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SloMax
26 Aug 05,, 09:17
Under-fire Armstrong on offensive

Lance Armstrong is locked in a war of words with the director of the Tour de France as he continues to fight claims he used blood-boosting drugs in 1999.

The French newspaper L'Equipe alleged earlier this week that signs of EPO were detected in samples of Armstrong's urine given during the 1999 race.

Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc said: "What L'Equipe revealed shows me that I was fooled. We were all fooled."

But Armstrong said: "To say that I've 'fooled' the fans is preposterous."

Armstrong had already issued a statement denying L'Equipe's claims, which were made on Tuesday.

The seven-time Tour de France champion insisted he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs and said the article was part of a "witch hunt".

But he chose to go on the offensive on Wednesday, hitting out at Leblanc and attacking L'Equipe.

"Obviously, this is great business for them," said the 33-year-old American. "At the end of day, I think that's what it's all about - selling newspapers."

Armstrong, who retired from cycling after winning his seventh Tour in July, also questioned the validity of testing samples frozen seven years ago and how those samples were handled since.

"It doesn't surprise me at all that they have samples," he said.

"Clearly they've tested all of my samples since then to the highest degree. But when I gave those samples, there was not EPO in those samples. I guarantee that."

Armstrong charged officials at the Paris laboratory with violating World Anti-Doping Agency code for failing to safeguard the anonymity of any remaining 'B' samples it had.

He also said he was considering legal action to discover who leaked the details of the test but admitted the cost and time of such action were prohibitive.

"It would cost a million and a half dollars and a year of my life," he said. "I have a lot better things to do with the million and a half, and a lot better things I can do with my time."

In Tuesday's edition of L'Equipe, four pages were devoted to the allegations against the American under the front-page headline "The Armstrong Lie".

It said there were "characteristic, undeniable and consequent" signs of EPO in what it claimed were Armstrong's urine tests, carried out by France's national anti-doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry.

The newspaper explained that the tests on the samples were carried out in 2004 because cycling's governing body did not start using a urine test for EPO until 2001.

The laboratory said in a statement it had "conducted EPO tests on samples from the 1998 and 1999 Tour de France races" but added it could not confirm that any tests it had conducted belonged to Armstrong.

However, L'Equipe insisted Armstrong was guilty of doping, appearing to have convinced Leblanc, who said: "For the first time - and these are no longer rumours, or insinuations - these are proven scientific facts.

"Someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body. He owes explanations to us and to everyone who follows the Tour."

Armstrong was quick to respond to L'Equipe, which is owned by the same parent company that also organises the Tour de France.

"I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs," he said.

"The paper even admits in its own article that the science in question here is faulty and that I have no way to defend myself.

"They state: 'There will therefore be no counter-exam nor regulatory prosecutions, in a strict sense, since defendant's rights cannot be respected.'"

While Armstrong maintains his innocence, the International Cycling Union has decided to keep a watching brief.

"We have to wait and see if this is true," said Hein Verbruggen, president of cycling's governing body.

"Only then will we be able to ask ourselves whether there should be any legal action and whether this is a further blow for cycling.

"I have to say this is not pleasant but, for the moment, it only involves Lance Armstrong and France."

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/default.stm

bonehead
27 Aug 05,, 03:04
Six years ago?! Lance was right to tell those snotty french bastards to F*ck off.

Leader
27 Aug 05,, 03:08
He's retired. So who cares? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

SloMax
28 Aug 05,, 11:03
Six years ago?! Lance was right to tell those snotty french bastards to F*ck off.

French Fans Come to Armstrong's Defense
By JOCELYN GECKER, Associated Press Writer

PARIS - Lance Armstrong drew wide support from French fans who criticized the newspaper that accused the seven-time Tour de France winner of doping, with one letter writer pleading that the cyclist be left alone.

L'Equipe published letters to the editor in its weekend magazine Saturday in response to last week's cover story that Armstrong used a banned blood booster in his first Tour victory in 1999. The cyclist has denied the charges, suggesting he is the victim of a "setup" and places no trust in the lab that handled the test.

Of the seven letters published, six backed Armstrong and expressed varying degrees of anger at the newspaper.

"Leave him alone!" wrote Eugenie Hays from the Brittany town of La Forest-Landerneau. Like many readers, she noted many athletes take banned products these days but not everyone inspires like Armstrong. "Don't shatter our dreams."

Louis Riche, another reader, wrote that "these accusations (true or false having little importance) only show one thing: that scientific research is seven years late."

He questioned whether French cyclists would face the same scrutiny as the American star.

"So, in six years we'll know if Thomas Voeckler was doped on the 2004 tour," Riche asked about the rider who held the yellow jersey for 10 stages that year. "Ah, no, am I crazy? He's French."

L'Equipe reported Tuesday that new tests on six urine samples he provided during the 1999 tour resulted in positive results for the red blood cell-booster EPO.

William Dubois noted that he does fair amount of cycling and understands the need for an energy boost.

"For me, my EPO, from time to time is (a licorice-flavored aperitif) and, at Sunday dinner, a good glass of wine! I know that professionals don't only drink mineral water," he said.

Not everyone spared Armstrong from judgment.

"You were my hero," wrote Rahila Abdul. "Why did you do it?"

link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050827/ap_on_sp_ot/cyc_armstrong_french_fans

Not all french are bastards... :biggrin:

giggs88
31 Aug 05,, 03:16
Silly French are feeling bad after being continously OWNED by a foreigner for so many years.

You would think they would have gotten used to being defeated all the time....

Dreadnought
01 Nov 05,, 18:48
They just cant live with the fact an American kicked their asses at their own sport for a record setting SEVEN year length of time. No offense guys but to do this seven years in a row after suffering two major bouts with cancer (one brain, one testicular they never expected him to live from the brain cancer alone) This is truelly a superhuman feat. In the U.S. sports world they call him "superman" and I agree that he is incredible and im a fan with no doubt. I would sooner think the French company who claimed this has some explaining to do. And by chance if they are rite in this and i strongly doubt it well that only explains one victory out of seven. They stil have six to go :tongue: Would you like some cheese with that whine? :biggrin:

Horrido
01 Nov 05,, 18:59
The French are upset because they had to rename the event the "Tour de LANCE!" :biggrin:

Ray
01 Nov 05,, 19:50
That's real witty! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

indianguy4u
02 Nov 05,, 08:04
I love Tour de france. But the channel that shows this doesnt show the whole stage. This year maybe Jan Ulrich will win or Ivan Basso :tongue:.

Dreadnought
02 Nov 05,, 15:56
I love Tour de france. But the channel that shows this doesnt show the whole stage. This year maybe Jan Ulrich will win or Ivan Basso :tongue:.

Quite possible Armstrong has retired and Ulrich was always right there with him every time they showed the stage and has beaten Armstrongs stage time before so IMO anythings possible.

Leader
02 Nov 05,, 20:34
Quite possible Armstrong has retired and Ulrich was always right there with him every time they showed the stage and has beaten Armstrongs stage time before so IMO anythings possible.

I seem to recall Ulrich not have such a great race last time around.

Dreadnought
03 Nov 05,, 18:00
I seem to recall Ulrich not have such a great race last time around.

It just seems that he is always there though in the top few positions. Whether he can capitalize on the chances he gets has yet to be seen but with Armstrong retired I'd say his chances are getting better and better. I think it will be a matter of time until he either succeeds or retires himself.

indianguy4u
04 Nov 05,, 05:25
Jan Ulrich had already won Le Tour De France b4 amstrong & also Olympics gold. So he is proven winner. Just b'coz lance had luxury of competing in a single race every season made him so much of unbeatable reputation.

Dreadnought
04 Nov 05,, 14:47
Jan Ulrich had already won Le Tour De France b4 amstrong & also Olympics gold. So he is proven winner. Just b'coz lance had luxury of competing in a single race every season made him so much of unbeatable reputation.

For starters I never once said that Ulrich was not a champion or an excellent competitor. It is well known that he won the tour in 1997 but hasnt since so this pretty much disqualivies him from even approaching Armstrongs record the closet would be Eddie Merckx, Miguel Indurain, and Jacques Anquetil. Ulrich has won only once where these gentleman has won a minimum of 4 times not just once.

http://www.torelli.com/raceinfo/tdf/tdfindex.shtml


As to your statement of Amstrongs luxury of one time appearences for the year.. did Ulrich do it suffering from brain,lung cancer and testicular cancer? Or any of these men for that matter. Is it any wonder why he only rode the Tour during these years while recieving chemptherapy? His doctors told him that he had 50/50 to live. Does chemotherapy drain the human body of energy and muscle mass not to mention what is does to the human spirit.

Personally I would have rather had Ulrich's chances far more then Armstrongs and I think anyone else would have also. Ulrich was also four years younger then Armstrong when Armstrong won his first Tour in 1999.

If anything Ulrich should have beaten him every year then with being able to race at many oppertunities instead of Armstrongs only appearance for the year due to chemotherapy. Nothing less then sheer endurance and will made Armstrong the celebrated champion that he is not a single race appearence for the year as you so state. I would like to see how many champions could have done it in the bodily state that Armstrong was during his winning streak (1999-2005).

He has won several other races outside of the Tour De France as well as being a World Champion.

Until some one beats his achievments he by record is the greatest cycling champion ever and that cant be denied by anyone in the cycling world or anywhere else for that matter To prove these points his profile is below as Sports Illistrated published. The race finish stats are provide in the link above.

Lance Armstrong profile
By Matt Majendie

Armstrong seals seventh Tour win
Pundits hail awesome Armstrong
Lance Armstrong finished the final day's racing of his illustrious career safely in the main pack of the Tour de France field.

But that understated farewell belies the American's historic achievements in forging undoubtedly the most remarkable career in cycling history.

With seven Tour de France wins, he has surpassed anything his most-gifted predecessors achieved in the race, even the great Belgian Eddy Merckx.

But it is what Armstrong had to go through before he embarked on his run of success that makes it arguably the greatest ever sporting achievement.

For three years before his first Tour win in 1999, the Texan was diagnosed with testicular, brain and lung cancer and given less than a 50-50 chance of survival.

In fact, Armstrong's life story was remarkable from the outset - so incredible it would be hard to believe as a Hollywood blockbuster.

The now 33-year-old was brought up by his mother after his father Eddie Gunderson walked out on them when he was just two.

Linda, then a supermarket checkout girl, had got pregnant at the age of 16 and gave birth to her son when she was only 17.

LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE
Born: 18 Sept 1971
Lives: Austin, Texas; Girona, Spain
Team: Discovery Channel (previously US Postal)
Career highlights: Seven Tour de France wins (1999-2005); world road race champion (1993); world number one (1996)
Marital status: Single (ex-wife Kristin - three children: Luke, Isabelle and Grace)
Outside cycling interests: Head of Lance Armstrong Foundation; part of President Bush's cancer advisory committee
Heart rate: 32 bpm (resting) - 201 bpm (maximum)
Lance Armstrong timeline
Armstrong's career in photos
The pair enjoy an exceptionally close relationship, which Linda puts down to the fact that "we grew up together".

Armstrong took on the surname of his stepfather, whom Linda, who has been married and divorced four times, has since separated from.

His mother took on a host of jobs to help pay for her son's upbringing - Armstrong has since said he "never wanted for anything" and credits his mother for the work ethic which enabled him to win the Tour de France.

Armstrong's competitive urges were ably backed by Linda, who took him to triathlon events where he made his name as an athlete before getting involved in the US Olympic cycling development programme as a teenager.

By 1991, he was US national amateur champion, two years later he was world champion and in 1995 he won enjoyed his first Tour success - winning an emotion-filled stage in honour of friend Fabio Casartelli who had died earlier in the race.

By 1996 he was world number one before being diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain - a moment he now calls the "best thing that ever happened to me".

After extensive chemotherapy, Armstrong defied the odds and recovered, returning to cycling action in 1998.


Armstrong wants to spend much of his retirement with his kids
But when he retired from the Paris-Nice race of that year, he contemplated retirement before returning to America to train with friend and coach Chris Carmichael.

There, under the US Postal team, he started his lengthy bid for Tour victory in 1999, a race in which he was not even fancied to feature highly, despite winning the prologue.

Former British cyclist Chris Boardman, a previous rival of Armstrong, said: "Back then I never envisaged he would even challenge for the win. But he did - I guess that was the last time he surprised me.

"It simply became a case of 'who's going to beat him?' rather than 'will he win?'."

That sums up the way in which the Texan has dominated cycling's biggest event.

There are a plethora of Tour highlights: a dominant victory at Hautacam in 2000, his infamous look back to arch-rival Jan Ullrich on Alpe d'Huez in 2001, his avoidance of a near-certain crash in 2003 which brought down Joseba Beloki in 2003 and his final stage win in St Etienne on Saturday.


Armstrong first got into sport through the triathlon
But some have questioned the manner in which he has made the Tour his sole goal each season.

Manolo Saiz, Beloki's former team boss and now head of the Liberty team, this week said: "Armstrong has given a lot to the Tour but not much to cycling."

Armstrong, who has had his critics throughout his career, has been dogged by accusations of doping but is probably the most tested athlete in any sport and has never failed a drugs test.

Earlier this year, he said: "Let me make one thing emphatically clear. I believe in clean and fair competition. As I have said before, I do not use - and have never used - performance-enhancing drugs."

It remains to be seen who will become the Tour's next dominant force - or what Armstrong will do now.

Spending time with his children and working for the Lance Armstrong Foundation cancer charity are two of his priorities, but some, including best friend and team-mate George Hincapie, have hinted at a possible future in the White House.

Hincapie, however, this week insisted the best way to sum up his friend was to accept just what a special talent he is.

"Everybody is looking for the next Lance but there won't be another Lance for another century," Hincapie says.

Armstrong now heads off for a well-deserved beach holiday with his family and girlfriend, the rock star Sheryl Crow.

After a life of such towering achievements, it is hard to believe he can sit still for long.


Thus I state that Amstrong had absolutely no Luxury (unless you call three different variations of Cancer at once during these years a luxury )what so ever therefore your claim is refuted by fact. :rolleyes:

P.S Given the information above I would sooner state the only person to have any luxury was in fact Ulrich. :tongue:

indianguy4u
06 Nov 05,, 08:51
Thus I state that Amstrong had absolutely no Luxury (unless you call three different variations of Cancer at once during these years a luxury )what so ever therefore your claim is refuted by fact. Armstrong works his "pantsoff' in his socalled offseason. He works for the next race. Incomparison everyone else has to compete most of the season to earn a living from the sport. Couple of months b4 the race he goes around the whole route to get the knowledge of the track. Many commentators have said that armstrong can & should compete at Italian, spanish & other such races.

Dreadnought
15 Nov 05,, 21:13
Armstrong works his "pantsoff' in his socalled offseason. He works for the next race. Incomparison everyone else has to compete most of the season to earn a living from the sport. Couple of months b4 the race he goes around the whole route to get the knowledge of the track. Many commentators have said that armstrong can & should compete at Italian, spanish & other such races.

How many have suffered from cancer albeit three different versions of it at once during their tour years? Not one that I can recall during his years. Grant it they all train very hard for the race but chemotherapy? Thats like dragging an energy absorbing anchor behind everywhere you go not to mention being able to breath normally as the rest all do.
He has absolutley no luxuries especially physical luxeries as compared to his competitors.Unless the absent time he spends with chemo and training to rebuild the muscle mass that it takes from him is a luxury then I guess im wrong. He just has a stronger will and if thats a luxury then I will surely agree. The other races do not offer the prestige that the the Tour De France does why would he want to if it has nothing to offer him? Everybody focuses on the Tour more then any other cycling race so understandably so does he.