Join Date: May 2001
Location: land of the incompetent
Yes, Lance had to take EPO during his cancer treatment, but there's no way traces of that would be left in his blood that long after.
I do believe Lance, just like every other rider, took some dodgy substances. Frankly, the speeds at which riders today ride are almost inhuman, I don't think it's possible to ride for three weeks like that without taking any performance enhancers. The line between what's legal and what's not is pretty fine though, so it's very tempting to cross. Besides, if you're not prepared to cross that line, you're not very likely to get a prof contract anyway.
Saying he never tested positive is a weak excuse. The only ones getting caught these days are smaller, lesser known riders who don't have a doctor looking over them, telling them when to take the drugs and how much. When a bigger name gets caught, it's usually not through a blood test but by house searches, border controls discovering all sorts of illegal drugs in the cars of wives or coaches, etc. Big riders simply don't test positive because they're professionals, they know HOW to take drugs and how to deliver negative test results.
Still, I do feel this is a case of the Equipe going on a witch hunt. If they go after Lance, they should go after all the other riders as well. And I'm still convinced that should all riders ride drug free, Lance would still come on top. Lance didn't win 7 tours because he was on dope while the others weren't. They're all taking drugs, so it's still almost a level playing field (not completely since some teams will have access to better and more advanced drugs than others).
Also, I think the Rutger Beke case showed that those EPO tests aren't 100% anyway.
Everything you do continues long after you've gone