The NY Times details how Lance Armstrong avoided positive drug tests over the years. They are just repeating what USADA says in the report, but it is a good, clear read that explains how USADA and Lance's accusatory teammates now say he avoided testing positive over the years.
I think he was cheating, but so was everyone else -- the races would have been more fair if they had just said everyone could use EPO. Actually, I think everyone was.
-Jason "is EPO harmful to your body? Or does it just give you more red blood cells and therefore give you more endurance?" Evans
website. Basically, it thickens the blood... Therefore, serious (albeit rare) risks include: blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.
I came across this BBC article from some time ago, positing a link between EPO use and deaths due to heart failure (e.g. Pantani)
I'm not an Armstrong fan (nor really a big fan of biking), so please don't mistake this for homerism... but I'm starting to re-evaluate whether this is even cheating. Cheating to me means breaking the rules (check) to gain an unfair advantage (unclear).
I am sure there were some clean racers in the Toura decade ago, but probably not anyone among the top 20 contenders. I realize I am damning some folks who have never been caught, but that just appears to be the reality of the sport.
Also worth noting, while Lance has said that many of those accusing him are getting reduced sentences in exchange for their testimony -- which is a compelling argument -- in the case of Hincapie, his sentence does not matter. He is retiring from cycling at the end of this year and, having been banned for 6 months as a result of his testimony against Lance, it means his career is now over. If he had refused to testify and gotten a more typical 2 year ban, it would have meant the exact same thing to him. So, Lance, why is Hincapie testifying against you? He has nothing to gain by doing so.
-Jason "in Lance's defense, he is a world class jerk, according to everyone who has been around him, so Hincapie may be testifying against Lance because he simply does not like Lance" Evans
There are a lot of reasons to like or not like Armstrong... but this is bigger than him. If cycling is going to change, they need to exorcize this period of their history, and, given the testimony in this report, to let Armstrong off the hook prevents that from happening.
The International Cycling Union has sided with the USADA and stripped Armstrong of his 7 Tour de France victories.
Will the Tour de France echo this ruling? Will they crown someone else the victor?
-Jason "the President of the UCI says he doesn't think cycling will ever be completely clean" Evans
Most importantly, does this mean that when Dodgeball airs on cable Lance Armstrong's inspirational speech to Peter La Fleur will have to be edited out?
Armstrong has now allegedly admitted (in an Oprah interview) that he used EPO and other performance-enhancing drugs. What a joke.
I have no problem with the guy using performance-enhancing drugs. But I do have a problem with his repeated attacks on anyone who came out and said he used. That included teammates, reporters, anyone. Armstrong sued, bullied, berated, smeared anyone who suggested he used PEDs, questioning their credibility. And now he's going to come clean and admit they were telling the truth and he was lying? What a jerk.
I have a lot of appreciation for the money he raised for cancer research. That's a wonderful thing. But drug dealers and mobsters donate money to charity too, and that doesn't make them good people. It's just completely disrespectful to try to destroy people who were just telling the truth (teammates) and doing their job (journalists).
The sad part is that his story would have been impressive even with the doping. To come back from near-death with cancer and win in a sport in which everyone cheats is amazing. It doesn't matter whether he cheated to do it. But Lance apparently couldn't live with that. Instead, he had to bully anyone who had the gall to tell the truth about it, even if it meant destroying lives or careers.
I got to listen to Mike and Mike in the Morning this morning, and while I'm usually not a fan of their blather, I thought some interesting points were raised in their discussion with Stuart Scott, who said that Armstrong's doping basically has nothing to do with Livestrong and what it strives to do. He separated the two as completely different things, one obviously immoral and unethical, and the other as a great thing that has helped so many people.
But my thoughts on that were that, would Livestrong be around (and be so successful) if Lance had not doped and won 7 Tours? So this great thing (Livestrong) has emerged from something based on lies. I guess some credit has to be given there, but there's a little bit of my stomach that still feels uneasy about it.
And, as other posters (and Mike Golic) pointed out, how Lance went after his accusers so hard, ruining reputations, etc. How does one reconcile that? With Livestrong? There's definitely some moral/ethical questions here.
I love that WADA is holding his feet to the fire, after the way he attacked them - they have every right to make him grovel to lift the suspension.