Armstrong to be stripped of all Tour de France wins

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Adam
Participant
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Once again, I think our stupid government has better things to do than chase around athletes who cheat.

How about going after all the politicians who cheat in elections? You never see anyone losing their “titles” from that do you?


Mick
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IIRC back in the day there was a rider in the Tour who died as a result of amphetaimine-induced, florid hallucinations, so maybe this isn’t all that far-fetched.

Umm …

Why do they test for weed?


Greasefoot
Participant
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@Steveo – Bernie Madoff stole millions & millions of dollars from a lot of people and also ruined several non-profit organizations that invested in his firm.

You can’t compare the financial crimes of Madoff with LA. They ain’t the same ballpark. It ain’t the same league. It ain’t even the same sport…


Steven
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How about going after all the politicians who cheat in elections? You never see anyone losing their “titles” from that do you?

You mean apart from

Jane Orie

Mike Veon

Bill DeWeese

John Perzel

Brett Feese

Vincent Fumo

etc.

Yeah, nobody.


orionz06
Participant
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I would be interested in seeing how much tax money was spent on the steroid and doping witch hunts.


mr marvelous
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I’m still waiting for the Patriots to be stripped of their Superbowl wins. And there is 100% proof they cheated.


orionz06
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I believe, with the Pats, that they only broke a major rule during the game they got caught.


Adam
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LOL touché!!!

@mick — do you remember who the snowboarder was who lost his gold medal I believe it was Salt Lake because he got caught smoking weed?

He should have gotten a “Green” medal to go along with his gold instead for that feat!


brian j
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Once again, I think our stupid government has better things to do than chase around athletes who cheat.

I think this has been mentioned before, but the government is rather interested in LA because his team during some of his glory years was essentially sponsored by the US government (USPS).

That said, yeah, it seems like our elected officials have better things to spend their time (and our money) on.


orionz06
Participant
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Ok, so they get a test that proves he was cheating when USPS sponsored. What then? What does our tax money get us? What is the net return, counting all the money spent hunting him down, add up to? What else could have that money been used for?


Adam
Participant
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Yeah the USPS DEFINITELY needs that money back (and all the rest they can get) — nowadays!!!

But it isn’t just cycling. What about all these baseball and basketball doping witch hunts and CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS…

I mean the words “Congressional hearing” and “Cheating athlete” should NOT be in the same friggin’ news article for christ sake.

I don’t pay enough attention to sports to really know the details because I am paying attention to things we SHOULD be worried about but to each his own I guess.


jonawebb
Participant
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I would guess the USADA’s interest in Armstrong has more to do with his being, or having been, the 7-time winner of the Tour de France and prominently claiming never to have doped (or never to have failed a drug test, which isn’t quite the same thing). If I was in charge of an agency responsible for enforcing some rule and I thought someone very prominent had broken that rule I would take a very close look at that person. It would be my responsibility.


Adam
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I agree — it is just not the government’s role. It should be the governing body of the sport itself that decides.

This whole thing is about as ridiculous as it would be for Jamaica to strip the Pittsburgh Penguins of their Stanley Cups, which is ALMOST as ridiculous as Jamaica having a bobsled team!


Steven
Participant
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I would be interested in seeing how much tax money was spent on the steroid and doping witch hunts.

Here’s a recent USADA financial statement. They’re a non-governmental nonprofit, but they were getting about $10 million a year in federal grants, about $5 million from other sources (mostly the US Olympic committee), and spending about $9 million of that on testing services, $6 million on other stuff.


brian j
Participant
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prominently claiming never to have doped

No, I believe LA’s claims are two-fold:

1. “I played by the rules”

2. “I never failed a test and I was the most tested athlete ever”

Claim #1 can be interpreted in different ways, given how dirty cycling was/is. As for claim #2, there are stories floating around that LA generally had information on when he would tested (which is not how out-of-competition is supposed to work).


Mick
Participant
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@adam @mick — do you remember who the snowboarder was who lost his gold medal I believe it was Salt Lake because he got caught smoking weed?

A quick google search says it was Ross Rebaglati in the 1998 Japanese Olympics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Rebagliati

Not in Wiki, but my recollection is:

The Japanese take drug offenses very seriously. They held Rebaglati for questioning about whether he possessed pot in Japan.

His coach’s comment: “If you can’t board baked, you probably shouldn’t be out there.”

I’m sure the authorites involved found that very helpful.

I don’t think that an agency whose mission is to keep athletes from biologically cheating should be the weed police.


orionz06
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$10 million dollars can paint a lot of bike lanes.


Mick
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Greasefoot
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The UCI has not yet officially commented on the USAD’s decision and it looks as if LA does not recognize the USADA’s authority either!

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/48830374/ns/sports-cycling/


brian j
Participant
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Yeah, it’s not up to the USADA to actually strip LA of his wins. Only the UCI can do that, so it’ll be up to them to pursue the matter from here. I’m curious how it will play out, since there are many accusations that LA has paid off the UCI over the years with rather large donations to the organization.


Greasefoot
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Hummm, maybe LA has the UCI in his pocket and that’s why he did not go to arbitration?


erok
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Pierce
Participant
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Well that sucks (the apparent truth that is)


brian j
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Devil’s advocate: Hamilton, like Landis, fought vehemently that he was completely innocent, so a book like this looks like a money/fame grab.

Interview with Hamilton on 60 minutes.


buffalo buffalo
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brian, the Outside article addresses that:

Next Wednesday, when The Secret Race comes out, backers will probably make the familiar claim that Hamilton is a disgruntled, bitter ex-rival who got popped for doping and is now looking to cash in. But that doesn’t explain why nine former teammates agreed to cooperate.

The Hamilton that viewers saw on 60 Minutes was nervous and visibly conflicted about his decision to come clean and tell the truth. The Hamilton in The Secret Race is a different being altogether…. By the end, Hamilton has journeyed so far beyond a mere thirst for revenge that he confesses that he feels sorry for Armstrong—a teammate who once tried to destroy him.


Steven
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How many of the nine former teammates were kicked out due to failed testing before deciding to cooperate with Hamilton? Are any trading their testimony for better deals? And what exactly are these teammates affirming? Are some just affirming that they once saw Armstrong perspiring and looking nervous on the very same day Hamilton says Armstrong cheated? Or are they saying they saw Armstrong actually cheating?

The article stressed how important it was that there were nine teammates stepping forward, but provided zero details on what they said, and what credibility they have. That’s the aspect that could move this from “disgruntled guy makes same accusations as before, this time in detail” to the big deal this article claims it is, but they left out the evidence for that.


Adam
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From the number of “LIVESTRONG” jerseys I saw biking from PGH to DC last weekend — including my own LMFAO (come on now, it is in my collection of jerseys that I don’t mind getting completely trashed) — I don’t think anyone really gives a crap about all of this. Just a waste of government money, but then again — the government never seems to have any trouble figuring out ways to waste our money.

I wonder how many of our combined taxes from the last year it would take if we added it all up to cover the cost of the LA witch hunt. Probably everyone on the forum and then some I would assume. Money well spent!


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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From the google machine (Courtesy Wiki): “The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is a non-profit, non-governmental[1] organization and the national anti-doping organization (NADO) for the United States. “

” USADA is not a government entity, however the agency is partly funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), with its remaining budget generated from contracts for anti-doping services with sport organizations, most notably the United States Olympic Committee.”

And from the USADA 2011 Annual Report:

Revenues, Grants and Other Support – Federal grants $8,982,000

United States Olympic Committee (USOC) contractual agreement 3,450,000

Investment return 17,719

Income from third parties 1,272,751

Total revenues, grants and other support 13,722,470

Conclusion: USADA received $8.9 million in 2011 from the Federal Government.


Greasefoot
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“The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is a non-profit, non-government organization” – that’s the rub. Because they are non-governmental they don’t have to provide a burden of proof or use due process. They are just a well funded kangaroo court. I guess the government figured out the best way to catch a cheater is to cheat them self, so now we have a non-profit group that can circumvent the constitution.


steevo
Participant
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The constitution of bike racing? WTF are you

talking about?

When Lance bought his racing license,it was

through USAC who are governed by USADA…

He signed up for it and agreed to their terms.

The UCI is the kangaroo court….

http://www.usacycling.org/health-anti-doping.htm


rice rocket
Participant
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I think he means that he’s getting a conviction w/o due process.

From what I gathered, due process was offered, but Armstrong decided that it was a losing battle and declined.


Greasefoot
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I don’t have any idea if LA doped and I don’t care.

I’m fed up with zealous politically motivated jackasses wasting millions – millions – and millions of taxpayer’s dollars investigating drug use by athletes.

Over the past decade they spent millions after millions going after baseball players Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds. And now the Fed funded USADA investigation of LA is another waste of money.

They had no legitimate authority to go after LA. They claim they do, but that doesn’t mean they have. For almost a decade LA passed hundreds of drug tests conducted by the TDF governing body, the UCI.

The US Attorney’s office did their own investigation of doping by LA and of other members of his bike team but closed the investigation with no findings. February 2012 the U.S.Attorney stated in a press release that his office is “CLOSING” an investigation into allegations of federal criminal conduct by members and associates of a professional bicycle racing team owned in part by LA.”They found “NO EVIDENCE” of wrongdoing.

Then in June of 2012 the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency brought new charges against LA. WHY?

To block the case from going further LA, supported by the UCI, the governing body of the TDF, sued the USADA. Last month the judge threw out the case, siding with USADA despite questioning the agency’s pursuit of LA. The U.S.District Judge wrote, “USADA’s conduct raises serious questions about whether it’s real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives,” If such strong words come from a U.S.District Judge it begs the question, if the judge believed for one second politics or publicity may be involved, but why didn’t he rule for LA and put an end to this charade? After the judge’s ruling the anti-doping agency announced they were stripping LA of all his TDF titles and banning him from sports for life. What am I missing here?

If LA is a “doper” that’s something he’ll have to live with the rest of his life. He’ll know he’s a fraud. Today I’m more inclined to believe that the USADA had “less noble motives” for trying to prove he took the juice. Once the US Attorney’s office closed their investigation, this should have ended.


jonawebb
Participant
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There’s millions of dollars at stake. It’s not surprising that they would spend a lot of money investigating.

And $8.9 million total in annual funding from the Federal Government doesn’t actually sound like that much when you get right down to it. It’s something less than 100 people, once you figure in all the overhead. This is for all sports, right?

So it doesn’t sound to me like anyone’s wasting money, judging by the size of the budget.

Recently on the radio somebody pointed out that it’s not uncommon for an athlete to get caught doping years after they won their major medals. People can be very careful about this sort of thing, the tests aren’t really that hard to defeat, actually, and don’t forget that Lance is accused of using drugs for which there was no test at the time. When they went back and tested his stored blood for EPO after a test was finally developed, they found it.

(I know, you don’t believe that either, it was just a French lab slandering the great Lance…)


Greasefoot
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@steveo after reading more information from the link you provided it clears up some things for me. If you join the USAC you agree to rules of the USADA. (edit) No sympathy for the devil.

The USADA is supposed to be a non political independent non profit organization but it’s motives for going after LA seem to be questionable.

@jonawebb how much do you think the US Attorney’s office spent on it’s invetigation? They did not rubber stamp a fraud investigation and LA certainly did not have them in his pocket.


mr marvelous
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I do have a real question, I read an online article that I’m trying to find from a non-American journalist saying that one reason that LA is so confidant is that the USADA can’t really strip him of his TDF wins only the UCI can do that. And the UCI has supported LA from the beginning. The UCI can override any decision made by the USADA. I don’t know if this is true or not I know you can’t believe everything on the internet.

So my question is: Is this true? If it is true and the USADA knew this why did the bother with this whole thing?

If its not true then disregard my post.


eMcK
Participant
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I don’t understand people’s questions as to why the US Anti-Doping Agency is going after a suspected doper.

“Unlike the US attorney, USADA’s job is to protect clean sport rather than enforce specific criminal laws,” USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said. “Our investigation into doping in the sport of cycling is continuing and we look forward to obtaining the information developed during the federal investigation.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but the case against Lance was dropped by the US Attorney with no comment as to why. There was never a statement of “NO EVIDENCE” as you claim Greasefoot. In fact the evidence collected seems to be large part of the case against LA.


eMcK
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brian j
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Mr. Marv: the USADA can only make recommendations to the sport’s governing body. If you read through the stories of other dopers (Contador, for instance), the national body lays out a course of action, and it’s up the UCI to either accept that (and impose whatever punishment was meted out) or go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and pursue the punishment they believe the doper should have received.

The USADA is well within their purpose as an organization by pursuing Armstrong, especially if new evidence has come to light (a failed drug test is not the only reason for a sanction–see the Festina affair).

As for “wasting tax money”–I can be slightly sympathetic to this argument, but it also seems like a bit of straw man. The government “wastes” a fair bit of tax money on superfluous things. And, if you’re going to subsidize sports generally with tax money (see the Olympic teams, or USPS), it would be wise to have an organization in place to be sure those folks are doped to the gills.


mr marvelous
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@ Brian j thanks for explaining.

So does this mean we are still waiting for UCI to make their decision and they can choose to strip LA or not? So this is still not over?


brian j
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Yep, it’s not over ’til the UCI sings. And, as I mentioned, they could contest the USADA’s findings, too.

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