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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - The Lance Armstrong Steroid Saga
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TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
The latest development in this never-ending story is that Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, vehemently disagrees with the report released last week apparently clearing Lance Armstrong of allegations of steroid use:


    MONTREAL -- World Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound said Friday that a Dutch investigator's report clearing Lance Armstrong from doping allegations made by a French newspaper is full of holes.

    "They put as fact things that are suppositions, suspicions and possibilities," Pound said.

    Pound said WADA has "completely rejected" the report written by lawyer Emile Vrijman for the International Cycling Union (UCI). The report defended Armstrong against accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs at the 1999 Tour DE France.

    He said the report had so many factual errors that "pointing them out would probably take as much space as the (132-page) report." WADA will consider legal action against Vrijman and "any organization, including UCI, that may publicly adopt its conclusions."


That line I bolded at the end of the quote has me particularly baffled. These people are taking this, which Armstrong has called in the past a "witch hunt," incredibly serious, not to mention pretty personally. Why are people so adamant outside of the U.S. to crucify this man, to the point of threatening "legal action" against someone who dares defend him?

The U.S. media would have me believe it is because Europe hates an American going and dominating "their" event, but I just find that so hard to believe. Now accusations of unethical behavior and questionable motives are being thrown around...why don't people just let it go?

Barry Bonds is going to be synonymous with steroids for the rest of his life, but I don't think it's because of his history of being an asshole like many claim. It's because Americans actually care about the sport he plays. Not very many people here give a damn about cycling. Americans love Armstrong, no doubt, and have a tremendous amount of respect for him. However, U.S. interest in the Tour de France started and probably ended with Armstrong's run of titles. It wasn't interest in the sport or the event, it was interest in the man and what he'd overcome; he might as well have been playing cricket or boccie.

So I ask all the European W's, how are people treating this over there? Is it really a big deal to a lot of people like the baseball steroid mess here, or is this just a small group of organizations grandstanding on this issue?

(edited by TheBucsFan on 3.6.06 1044)
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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.64
Dick Pound likes making outraegeous statements. He recently said that he believed two-thirds to three-quarters of NHL players took steroids, though he didn't have any actual evidence to back this claim up (and the NHL, obviously, was really pissed about this).

The fact that Armstrong has never tested positive for anything (in spite of being tested more than any cyclist in the world in the past decade), should be enough. If they find he was hopped up on Captain America's super-soldier serum tomorrow, I'll change my tune, but for now, Armstrong is just a great athlete to me, not in Bonds' league of suspicion.



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CRZ
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.86
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    However, U.S. interest in the Tour de France started and probably ended with Armstrong's run of titles.
That's a pretty ignorant statement considering we're going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Greg LeMond's first Tour win this summer.



CRZ
TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      However, U.S. interest in the Tour de France started and probably ended with Armstrong's run of titles.
    That's a pretty ignorant statement considering we're going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Greg LeMond's first Tour win this summer.


And there are parties in the streets commemorating it!

If you want to tell me that competitive international cycling pre-Armstrong was anything more than an afterthought to 90 percent of America, I'm going to have to order some of whatever you're smoking. How many people do you know that can name on race besides the Tour de France? How about name one winner besides Lance Armstrong? Maybe LeMond gained some fame for his success, but he didn't match Armstrong's level (of either success or fame) and he didn't exactly usher in an era of American love for the sport. So I really don't see your point.

Anyway, if that's the one thing you want to take from my post, fine I'll retract it if you're that offended. All I wanted was to know why so many people seem to have it out for this guy.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 3.6.06 2038)
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.45

I hope no one gets shot in the back.



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wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.38
I know how crazy I've been about the baseball and track people getting away with steroids, but I'm not sure what to think with cycling. I mean their system seems so much more stringent than the others, but I don't know all the details. Just from what I've read they'll check for more little things and flag you pretty quick. For him to be tested as often as he has been he would have to have a program and drugs even better than what Bonds was doing. Which is not out of the question, but a still hard to believe.

The fact is they don't have evidence that holds up. The testing they did on these samples didnt meet anyone's standards to be able to determine a quality result. Too much time had passed, the samples had changed hands too much, etc. They should have never tried to claim these were results that proved anything. And for them to now act like it's insulting when all this investigation did was say, hey you can't rely on those results, is stupid.

But then again Dick Pound appears to be a bit of a crazy person. I don't know about Lance. Lot's of people out there have said they know he cheats, have seen proof of it in some way or another. But they also happen to be people that hate his guts for other reasons and the didn't provide evidence.

I'd say Dick needs to let it go unless he has reliable evidence and Lance should probably be really careful. It would not shock me to find out one day he did cheat, much as I like the guy. Doesn't make it right for them to go after him in the way they have. It's like if MLB had come out after Canseco's book and said "YEP we've got proof they're all cheaters! Ban them!"
CRZ
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.77
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by CRZ
        Originally posted by TheBucsFan
        However, U.S. interest in the Tour de France started and probably ended with Armstrong's run of titles.
      That's a pretty ignorant statement considering we're going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Greg LeMond's first Tour win this summer.


    And there are parties in the streets commemorating it!

    If you want to tell me that competitive international cycling pre-Armstrong was anything more than an afterthought to 90 percent of America, I'm going to have to order some of whatever you're smoking. How many people do you know that can name on race besides the Tour de France? How about name one winner besides Lance Armstrong? Maybe LeMond gained some fame for his success, but he didn't match Armstrong's level (of either success or fame) and he didn't exactly usher in an era of American love for the sport. So I really don't see your point.
I'm not really interested in arguing with you (because you're totally wrong) but here's a very long post which you are free to ignore but I hope you don't.

Look at your two quotes above. #1 talks about American interest in the Tour de France, yet in #2 you want me to find people to name another race beside the Tour de France. Don't change the subject.

Name one winner beside Lance Armstrong: Greg LeMond.

LeMond won THREE TIMES. This was a SUPER HUGE deal. Go find out how many times an American won the race even ONCE before he did it. (Hint: zero)

After his 1986 win, he was SHOT. And he STILL came back to win again in 1989. He very well could have won five in a row if he hadn't been in that hunting accident. His comeback story in 1989 was good enough for Sports Illustrated to name him their athlete of the year. Granted, it wasn't sexy like TESTICLE CANCER, but...

The reason you don't see my point is you're too young to have watched the weekly wrapups on ABC (and later on CBS), seen the nightly news coverage, &c., but believe me that there were a LOT of impressionable kids that WERE inspired by LeMond - I knew a couple of them who flirted with becoming professional racers (and ended up not amounting to anything, alas) and I guarantee the thought never would have entered their heads if they hadn't watched or heard about Greg LeMond.

I know this is the typical fogey vs. whippersnapper argument, but the world didn't begin the day YOU turned 15 (or me, either) so yeah, it does kinda bug me when you make a blanket statement about what Americans in general might remember based solely on the fact that you happened to be blissfully ignorant (and probably in kindergarten) when something important happened that a lot of us DO remember.

And don't think Lance Armstrong hasn't inspired some kid THIS decade who will go on to win the Tour in the NEXT decade. Maybe then you'll get to read some message board comment from some guy who'd never heard of Lance Armstrong!

(edited by CRZ on 3.6.06 2255)


CRZ
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
OK and where was that SI cover treatment *after* LeMond but *before* Armstrong? Just because people cared while LeMond was winning doesn't mean the country loves the sport. It's the same situation as now - the people were enthralled with his particular story.

People reacted the same way to Armstrong, it doesn't mean the American people are going to keep watching now that he's gone. It'll probably take yet another American fighting off death to win before people pay attention again.

And you're right, I was in elementary school when LeMond last won. But I wasn't in elementarty school in the years after when the Tour de France winner was more likely to warrant a "News and Notes" item than it was to be a cover story.

Were Americans amazed by Miguel Indurain when he won the five years following LeMond's last win? I don't think so. Granted, I didn't make much of an effort to stay up with cycling, but sports was a very big part of my life growing up and I'd think I would have at least some memory of people going crazy in awe of what he'd done. If I'm forgetting some nation-wide craze for him (or any of the three ensuing winners before Armstrong took over).

I don't think interest in one particular event when an American is performing well in it is the same as interest in the sport itself.
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.38
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    OK and where was that SI cover treatment *after* LeMond but *before* Armstrong? Just because people cared while LeMond was winning doesn't mean the country loves the sport. It's the same situation as now - the people were enthralled with his particular story.

    People reacted the same way to Armstrong, it doesn't mean the American people are going to keep watching now that he's gone. It'll probably take yet another American fighting off death to win before people pay attention again.

    And you're right, I was in elementary school when LeMond last won. But I wasn't in elementarty school in the years after when the Tour de France winner was more likely to warrant a "News and Notes" item than it was to be a cover story.

    Were Americans amazed by Miguel Indurain when he won the five years following LeMond's last win? I don't think so. Granted, I didn't make much of an effort to stay up with cycling, but sports was a very big part of my life growing up and I'd think I would have at least some memory of people going crazy in awe of what he'd done. If I'm forgetting some nation-wide craze for him (or any of the three ensuing winners before Armstrong took over).

    I don't think interest in one particular event when an American is performing well in it is the same as interest in the sport itself.


In what way was he saying that anyone cared after LeMond until Armstrong? He was simply taking issue with your statement:

"However, U.S. interest in the Tour de France started and probably ended with Armstrong's run of titles."

You were wrong. It was a huge deal and LeMond was the only name I knew in cycling for a very long time. No we didn't care about cycling and we didn't care about it while Lance was winning either. You were right on that point, by saying we still didn't give a damn about the Tour de France, we just liked Armstrong. But LeMond was a VERY big deal for his time as well.
Whitebacon
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Since: 12.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.65
When Armstrong started doing well, I though he WAS Greg LeMond, on a comeback, until I read (probably in SI) that they were actually two seperate people.



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