The gloves just came off

I’d categorize this one under the heading “brutal assessment”.

Sometimes the truth hurts, don’t it?

From: SAC
Subject: Armstrong, doper?
Jonny–
Looks like the gloves are coming off…check this:
sportsillustrated.cnn.com
How long until LA is stripped of 7 TdF titles?

I’d say the possibility of Armstrong being stripped of one, if not all, of his Tour titles is, how should I say it, well within the range of statistical probability. Why? The truth wants to come out. And in this case, the truth ain’t good for Armstrong.

He can’t make everyone play along forever. People are being pressured to roll on him. And sooner or later, someone will be up against something they really don’t want to take the fall for, and the birds are gonna sing. Landis didn’t, but then again, he’s got enough to his plate these days.

A few choice excerpts from the article:

What Walsh establishes beyond doubt is the doping culture that surrounded Armstrong from early in his international cycling career. In the first chapter we meet Greg Strock, a former rider for the junior squad of the U.S. Cycling Federation (USCF). Strock later recalls being injected in a motel room in 1990, when he was 17, with what he was told was “extract of cortisone” by a young USCF coach named Chris Carmichael, who would go on to greater renown as Armstrong’s personal trainer. Strock would later discover that there’s no such thing as “extract of cortisone,” and he assumes he was injected with cortisone, which was banned as a performance enhancer.

I’ve never talked to Greg Strock, and I don’t think he’s allowed to speak out per the terms of his settlement (read: $$$). But I have talked with a man velonews.com referred to as “a member of his legal team” his case over a few beers one afternoon about a year ago in a bar down in Phoenix. Doping culture? You betcha. No other way to describe it.

That’s what it was, full stop.

Former Armstrong teammate Steve Swart tells Walsh that in early 1995 some members of the Motorola team made the decision to take EPO. “No one forced us to dope, but in the end you were either in or out: You couldn’t survive in the sport without doing it.”

I worked as a mechanic a bit in the summer of ’95. And a rider who had been with Motorola the year prior flat out told me he wasn’t with the team anymore because he wouldn’t dope.

Think he’d say the same in print? No fucking chance. They ran a real puff piece on him in Cycle Sport a year or so ago. I found it infuriating. What appeared in print was not what he told me to my face ten years ago. Not by a long shot.

I may not like it, but I can understand it. Putting things in print when Armstrong will sue the shit outta you just plain scares people. And it should. He’s got deep pockets and plenty of ways to hurt you.

One of the doctors, Betsy recalled in her testimony, asked Armstrong, “Have you ever used any performance-enhancing drugs?” Recalling the scene for SI, Betsy says that Armstrong was seated, gazing downward and holding his IV stand with his left hand, as he ticked off five drugs: EPO, growth hormone, cortisone, steroids, testosterone. Frankie Andreu, who married Betsy in December 1996, backed up her testimony.

Backing up his wife cost Frankie Andreu his job. (See velonews.com)

And that’s not the end of the hospital room story. Remember the name Stephanie McIlvain?

Stephanie McIlvain, a friend of Armstrong’s who worked for Oakley, one of his sponsors. She testified that she never heard Armstrong give that list. But SI is in possession of a recorded telephone conversation between McIlvain and LeMond in which she says, “I was in that room. I heard it.” Asked to reconcile her conflicting accounts, McIlvain told SI, “Yes, I do stand by my [court] testimony.”

Yeah, I guess you just about have to stand by your court testimony. Or admit to perjury.

But like I said, the truth wants to come out. Check this from velonews.com:

German Jörg Jaksche, one of dozens of cyclists implicated in the Operación Puerto doping scandal which erupted last year, is set to make a series of stunning revelations about current doping practices. Jaksche’s lawyer Michael Lehner said on Friday the German, who has protested his innocence but been suspended from all competition due to his alleged links to the affair, will reveal all in German weekly magazine Der Spiegel on Monday. Lehner said the former Liberty Seguros rider “will not just admit to doping himself, but will shed light on what really goes on in the peloton, and who the main (doping) protagonists are.”

Yeah, the gloves just came off.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

5 thoughts on “The gloves just came off

  1. Blah, blah, blah…
    David Walsh rehashes the same bullshit. Frankie Andreu is a bigger bitch than his wife. Lemond has serious issues with fading fame.

    Lance probably doped. Did he fail a test? Did he get caught? Is there solid proof? No, no, and no…

    Can’t strip somebody because you think something…

  2. Jorg is going to tell all. I can’t wait to see who he snitches out, and I wish that all of these a-holes who talk about “not failing tests” would realize that most of the guys busted for doping never failed tests.

    Millar
    Museuw
    Pantani
    Zabel

    Not failing a test doesn’t mean shit. Get over it guys, they all freakin’ dope.

  3. Pantani never failed a test? What about the Giro he was tossed out of on the last day for a high hematocrit?

    The rest of them should have kept their mouths shut…

  4. Pantani never failed a doping test. He failed his hematocrit test, which at that time was only circumstantial evidence of doping. It wasn’t and still isn’t, considered a positive doping test, but it will earn you a couple of weeks off for “health reasons”.

    I say, let them all come out, snitch everyone out. Fuck dopers. I don’t even care if it takes down the entire pro sport right now, it might be better that way. We’ve still got plenty of local grass roots fun decent racing to look forward to.

  5. I say that they should declare absolute amnesty for all previous infractions, and then give anyone caught with a well defined double positive a lifetime ban. No exceptions.