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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - Lance Armstrong decides not to fight charges; Banned for life, Tour titles to be stripped
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Zeruel
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Since: 2.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.23
http://www.usatoday.com/​sports/​cycling/​story/​2012-​08-​23/​Armstrong-​doping-​charges/​57258616/​1

Wow. He still claims his innocence, but not fighting the charges? I can only imagine how he feels, with this toll on him, but that doesn't look like the actions of an innocent man.

Who is now awarded his titles? I looked at a Wikipedia page about doping in the Tour and some years, 2003 and 2005, including Armstrong 8 of the top 10 finishers have been sanctioned for doping.

http://en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Doping_​at_​the_​Tour_​de_​France#Doping_​histories_​of_​Top-​10_​finishers.2C_​1998_​-​_​2012

EDIT: Also, it looks like he will probably lose his 2000 bronze medal to Abraham Olano



(edited by Zeruel on 24.8.12 0206)


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Since: 4.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
Has ANYONE ever cleanly won the Tour de France? I feel like they should just omit the entire race from the record books.



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J. Kyle
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.57
Nous ne nous pouvons pas sortir.
    Originally posted by Zeruel
    Who is now awarded his titles? I looked at a Wikipedia page about doping in the Tour and some years, 2003 and 2005, including Armstrong 8 of the top 10 finishers have been sanctioned for doping.

It's a good day to be 9th place.

I'm in the Jordan Breen camp of "there's so many top guys doing it just sanction PEDs and force them all to see an endocrinologist"

If Armstrong wasn't American, would his alleged PED use be investigated with such vigor?



ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.16
This is bullshit. So, based on test results from 2009 and 2010-- two years in which he didn't win the Tour de France-- they're abandoning all his results from August 1, 1998 onwards?

Are they doing it just to remove those seven Tour de France titles from him? Who the hell do they think they are?



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Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.57
    Originally posted by J. Kyle
    If Armstrong wasn't American, would his alleged PED use be investigated with such vigor?


It's probably fair to say if Armstrong wasn't from the US it's unlikely the USADA would have been pursuing a case against him so vigorously, yes.
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    This is bullshit. So, based on test results from 2009 and 2010-- two years in which he didn't win the Tour de France-- they're abandoning all his results from August 1, 1998 onwards?


I think the case against him included evidence dating back to 1996 and if he's no longer contesting the charges against him the prosecution would argue that their case is essentially proven in its entirety.

    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    Are they doing it just to remove those seven Tour de France titles from him?

No, they're doing it to send a message that no matter who you are and how successful you've been they'll still merrily pursue evidence of drug use even if it comes to light several years after the fact. Also, don't do drugs kids.

    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    Who the hell do they think they are?

Anti-doping agency?



lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.27
    Originally posted by dMr
      Originally posted by J. Kyle
      If Armstrong wasn't American, would his alleged PED use be investigated with such vigor?


    It's probably fair to say if Armstrong wasn't from the US it's unlikely the USADA would have been pursuing a case against him so vigorously, yes.
      Originally posted by ekedolphin
      This is bullshit. So, based on test results from 2009 and 2010-- two years in which he didn't win the Tour de France-- they're abandoning all his results from August 1, 1998 onwards?


    I think the case against him included evidence dating back to 1996 and if he's no longer contesting the charges against him the prosecution would argue that their case is essentially proven in its entirety.

      Originally posted by ekedolphin
      Are they doing it just to remove those seven Tour de France titles from him?

    No, they're doing it to send a message that no matter who you are and how successful you've been they'll still merrily pursue evidence of drug use even if it comes to light several years after the fact. Also, don't do drugs kids.

      Originally posted by ekedolphin
      Who the hell do they think they are?

    Anti-doping agency?






Stripping Armstrong as well as the last few winners is basically saying, our sport is corrupt, but we only want to take action after we got all the free press and money from this event. There are some questions how much of evidence there really is as well. IF they had stuff in 1996 why wait ten years later? Its more about the French just hating on Americans than anything else.

If you are Armstrong and the large degree in which these doping agents seem to spring out of the blue to do drug tests as well as the legal battles he will have to fight over this, it will take its toll. Even if he did fight, people would still think he did. Clemson got a not guilty verdict in his case, but he is not going to the Hall any time soon or ever. Even when you are found innocent, there are going to be elements that will say you are guilty and hamstring you for the rest of your life. In America, its not longer innocent until proven guilty its I call you guilty in the media and you are guilty for life regardless of the outcome.

The USDA probably has better things to do than decide the fate of a guy biking in another country.



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Since: 3.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.71
Ladies and gentlemen, the following public service message is brought to you by your friends from D-Generation X, who would like to remind each and every one of you that if you're not down with that, we've got two words for you...

Honestly, I can't blame Lance for making this decision. The anti-doping system in most sports, but especially cycling, has repeatedly been shown to be totally rigged in favor of the authorities with the Floyd Landis case being the poster child for ridiculousness. Hell, the most laughably ironic thing in this whole current ordeal was UCI supporting Lance's (dismissed) lawsuit against the USADA, probably because UCI wanted Lance's head for its own trophy collection rather than to let those "Amurricans" get the credit. Lance probably did cheat, but the bottom line is that until we have a fair system where the rules are enforced on both sides instead of one where the athlete is presumed guilty and all his/her measures of proving innocence are capable of being willfully ignored, he's got every right not to participate in the dog-and-pony show.

(edited by Texas Kelly on 24.8.12 1720)


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Since: 2.11.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by lotjx
    There are some questions how much of evidence there really is as well.


Enough to make Armstrong give up trying to defend his case, apparently.

    Originally posted by lotjx
    IF they had stuff in 1996 why wait ten years later?


Evidence from 1996 != evidence discovered in 1996.

    Originally posted by lotjx
    Its more about the French just hating on Americans than anything else.


USADA are a bunch of jealous froggy bastards, to be sure.

    Originally posted by lotjx
    Even if he did fight, people would still think he did.
Some would, some wouldn't. By not defending himself a whole lot more people will assume he's guilty. Just for fun, pretend instead of him being an American cyclist, imagine we're talking about a Chinese swimmer who'd won a ton of championships over the last decade. Then, after he/she retires WADA say "we've got evidence that shows you took drugs over the course of your career". And said swimmer says, "I'm not defending these charges because emotional stress and such". Think you'd be on here defending that swimmer's honour? (Hint: No).

    Originally posted by lotjx
    The USDA probably has better things to do than decide the fate of a guy biking in another country.


Such as teaching people about the important, yet oft forgotten middle letter of their acronym?

dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.89
I'm very much on the fence on this whole situation. I see the reasons for him giving up, but I still think it's a bad idea
.
Fact is, Armstrong has never been proven to take doping.
That doesn't mean he never used.
From what I gather, this is the same evidence that resulted in a "no case" decision earlier.

Another fact is that he created a prominent organisation that funds cancer research and helps those dealing with it.

I can understand the decision to ignore the allegations and focus on his organisation.
I believe that by taking this 'martyr' route he can actually do so relatively unscathed and still be considered a symbol for cancer survivors (and obviously use this to provide an income for himself too)

However, stripping him of the titles (which afaik the USADA cannot do, they will however send an advice to the UCI/WADA) means a large blemish on his product name and thus the importance of LiveStrong.

I still feel he is an icon as a cyclist but also as symbol for cancer survivors, but I'm sure he'll be thrown out like trash by many.




Avatar Mud
Canard
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Since: 25.7.05
From: England

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
I think this is a clever decision by Lance, but for completely cynical reasons. By not contesting the charges, the USADA never gets to present their evidence against him in court, so he can continue to paint them as being on a witch-hunt with nothing more than trumped up allegations against him.

Now we'll probably never know for sure, but the rumours of at least 10 ex-teammates of his, including many who were still friends (eg. not ones with axes to grind like Landis for example), ready to testify about systematic abuse of EPO and blood doping within US Postal and the levels they went to cover it up afterward, could well have been damning testimony (if true of course) that would have ruined everything for him. Better to avoid that and let the half of the public who support you continue to support you and not worry about the other half who probably already think he cheated and wouldn't have changed their mind anyway.

Of course, there is the small matter of Bruyneel still wanting to fight the charges against him. I think Lance will try to persuade him to drop his case as well, otherwise the USADA will get to have their day in court after all, which is not what he wants.

As a postscript, no matter what the USADA says, I don't think he will get stripped of his 7 Tour wins by the UCI. At worst, they will just put an asterisk by them, given that 80% of his rivals in those years have also been outed as drug cheats, you can't exactly award the yellow jersey retrospectively to them, so it's better just to say they all cheated, but if they hadn't, a clean Lance would have probably still have won, just in a slightly slower time instead. Not ideal, but what else can you do?

(edited by Canard on 25.8.12 1636)
BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
Stripping past titles is as pointless as keeping suspected juicers out of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We are going to keep Barry Bonds out but put other guys from that era in who put up crazy stats until late in their career in the same era? Please. The whole era was tainted they should just note it as such and move on.

I totally think Lance Armstrong was doping, but cycling should have had their shit together then and done something about it.

It's the old wrestling adage, it's not cheating if you don't get caught ... of course we the viewer know differently after watching the replay and clearly seeing the foreign object and hand full of tights.



(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 25.8.12 1423)
TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.68
    Originally posted by BigDaddyLoco
    Stripping past titles is as pointless as keeping suspected juicers out of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We are going to keep Barry Bonds out but put other guys from that era in who put up crazy stats until late in their career in the same era? Please.


"Other guys."

Do you want to suggest a name here, or are you expecting someone else from this coming vote to slip through, but not Bonds?

I don't see Bonds, Clemens or Sosa making the Hall in '13. What I think it will take is for a current Hall of Famer to admit steroid/PED use (and I don't mean greenies). The writers would then have cover to throw up their hands and just vote on stats.



Stephanie
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Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
    Originally posted by dMr
      Originally posted by lotjx
      There are some questions how much of evidence there really is as well.


    Enough to make Armstrong give up trying to defend his case, apparently.




I think it's more a matter of Lance realizing, to paraphrase Otter from Animal House: "They're going to nail me, no matter what I do." The USADA, having failed to make a case to the Justice Department after a two year investigation, was going to make themselves judge, jury, and executioner at what would have been little more than a show trial. The verdict would have been "guilty" regardless of the time, money, or effort Lance would have spent defending himself. However, the USADA's ability to penalize Lance in a meaningful way is uncertain. Being already retired, a lifetime ban means little to Lance. I'm still waiting to see what authority the USADA has to strip titles awarded by the French. All this does is make the USADA look petty.

By the way, the USADA had (they said) ten witnesses; how many of them had been offered an inducement to testify?

Steph



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Since: 2.11.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by Stephanie
    I think it's more a matter of Lance realizing, to paraphrase Otter from Animal House: "They're going to nail me, no matter what I do."


Sorry, but this looks a whole lot more like a matter of a drugs cheat not particulary wanting to have the evidence of his cheating laid bare for the world to see. Again, if this was a Chinese swimmer and not an American cyclist we wouldn't even be having this conversation.


    I'm still waiting to see what authority the USADA has to strip titles awarded by the French.
Their argument would be they put forward a case of cheating between dates X and Y. Lance didn't want to defend that case, therefore he is guilty of cheating between dates X and Y and the Tour de France, the IOC and any other relevant bodies are bound to act accordingly.


    By the way, the USADA had (they said) ten witnesses; how many of them had been offered an inducement to testify?


Why "they said" in brackets? Are you implying they didn't exist? They would have surely called them if Lance had decided to defend his case. In fact we'd have seen all of their evidence and been able to judge for ourselves. "Inducement to testify" is just "leniency in return for cooperation". It's a pretty standard part of any criminal process (and ten's not a bad number to have). We'll never be able to judge the veracity of these people's testimony because Lance decided to give up defending his corner. There's a lot of witnesses (and apparently other evidence which now we regrettably won't see) to say he cheated. He doesn't want to put forward a case that shows he didn't cheat. He was able to consistently dominate a bunch of cyclists who *were* cheating. If nothing else, Occam's razor says he's a cheat.

Stephanie
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Since: 2.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
    Originally posted by dMr

    Why "they said" in brackets? Are you implying they didn't exist? They would have surely called them if Lance had decided to defend his case.




If the Justice Department hadn't just finished a two year investigation of Lance - and dropped the investigation with no charges - I would find this less suspicious. If the USADA had these witnesses at the ready, why didn't they bring them out for the federal prosecution? Why did they suddenly appear when the USADA created their own arbitration, over which they would have full control? Even the U.S. District judge who ruled against Lance's attempt to block the arbitration questioned the timing and the motivation of the USADA's investigation of Armstrong, and their apparent "single minded determination to force Armstrong to arbitrate...in direct conflict with UCI's (the international cycling union) equally evident desire not to proceed against him".

Steph



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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.23
So let me get this straight. Lance can pass every single test and still get banned from cycling yet baseball and football is full of junkies and steroid users and the most they get is the loss of a season?
RYDER FAKIN
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Since: 21.2.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.85
(deleted by RYDER FAKIN on 3.9.12 2000)
RYDER FAKIN
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.85
    Originally posted by wannaberockstar
    So let me get this straight. Lance can pass every single test and still get banned from cycling yet baseball and football is full of junkies and steroid users and the most they get is the loss of a
    season?


The World of Competitive Biking hates his guts and has it out for him. They play by a different set of rules

FLEA





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Canard
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Since: 25.7.05
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN

    The World of Competitive Biking hates his guts and has it out for him. They play by a different set of rules



By "The World of Competitive Biking", do you mean the UCI (International Cycling Union)? That would be the same UCI that sided with Lance in his (failed) lawsuit against the USADA to get the charges against him thrown out.

But of course that doesn't fit the line of "everyone's against me" that Team Armstrong is always claiming to get everyone to think he's the victim.

(edited by Canard on 4.9.12 2126)
dMr
Andouille








Since: 2.11.02
From: Edinburgh, Scotland

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.66
    Originally posted by wannaberockstar
    Lance can pass every single test and still get banned from cycling
They didn't have a test for blood transfusions. Or drug trafficking, obviously. Testing is but one way to catch cheats, just like fingerprint evidence is one method available to catch criminals.

    Originally posted by wannaberockstar
    yet baseball and football is full of junkies and steroid users and the most they get is the loss of a season?


Neither the NFL or MLB sign up to the WADA code.

    Originally posted by Stephanie
    If the USADA had these witnesses at the ready, why didn't they bring them out for the federal prosecution? Why did they suddenly appear when the USADA created their own arbitration, over which they would have full control?
Don't know. The identity and credibility of the witnesses is something we can only now hypothesise over because Lance isn't fighting the charges.

    Originally posted by Stephanie
    Even the U.S. District judge who ruled against Lance's attempt to block the arbitration questioned the timing and the motivation of the USADA's investigation of Armstrong


I've seen this point made often and I think it somewhat misrepresents Sparks' statement. He questions the motivation "if Armstrong's allegations are true and USADA is promising lesser sanctions against other allegedly offending riders....it is difficult to avoid the conclusion is motivated more by politics and a desire for media attention than faithful adherence to its obligations".

Or put another way, "you've got a bunch of guys who committed the same offence yet you're offering most of them lesser sentences to go after this guy. The hell?".

Which is a perfectly reasonable point to make, but anti-doping agencies will always be motivated to go after the most successful drugs cheats. It's a far bigger deterrent if you catch the guy who's cheating and winning than if you catch some guy in the middle of the pack. They'd also presumably argue that it's more important to catch people who have achieved great success on the back of cheating than someone who achieved more modest results. It's not *fair* because cheating's cheating no matter where you finish but I understand why they work that way.

It's also worth noting (though supporters of Armstrong never do) that the same ruling said that "the only support in the record for the notion that the arbitrators will be biased against Armstrong comes from his allegation that athletes have won only three proceedings since USADA's inception in 2000, and counsel's colorful biblical analogy during oral argument".


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Of course that is not entirely true as he competed (and won some stages) in the Tour before his fight with cancer. No matter what team he signs with (and I guess his history with Bruyneel makes Astana a good candidate)
Related threads: Tour de France: Alberto Contador fails drug test - Lance Armstrong announces Team Radio Shack - Levi out with a broken wrist - More...
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