News24

Armstrong stripped of TDF wins

2012-10-22 13:13

Geneva - Disgraced Lance Armstrong's fate was sealed on Monday, as cycling's under-fire world governing body decided to back a life ban for doping and strip him of his record seven Tour de France titles.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) said it supported the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) decision to erase the rider's entire career after August 1998, as president Pat McQuaid called the scandal "the biggest crisis" the sport had ever faced.

"We will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and we will recognise the sanction that USADA has imposed," McQuaid told a news conference in Geneva, saying he had been "sickened" by the revelations.

"The UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France wins. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling... He deserves to be forgotten in cycling."

Earlier this month the US body released a devastating dossier on Armstrong, detailing over 202 pages and with more than 1,000 pages of supporting testimony how he was at the heart of the biggest doping programme in the history of sport.

The revelations, including evidence from 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates, plunged a sport which has been working hard to rid itself of its murky doping past into crisis.

McQuaid succeeded Hein Verbruggen as president of world cycling after Armstrong's seventh and final Tour victory in 2005 and is credited with boosting the body's anti-doping programme, notably with the pioneering blood passport programme.

The Irishman was under pressure to answer how Armstrong and his teams managed to dope for so long without being detected. But he rejected calls to quit, vowing to continue his work against the scourge of doping.

Armstrong's sporting reputation as the cancer survivor who fought back to win cycling's most gruelling and celebrated race has been shattered since the revelations, leading to sponsors leaving him in droves.

There has also been fears of a wider withdrawal of financial backing for the sport after Dutch sponsor Rabobank said it was ending the sponsorship of its professional cycling team after a 17-year association.

The sponsor described professional cycling as "sick" to its core and unlikely to recover in the foreseeable future.

The strongly-worded comments went to the heart of claims of failings at the UCI and in particular to McQuaid, who has been criticised for failing to see the extent of doping within the sport.

Verbruggen, who stepped down in 2006 but remains honorary president, ran the UCI during Armstrong's golden era -- a time when USADA's report says Armstrong and team-mates evaded dope tests either by hiding or being tipped off in advance.

The Dutchman has also been accused of protecting Armstrong -- even accepting a donation to cover up a positive dope test. McQuaid on Monday said the UCI "absolutely deny" that Armstrong bought off the body.

Armstrong's cancer backstory and Tour triumphs from 1999 to 2005 were seen as key to restoring cycling's tattered image after a string of high-profile doping scandals in the 1990s.

His Tour victories are unlikely to be re-awarded, the race's director Christian Prudhomme has said. The void would prevent further headaches, given that most riders who finished on the podium in that time have since been implicated in doping.

But the final decision will come in a special UCI meeting on Friday.

Armstrong on Sunday spoke briefly to some 4,300 cyclists at the Livestrong Challenge charity benefit, a 100-mile (160-kilometre) race in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

"I've been better but I've also been worse," said Armstrong. "Obviously it has been an interesting and difficult couple of weeks."

Since the USADA report, sponsors have fled Armstrong and he was forced to resign as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997 over concerns his tarnished reputation could hurt the cause.

Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs to achieve cycling stardom, inspired more than $500 million in donations to Livestrong and pushed other cancer survivors to battle the condition.

No criminal charges were filed against Armstrong from an 18-month US federal probe that ended earlier this year and evidence from that case was not given to USADA.

But Armstrong could yet face court cases from former sponsors who accepted his assurances that his legacy was not aided by banned substances.

AFP

Comments
  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-22 13:20

    Tour de Drugs! They must just shut down this whole farce. There are only two types of 'athletes' in the Tour de Farce, those who take hard-to-detect steroids, and those who haven't been caught yet.

      frank.vankaapstad - 2012-10-22 13:32

      The past 20 years of cycling has been a farce. They were ALL doing it. Those that didn't do it simply couldn't compete and they never rode for top teams. Why USADA launched this massive witch hunt to discredit Armstrong makes no sense. All that they have done is confirm that the sport was tainted and raised questions about every cyclist that ever succeeded during the past 20 years. Armstrong IS the best there ever was, he competed on a level playing field against all the other dopers and won. It is wrong that they doped and we wish it didn't happen, but that was the reality at the time. Let's hope the future is clean and the real athletes rise to the top.

      bruce.williams.1044186 - 2012-10-22 13:40

      They should legalise the drugs. It will make it more interesting and a level playing field! Guys will go up Alp du Huez in 10 minutes.

      siyabonga.khumalo.108 - 2012-10-22 14:01

      he cheated.... i know its hard to accept but not all of cyclist used drugs... he cheated and his life is a lie and guess what's next? the wife is going to bounce aswell coz once the going gets tough the woman gets going

      merven.halo - 2012-10-22 15:15

      "much the same in any professional sport." So THAT was the problem with the Bulls, the bastard Shark spy agents replaced their steroids with sleep pills! Watch out WP, keep your steroids close, your enemy's steroids closer!

      derek.francois.3 - 2012-10-22 18:16

      Sanity prevails at last - now just please jail him and reclaim every cent of sponsorship and prize money - let future generations in the sport realize that cheating does not pay. I do not have an iota of respect left for this arrogant scumbag who hasn't the BALLS to come clean.........................

  • lulama - 2012-10-22 13:21

    Sorry Armstrong. Hope your good work is not affected much.

      Poloyatonki1.lee - 2012-10-22 14:53

      I think all cyclist are on drugs, have you seen how reckless they are in stellenbosch roads....

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 17:17

      Patrick, even if there is no difference, how is either form of cheating justifiable? When you enter a sport you agree to the codes that govern it - anything outside of that is cheating. Rules can and do change over time, but it is not right that some completitors take this decision into their own hands, and before hand.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 19:35

      I dont know why it wasnt taken away, but that it hasnt been taken away does not mean that it should not be! Linking it to the LA case is not a very strong arguement. Excuse me? Hearsay? That isnt what I would call a group of credible cyclists implicating themselves for no reason. These guys who have no personal gain in LAs downfall. Also, if you had read the USADA report I know you wouldnt claim that the Lance case is based only on testimony from fellow cyclists. The blood samples, emails, sms records, analysis of the biomechanics and physiology of his performance during the time he was testing: these are what contributed to the case against him - why do you think it took so long for them to charge him? If they didnt have their evidence in line they wouldve been thrown out of court and not been able to pursue him. Travis Tygart has no other reason to go after him because it is the right thing to do.

  • bruce.williams.1044186 - 2012-10-22 13:25

    Its about time. It was bound to happen at some point. I just feel sorry for the people that require the money from "LIVESTRONG".

  • faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-10-22 13:26

    Oprah to the rescue

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2012-10-22 13:32

    And Armstrong will still make millions of dollars from the movie and a new book.

      alfred.killian - 2012-10-22 13:54

      He can name his new book "it's not about the bike", Every blood transfusion counts, or Epo, lies and doping

      merven.halo - 2012-10-22 15:17

      What about: It is only a sin if get caught... Whait, that is the ANC motto, sorry!

  • phillip.beukes.5 - 2012-10-22 13:35

    Livestrong.... cheat better than the rest... Unfortunately good work gets undone very quickly by dishonesty. If you build your own foundations on lies and dishonesty, it really does not say much about your charakter. To say, i did it because every-one else is doing it, is also no valid arument. Sadly, his foundation will also suffer due to this. Hopefully it will serve as an example to other hero's that think they are above the law.

  • themba.ntuli - 2012-10-22 13:36

    cheating fraud are part of human nature when opportunity avails, give lance a break....

      merven.halo - 2012-10-22 15:18

      You must be a ANC cadre.

  • Ken - 2012-10-22 13:40

    Even though all that is said and done, he will remain one of my heroes.

      siyabonga.khumalo.108 - 2012-10-22 14:06

      are you serious? you have a cheater as a hero

      Poloyatonki1.lee - 2012-10-22 14:57

      Ken that means you are an idiot, imagine if you were competing against him and he wins because he cheated.... how will that make you feel?

      John - 2012-10-22 16:09

      Ken, these dudes make millions and millions of dollars! To support a cheater in a professional sport is pathetic! Wrong is wrong. Finish & Klaar! What if you or your son/daughter lost at the highest level to a cheat and that relegated their career to a has been? Would you still support a criminal? Wow, we have sunken to a new low as humanity here.

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-10-22 13:42

    Not to question its legitimacy, but I sense there's more to the case than just doping. Surely he wasn't the only guy doing it? And why did it take so long to report him?

  • jurie.grobler - 2012-10-22 13:43

    In Lance's days everyone did it! As a matter of fact, all 20 samples tested retrospectively in 2003 from TDF in 1999, were positive for EPO! That was 20 different riders at the prologue!! Lance has to take the fall for EVERYONE, because he was so successful. As Tyler Hamilton said: 'we had to find a way, everyone else did (to do the drugs)'.

      John - 2012-10-22 16:11

      Thats why I have suggested they drop all results from that era. No-one can rightly claim the crown convincingly now. The sporting body and doping agencies were asleep at the wheel and THEY should also take the fall and be charged for incompetence.

  • warren.fourie.52 - 2012-10-22 13:43

    So who won the race in those seven years. I bet the authorities will be hard pressed to find a clean cyclist in that era , meaning it was a fair contest

      siyabonga.khumalo.108 - 2012-10-22 14:07

      so you also support corruption?

      gungets.tuft - 2012-10-22 14:36

      They have awarded the title to the delivery bike riders from Pierre's Bakery. Poor oke rode his delivery bike past the finish and was the only rider they could find that had not been drugging. Oke was later quoted as saying "Sacre Bleu .. what a good thing that they did not test me after I visited Antoinette last night, they might have found the viagra. Merde!!"

      merven.halo - 2012-10-22 15:19

      "they might have found the viagra" So he had a stiff leg, so what?! ;)

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 16:52

      EPO influences each athetes physiology differently = it was not a fair contest.

  • johan.erskine - 2012-10-22 13:49

    Apparently he tested positive for a substance called "Blood" as well. It transports oxygen from your lungs to the muscles and the UCI and the USADA confirmed after various tests that the substance " Blood " was illegal and that anyone found with that substance would be banned as well....

  • rinus.groeneveld.7 - 2012-10-22 13:52

    Came across this articlethis morning: Laurent Fignon, TDF winner 1983 and 84 (yes, nearly 30 years), wrote in his autobiagraphy of the drug which dominated his era - cortisone, which was undetectable - pretty much all he tells us is this: "We didn't feel like we were cheating: each of us settled matters with his own conscience. And in any case, everyone did it." His attitude to the doping of his era is perhaps best summed up thusly: "I would never have dreamed of taking a drug that might be detected on the day of a race." Which pretty much sums up the attitude of too many cyclists to drugs: it's not doping if you can get away with it. He also admitted to using amphetamines! So my question then: why was he not stripped of his title? And everybody else!!??

      gungets.tuft - 2012-10-22 14:51

      If you check, the earliest admitted "doping" was in 1923 when the cyclists were using ether as a painkiller. I don't care what anyone says, they ALL dope, just some get caught and some don't. The only reason they are getting caught now is because they are keeping samples until the testing technology catches up with the drugs. It might make cycling "clean" but will anyone want to watch 1/2 the field pulling out and the other half pushing their bikes up Alp D'huez??

  • carina.kennard - 2012-10-22 13:53

    And no one dare question a possible link between massive dosages of testosterone and testicular cancer ??? He may be then be viewed as even more opportunistic and people hate it when they think they have been made a fool of by a hero and rather make excuses and stay in denial...

  • marius.croucamp.3 - 2012-10-22 14:03

    I will never ever watch the Tour De France again!

      peter.gugelmin - 2012-10-22 14:19

      You think Rugby, soccer, swimming, athletics are any cleaner, get of your cloud

      Teuneman - 2012-10-22 14:21

      OK

      celia.waldeck.90 - 2012-10-22 14:35

      I am going to miss the beautiful scenery

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-10-22 14:07

    Why target LA - what about those like - Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond and Miguel Indurain - what were they using - after-all in 1903 they were using whisky and cigars to enhance performance - where do you stop with this....?

  • siyabonga.khumalo.108 - 2012-10-22 14:14

    defending Lance is no different then deffending the ANC for corruption... if you are defending Lance you are exactly like a voter who keeps on voting ANC even though you see them doing wrong.. Lance has destroyed a sport that was well respected.

      marius.vanwyk.5621 - 2012-10-22 14:31

      Very well said........

      nicholas.fraser.509 - 2012-10-22 14:45

      Lance hasn't hurting any one and has help Millions and contributed to mankind, All the ANC has done is Steel and hurt the people of South Africa and that includes all races.

      merven.halo - 2012-10-22 15:22

      "Lance hasn't hurting any one" Are you serious idiot? He hurt every one he competed against and his fans.

      alfred.killian - 2012-10-22 15:23

      Lance hasnt hurt me, neither did Adolf Hitler. The people, who contributed to Livestrong were the ones giving. (funny how reluctant people are to give money to a charity, unless a celeb ask them for money.) I can remember Malcolm the legend Lange said something like; "this may sound like sour grapes, because I didn't make it in Europe, but you will never do well, without the right doctor." Maybe he did not hurt anyone, but he is a cheat.

      nicholas.fraser.509 - 2012-10-22 15:54

      To Merven the Moron. He has been found guilty from testimony from others that have been bust for doping none of he blood test have come back positive other wise he would have been found guilty years ago, He has however promoted cycling and a health life style, he has motivated millions that have cancer and given them hope He has raise over $500million for charity and cancer research, In Siyabonga's content he has not hurt anyone unlike the ANC that has stolen Billions.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 16:48

      Hi Nick, there was VERY sound physiological and biomechanical evidence that contributed to the allegations leveled against Lance. It was not only many fellow cyclists (many of whom had no reason to sabotage their own careers) who implicated him in doping. Hamilton and Hincappie passed hundreds of tests without getting caught, their were just that good at it - so its no real defence for Lance, unfortuately. Yes, Lance has done a great deal of good for cancer, but you have to ask yourself, would he have been so successful in this had he not been a successful (but cheating) cyclist?

      kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-10-22 19:16

      I look at the facts - he was tested and found tobe negative - how do you expalin that..?

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 19:40

      Well, here's a list of names - Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Dwain Chambers, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Valverde. That's just six names of athletes who also doped for very long periods without failing a test.Some were caught eventually (Chambers & Montgomery) because a test was developed for a drug called THG based on a tip-off. It then emerged that Chambers had doped for years, with everything, avoiding detection. Ullrich went down because of good old-fashioned investigative work that discovered blood bags in a clinic. Marion Jones was never caught. The reality is that testing is limited, especially when it happens in-competition. That's why people say that if you fail a drug test in competition, you have failed an IQ test - it's so simple to manipulate the timing and dosage of your drug use so that you are not tested when you compete. And remember, the effect of doping lasts long after the drug is gone. You can take EPO, get the benefit, and compete without the drug in the system. Micro-dosing allows you to take the drug very close to the event without it being detectable. In fact, you can dope 12 hours from your race, and as long as you get dosage right, you'll pass doping controls. The authorities have to be very lucky to test you while you have the drug in your body. The point is, passing the drug controls is not really all that difficult.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 19:41

      Another point about Armstrong is that his Tour victories spanned a period where the two most common doping methods were not detectable. First, EPO was widely used without being detectable. Once a test was developed for EPO, the practice changed, almost overnight, to blood doping, which was also very difficult to detect. It was only with the introduction of the biological passport that it became possible, because they were looking for the effect of the drug rather than the drug itself. Armstrong did not compete under that kind of scrutiny - his era was one where doping control was almost 'quaint' by comparison.

  • izan.botes.7 - 2012-10-22 14:21

    he still won it seven times and had the guts to do what he did..... and why is it allowed to have R100000 bikes and equipment and support teams and other supplements to help boost your performance but only some specific stuff are banded.....please do not tell me because it is unhealthy any adult man that weighs 50 kg or less and only eats chicken breast and pasta is healthy. get over it if the tour the france is about pushing your body to the limed Lance did that and if it is about promoting a healthy lifestyle their is much more wrong witch cycling than the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

      nicholas.fraser.509 - 2012-10-22 14:43

      I am with you on this one. In today's sport everyone is taking performance enhancing substances, this includes sports drinks, protein shakes and any other food supplements.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 15:09

      Dont you think the difference between equipment & supplements (protein, energade, nutrition) on the one hand and EPO, corticosteroids, testoseterone etc on the other hand is that the first enhances your performance by allowing you to take advantage of your natural make-up, but the second enhances your physiological and biomechanical potential. I think that is the critical difference between the two - the first does not alter your potential, but the second doesnt. Surely that is not fair?

      merven.halo - 2012-10-22 15:23

      "this includes sports drinks, protein shakes" Don't comment on something you know nothing about.

      harry.dewet.5 - 2012-10-22 15:45

      You are so right in your thinking! Lance has done everything humanly possible to be the best and played by the rules of not getting caught out, like everyone else did. Even Cameron did it when he won the gold medal during the recent Olympics - he made two additional illegal dolphin kicks underwater, but knew the officials were not allowed to look at the underwater videos - was he also a cheat to be stripped...? Caster also had excessive hormones that helped her in becoming strong and fast - thereafter she also should have been banned for life, but was tested to be OK just before the Olympics - what is so different between that and Lance passing more than 1000 doping tests? When the rugby players from coastal regions play in Gauteng, they also need to increase their red blood cells by doping, which means they will then be "equally" strong compared to the high altitude team - is that right or wrong? A lot of athletes from all over the world come to SA's high altitude regions to train and increase their performances - is this special effort right or wrong compared to people who cannot afford to do so? The Ethiopians and Kenians normally win all the long distance athletic events because of their extreme high altitude countries - should they be banned and forced to stay at sea level for ten years before they may compete? We all play by the rules and in cycling the rules have become quite stringent and it has set the example for all other sports to follow, but will they.....

      nicholas.fraser.509 - 2012-10-22 16:09

      Merven i do know a lot about this and personally seen what a difference protein shaker make, and all the other supplements make. Not long ago a few of our springboks got into trouble for Dihydroxycinnamic Acid which was and still found in a few sports drinks and up until 4 years ago was allowed in sports. Do you not think Caffeine makes a difference and is legal up to a limit. Tyron i do agree that things things like steroids should be banned but all EPO does is boost your bloods ability to carry oxygen which USN VO2 MAX does the exact same but is legal (for Now) as for testosterone you natural produce it and is legal up to a certain level,

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 16:09

      Harry, with all due respect, I dont think it is morrally and ethically right to justify what Lance did by drawing comparasons to other athletes who have cheated. Anyone who is against cheating would be against it in any sport. Caster: she didnt dope, that was a natural medical condition. The Etheopians and Kenyans: they didnt dope, those are natual genetic variations. Rugby: there are pros and cons to altitude in intermittent sports. Ultra-endrance sports its different. Vd Berg: it was an illegal technique, he didnt change his biology. In all these cases, you have to look at it against a backdrop of what is reasonably acceptable. Other ladies running with Caster couldnt givethemselves more hormones, thats cheating. The Kenyans are not cheating because they did not change anything in their biology. In fact, new research is coming out with evidence that East Africans are better able to regulate their temperature and it is that which makes them better long distance runners, its not neccesarilly their altitude training. Dopers in cycling certainly change their potential though, and therefore gain an unnatural and unfair advantage over their competitors. To say "played by the rules of not getting caught" is the exact mindset that allowed Lance, Hamilton, Landis, Hincappie et al to be so brazen about their doping. Its not a rule, it never was. It was a lie to satisfy their guilt.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 16:23

      @Nick No, Nick. EPO is directly injecting yourself with blood that has a high O2 content. USN V02 max does not work in the same way, it is a very impotent catalyst which tries to incease your bodies ability to carry o2 - ie your body does the work. The reason why USN V02 max is legal is because it doesnt work - there are no studies validating its claims, indeed no USN product does. (You cannot significantly increase your V02 max at that level, and V02 max is a poor indicator for ultraendurance performance anyway). DMA wasnt allowed in sports, it just was not known about and thats why it wasnt banned. As for protien, youd get the same effect eating a load of steaks (because its a suppplement).

      nicholas.fraser.509 - 2012-10-22 17:23

      Tyron how can you say DMA wasn't know in sport, how do you think they found out about this and decided to add it to their supplements, and as soon as some one adds some new chemical to their product the sporting body start testing. Do you have any idea how much meat you need to eat to get the same amount of protein, there is no way you would be lean, never mind your cholesterol levels. EPO (erythropoietin) is a supplement which boosts your red blood cells, what you are talking about is blood doping which is pulling a pint of blood and giving you your body 2 weeks to replace it and then a few days before the race re-injecting (just the red blood cells) VO2 max does the same thing but just not as well.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 18:44

      So here we are, arguing about whether and to what extent certain banned substances should be allowed in sport. We're missing the point here, dont you think? Having studied this for the past six years, I am quite certain about the fact that protien and steroids are quite different in terms of how they influence performance. If we cant agree on that then I am not sure there is much more we can discuss.

  • Vickela Mumby - 2012-10-22 14:28

    Oh lance!

  • tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 14:40

    I am baffled as to how and why people's opinion on the matter is so divided. In fact, since when did opinions in this sort of thing matter? Anyone can have his own opinion, but his own facts.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 15:05

      Those who support Lance need to get their arguement right. What they cant do is justify the dopers' actions by saying everyone doped, because 1) not 100% of cyclists doped (makes it unfair), 2) everyone responds differently to doping (makes it unfair), 3) doping is still not right. What they can do it support Lance because of the charity work he has done. We need to strip the arguements of the emotion and sentimentality of the case, but more importantly people need to educate themselves before forming opinions. It is painfully obvious when they have not :)

      John - 2012-10-22 16:20

      What really is worrying Tyron, is the fact that so many see doping as ok here as per the posts. Any wonder why the world is in such deep doo? We are quite happy to cheat and deceive and get angry at folks who point this out as wrong behaviour! THAT is the real problem here.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 16:37

      Our history for the persuit for equality in South Africa has blinded us as to the application of such logic. To say that its ok if all cheated is to show a deep ignorance of ones understanding of is what is morally right or wrong. South Africans are unwilling to be uncomfortable in the face of something uncomforting, and they will choose poor philosophical positions backed lazy logical arguements void of critical thought and evidence only to maintain their comforting thoughts. What a desperate situation this is.

  • GregGow1234 - 2012-10-22 14:50

    Abandon the the Tour De France like they did with the Dakar motor rally

  • dalai.rama.9 - 2012-10-22 14:53

    Lie Armstrong!

  • john.lekay2 - 2012-10-22 15:56

    Welcome to the Marion Jones Club......................... u will get caught well done to USADA,I hope all the sporting codes can follow suit

  • John - 2012-10-22 16:14

    How many doctors and chemists should also be charged after these revelations? It seems the entire sport, and support teams and medical profession is tainted! Who the hell is actually "clean" here?

  • cheslyn.ribberts - 2012-10-22 16:15

    Lance u still my hero

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-10-22 16:23

    No amount of drugs or performance enhancements will miraculously turn anyone into a winner in any sport or endeavour whatsoever. It takes strength of mind, determination, training and ability and Lance Armstrong has those qualities in bucketloads. Thats why he is a winner. If all the cyclists were doing drugs then Lance Armstrong won on a very level playing field.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 19:18

      XXX, I applaud you on your conscise and logical astute arguement. Well thought through, with obvious hints of great perspective. However, I have three basic points that show you to be a complete idiot: 1) not all of cyclists doped (makes it unfair). So if we could hypothetically go back and change those to clean TdF races, how do we know Lance would have won? 2) everyone responds differently to doping, everyones physiology is different (makes it unfair), 3) doping is still not right. When you enter a sport you agree to the codes that govern it - anything outside of that is cheating. Rules can and do change over time, but it is not right that some completitors take this decision into their own hands, and before hand. Winners do not do this, greedy insecure people do.

  • Riaan - 2012-10-22 18:58

    If the TDF cyclists could get away with this 4 so many years,and no drug test could trace any substance abuse of any kind,what prevented other sportsman/woman of other codes 2 use the same drugs 2 enhance their performances,it was \undetected\ to any test available at that time????

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-10-22 22:08

    @tyronlouw and anton.dejong Thanks for your observations Tyron. I do agree with your third point but fail to see how my thoughts on the effects of drugs, makes me 'a complete idiot'. As for your first two points, I suspect that you and your tag-team mate anton, both missed the point of my post. How many druggies do you know who achieve what Lance Armstrong achieved? To Anton: My name is Colleen Balfour but the xxx is to make it easy for morons like you to spell. [and remember, as you say] Your post deserves no response but here's a tip for you: Your post with its llimited vocabulary, poor grammar and typos, and rabid venom, reveals much about you that is way less appealing that Lance Armstrong on his most drugged up day, cheating his way to the winning post at the TDF. I would absolutely rather remain a fan of his than engage in a debate [look it up] with you.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 23:36

      Hi Colleen, thanks for the reply. Sorry for being rude. I got the point of your article, I just think you dont understand mine. Yes, Lance wasn’t the only one who doped, and we know this partly because many cyclists have come forward at great personal cost. But it strikes me as a wholly unconvincing and immoral reason to not pursue him. You say it was a level playing field. Any appreciation for physiology and individual variability will tell you that individuals respond very differently to these sorts of substances. Within the limits set by UCI, some cyclists may gain a relatively greater personal advantage than another cyclist. I.e. If the legal limit for EPO levels is X and athlete A has a natural level of X-20 and athlete B has a natural level of X-10, it is clear that full advantage of EPO ingestion up to permissible limits will benefit athlete A more than for athlete B. This means that it is not fair contest even if everyone is on EPO. (I only say this with some confidence becuase I am an MSc student in sport science)

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-22 23:37

      Another thing, when you enter a sport, you agree to the codes that govern it - anything outside of that is cheating. Rules can and do change over time, but for a competitor to take this decision themselves is tantamount to striking a referee in protest. So Lance may have not been the only one cheating, but we will never know whether he truely was the best. In any case, in my book a champion or idol would never resort to cheating - I dont care how good they are. It reflects the very opposite of what sport stands for.

  • pierreyves.guerin.73 - 2012-10-23 08:25

    I am a cyclist and have been watching the TOUR DE FRANCE for many many years now and my reply to this is: I DO NOT CARE WHAT EVERYBODY SAYS ABOUT LANCE ARMSTRONG AND BY THAT I MEAN CYCLISTS AND BODY INCLUDED ESPECIALLY ORGANISING BODY OF THE TOUR, TO ME HE WILL REMAIN THE BEST AND THE GREATEST CYCLIST THAT EVER LIVED IN THIS WORLD. THE REAL FAILURE OR DISSAPOINTMENT HAS TO BE WITH THE ORGANISATIONS FOR FAILING TO FIND HIM GUILTY FOR SEVEN YEARS TESTING HIM DAY AND NIGHT AND FOUND NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THEN TO WAIT FOR HIM TO RETIRE AND THEN TO SAY OH SORRY NOW WE FOUND EVIDENCE THAT MR ARMSTRONG IS GUILTY OF DOPING..... GO FIND YOURSELVES A NEW JOB THAT WILL BRING YOU EXCITEMENT PLEASE. AGAIN TO END MY MESSAGE, THE TOUR ORGANISERS ( DEAR MR PRUDHOMME AND ALL HIS CRONIES WHO ARE INCAPABLE OF ASSURING A SAFE TOUR + CYCLING BODY) ARE A REAL DISGRACE AND FOR THAT I WILL NOT BE WATCHING THE TOUR DE FRANCE ANYMORE.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-23 08:39

      By that same logic would you say that as long as criminals/corrupt officials do not get caught because SAPS is useless then it is ok? I know you probably disagree with much of what I have written here, but I can apologise because all I have is the evidence - I have as much as possible tried not let the fact that Lance is a hero cloud my judgement. Small point about the testing: you clearly have not read the USADA report, or you would know how easy it was for them to pass the tests, not least because tests hadnt yet been developed to detect the drugs they were using. Im pretty sure this post is dead now anyway.

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-10-23 09:55

    @ Tyron Louw, Hi Tyron, I totally respect your science knowledge which is way beyond mine any day of the week. However, looking at the big picture and not getting caught up in the minutiae of molecular science - the point about 'unfairness': if no one took any drugs whatsoever and based as you say on the fact that everyone's physiology is different - there would be those naturally better 'designed' physiologically to win a race and those who are not. And no amount of 'enhancement' would help the less fortunate thereby making the race inherently 'unfair' before it even starts. As evidenced in the TDF. I still believe though, that you can 'cheat' and do what you like to help improve your odds of winning in any endeavour, but if you dont get up and do the necessary work/have an an achievers mindset, you wont get anywhere. This whole debacle reminds me so much of the days of prohibition and the prevailing laws against alcohol at that time. People were jailed and lives were ruined yet today alcohol is an accepted norm...so who knows what the future status of 'enhancements' will be in sports. However he did it, Lance Armstrong inspired many people to do better and be better [and lets not forget the hours and hours of thrills just watching him win his races!] and for those people he will remain an inspiration and hero despite that fact that he may have done it will some chemical help. And he did it best, over and over.

      lynn.nel - 2012-10-23 10:43

      @Tyron Louw, pls shut up

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-23 10:50

      In terms of the "unfairness" example you cite, its not the same as doping. Why? Becuase physical sports such as cycling are designed to test exactly that, who is the best physically - its not unfair, thats the competition. As soon as you put drugs into the equation, you limit the ability of the competition to assess what it set out to. I totally understand the awe. I acknowledge the strength it must have taken to return to professional sport after surviving cancer and I also acknowledge and appreciate the charitable work he has done over the past 15 years, even though, given the circumstances, there is a Machiavellian feel to it. As with many people, I respected him as a powerful symbol of triumph through struggles. Heavens knows he was probably a great athelete with a great mental toughness - I accept all of that. My point though is that it is preceisdely because of the fact that he chose to not only to cheat but to coerce fellow team mates to cheat is not something that I think society would or should accept from those it looks to idolise. Yes alchohol was once banned and now it is not. Current laws may change in the future,but if I, in my wisdom, deceide that the speed limit should be 140KM/hr and not 120KM/hr, do I really have much to stand on to justify that I took th decision myself? It doesnt matter what the rules are, what matters is that everyone follows them -anything else is surely unfair, especially to those honestly want a clean race? We owe it at least to them.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-23 11:15

      @lynn.nel In the interests of debate, you are more than welcome to comment and read, but I think you're missing the point of this forum when you tell people who are expressing their views to shut up, either because you misunderstand or disagree, or both. I humbly offer the alternative: dont read the comments.

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-10-23 15:07

    @ Tyron Louw, We will never really know the truth about the statement that Lance Armstrong 'coerced' his team mates to cheat. I wonder why some pure-minded cyclist didnt blow the whistle at that time? Is it not concievable that those caught cheating may just blame someone else in order to reduce their own culpability? Especially if their culpability would be even further minimized by blaming the target of the authorities focus.. Lance Armstrong. I further dont accept that the competition of TDF is designed to assess who is the best. It may have started out with that ideology initially, but today its all about money and business. The only reason big businesses sponsor any top athlete is to generate more business and more money for the company first and foremost. Nothing altruistic about it at all. That the athlete or sport being sponsored enjoys a monetary benefit is just a happy spin-off. Lets also not forget that there are many innocent people sitting on death row for crimes they did not commit despite common belief. We just dont know the absolute truth of the Lance Armstrong story yet; the story behind the story.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-23 16:26

      Hincapie, Barry, Lapenheimer, Andreau, Danielson, Vande Velde, Zabriskie, Vaughters. Many of these were not caught and could have gone unnoticed. Many stand to gain nothing by claiming they were coerced by Lance, because they neednt have implicated themselves in the first place. The fact that teams get sponsorship and some get more than others is besides the point because that is limited to the team and how good it is. Drawing a comparason between that and drugs doesnt make sense to me. Sponsorships is determined by how good you are. Drugs influences the extent to which how good you can be - how is this fair when some acknowlegde that this is not according to the rules? The comparason to death row also confuses me. I agree that no one should die for no reason, but it also suggests that we dont know for sure that Lance cheated. I would just encourage you go read the entire USADA report, I humbly suggest that it will give you much of the evidence you are looking for.

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-10-23 15:21

    @ Tyron, There are absolutely times when it is appropriate and acceptable to 'break the rules' and not blindly obey. But is it breaking the law or rules when none exist for the action you choose? I know of someone who, after a brain op in 1960 was prescribed Mandrax as part of the treatment. Many years later Mandrax was declared a banned substance worldwide and now you will end up in jail if caught with it in your possession. It would have been a travesty if this person was to have been retrospectively declared to have commited a crime and thrown in jail in 1990 for having used in as prescribed by the specialist in 1960.

      tyronlouw - 2012-10-23 16:35

      Are you suggesting that blood doping at the time (up until 2009) was appropriate and acceptable? Armstrong et al knew very well that what they were doing was breaking the rules - why do you think all cyclists kept it hush hush? Regarding the mandrax example, that person you knew was not using mandrax to cheat to win anything, use their position to coax money out of sponsors, to build up their empire. It woudl not have been retrospectively declared criminal because they knew what it was and there was methodology to its perscription and it resulted in no other gains other than health treatment. The thing with these performance drugs is while they did not know what drugs they were on (as we dont know now what drugs sportspeople are on), the overarching rule about illegality of using something that will unnaturally alter your performance still stands. As I said, the cyclists knew full well what they were doing. Even if Lance thought it was not illegal, why didnt/dosnt he come out and argue that point now?

  • colleen.balfour - 2012-10-23 18:23

    You used the example 120kpm vs 140kpm and my response that it can be appropriate in some instances to bend the rules was a generalisation answer in response to that example - no reference to blood doping issue. I agree that I may not know all the facts pertaining to this whole story but I prefer to wait for the dust to settle and ALL the facts to emerge before arriving at a fixed opinion. And I agree - why indeed did all the cyclists keep it hushed? What reason do they have now to 'confess'? Re the cyclists you named as having no ulterior motive for now confessing [subtext being that they are simply driven to do the right thing by their pure as driven snow hearts and troubled conscience] I dont blindly accept that assumption until its proven. Im sure there will be a book about this, probably many books by many of the participants and at some point in time, the full story will emerge. Hopefully! Thanks for the pleasant exchange of perspectives, its been informative and fun!

  • pages:
  • 1