine at all; Ayotte head of the Montreal Anti-Doping Agency said that EPO degrades severely after just a few months even when frozen; the test that the French lab produced was a load of horsecrap. No one could objective utilize it because everyone knew it wouldn't stick on Armstrong for a multitude of reasons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  19. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,827
  20. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
    http://thesalesblog.com/blog/2012/08/25/why-lance-armstrong-must-retain-his-tour-de-france-wins/

    There have been 297 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States. Seventeen of these people were sentenced to die before DNA evidence proved their innocence. The average time served in prison by those exonerated has been 13 years.

    In many of these cases, these people were convicted by eyewitness testimony. They were convicted on the testimony of others, only later to be freed by scientific evidence. We prefer scientific evidence to witness testimony, and for good reason: witness testimony is unreliable and subject to personal prejudices.
    [...]

    Here is what we do know.

    *We do know that Lance Armstrong is arguably the most tested athlete in sport. We know that he passed something near 500 drug tests during his career.

    *We know that he passed all of his scheduled drug tests.

    *We know that he always filed the paperwork making his whereabouts known to the drug testing agencies, and we know he passed each of the random tests they conducted.

    *We know that he passed the blood and urine tests conducted after each of his Tour de France stage wins.

    *We know that a lot of other athletes have failed these same tests.

    *We also know that he has successfully defended all charges leveled against him, some of them in the courts.

    Now, we suspect that the USADA has testimony from his past teammates. We don’t know what they have, because we haven’t seen it. Allegedly, it outlines a wide-ranging conspiracy to win the Tour de France through the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It could quite conceivably be true (we’ll hear more soon).

    A Terrible Precedent and a Poor Standard

    But to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France victories is to prefer witness testimony to physical, scientific evidence. To follow this standard is to eliminate the need to drug test athletes altogether. If witness testimony is to be preferred to actual blood tests, then blood tests are henceforth meaningless.

    There is always a game of cat and mouse being played. Sometimes cheaters get a little ahead of science and find ways to beat drug tests. Sometimes science gets ahead of the cheaters. But science is still the better standard, especially when compared to a precedent that suggests that witness testimony will trump physical evidence.

    If witness testimony is enough to change the results of past sporting events, then all of the results of past sporting events are now suspect: Passing the drug tests is no longer evidence that the participants were clean.

    This is why Lance Armstrong must be allowed to retain his Tour victories.
    Questions

    You know we can’t leave here without making this about you and about sales, right?

    Have you ever performed well for a client only to have one contact testify that you are failing them against all evidence to the contrary?

    Have you ever had anecdotal evidence or witness testimony throw an account into jeopardy, even when you had the facts on your side?

    Which standard would you prefer if you were accused of some wrongdoing, scientific evidence or witness testimony?
     
  21. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,810
  22. fundrazer

    fundrazer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,810
    And more news about the 2001 tour de suisse sample that some of you are claiming to be bogus.

    "In an interview earlier this summer, Hein Verbruggen, the former president of the UCI, said that in 2001, when he was still leading the organization, he received notice that one of Mr. Armstrong's drug tests during the Tour of Switzerland had come back with values that were "higher than normal" for the banned blood-boosting hormone Erythropoietin, or EPO. Mr. Verbruggen hasn't spoken of the Armstrong test before."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577609510839091278.html
     
  23. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,562
  24. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,504
    Too many people continue to apply a general knowledge view of criminal law thinking to this case when it doesn't warrant it. It barely pairs up with the drug testing regime and how the anti-doping scheme works at all. In fact it is used far more often as a way to obfuscate the regime rather than support it. The drug testing regime is a system which competitors submit to as a condition of competing - they agree to be tested by whatever regime is in place, and who/however the blood is collected/stored. There is no legal challenge route to the results of individual tests - only to the process. Armstrong know this so has taken careful pot-shots for years at involved organisations he can paint as being anti-him or, as has been especially productive in his case, anti-American.

    So far as there being no Armstrong PR machine. If you think that then there's no point in even discussing it with you further. His efforts in that area have been so blatantly obvious to anyone with even a moderate knowledge of media and PR its almost laughable to suggest it doesn't exist. He has spent many millions of positive PR for himself and negative story spinning regarding those who claim he used drugs. People love to make out like it's all these mean people against a one man band but actually it's a man with a reputation which gives him such a massive mouthpiece to cry his version of any story versus a disparate group of individuals with limited resources.

    People should sit back and get off their moon-landing/9/11-esque conspiracy crack-pipes consider how many of the people in the list of accusers were longtime friends of Armstrong and that they have nothing at all to gain by saying what they have. Armstrong supporters claim as if it means anything that they're disgraces as dugs cheats and therefore *whatever* they say is completely unreliable. Give me a break... if you want must continue with criminal law comparisons consider this: most criminal cases are solved by accepting the testimony/evidence from people who themselves were involved in the crime (or a related one).

    But when it comes to PEDs us in sports suddenly that's not good enough for people? Seriously? :lol:
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  25. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    404


    Wrong. Cheating is cheating, whether 70 pct of the sport is involved or 5 pct of the sport is involved.
     
  26. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    Expert witnesses may need joint approval in the us, but not elsewhere.



     
  27. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    Cycling is actually now the cleanest sport in existence because of the crack down.



     
  28. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,517
    Location:
    In the place where there is no darkness.
    And on this day, the irony was lost.
     
  29. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    Yes, all this criminal law stuff taken off the television and high school civics classes is really idiotic.

    These cases do follow natural justice and due process, but they are not executing anyone so they don't operate at that level of formalism.



     
  30. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    Sorry, I just woke up but it was a vey light touche of irony so it was easy to miss.



     
  31. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Cheating is relative to a norm. If the norm is using PEDs, then using PEDs isn't cheating.
     
  32. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    How do you know it's the cleanest sport in existence? Based on what I'm reading in cycling forums PED use in cycling is still pretty common. Of course there might be intermittent decreases in the rate of use depending on various factors. But overall the large scale use of PEDs seems to be here to stay, more or less.

    There's a lot of talented chemists in the world, and a lot of money to be made from the continued development of PEDs.

    Just my opinion. As far as I know, you might be right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  33. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,754
    Location:
    So Cal
    I'm shocked and saddened. Bad behavior doesn't justify more bad behavior. We have plenty of 12 yr olds on these boards who might not know that - you have to know better.

    Did that ever work for you when you got pulled over by the police for speeding?
     
  34. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    971
    Actually witness testimony can be circumstantial. I am not following this case closely, but from what I recall, none of the witnesses ever out rightly said they saw doctor so and so inject this into armstrong's arm. If the witnesses are simply connecting the dots, then it is circumstantial.

    And in fact, none of us really know what the witnesses said and for that matter who they actually are.

    As for doping evidence, science is very much all about interpretation of data, particularly for borderline result cases.

    As I said, there is no concrete evidence damning Armstrong. And I think that the USADA needs a whole lot more than just connecting the dots before it is justifiable for them to strip armstrong of his titles.

    It is true that the surrounding circumstance looks quite bad on Armstrong...dirty team mates, dirty team doctors, miraculous post cancer performance, dirty sport, Armstrong now arguably trying to cut his losses etc. But if it's so difficult to nail him using cold hard scientific lab tests even with all the recent advancements in anti doping tech, then maybe the guy deserves having the benefit of doubt?


     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  35. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916


    And in a criminal case the defense routinely discredits witnesses that cut deals with the District Attorney, particularly criminals who may outright lie to save their own asses. This is such a case; the USADA could have easily cut a deal with a large portion of the witnesses. To believe so would be utterly naive.

    Good job ignoring the fact that a well known scientist that works in the anti-doping agency backs Armstrong's claim that that "retest" of his 1999 Tour De France was absolutely bogus in all sorts of ways.
     
  36. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I didn't say that I think using PEDs is good. I did say in a previous post that I wish all sports were drug free. I've never used them, and certainly don't advocate their use. Unfortunately the norm in some sports is to use PEDs.

    Oh please. :rolleyes: There are two currently active lengthy threads on this in these forums, hundreds of articles and websites on the internet dealing with the rampant use of PEDs at all levels of sports. Documentaries on YouTube.

    The point isn't whether PED use is against the rules, or whether it's potentially quite harmful. Of course it is.

    The point is that labeling Armstrong a cheater for using PEDs in a sport in which PED use is the norm is a mischaracterization. People who use them in sports where it's prohibited but nevertheless a de facto standard are, strictly speaking, rule breakers, and I agree that what they're doing is wrong in many ways. But it isn't cheating in the sense that cheating refers to behaviors which confer an unfair competitive advantage.

    I've never been pulled over for speeding. Anyway, your remark is a sort of non sequitur, don't you think?
     
  37. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    31,263
    Location:
    Somewhere under the weather ;)
    You mean like time violations in tennis :):twisted: ??
     
  38. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    Norm can mean normal, but it also means ideal and ideals are usually found in rules which declare the values and norms that rule the sport.

    Doping is violating a norm or behavioural expectation.



     
  39. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    It certainly seems the most policed sport in existence from what I've read and you can't police what you can't detect.



     
  40. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I'm using norm as in normal or de facto standard behavior. Doping violates the rules, but the behavioral expectation is that doping is widespread.
     
  41. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I'm guessing that that's a big part of the problem. Another factor is the resources of rule enforcers. And still another factor is corruption of rule enforcers.
     
  42. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    That's why they invented WADA and USADA and all the rest: more resources taken out of the hands of national sporting associations which might be more concerned about money.

    The UCI was part of the doping problem in sport and now its out of their hands and some officials are not happy.



     
  43. adventure

    adventure Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    509
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/26/lance-armstrong-doping-whistleblowers?newsfeed=true

    Lance Armstrong: the whistleblowers

    Three witnesses – who could have provided vital evidence if Lance Armstrong had mounted a defence – speak out


    "I wrote four books about the guy. All the evidence was out there since 2004 and people will still say there is no evidence. To me there was a wilful conspiracy on the part of sporting officials, journalists, broadcasters, everybody. Now we see the fruits of it: high-level cycling has been destroyed by corruption.

    "I would have preferred it if Lance Armstrong had gone to a tribunal and we would have had all the evidence out there. But he has decided to accept these charges because it was the lesser of two evils from his perspective.

    "It is not good for him because he has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and has been given a lifetime ban. He has lost every victory he has had since 1998, but the alternative was even worse – to have a tribunal in which the evidence from 10 former team-mates who all say they saw him doping would have been aired in graphic detail.

    "That detail would have portrayed Lance Armstrong as a doper. It would have opened the eyes of the public to what the US Anti-Doping Agency believe was one of the greatest, most sophisticated doping conspiracies in the history of sport.

    "How did Armstrong get away with this for all these years? Who was complicit in helping him avoid detection? Because there is one certainty – he did not do this without help.

    "Bradley Wiggins is the patron of the Tour and the whole sport. As the winner, he is the spiritual and almost moral leader of the peloton. As an anti-doping Tour winner, I would expect Bradley to say this is good for the sport … we want the guys who cheated to be outed, but there is not a lot of that coming from the sport and that makes me wonder if they are truly committed to cleaning themselves up."

    David Walsh, author and sportswriter on the Sunday Times, has written four books on Lance Armstrong. He was speaking to BBC Radio 5 on Friday
    The masseuse

    As Lance Armstrong's masseuse, Emma O' Reilly saw much of the cyclist's body and spent a lot of time with him after his races. She was also a key member of the US Postal cycling team during the 1999 Tour de France and was given important tasks.

    O'Reilly was a source for David Walsh's book about Armstrong, LA Confidentiel. According to the book, O'Reilly said she heard team officials worrying about Armstrong's positive test for steroids during the Tour. She said: "They were in a panic, saying: 'What are we going to do? What are we going to do?' "

    Their solution was to get one of their compliant doctors to issue a pre-dated prescription for a steroid-based ointment to combat saddle sores. O'Reilly said she would have known if Armstrong had saddle sores as she would have administered any treatment for it.

    O'Reilly said that Armstrong told her: "Now, Emma, you know enough to bring me down." O'Reilly said on other occasions she was asked to dispose of used syringes for Armstrong and pick up strange parcels for the team.

    In a letter to Bill Strickland, a Bicycling magazine correspondent, last year, O'Reilly described her experience. "Since I spoke to David Walsh, I have received so many subpoenas that the policewoman who brought them got friendly enough with my boyfriend that she would call before coming and he'd put the kettle on for her.

    "If my word is so worthless, why did I go to France and testify to the French drug squad? I worked the '98 Tour de France, and I know how scary these guys can be, yet I was prepared to go to France, to their territory. I went because I was telling the truth, and also because a certain Mr Armstrong sued me for a million euros because of my interview with David … why did Lance feel the need to terrorise me for more than two years? Why did Lance feel the need to try to break me?"

    The cyclist

    Christophe Bassons became an accidental star of road cycling when he was the only member of the notorious Festina team who was not implicated in drug-taking. His reputation as an honest cyclist made it impossible for him to prosper in the world of professional cycling in the 1990s.

    Festina was immersed in scandal in 1998 when a carload of drugs for the team was discovered. In the subsequent police investigation, Bassons was the one rider who emerged with his character enhanced after his team-mates told police that he was the only cyclist who did not take drugs.

    From obscurity, Bassons emerged as one of the few cyclists who would criticise drug-taking in the sport. He spoke for many when he complained that the sport had "two speeds", one for the drug-takers and one for people like who him who did not cheat.

    During the 1999 Tour de France Bassons was asked to write a column for the newspaper, Le Parisen. The Tour featured the return of Lance Armstrong after his battle with cancer. Basson wrote that the riders were shocked by the speed of Armstrong. Armstrong later cycled up to Bassons to remonstrate with him and encouraged him to leave the Tour. Later on French TV, Armstrong admitted the conversation. "His accusations aren't good for cycling, for his team, for me, for anybody. If he thinks cycling works like that, he's wrong and he would be better off going home," he said.

    Other riders threatened him and most ignored him. Bassons could not take the pressure and left the Tour.

    Bassons tried to race elsewhere but his reputation preceded him and he gave up in 2001. The cyclist had been a very successful amateur rider but his professional career was overshadowed by his refusal to take drugs and remain quiet about it. He now works for the French ministry of sports and youth, with responsibility for drug testing.

     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  44. adventure

    adventure Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    509
  45. adventure

    adventure Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    509
    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18560_162-20064858.html

    "Is there evidence? Where's evidence of doping here?" Armstrong said, while talking to reporters at a bike race.

    If there's little physical evidence, Hamilton says there are a number of witnesses. He told us that Armstrong was doping the very first time he won the tour. One of the drugs, EPO, boosts the production of red blood cells to enhance endurance.

    "He was using EPO in the Tour de France in 1999?" Pelley asked.

    "Correct," Hamilton said.

    "He was using EPO in the Tour de France in the year 2000?" Pelley asked.

    "He used it before to prepare for the Tour," Hamilton said.

    "And what about the Tour in 2001?" Pelley asked.

    "He used it to prepare for the Tour. I can't say that he used it during the Tour," Hamilton said.

    Asked what he actually witnessed, Hamilton told Pelley, "I saw it in his refrigerator, you know. I saw him inject it more than one time."

    "You saw Lance Armstrong inject EPO?" Pelley asked.

    "Yeah, like we all did, like I did many, many times," Hamilton said.


    "You saw it more than once?" Pelley asked.

    "I think I saw it a couple times," Hamilton replied.
     
  46. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    12,965
    That certainly was an interesting story about Bassons, thanks.
     
  47. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,504
    Let's look at PEDs use from an overall picture perspective using stuff which has been said on drug use in sports by some of the best experts in the planet - including a company who made tons of the stuff.

    >> When the Balco scandal broke the top people at Balco estimated 50-60% of elite athletes were using some illegal or banned substance.

    >> Dick Pound from WADA however estimated in his time that usage was in "double figures", then suggesting somewhere in the 10-15% range.

    >> During Pound's time at the helm they had in the region of 1% positive results from ALL testing.

    If the Balco or WADA figures are to be given the credibility they ought to considering who said them, then it would seem a massive truckload of athletes are getting away with cheating. So, to claim that "never been caught" equals "must be clean" is folly... in possibly a double-digits percentage it could actually mean "never been caught". And this would be represented over tens of thousands of tests.

    Pound also went on to say that they knew some national sporting organisations were actively turning a blind eye to testing and some even actually warned athletes when WADA's squad arrived in the country to conduct testing, giving some athletes sometimes days to get ready. In those cases it's pretty safe to assume only very high profile athletes, financially well-off sports/sporting organisations particularly susceptible to drug use would be the beneficiaries of such warnings. Even if you don't accept that assumption his comment alone shows some of the entrenched fallibility of the testing scheme. When sporting organisations decide they don't want to be the ones with egg on their face they will actually help people they represent defeat the testing system they publicly endorse.

    Cycling has amongst the very worst history of drug use (by athletes caught per number of tests done) so it's pretty obvious they would be likely candidates for this kind of activity - since they have the most to lose.

    This is likely a big part of why the pursuit of Armstrong has been so intense. There is so much smoke surrounding him and his Tour de France team all those years with stories galore about members being encouraged to take stuff, stuff being found in hotel rooms or cars, or previously disgraced doctors being hired by teams... that it's only fair to assume there is fire in there somewhere.

    Lasty, Marion Jones is one of the most high profile drugs cheats of all time. During her career she never tested positive to any PEDs. That demonstrates how unreliable the testing regime is and why Armstrong barely has a leg to stand on when he says because he's never tested positive it proves he is clean.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  48. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    10,747
    When I was on tour I received advanced notice of testing from my agent and sponsors. They would then transfuse my blood, feces and urine with that of a non blemished, angelic human form.
     
  49. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    971
    @adventurer: great links. Cheers.
     
  50. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    404

    Agree with you. Argueing that "everyone else is cheating so its really not cheating" is the dumbest argument I have heard.
     

Share This Page