Is Lance Armstrong now a toxic brand?

Anyone else following the USADA submission to the UCI, WADA and The World Triathlon people? http://tinyurl.com/8bt7jrg There you can read the 200 page summary. The full report is over 1000 pages full of testimony and evidence which they state provides incontrovertible evidence that LA was a systematic drugs cheat. Of course, he disdainfully refers to this as a witchhunt and has hired the same PR team who represented Bill Clinton in that funny business with the intern with the stains on her dress that he didn't have sex with and Marion Jones, the gold medal winning Olympian who vehemently fought against her doping charges and ended up doing jail time for hey deceit. Mmm, smoke and fire could be related. Ok, anyone want to discuss it, perhaps grieve their loss of a hero?
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Comments

  • Gutted - I hate drugs, they have tarnished sports viewing.

    Some of my favourite sports moments have subsequently been shown as fakes - Ben Johnson beating Carl Lewis in a then world record and now Lance Armstrong's look over his shoulder at Jan Ullrich before riding off up the hill is also a fake.

    Plus the part of Dodgeball is now also ruined!

  • It seems having a Hero is a bit naive



    Trust and believe in yourself
  • It was good entertainment at the time.

  • I read the 200 page summary last night and the depth of his organisation, intimidation and coercion is quite stunning. Any belief that he was a nice guy is absolutely shattered. He sent text messages threatening Levi Leipheimer's wife while he knew that LL was away on the TDF! Scumbag.
  • booktrunk wrote (see)
    It seems having a Hero is a bit naive

    Trust and believe in yourself

    i think you may be right there...............which in a way is also sadimage

  • I do think some one on the BBC news desk has a sense of humour, they keep showing Hinualt showing Armstrong, Basso and Ulrich onto the TdF podium !
  • Seren the trouble is we also build our hero's up to high, they aren't THST different to the rest of us, we all make mistakes and regret little things, but imagine how much more intense and pressurised it is for them...



    Then we wonder why they take shortcuts. Just sad.
  • Skinny Fetish Fan wrote (see

    Plus the part of Dodgeball is now also ruined!

    clearly the worst part of this!

  • Cheers for the link Tricky.  It's surprisingly readable for an official document; "Lance's wife is rolling joints." ...and seeing as I'm only on p19 I'm not sure how much work I'm going to get done today!

    I bought David Millar's book recently, and when I'm done I'll probably move on to Tyler Hamilton.  (Via a Gore Vidal biography just to mix things up a bit - "buy one, get one half price, in Waterstones.)  I'll be an expert on cycling and doping soon.

    image

  • Tricky Dicky¹ wrote (see)
    I read the 200 page summary last night and the depth of his organisation, intimidation and coercion is quite stunning. Any belief that he was a nice guy is absolutely shattered. He sent text messages threatening Levi Leipheimer's wife while he knew that LL was away on the TDF! Scumbag.

    SInce I read Bad Blood, and saw how he treated people, I knew he was a scumbag. 

    That he also doped doesn't really surprise me.  You'd have to be super-human to beat all the other guys who were doping!

  • Thanks for the link, I'm only about 20 pages but it's damning stuff. Suggestions in the news today that he has irrevocably damaged cycling - anyone agree?

  • No, In 5 years 18 years olds will say Lance who?
  • There's a 5live programme on Monday night about it - it's rather cleverly called something like ' Pedlars [or Pedallers] - The Lance Armstrong Story'.

    As I've only heard the announcement on the radio I'm not sure which spelling they are actually using!

    Doesn't make the whole story any less tragic of course.

    Can't help wondering if any mountain stages in last couple of years that have been duplicates of stages from 10 years ago and how the times compare? How long for example did it take to get up Alpe D'Huez (sp?) 15 years ago and most recently - or was the last ascent of Alpe D'Huez won by Contador in which case that does not exactly help prove one way or the other!

  • xine267 wrote (see)

    Thanks for the link, I'm only about 20 pages but it's damning stuff. Suggestions in the news today that he has irrevocably damaged cycling - anyone agree?

    Dunno.  I hope I'm not too naive in hoping that it's clean now compared to 10-15 years ago, and that there's a genuinely different culture and attitude to doping.  One of the things that sticks out for me when reading the evidence in the USADA
    document (p79 and counting!) is that so many people were involved and complicit in the cover-up.  Such a sheep mentality of "they're all at it, so maybe it's not such a bad thing..."

    Maybe the Lance empire will crumble around him and a few people will think twice before considering acting like such a cnut themselves?

    My enjoyment of reading "It's Not About the Bike" back in the day... seems an awfully long time ago now.  image

  • http://store.theonion.com/images/Product/medium/5045.jpg

     (You can buy them here)

  • There was an article a few months ago (either rcuk or bikeradar?) that included some info from this years TdF from the makers of the SRM power meters fitted to many Pro's bikes.  Whilst they wouldn't give away exact figures, they did say that there was a general level of Watts produced by the peloton on a flat section of the TdF, and that the Wattage amongst the top riders (e.g. top ten in GC) increased significantly during the mountain climbs.  The damning thing was that the peak power produced by today's top riders was lower than the equivalent riders in the TdFs of a few years ago.

    The article was vague enough to avoid any litigation, and didn't provide any reason for the discrepancy, but I suspect most readers jumped to the same conclusion. 

  • I used to run in my Livestrong gear but I don't think I will now. Not because I don't support it's cause, but I'm just uneasy with wearing something endorsed by a drug cheat. All of Armstrong's achievements are now tarnished, all of his Tour De France titles and even his Moon Landing means nothing to me now.

  • nice band!

    Makes you question if our British stars are really clean. I hope so but can anyone really have confidence now?

  • OO lets go. wrote (see)

    nice band!

    Makes you question if our British stars are really clean. I hope so but can anyone really have confidence now?

    to be fair to the curent crop of British riders they have come to the fore as the sport has cleaned it's act up. I think most would now agree that cycling is now in a very different era to where it was 5+ years ago. sure, there are still the odd cases of doping but the chances of being caught now are so much higher, that anyone who does is stupid.  someone called Contador for one.

    but sure, if Wiggo or Cav or any of the other big names get busted for doping then that is the death knell.  OK - both of those guys have been around the circuit for a number of years so who knows what they were doing back in the days of old, but British Cycling has always had a great reputation for not having drugged up riders in their squads.   Brailsford has managed to keep a very tight rein on this and he has been associated with the top Brits for many years from their days on the track.

  • I like my kid's rsponse:

    "If they take away his yellow jerseys, can't he just wear a t-shirt instead"

  • I've had a deep supition for a few years now that the British riders have suddenly got better once the cycling community started to clear up's it's act. Team sky has also helped that a lot through. Doesn't mean all brit cycleist's are clean but hope it does.

    As for lance afraid he is now a talisman for doping. It's not just that it's becoming clearer that it happened it's also that he has persistently claimed it's not the case. I think that has been very useful to other people in the sport because a lot of the attention is on him and not them. The only think thats clear right now is that it's been a cultural and systematic drug use going on within the sport.

    Govening body has failed to deal with the problem or care about it with poor regulation for years.

    This is worth thinking about because I think this is the same in other sports as well. Football is the best example of this to my mind at the moment and I do wonder how many people would be court out if the reg's where tightened. Drugs are bad for business and that's what most sport is now just a business.  

  • Sorry Kittenkat - was posting lasting night from one of those functionally deprived fruit-based computing devices: Here's a proper link to the USADA summary (just the 200 pages, not the full 1000+ job!). It IS very readable. I was gobsmacked to read the section about intimidation (about 150 pages in) where it gave evidence of LA sending texts to Levi Leipheimer's wife while he was away riding the TDF, asking her if she was alone. As the Americans would say, the guy is a douchebag and yes, I hope his name does become synonymous with doping.

    As for the current generation of cycling elite, i think there is hope. OK, it still needs the various federations to get tough with people like Contador who manage to get away with micro-dosing EPO and stuff like that, but the thing that can give us all a degree of assurance is that the new blood passport schemes are not designed to look for the direct traces of doping substances in the blood, but to look for the EFFECT of doping. Changes to red blood cells levels, rate of growth of new blood cells etc, all individually baselined so sudden swings or variances show up.

    These so-called Blood Passports will be able to show when transfusions have taken place and during a grand tour, the anti-doping scientists should be able to track a linear deterioration on blood quality (due to racing fatigue). If someone suddenly takes something or transfuses new blood into their body, it will stick out a mile. So even if this doesn't rid the sport of dopers completely, it does mean that the margins for being able to do bad things is massively reduced.

    Also, compared to the peak of the doping era, the power to weight ratio being output by the cyclists has fallen a long way back. Today's riders just can't make as much power per kilo of body mass as they did 10 years ago (something like 10-15% below the peak performances from the Armstrong era), which translates into riders being several minutes slower getting up Alpe d'Huez.

    Something Wiggins said during the TDF this year that I found very interesting after he was being attacked in the mountains by Evans and Nibali etc, was that he was never worried to let people attack because he knew he was already riding at the sustainable limit (maximum average power output). If someone pulled away from him, as long as they were not doping, he was sure that they could not sustain the effort and would have to slow up, so he was sure he would pull them back. The days of LA putting in 4 or 5 minutes into rivals on gruelling hill climbs is gone because that kind of advantage couldn't exist because of differences in fitness levels.

     

  • Demon Barber wrote (see)

    I used to run in my Livestrong gear but I don't think I will now. Not because I don't support it's cause, but I'm just uneasy with wearing something endorsed by a drug cheat. All of Armstrong's achievements are now tarnished, all of his Tour De France titles and even his Moon Landing means nothing to me now.

    Haha image Love this! I know what you mean about the Livestrong brand. Its interesting that Nike are publically celebrating 15 years of Livestrong with a party the day after the USADA report, I would have thought someone in their PR department would have told them not to make such a public statement of support.

    PhilPub wrote (see)

    xine267 wrote (see)
    Thanks for the link, I'm only about 20 pages but it's damning stuff. Suggestions in the news today that he has irrevocably damaged cycling - anyone agree?

    Dunno.  I hope I'm not too naive in hoping that it's clean now compared to 10-15 years ago, and that there's a genuinely different culture and attitude to doping.  One of the things that sticks out for me when reading the evidence in the USADA
    document (p79 and counting!) is that so many people were involved and complicit in the cover-up.  Such a sheep mentality of "they're all at it, so maybe it's not such a bad thing..."

    Maybe the Lance empire will crumble around him and a few people will think twice before considering acting like such a cnut themselves?

    My enjoyment of reading "It's Not About the Bike" back in the day... seems an awfully long time ago now.  image

    That is one of the things that has struck me while reading the report (I'm only on Page 40image ) - he sounds like such a spiteful bully. I wonder how many people were happy about testifying against him as revenge for his behaviour over the years.

  • I'm only 40 pages into the USADA report but already they have stated that LA trafficked drugs, which made me wonder if that could lead to criminal proceedings against him. Guess it depends when he last did it, the statute of limitations must be nearly up on a lot of his activities, if not already ...

  • Nike are still supporting him:

    "We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted.

    "Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position.

    "Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."

  • To be fair though. He did survive horrific cancer treatment and got back racing. Although illegally but how many other riders were doing exactly the same. it seems as though to keep up with the other riders you need to be doing whatever they are. But I still find it all very inspiring. Its a shame he had to do it because I think just coming back CLEAN and completing the Tour would have been amazing. He has set up a very worthwhile charity too. So all in all he's still a good bloke helping lots of people but I think this would have tainted the Lance Armstrong brand without a doubt.

  • I only had to go about ten comments down on that BBC article to read:
    "Whether Lance took drugs or not has never been proven." ...which just goes to show that no matter how black and white and accessible information is, people will choose to ignore it if it doesn't tally with opinions they would rather hold because it suits them.  (I wonder what a Venn diagram of Armstrong supporters and Creationists would look like?  image )

    Even Armstrong's lawyer being interviewed at the end, admits that he HASN'T EVEN READ THE USADA SUMMARY before feeling entitled to comment on it, saying that it's a hatchet job.

    Give me strength!

  • What Nike isn't saying is 'We have millions of dollars worth of Livestrong branded merchandise that we need to sell before distancing ourselves from this mess'

    If you read the USADA report, it wasn't simply that he was taking drugs to even up the playing field. He took doping to a new level, hired experts to make sure that he was always one step ahead of the rest of the field, and instituted a doping culture in his racing team - if you didn't want to dope, you were out. He also set out to coerce, discredit and threaten people who attempted to speak out about doping in general, or his doping specifically.

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