19 2 mins 10 yrs

On a fantastic day for cycling Lance Armstrong has been stripped of all seven Tour titles and banned for life. According to UCI President Pat McQuaid: “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”

There’s no doubt he’s been done bang to rights and it’s a fitting punishment. Armstrong is a bully and narcissist who was no better than many others but who designed such intense and elaborate doping schemes that he was able to become an extremely successful and wealthy superstar. That’s all come crashing down and he might find the future a very expensive place. The UCI will decide next week if Armstrong must return his prize money. Primary sponsors Nike and (bike manufacturer) Trek have dropped him and others are said to be deciding whether or not to sue him for a return of previous sponsorship cash.

All in all it’s been a bad few weeks for the erm … winner of the 1996 Flèche Wallonne.

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19 thoughts on “AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

  1. The world needs great champions, and he seemed to be one of them.

    Sad day for the sport – the sport that did such a horrible job of policing the problem before.

    I have a good friend who is really into cycling, and he has friends who compete in ( true ) amateur competitions in the NYC area. Even in those races, where there are no cash prizes at stake, I am told that the doping culture is alive and well. As it is in local gyms worldwide, where steroids are passed about like candy.

  2. I have a younger brother who is into the Tour d’France and other races. I do find it difficult, although not impossible, to believe that Lance cheated. I don’t want to believe that, because I can’t see what the ultimate point would be.
    If he did “Shame on him!”
    But it just wouldn’t be worth it.
    Having said that , Cheats are everywhere.

  3. According to UCI President Pat McQuaid: “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.”

    McQuaid and UCI opposed the USADA investigation all the way but now their hand has been forced.

    McQuaid is still suing Paul Kimmage for defamation because Kimmage claimed that UCI is corrupt and complicit in covering up drug taking in cycling. http://www.thescore.ie/pat-mcquaid-paul-kimmage-645383-Oct2012/

    Here is USADA’s reaction to the UCI statement. http://www.usada.org/media/statement102212

    “Today, the UCI made the right decision in the Lance Armstrong case. Despite its prior opposition to USADA’s investigation into doping on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team and within the sport, USADA is glad that the UCI finally reversed course in this case and has made the credible decision available to it.”

  4. Agit

    Lance is a rich man now. There would be a great deal to gain from cheating.

    Great fame, great fortune came his way.

    I’m not sure that the unaided human body was meant to charge up Alps on bicycles.

  5. Not only does the UCI come out of this with no credit, its already low reputation has gone through the floor.

  6. “I’m not sure that the unaided human body was meant to charge up Alps on bicycles.”
    I doubt I could have, but as an asthmatic I did learn that it was easier to cycle sharp left to sharp right in going up a hill…

  7. You might think that all or nearly all who have been a part of the managment of the Tour de France or world cycling over the past ten – twenty years should all resign.

    All those except any who were extremely vocal opponents of the drugs culture.

    All the others, out.

  8. OK – so who won those tours? The simple fact is that if all or most of the riders were on something, Armstrong won in a dirty though level playing field. Pantani and Ullrich were juiced up as were the Spaniards post-Indurain.

    I first noticed something wrong in the 1996 TdF when Bjarne Riis won, beating Indurain, Rominger and Berzin. Indeed, thse three great riders all cracked at a certain moment during that Tour whilst Riiis seemed super-human along with team-mate Jan Ullrich. What happened, as Riis admitted, is that his team got a jump on all others with the first controlled use of EPO, the blood oxygenator.

    After that Tour, all of the main contenders were on it which means that those before were relatively clean.

  9. I think that a lot of the doping culture have existed in cycling ( and in US baseball ) for a long, long time.

    It didn’t start with Armstrong or Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire ( baseball players ) . It goes at least as far back as the East Germans in the Olympics.

  10. Allan@Aberdeen –

    It’s not the case that if they’re all doing it then that makes a level playing field of a kind. Everyone reacts differently to the same drugs and doping. Some have marginal gains, some become supercharged.

    What we’ve discovered also is that the doping at US Postal was designed around and for Armstrong to win. All the team doped, but that was so the team could do what it needed to for Armstrong to win, and he was on his own specifically-designed doping regime.

  11. A lot of the drug cheats uncovered in the last few years have been uncovered after the BALCO investigation in which a US Grand Jury uncovered widespread drug use.

    This led to the USADA being given more support to investigate doping.

    The testing regimes of the governing bodies in Athletics, Baseball, Cycling, Boxing… etc were all completely ineffectual.

    So even now, all athletes who want to cheat need to do is train and buy drugs in a country without a strong legal system.

    In theory it may be possible to take a small Caribbean nation, pick a sport where steroids are particularly effective and then emerge to dominate the sport like a bolt from the blue.

  12. Allan,
    I am so pleased to see you have some normal interests.
    McTatters t,here is hope for you yet! 😉

  13. It is noteworthy that even during his years of dominance, Armstrong made no attempt to win the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta d’Espana, the other great national tours which the previous giants (Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain) made such huge efforts to win and also to lose. This is because, to the American public, road cycling is the Tour de France and the great one-day Classics (Milan – San Remo, Tour of Lombardy, Paris – Roubaix) mean literally nothing. For the bike manufacturers and corporate sponsors to profit from cycling, an American was needed who would win the Tour de France and nothing else. As evidence, how many Americans here have heard of Andy Hampsten?

    Lance Armstrong had the ability to become the new King of the Classics in the manner of Sean Kelly and Roger de Vlaeminck – but that would not have cracked open the US market, so Armstrong was put on a program after his illness which would make him capable of winning the TdF. This must have gone to the highest levels in his sponsors and he obviously isn’t going to say anything about that otherwise he could lose his wealth.

    Agit at 5.02 – take a look in the mirror. Not only will you see a 60-odd year old ‘”innocent idealist”, you will also see a condescending prat.

  14. I, for one, don’t believe it. Not even for a second.
    I could write a 10 page essay on the reasons why but why bother?
    People will believe what they want to believe and when the ‘evidence’ hinges on the word of the likes of Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis..one just has to laugh.
    And if it’s all about the drugs funny that George Hincapie never won the TDF?

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