Lance folds on drug charges



  • For me its not so much that he doped. I knew that already really. Its that he caused a generation of cyclists to dope, he ran a team based on them all doping. If you didnt get juiced you got sacked. If you dissed him or his Dr you got sued. Or spat on , or both.  If "good friends" said the wrong thing they got the same.

    LA is a bully and a thoroughly nasty piece of work as far as I can ascertain. He was perfect to get into bed with Mcquaid and Verbruggen, both bottom feeders who think it is far more important to line their own pockets than look after the sport they have been entrusted with.  How they can continue to sue Kimmage is beyond me . They spend a lot of time suing people who are trying to clear up the sport and very little chasing the alledged cheats.

    The whole UCI thing is a joke. They are supposed to be looking after OUR sport.

  • @fat buddha - how do you feel about the Livestrong charity ? Do you think LA honestly cares about cancer sufferers or do you think it's just a way for him to coin it in ? Should Livestrong be treated seperately to LA the cyclist and should we let him carry on with the charity bearing in mind it does actualy raise a lot of money for cancer treatment etc ?

  • The UCI are in a compromised position having a conflict of itnerest. On one hand, they are there to promotoe the interests of the sport, raise it's visibility, inctrease the amount of money coming in via sponsorship etc. So that side of the org is very interested in having alegendary success story and in some ways, organises itself to promote the legend because the legend is good for the sport. So they can be persuaded to lose a drugs sample that would diminsh the legend (positive EPO test in 2001 Tour of Switzerland), or accept a crap excuse (Costicortizone positive test in 1999 attributed to a back-dated prescription from the team doctor for a saddle-sore rash).

    The other side of the UCI is supposed to organise the fair competition, to run an anti-doping campaign. This they seem to have done in a half-hearted way, ensuring that their first objective of not compromising the myth is kept. So yes Armstrong was tested about 250 times and apart from a few hiccups, was never found to be positive. But he was frequently forewarned of upcoming tests so was able to take saline infusions to make the drugs in his system more dilute and therefore within accepted limits, and even dropped out of races suddenly so as not to be tested.

    The UCI smoothed the way. How we can have LA judged and NOT find the UCI to be complicit in the doping-ring, I simply do not know. They need to start again, begin a new era, make a break with the old, clear away the damaged goods. Usually these things happen when the money dries up. So I would suggest that the demand for clean cycling should start at the doors of the sponsors who keep pumping money towards the old regime, legitimising their positions.

    Nike to boycott LA perhaps?

  • The great thing about being a latecomer to cycling is that your heroes are all from now, hopefully a cleaner period in the sport. The reaction in America will be split. Jingoistic nationalists people will say that everyone was at it and so it was a level playing field and that Lance has done so much selfless (!) work for charity he should be forgiven go-go-USA USA USA! People who love cycling already knew he was on drugs.

    For me the surprising thing has been the 'bullying others in to taking it' side of things... I wonder how much of that is true vs. all the other riders getting together and treating Armstrong as a scape goat.

  • "Nike to boycott LA perhaps?"   - not if you read the link below (which I posted on the previous page)

    carterusm - in my view, the charity is now tainted.   I'm sure that LA believes in helping cancer sufferers but at the same time he has benefitted from it personally both financially (through endorsements) and personally (PR) which I am also sure was at the back of his mind when it was set up.  one thing you can say about big stars of any type - sport, film, business etc - is that they rarely do charitable things if they don't enhance their stardom    there are very few who do it for the right reasons and those that do are often the mega-rich (Gates, Buffet, Rockefeller, Carnegie etc) who are unlikely to worry about enhancing their images.

    curiously, after USADA stripped him of his 7 TdF titles, donations went UP. 

    I would think that the Livestrong trustees, of who LA is one, should take a long hard look at whether they should divorce the charity from the man but it's going to be tough as LA is Livestrong in all but name.   

    personally, I've chucked what Livestrong bands I had lying around - I have other charities I feel more comfy with now

  • I very much dislike the way Lance used/uses Cancer as a shield to deflect personal criticism. Questions about doping were often answered with personal accusations that the questioner somehow wants to destroy research/funding/charitable support for cancer. I dont think LA actually cares all that much about the average Joe on the street with cancer, otherwise, but I think the organisation, and the legitimacy of Fighting Cancer gave him a convenient smokescreen.

    The way he responds to allegations by making personal attacks on those who bring them reminds me of the Scientology "Fair Game" policy ("Always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace. Don't ever defend. Always attack" - LRH)

    Sadly, the world of cancer charities is big business. There may be charities who simply cant afford to walk away from Livestrong, because of the ensuing funding shortfall.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Maybe Armstrong will swing his PR machine into action and bring out a follow up book to 'Its Not About the Bike', with sub title, 'its about the drugs'. Will it sell? of course it will. 1000's.

  • " were often answered with personal accusations that the questioner somehow wants to destroy research/funding/charitable support for cancer."

    bit of a resonance there with another high profile celeb in the news - Saville - who (allegedly) used to say to any of the press who threatened to expose his predatory habits "print that and Stoke Mandeville loses it's funding".  that was enough to get them to back off as nobody wanted to see a charity suffer a big lack of funding and Saville did raise shitloads for them

  • I also think, at the risk of being unpopular, that British Cycling needs to step up. Brailsford was told in 2010 that Landis had implicated Barry - Brailsford said he was aware of the accusations, but nothing ever happened. I dont think its really good enough just to allow the poor chap to fall on his sword, whilst continuing to tout the line that BC is a clean operation. I think now we need that to be supported.

  • This article about where the money from Livestrong goes is well worth a read:

  • flyaway wrote (see)

    I also think, at the risk of being unpopular, that British Cycling needs to step up. Brailsford was told in 2010 that Landis had implicated Barry - Brailsford said he was aware of the accusations, but nothing ever happened. I dont think its really good enough just to allow the poor chap to fall on his sword, whilst continuing to tout the line that BC is a clean operation. I think now we need that to be supported.

    What should Brailsford have done? He asked Barry if he took drugs. Barry lied. Should Brailsford have barred him based on 'suspicion'?

  • fa - I suspect Brailsford was caught in a dilemma of who to believe.  either Landis a a convicted doper and at the time, an uncreditable source who was seemingly losing his senses and talking gaga; or Barry who simply lied to him.


  • I think to have built such a public front of being a clean team, that he should have done some looking into Barry's past. No, quite obviously he should not have taken Barry's word for it. Barry could have consented to the UCI releasing stored blood samples from the past, which could have been privately analysed. He could have asked other people, who were already speaking out. He could have asked Landis, or Kimmage, for more details.

    To stand at the head of a team and guarantee that that team is anti-doping, and to do so based ONLY on the word of your employees, is, IMO, foolish at best.

  • one word - hindsight.

    I don't disagree with you and no doubt Brailsford's probably chewing his nails over this and being the control freak he is, I suspect he will be asking some very hard questions of the current team.  he doesn't want to be tarred by this LA issue which is going to go stellar and many many names who have been below the radar, or not even thought to be involved, will be wondering what they are going to get implicated in.

    I guess there may be an EPO production technician somewhere who is feeling guilty for their involvement in the whole scandal.


  • If you were at USPS its virtually a bolt on certainty you juiced. see also Astana.

  • Think Brailsford needs to give Alex Dowsett a quick clip round the ear after his comments on the BBC news at lunch time
  • I think once LA has worked out how to get the most out of it he will come clean.  The next best thing after surviving a life threatening desease is redemption-it's worked for Millar.  It's just a matter of a) the numbers being right b) optimal revenge opportunity

    When this happens and LA spills his guts the shit will really hit the fan and it will be thrown far and wide and not just within cycling.  I saw Dave Brailsford on the box last night and he did not look comfortable.

    LA will have known this could happen to him one day, I wonder what plan B will be?

  • I heard about Dowsett.... one eyebrow rose in a Roger Moore style.

  • Dowsett's view is unsurprising given how he got in to cycling. The fact that he opened his mouth is image He's going to get ripped a new one I suspect.

  • Sometimes it is wiser to keep your thoughts to yourself. I imagine, as you say, that advice may be passed on to him fairly forcefully.

  • Dowsett has since clarified his thoughts on twitter - he sounds much more reasonable now - to be fair to him he was probably asked for a snap reaction while he was lining up for the Tour of Beijing or something.  

    And to be fair to Brailsford what's he supposed to do - he can't not employ people because he suspects they may have doped or somebody else says they did - they work on the basis they haven't been formally found to have doped and that their recent blood values look genuine - and it seems taking their word on it.   I'm sure he knows full well that Barry doped along with some of the others staff.   The dodgy one is Yates - he was involved with Armstrong until relatively recently and in a management capacity - but you could argue Armstrong offered him a way back into cycling when he didn't have other options.  

  • Dowsett was just about to start stage 3 and he has clarified that he thinks what Lance has done is completely unacceptable. Brailsford is pretty good at typing with his hand up his riders butt image

  • FB: but that's my point - there were years of "hindsight" to take advantage of, several opportunities to "learn a lesson". Everybody lies - so if you're putting your name to a guarantee, you damn well ought to do more than ask the guy who's going to lose his job if he responds in the affirmative. Now, doubts hang over everyone, and it's time for some honesty and patience (mentioning no names, just sideburns) in answering the questions - verbally, and through transparent testing - that will keep coming, and coming, because, as the saying goes, Cheat me once, shame on you - cheat me twice, shame on me. Suck it up, BC, and SHOW us you're clean until we are sick of being told.
  • Enevitably this will all come full circle and you can see the beginning of it with Dowsett's comments along the lines of 'Lance couldn't have done this alone'.  I wouldn't be surprised if at some point LA's people attempt to deflect the onslaught onto the UCI and others, even big business.

  • popsider wrote (see)

    And to be fair to Brailsford what's he supposed to do - he can't not employ people because he suspects they may have doped or somebody else says they did

    Yes, yes he can. He can NOT hire people over whom there is suspicion, because time and time again, there has been no smoke without fire. He hires someone new, and clean, instead. That was a perfectly acceptable option. He put his head in the sand two years ago, cos he didnt want to know.

  • FA i disagree strongly with you. Two years ago Barry said he did not cheat and there was no evidence to say that he did. It is encumbent upon the governing body to find cheats. Were Brailsford to go on some kind of witchhunt at that time he himself would have been accused of unfairness and inequality.

    I really don't buy this whole no smoke without fire argument. That can be so badly abused in all walks of life.

  • Well, we can disagree, then. There was evidence, Landis was talking. The resultant investigations turned up more. It's not really a shock to discover that if you don't bother pursuing something, you don't find out what you'd rather not know.

    And are you suggesting it's "incumbent on" the UCI (governing body) to find the cheats???!!! Ha ha ha ha ha...... Man, that's funny!
  • " He hires someone new, and clean, instead."

    and there is the nub of Brailsford's dilemma - who could he trust to be clean??  If he wanted experience - and he clearly did - then whoever he hired would have come from a culture of doping teams, unless he absolutley knew their pedigree as he did with the likes of Wiggo, Cav, Thomas et al who had come through the GB track squads so he could pretty well guarantee they were fine.  But others??  He would have to rely on their, or his advisors, words.    Sure, he could have gone out and hired a much younger rider who could be pretty well guaranteed to be clean, but at the expense of weakening the squad - and he was out to win, simple as, not develop.  It was a risk strategy that Brailsford had to adopt and something that was alien to a non-risk taker as he is, so he had to compromise - and it's bitten him on the arse sadly.  I bet he won't do that again.    And if I was Yates, or Sutton, or Julich who are on his management team - I'd be fearing some tongue lashing and my job as they all come from a drug culture era.  How far can he now trust them??


  • I dont dispute DB was caught on the horns of a dilemma. But rumours about Barry had been doing the rounds lets be honest. For what MB brought to the party he could have played safer.  

    I also realise that any DS/ management dudes are likely to have come from an era of cera, and it would be very hard to find guaranteed clean team management. Lets face it   Cav and Zabel. Cav and Aldag. Wiggins and Cofodis, in fact anyone apart from Moncoutie and Cofodis.

    Its a toughie. I understand DBs position. But management arent out there riding. Barry was, and he (DB) chose to ignore the rumours. It wouldnt be an issue at Garmin say, who set their team up to be clean clean clean, but have signed previous dopers. Its the fact that sky bang on about a no drugs policy (wouldnt sign Millar for instance) but took a less than calculated risk on a nigh on finished rider with lots of suspicion around him who came from a team who were all dirty.

  • what we don't know Mr B is who else DB was courting at the time he signed Barry - maybe he had other options he would have preferred, but he was unable to get their signature for whatever reason, so chose to go with his 3rd, 4th, whatever'th choice as perhaps Barry was.  DB needed to get a winning team put together so he had to make compromises but that's the nature of any business - you never know until the race is over if you made the right choice

    as you say, it's a toughie - DB was to an extent damned if he did, damned if he didn't.

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