Bike Intelligencer » blood doping All bike, all the time Sun, 12 Apr 2015 05:56:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lance Armstrong: Confession and … Apology?? Sat, 12 Jan 2013 17:47:43 +0000 With The King finally admitting what we knew all along

With Lance Armstrong finally confessing the way we advised him all along

The question now is: Besides confessing, will Lance apologize?

For us at BikeIntelligencer, an apology would be the final nail in the Lance Armstrong image reconstruction project.

The doping we always understood. Lance led cycling into professional sport’s most endemic doping era and was its best and highest practitioner — or worst and lowest, depending on how you look at it.

To win, Lance had to dope. But so did virtually every other cyclist at Tour de France levels. The ones who didn’t dope, didn’t win. Simple as that.

That’s why we always argued that Lance should just come clean, with the “Everybody did it” excuse. Then we could all move on.

With a confession, the issue becomes Lance’s behavior to his fans, the media and his fellow cyclists over the years. Armstrong not only bullied other cyclists into doping, he bullied anyone who challenged his honesty.

A confession won’t fully make amends. Only a full, heartfelt, believable apology will provide closure and allow us all to go forward with peace of mind.

With an apology, we can get back to focusing on Lance’s amazing athletic accomplishments and the admirable work his foundation has done and is doing. With an apology, we can close the door on all the bad karma Lance fomented over the years.

With an apology, maybe Lance can become a hero again.

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This Day in Doping: Lance Armstrong’s ill-advised probe-baiting Tue, 25 Jan 2011 05:16:28 +0000

We continue to shake our heads at Lance Armstrong’s puzzling handling of the federal investigation into whether he doped. By saying things like he loses no sleep at night and is confident the investigation will turn up nothing, he needlessly kicks sand in the face of investigators. Why not just keep a stiff upper lip and do the standard “no comment.” It’s not like he needs to provide investigators with added incentive to bring him down.

The Sports Illustrated investigation may not have turned up particularly new information, but it did pull together a powerful narrative based on repeated authoritative events and accusations over the years. And remember: Any journalistic investigation prints only a portion of what it actually knows. For legal and other reasons, a certain percentage remains in the bank, awaiting further official action. Depending on what happens hence, we expect more from SI on the Armstrong case.

Our wish remains that Lance would simply fess up, use the “everybody did it” defense and move on: “Our hope is that Lance will make a clean breast of it and move on, so that his foundation and his worthy work all over the globe for fighting cancer and bringing fans and attention to cycling can continue without a morbid cloud hanging over it.”

In the meantime, a move that could eventually impact Lance’s case, assuming it goes to trial: A San Francisco judge will allow testimony of other players linked to steroids use in the perjury trial of baseball slugger Barry Bonds. A similar ruling in the Lance case would open up a real hornets nest for the Texas legend.

Meanwhile, Lance’s former mechanic minces few words on Armstrong’s culpability in an an interview with a New Zealand newspaper. Mike Anderson believes Lance could become a permanent “symbol for decades of corruption” in the sport.

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This Day in Doping: Patience and progress Fri, 05 Nov 2010 16:03:51 +0000 Jonathan Vaughters, a former racing pro and now manager of Team Garmin, is a respected name in cycling circles who has been outspoken on the anti-doping front (to the point of a run-in with Lance Armstrong).

So Jonathan’s comments to VeloNews‘ Andrew Hood on the hoopla surrounding Alberto Contador’s provisional suspension for doping bear thoughtful consideration:

“At end of day, it’s one very high-profile problem. The sad part is it detracts from the general and global progress that’s been made against doping,” he continued. “The meaning of the data is incredibly positive. It’s disappointing (to see negative headlines) because so much progress has been made.”

Vaughters is right in one sense. This year’s Giro d’Italia — a once drug-besotted event — concluded with no positive dope tests. And the Tour de France’s only black mark so far is the cloud over Contador, which the dour Spaniard still claims is misguided.

Moreover, most of the top riders are saying they’ve gotten the message and joined in calling for clean Grand Tours. The prevailing ethic seems to be to put the past behind them and stay straight up for the duration.

Check out Andrew’s whole story.

Meanwhile, former Lance teammate
Yaroslav Popovych, a Ukrainian rider known as an Amrstrong loyalist, testified in the federal probe into allegations against Armstrong.

And Floyd Landis, whose “coming clean” included charges against Armstrong, has been ordered to stand trial for computer hacking related to his own doping past.

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This Day in Doping: The pain in Spain Fri, 08 Oct 2010 22:49:51 +0000 Alberto Contador, having decided earlier this week to STFU on doping allegations, now is threatening legal action against news outlets. Guy really knows how to win friends, eh?

Contador of course is Spanish. In “cracking down” on five cyclists, or is it seven or 5+7=12, suspected of doping, Spanish authorities hoping to clean up Spain’s sleazy reputation went out of their way to point out that Contador was not among the five or however many. Not that they were naming any. Doping is, after all, a “global problem.”

Not that we’re implying any of this has to do with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, or one of the most celebrated doping cases in history. We can confirm, however, that Fuentes is Spanish.

Nor do we mean to suggest that doping is rampant in Spain, or that that country’s winning ways in soccer (World Cup title), tennis (Rafael Nadal No. 1) have any connection with a vast, widespread and inculcated doping underworld.

It all could be fairy dust.

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This Day in Doping: Contador STFU Wed, 06 Oct 2010 14:37:58 +0000 After one final yap about the wrongness of doping reports, Alberto Contador has decided no further comment — the stance he should have adopted out of the gate.

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This Day in Doping: Contador defense unraveling Tue, 05 Oct 2010 21:29:11 +0000 A second allegation — that he may have used an IV to dope in the Tour de France — has surfaced against 3-time winner Alberto Contador.

The New York Times and Associated Press reported that traces of a plasticizer used in IV bags were found in Contador’s blood samples, indicating that he might have used a transfusion to refresh his blood during the Tour. Removing one’s blood, storing it and then replacing it with a clandestine transfusion is a documented way of cheating while eluding doping controls.

A Contador blood sample earlier was found to contain minute amounts of clenbuterol, an aerobic aid also considered a performance-enhancer. Contador contends he ate beef contaminated with the substance, but insiders remain skeptical.

Meanwhile, disgraced Tour champion Bernhard Kohl continues to note that in today’s climate it’s impossible to win without cheating.

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This Day in Doping: Contador’s non-winning personality Mon, 04 Oct 2010 14:25:12 +0000 Alberto Contador, always aloof, never charismatic, continues to disappoint with his puerile response to provisional suspension over a positive doping sample. Yes the substance, clenbuterol, is of somewhat dubious benefit. Yes the amount found seems infinitesimal.

So why not just sit it out holding your head high?

Instead the 3-time Tour de France winner, who we still contend did not deserve to win the 2010 title, is doing a Barry Bonds-style press tour that begs Shakespearean interpretation (as in methinks thou dost protest too much).

Tainted beef gave him the suspect reading, Contador contends. And if cycling authorities don’t take his word for it, he’ll quit in a hissy fit of whining pique.

If this is not resolved favorably and in just fashion then I would have to consider whether I would ever get back on a bike …

If the Sullen Spaniard is so sure of his innocence, why not just let the science play out and, once vindicated, let the result speak for itself?

Pro cyclists could really use a press agent or two. They seem clueless as to how they come across to a public long fed up with giving them the benefit of the doubt.

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This Day in Doping: Contador weirdness Thu, 30 Sep 2010 08:41:35 +0000 Tour de France winner (controversially) Alberto Contador has been suspended pending further investigation of a minute quantity of banned substance found in a blood sample from his winning effort last July.

Not much is known about the substance, clenbuterol, and Contador reportedly contends that food contamination is the only possible source.

Reaction is low key so far.

If Contador is found in violation and stripped of his Tour title, it hopefully will go to Andy Schleck, who deserved the overall win anyway.

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This Day in Doping: Joe Papp on passive doping Thu, 09 Sep 2010 15:51:14 +0000 Interesting and pertinent essay from Pappillon on the insidious ravages of passive doping, where clean riders push themselves over the brink on the assumption their cheating rivals are better trained and more athletic. Apply Joe’s analysis to any endeavor in life and you can see how the impact of doping not only spreads beyond the athletes but eviscerates the entire sporting establishment.

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This Day in Doping: Laurent Fignon dead at 50 Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:16:20 +0000 In cycling history, Laurent Fignon’s 1989 loss of the Tour de France by 8 seconds stands as the one “I remember where I was when” moments the sport has to offer. Although it came to epitomize Greg LeMond’s fighting spirit as well as one of the great come-from-behind episodes of all professional sport (LeMond started the stage 50 seconds behind), the loss also stamped the two-time Tour winner as a loser. That’s unfortunate and unfair, but it’s also the way sports work. It didn’t help that Fignon, nicknamed “The Professor” for his wire-rimmed glasses and serious demeanor, was aloof and uncharismatic — nor that the guy who beat him was America’s first international star in the Tour.

Fignon later acknowledged using performance enhancers but shied from connecting doping with his cancer. He died today at age 50.

Historical aside: Fignon’s loss also prevented him from winning a rare double, both the Tour of Italy (Giro d’Italia) and the Tour de France in the same year. Only a handful of cyclists have accomplished the feat, and they rank among the hallowed names of the sport (Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain among others). So grueling is the double considered today that few riders even try. Tour favorites have stayed away from competing in both since LeMond’s time, and Lance Armstrong never even tried during his 7-Tour victory skein.

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