From the Velonews mailbag

I found this over at the Velonews Mailbag this week. Seems pretty much on point. Thought I’d share.

Re: The Armstrong/Kimmage exchange
Editor,

Speaking for myself as one of the many “around the world affected by (cancer),” (In my childhood, cancer claimed my father, and later on, my sister as well.) I hold nothing against Mr. Kimmage for his recent characterization of Mr. Armstrong, and I surely do not appreciate Mr. Armstrong assuming the authority to speak for me — especially with such intolerant, hateful words telling someone that they are “not worth the chair they are sitting on.”

Indeed, if even half of what has legitimately been alleged about Armstrong is true — the numerous firsthand accounts and sworn testimony of former teammates and associates, the undisputed test results, his conduct towards those who have spoken out about doping within cycling — then Kimmage’s metaphor (and that’s what it was, not any sort of insult to those affected by cancer) is appropriate, perhaps even understated.

Armstrong has never credibly addressed these charges, choosing instead to respond with public displays of hostility that have now descended to the level naked aggression with his brutal verbal assault on the very worth on another human being. However unwittingly, Armstrong makes Kimmage look like a prophet in alleging revenge as the motive for his comeback, since we have just seen the first score being settled.

At least in his exchange with Greg LeMond last September, Armstrong insisted that the press conference would not “go negative” since he meant to “talk about the global cancer campaign, the comeback to cycling, and the credibility in and around that.” At that point, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but any “credibility” he could have commanded is now gone, not only as a result of his treatment of Mr. Kimmage, but also his having reneged on a public promise to subject himself to “the most advanced anti-doping program in the world,” which would be conducted in a “completely independent” manner because “ultimately…we as fans must get back to enjoying the race and respecting the riders and their performances.” (Perhaps the drama of Armstrong’s press-conference “performance” is intended for the public’s viewing enjoyment.)

This time, he did not even try to conceal his contempt, which he had the gall to wrap in self-righteous outrage on behalf of those he professes to represent and care about, but whom he is all too willing to exploit for advantage in his personal feuds. Such conduct is beyond the pale from a public spokesperson (even a self-appointed one) for any sort of worthy cause, and it lays bare the dark forces at work in this man – forces that may now be said to constitute an ugly blight not just upon cycling, but the fight against cancer itself.
Charles Howe,
Olmsted Falls, Ohio

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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

9 thoughts on “From the Velonews mailbag

  1. Regarding Kimmage and Lance:

    1. There are not “undisputed” positive tests; there WERE no tests for EPO when Lance won in 1999. The lab that resurrected frozen urine years later (with no “B” sample for confirmation) is owned by L’Equipe, and L’Equipe can’t get beyond the notion that the French seem unable to produce a GC contender.

    2. I’m surprised and impressed that Lance maintained his composure in that news conference; he’s brash, but he’s also dedicated to battling cancer (just find any of the many hundreds of cancer sufferers he’s called to offer support, often while the rest of his teammates are refueling or getting their massages; you’ll find a fan-for-life).

    3. There are not “numerous” firsthand accounts and the sworn testimony came from a few people with other motives.

    Watching Lance in the Peloton this past week has been amazing; he’s spent hours pulling back breaks, seems to LOVE what he’s doing, and really has nothing to gain and everything to lose from this effort. Even the recently-departed governor of Illinois wouldn’t be so stupid as to go up against the world’s best while boosted by detectable drugs, yet with only a few months’ training he finished just outside the top 10 in a difficult early-season time trial.

    Levi said yesterday he’s prepared to be a domestique for Lance come May ***OR*** July (listen to yesterday’s post-race interview), and if you look at those early stage photos that show Lance pushing the phony syringe-wielding jerk into the snowbank, you’ll see appreciative smiles on the faces of many in the bunch that speak volumes regarding the respect they have for him.

  2. I find Mr. Howe’s comments within his editorial to be accurate and on-point.

    Lance is a “hero” to many, and used to be mine, until I researched and learned more about his role in pro cycling – especially in his promotion of “omérta”.

  3. People keep comparing Lance to A-Rod, saying A-Rod manned up and apologized, blah blah.

    Yeah, he apologized AFTER he got caught.

    I imagine Lance would do the same if he got caught, but he hasn’t. So leave the guy alone and get on with your lives.

    Yes, he’s a douche. Yes, he’s brash and he thinks he’s better than everyone else. But give him some credit: he won seven tours. Doping or not, he did it, and he beat a bunch of other guys who were doping. I’m no Lance fan, but I still think that’s pretty impressive.

    Wait to cast your stones until there is CONCLUSIVE evidence that he doped. Wait until they give him a 2 year ban from cycling. Wait until they test him and he’s positive. But don’t just sit on the sidelines with your can of PBR and your quips about needles and EPO, spouting off your bullshit about how you read in Velonews that the dude doped.

    Just sit back, enjoy the race, and admit you don’t know any better than anyone else whether he did it or not. You can hate Lance and think he’s a major ass hat–I think he is– but he goes out and races, he’s tough when he needs to be tough, and he produces results.

    And if it REALLY burns you that much that he’s walking when other guys got nailed, take solace knowing that at some point he’ll crash and burn in the tabloids after nailing an Olsen twin and catching the herp, then giving it to whatever new barely-legal teen pop sensation he’s draining his one nut into at the moment.

  4. I love it when people say that the French hate Lance because they can’t win a Tour. You people are fucking idiots. It’s got nothing to do with them not winning the Tour in many years. It’s got everything to do with a sport full of fucking DOPERS.

    Sure, Lance never tested positive, hell, neither did Bonds. Neither did A Rod. Neither did Millar. Neither did Virenque. Neither did Pantani. Should I continue the list of people who were dopers but never tested positive?

    I still fall back on the old carrot of, how can the sports biggest talents all be doping, and training just as hard as Armstrong did for the Tour then get beat by someone who wasn’t doping? Things don’t add up. Armstrong’s coach was Ferrari, the king of doping. It just doesn’t add up. Sure, we can castigate him now, or yet, because he’s never been busted (unless of course you count that one test he did test positive for with the corticoids, and then it was covered up and a TUE was “produced” to allow him to get away with that one).

    But there is something rotten in Denmark.

  5. Hey Giant,

    I agree, the sport stinks of dopers, and personally I believe Lance doped too. But I can’t bring myself to trash the guy just because I ‘suspect’ he did it. Floyd did it. Bash him all you want. He served his time, he’s back. Cool. A-Rod’s a tool. He fessed up. Trash him all you want. Go for it. He did it.

    But Lance hasn’t gotten nailed, and there’s a burden of proof here. Sure, he’s probably greased the wheels a bit to keep them from squealing, but hell, ain’t that just about as American as apple pie?

    I’m not saying I don’t want to see him get nailed. Part of me does. But I’m going to wait until it happens before I start running my mouth.

    And if he never gets nailed, well, there’s other things to bitch about in this world…like the fact that I’m unemployed, homeless, broke, and far, far away from my fiance for the foreseeable future. So screw Lance and the rest of them…I’ve got bigger problems.

  6. There are only a handful of folks who know whether Lance did or didn’t dope ever in his whole life–and they don’t seem to be talking. So, unless you’re one of the few who know for sure, don’t start talking about how “if he only ‘fessed up” all would be okay. Because confessing to something and seeking redemption is only meaningful if you did it. Lance is saying he didn’t, so there’s nothing to confess. Just because you think he’s guilty doesn’t make it so.

    And accept for the sake of argument that maybe he doped before cancer (maybe that’s what caused it), and he didn’t after (because he understood how much it fucked you up). He won how many tours after cancer? Surely, that counts for something.

    But, most of all, realize that what you’re bitching about has to do with bike racing, which is fun but not, in the grand scheme of things, important. Lance has done more for the eradication of cancer on the world stage then anyone else I can think of. At a time when all anyone asked of him was to shut up and retire. Then maybe you’ll start to realize that here’s a guy who has done more for something important in this world then all the bashers and nay-sayers and pundits put together.

    If Barry Bonds went out and tried to cure heart disease, I’d rally around him, too. (But he’s not.) If A-Rod started an organization to end diabetes, I’d send a check. (He ain’t.) If Clemens started a fund to help disabled vets, I’d hold a fundraiser. (Not yet he isn’t.)

    Face it: Love him or hate him, Lance is special. And he deserves our support for all the good he has done in this life, damnit.

  7. Bottom line for me is I don’t give a fuck if any of them DOPED anymore. I do give a fuck if they are doping now though. We are all, I mean all of us, always looking for an edge, playing the game and taking as much as we can get; be it business or youth sports. I mean just the other night my kid was accused of using an illegal bat…by some nut job mom who just cant handle the fact that a player other than her own is doing well. The other extreme is that we are too quick to vilify the person(s) involved and too slow to attack the process we are all caught up in.

    We do have a more clear definition of cheating now than we did even in 1999. It was not long ago that some thought Gatorade cheating

    However I question all those who ride his dick as much as those who ride his ass here.

    In addition I support Greg Lemond and find him to be genuine with his intensions as well; up to this point. Greg; I support you fight against the past. I have never considered you to carry sour grapes etc. However time to shift your energy to greater change and the blame game

    Now having taken the time to listen to Lance and read all about his reasons for the comeback, I can say that I find him genuine and perhaps more inspiring than he ever was before.

    Here is a dude, regardless of what you think of him, who is attacking a process and a problem. He is not singling out any one person business or product in this battle against cancer. He is looking for a cure and bringing awareness to the disease and starting a process; establishing a code so to speak.

    I truly believe that he wants us all to suck his wheel to the finish and allow us to take the victory in this battle against cancer. Just like he did for Levi. Don’t get me wrong, I am not riding dick here. I have met him before cancer and after 7 wins and he is still an asshole. But the kind of asshole who doesn’t give a fuck about what people think and gets shit done.

    Rather than beat the dude down now I choose to learn from him. We should learn from him and perhaps look for a cure for this drug problem rather than vilify the persons. It runs deeper than the person or athlete themselves.

    whatever that is worth, I understand there are hole in my logic but I am just throwing shit on the all

    out

  8. “And accept for the sake of argument that maybe he doped before cancer (maybe that’s what caused it), and he didn’t after (because he understood how much it fucked you up). He won how many tours after cancer? Surely, that counts for something”

    interesting

    I never looked at it like that

    thanks