Lance Armstrong.

(257 Posts)
diddl Fri 24-Aug-12 08:23:19

What on earth is going on?

If he hasn´t failed a drug test, how can he be found guilty just because he can´t be bothered to fight any more?

Is it an admission of guilt?

If the USADA has evidence-where is it-why haven´t they produced it or is it all just rumour/hearsay?

Pedallleur Fri 24-Aug-12 10:38:08

He is indeed v.influential with an army of lawyers and supposedly a 'strong' personality. He has tried various legal means to stop this case proceeding and prob. some roundabout ways as well. There is proof supposedly from witnesses to the practices incl. a couple of v.reliable team mates. It's a long -running story that needs reading if you can be bothered. Yes, he probably (almost certainly) was boosting his performance but so were his rivals and it was 'acceptable' in certain quarters but don't talk about it.

somebloke123 Fri 24-Aug-12 10:53:31

If he is stripped of his titles, who if anyone will be instated retrospectively as winners for those years?

An obvious answer might be whoever came second. For example I think Andy Schleck was later given the title after Contador was disqualified after "winning" a couple of years ago.

But if most people were at it anyway then the decision might be a complicated one.

ChairOfTheBored Fri 24-Aug-12 11:13:13

I really don't know what to think about all of this. As a cycling fan the whole 'Lance issue' has been hanging over the sport for so long now. Maybe this will mean it dies down and we can get back to focussing on the sport, which is now undoubtedly much cleaner than it ever has been (and potentially cleaner than lots of sports which don't get nearly the same level of scrutiny as cycling).

I don't know that the USDA have the right to strip him of the TdF titles, and even if they do, who wins? In a literal sense do we know enough about who was racing clean back then to declare a winner, or do we just have to right off an era of racing, and look to the future of a cleaner sport, thanks in part to those who did once dope but now commit much effort to cleaning up the sport (David Millar and others). If there is one criticism of Lance it is that irrespective of his doping status, he could have been much more active in helping the sport clean up in the past 10 years.

The biggest issue with this outcome for me is that it means the whole question remains unanswered. Those who believe, passionately, that he did dope will continue to do so, and those who protest his innocence won't have changed their minds.

And so it continues.

wannaBe Fri 24-Aug-12 15:25:10

USADA have said that they are going to reveal their evidence anyway. And the world anti doping agency head has said that Armstrong should be stripped of his titles.

I just don't know why someone would be prepared to give up everything they had worked for over the years, through adversity etc, give up their titles, affect their own reputation, affect the reputation of their charity (and people will think twice about giving to his charity because of this). It doesn't make any sense.

Tiago Fri 24-Aug-12 15:37:08

"I just don't know why someone would be prepared to give up everything they had worked for over the years, through adversity etc, give up their titles, affect their own reputation, affect the reputation of their charity (and people will think twice about giving to his charity because of this). It doesn't make any sense."

Actually it does make pefect sense. It has been going on for years, has to be causing him stress, draining the enjoyment out of his life, and would require him to fight a case where it will be 'he said, she said' with people giving 'evidence' against him after they have been offered deals by the prosecutors.

His position, from his statement, is that he knows he is innocent, but no longer has the energy and will to fight. It amazes me that people have decided that it is an admission of guilt - I read it as an admission of litigation fatigue. He has had enough.Nothing he says apparently makes any difference so he is choosing to walk away.

diddl Fri 24-Aug-12 16:23:50

Oh yes, I can quite see why he might have given up & it not be an admission of guilt.

If his titles are taken away though, I will be thinking that there is something.

EldritchCleavage Fri 24-Aug-12 17:09:06

*I´ve just read a comment by a reader in the DM blush which says that some blood from 1999 was retested in 2006 & was found positive for EPO.

If so, then why wasn´t he stripped of the title for that year?*

For a positive test to result in a ban there must be enough of the sample left for teh athlete to be able to do his own independent tests, I think. So when you give a sample it is split into A adn B. Both are stored away in a lab. The doping authorities test sample A. The athlete can commission tests into sample B from an independent lab. You are only banned if BOTH tests are positive (remember British Athlete Diane Modahl? I think she was told she'd failed but the B test came up negative and she was reinstated.

The French (not biased at all, oh no) hauled out a lot of LA's historic B samples and apparently they came up positive for banned substances/blood doping. LA could not face any action over this because there was no sample left for independent testing. But it fueled the French antipathy to him because they felt they'd demonstrated he wasn't clean.

wannaBe Fri 24-Aug-12 17:34:58

nope, makes no sense.

You can't have it both ways - either he is innocent and is prepared to fight that to maintain his reputation, or he's not and he's prepared to give up the fight and essentially admit his guilt.

It all seemed a bit dodgy at the time there appeared to be questionable evidence and he was maintaining his innocence, but at the point he held his hands up and said no more he as good as admitted guilt IMO. You can't just say "well, I didn't do it, but here, here's all my titles and medals and the x amount of money (he will have to repay that too) that I earned during my time in the tour, but I didn't do anything, honest," and expect people to believe that.

Nancy66 Fri 24-Aug-12 17:53:56

There's been a big question mark over Armstrong for many years. I suspect he probably is guilty.

From a drugs perspective the Tour de France has always been a very dirty race.

onedev Fri 24-Aug-12 18:02:38

I agree with Tiago though - litigation fatigue wouldn't surprise me. If they were all at it, it really seems like a witch hunt & that must take its toll.

I feel disappointed all round really.

cartimandua Fri 24-Aug-12 18:11:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Fri 24-Aug-12 18:17:29

But wannabe someone has to actually plead guilty in court for there to be no case at all made. If they just refuse to talk in court or whatever (apart from being in contempt of court maybe) then wouldn't all the other evidence be gone through anyway to determine guilt or innocence?

Isn't this more like a libel case where a newspaper might settle out if court but still maintain they weren't in the wrong?

albertswearengen Fri 24-Aug-12 18:17:54

There are 10 of his former team mates who are willing to testify that he doped. The USADA have blood samples from 2009 and 2010 which are "fully consistent" with doping. Armstrong is notoriously litigative and has had a large team of lawyers working for him for years. Strange he suddenly doesn't want to use them. If he contests it everything will come out and his reputation will never survive. If he does this then there will be people who believe it is all one big conspiracy.
By all accounts he is arrogant and a bully. You should read what happened Greg Lemond when he spoke out about Armstrong's association with Michael Ferrari. The argument that he had to dope because everyone else did it is no defence. It was illegal and wrong and he gambled on the fact he wouldn't be found out.

albertswearengen Fri 24-Aug-12 18:18:59

Michele not Michael. My inlaws have been here too long.

cartimandua Fri 24-Aug-12 18:54:44

Yes indeed, Albert. This is a man who is not afraid to use the law to intimidate and silence. Litigation fatigue has nothing to do with it. The fact is that for once he can't call the shots. He is not the one in control any more, so he won't play. He is trying to prevent the truth coming out and trying to retain that good old plausible deniability. "Most tested athlete" - he wasn't. "Never failed a drug test" - he did. Now we will have "Never found guilty".

By the way, USADA is the Anti-Doping Agency. It holds tribunals and is not an actual court of law. Armstrong signed up to accept USADA's jurisdiction in doping matters some years ago.

The Tour titles don't have to be awarded to anyone. What happens will be down to the ASO and they could just declare no winner for those years. (Strange how many believe that a squeaky-clean Armstrong kept beating all those nasty dopers year after year...)

I for one don't believe he was squeaky clean and I think a person would have to be quite naive to. However I do believe that when he won his titles most other top cyclists were dopers too and that levels the playing field somewhat.

I don't agree with how he handles himself and I do think was a powerful bully whose grasp is slipping but I do think he still made an incredible achievement if you believe they were on a level playing field.

fivegomadindorset Fri 24-Aug-12 20:50:25

USADA do not have the power to strip him of his titles but are asking the Cycling federation to do so. I still think something is very iffy about all of this. If you are clean you fight to the bitter end.

lljkk Fri 24-Aug-12 20:57:26

Does it come down to his word against the ten or so? Do numbers trump anything LA would have to say, so he thinks why bother?
I have this gut feeling that he was "dirty" early in his run of wins, but clean for later ones. That would be rather ironic.

merrymouse Sat 25-Aug-12 05:58:43

Even if he is innocent, he won the Tour during an era when, it seems, for the majority of riders you couldn't be a top professional and ride clean. With or without his official titles, he was taking part in something that became a farce.

I think there comes a point where, whether the allegations against Lance Armstrong can be proved or not, just admission by his team mates that there was routine doping in his team, and the number of other top riders who have been found to be doping taints his wins.

I think the race organisers also have to bear a large amount of responsibility for allowing the farce to continue.

Just hope another 'undetectable' drug doesn't come along any time soon.

Sparrowp Sat 25-Aug-12 15:28:31

13 years does sound a long time. Who is the USADA, anyone heard of them before?

NovackNGood Sat 25-Aug-12 17:06:43

If it looks like a duck walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it probably is a duck.

Animation Mon 27-Aug-12 07:25:34

When I read this story it said more to me about this USADA than the truth of the matter. Saying he must be guilty because he's not fighting back sounds like an immature bullying tactic.

Yes, what is he fighting? - a bunch of bulliies I think trying to push him around with their black and white thinking - like they're a law unto themselves. He does right to walk away.

He successfully overcame cancer, and I should imagine it gives him a perspective on life where he choses his own battles. And he'll have needed to take plenty of medication during that time. Was it good medication or bad medication I don't know, but this doesn't strike me as a black and white situation.

maillotjaune Mon 27-Aug-12 09:50:01

I have much admiration for Armstrong's actions to raise money for and support those with cancer.

But in cycling terms he was a bully. His former team mates would not have spoken earlier due to fear of his power. This is not a French conspiracy against an unpopular American.

I don't know if he doped, although I think it is very possible given his associations and consistent success on a dark era for cycling. And I don't buy this litigation fatigue - here us a man with money and connections who has fought hard to suppress any negative publicity, why give up? Something must have changed.

Allegedly the way he got round doping tests was to have an IV drip of saline after he'd taken the drugs so by the time he was tested the results would be diluted to normal levels. Don't have any knowlege of the drugs he was on or how they metabolise so this could be wrong.

Alos at the time the pressure on team mates to keep schtum for "the good of the team" was immense. Now they have no team loyalty they're all coming out of the woodwork to spill the beans & say what they've witnessed.

Whatever the truth it should have been dealt with at the time & put to one side to avoid the shadow over the sport.

nocake Mon 27-Aug-12 10:02:09

Animation, the only bully in this is Armstrong. USADA are simply doing their job, investigating drug use in athletics.

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