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#101 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 13:49

I have been a keen follower of cycle racing since the days of Fausto Coppi, Hugo Koblet and Louison Bobet. Great riders who all used 'help' at sometime or another during their careers before it became illegal to do so. The reputations of those riders and others
like them are undiminished. The introduction and adoption of EPO changed things for the worse, and Armstrong is the classic example of industrial scale 'doping'. When he returned to the sport after his brave battle against cancer, he was indeed, a different rider. Able now to climb mountains and win three week stage races. Most followers of the sport smelled a rat, and the current revelations come as no surprise to many. This arrogant bully of a man will not be missed. It is a shame that he was able to do such harm to what is still, to me, the greatest of all sports.

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#102 Canuck

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 15:00

All sports are nothing more than entertainment. That (some of the) individuals dedicate themselves to excelling in the purest fashion does not remove the underlying fact that their feats are, for the most part, utterly irrelevant in the real world. It's interesting - like F1, but irrelevant, like F1.

#103 Canuck

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 19:40

Ah - yes. I was thinking about the achievements or developments. As a business it is remarkable.
Actually, that's what my post said (business recognition aside) - their feats are utterly irrelevant. As has been pointed out numerous times on this forum, road cars contain more technology than an F1 car hence my inclusion of "developments". Special track shoes or swim suits shave .001 seconds per lap provide no benefit to anyone not participating in the aforementioned spectacles - there is no transfer to daily life.

Edited by Canuck, 10 November 2012 - 19:49.


#104 Rasputin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:58

Come to think about it, is there any tangible evidence that Armstrong had cancer in the first place, or was it just a time-out to get doped-up?

#105 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:35

Come to think about it, is there any tangible evidence that Armstrong had cancer in the first place, or was it just a time-out to get doped-up?

If it was a conspiracy, then it wasn't a very good one. Armstrong first slipped up when he admitted to doping in front of another cyclist's wife while in the hospital.

#106 Canuck

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:08

And considering the (alleged) cost of one testicle, I think that's a price nobody is willing to pay for the sake of creating a doping environment. Besides, if the stories are to be believed, a huge number of people were doping without losing a nut.

#107 Fat Boy

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 18:05

Come to think about it, is there any tangible evidence that Armstrong had cancer in the first place, or was it just a time-out to get doped-up?


The entire point of the deal is that he was on all sorts of drugs _while_ competing.

#108 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:17

And considering the (alleged) cost of one testicle, I think that's a price nobody is willing to pay for the sake of creating a doping environment.

Well, that could be part of conspiracy. You can't see his scrotum on any of the photos of him that we know of. Was he hiding something?

#109 Canuck

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:19

:rotfl: :up:

#110 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 17:47

There seems to be enough rumbling going on in the background including so-called quotes from close associates of Armstrong to add credence to rumours that Lance's people are talking to USADA about making a deal that would include admissions in exchange for lightening of his entences.

If the rumours come to frution it mght be the step needed to fully peal back drug use at the top end of cycling.

Keep the news flowing as it might unfold.

Regards

#111 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 14:07

**** him. No plea bargain.

#112 Canuck

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 19:44

I think the best Twitter response so far has been something tonthe effect of "dictating the terms of your admission to actions you've already been determined guilty is neither a confession or contrition".

#113 Ben

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 13:23

So he dipped his toe in the water (re: a confession) realised the water was still too hot and f***** off again. Classy...

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#114 Magoo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 17:02

So he's going on Oprah, eh.

Well, that is the prescribed path for these cases. 1) Heartfelt and tearstained confessional on a Very Special Episode of Oprah or Ellen, then 2) the rounds of the evening talk shows to speak frankly and openly (and ad nauseum) about one's human frailties, then 3) a few turns on situation comedies playing oneself in self-deprecating roman a clef, etc, Then 4) a book, and 5) a book tour. Viola, full rehabilitation into one who can guest star on Iron Chef or Celebrity Apprentice with head held high.

Note that each one of these steps pays quite well. There's big money in sin, fall, and redemption.

#115 Fat Boy

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 17:50

I like the approach of Jacque Anquetil. From Wiki...

----------------------------------------------------

Anquetil took a forthright and controversial stand on the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He never hid that he took drugs and in a debate with a government minister on French television said only a fool would imagine it was possible to ride Bordeaux–Paris on just water.

He and other cyclists had to ride through "the cold, through heatwaves, in the rain and in the mountains", and they had the right to treat themselves as they wished, he said in a television interview, before adding:
“ "Leave me in peace; everybody takes dope." ”

There was implied acceptance of doping right to the top of the state: the president, Charles de Gaulle, said of Anquetil:
“ "Doping? What doping? Did he or did he not make them play the Marseillaise [the national anthem] abroad?" ”

#116 olliek88

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 17:56

He didn't just cheat - the man bullied and threatened people as a regular course of action. His actions are not those of a hero. Period.


:up:

And on several occasions he used his fight with cancer as a way to plead his innocence. How low can you go!

#117 ensign14

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:02

There was implied acceptance of doping right to the top of the state: the president, Charles de Gaulle, said of Anquetil:
“ "Doping? What doping? Did he or did he not make them play the Marseillaise [the national anthem] abroad?" ”

:lol: Vive le General.

#118 Tony Matthews

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:23

That makes a pleasant change to apologising for every supposed sin your country has commited against - ooh, anyone, centuries ago.

#119 desmo

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 21:21

So he's going on Oprah, eh.

Well, that is the prescribed path for these cases. 1) Heartfelt and tearstained confessional on a Very Special Episode of Oprah or Ellen, then 2) the rounds of the evening talk shows to speak frankly and openly (and ad nauseum) about one's human frailties, then 3) a few turns on situation comedies playing oneself in self-deprecating roman a clef, etc, Then 4) a book, and 5) a book tour. Viola, full rehabilitation into one who can guest star on Iron Chef or Celebrity Apprentice with head held high.

Note that each one of these steps pays quite well. There's big money in sin, fall, and redemption.


Yep. He's probably more famous than at any time prior. If his agency can't monetize that, he should shop around for new help.


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#120 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 14:14

Plus it offsets the money lost through cancelled deals and any has he has to return/is sued for. So it's the smart accounting move.

#121 Disgrace

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 16:00

Well he certainly won't be doing any confessing unless he wants to spend the rest of his life in court. I can't imagine him doing anything other than maintain his current ambiguity, in which case, this interview is of no interest.

#122 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:43

I don't know what to expect from the interview. It seems like Armstrong is way too committed to maintaining the lie. Even if most people don't believe it, at least for some there remains "plausible" deniability as long as he sticks to his story. There are also the legal dangers of confessing, both criminal and commercial. On the other hand, Magoo's calculus may also be in play here.

#123 Canuck

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:18

Spin it to win it - not just for game-shows anymore. Nobody with even the barest modicum of self-respect can look at all the available information about LA and doping and believe he didn't dope. Nobody. Not even his grandma. If you happen to believe him,pl ease drop me a line - I've got a machine built from carbon nanotubes and graphene that turns Canadian snow into pure gold. Happy to part with it for the right price. Cool feature - the technology used to build it makes it invisible and weightless. Careful you don't lose it on the way home, but if you do I can commission another one. For a price.

He has two choices here - admit what everyone now knows to be true, taking his legal and financial lumps and with suitable marketing savvy, come out of it reborn an every-man, boy-next-door redeemed hero, pocketing new lumps of gold as goes. Or...he can continue to deny what every court is likely to find him guilty of, take his legal and financial lumps and come out a bitter, twisted, financially and socially broken man.

What won't change? Lance Armstrong. In it to win, never give up, never say die. He can't beat the doping battle so win the PR war. The choice of Oprah should say everything about who he's trying to win over.

#124 flatlander48

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 23:05

Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France in '96. A while back, he admitted that he doped during the race but he still has his title. He helped Jan Ullrich win in '97, so it taints that title also. And, Ullrich himself was under investigation, but he retired at an opportune time and the investigation stopped. With the action to strip Armstrong, it's only fair to apply that to others.

#125 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:29

Well, what do you think of part 1 of the interview?

#126 Canuck

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:45

Sorry. I was out riding my bike in the snow. Missed it. Well...not so much "missed" as "couldn't be bothered".

#127 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:16

Well, what do you think of part 1 of the interview?

Lance is one creepy sociopath.

#128 simpson

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 18:28

Lance is one creepy sociopath.

That's the result of the win at any cost and winning is everything mentality.

#129 Fat Boy

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 18:37

Well, what do you think of part 1 of the interview?


Meh. It didn't really say much that wasn't already out there.

When you're on the world stage, you're not involved in sport. You're at war. There's a marked difference. He went to war with anyone that got in the way. There really should not be any question as to why. If he didn't have that mindset he would not have won the races. I've taken a glimpse as what it takes to compete at reasonable amateur level in bicycle racing. It's crazy hard and all consuming. I suppose I'm prone to taking racing pretty serious, but anything outside of cars I do strictly as entertainment. It's tough to race a bike as entertainment. To do it on the level that Lance did would, by definition, be all consuming.

It's like like someone talking about George Patton being an asshole. Of course he was an asshole! In either case, they wouldn't have been successful any other way.

Did Senna, Schumacher or Ron Dennis take any different approach? Of course not.

What I find amazingly self-righteous is all these pros coming out and acting shocked. Hell, Eddie Merckx is saying he's 'disappointed', etc. He did all sorts of drugs during his career. How could be possibly be surprised. These people just aren't this foolish. They're playing a role that they apparently feel like they need to play.


#130 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 18:40

I'm more turned off by his scorched earth approach. Yeah he had to push back to protect the lie and hiding in plain sight is the best strategy, but jesus dude you're not a small time mafia boss.

#131 Fat Boy

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 20:05

I'm more turned off by his scorched earth approach. Yeah he had to push back to protect the lie and hiding in plain sight is the best strategy, but jesus dude you're not a small time mafia boss.


He took the approach that many politicians took when they are caught with their pants down. They don't address the allegation, they attack the accuser. Why not? It's effective.

Incidentally, that is what this is all about. It has nothing to do with Lance wanting to get his ban reduced so he can do age-group triathlons when he's 50. He's going into politics. It's just a matter of time. You heard it here first.

If he wants competition, he should get into chess or the World Series of Poker. He'd be good.

#132 Bob Riebe

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 22:46

Lance is one creepy sociopath.

That makes him predictable, now Barry Bonds that is sleaze.



#133 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 23:48

If he wants competition, he should get into chess or the World Series of Poker. He'd be good.

Of course he'll be good. Who wants to crack his AA and get sued into oblivion by his pack of lawyers?

#134 Canuck

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 18:45

He took the approach that many politicians took when they are caught with their pants down. They don't address the allegation, they attack the accuser. Why not? It's effective.

Incidentally, that is what this is all about. It has nothing to do with Lance wanting to get his ban reduced so he can do age-group triathlons when he's 50. He's going into politics. It's just a matter of time. You heard it here first.

If he wants competition, he should get into chess or the World Series of Poker. He'd be good.

I was going to say that I'd be amazed if he was elected to public office but then you guys elected Bush (and thus Cheney) twice so...

There was a great article on deadspin about Armstrong. We want to see him suffer because he's an asshole - a first class, king-sized asshole in fact. His refusal to apologise to the Andreus and admit they were telling the truth speaks volumes about the kind of prick this guy is. "I said you were crazy and that you were a bitch, but I never called you fat - I never said that". That's an apology?

To suggest you require this sociopathic mindset to compete at the highest echelons of sport is a disservice to the rest that do and aren't. I don't expect my special forces soldiers to be the boy next door - I want them to get a good nights sleep after killing the baddies, but sport isn't war, it's sport. I do expect those that spend their lives in pursuit of being the best at an otherwise meaningless activity to be competitive, to be ruthless in competition and to understand where to draw the line.

George St. Pierre is the best in the MMA business these days. A superb athlete and skilled fighter who is skilled not only at winning, but at punishing his opponents (Matt Sera, 2nd meeting). Yet, this man who is far more of a physical threat than a 140-pound cyclist with the upper body strength of a starved POW, is a polite, genial and modest man. That is a man. Lance Armstrong is not.

#135 Tony Matthews

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 19:03

^ Good post.

#136 Magoo

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:47

I was going to say that I'd be amazed if he was elected to public office but then you guys elected Bush (and thus Cheney) twice so...


not me.


#137 munks

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:29

To suggest you require this sociopathic mindset to compete at the highest echelons of sport is a disservice to the rest that do and aren't.


Agreed, good post. You gave one example, I'll give another since he just died today: Stan Musial. One doesn't have to be an asshole to be awesome.

#138 Canuck

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:14

not me.

I suppose a better statement on my part would have been "almost 50% of Americans" ;-)

#139 phoenix101

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:21

I was going to say that I'd be amazed if he was elected to public office but then you guys elected Bush (and thus Cheney) twice so...


If socialism is powerful medicine for the people, it's better to gamble on your own immune system and vote for someone who doesn't believe in medicine than to vote for a party of quacks. Maybe someday things will change, but until then, we spend mountains of money to make society more sick. As the side effects manifest themselves, the prescription is always more medication. This metaphor could be taken literally as well.

Speaking of quacks and bad meds, I'm disappointed in this entire Lance Armstrong story. I don't know what the cycling community are thinking. Everyone blood dopes. Everyone takes pills that skirt or break the rules. Everyone sleeps in hyperbaric chambers. For a decade, they let Armstrong cheat so they could get rich. The officials are not creating the appearance of integrity and sportsmanship with this prosecution. They create the appearance of people who are hellbent on enforcing bad rules for political reasons.

When Armostrong had cancer they zapped him with potentially lethal radiation. Blood transfusions are too dangerous? This is an aesthetic decision to improve political optics. US sports agencies pull the same BS. The players generate billions, but when they sustain abnormally gruesome injuries from competition, some of the best medicines are withheld b/c the league needs to send the right message to the kids.

The kids on Ritalin and Adderall? Take away their diplomas and degrees. They are frauds. We shouldn't have to compete against them.

There is no moral to this Armstrong story. No good. No bad. No justice. Only stupid, and we're surrounded by it.

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#140 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:40

I'd certainly punish students that are taking controlled substances without a prescription.

#141 Fat Boy

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 16:27

To suggest you require this sociopathic mindset to compete at the highest echelons of sport is a disservice to the rest that do and aren't.

George St. Pierre is the best in the MMA business these days. A superb athlete and skilled fighter


While sociopathic mindsets are not a prerequisite to compete at the highest echelons of sport, it is very, very common. I wish it weren't true, but it is.

GSP is an awesome athlete and an all-around bad-ass. UFC is just not a big enough stage to bring out the real loons, I suspect. The money there is dwarfed even by PRIDE.

It's easy to point fingers at cycling for its doping, but the only difference between cycling and any other popular sport on the planet is that they've been more open. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, track/field, any fighting(boxing, Muay Thia, MMA, etc.) are all rife with doping. To think otherwise is being very naive.

#142 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 17:26

Eventually we're going to have a steroid scandal in high school sports. It has to be going on already and there isn't enough money to keep people quiet forever.

#143 Fat Boy

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 19:07

Eventually we're going to have a steroid scandal in high school sports. It has to be going on already and there isn't enough money to keep people quiet forever.



Ever watch that documentary _Bigger, Faster, Stronger_? It's a very good show.

You're right about the high school thing. Sick, but true. They won't catch them if they never test. It's easy enough to just stick your head in the sand and talk about how hard these kids work out while ignoring the elephant in the corner.

#144 Tony Matthews

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 19:10

... the elephant in the corner.

Don't tell me those gentle giants are doing drugs too! Where will it all end?

#145 Canuck

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 20:37

While sociopathic mindsets are not a prerequisite to compete at the highest echelons of sport, it is very, very common. I wish it weren't true, but it is.

GSP is an awesome athlete and an all-around bad-ass. UFC is just not a big enough stage to bring out the real loons, I suspect. The money there is dwarfed even by PRIDE.

It's easy to point fingers at cycling for its doping, but the only difference between cycling and any other popular sport on the planet is that they've been more open. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, track/field, any fighting(boxing, Muay Thia, MMA, etc.) are all rife with doping. To think otherwise is being very naive.

There's nothing there I take issue with but that wasn't what I understood from your earlier comment "It's like like someone talking about George Patton being an asshole. Of course he was an asshole! In either case, they wouldn't have been successful any other way.". The message there being that LA or anyone else striving to be a champion HAD to be that guy. I don't buy that argument. Greg Lemond, though appearing slightly unhinged from time to time (as one might after being the victim of Lance's focused psychopathic attention) wasn't a kindred soul to Lance and he too won the Tour.

If on the other hand you're saying "when the reward is big enough, the population at large will allow psychopaths the power to wreak carnage wherever they travel" - this I agree with. The cycling community let Lance get away with his shit because it was good for business. Now they're crying that Tygart and Walsh et al are "ruining the sport" as if it were them that were guilty. Cycling is simply reaping what they've sowed for so long.

"Everybody" wasn't doping - that's such a tired and weak argument, not to mention factually incorrect. "those that weren't were never going to win anyway" - what disgusting tripe. A though they don't count despite racing at the highest echelons of the sport because their moral fortitude to compete honestly over-rode their desire to win. If PEDs are okay, how about I hire people to interfere with other riders? Training "accidents", loose dogs on the course, errant tacks. If we're willing to accept PEDs as bringing a greater spectacle and "improving" the sport, why draw a line there? Win by any means necessary as long as the rest of us are entertained. It's not competition after all, it's entertainment. Might as well script it WWE style.

I'm a fan of PEDs if I'm honest, particularly for personal use. If you can pay $6000 for a new pair of boobs, why can't I buy a prescribed course of anabolic steroids and support drugs so that I too can "improve my self-esteem" and look good naked? I genuinely don't see the difference. If I'm not competing in sport - get the eff out of my way and let me get lean, ripped and strong the easier way. You get your lipo, your gastric bypass, stomach stapling, nose job, lip-pump, hair dye, saline implants etc. and I'll hit the gym with some chemical assistance (actually, the last two years of riding the wheels off my bikes have completely removed any desire to be huge - I'm almost as light as I was 20 years ago).

#146 flatlander48

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 22:59

There's nothing there I take issue with but that wasn't what I understood from your earlier comment "It's like like someone talking about George Patton being an asshole. Of course he was an asshole! In either case, they wouldn't have been successful any other way.". The message there being that LA or anyone else striving to be a champion HAD to be that guy. I don't buy that argument. Greg Lemond, though appearing slightly unhinged from time to time (as one might after being the victim of Lance's focused psychopathic attention) wasn't a kindred soul to Lance and he too won the Tour.


Just note that it was a very different era regarding drug usage...

From ESPN, paraphrasing from Laurent Fignon's book, We Were Young and Carefree

"In the book, Fignon admitted to doping, describing drug-taking in the 1980s as widespread. He said it was recreational rather than performance-enhancing -- aided by the strong Colombian involvement in cycling at the time and accompanied by large quantities of cocaine.He said doping in cycling was revolutionized by the arrival of the blood-booster EPO in the early '90s. Fignon said he refused to take it and retired from competition in 1993 when he realized that mediocre riders were now keeping up with him."



#147 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:14

It's easier to be clean when you can still win while being clean. It's when the choice is between cheating and leaving the sport that ethical dilemma becomes impossible for professional athletes.

#148 Canuck

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:33

Only because we continue to give cheaters an "Uhm...I didn't see nothin' " pass as long they entertain us or enrich our bank accounts. I suppose it speaks to a wider issue with ethics and economics. If we hung cheaters by booting them out and eliminating them from future competition ala Armstrong.

#149 flatlander48

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 23:58

But, you can only check for what you know about right now. Tomorrow may bring a new drug that someone will have to figure out a way to defect. It's always in catch-up mode.

#150 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 00:28

Only because we continue to give cheaters an "Uhm...I didn't see nothin' " pass as long they entertain us or enrich our bank accounts. I suppose it speaks to a wider issue with ethics and economics. If we hung cheaters by booting them out and eliminating them from future competition ala Armstrong.


But if he gets away with the loot...