Column: Lance may have last laugh at French during the doping scandal - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Column: Lance may have last laugh at French during the doping scandal

Posted on Fri, Jun. 30, 2006



Armstrong may have last laugh in Tour de France doping scandal

TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Columnist
You have to love Lance Armstrong's timing.

He won his first Tour de France the year after its biggest scandal and retired the year before a scandal that will probably prove even bigger.

The French seemed awfully glad to be rid of Armstrong after he won his seventh straight Tour last year.

The American was too good, too suspect and, well, too American for their tastes.

"Never to such an extent, probably, has the departure of a champion been welcomed with such widespread relief," the nation's leading sports daily opined.

Wonder how they're feeling about it now.

Forgive Armstrong if he enjoys the last laugh.

Life after Lance was supposed to bring a great new day to the only bike race anybody outside of Europe cares about. Finally gone was the racer so good that almost everyone who has ever ridden on training wheels wondered if he was doped up.

The French went so far as to suggest Armstrong used EPO before his first win in 1999, and even the Tour's director claimed that everyone was fooled by the wily American.

Their logic was easy enough to understand. Cycling is probably the dirtiest sport of them all, with a long history of riders using everything from cocaine to blood tranfusions to try and get an edge on the competition.

So the suspicion was that the rider who wins everything has to be dirtier than anyone else.

The only problem was that Armstrong never tested positive for anything, and was never caught with anything. On the contrary, he's spending his retirement in what seems like a full-time job agressively fighting allegations made against him in various places around the world.

Now the guys who were supposed to replace him are gone, too. But, unlike Armstrong, they didn't leave voluntarily.

Thanks to some Spanish investigators who seem to be taking a page from their BALCO counterparts in the United States, the Tour de France field was stripped of some top names Friday when a number of riders were banned on the eve of the race.

Among them were favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, caught up in cycling's biggest doping scandal since customs officials got lucky in 1998 and found a large stash of banned drugs in a team car.

The irony is inescapable. All those years of chasing rumors against Armstrong, and now they end up getting the guys who kept finishing behind him.

Both tour and team officials moved quickly once Spanish officials gave them details of a raid earlier this year on a doctor's office that turned up detailed doping records for various riders, and numerous bags of blood.

Ullrich was riding in a team van on the way to a previously scheduled press conference when he got the word that he, teammate Oscar Sevilla and longtime adviser Rudy Pevenage were implicated.

"We kindly asked our bus driver to turn around and go back to the hotel," team spokesman Luuc Eisenga said.

If only Major League Baseball acted so quickly with the BALCO investigation. Because if these guys were members of the player's union, they would still be at the starting line Saturday.

If nothing else, the doping scandal ripped open an already wide open race in the wake of Armstrong's retirement. Whether anyone outside of France really cares remains to be seen now that the most compelling story line is identifying who is cheating and who is clean.

One of those cheaters is - or rather, was - David Millar of Scotland, who was banned for two years in 2004 after admitting using EPO. Millar returns this year, and should he win it might prove to Armstrong doubters that the race can be won without doping.

"This drug hunt in Spain will be fantastic for cycling because the new generation of riders are gong to be aware that doping is bad for their health and the sport," a repentant Millar said.

Perhaps. Either that, or they will find a new way to cheat because the money is too good and the glory is too great.

Armstrong, meanwhile, continues his fight to clear his name. On Friday he reached a settlement in his libel suit against the Sunday Times in London, and a few months ago he won a $7.5 million settlement over a bonus an insurance company refused to pay him for his 2004 win because of allegations in a book that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

So far, retirement is looking pretty good for Armstrong.

Maybe the French were a little too quick to bid him adieu.

---_

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg@ap.org




© 2006 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 12:18 AM
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Armstrong won't be laughing last, because there are just too many people who are hot on his trail, and sooner or later he is going to get exposed. He won't be able to cover up for much longer.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vogus
Armstrong won't be laughing last, because there are just too many people who are hot on his trail, and sooner or later he is going to get exposed. He won't be able to cover up for much longer.
God, I love your "guilty with no way to prove innocence" perspective. You'd make a great lawyer ... in a dictatorship.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 12:40 AM
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Wow What a great article



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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 01:05 AM
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as if, this doping scandal only makes armstrong look even more guilty

Quote:
19. In the period from January to April 2006 Dr. Skalny sent very detailed messages to Ms Sharapova [...]: “Mildronate 1-2 X 10, repeat in 2 wks (before training or competition)”; “1 hr before competition, 2 pills of Mildronate”; “During games of special importance, you can increase your Mildronate dose to 3-4 pills (1 hr before the match). However, it is necessary to consult me on all these matters (please call)”; “30 minutes prior to a training session: Mildronat – 1 Capsule. 30-45 minutes prior to a tournament Mildronat 2 capsules”.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by hablovah
as if, this doping scandal only makes armstrong look even more guilty
That's exactly what I was thinking
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 01:23 AM
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The authorities have had 7 years in which to prove any allegations against Lance. Each time that they tried, they failed. The only conclusion we can reach is that he is fully innocent.

CASE CLOSED.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.



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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 02:05 AM
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They tested him every day last year, raided his hotels and team cars and never found anything. I did not realize he was so much smarter than every one else

Maybe that is really why he kept winning.

My personal opinion is that the cancer, with the massive chemo he had, plus the mental aspects of coming back are what account for it.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanneriet
They tested him every day last year, raided his hotels and team cars and never found anything. I did not realize he was so much smarter than every one else

Maybe that is really why he kept winning.
Where did you read that ?

But you are right, dopers are very smart!
They are always three steps ahead of the testers.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wta_zuperfann
The authorities have had 7 years in which to prove any allegations against Lance. Each time that they tried, they failed. The only conclusion we can reach is that he is fully innocent.

CASE CLOSED.

you wish, asshole. The real investigations by WADA undercover teams are just getting started. Armstrong is trying to buy time but he will be ratted out sooner or later by the people who were juicing him.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanneriet
They tested him every day last year, raided his hotels and team cars and never found anything. I did not realize he was so much smarter than every one else

Maybe that is really why he kept winning.

My personal opinion is that the cancer, with the massive chemo he had, plus the mental aspects of coming back are what account for it.

i don't think Lance cheated in the last couple of Tours that he won - he had too much to lose by that point from getting caught red-handed. But he cheated earlier in his career, and he needs to face justice for that.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Never tested positive. He doesn't know what he is writing.
He tested positive for Corticoïdes in his first tour de France but he gave the uci an anti-dated certificate of the doctor and a ridiculous excuse saying it was because he used a cream with cortisone for his pain in the ass.
There was also a reportage in France 3 television who shows many doping products throwed by his team in garbages.
You must be naïve to think that someone who had a cancer in advanced state can become athletically much better after without taking many doping products.
He must be superman to beat all these cheaters all these years with ease while being clean.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vogus
you wish, asshole. The real investigations by WADA undercover teams are just getting started. Armstrong is trying to buy time but he will be ratted out sooner or later by the people who were juicing him.


the true asshole is you, moron -- 7 years is more than enough time to conclude an investigation. George Bush had an easier time trying to find WMD than those people did in trying to find dope in Lance's system. And nothing will ever be found.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.



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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 01:19 PM
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who cares about armstrong, he's not competing anymore
so he doesn't matter right now
unless you're american and depending on leipheimer for succes
then i understand why ya'd long back for the armstrong days i guess
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wta_zuperfann

George Bush had an easier time trying to find WMD than those people did in trying to find dope in Lance's system. And nothing will ever be found.

Bad analogy. There never was any WMD, that was just a ruse cooked up by Karl Rove to distract idiot jackasses like yourself. But there WAS dope in Armstrong's system, all kinds of it, and the people who doped him up are eventually going to testify against him - just like with Barry Bonds.
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