Forum home Road cycling forum Pro race

Lance Armstrong and Disco?

redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
edited January 2008 in Pro race
I've lots of rumours around (this board mainly) that although Disco/USPS never got a positive that they were a bit dodgy.

I'm a new spectator (post-LA days) to this sport and just want the background to why everyone thinks they are a bit dodgy?

Were they a bit dodgy?
I like bikes...

Twitter
Flickr
«1

Posts

  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    David Walsh book "From Lance to Landis". Also check out the interview he did on Competitor Radio (http://www.competitorradio.com and search for Walsh, plus loads of other good stuff - Mac Larsen, Mark Ziegler, Michael Ashendon).
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    I've lots of rumours around (this board mainly) that although Disco/USPS never got a positive that they were a bit dodgy.

    I'm a new spectator (post-LA days) to this sport and just want the background to why everyone thinks they are a bit dodgy?

    Were they a bit dodgy?

    Try 'more astute'. :wink:
    You might also wan't to consider the word ' libel 'or the phrase 'litigious millionaire'
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    There are those who believe that people are innocent until proven guilty and those who believe the opposite

    THe thingis that despite the testing LA was never proved to be positive and despite some very dodgy dealings and corruption within the UCI / WADA and the testing ;abs this remains the case

    This is where the problem lies - innuendo sticks and it is now a standard "They must be cheating" if the win scenario.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,423
    Cunobelin wrote:
    There are those who believe that people are innocent until proven guilty and those who believe the opposite

    THe thingis that despite the testing LA was never proved to be positive and despite some very dodgy dealings and corruption within the UCI / WADA and the testing ;abs this remains the case

    This is where the problem lies - innuendo sticks and it is now a standard "They must be cheating" if the win scenario.

    Innocent until proven guilty? Given your statement, I'll be looking for examples/evidence of people from within UCI , WADA and the labs who have been found guilty of corruption? Making mistakes and not fully following correct procedure is a far cry from corruption.

    I'm sure dodgy dealings could be labelled against LA just as easy!!!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    In lieu of the fact that vitually every contender for the TDF since about 1992 has allegations of drug abuse against them, then the likelihood of one rider being a paragon of virtue and producing examplary performances against known 'abusers' kind of puts in all into perspective. Also the fact that many of the associates and team mates have subsequently tested positive too kind of indicates a 'thoroughness' and 'astuteness' to their preparation. Of course there's the 'fairy tale' of being able to produce exemplary performance by merely riding in the shadow of a great and then you need to resort to the likes of the evil Dr Fuentes when you change teams.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • ^^ that is why Armstrong always says, "I never got caught doping" (true) and "I never cheated my fellow riders"(also true).

    However, many admitted dopers never got caught in drug tests, Millar ran many races and was tested ~20 times clean while admittedly on EPO.

    While David Walsh is an extremely bad journalist, there are several simple facts that indicate that Armstrong was just as dirty as the rest of them.

    1. His doctor, Ferrari, was a notorious doping doctor.
    2. He trained in Spain without exception -back then, sports doping was not illegal in Spain.
    3. Sworn court testimony by Frankie Andreu and USPS personnel saying the team had a doping program and Armstrong admitted to use of a plethora of hormones prior to his cancer. This was sealed following a court settlement, but Canadian TV got a hold of the testimony. Armstrong's lawyers blocked this news program from airing on US TV. They still won't allow Walsh's book in the US. What's he afraid of?
    4. Common sense, as every single one of his major opponents from 99-05 has since been caught, but Armstrong beat them all, "clean".

    Personally, I wouldn't care, because there is no way to win a ProTour race clean. What bothers me is Armstrong's moral preachings to Europeans, and his recent use of his Cancer foundation to boost his political aspirations in the US, synchronized with his complete retreat from cycling.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Personally, I wouldn't care, because there is no way to win a ProTour race clean. What bothers me is Armstrong's moral preachings to Europeans, and his recent use of his Cancer foundation to boost his political aspirations in the US, synchronized with his complete retreat from cycling.

    His cancer foundation does do some good work (apparantly) and he does use his name to try and do some good. The fact he wrote to Seb Joly and offered help if he could privately shows he's not a complete scumbag.

    Everyone seems to be happy to damn him while ignoring the rest of the generation. Nothing to do with him being 'merican though.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • With regard to Postal being clean here are a few facts -
    Frankie Andreau plus one other Postal rider have admitted doping. Lance Armstrong's B samples from 99 tested positive for EPO during trials for a new EPO test.

    The simple fact is that from 1994 - 2006 (and to a lesser extent 2007) doping has been prevelent in the sport. Up to 2000 EPO was the main drug of choice. Since then it has been blood doping. There are still no tests for blood doping when using ur own blood. Unless u were caught in the act there it was not possible to catch anyone blood doping. We cannot talk soley about guilty or innocent due to the limitations of testing as a negative test does not prove no doping. (Obviously this is unfortunate for a clean rider).

    The list of suspects in Op Puerto and the products these people are recorded as taken would indicate that to compete you needed an arsenal of gear. Confessions of known dopers and sports scientists all confirm that EPO/blood doping improves ur performance so much that clean riders can no longer keep up with you. So either Postal had the most amazing fantastic riders and most complete training programs ever devised that they could not only beat the dopers but dominate the hardest race in the world where doping would offer maximium benefits for 8years /9 or they levelled the playing pitch.....?
  • on a side note if it was all about anti americianisim then how come Greg LeMond never gets brought down with similiar drug accusations ..... ?

    U can argue that it was his brash manner or level of dominance that rubs people up the wrong way but i think the anti americianisim is barking up the wrong tree. Remember that while Disco was a US registered team the no. of foreigners far out weighed the no. of us riders. Plus look at all the accusations being levelled at Contador this year.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    Cunobelin wrote:
    There are those who believe that people are innocent until proven guilty and those who believe the opposite

    THe thingis that despite the testing LA was never proved to be positive and despite some very dodgy dealings and corruption within the UCI / WADA and the testing ;abs this remains the case

    This is where the problem lies - innuendo sticks and it is now a standard "They must be cheating" if the win scenario.

    Innocent until proven guilty? Given your statement, I'll be looking for examples/evidence of people from within UCI , WADA and the labs who have been found guilty of corruption? Making mistakes and not fully following correct procedure is a far cry from corruption.

    I'm sure dodgy dealings could be labelled against LA just as easy!!!

    Which is the point.

    The "Authority" should be absolutely squeaky clean toa void these allegations.

    The case of the "Positive EPO samples" is a classic case.

    Perhaps we could give a little and accept that the releas of the results of an unofficial tst on an old sample was released

    Perhaps the release "equally accidentally" of the coded confidential details for a random case could be accepted.

    But for the press to be able to get hold of the results of an unverified and unproven trial of an experimental test, the confidential bar code for the sample, the race list and the individual code for a ride is stretching the imagination just a little.....

    THe hearing that dismissed these allegations stated that the testing Laboratory's standards were "far below scientific standards".

    The failure of the WADA to obey and conform to it's own codes is a problem as it leaves any investigation open to question.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Lemond retired in 1994 and has pretty well expressed it was down to seeing no-hopers like Chiapucci suddenly becoming 'contenders' as well as the issues with his own medical conditions. Whilst stimulants were used in that era, they never turned a donkey into a thoroughbred like hormones did. Lemond is pretty well recognised as 'old school' and despite the best attempts by scumbags like Landis' lawyer, no one has really turned-up any substantive allegations against him.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    on a side note if it was all about anti americianisim then how come Greg LeMond never gets brought down with similiar drug accusations ..... ?

    Because Greg was very likely clean.

    My point is more that Lance gets a rougher ride than most of his rivals and they were all equally bad. People don't tend to rip into Ullrich but he cheated his way to winning the Tour. Years of reading forums and you definately detect an undercurrent from the UK.

    If you look at what's come out this year, were Disco / USPS any worse than the other teams? No. Better at it, perhaps, but they all did the same. The obsession with Lance world seems to blinker people.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • Yes but is that not because Lance appears in more books.Theres not many books about ulrich unless you speak german.
    Im not a fan of Lance because of the way he comes across and the way he treats people,Lemond included,I base that on reading about the bloke.But admire what he achieved after all it was a level playing field.
  • The question of did lance dope is critical to understand what the last decade represents in the sport of cycling. It has Zero to do with his nationality. The previous man to dominate the tour was Indurian but that was before Festina when peoples eyes were opened and they began to question riders performances. Since then Lance has gone on to win 7 tours in an era that we know was tainted where the majority of his rivals were engaged in doping - Beloki, Heras, Ulrich, Basso, Rumsas, Vino, Sevilla, Pantani, Hamilton (i could go on all day here). The point is that either
    a) Lance beat, infact dominated all these guys clean for 7 years. If this is the case then Lance must be in my view the best athlete of the century. Also it would indicate the sport is not bankrupt and that the even its it darkest hour a clean athlete was able to defend the diginity of cycling against a tidal wave of dopers. Those dopers even with their arsenal could not beat a clean athlete so must have been insecure, greedy or lazy to revert to doping (for all the good it did them). Crucially they corrupted the sport the sport did not corrupt them.
    or
    b) Lance doped just like everyone else. If this is the case then the last decade is a massive void as it was not possible for a clean athlete to compete.Unlike above the sport corrupted all athletes. Races are run to produce winners and winners could not win unless they doped. The UCI ran the sport so they must take the blame for allowing this to happen.The doping prog you were on played as much a part if not more in producing winners than athletic ability did. You had to spend big on a top sports doctor to win big. This means that if you go beyond the ethics of is right or wrong to dope allowing doping is anything but a level playing pitch. It distorts the sport even further where ability and hard work are less important versus money and the risks you wish to take with your life.

    There is no smoking gun to answer the question above - but there has been plenty of smoke. Therefore it is very important that journalists investigate these fully. If they dont then the next decade will be every bit a farce as the last decade has been.
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    Dont forget that Lemond was riding for a French squad - accusations of institutionalised doping would reflect very badly on riders such as Hinault. Armstrong with an "all American" squad, albeit one with a far greater diversity than most French squads, is a far more defined target.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • For the benefit of langerdan

    The question of did lance dope is critical to understand what the last decade represents in the sport of cycling. It has Zero to do with his nationality. The previous man to dominate the tour was Indurian but that was before Festina when peoples eyes were opened and they began to question riders performances. Since then Lance has gone on to win 7 tours in an era that we know was tainted where the majority of his rivals were engaged in doping - Beloki, Heras, Ulrich, Basso, Rumsas, Vino, Sevilla, Pantani, Hamilton (i could go on all day here). The point is that either
    a) Lance beat, infact dominated all these guys clean for 7 years. If this is the case then Lance must be in my view the best athlete of the century. Also it would indicate the sport is not bankrupt and that the even its it darkest hour a clean athlete was able to defend the diginity of cycling against a tidal wave of dopers. Those dopers even with their arsenal could not beat a clean athlete so must have been insecure, greedy or lazy to revert to doping (for all the good it did them). Crucially they corrupted the sport the sport did not corrupt them.
    or
    b) Lance doped just like everyone else. If this is the case then the last decade is a massive void as it was not possible for a clean athlete to compete.Unlike above the sport corrupted all athletes. Races are run to produce winners and winners could not win unless they doped. The UCI ran the sport so they must take the blame for allowing this to happen.The doping prog you were on played as much a part if not more in producing winners than athletic ability did. You had to spend big on a top sports doctor to win big. This means that if you go beyond the ethics of is right or wrong to dope allowing doping is anything but a level playing pitch. It distorts the sport even further where ability and hard work are less important versus money and the risks you wish to take with your life.

    There is no smoking gun to answer the question above - but there has been plenty of smoke. Therefore it is very important that journalists investigate these fully. If they dont then the next decade will be every bit a farce as the last decade has been.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    There is no smoking gun to answer the question above - but there has been plenty of smoke. Therefore it is very important that journalists investigate these fully. If they dont then the next decade will be every bit a farce as the last decade has been.

    Disagree. If journalists investigated the here and now we might get somewhere. He's retired, some samples showed traces of EPO - Woop dee do. How has that moved anything forward?

    Going after Armstrong is more a matter of ego than anything to do with the good of the sport.

    It's more important for journalists to hammer away at Slipstream, High Road, CSC, Astana etc, in their current guise and see if there is anything to answer.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    There's a difference. Basso, Vinokourov or Hamilton et al get exposed and they're just whining cyclists who, as ever, deny all and resort to bold excuses ("my dog was ill", "my leg was swollen with blood" etc, etc, etc) instead of admitting the truth. They're not the first to dope and nor will they be the last. "Pro cyclist dopes" is a headline that falls into the "Pope's a catholic" category.

    But Armstrong is more than a cyclist, he's an internationally recognised brand, not to mention a figure of hope for some of the most sick people in the world, as they lie stricken in chemo wards around the world. If Armstrong doped, then the tales of recovery from cancer to win the Tour de France are less impressive, and the industry that's built up around this fairy tale of contemporary resurrection is worth a lot less.

    Consequently a lot of people are more interested in Armstrong's tale, and whether it is true or not, than in the likes of Basso or Vino.
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    While David Walsh is an extremely bad journalist

    So bad that his peers nominated him Sports Journalist of the year in 2000
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Kléber wrote:
    But Armstrong is more than a cyclist, he's an internationally recognised brand, not to mention a figure of hope for some of the most sick people in the world, as they lie stricken in chemo wards around the world. If Armstrong doped, then the tales of recovery from cancer to win the Tour de France are less impressive, and the industry that's built up around this fairy tale of contemporary resurrection is worth a lot less.

    But in real terms, is it? He just did what everyone else did. It's part and parcel of the deal.

    Jan Ullrich was healthy and talented cyclist. He took EPO and won the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong got cancer, recovered, took EPO and won the Tour de France. I'm not convinced the doping makes it any less remarkable.

    Oh well....
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    He's retired, some samples showed traces of EPO - Woop dee do. How has that moved anything forward?

    Untrue....

    The laboratory carried out some tests on an old sample. No validation has been made on how these samples were stored or if there were chemical changes within the samples. The test is unvalidated and experimental - it's results are not sound.

    Without second and independent samples they cannot tell whether these results are valid or not!

    The laboratory was criticized for its failure to exercise the most basic procedural or scientific standards to these tests -they simply do not stand up to any orm odf scrutiny.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • I agree that the question of Lance doping or not is sometimes played out like a tabloid and focuses on bringing down the personality. This has implications to teh cancer community etc but I would be more interested in how this releates to the sport.

    If Lance doped then it proves that no one could win the big races in the last decade without dope. That is very relevent today - look at Slipstream and Team High Road. Everyone gets up in arms when a known doper is linked as a DS or rider. However if the sport corrupted atheletes (if was not possible to compete without doping) then it is pointless ridculing these links.It is too simple to say that these guys were 100% victims but they were victims of a corrupt sport where the rules were only relevent if u got caught.

    Secondly if Lance doped then the sport was a shambles run by the UCI. Remember that Lance NEVER tested positive nor did his teammates when part of Disco/Postal. Yet when the riders did leave Disco/Postal they did test positive. So either the ex postals allowed themselves to get involved in far sloppier doping progs or the UCI did not pursue Lance and the Disco team to the same degree as his rivals. Recent reports have blown holes in the myth that Lance was the most tested athlete.Lance was the best thing that ever happened cycling with regards to increased media exposure, bike sales, sponsorship - the last thing the UCI would want was to prove he doped. This is nothing to do with Lance but the UCI - did they have a level playing field with regard to dope testing.The same people are still in charge and running the UCI. If lance doped then they have serious questions to answer wit regard to why more was not done.
  • pjhpjh Posts: 204
    I'm not a pro-cyclist in-fact I've been riding only for 6 months, and It was partly due the the 'LA Story' that I took up cycling.

    I like thousands found him truly inspirational beating his cancer to get back to the very pinnacle of sport.

    I don't know what relevance 'doping' has to LA recovering from Cancer (none) ... and if as some suggest <ALL> elite riders inlcuding LA are/were doping, then LA remains the best cyclist in the world ... or did my logic fail me?

    I'm not sure what pursuing LA will achieve when surely the focus has to be on the 'here & now'?

    It certainly seems like it's become almost impossible to reach the very top in cycling (in the last 10 years) without doping and this means that the governing bodies need to look very hard at what they're asking pro-cyclists to achieve.

    Maybe we've just reached a new age where people will always look for 'short-cuts' to success, and we just need to recognise that and legalise doping. Then it'll be back to 'first past the post' ... as it used to be?


    It's great to be .....
  • Ste_SSte_S Posts: 1,173
    pjh wrote:
    I don't know what relevance 'doping' has to LA recovering from Cancer (none) ... and if as some suggest <ALL> elite riders inlcuding LA are/were doping, then LA remains the best cyclist in the world ... or did my logic fail me?

    As Armstrong only really competed in the TdF during '99-'05, it's a bit hard to call him the best cyclist in the world during those times
  • pjhpjh Posts: 204
    Isn't the TdF regarded as the toughest sporting challenge on the planet? (excuse the ignorance :wink: )


    It's great to be .....
  • PJH -
    Legalising doping does not create a level playing field and it turns sport into a farce.
    1)studies in australia showed that people respond differently to doping and that some will have gains others even sickness.
    2) Sport is about athletic performance not pharmacutical performance. If doping is legalised then the best doctor will control the sport. As was seen in the vuelta unter Fuentes where the leading riders were under his care. The doctor can then decide who he wants to win. Also doping is not cheap so it means it will favour the rich
    3) finally legalise doping and the rider that is willing to take the most risks with his health will win - just look at Riis with a Hct=64%.

    Some additional points -
    The 100m is the shortest event in athletics and also the dirtiest. So the length of the tour is not the issue - expecting clean riders who do not break the rules to compete against ones who do is the issue. Back in the 80's before blod doping was prevelent riders had no issue with the tour or the calender.

    I would agree that Armstrong was the best cyclist of his generation but have a lot of difficulty in saying that he was the best cyclist ever. Riders like Hinault, Antqiuile, merckx all won 5 tours and just about every other race on the calender. The 7 tours is a great record but not up to the palmares of others.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Could Lance Armstrong's dominance in the Tour be down to it being the event he worked towards?

    Or did other Tour contenders concentrate on just the Tour?
    I like bikes...

    Twitter
    Flickr
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784

    Or did other Tour contenders concentrate on just the Tour?

    Yes for the most part.

    Ullrich was terrible for starting his season late and fat and then getting into shape quickly.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72 wrote:
    If journalists investigated the here and now we might get somewhere. He's retired, some samples showed traces of EPO - Woop dee do. How has that moved anything forward?

    Going after Armstrong is more a matter of ego than anything to do with the good of the sport.

    It's more important for journalists to hammer away at Slipstream, High Road, CSC, Astana etc, in their current guise and see if there is anything to answer.

    Can't agree more......
    All this speculation is fun but at the end of the day, is not constructive. As it stands one TdF champion has been stripped of his jersey not really because he doped but because he admitted it. Follow this line of action to it's logical conclusion? I wouldn't recommend it, you would have to identify the best clean finisher in each tour for the last 20 years.
    Best get over it and move on.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Sure, but how can you "hammer away" at many current teams when they've got the same support staff as riders in the 1990s had. If anything, the riders are the victims of a rotten system, it's those running the teams and supplying the drugs who have profited.

    Johan Bruyneel alone could explain a lot about what he got up to as a rider with ONCE in the 1990s, he could explain more about his time at US Postal and Discovery. Until he decides to talk more openly about his past, they'll always be question marks.
Sign In or Register to comment.