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Lance Armstrong to lose Tour de France titles. GUILTY !!!!!!!!!!!!

AUSTIN, Texas—With stunning swiftness, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday night it will strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he dropped his fight against drug charges that threatened his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.


Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive, said Armstrong would also be hit with a lifetime ban on Friday. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, he could lose other awards, event titles and cash earnings while the International Olympic Committee might look at the bronze medal he won in the 2000 Games.


Armstrong, who retired last year, effectively dropped his fight by declining to enter USADA's arbitration process—his last option—because he said he was weary of fighting accusations that have dogged him for years. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests he passed as proof of his innocence while piling up Tour titles from 1999 to 2005.


"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."


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digsy
digsy profile pic Alumni

I'm confused - is it true he's never tested positive but all this is based on accusations from other teammates?

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

The info behind this goes pretty deep. There are big suggestions that he tested positive for various blood anomalies (Steroids and evidence of EPO etc) but he was able to shut up the authorities with various deals/bargains.

Essentially the question is, if Armstrong knows he was clean, why would he drop the defense case and lose his 7 titles? This way he remains 'unproven' as a cheat, loses his titles but retains some of his face.

That sad fact is that pretty much anyone challenging for the TDF in the years he won it was doing the same. The whole sport is cleaner now, thankfully, but it still demands so much physically from a person that the option of doping is seriously considered.

I'll find some links which help.

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

http://www.bicycling.com/news/pro-cycling/armstrong-hunts-down-rider

Simpler explaination:

"Renoir, 24 August 2012 8:45AM Simeoni was a nobody in cycling. He testified against Armstrong's doctor and Armstrong ended up ruining his career. Whenever Simeoni attacked in a race Armstrong and his team would chase him down even though he was no threat to them in any way. He went our of his way and expended energy he should have been using to win the race to take down Simeoni as he had broken the Omerta in the Peloton. And there were many in the Peloton who agreed with Armstrong. Simeoni struggled to find a decent teams to ride on after this. No one wanted him because they knew he had no chance of being allowed to win any stage in a decent tour."

SuperRyan
SuperRyan profile pic Alumni

Not fighting something is not necessarily an admission of guilt. Was he clean? I don't really know. Was he doping? I don't really know.

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

SuperRyan on Aug 24 '12 at 7:46am Not fighting something is not necessarily an admission of guilt.


I appreciate that, but why would he sacrifice everything he worked so hard for and his place as a cycling legend if he knows he was clean, that doesn't sound like the attitude of a man who isn capable of putting his body and mind through the toughest tests there are.

The alternative is to fight it and almost certainly lose, thus putting him in the same place he is now, but via a far more damaging process. He never says he didn't dope, he always says there is no physical evidence. But the validity of many of the test results he produced is highly questionable.

It's important not to paint him as the only villain in the shame that is doping. But the evidence for him being amongst the many who doped in cycling is very, very strong.

EZFL
EZFL profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

A witch hunt

nathanwpyle at gmail.com
nathanwpyle at gmail.com profile pic Alumni

So I have a question about cycling because I know nothing -

does ANYONE ever keep their title/gold medals/etc?

Wasn't the gold medalist this year stripped too?

What's the deal with this sport

BeanePod
BeanePod profile pic Alumni

i am by no means an armstrong fan or cycling for that matter but will this be the first time someone will have been stripped of their medals w/o testing positive for doping? at least someone on npr said he had never tested positive.

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

BeanePod: Although the tests for Armstrong always came back as clear their validity is in question, there are numerous allegations he did test positive and deals were struck to cover it up. It's highly likely that the USADA has evidence that he did dope.

Nathan: Cycling is as clean a sport now as it has been for a long time, but during the 80s, 90s and 00s the use of drugs and blood boosting agents like EPO was endemic in the sport (Read the second link - vaughters - I gave for an excellent analysis of this)

The deal with the sport is that it is so physically demanding. Basically the tour de france is 3 weeks and 2,173 mi (2012) long. It's pretty much the most physically demanding thing a person can do.

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

Just to emphasize the winning time and average speed for this years tour de france was: 87h 34′ 47″ (39.9 km/h or 24.8 mph). INSANE.

BeanePod
BeanePod profile pic Alumni

ah, okay. somehow that doesn't surprise me. and i did hear that 10 of his teammates were set to testify against him.

sad that it seems mandatory to dope in any sport these days. pretty soon noodlers are gonna start doing it too.

Haragos
Haragos profile pic Alumni
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Why Stretch Armstrong Why!?

SuperRyan
SuperRyan profile pic Alumni

The legal process is not perfect. I don't know the specifics of the US agency, like if it is an actual trial, but the point I want to make it that sometimes truly innocent people are found guilty and sometimes truly guilty people are found not guilty.

Maybe dropping was the most gracious way of saving himself a trial or whatever would come from this. Lose titles, try to keep your credibility and status.

Maybe he saw that there wasn't a good opportunity to end the years of speculation. A "bite the bullet, because this is the best that can come out of this" type of attitude.

I don't know. It's all conjecture and suspicion. You can cite anomalies, what others say, the odds of this one guy doing so much - but without actual, concrete evidence saying "yep, this guy doped" I can't make a decision about him.

Sam Magee

Would the titles go to someone else? Because if everyone was doping, it seems like they could go down the line forever and find nobody clean. Or that someone who was less tested but still doped could end up with them.

moosabman
moosabman profile pic Alumni

strip his titles. Down with armstrong.

lols @ haragos

moosabman
moosabman profile pic Alumni

Really though, I would like to see some evidence. I mean, you can't pay off everybody to look the other way.

digsy
digsy profile pic Alumni

i guess the whole basis of the courtcase was that he hadn't succesfully paid off everyone and that there were people willing to testify, but I'm not really 100% clued up on this

I'm a little confused over how to feel about this - without hard evidence or proof of guilt I find it very difficult to believe 100% in his guilt, but maybe thats what he's trying to achieve by doing what he has done now, trying to maintain a feeling of reasonable doubt amongst the public. i can also understand why someone would back out, guilty or otherwise - this has been going on for years and sounds like it's been a battle and a half which, when you have a family and other commitments can possibly become too consuming and not worth it. regardless of the reasons, many people in many situations sometimes feel that "enough is enough" and the sacrifices required to do something aren't worth it anymore.

if it's true though, it quite possibly makes him the most despicable sportsman in history - it's one thing to dope and cheat, another all together on the basis of those flawed results, to create and support a charity that elevated to the status that LiveStrong did. I don't understand how someone could do that

FRICKINAWESOME
FRICKINAWESOME profile pic Alumni

Long story short: leave the mother fucker alone, they've had chances time and time again to prove he doped and nothing has substantially stuck. Like others have said, if he WAS doping, so was everybody else in the bicycle pack that finished right behind him. That doesn't excuse the cheating, but it shows how ridiculous this is to single this man out for years and years now, continually casting doubt on a man who has tested clean hundreds of times.

Also, at this point, the man has helped raise half a billion dollars for cancer research, I think even on the chance he was using illegal substances to increase his performance, I think he's karmically paid those past sins off and then some, and should also retain his titles from those time periods unless there is some beyond a shadow of a doubt smoking gun waiting in the wings.

nintechno
nintechno profile pic Alumni

^What Evan said. It's hard to dislike a man who's helped many people in need.

xtiffany

IT'S SO BULLSHIT.

xtiffany

I'm sorry for my language. :(

It is ridiculous that he was stripped of the winnings. For a man who fought so hard to even live through his cancer, the thought that he would even be putting something into his body that would hurt him is silly.

Also, the lack of fighting is not an admission of guilt. See: SUPERRyan's two comments above.

moosabman
moosabman profile pic Alumni

Frickinawesome is frickenawesome, but yeah, really? I knowin the end they will either determine fully if he did or did not.

L-M-N-O-P
L-M-N-O-P profile pic Alumni

This is, I think, how he feels now:

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

Read the articles and educate yourselves. There are two sides to every story and clearly this is one the American public don't want to swallow even though everyone involved with the sport knows what's up.

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

As I say, he's not the only bad guy in this sorry story, but he's the only one who refuses to admit he did it wrong.

SuperRyan
SuperRyan profile pic Alumni

On the contrary, I would think the American public would love to "swallow" this story. The media tends to love a fallen hero and scandals (the UK media does too, right?). Tabloids and TV would eat this story up.

SuperRyan
SuperRyan profile pic Alumni

I haven't been watching much TV recently, so I am not sure if the story is making the rounds or not as of now.

d3d
d3d profile pic Alumni

if he's a cheat fuck him. it's too bad they can't also take back all the money and glory he enjoyed for years.

opifan64
opifan64 profile pic Alumni

He was definitely doping. It was no big secret in the cycling community. That said, cycling has always been rampant with doping so it seems a bit unfair to single him out to make an example of.

Ste7en
Ste7en profile pic Alumni

They are doing this for the wrong reasons. Cheat or no, their time has passed, and he's gone through enough in life that if I were him and i'd shown time and again i hadn't cheated, I'd just say fuck it too. Guy shouldn't have to spend his whole life defending himself. he doesn't even race anymore. There are plenty of guys still racing that are most likely cheating, but they aren't that big name they need for attention.

parallelish
parallelish profile pic Alumni

i think he knows if it goes to court he will loose, so either way he will loose his titles. but by giving up on fighting the accusations he can retire without definitive proof that he doped. if he were truly not guilty he would fight it till his death, i would believe.

also he is the most well known athlete in the sport so naturally he will be targeted more than other no name riders.

i really don't care if he was doping or not or that he lost his titles, i just hope no one is naive enough to reconsider donating to his foundations because he cheated at cycling just like most all of the other riders.

ivanrodero
1 design submitted -

I think it's good for the sport that they strip him of his titles and earnings even if time has passed, it sends a message of righteousness like "cheaters never win"

And even if he had cancer and helped a lot of people that doesn't makes everything go right, he did something wrong and he should be punished for it, he can still do good.

d3d
d3d profile pic Alumni

i think it is worth knowing the truth. if we can prevent someone being propelled into the realm of legend by cheating then we should. it's not right that he's worshipped for his accomplishments when he came by them dishonestly, and defending him as being singled out and picked on is silly. who better to make an example of than the most famous candidate? if it was reported that some third place nobody was cheating nobody would give a damn or learn anything. criminals don't belong on cereal boxes inspiring a generation of naive kids.

SJ27

I don't even believe they're singling him out. He's just incredibly famous so this is the only case we're hearing about. Like it's been said before, in a couple of cases when he won, the second and third place getters have also been found guilty so won't be elevated to be the winners. We just don't remember their names.

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

opifan64 on Aug 25 '12 at 8:13am He was definitely doping. It was no big secret in the cycling community. That said, cycling has always been rampant with doping so it seems a bit unfair to single him out to make an example of.


I don't think he has been singled out necessarily. But there's certainly more song and dance about a man who who's won 7 tour titles. Contador had his 2010 title stripped from him last year, for instance and plenty of cyclists like Vinukorov, Millar and even Frank Schlek this year have been banned for doping.

The problem is that for too long cycling allowed doping to happen without really enforcing any proper discipline and that's not the fault of Armstrong (although he was complicit), it's the fault of the riders and the authorities who accepted it. I'm going to post the Vaughters article again because it explains perfectly how a cyclist gets put in the position where doping is seen as a viable option.

What Armstrong did is still incredible, but the way in which he did it was by doping and some of his actions as a cyclist (see the bit on simeoni) mean he'll never really be loved by cycling fans. Clearly he's done a lot of good for charity, but he's also done very well himself out of all this. Admitting tom doping would be for the good of the sport, but it could pretty much ruin him.

Vaughters on why he doped

Kdog79

Wrf who cares

Manupix

it explains perfectly how a cyclist gets put in the position where doping is seen as a viable option.

Exactly. Thanks for posting this!

It's one thing to vaguely know that doping is rampant everywhere, and quite another to understand the choices at the individual level.

Ste7en
Ste7en profile pic Alumni

if it was reported that some third place nobody was cheating nobody would give a damn or learn anything.

Well, that's kinda the point though. Doping runs rampant in cycling (and most sports today), and a lot of the third place nobodies do dope, and also didn't survive cancer...and they are still 3rd place nobodies. The guy is retired, survived cancer, did a shit ton of good through charitable work, and beat a bunch of other guys that cheat too. Honestly, he is still a legend, cheat or no.

I personally don't think anyone should give a fuck. And if I had been defending myself for a decade, and I actually was innocent, at a certain point, especially after surviving a life threatening illness I would probably say "you know what, it doesn't fucking matter anymore, I just want to enjoy what life I have left." lest we forget, you don't "cure" cancer. You survive it, and then you spend the rest of your life waiting for it to come back.

So if they are doing this to protect the sport, they should be focusing on people still competing, because there is no objective way to understand how the implications about him affected the races he was in without truly knowing about all the other racers that could have cheated the tests and the races (but didnt win so no one cares).

So many of the greats in all sports cheated or were accused of cheating, but in the end, we still remember them because they put on the best show humanly possible. While its happening people love it, they cheer it on, they talk about it to everyone they can...and when its over they so quickly forget the enjoyment these people- these athletes and entertainers- gave them and act all ashamed of their accomplishments.

Ste7en
Ste7en profile pic Alumni

shouldnt be "quickly" forget should be "briefly" because I meant to say that people act all ashamed, but in the end they still recount all the awesome stuff they saw those people do, when sharing their passion for their favorite sport

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

So many of the greats in all sports cheated or were accused of cheating, but in the end, we still remember them because they put on the best show humanly possible. While its happening people love it, they cheer it on, they talk about it to everyone they can...and when its over they so quickly forget the enjoyment these people- these athletes and entertainers- gave them and act all ashamed of their accomplishments.


The thing is, Armstrong is only really a hero for those who don't particularly understand cycling (and I'm not pretending I'm some hardcore cycling fan who's been into it for the last 20 years or whatever) but of those I know who are really big cycling fans, no one likes Lance Armstrong, some of them actually hate him. I've been tutted at for wearing USPS bib shorts whilst riding (They were £3 from a charity shop and very comfortable). Armstrong damaged the sport of cycling. Those who love it know that.

Daviisilva

RIP Lance Armstrong

EZFL
EZFL profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

Surprised this topic has gotten this much of a response.

somewhat related: Last four times I wore my Livestrong jersey, I either got a flat, fallen over trying to un-clip at a red light or most recently, been in a nasty crash. Don't think I'll be wearing it anymore.

Ste7en
Ste7en profile pic Alumni

Yeah, plenty of hardcore fans hate those superstars that bring all kinds of attention to their favorite pastimes, when they feel the sport was just as good (or better) without them. But he didn't invent any new way to misbehave, he just won a bunch, and did so with the same sorts of tactics that plenty of other people have used over the years.

radiomode
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It is easy for people to say 'just fuck it' if you are not in the competition.

If he really cheated then it will matter to the 2nd place, 3rd place, all the cyclist that were competing, sponsors and participants in the race. It also damaged the reputation of the event. Not to mention it may lead to future problem where all those competing will be thinking of using doping.

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