Lance Armstrong and PEDs

Lance Armstrong

Patrick Kovarik /AFP/Getty Images

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, 11 cyclists that were members of Lance Armstrong’s team confirmed that Lance Armstrong was doping during his seven Tour De France wins. I’ve seen some people comment the past couple of days that who cares if he used Performance Enhancing Drugs? Why does it matter? It’s his body, he should be able to do what he wants to it.

In general, I agree Lance Armstrong is free to do whatever he wants to his body. However, once he starts competing against other people, what he puts into his body is an issue. Every cyclist in the world shouldn’t be forced to take the same performance enhancing drugs Lance Armstrong took just to keep up with him; the possible long-term side effects are at best unknown and at worst very very dangerous. To expect others to keep up with a “cheater” isn’t realistic, and it’s the same reason MLB finally cracked down on Steroid use.

Now, Congress getting involved in the discussion was ridiculous. John McCain and company didn’t ask the right questions when they had the MLB players in front of them, and they shouldn’t have spent any of their time trying to get steroids out of professional baseball. It just shows how congressman are far more interested in getting a little publicity from the American Public rather than actually doing something useful for said public.

The issue with trying to stop performance enhancing drugs completely is that the science is always ahead of the testing. The people that can develop the kinds of undetectable steroids, such as BALCO about 15 years ago, are specifically trying to create drugs that can bypass the drug tests. The reason steroid use was so rampant in MLB for a decade was because BALCO was completely undetectable. Once the federal government raided the BALCO lab, they were able to see how it was made and, obviously create a new drug test that could show if someone was taking this new steroid.  Read more…

Lance Armstrong cheated, that’s not what’s upsetting

Lance Armstrong

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, 11 cyclists that were members of Lance Armstrong’s team confirmed that Lance Armstrong was doping during his seven Tour De France wins. I’ve seen some people comment the past couple of days that who cares if he used Performance Enhancing Drugs? Why does it matter? It’s his body, he should be able to do what he wants to it.

In general, I agree Lance Armstrong is free to do whatever he wants to his body. However, once he starts competing against other people, what he puts into his body is an issue. Every cyclist in the world shouldn’t be forced to take the same performance enhancing drugs Lance Armstrong took just to keep up with him; the possible long-term side effects are at best unknown and at worst very very dangerous. To expect others to keep up with a “cheater” isn’t realistic, and it’s the same reason MLB finally cracked down on Steroid use.

Now, Congress getting involved in the discussion was ridiculous. John McCain and company didn’t ask the right questions when they had the MLB players in front of them, and they shouldn’t have spent any of their time trying to get steroids out of professional baseball. It just shows how congressman are far more interested in getting a little publicity from the American Public rather than actually doing something useful for said public.

The issue with trying to stop performance enhancing drugs completely is that the science is always ahead of the testing. The people that can develop the kinds of undetectable steroids, such as BALCO about 15 years ago, are specifically trying to create drugs that can bypass the drug tests. The reason steroid use was so rampant in MLB for a decade was because BALCO was completely undetectable. Once the federal government raided the BALCO lab, they were able to see how it was made and, obviously create a new drug test that could show if someone was taking this new steroid. Read more…

Lance Armstrong: Give the man a break

Lance Armstrong

Lance ArmstrongAugust 23rd,2012, Lance Armstrong released his formal statement making it clear that he was through fighting to keep his good name. The cheating allegations are nothing new and date back since his first Tour De France win in 1999. Americans took the initial allegations with stride stating the French were just upset that Armstrong took title on their turf, not once, but seven times. During that time however, steroid use was making headlines and was what it seemed, almost mainstream. There is much speculation on the debate over steroid use. Some say it gives an unfair advantage to those taking it over their competition, others say it’s all fair in love and war. Would legalizing steroid use, and it being allowed for all to use be the best alternative? Steroid use, if not used in massive quantities can actually help the athlete heal faster from injuries. It increases vascularity, causes rapid muscle growth and increases stamina. Perhaps if legalized it could help the majority of athletes who so easily get injured and then find themselves struggling to get back into the game. Many athletes never get back to their full potential after an injury.

What troubles many over the Armstrong  fiasco is the fact that not only are they stripping his titles 17 years later when they have a limitation of eight years after the fact, they are also banning him from cycling, again, ever.

Now I understand that there have been investigations going on the last two years and were allegations from the start. But if it took 17 years to come up with a good enough case against the man, can’t you just let bygones be bygones? Are people so dead set on stripping him of his titles somehow implying that if he took steroids limits the amount of hard work and dedication he put into those wins? All steroid use does is increase recovering after injury and improve vascular circulation as well as muscle growth. Steroids are nothing more than testosterone shots. You still have to dedicate yourself and work your ass off. Stating that this man used steroids is somehow erasing all the effort he put forth. Some may agree and say well he cheated, he got what he deserved, but 17 years later? Really?

Lance Armstrong’s Statement of August 23, 2012 AUSTIN, Texas – August 23rd, 2012 – 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. Incompetition. 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 U.S. 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 exteammate 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.

Source:  http://lancearmstrong.com/news-events/lance-armstrongs-statement-of-august-23-2012


												

Armstrong strong-armed, banned from cycling for life

As the old philosophical question goes, if a tree falls down in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?  Common sense tells us it’s a tree.  It fell down.  Of course it made a sound.

Similarly, if Lance Armstrong won seven, consecutive Tours de France between 1999 and 2005, yet is suddenly stripped of those titles, did those races actually happen?

This latest news, shocking to some, inevitable to others, and draining to all, came across the wire late Thursday evening.  The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will strip Armstrong of his titles after the man, once considered the most dominant cyclist to ever slip on spandex,decided to no longer fight the charges.  As a result, Sports Illustrated’s 2002 Man of the Year will be banned from cycling for life.  Don’t feel bad, Lance.  Joe Paterno, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa also won that award.  Besides, nobody reads that magazine anymore anyway.

So where does this leave us?  For the longest time, Lance got a hall pass.  His case is unique in that, unlike Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens whose careers were also marred by drug use, Armstrong eventually got tired of the legal battles.  Also unlike Bonds and Clemens, people actually like him.  Even though none of us gave a damn about cycling, we revered Armstrong as a national hero and cancer survivor. We always presumed his innocence, or at least we wanted to. Read more…