Give 7 Armstrong Tours to the “clean” riders?

Many Of The Riders Who Could Inherit Lance Armstrong’s Tour De France Titles Aren’t Clean Either

Tony Manfred | Aug. 24, 2012, 9:25 AM |
Lance Armstrong


If the USADA gets its way, Lance Armstrong will eventually be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.His titles officially go to the riders who finished second in those races.

But the problem is many of the cyclists who runner-up to Armstrong have been convicted or accused of doping over the last decade.

In his seven titles, five different riders finished second to Lance — Alex Zulle, Jan Ullrich (3x), Joseba Beloki, Andreas Kloden, and Ivan Basso.

Zulle admitted to doping as part of the 1998 Festina Affair — the first big cycling doping scandal. But when he finished second to Armstrong in 1999, he had already confessed to doping and Armstrong called him a “clean rider.”

Ullrich was given a two-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February of 2012 in connection with a doping scandal called Operation Puerto. His races from 2005 to his retirement in 2007 were also vacated.

Kloden was connected with a 2006 doping program in Freiburg, Germany. He eventually paid a €25,000 fine — which technically isn’t an admission of guilt in German court. Yesterday, fittingly enough, the German National Anti-Doping Agency announced a preliminary investigation into Kloden and a few other riders on new doping suspicions.

Basso was also banned for two years in 2007 and 2008. According to the New York Times, he admitted that he “attempted doping,” but denied he ever actually succeeded.

Beloki has not been connected to any doping scandal.

This isn’t to say that what Armstrong allegedly did is okay. But the idea that stripping him of his titles will instantly reflect the “fair” result of those races isn’t quite that simple.

Read more:

Lance Armstrong & Doping – the Verdict is in:

We’re not worthy!

For the past week or so, almost every one of my non-cycling friends has asked me about the latest allegations surrounding Lance Armstrong.  The conversation goes like this:

Non-Cycling Friend: “So… what do you think about Lance Armstrong??”

Me: “I don’t.”

NCF: “But do you think he doped?”

Me: “Honestly, I don’t think about it.”

The End.

Thankfully, none of my cyclist friends have even talked about it.  Why?  I don’t think anyone really cares one way or the other.  Plus, I think deep down inside, 99.99% of people with access to most of the details firmly believe that he is guilty or innocent – I really don’t think there are any “undecideds”.

Like anyone my age, I have watched Lance’s rise to super-stardom from early on.  But as an avid American cyclist, I was a passenger on the Armstrong bandwagon since the early days too.  I wanted a red, white and blue hero to rise up and kick some Euro ass.  Do I think his achievements are extraordinary? Absolutely.  Do I think he is a dick?  Absolutely.  I think that the vast majority of people who dominate any particular thing – politics, sport, etc. have to have tremendous egos.  People with tremendous egos are usually not too concerned with anyone else.  Does any of that matter to me? Absolutely not.  I don’t call my buddy Lance up and have a beer with him after work on Fridays.  I’ve been in the same room with him on several occasions and ridden along side of him in a charity ride twice for about 5 seconds (along with a thousand other people). That’s it.   Nothing that Lance Armstrong does, or will ever do, will affect my life one way or the other.   Many people point to the fact that Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test.  I can also say that Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Marco Pantani died alone in a hotel room after bingeing on cocaine for a week straight – something he routinely did even while racing and passing drug tests.  Armstrong has already spent a lot of money to prove his innocence, and I can also assume that both Nike and LA STILL have a lot of money in the bank… 

In the end, who gives a rat’s ass?  What difference does it make to you and me?  If LA doped, he doped.  If he’s clean, he’s clean.

How will that change your next ride?

Drugs in cycling – AFFIRMATIVE.

Why is there so much controversy about drug testing? I know plenty of guys who would be willing to test any drug they could come up with

–       George Carlin

Have you heard, they busted another pro cyclist for doping.  Yawn.  In an unrelated story, the sun came up today.  It’s not that I don’t care, but I don’t care.  Pro cyclists are dopers.  All of them.  So are NFL players, and MLB players and Olympians, etc., etc., etc.  Since when do we care so much about drugs, but ONLY in cycling?  In 1980 there were (3) 300 pound guys in the entire NFL.  In 2010, there were 532. That’s a 17,733% increase. I’m sure they all just eat more bacon now… that explains it.  When was the last time you heard about the Federal Government going after the NFL for doping?  Never?  So why cycling?

I’m not defending these jack-wagons for doping, I think it’s ridiculous to train your body to be among the fittest athletes in the world, and then inject synthetic chemicals into your body to purposely push it beyond the human limits.  I understand that if “everyone’s doing it”, it’s impossible to compete if you’re not.  I understand the money that’s at stake, the fame, etc.  I don’t understand the witch hunt though.

I will never be paid to ride a bike for a myriad of reasons, number 1 being I’m just not good enough (by a LONG shot).  But I will always ride.  I will never have a bad day on the bike, ever.  Cycling IS my drug, but that’s me.  Whether you think these guys are clean or dirty, what does it matter?  Do I think that my son will do drugs because Alberto Contador “ate some tainted meat”?  No.  Do I think the FBI will be visiting the set of 2 ½ Men to piss test Charlie Sheen anytime soon?  No.  Sheen’s an admitted drug user who is publicly spinning out of control, so why are we spending millions to go after household no-names like Yaroslav Popovych?

I guess the only point I have is that Spring is right around the corner, and I’m excited for the cycling season to start again in earnest.  I will watch any and all television coverage I can find of the pros, and I will ride my bike anytime that I can.  If this year’s TdF winner is NOT involved in a doping scandal of some sort, I will consider that to be newsworthy.

Here are some recent “feel good” headlines:

Sports Illustrated “The Case Against Lance Armstrong”

Sky may relax ‘zero tolerance’ doping policy

Now let’s see some racing, jack-wagons!