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Hellbent

Lance Armstrong stripped of all 7 Tour titles

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http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1061155715&format=&page=2&listingType=sco#articleFull

excerpt:

It was 12 years ago this summer. Riding hard, Armstrong fiddled with the collar of his bright yellow Tour de France leader’s jersey and tugged its back, getting comfortable in the saddle for one of his trademark attacks.

Then, a few minutes later, he was off, literally like a rocket, leaving rivals for dead and making the towering Mont Ventoux look like little more than a speed bump.

The physical strength he showed that July 13 at the 2000 Tour was mind-boggling. And there were so many other equally mind-boggling moments in the other six Tours he won.

I was there for some of them. The power of Armstrong on the bike, the mix of steely charm and cold, single-minded determination, was like nothing I’d ever seen — both then and since.

Which is why it’s even more mind-boggling to think that none of this really happened. Gone. Expunged. Erased by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and its finding that the bulk of his career was built on lies and banned performance-enhancing drugs.

The utter destruction of the Lance Armstrong myth, the man seemingly so tough that he not only beat cancer but won the world’s toughest bike race a record seven times, is going to take quite some time to digest.

Other commentators will talk about how this will affect the cancer survivors Armstrong inspired and the foundation he set up to fight the disease. And only the most cynical will say that that side of Armstrong should crumble along with his status as a sporting icon.

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Is there ever any evidence at all that he used drugs? Last I heard this was all based on heresay (heh).

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Apparently he never failed a drug test. But if he didn't do any, why are there so many people saying he did? I dunno, the whole thing is crazy.

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As far as any other reports go, all "evidence" was word-of-mouth from people who would've benefited greatly from him being discredited.

He never changed his testimony either, he just decided to stop fighting an endless legal battle and move on to things that will actually be productive.

Which is really the best choice anybody can make in a situation like that.

It'll be amusing to watch people try to pretend he didn't actually win all those races though.

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Even if he did cheat it was pretty amazing stuff. There should be a separate set of sports for people who want to see how far they can push the human body with modifications and drugs. The transhumanist part of me really wants to see it.

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It's curious how no one cares about bodybuilders obviously using steroids, but God forbid any other athlete injects themselves with something that makes their muscles repair quicker and perform better according to the athlete's given discipline. And indeed, if he even took anything and it's not just gossip.

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i think it is complete bullshit that he has been discredited so badly.
the man still did what he did.
he still won what he won.
he has one ball.
men with two balls wish they could do half of what he did.
i am disgusted for the human race that this happened.

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Aliotroph? said:

There should be a separate set of sports for people who want to see how far they can push the human body with modifications and drugs.

Isn't that toxic and vicious? People will collapse and die as soon as they have the trophies in their homes.

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anyone thinking armstrong was clean is utterly delusional and needs to realize how cycling worked in that era - everyone doped hard. the people testifying against him now are his former colleagues. the butthurt comes from "but why just me?!" feelings when everyone was guilty.

they need to scratch the first place from all those years and not bump the final results up one spot. the worst thing to do would be to give titles to ullrich (recently handed a lifetime ban), beloki (entangled into the operacion puerto scandal back in 2006) or pre-ban basso. or alex zulle, heh. that would disgrace the sport for years to come (even more than the armstrong ban).

people hate to see Their Hero shamed, but whenever i see armstrong advocates, they usually don't even follow the sport. stop being so goddamn naive.

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dew said:

anyone thinking armstrong was clean is utterly delusional and needs to realize how cycling worked in that era - everyone doped hard. the people testifying against him now are his former colleagues. the butthurt comes from "but why just me?!" feelings when everyone was guilty.

they need to scratch the first place from all those years and not bump the final results up one spot. the worst thing to do would be to give titles to ullrich (recently handed a lifetime ban), beloki (entangled into the operacion puerto scandal back in 2006) or pre-ban basso. or alex zulle, heh. that would disgrace the sport for years to come (even more than the armstrong ban).

people hate to see Their Hero shamed, but whenever i see armstrong advocates, they usually don't even follow the sport. stop being so goddamn naive.

Imagine Compet-n being poisoned with aim and slowmo bots.

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I don't know enough about biology to understand why it is a problem if athletes are concentrating certain chemicals in their body - many probably found in smaller amounts in various foods (e.g. steroids from meat).

edit: I don't buy the "it can cause damage to your body" argument because so does the act of training. Like after running for X number of years, you've probably destroyed your knees and other leg-bits.

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Vorpal said:

I don't know enough about biology to understand why it is a problem if athletes are concentrating certain chemicals in their body - many probably found in smaller amounts in various foods (e.g. steroids from meat).

edit: I don't buy the "it can cause damage to your body" argument because so does the act of training. Like after running for X number of years, you've probably destroyed your knees and other leg-bits.

I think you're confusing proteins and calories, vital in building muscle/mass, with manufactured testosterone (basically what anabolic steroids are). Different chemicals which do different things. Unless you're thinking of the growth hormones allegedly being injected into cattle to make them grow faster and leaving a residue in meat that's consumed by humans. In either case, I'd be interested in reading what you read that had you come to this conclusion.

Also, the idea of intense exercise causing damage to your body over time is a double-edged sword. Someone who has ran or played football their whole life is going to be generally fitter than someone who has led a sedentary lifestyle, bad knees or no bad knees. But then, bad knees pale in comparison to a heart attack, thanks to taking roids.

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DoomUK said:

Also, the idea of intense exercise causing damage to your body over time is a double-edged sword.

Not really. Keep in mind were talking about professional athlete's training, not your generic workout routine. The latter will rarely have harmful side-effects, like muscle injuries, over-exertion etc.

Some questionable training practices in our skiing association were made public and criticised only a couple of years ago. Justyna Kowalczyk has severe problems with her knees due to them.

Edit: And don't even get me started about combat sports. One of my friends dabbled in kyokushin for a couple of years, now he has days when he can barely walk due to an old knee injury. Another went from bodybuilding and wrestling into MMA, last time I've met him I found out his doctor told him to quit lifting weights if he doesn't want to end up in a wheelchair.

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Belial said:

Not really. Keep in mind were talking about professional athlete's training, not your generic workout routine. The latter will rarely have harmful side-effects, like muscle injuries, over-exertion etc.

Some questionable training practices in our skiing association were made public and criticised only a couple of years ago. Justyna Kowalczyk has severe problems with her knees due to them.

Edit: And don't even get me started about combat sports. One of my friends dabbled in kyokushin for a couple of years, now he has days when he can barely walk due to an old knee injury. Another went from bodybuilding and wrestling into MMA, last time I've met him I found out his doctor told him to quit lifting weights if he doesn't want to end up in a wheelchair.

Genetics? Old injuries that happened before any of these people started training, and might have become more of a problem as they got older anyway?

I'm not saying professional athleticism of any kind can't backfire but there's things going on which are entirely out of your control, and pushing your body to the edge might not have anything to do with it falling apart on you.

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Reading any sports thread on Doomworld would make you believe this is a hub for religious fanatics, what with the wildly inaccurate health opinions flying in the face of well-established science. How do some people manage to stay alive with such a profound misunderstanding of the human body is truly a wonder. Dew and Belial are the only ones talking sense here.

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Hey, I did preface my comment (it was not an opinion) by saying I didn't understand biology, nor the doping problem. I was trying to open the door for clarification.

DoomUK said:

I think you're confusing proteins and calories, vital in building muscle/mass, with manufactured testosterone (basically what anabolic steroids are).


Building muscle enhances your body's performance profoundly, but meat isn't a "substance". Testosterone is however a "substance", despite it being synthesized by animals?

What I'm getting at, is that it's not the type of chemical in your body that is the problem (correct me if I'm wrong), but the concentration of that chemical (because many of these things are found in nature or have similar analogues in nature). What I'm getting at is that if we magically put everyone on the same food diet, no injections and no pills, same number of hours spent training over their lifetime - some will still be at an advantage because their body is just producing more of Chemical X by virtue of good genes.

I'm just trying to understand what the chain of logic / philosophy is for those against doping. Not trying to argue for/against anything, am on the fence on the issue because like I said, I don't understand it.

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Vorpal said:

I'm just trying to understand what the chain of logic / philosophy is for those against doping. Not trying to argue for/against anything, am on the fence on the issue because like I said, I don't understand it.

you're tackling the issue from the wrong side. muscle building drugs, EPO (injecting yourself with your own blood taken during high-mountain training) or stimulants are obvious unclear advantages over a "clean sportsman", because they're all very unhealthy or unnatural in the long run.

however the recent trend in all sports is to abuse substances that help you regenerate faster. you don't get stronger or faster or immune to pain, but you can just train more. this gives you an indirect advantage over puny human beings (maybe except alex popov), but the border between forbidden drugs and, say, natural or traditional legal substances and food additives can get extra fuzzy and there's actually a growing opinion in road cycling in particular that certain type of nowadays doping should be made legal - if only for practical reasons, for example because everyone's doing it anyways.

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It's not obvious to me ;-(

Like what is the definition of a "clean sportsman"? Health seems to be the primary variable, like if you did something that damaged your health (additional chemicals, exhaustive training methods, other stuff) are not clean?

A pro boxer for instance could conceivably get on the order of 30 concussions in his career, which will affect his health deeply, perhaps decrease his lifespan even. Increase the amount of Hormone X/Y/Z in your body though, which also damages health/lifespan is different and not clean for some reason.

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Hellbent said:

Apparently he never failed a drug test. But if he didn't do any, why are there so many people saying he did? I dunno, the whole thing is crazy.

Not true:

In its 15-page letter, USADA said its investigation included evidence dating back to 1996 and accused Armstrong of a "pervasive pattern of doping" over many years.

It says it collected blood samples from him in 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent with blood ma­nipu­la­tion including EPO use and/or blood transfusions".

More than 10 cyclists as well as cycling team employees witnessed Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs and techniques, the letter says.


Seems pretty clear he cheated. I'm frankly surprised that so many people are trying to rush to his defence.

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He's more than a man - he's a brand.

A lot of people -- many of whom have the altruistic intentions, I'm sure -- stand to lose a lot from his disenfranchisement.

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schwerpunk said:

He's more than a man - he's a brand.

A lot of people -- many of whom have the altruistic intentions, I'm sure -- stand to lose a lot from his disenfranchisement.

this is a sad truth. i'm sorry for the damage this may inflict on his cancer foundation, but perpetuating a lie for good intentions seems rather sour. although i've read that LAF actually benefited from the situation, they supposedly received 20x the daily donations than usual. maybe l.a. is the next o.j., or m.j.

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I think, but I am not really certain, that Lance was merely leveling the playing field. I don't think he was the only one doping. I think he was participating in the culture of the Tour, as sad as that may seem. From what I understand most of the elite guys were doping.

Can someone help me find a specific video from the 2003 Tour? I cannot for the life of me find an unedited video of the entire (or at least last 20 minutes including Lance's attack before falling) Luz Ardiden stage of the 2003 Tour in English. :( Until I find one, I give you this sensational clip:



BTW, Ulrich and Pantani, among the best riders at the time of the above clip, both were users. According to a Wikipedia article, Pantani, the guy in pink who just edged Armstrong at the end of the above video, "Disqualified in 1999 Giro for irregular blood values. Died of cocaine overdose in 2004."

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I'm sad to hear this, I guess the story of going from being told he'll never be able to walk again to winning 7 tour titles was too good to be true...

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