Doping is as doping does

Back in January, following developments in baseball’s doping saga, Dave McKenna asked (what I think is) an interesting question:

Why not go after the Biggest Kahuna of all the alleged drug cheats: Lance Armstrong?

Unlike Tejada, Armstrong has represented America and been named to various White House panels.

By the evidential standard used in the Mitchell Report — where, basically, if one hanger on says you’re guilty, you’re guilty — Armstrong looks a helluva lot guiltier than Clemens.

So let’s really get this show going. Bring in Lance Armstrong and put him under oath.

The comments that followed made for some interesting reading.

And so does this from the NY Times (and yes, I’ve posted this already on DC):

Two of Lance Armstrong’s eight teammates from the 1999 Tour de France have admitted for the first time that they used the banned endurance-boosting drug EPO in preparing for the race that year, when they helped Armstrong capture the first of his record seven titles.

Their disclosures, in interviews with The New York Times, are rare examples of candor in a sport protected by a powerful code of silence.

Omerta is all. But sometimes cracks do shine just a little light through.

Need I mention again the now infamous text of Andreu and Vaughter’s instant messaging from back in 2005? Yeah. Available for your review here: drunkcyclist.com/…implicated-on-the-internet.

A recent interview with Vaughters over at www.timesonline.co.uk

“Did you have any first-hand experience of doping in the States?” I ask.

“No, not in the US,” he replies.

“Not at all?”

“No, racing in the States is much less . . . I mean half the guys you are racing against have full-time jobs. You know? It is much, much less demanding.”

“What about when you joined the US Postal Service team in 1998?”

“In ’98? Why do you need to know that?” he laughs.

“I need to know when you witnessed it first-hand,” I explain. “I’m asking whether it was in ’98 that you witnessed it first-hand.”

“I know,” he laughs. “And I am asking you: Why do you need to know that?”

“I would have thought it was a logical extension of what we have been talking about.”

“Well, no,” he disagrees. “Essentially, you are leading me down a path where I end up having to answer questions that I can’t back out of.”

“I’m not leading you down any path,” I counter. “I’m trying to explain how you founded Team Clean. I am asking you about your experiences of doping in cycling.”

“No, that’s totally understandable,” he concedes.

“I’m not asking you anything I didn’t ask Greg LeMond.”

“No, of course, and I wouldn’t expect that. I guess I would just say that my time at US Postal Service was . . . I kind of almost have to leave that as a ‘No comment’. And you can take that however you would like.”

And so it goes.

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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

18 thoughts on “Doping is as doping does

  1. Douche… ‘No Comment’ in my book means fucking guilty and too scared to own up to what happened, or what might still be happening.

    No Comment is reserved for jackasses like Rove as he is heading into a courtroom.
    No Comment is for shitheads like OJ as he walks out a free man.
    No Comment is for spineless shitheads afraid of the US legal system (READ : LAWYERS WHO SUE FOR NO REASON) and can’t deal with the fact that truth is punished far more brutally than lying.

    See the last 7 years for evidence.

    Doping? Fuck you. You deserve nothing less than a lead pipe to the knees for your No Comment / ‘Omerta’ fucking bullshit.

    Lance didn’t do SHIT for cyclists after 7 fucking years. Sure he did a lot for cancer awareness (kudos where deserved…) But for us schlubbs?

    Not one fucking thing.

    Fuck Lance and his one testicle.

  2. Yeah. That was awesome! I hope they get no fine as the live event exception (if it even applies as a cable network).

    On the topic at hand – old news. Kind of tired, really. Shouldn’t we focus on what teams are doing NOW?

    As far as Lance himself goes, I don’t care if he doped or not at this point. It’s in the past.

    The girl mauled by a grizzly while on a 24-hour trail ride is the cousin of my sister-in-law. He actually called her and offered words of encouragement. He said he hoped the attack wouldn’t keep her from riding her bike. Didn’t hear about that phone call? I’m pretty sure it didn’t make the news. Maybe somebody prodded him to do it, maybe not, but he didn’t have to either way. To me, it’s a great thing to offer anything to a girl you don’t even know who can’t speak because of the damage to her voice box, even if it’s words and some signed goodies, with no expectation in return.

    Dude started a charity that rates as a better steward of your money than the American Cancer Society, for crying out loud.

    In my mind pro athletes, in any sport, always have edges, legal or otherwise, we mere mortals will never had so I treat pro athletes as the entertainers they are. What they do with it once they are finished is what defines the person to me.

  3. I would rather hear no comment, than some whistle blowing freak like leman’s or Jose Conseco. If Vaughters commented on lance it would blow up like hiroshima and somehow the others would be the bad guys. Best thing to do is to not spark the fire. Lance is a Icon like it or not. and as was seen in the landis case, the US authorities care little about cycling.

  4. Icon or not… my personal point as,… aftr winning.. he did exactly jack and shit for us riders at home.

    He didn’t rally for harsher penalties for driver who hit-n-run or kill cyclists.
    He didn’t rally for more bike-friendly cities a-la bike lanes etc…
    He didn’t rally for police to be better equipped to handle bike-car interactions (Cops usually turn their heads and say “Yer a fekkin bike… whaddya expekt…?’

    He did nothing except cash in and deny deny deny…

    THAT is what Im pissed most about. He pissed away all his fucking collateral propagating the ‘Lance Armstrong’ machine, and left all us to fend for ourselves, nt realizing that by his winning 7 straight he quintupled (?) the riding populace in the US who are as vulnerable… possibly more so…

    If he stood up right after each one here at home and said “Cyclists are people too. Treat them with respect.” Im not too sure if it would have changed dramatically, but i want to believe it would have made a bit of a difference.

  5. I hope you people are never on the jury at my trial. There’s a stack of clean tests on one hand, and “He musta been a doper!” on the other. Jeebus, the tests even catch people who haven’t actually been doping, and there was a long period in which the Frenchies reeeeaaaally wanted to prove that Le American was Le Doper. Until there’s some hard evidence that he doped, can’t we hold off on convicting the guy?

  6. Hey Bikepunk, you don’t read much, do ya?

    http://tinyurl.com/373wsz

    Armstrong said he’d like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, Ore., where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. “Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes — because they have a safe place to ride,” Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.

    So how does Austin get to that point?

    “The (Lance Armstrong Bikeway) is a big start,” he said. Armstrong and his general partner in the project, Bart Knaggs, said they’d like to see Austin create bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic and a system like a new one in Paris where people can use a credit card to rent a bicycle from a bike rack station and return it at any of the dozens of other stations around the city.

    “There are times I ride in Austin, and I’m afraid of cars,” Armstrong said. “Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like? I think (Mayor) Will Wynn’s dream was this whole revitalization of downtown, which we’re getting, but it’s going to make it a lot easier if people can get around on bikes.”

  7. Yeah… Austin is one small city in a sea of rednecks. Fine… he wants to do something at home.

    Im thinking NATIONAL. It wasn’t just Texans who were watching him; cheering him on; hoping against hope each year that he would pull it out again and really do something.

    …and as per your little shitty link
    “Lance Armstrong unveils his new commuting bike shop
    Cyclist hopes to encourage bike use in downtown”

    Bicycle use in downtown. Downtown AUSTIN is like fucking 6 blocks. Try training in Downtown Austin. I’m sure you will log enough miles to do a century or double century with ease. -snark-

    And again… why do this NOW when his capital has been spent and no one cares a rats’ ass about him or cycling. It would have been nice to see him do something at the HEIGHT of his career for cyclists ALL OVER the US, not just to promote his half-assed shop in Austin after no one gives a flying fuck about him or cycling in general.

  8. And as for the whole doping thing… I stand firmly with Big Jonny on this… I feel that the last 10-15 years… everyone who showed up doped in one way or another.

    Period.

    Regardless of how i feel about THAT aspect, i still feel that american cyclists ESPECIALLY Armstrong should have used their capital to make US cyclists safer here at home. He didn’t and THAT is what I’m bitter and angry about. I’ll wager I’m not the only one.

    How many more ‘Cyclist Down’ posts should we have here before that gets thru your tapioca filled skull?

  9. Bikepunk-

    I think I appreciate your sentiment, but I disagree that Lance hasn’t dome anything foe the average American cyclist. Ask a hundred Americans to name three pro cyclist, and 99 of them will know at least one… Lance. I was chatting up a girl in the hotel bar last night, and guess what? She wanted to watch the TdF because “Lance got her into the sport.” Everyone wears those yellow wristbands. I know a couple of cyclist cancer victims who Lance called to wish well and give a little pep talk.

    I’d say he’s doing about as much as one retired guy can. And I say, no evidence, no doping. In my mind, the guy is an exception specimen and something of an inspiration.

    Mikey

  10. And another thing… my most memorable “good” interaction with a random car came a couple of years ago, when I was sweating up a standing climb on l’Alp du Eastgate (a local hill) and a car full of young women slowed alongside and they all hooted and shouted “GO LANCE!” It was pretty hard not to smile, and I’m pretty I shifted up a gear or two. That was pretty cool.

    Mikey

  11. I hear you, bikepunk. It would be great if all the big guys – Lemond, Armstrong, Hampsten, Roll, Hincapie, Vandevelde, Leipheimer, Zabriskie, Phinney, et. al. – could come together for us average joes but they are all different. They have different interests and to those ends, each has made an impact on the world in their own ways. Some have had a larger impact on their causes than others, but I’m still waiting for somebody other than the Z-man to get serious about road safety. Frankly, I’m of the mind that a half-assed nod by Lance or any of them to road safety may not be as helpful as some may think.

    Until some education happens where dipwads don’t view cyclists as spandex-clad freaks and more like people who live next door. I love the ah-hah moments my students have when they see me riding to school and then get out of their parents’ car while I’m taking off rain gear by the front door. “We pass you on the way in but you always beat us to school. Why?” they say. “It must be because you don’t have to wait in lines at the light and going into the parking lot.” Hmm…

  12. WTF? Not only does he do a LOT of charity work(unpublicized, even) for cancer patients, he’s opened a really cool commuter-oriented bike shop in Austin. He appears in ads for the LAB. He’s probably responsible for getting more Americans on bikes than anyone in recent history. What is he supposed to do for cyclists, exactly? Lobby local and state governments? The man is BUSY. Sure, he may be busy nailing Kate Hudson, but wouldn’t YOU rather do that that talk to some legislator? There’s a lot of haters here. What the F has Greg LeMond done for cyclists, exactly?

  13. Greg, as far as I can tell, currently does what it takes to keep his aura alive in the collective consciousness. And make statements about doping. That said, Greg got me riding on the road when I was a teenager with his riding. (He really should let THAT do more of the talking than his mouth but I digress…) Did I miss anything?

    Lance, for what he has done off the bike, leveraging his on-bike performance and fame, is tops amongst the folks I can think of as far as charity work. I haven’t seen his LAB ad and his “advocacy” is part of Trek’s new focus on getting more people to ride with their 1 World 2 Wheels campaign so I’m not sure I give that one solely to Lance. He has said publicly he wants Austin to be more like Portland, OR in the numbers of people on bikes safely, which is cool (since I live near Stumptown) but not terribly hard-core so I see where bikepunk is coming from. And he got me back on the road after a little hiatus through college – too much Drunk, not enough Cyclist. Fortunately, I have achieved a better balance now. :-)

  14. …let’s face it…it’s not “icon or not”…the fact remains, the man was & is even in ‘retirement’ still a major fucking icon & despite a predilection for “strange & interesting” chicks, he has probably done more for the recognition of cancer & it’s research than any other individual person in the public eye…

    …i do agree w/ ya, bikepunk, that perhaps lance alone could make a huge difference towards forcing some of these inbred lawmaker/ politicos into understanding the real issues regarding cyclists & motor vehicles…then again, some of these fucking yahoo cyclists might have to wake up & smell the roses, as regards “share the road”…& that “road” is not a one way street…

    …as several folks pointed out, the man is busy & basically makes lemond look selfish (& ya, i’ll always be a fan because of what greg once accomplished) by comparison…

    …besides…remember the old saw, “in the land of the blind, the one eyed/balled man is king…at a time when many were doping, one way or another, juan pelota did whatever he was doing better than most & that includes coming back from his deathbed to inspire millions…

  15. Really, he doesnt owe us or anyone, anything. People looking for a cycling Mesiah should look in the mirror and go ride thier effin bike.. In a day where most athelets are sticking crap up thier nose, fighting pit bulls and getting arrested on a daily basis, he took his money and did something pretty good with it. Do i think he juiced, sure do. But at least he took his fame, and money, and effort, and helped fight something that almost kicked his ass, and kills thousands a year…
    People are people folks. Not without faults, and almost always here on the planet to serve thier own goals, and desires. Try not to forget that you stinky hippies.
    If you want bike lanes show up at all the town hall meetings and bitch every month…

    quit blogging and start bitching