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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by g_olaf View Post
    My guess is that given the rumblings over the years, he is probably correct. However, like everyone else, a cyclist is innocent until proven guilty. Lance hasn't failed a test, so it's all just idle speculation.
    I think Armstrong was clean. My reasoning is simple: the French hated that he kept winning, and were desperate to prove he cheated. And they failed. Repeatedly.

    Just like with the scientific method, you can't prove a hypothesis, but numerous (and sometimes unethical) tests have utterly failed to prove its inverse.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    I like Armstrong, but personally I think he cheated. Why? Because as one cyclist put it (can't remember his name, but I think it was that great guy from Spain who kept barely losing to him)

    (paraphrased)

    The guy has to be cheating, because we're all cheating and he's beating us.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Udaman View Post
    I like Armstrong, but personally I think he cheated. Why? Because as one cyclist put it (can't remember his name, but I think it was that great guy from Spain who kept barely losing to him)

    (paraphrased)

    The guy has to be cheating, because we're all cheating and he's beating us.
    Armstrongs response: "He has no proof, Its just our word against theirs and we like our word. We like where we stand.


    Like all sports, cyclists played within the framework of the rules, enforcement mechanisms and the punishment for breaking those rules. As others have opined, it really doesn't matter what Armstrong or Hincappie, or Indurain took or didn't take. They weren't caught. End of story.

    In basketball, is the "hack-a-Shaq" defense unethical because you are purposely breaking a rule? No, it is a calculated act within a framework. If you don't want players intentionally fouling someone, you change the rule (3 freethrows instead of 2, free-throw plus ball out of bounds).

    In cycling and baseball the same thing happened. The solution isn't a witch-hunt. The solution is to tighten testing and increase punishments. To the extent that this has occured, both sports are now cleaner.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by g_olaf View Post
    In basketball, is the "hack-a-Shaq" defense unethical because you are purposely breaking a rule? No, it is a calculated act within a framework. If you don't want players intentionally fouling someone, you change the rule (3 freethrows instead of 2, free-throw plus ball out of bounds).
    Not so sure that is a fair comparison to the illegal use of PEDs. In the "Hack-a-Shaq" example the defensive team wants to get caught. Getting caught, and having the prescribed penalty imposed, is better than the other possibility (a sure dunk). It is like the intentional walk in baseball - you'd rather give up the small risk (runner on base) than the larger one (extra base hit)

    In a doping case you are hoping not to get caught. You are not breaking a rule (fouling the offensive player) and accepting the penalty - you are breaking a rule and doing everything possible to hide it.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    Not so sure that is a fair comparison to the illegal use of PEDs. In the "Hack-a-Shaq" example the defensive team wants to get caught. Getting caught, and having the prescribed penalty imposed, is better than the other possibility (a sure dunk). It is like the intentional walk in baseball - you'd rather give up the small risk (runner on base) than the larger one (extra base hit)

    In a doping case you are hoping not to get caught. You are not breaking a rule (fouling the offensive player) and accepting the penalty - you are breaking a rule and doing everything possible to hide it.
    OK... but I think that we could certainly agree that parallel examples exist... Palming the ball, clearing out, moving picks, hooking, pulling on someones jersey when the ref isn't looking. As a player, you recognize the risk of being caught, the penalty if you are versus the advantage you gain if you get away with it. Same thing with doping. In an imaginary world where 100% of dopers would be caught, and if the penalty were a lifetime ban, no one would attempt it.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by g_olaf View Post
    My guess is that given the rumblings over the years, he is probably correct. However, like everyone else, a cyclist is innocent until proven guilty. Lance hasn't failed a test, so it's all just idle speculation.
    That is only true in US courts, individuals are free to set their own threshold for what is enough to consider someone "guilty."

    I give Lance the benefit of the doubt because he's never been caught, but if I had to bet money on what the real answer is I would bet that he had cheated at least once.

    Either way, his story is inspirational and his work with Livestrong has been great.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by g_olaf View Post
    OK... but I think that we could certainly agree that parallel examples exist... Palming the ball, clearing out, moving picks, hooking, pulling on someones jersey when the ref isn't looking. As a player, you recognize the risk of being caught, the penalty if you are versus the advantage you gain if you get away with it. Same thing with doping. In an imaginary world where 100% of dopers would be caught, and if the penalty were a lifetime ban, no one would attempt it.
    Agreed. I just thought the Shaq example wasn't a good one.

    In all sports players do what they can get away within the context of the game. PEDs are done outside of the game, while hiding (and sometimes involve not just violations of rules, but violations of law - there are many medications used for doping that are only legally allowed to be administered by or under the supervision of a phsycian).

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Quote Originally Posted by Udaman View Post
    The guy has to be cheating, because we're all cheating and he's beating us.
    My view is close to this one. I am pretty sure Armstrong cheated and cheated routinely, consistent with the ethos of the sport. That ethos is largely why I pay so much less attention to cycling than I used to.

  9. #69

    Floyd Landis -- the ultimate scumbag

    I don't know whether or not to believe that Lance Armstrong cheated or not -- but I do know that I will never believe a word out of the mouth of Floyd Landis.

    When I saw this thread and saw the 2007 posts defending him, it makes me ill (although all those posts represent is our natural inclination to give people the benefit of the doubt).

    But check out this article by Dan Wenzel:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/news;_ylt...ydlandis052010

    Just to summarize: Floyd Landis knew a dark secret about anti-doping activist Greg LeMond -- that LaMond had been sexually abused by his uncle when he was a boy. Landis told his agent that secret and just before LeMond was to testify against Landis, the agent called LeMond and pretended to be the uncle who abused him and threatened to be at the hearing it LeMond appeared.

    Landis knew about the attempt at intimidation and did noting -- until LeMond responded by revealing the secret ... and vowing to testify.

    Frankly, the evidence is that Landis will do anything and say anything to protect himself. There may be reasons to believe Armstrong is a doper, but as far as I'm concerned, Landis' self-serving statements are not among those reasons.

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by gus View Post
    I think Armstrong was clean. My reasoning is simple: the French hated that he kept winning, and were desperate to prove he cheated. And they failed. Repeatedly.

    Just like with the scientific method, you can't prove a hypothesis, but numerous (and sometimes unethical) tests have utterly failed to prove its inverse.
    A small correction, you can (dis)prove a hypothesis, you can only disprove a theory.

    But, your overall point is correct. Tests haven't proven that he's taken drugs and therefore Armstrong should have the presumption of innocence.
    Last edited by hughgs; 05-20-2010 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Clarification

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    No more ducking it: Landis was a cheat.
    Given the history of this thread why would you think I was ducking the question of whether Landis doped?

    As I responded to you before:

    "I have no feelings either way about Landis. If he's guilty I'm not going to stop riding my bike, and if he's innocent then I'm not going to buy a ton Phonak stuff. His guilt or innocence has no bearing on my life other than it's in a sport I follow."

    I'm not ducking whether Landis doped or not, I simply don't care if he's guilty or innocent.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    The International Cycling governing body (whatever they are called, I forget) is dismissing him and saying his accusations have no evidence and no cred.

    --Jason "I have a hard time trusting him now after how hard he protested his innocence" Evans
    The UCI has been accused of (and denied) hiding a positive doping test:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/uci-...ed-doping-test

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by RPS View Post
    My view is close to this one. I am pretty sure Armstrong cheated and cheated routinely, consistent with the ethos of the sport. That ethos is largely why I pay so much less attention to cycling than I used to.
    That ethos also disappeared in the early 2000s when drug testing improved and people got caught. Did Lance dope? Yeah, I'd bet on it. Did he do anything that his competitors weren't doing? Eh, probably not. That's the thing about it that you have to remember - everyone else did it, too. Only one other person who was also on a podium with him was neither suspected of nor caught for doping, Andreas Kloden. That alone is damning evidence.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinFunk View Post
    That ethos also disappeared in the early 2000s when drug testing improved and people got caught.
    Or maybe they improved their ability to cheat undetected.

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinFunk View Post
    Did Lance dope? Yeah, I'd bet on it. Did he do anything that his competitors weren't doing? Eh, probably not. That's the thing about it that you have to remember - everyone else did it, too.
    So? I'm disgusted by the baseball steroid guys and D1 college coaches who cheat, even though MLB, college football and college hoops all have an ethos of dishonesty.

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinFunk View Post
    Only one other person who was also on a podium with him was neither suspected of nor caught for doping, Andreas Kloden. That alone is damning evidence.
    And is why the sport has lost its appeal for me.

  15. #75
    Alex Massie has more on the issue, although it's not as interesting as his estimation of where Armstrong would rank in terms of the all-time cyclists. (The tl;dr version: good but not the greatest.)

    My personal take is that he almost certainly did dope, but then everybody else was at the time as well and he still managed to beat them consistently.

    I used to not think very much of Armstrong, but I admit my opinion of him has softened with his relatively graceful support of Contador in last year's race.

  16. #76
    "You cannot compete in the Tour de France on mineral water alone" -Jacques Anquetil

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