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bigross86
24 Aug 12,, 11:09
USADA to strip Lance Armstrong of 7 Tour titles
(http://sports.yahoo.com/news/usada-strip-lance-armstrong-7-tour-titles-031949504--spt.html)


USADA to strip Lance Armstrong of 7 Tour titles

By JIM VERTUNO | Associated Press 3 hours ago

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) With stunning swiftness, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday night it will strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he dropped his fight against drug charges that threatened his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.

Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive, said Armstrong would also be hit with a lifetime ban on Friday. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, he could lose other awards, event titles and cash earnings while the International Olympic Committee might look at the bronze medal he won in the 2000 Games.

Armstrong, who retired last year, effectively dropped his fight by declining to enter USADA's arbitration process his last option because he said he was weary of fighting accusations that have dogged him for years. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests he passed as proof of his innocence while piling up Tour titles from 1999 to 2005.

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."

"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he said. "The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today finished with this nonsense."

USADA reacted quickly and treated Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, hanging the label of drug cheat on an athlete who was a hero to thousands for overcoming life-threatening testicular cancer and for his foundation's support for cancer research.

"It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and athletes," Tygart said. "It's a heartbreaking example of win at all costs overtaking the fair and safe option. There's no success in cheating to win."

Tygart said the agency had the power to strip the Tour titles, though Armstrong disputed that.

"USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles," he said. "I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours."

Still to be heard from was the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union, which had backed Armstrong's legal challenge to USADA's authority and in theory could take the case before the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Tygart said UCI was "bound to recognize our decision and impose it" as a signer of the World Anti-Doping Code.

"They have no choice but to strip the titles under the code," he said.

USADA maintains that Armstrong has used banned substances as far back as 1996, including the blood-booster EPO and steroids as well as blood transfusions all to boost his performance.

The 40-year-old Armstrong walked away from the sport in 2011 without being charged following a two-year federal criminal investigation into many of the same accusations he faces from USADA.

The federal probe was closed in February, but USADA announced in June it had evidence Armstrong used banned substances and methods and encouraged their use by teammates. The agency also said it had blood tests from 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent" with blood doping.

Included in USADA's evidence were emails written by Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive drug test. Landis' emails to a USA Cycling official detailed allegations of a complex doping program on the team.

USADA also said it had 10 former Armstrong teammates ready to testify against him. Other than suggesting they include Landis and Tyler Hamilton, both of whom have admitted to doping offenses, the agency has refused to say who they are or specifically what they would say.

"There is zero physical evidence to support (the) outlandish and heinous claims," Armstrong said. "The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of (doping) controls I have passed with flying colors."

Armstrong sued USADA in Austin, where he lives, in an attempt to block the case and was supported by the UCI. A judge threw out the case on Monday, siding with USADA despite questioning the agency's pursuit of Armstrong in his retirement.

"USADA's conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives," such as politics or publicity, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks wrote.

Even if UCI and USADA differ on the Tour titles, the ultra-competitive Armstrong has still done something virtually unthinkable for him: He quit before a fight is over.

It was a stunning move for an athlete who built his reputation on not only beating cancer, but forcing himself through grueling offseason workouts no one else could match, then crushing his rivals in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

"Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances," he said. "I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities."

Armstrong could have pressed his innocence in USADA's arbitration process, which would have included a hearing during which evidence against him would have been presented. But the cyclist has said he believes most people have already made up their minds about whether he's a fraud or a persecuted hero.

Although he had already been crowned a world champion and won individual stages at the Tour de France, Armstrong was still relatively unknown in the U.S. until he won the epic race for the first time in 1999. It was the ultimate comeback tale: When diagnosed with cancer, doctors had given him less than a 50 percent chance of survival before surgery and brutal cycles of chemotherapy saved his life.

Armstrong's riveting victories, his work for cancer awareness and his gossip-page romances with rocker Sheryl Crow, fashion designer Tory Burch and actress Kate Hudson made him a figure who transcended sports.

His dominance of the Tour de France elevated the sport's popularity in America to unprecedented levels. His story and success helped sell millions of the "Livestrong" plastic yellow wrist bracelets, and enabled him to enlist lawmakers and global policymakers to promote cancer awareness and research. His Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised nearly $500 million since its founding in 1997.

Jeffery C. Gervey, chairman of the foundation, issued a statement of support saying:

"Faced with a biased process whose outcome seems predetermined, Lance chose to put his family and his foundation first," Gervey said. "The leadership of the Lance Armstrong Foundation remain incredibly proud of our founder's achievements, both on and off the bike."

Created in 2000, USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States. Its investigators joined U.S. agents during the federal investigation of Armstrong. Tygart dismissed Armstrong's lawsuit as an attempt at "concealing the truth," saying the agency is motivated by one goal exposing cheaters.

Armstrong had tense public disputes with USADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, some former teammates and assistants and even Greg LeMond, the first American to win the Tour de France.

"He had a right to contest the charges," WADA President John Fahey said after Armstrong's announcement. "He chose not to. The simple fact is that his refusal to examine the evidence means the charges had substance in them."

Others close to Armstrong were caught up in the investigations, too: Johan Bruyneel, the coach of Armstrong's teams, and three members of the medical staff and a consultant were also charged. Bruyneel is taking his case to arbitration, while two medical team staffers and consulting doctor Michele Ferrari didn't formally contest the charges and were issued lifetime ban by USADA. Ferrari later said he was innocent.

Questions surfaced even as Armstrong was on his way to his first Tour victory. He was leading the 1999 race when a trace amount of a banned anti-inflammatory corticosteroid was found in his urine; cycling officials said he was authorized to use a small amount of a cream to treat saddle sores.

After Armstrong's second victory in 2000, French judicial officials investigated his Postal Service team for drug use. That investigation ended with no charges, but the allegations kept coming.

Armstrong was criticized for his relationship with Ferrari, who was banned by Italian authorities over doping charges in 2002. Former personal and team assistants accused Armstrong of having steroids in an apartment in Spain and disposing of syringes that were used for injections.

In 2004, a Dallas-based promotions company initially refused to pay him a $5 million bonus for winning his sixth Tour de France because it wanted to investigate allegations raised by media in Europe. Testimony in that case included former teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, saying Armstrong told doctors during his 1996 cancer treatments that he had taken a cornucopia of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.

Two books published in Europe, "L.A. Confidential" and "L.A. Official," also raised doping allegations and, in 2005, French magazine L'Equipe reported that retested urine samples from the 1999 Tour showed EPO use.

Armstrong fought every accusation with denials and, in some cases, lawsuits against media outlets that reported them.

He retired in 2005 and almost immediately considered a comeback before deciding to stay on the sidelines in part because he didn't want to keep answering doping questions.

"I'm sick of this," Armstrong said in 2005. "Sitting here today, dealing with all this stuff again, knowing if I were to go back, there's no way I could get a fair shake on the roadside, in doping control, or the labs."

Three years later, Armstrong was 36 and itching to ride again. He came back to finish third in the 2009 Tour de France.

Armstrong raced again in 2010 under the cloud of the federal investigation. Early last year, he quit the sport for good, making a brief return as a triathlete until the USADA investigation shut him down.

During his sworn testimony in the dispute over the $5 million bonus, Armstrong said he wouldn't take drugs because he had too much to lose.

"(The) faith of all the cancer survivors around the world. Everything I do off the bike would go away, too," Armstrong said then. "And don't think for a second I don't understand that. It's not about money for me. Everything. It's also about the faith that people have put in me over the years. So all of that would be erased."

bigross86
24 Aug 12,, 11:11
Full statement by Lance Armstrong:


There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's
unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today -- finished with this nonsense.

I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA's charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA's motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA's process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and - once and for all - put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to
support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges.The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA's improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA's own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully,
threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at US taxpayers' expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top
of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It's an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It's just not right.

USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.

bigross86
24 Aug 12,, 11:16
So, what do you think, did he or didn't he? Like he says, it be would be stupid of him to take drugs because he had too much to lose.

On the one hand, I doubt the USADA would relentlessly go after Armstrong without even a semi-valid reason, and the fact that some of his teammates were doping adds strength to their case.

On the other hand, he is right when he says that he has hundreds of clean tests backing up his argument. Plus, it would seem that the USADA has been ignoring it's own rules and statue of limitations as they pursue Armstrong.

To top it off, UCI and USA Cycling have both said USADA has no authority to strip Armstrong of his titles. Sounds all very muddling and confused. I for one really and truly do hope that Armstrong really is being hunted for no reason. There are millions of people around the world that will be terribly disappointed in him if it turns out he really did dope.

Doktor
24 Aug 12,, 11:39
It's all muddy. I really hope he didn't do anything wrong as he is seen as a hero, who beat cancer and won 7 TdFs.

Wonder what mechanisms he has now to clean his name.


Congrats USADA, You Just Turned Lance Armstrong into a Present-Day Robin Hood: Fan's Take

Tonight Lance Armstrong finally stopped fighting after years of denying doping charges stemming from his record seven Tour de France titles. The USADA has announced it will strip him of all of those titles (by the way, won in France, mind you), and will forever bar him from any competition in which the World Anti-Doping Association oversees the drug testing.

Does that feel pretty good, USADA? How bout you, Congress? You were the ones that gave the authority to this organization which pretty much answers to no one. If the USADA declares you guilty, you can admit it and face punishment or go through an arbitration process and still face punishment. There's no defense. Not really. No right to due process or a fair trial. But let's not get into technicalities like the "United States Constitution" or anything. That's just silly, right? I mean, look at how the U.S. Government tried to go through the "proper" legal processes and convict other heralded athletes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Didn't go too well, did it?

Is it any wonder why the government then finally gave up their two-year investigation into Armstrong for these exact same charges earlier in the year? They probably realized (and confirmed by both of the bungled Clemens trials) that they probably were gonna lose this case, too. They're not good enough, and their case not strong enough to get a conviction in court. When that became apparent to the men in charge, they apparently decided to go in a different direction. At some point someone figured out that the USADA, who had officials working with the federal authorities on the government's case, was a far better group to go after Armstrong. They dropped their charges and stepped back to allow the USADA to work their magic.

I mean, how can you go wrong when you don't have to abide by any actual court of law, no messy civil procedure? The chances of "catching" this guy would be a lot greater if there wasn't the possibility of him actually being able to defend himself. What a brilliant strategy! Boy, it would sure save a lot of money on all those legal expenses if this was drawn out anymore, wouldn't it? I mean, the government's gotta be patting themselves on the back tonight that they nabbed this notorious cheater without having to spend any more of the public's money to do so! They must think we're all going to be so grateful to them for their hard work and diligence in this matter. Well, I know I'm not.

I wonder if they realize that, by the way this all went down with Armstrong finally just giving up knowing he couldn't win a fight this rigged, that they just made him a martyr. Better yet, he's a present-day Robin Hood. If the USADA is the "Sheriff of Nottingham," then Armstrong is certainly the hero of the masses. It's not like he arrogantly took all that money he made from his career and paraded around the world like a jerk. He's been the face of fighting cancer for 13 years. He's inspired millions of cancers survivors and victims, raised millions for cancer research, and probably saved countless lives by telling his story so that others found their own cancers much earlier than they otherwise would have.

I'm not here to argue Armstrong's guilt or innocence. I'm not calling him a nice guy or the biggest jerk in the world. I'm simply calling this process a travesty of justice. A back-door to getting what you want. Call it present-day American politics in action. I don't think the American people are going to be at all happy about this, and I think there will be an extreme backlash against USADA and Congress and anyone else who had a hand in this. My biggest question now is whether Lance's sponsors and the Tour de France organizers will sue Armstrong to get back the prize and sponsor money that they gave him for his victories. If they do, and Armstrong simply goes broke, then I have no doubt that the citizens of Sherwood Forest (namely, the world) will give back to a man who has given so much to them.

Julie is a featured sports contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. She was an ardent fan of cycling during the years that Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France but has since become disenchanted with the sport because of the rampant cheating. She had been following Armstrong's career since before his cancer diagnosis. Her opinions are her own.

Congrats USADA, You Just Turned Lance Armstrong into a Present-Day Robin Hood: Fan's Take - Yahoo! Sports (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/congrats-usada-just-turned-lance-armstrong-present-day-045800845--spt.html)

TopHatter
24 Aug 12,, 16:19
On the one hand, I doubt the USADA would relentlessly go after Armstrong without even a semi-valid reason, and the fact that some of his teammates were doping adds strength to their case.

That's the part that has me raising my eyebrows. What is truly going on here? Why did the USADA decide to stalk Armstrong like a rabid dog?

I doubt it was strictly for kicks and giggles but the testing and impropriety on the part of the USADA that's been mentioned makes this, as Doktor aptly described it, "muddy".

bigross86
24 Aug 12,, 16:27
It's all muddy. I really hope he didn't do anything wrong as he is seen as a hero, who beat cancer and won 7 TdFs.

Wonder what mechanisms he has now to clean his name.

He doesn't really need to clear his name. Look at the responses online. In the first 30 minutes his statement was "shared" on social networks over 4,000 times and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of support posts on the social networks for every post against Armstrong. The people have spoken, and they're behind Lance all the way.

tinymarae
24 Aug 12,, 18:19
He doesn't really need to clear his name. Look at the responses online. In the first 30 minutes his statement was "shared" on social networks over 4,000 times and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of support posts on the social networks for every post against Armstrong. The people have spoken, and they're behind Lance all the way.

This is a tactical retreat by Armstrong and his team. Armstrong can play the victim card and at the same time ensure that the evidence is sealed forever. There is no way he can survive the public backlash if he pressed on. The corroborating evidence along with testimonies of his former team-mates like Hincapie(whom Armstrong once described as his brother) would be enough to sway the public opinion against him.

Double Edge
25 Aug 12,, 01:50
So, what do you think, did he or didn't he? Like he says, it be would be stupid of him to take drugs because he had too much to lose.
What a question. One you could ask any medalist in track & field over the last three decades.

From what i understand the drugs help them train harder, ie allow to recover faster.

So to get to a world level there is no way without it. The trick is not to get caught.

Its an arms race, the companies that makes them and those that try to catch them. The takers are always a few steps ahead. Every now & then there is a slip up. That's when we get to hear about it.

This does not take anything away from their achievements as far as i'm concerned, its not like they take drugs one day and win medals the next day. There is a hell of a lot of training involved. Then just because you do all that does not mean you can beat world records or win medals. In the end its down to genetics and if you have the right mix you get to stand on that podium otherwise not.

They should legalise drugs in these sports but the problem is the message that sends to the young. Can only win if you take drugs and that is just not going to work. So they keep up the pretense that its clean, ain't been caught therefore clean.

If Lance is dirty, i wonder how many others are clean. Don't want to go there now do we.

Can say the same of Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and any number of others, but that is not permitted. There is a risk of getting caught, but some take it. Flo Jo died at 38 of an enlarged heart, her records still stand set in the 80s.

Bigfella
25 Aug 12,, 07:04
This is a tactical retreat by Armstrong and his team. Armstrong can play the victim card and at the same time ensure that the evidence is sealed forever. There is no way he can survive the public backlash if he pressed on. The corroborating evidence along with testimonies of his former team-mates like Hincapie(whom Armstrong once described as his brother) would be enough to sway the public opinion against him.

Spot on. Armstrong is playing the PR game because he knows he is going to lose the case. This way he can give those fans who want it the cover fig leaf they need to keep believeing while making sure that much of that awkward evidence stays out of the public arena. This is sad stuff. Armstrong refusing to man up about it actually lowers my opinion of him even further.

tantalus
25 Aug 12,, 13:23
This does not take anything away from their achievements as far as i'm concerned, its not like they take drugs one day and win medals the next day. There is a hell of a lot of training involved. Then just because you do all that does not mean you can beat world records or win medals. In the end its down to genetics and if you have the right mix you get to stand on that podium otherwise not.
I dont subscribe to your rationale that "just because you do all that does not mean you can beat world records or win medals". Therefore drugs are fine as long as the advantage doesnt result in huge gains and medal victories, I dont see the logic and it is false anyway. It is obvious that many athletes have won medals, rising from nowhere, or previously never good enough to win and found to be on drugs at a later date.
All the athletes have the genetics to allow them to compete at the highest level in their sport. Drugs give you the edge to beat other individuals with similiar beneficial genetics.


They should legalise drugs in these sports.
One major argument against this is that many of the drugs are dangerous to your health. If you legalise all of them, then it may just come down to those who are stupid enough to endanger their health. No doubt some will risk it. If you legalise the safer ones, people will still break the rules and use the more dangerous ones to get the edge. Then nothing has changed.

Double Edge
25 Aug 12,, 15:09
I dont subscribe to your rationale that "just because you do all that does not mean you can beat world records or win medals". Therefore drugs are fine as long as the advantage doesnt result in huge gains and medal victories, I dont see the logic and it is false anyway.
It does not result in huge gains at the top level, its a very small one, significant enough to win when paired with innate ability.

There's no way around it in endurance or high performance events. I believe the days of natural athletes breaking records in those events is long gone.


It is obvious that many athletes have won medals, rising from nowhere, or previously never good enough to win and found to be on drugs at a later date.
I suspect the drug use is highest when they start their rise from nowhere and the drug testing regimens aren't as strict. Once they reach the national level or world stage its a lot stricter. The testing is more rigourous and randomly enforced, any failure results in a ban.


All the athletes have the genetics to allow them to compete at the highest level in their sport. Drugs give you the edge to beat other individuals with similiar beneficial genetics.
Its unfair because others might not be doing it or have access to the same.


One major argument against this is that many of the drugs are dangerous to your health. If you legalise all of them, then it may just come down to those who are stupid enough to endanger their health. No doubt some will risk it. If you legalise the safer ones, people will still break the rules and use the more dangerous ones to get the edge. Then nothing has changed.
Sure, where is the long term testing, people are signing up to be guinea pigs. There's ethical issues there.

Take the Olympias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Olympia) and similar, only sporting event that allows drugs. Some won't even call it a sport. When the knowledge is out there it gets safer. Arnie, the most famous is a 7 time winner in that event and still around today. He was a pioneer in drug use in that sport. The knowledge is out there.

Put it this way i think stripping Lance of 7 titles is ridiculous. What took them this long. Why didn't they catch him earlier and put a stop to it.

JAD_333
25 Aug 12,, 17:06
Spot on. Armstrong is playing the PR game because he knows he is going to lose the case. This way he can give those fans who want it the cover fig leaf they need to keep believeing while making sure that much of that awkward evidence stays out of the public arena. This is sad stuff. Armstrong refusing to man up about it actually lowers my opinion of him even further.

What's the evidence? People testimony. It seems to me testing should be the definitive evidence, and on that score he's never tested positive in nearly 200 tests (except once for a cold remedy). People testimony is certainly damaging, but unless it can be correlated to specific events, it has much less value than post-race tests.

Nike and several other sponsors have decided to continue their contracts with Armstrong.

Whether Armstrong is guilty or not, Congress should revise the USADA banning procedure to remove all doubt that it falls short of due process. The livelihood and reputations of people are at stake here.

Dreadnought
25 Aug 12,, 17:28
IMO, The man made a point. They have ZERO physical evidence to support their claims against Armstrong. You decide.

tantalus
26 Aug 12,, 14:04
It does not result in huge gains at the top level, its a very small one, significant enough to win when paired with innate ability.
Getting into the medals is a huge gain, but I disagree with you that it cant also result in huge gains in performance. I recall one of our own olympians, a swimmer Michelle Smith rose from 90th in the world to winning four medals (3 gold) in the atlanta games over a 3 year period, at an advanced stage in her career. She was widely accused of being on drugs, very publicly, but never proven at the time, but 2 years later, tested positive and caught tampering with a urine sample, was banned, which effectively ended her career at 28. It seems fairly obvious she was on drugs during the olympics and made massive gains. Either way drugs allow athletes to win medals when otherwise they would not.


There's no way around it in endurance or high performance events. I believe the days of natural athletes breaking records in those events is long gone.

I would gladly sacrifice the breaking of new records if it meant cleaning up sports. You dont need to take drugs to participate in endurance events. Athletes can simply go slower. The problem arises is that if many atletes get away with it, it forces everyone to take drugs, otherwise you cant compete. It is easy to see how the athletes can morally justify taking drugs in this instance.


I suspect the drug use is highest when they start their rise from nowhere and the drug testing regimens aren't as strict. Once they reach the national level or world stage its a lot stricter. The testing is more rigourous and randomly enforced, any failure results in a ban.
I am going to use your earlier point to counter
"Its an arms race, the companies that makes them and those that try to catch them. The takers are always a few steps ahead. Every now & then there is a slip up. That's when we get to hear about it."


Its unfair because others might not be doing it or have access to the same.
IMO this is the strongest argument for legalising. I still favour more vigorous testing, with greater investment in the area, along with far more severe bans.


Put it this way i think stripping Lance of 7 titles is ridiculous. What took them this long. Why didn't they catch him earlier and put a stop to it.
Because he never actually tested positive. It is witnesses coming forward at this late stage. I am undecided on this one. It seems to me that cycling is one of the worst offenders. I wouldnt be surprised if every winner of the tour the france was on drugs.

tantalus
26 Aug 12,, 14:11
What's the evidence? People testimony. It seems to me testing should be the definitive evidence, and on that score he's never tested positive in nearly 200 tests (except once for a cold remedy). People testimony is certainly damaging, but unless it can be correlated to specific events, it has much less value than post-race tests.


IMO, The man made a point. They have ZERO physical evidence to support their claims against Armstrong. You decide.

It is an interesting question. People testimony vs physical evidence. In the court of law, witnesses can often bring about a convinction, DNA at the scene isnt an absolute requirement. Are we setting the standard for evidence in banning professional athletes too high if we require a failed test ?

bigross86
26 Aug 12,, 15:03
It is an interesting question. People testimony vs physical evidence. In the court of law, witnesses can often bring about a convinction, DNA at the scene isnt an absolute requirement. Are we setting the standard for evidence in banning professional athletes too high if we require a failed test ?

29895

tankie
26 Aug 12,, 15:16
Sad state , some good points brought out in this debate , a lot of water under the bridge , why go for him now ? seems strange to me .

Gun Grape
26 Aug 12,, 18:53
It is an interesting question. People testimony vs physical evidence. In the court of law, witnesses can often bring about a convinction, DNA at the scene isnt an absolute requirement. Are we setting the standard for evidence in banning professional athletes too high if we require a failed test ?

Witnesses bring about a conviction when they substantiate the physical evidence.

There is no physical evidence to back up the charges. On the contrary, there are over 100 examples of test that he passed.

The French didn't find evidence to charge him, the US Congress didn't either. In fact the international agency was on Armstrongs side during the appeal.

Its a witch hunt.

Both the ICA and the USAC have said that USADA doesn't have the authority to strip him of his wins, Nor do they have any authority over international races.

And to think taxpayers money is paying for this.

JAD_333
27 Aug 12,, 01:03
It is an interesting question. People testimony vs physical evidence. In the court of law, witnesses can often bring about a convinction, DNA at the scene isnt an absolute requirement. Are we setting the standard for evidence in banning professional athletes too high if we require a failed test ?

That's true when, for example, a witness actually sees the bank robber in action. Of all the witnesses against Armstrong, we know of only one who linked his doping to a specific race, but didn't see him do it. Another heard him admit it to doctors while he was in the hospital, but it's weak. The rest no one seems to know much about. For all of them it comes down to their word against a slew of drug tests. Admittedly the tests weren't foolproof back then, but that's not Armstrong's fault.

I can see what the USADA is doing. They want a blockbuster case to serve as a warning to other athletes. The problem is that they are rejecting their own tests. Tests are more powerful testimony. The proof is in the blood or urine. Unless the athlete can prove tampering, a court is will probably not overrule a test.

But witness testimony is a lower form of proof. Memory and motive are crucial to its veracity. The issue for Armstrong is, can an arbitration panel challenge the memory of witnesses as rigorously as lawyers would in a court of law where the proceedings are public. Arbitration is good for contract disputes, but not very good in quasi-criminal proceedings. They are arbitrary, hence the name 'arbitration', free of court intervention. When Lance withdrew from arbitration, the USADA won by default. But as he did not submit to it, he can now file suit in court to overturn the ruling. That's his strategy. His chances are much better in court.

tinymarae
22 Oct 12,, 13:50
Victims of Lance Armstrong's strong-arm tactics feel relief and vindication in the wake of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report - NY Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/zone-lance-armstrong-bully-downfall-article-1.1188512#ixzz2A1lIqjmw)

Doping might sometimes be a victimless crime, but not in the case of Lance Armstrong, whose drug abuse and illicit blood transfusions created a phony empire of wealth, adulation and power that had to be protected at all costs.




That summer, LeMond has said, Armstrong told him during a telephone conversation that he could find 10 people who would vow that LeMond — recognized as the only American to win the Tour de France, now that Armstrong and Floyd Landis have been stripped of their titles because of doping — had used EPO. He received calls from associates who warned him not to further cross Armstrong.

Even more frightening, LeMond’s wife Kathy has said, was Armstrong’s offer to pay $300,000 to one of her husband’s former teammates to claim that he had seen LeMond use the oxygen-boosting drug. The teammate declined the offer.

“It shows how desperate Lance was,” Kathy LeMond says. “It is a huge example of what a bully Lance Armstrong is. He crosses lines no others will cross.”



Pretty good article on the lengths Armstrong and co went to protect his reputation. Most of it is common knowledge to anyone who has followed cycling closely.



Lance Armstrong Is Stripped of His 7 Tour de France Titles (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/sports/cycling/armstrong-stripped-of-his-7-tour-de-france-titles.html?_r=0)

In other news, UCI is not going to contest USADA's decision of stripping Armstrong of his titles. This almost seals his fate.