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 Post subject: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch Hunt?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:43 pm 
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I really don't know what to think about Lance Armstrong deciding to no longer seek to arbitrate the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s charges against him, allowing USADA to claim victory by banning the 40-year-old rider for life from involvement in any sport that follows the World Anti-Doping Code (which includes triathlons and bicycling). This is going to result in the loss of all his historic seven Tour de France titles, so that officially now only one American Tour champion will remain: Greg LeMond.

My gut reaction is to be sad for Armstrong. It was such a great come-back story - from being a good but not great cyclist, then getting testicular cancer and having the determination to come back stronger and eventually winning the Tour de France seven times, and according to all the interviews, it sounds like it really cost him a ton of hard work and effort to do that. Plus LiveStrong, his foundation, seems to be doing a lot of good work out in the world, and he's a strong proponent of veganism.

And then you think that (as the USADA says), why wouldn't he fight if the allegations aren't true? But then I read that the USADA has won all but 2 of its 58 cases against athletes, and that Armstrong fought really hard over 2 years to have the allegations tried in the legal system because he knew he would be unlikely to win in arbitration, and lost.

He never tested positive! But they had ten former team mates and MDs ready to testify against him! No smoke without fire?

And I have weird feelings about the Sheryl Crowe thing that are probably irrelevant. (she just seems so nice and he might have been a jerk to her but that doesn't mean he was on drugs.)

So, um. Tell me what to think, PPK!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:57 pm 
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a little from column A, a little from column B. it'd be no real surprise if it were somehow clearly revealed he was juicing. there's a lot of circumstance (i.e. teammates and managers being handed bans) that puts him in a pretty negative position, and analysis of many of his samples don't seems to be all that consistent with non-doping samples. yadda yadda.

at this point, what does it matter? I feel like the window has long closed on the chance to really call him on it. with or without doping, he'd still kick my asparagus up a mountain. and (especially as a former patient) I'm happy that Livestrong exists.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Hmmmmm, I'm not really sure if I have an opinion or not. He is either giving up cause he knows he can't win the fight or he knows he doped. I don't really know much about him, the tour de france, or cycling in general. I watch the tour every year cause my husband loves it, but that's about it. Id be interested in hearing what people in the know think.

Also, I have no idea what the story was with him and Sheryl, so I can't make comment to that.

I do think its really crappy that his titles will be taken away though if he is telling the truth. Watching how hard those guys fight for a win makes me angry for him.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:00 pm 
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For me what it comes down to is that the sport is dirty and testing methods aren't up to the challenge. But I don't think that taking down the most tested athlete ever with old allegations and hearsay is doing anything good for the sport whatsoever. They needed to drop it when he won the criminal case and get to work on better testing procedures so they can clean up cycling going forward. I know that lots of people are going to say that giving up is an admission of guilt, but I think it was a losing battle regardless of whether or not he doped. The USADA changed their own statute of limitations in order to have something to pin on him and I sort of don't blame him from backing down from an unfair fight. Last I heard there was still a question over whether the USADA has the authority to strip him of his Tour titles. I think the International Cycling Union has the chance to appeal the ban and the title stripping. Anyway, I'm in no way convinced that he didn't dope but I'm still pissed about this because it looks like a witch hunt and doesn't accomplish anything except camoflage the fact that anti-doping agencies aren't accomplishing anything.

I guess I might have seen him compete in what might turn out to be his last race ever (Ironman Hawaii 70.3 in June.)

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:02 pm 
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I'm with you Tofulish, I can't work out what I think about it all. Bunniee linked to his statement in the Living Room:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... ml?hpid=z2

and reading that I think "He's right and the USADA are ridiculous", then I read other news reports and change my mind again.
I can't quite see how they can ban him when he has never tested positive even once. On the BBC news tonight they said that if he is stripped of all his titles then they will go to the people who came second, at least two of whom have served drug bans, which seems to make even more of a mockery of the whole thing.

(edited for clarity)

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:03 pm 
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jogirl wrote:
I'm with you, I can't work out what I think about it all. Bunniee linked to his statement in the Living Room:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... ml?hpid=z2

and reading that I think "He's right and the USADA are ridiculous", then I read other news reports and change my mind again.
I can't quite see how they can ban him when he has never tested positive even once. On the BBC news tonight they said that if he is stripped of all his titles then they will go to the people who came second, at least two of whom have served drug bans, which seems to make even more of a mockery of the whole thing.

That last part bothers me as much as anything. So they're going to knock on the door of the third or fourth or fifth place guy and say, "Remember that Tour you totally didn't win 10 years ago? Congratulations, you win!"

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:06 pm 
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My opinion: LANK MARMFRONG.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:06 pm 
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monkeytoes wrote:
jogirl wrote:
I'm with you, I can't work out what I think about it all. Bunniee linked to his statement in the Living Room:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... ml?hpid=z2

and reading that I think "He's right and the USADA are ridiculous", then I read other news reports and change my mind again.
I can't quite see how they can ban him when he has never tested positive even once. On the BBC news tonight they said that if he is stripped of all his titles then they will go to the people who came second, at least two of whom have served drug bans, which seems to make even more of a mockery of the whole thing.

That last part bothers me as much as anything. So they're going to knock on the door of the third or fourth or fifth place guy and say, "Remember that Tour you totally didn't win 10 years ago? Congratulations, you win!"

Seriously, what is the freaking point. If they can't hand the title to the second place person then why even bother!

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:13 pm 
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There's a dispute over whether the USADA has the authority to strip titles from an international competition. I think that decision should be up to the International Cycling Union. As for Armstrong being innocent or guilty of doping, I'm going to reserve judgment because we just don't know what really happened. I agree with monkeytoes, Armstrong's decision to give up the fight does not mean he is guilty. Maybe he is just tired of dealing with it.

I think it's strange that the USADA is coming after him years later and wonder what physical evidence they have. Testimony from teammates doesn't prove anything - it's their word against his.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Yeah at some point you just say, you can't prove it. You can keep testing and even store samples for future tests but really, in the end, it just becomes ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:52 pm 
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If he was doping, they can't fairly give those titles to anyone, because there is no way to prove THEY weren't also doping if the tests aren't catching whatever was going on. I'm most inclined to believe a large percentage of the top of the field was doping.

I think it's at least part witch hunt, but there are so many allegations going back years, that it is really confusion. I don't this a case this complex should be tried in the media.

I'm mostly interested in the rumors about the FDA being involved because of illegal experimental blood substitutes. If that is true or even just a possibility, I suppose it would partly explain the witch hunt.

I have trouble with the idea that someone who triumphed over cancer would knowingly put dangerous substances into their body.

FWIW, Marion Jones never tested positive either, did she?

Armstrong giving up also confuses me a bit. I can fully understand being worn out from a seemingly fruitless fight, but his image and many millions of dollars are at stake, even discounting his legacy. He has pretty much chucked away any current and future endorsement deals.

To sum up: confuzzled about everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I can see why he backed down. I had some battles of my own that dragged on for a while. I lost the first battle and I had the choice to take it further and try win back some dignity for myself but the toll it takes on your emotional and mental health is unreal. Sometimes it is easier to back down and deal with a shitty load than keep on battling and have God knows what made up bull slung at you and damaging your reputation even more.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:05 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
I have trouble with the idea that someone who triumphed over cancer would knowingly put dangerous substances into their body.

This!

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:11 pm 
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GraciaKai wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
I have trouble with the idea that someone who triumphed over cancer would knowingly put dangerous substances into their body.

This!

I don't think this has much bearing on anything at all..

I mean, you could argue the other way: cancer gave him a wakeup call. he wanted to leave a mark on the universe, so did that at any cost.

(arguably the substances he's alleged to have used aren't all that dangerous either.. but that's moot)

but for him (like most people that have gone through treatment), life just continues mostly as normal. if you have a desire to do something harmful to your body, you probably will.. be that smoking or something more serious, it happens!

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:18 pm 
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joshua wrote:
GraciaKai wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
I have trouble with the idea that someone who triumphed over cancer would knowingly put dangerous substances into their body.

This!

I don't think this has much bearing on anything at all..

I mean, you could argue the other way: cancer gave him a wakeup call. he wanted to leave a mark on the universe, so did that at any cost.

(arguably the substances he's alleged to have used aren't all that dangerous either.. but that's moot)

but for him (like most people that have gone through treatment), life just continues mostly as normal. if you have a desire to do something harmful to your body, you probably will.. be that smoking or something more serious, it happens!

True, it was one of thoughts that came to mind though. Like he went on this epic journey, won the battle over cancer, and trained like a mad man. So why would he dope? But your right, people do stupid crazy shiitake that makes no sense all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:22 pm 
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joshua wrote:
GraciaKai wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
I have trouble with the idea that someone who triumphed over cancer would knowingly put dangerous substances into their body.

This!

I don't think this has much bearing on anything at all..

I mean, you could argue the other way: cancer gave him a wakeup call. he wanted to leave a mark on the universe, so did that at any cost.

(arguably the substances he's alleged to have used aren't all that dangerous either.. but that's moot)

but for him (like most people that have gone through treatment), life just continues mostly as normal. if you have a desire to do something harmful to your body, you probably will.. be that smoking or something more serious, it happens!


I was particiularly thinking of the rumored HemAssist. That stuff sounds scary. The experimental trials were canceled due to it being found unsafe for humans.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:28 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
I was particiularly thinking of the rumored HemAssist. That stuff sounds scary. The experimental trials were canceled due to it being found unsafe for humans.

heh, I'm almost certain if chemotherapy were only discovered today, it'd never pass clinical trials.. by its very definition, it's unsafe for humans!

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Clear cut to me. If he didn't do it, he's an innocent victim and shame on everyone! If he did it, he's a lying cheater and deserves what he's gotten. But since we don't know, meh. It's like the Olsen Twins all over again.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:56 pm 
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No, no. The Olsen Twins are dopes.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:03 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:15 pm 
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Fee wrote:
If he didn't do it, he's an innocent victim and shame on everyone! If he did it, he's a lying cheater and deserves what he's gotten.


Lance Armstrong and mtoes make the point that there needs to be a single set of rules that everyone plays by though. And here, it sounds like he played by the rules (submitted to testing and passed all his tests (both at races and while resting etc), and he passed. And now they're revising the rules and the statute of limitations specifically to "catch" him. And it isn't like there is some sort of double jeopardy here - they've had multiple bites at the apple.

So even if he did take steroids, he still doesn't deserve to be held to a different standard from other athletes.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:27 pm 
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joshua wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
I was particiularly thinking of the rumored HemAssist. That stuff sounds scary. The experimental trials were canceled due to it being found unsafe for humans.

heh, I'm almost certain if chemotherapy were only discovered today, it'd never pass clinical trials.. by its very definition, it's unsafe for humans!


I suppose the benefits were simply not acceptable when weighed against the negatives. That wouldn't be the case for chemotherapy. New nuclear medicine techniques and protocols are approved regularly.

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:40 pm 
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I googled HemAssist and found this very long article about doping and Lance Armstrong. Interesting read.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/ ... /index.htm

Quote:
According to that source, the FDA has information that Armstrong gained access to a Baxter-made drug in clinical trial in the U.S. and Europe in the late 1990s. According to public records, a study on a drug called Diaspirin Cross-Linked Hemoglobin (DCLHb) began in early 1997 and ended in 1998. Baxter developed the drug, whose trade name is HemAssist, for use in cases of extreme blood loss, such as by shock and trauma victims; in animal studies it was shown to boost the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity without the thickening caused by EPO. The human trials were ended, however, after a number of patients died—though not necessarily from the drug's effects; some of the trauma victims were likely to have died anyway.

Armstrong's lawyers say that he denies ever having taken HemAssist, and they claim it was impossible for him to have had access to the drug after the clinical trials ended and Baxter abandoned development in September 1998. Still, stockpiles of the drug may have remained, says Dr. Robert Przybelski, an associate professor at Wisconsin who was the director of hemoglobin therapeutics at Baxter in the late '90s, although he adds that he doesn't know of any missing quantities. What would a cyclist want with the drug? "If somebody was going to design something better than EPO, this would be the ideal product," says Przybelski. DCLHb would certainly give the endurance-starved cyclist a push in the Pyrenees. "[Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers] do everything they want EPO to do without the potential side effects of increased blood viscosity and strokes," says Przybelski. "And it doesn't last long [in the body], 12 to 24 hours, which is ideal for an event."

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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:43 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
If he was doping, they can't fairly give those titles to anyone, because there is no way to prove THEY weren't also doping if the tests aren't catching whatever was going on. I'm most inclined to believe a large percentage of the top of the field was doping.


This times a million. Then again, I'm not a fan of stripping medals/wins/whatevs from people in most circumstances for numerous reasons that don't matter. Anyway, the whole case seems like a big kerfuffle and I just don't think anyone wins, no matter the outcome.

Another thing, I'm so ambivalent on the whole drugs/doping trials. One one hand, I get it, as a parent, I don't want my kid thinking she has to take some shiitake to make her superhuman if she ever wants to succeed in sports (or other competitive areas...like kids who take "study drugs"). On the other hand, it's sports. If people didn't get all excited and push for MORE BETTER FASTER HARDER NOW athletes, these people wouldn't get so far because the fans would boo them away, but I have a sneaking suspicion that supercharged athletes make for great entertainment. This is the point where I admit I know nothing about sports and pretty much hate them all so I have a very negative bias toward the whole deal. But still, people tend to love sporting badasses, so I think my theory sticks.


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 Post subject: Re: Lance Armstrong to lose Tour Titles: Justice or Witch H
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:44 pm 
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