By Charlie Gillis - Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 0 Comments
2012 Newsmakers: Lance Armstrong’s arrogance in the face of incontrovertible truth. Livestrong, as if.
When the shock had worn off and tempers had cooled, the wonder lay not in his misdemeanours but in his resolve. It’s one thing to cheat, another to lie. But to cheat and lie for so long—to draw in teammates, to bind them with threats, to lay waste to their reputations when they confessed—who among us could have done it? We’re used to learning our heroes have feet of clay, that they dope or drive drunk or cheat on their spouses. This was different. Lance Armstrong wasn’t revealed to be human this year. He was revealed to be inhuman.
The lies took more than a dozen years to fall away, hanging this summer by the threads of Armstrong’s brazen denials. Since the first whiff of suspicion back in 1999, when a former French rider spoke publicly about widespread doping in cycling, Armstrong had been on the offensive. He publicly attacked that rider, Christophe Bassons, inviting him to “go home” from the 2000 Tour de France. He ridiculed and sued the truth-sayers who followed—riders, journalists, and racing officials who alleged widespread doping at the highest echelons. In a 2001 TV ad for Nike, Armstrong all but laughed in their faces: “What am I on?” he snarled. “I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?”
But the drip, drip of revelation kept coming, culminating two years ago in the stunning admission by Armstrong’s former teammate, Tyler Hamilton, that he and Armstrong had taken the blood-doping hormone erythropoietin (EPO) before and during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours. Finally, in October, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published its jaw-dropping report on doping on the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery teams Armstrong had led in his seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong wasn’t just a participant in the teams’ doping program, by USADA’s estimation; he was the doping program. His unquenchable appetite for Tour victories, the report said, “led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions, but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own.” Continue…
By Emily Senger - Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
Second-place Tour de France winners are embroiled in their own doping scandals
With even more evidence coming forward to condemn cyclist Lance Armstrong in a doping scandal, including a damning confession from former Canadian teammate Michael Barry, there really is no more denying that the former king of cycling has fallen from grace.
It’s time to admit that the American hero cheated, writes ESPN columnist Bonnie D. Ford. “The word ‘alleged’ should now be dropped from any description of the way doping permeated and enabled Lance Armstrong’s cycling career,” she says.
With this new evidence, perhaps it’s time to finally redistribute those seven tainted yellow jerseys that Armstrong so proudly wore from 1999-2005.
Herein lies the problem. Take 2005 for example. In that last year, Armstrong stood atop the podium wearing that yellow jersey, Ivan Basso (team CSC) was second and Jan Ullrich (team T-mobile) was in third place.
So the medal should go to Basso, right? Basso admitted to doping and was handed a two-year ban from the sport in 2007. Third-place Ullrich has also been linked to a doping scandal, which is set to go before a Spanish court in January.
Meanwhile, Armstrong is remaining true to a message that has been pretty consistent over the last decade.