Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Deckerd, Aug 24, 2012.
Armstrong is not liked because of his attitude. It's playing against him.
Because they don't have the right to do that. This is exactly the reason why Armstrong is being a whiny baby now and refuses to cooperate. Because he doesn't want the evidence to get public.
Because the USADA alleges a doping conspiracy, not individual instances of doping. A conspiracy that went on from 1998 way up to 2009.
Hamilton and Landis lost everything.
And yes, Armstrong was worse, because he was the ringleader, the instigator, and the guardian of the omerta.
And you are exaggerating. He won't contest the accusations of cheating, so he loses his titles. That is not tantamount to a prison sentence, no matter how unpleasant it may be for him.
Supposedly USPS handed around white lunchboxes with doping products. If you're a USPS rider, you'll have a pretty good idea what's in Armstrong's package. Also if you see Armstrong transfusing half a litre of blood on the team bus, there's not much room for speculation.
Plus: You don't know what USADA knows. They might well have his suppliers as well.
Surviving cancer and coming back stronger is not suspicious. What it did was set in motion "extreme motivation." The guy had to fight for his life. And in doing so, it provided greater motivation and drive to come back, in fact enough to come back stronger. The body is capable of healing itself, and he was young enough to not only rebuild his muscles and toning but to improve upon it. Whether or not it was "super human", meaning helped with drugs, or just a case of raw unbridled determination is what is difficult to know for sure at this point.
Now, did he use drugs to help him do that? It's possible. Was he and his support team clever enough to figure out how to foil the screening tests and not get caught? Possibly. Did that mean at the very least it would be exposed to his teammates, creating a vulnerability that might come back to bite him later? Perhaps. I don't think you can dope completely in private. When you do it, noticeable changes take place not only in visible musculature but also in ability. If someone suddenly leap frogs ahead of his peers, it will look suspicious.
What really looks suspicious to me is why he is giving up the fight NOW. What is different? He claims he is tired of the unfair and perpetual slams against his character, that they haven't found any conclusive evidence and yet the case against him continues. Is there no statute of limitations in these things? There probably ought to be.
"The antidoping agency also said it had blood test results of Armstrong’s from 2009 and 2010 that were consistent with doping." Really. Why weren't they brought up in 2009 and 2010? Test results don't take that long to become conclusive. "Consistent with doping", not "evidence of doping." What they're trying to say is that his blood readings didn't show direct evidence of drugs but rather the characteristics that would be present AFTER doping. Would this be conclusive, that the readings would not appear as detected under normal circumstances? If that is possible to prove, then there could very well be a solid case against him. But again, I wonder why it took so long. In any event, I wonder if this is what is scaring Armstrong this time enough to quit fighting.
Also, given the decay of trust across agencies that we've previously long considered trustworthy, it does bring to question whether or not Travis Tygart is conducting a "witch hunt" and may have tampered with samples just to prove his case. Do they have really tight controls to prevent that from happening? I wonder...
I don't know what the financial stakes are in the Tour de France for those companies and organizations who sponsor teams. Does anyone know? Is the system (sponsors, management, doctors, big pharma, etc) corrupt to the point of demanding that athletes participate in deliberate schemes to cheat the system with doping, or do athletes take it upon themselves to dope up?
It's also curious how the USADA dope screening tests are apparently lacking, as a number of athletes have been after the fact for doping. Is the desperation to cheat the system so powerful that any test can be cheated?
Performance enhancing drugs are not unique to cycling. We've seen it revealed in other sports like baseball, football, and soccer. Perhaps the fault lies not with the athletes but with the system that is determined to win at all costs, which demands that athletes run faster, jump higher, and increase endurance beyond what is humanly impossible without pharmaceutical assistance.
Nope, considering how destructive chemiotherapy is for the organism, he came back too soon to be true.
The story sounds nice and was made to sound nice.
Everyone who's asking "if the finger of suspicion has been over him for so long, why is the hammer falling now?" it's because he's stopped contesting it. I suspect he's stopped because he can't win. He's saying it's because he's tired of fighting it but if you have the reputation and adulation he has, you would fight till your last breath to defend it. Goodness knows he has legions of supporters who would back him all the way. He's in a corner and the only way he can escape with a shred of dignity is to say "you have sapped my will to fight, I don't care any more". Considering his motto could be "against all odds" this is an uncharateristically pusillanimous decision. In other words, shyeah right.
It's an old story by now: The cyclists and their doctors and labs were on the leading edge of these doping techniques, and the regulators were playing catch-up. The tests were not adequate because they had to be specifically tuned to known substances, and the substances were being changed, modified and newly formulated all the time. With the regulatory tools that existed at the time, the statement "I never failed a test" seems less than compelling.
Where I come down is the same as baseball: If there's a major aspect of your sport that's hidden, shadowy and secretive, there's something wrong. Its purpose is to cheat. There's plenty of evidence that was the state that existed -- and may still exist to some extent -- in professional cycling. There's testimony that Armstrong was involved in that world. And if he wasn't doping -- and I agree the evidence if far from beyond a reasonable doubt standard -- he did noting to correct the situation, either.
Not only that, if he fights it and loses, he'd have to pay back at least some of his winnings. By walking away, he doesn't take that risk.
I don't think this dramatically changes anything. As indicated in this thread, those who already believed he cheated will feel vindicated and those who don't believe he cheated will question the evidence or the process. I think it's probable he cheated, but it's certainly possible that he came back from surviving cancer motivated to win (actually, even if he did cheat, he still came back from cancer motivated to win. I suspect there were plenty of cheaters in this time period who didn't have cancer and failed to win). So it probably doesn't say much.
I'm curious how the taking away titles thing works. If you look in a Sports Alminac under Tour de France, does it list the winner as blank or does it list Armstrong and indicate that he was later stripped?
He had hundreds (at minimum) of tests in his entire career and never failed one? Yeh what a cheat. The last time I chekced hearsay was not enough to convict anyone.
Jon Vaughters, a guy who would know, recently answered the question: "is it possible to say at least if USPS was doping during the domination they were at least on a level playing field?" with "I could not go along with that theory. No."
I think that's all that needs to be said about this.
The idea that Armstrong trained harder or better than anyone else is ridiculous. Cycling is an old sport, there's no revolutionary sports science there.
There are so many things that aren't or weren't detectable by normal doping tests to make this statement meaningless. (the bio-passport is better, but only provides indirect evidence, which you would call "hearsay" if it relates to an athlete you like).
Also: 500 tests? Bullshit.
And keep this in mind:
Pretty much, yeah. It'll be interesting to see for how long this damages his "brand," if much at all.
I think getting stripped of his TdF titles will destroy his 'brand'. This man was a global hero; hell he was a hero in France - how often does that happen to anyone who isn't French?
Well, as Alidar suggested people tend to choose their sides and hang on to what they're already inclined to believe. Didn't someone recently post links around here to an article discussing the ineffectiveness of factual argument in changing people's long-held beliefs and opinions?
But yeah, he's probably toast in France. There's that.
I don't think it's that funny. For years in the late 90's I was reading about people who were totally inspired by this man and his battle against cancer.
The foundation was always bogus as well, just a vehicle to increase his PR value.
And this foundation of his apparently raises oodles of money for cancer care and education, something like fifty million a year. Hopefully that doesn't take too much of a hit since it's worthwhile. Apparently Nike is sticking with him and it, for now - but then, they're running out of "suitable role models" pretty quickly over there, I think.
Separate names with a comma.