Lance Armstrong, too bad

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Lance Armstrong, too bad

Postby User923005 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:58 pm ... -to-oprah/

I have been a fan of bicycle racing since I was a little boy. I loved to read about Eddy Merckx and the other great racers at that time. (Even Eddy Merckx tested positive for drugs on three occasions).
There has long been a problem in cycling since the late 1800's: ... s-culture/

Still, I wanted to believe some of the "feel-good" stories about comeback from cancer and chivalrous behavior.
But it's all a fraud.

Cycling is dead for me now ( Dieter Bürßner was right when he explained the sad state of affairs perhaps a decade ago ).
Not sure why I hung on for so long.

Of course, other sports are similarly affected (probably every professional sport in the US has these problems to a similar degree as cycling).
How ironic that an activity as healthful and green as cycling should be tainted by body destroying drugs.
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Re: Lance Armstrong, too bad

Postby HumbleProgrammer » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:31 pm

I (sadly & with some embarrassment) concur with you. I greatly enjoyed cycling while living in Europe, and was a spectator at both the Tour de France and the Deutschland Tour several years in a row. Part of me wanted to believe that Lance Armstrong rose above the doping and team collusion, and I gladly paid 1€ for a yellow "LiveStrong" wristband. Even more hurtful is that Lance not only discredited himself, but has done irreparable harm to the credibility of every professional cyclist, whether they deserve it or not.

Shame on you, Lance, for cheating yourself and everyone else.

Humble Programmer
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Re: Lance Armstrong, too bad

Postby User923005 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:42 pm

He also stomped on other people who were trying to tell the truth. (e.g. Greg Lemond, Tyler Hamilton).
In the case of Lemond, he even got the bicycle manufacturer Greg worked as a sponsor for to drop him. Probably cost Greg hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions.

He did great charity work ($420 million or so for cancer research).

However, I separate those things.

1. Great philanthropist. Maybe his work will save 10,000 lives.
2. Sports cheater.
3. Horrible {criminal, IMO} treatment of others.
4. Pathological liar.

Like all human heroes, Lance has clay feet. Shame on me, really, for thinking it could be otherwise.
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Re: Lance Armstrong, too bad

Postby stevenaaus » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:39 pm

Yes, he'll deservedly go down as one of sports great cheats.
It's all a little sad isn't it ?
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Re: Lance Armstrong, too bad

Postby Dave Mitchell » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:48 pm

I don't think it's so bad. Lance was a product of his time. I remember one Tour de France racer being interviewed. He wasn't a contender for the lead - middle of the peloton type. The interviewer asked him how he was doing, and did he think he would be able to move up into the lead group with the contenders?

He said "I'm doing well, but there are two groups here. The men that I am racing with, are doing as expected. The men in the lead group are the supermen. I won't be able to catch them."

Remember that when Lance started professionally cycling, he wasn't a big star. He was just another rider, with a lot of grit and raw talent. As such, he had to follow what his team director "sportif" had to say. Which is of course, "if you want to compete with the best riders, you have to use the same techniques as they are using."

Which is abundantly clear, as we have all seen. Those using good doping/drug help to recover, to gain more muscle mass, etc., will always beat an undoped/undruged, racer, in a long race.

I remember whole teams were sent home from the Tour de France, as soon as they started testing. Several top contenders, were caught out, as well.

The ONLY thing that Armstrong did that was different was, that he, and his team and director, were better at hiding it, from the testers.

Naturally, he had to deny it in public! After winning the Tour de France using illegal drugs/doping, are you going to say "Oh yes, and I cheated"? I don't believe anyone would do that. And nobody has, unless they were already caught.

So was Armstrong a cheat, and a liar - yes, but he leveled the racing field with all the OTHER cheaters and liars, in the ONLY way that was possible. Amongst the racers in the second tier group, it wasn't fair, of course. But among the racers in the top tier, he was competing equally, because every one of them either was using drugs or doping, until the Tour REALLY got stringent drug controls in place, in the last few years.

i don't know how it was in Greg LeMond's days, but I suspect it was no different. Tour racers have been using cocaine, meth, and all kinds of drugs, etc. to help them out, since the very earliest days of the Tour de France. That's all been known, since day #1.

Before Armstrong, (especially after Tom died on Mt. Vontoux), nobody really cared.

Sit down for a sanctimonious moment, and put yourself into the shoes of a young cyclist. You have real talent, and are keen to race professionally, but you can't win any of the longer races. Your team director says "you'll never beat them without drugs/doping. If you want a spot on the team, we'll set up a drug and doping schedule for you. If you ever want to be on the podium of any Grand Tour, say yes."

What would you say, in reply?

The pressure to say "yes", is unbelievable. Armstrong, like any athlete, wants to win, and he's only human.
Dave Mitchell
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