Is Lance Armstrong now a toxic brand?

1000 pages of evidence that he was The King of Doping

21 to 40 of 118 messages
11/10/2012 at 12:57
OO lets go. wrote (see)

nice band!

Makes you question if our British stars are really clean. I hope so but can anyone really have confidence now?

to be fair to the curent crop of British riders they have come to the fore as the sport has cleaned it's act up. I think most would now agree that cycling is now in a very different era to where it was 5+ years ago. sure, there are still the odd cases of doping but the chances of being caught now are so much higher, that anyone who does is stupid.  someone called Contador for one.

but sure, if Wiggo or Cav or any of the other big names get busted for doping then that is the death knell.  OK - both of those guys have been around the circuit for a number of years so who knows what they were doing back in the days of old, but British Cycling has always had a great reputation for not having drugged up riders in their squads.   Brailsford has managed to keep a very tight rein on this and he has been associated with the top Brits for many years from their days on the track.

11/10/2012 at 12:59

I like my kid's rsponse:

"If they take away his yellow jerseys, can't he just wear a t-shirt instead"

11/10/2012 at 14:04

Sorry Kittenkat - was posting lasting night from one of those functionally deprived fruit-based computing devices: Here's a proper link to the USADA summary (just the 200 pages, not the full 1000+ job!). It IS very readable. I was gobsmacked to read the section about intimidation (about 150 pages in) where it gave evidence of LA sending texts to Levi Leipheimer's wife while he was away riding the TDF, asking her if she was alone. As the Americans would say, the guy is a douchebag and yes, I hope his name does become synonymous with doping.

As for the current generation of cycling elite, i think there is hope. OK, it still needs the various federations to get tough with people like Contador who manage to get away with micro-dosing EPO and stuff like that, but the thing that can give us all a degree of assurance is that the new blood passport schemes are not designed to look for the direct traces of doping substances in the blood, but to look for the EFFECT of doping. Changes to red blood cells levels, rate of growth of new blood cells etc, all individually baselined so sudden swings or variances show up.

These so-called Blood Passports will be able to show when transfusions have taken place and during a grand tour, the anti-doping scientists should be able to track a linear deterioration on blood quality (due to racing fatigue). If someone suddenly takes something or transfuses new blood into their body, it will stick out a mile. So even if this doesn't rid the sport of dopers completely, it does mean that the margins for being able to do bad things is massively reduced.

Also, compared to the peak of the doping era, the power to weight ratio being output by the cyclists has fallen a long way back. Today's riders just can't make as much power per kilo of body mass as they did 10 years ago (something like 10-15% below the peak performances from the Armstrong era), which translates into riders being several minutes slower getting up Alpe d'Huez.

Something Wiggins said during the TDF this year that I found very interesting after he was being attacked in the mountains by Evans and Nibali etc, was that he was never worried to let people attack because he knew he was already riding at the sustainable limit (maximum average power output). If someone pulled away from him, as long as they were not doping, he was sure that they could not sustain the effort and would have to slow up, so he was sure he would pull them back. The days of LA putting in 4 or 5 minutes into rivals on gruelling hill climbs is gone because that kind of advantage couldn't exist because of differences in fitness levels.


11/10/2012 at 14:33
Demon Barber wrote (see)

I used to run in my Livestrong gear but I don't think I will now. Not because I don't support it's cause, but I'm just uneasy with wearing something endorsed by a drug cheat. All of Armstrong's achievements are now tarnished, all of his Tour De France titles and even his Moon Landing means nothing to me now.

Haha  Love this! I know what you mean about the Livestrong brand. Its interesting that Nike are publically celebrating 15 years of Livestrong with a party the day after the USADA report, I would have thought someone in their PR department would have told them not to make such a public statement of support.

PhilPub wrote (see)

xine267 wrote (see)

Thanks for the link, I'm only about 20 pages but it's damning stuff. Suggestions in the news today that he has irrevocably damaged cycling - anyone agree?

Dunno.  I hope I'm not too naive in hoping that it's clean now compared to 10-15 years ago, and that there's a genuinely different culture and attitude to doping.  One of the things that sticks out for me when reading the evidence in the USADA
document (p79 and counting!) is that so many people were involved and complicit in the cover-up.  Such a sheep mentality of "they're all at it, so maybe it's not such a bad thing..."

Maybe the Lance empire will crumble around him and a few people will think twice before considering acting like such a cnut themselves?

My enjoyment of reading "It's Not About the Bike" back in the day... seems an awfully long time ago now. 

That is one of the things that has struck me while reading the report (I'm only on Page 40 ) - he sounds like such a spiteful bully. I wonder how many people were happy about testifying against him as revenge for his behaviour over the years.

11/10/2012 at 14:35

I'm only 40 pages into the USADA report but already they have stated that LA trafficked drugs, which made me wonder if that could lead to criminal proceedings against him. Guess it depends when he last did it, the statute of limitations must be nearly up on a lot of his activities, if not already ...

11/10/2012 at 16:30

Nike are still supporting him:

"We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted.

"Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position.

"Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."

11/10/2012 at 16:41

To be fair though. He did survive horrific cancer treatment and got back racing. Although illegally but how many other riders were doing exactly the same. it seems as though to keep up with the other riders you need to be doing whatever they are. But I still find it all very inspiring. Its a shame he had to do it because I think just coming back CLEAN and completing the Tour would have been amazing. He has set up a very worthwhile charity too. So all in all he's still a good bloke helping lots of people but I think this would have tainted the Lance Armstrong brand without a doubt.

11/10/2012 at 16:46

I only had to go about ten comments down on that BBC article to read:
"Whether Lance took drugs or not has never been proven." ...which just goes to show that no matter how black and white and accessible information is, people will choose to ignore it if it doesn't tally with opinions they would rather hold because it suits them.  (I wonder what a Venn diagram of Armstrong supporters and Creationists would look like?   )

Even Armstrong's lawyer being interviewed at the end, admits that he HASN'T EVEN READ THE USADA SUMMARY before feeling entitled to comment on it, saying that it's a hatchet job.

Give me strength!

11/10/2012 at 17:14

What Nike isn't saying is 'We have millions of dollars worth of Livestrong branded merchandise that we need to sell before distancing ourselves from this mess'

If you read the USADA report, it wasn't simply that he was taking drugs to even up the playing field. He took doping to a new level, hired experts to make sure that he was always one step ahead of the rest of the field, and instituted a doping culture in his racing team - if you didn't want to dope, you were out. He also set out to coerce, discredit and threaten people who attempted to speak out about doping in general, or his doping specifically.

11/10/2012 at 17:20
TheVicar wrote (see)

To be fair though. He did survive horrific cancer treatment and got back racing. 

and to be fair, so have many others at all levels of sport - although many aren't as high profile or in as high a profile sport.  testicular cancer is nasty but very survivable if caught early as happened with LA.  it doesn't make him THAT special, but he, and many others, have chosen to make it special - make him a paragon of virtue so to speak.   and as a cancer survivor myself, although not testicular, I think I can speak from experience here. 

and his charity.  great idea - very worthwhile cause.  but a PR machine for the LA brand and one that has not actually made many charitable donations to their chosen causes.  you may wish to read this -

smoke and mirrors spring to mind

11/10/2012 at 17:27

Just read the first half of the 200 pages.  Pretty depressing stuff.  I really hope we are now in a new era of predominantly clean cycling.  As has already been said, if someone like Wiggo or Cav turns out to have been doping, it will be disastrous for the sport.  And it makes you pray that the testing regime for endurance running is up to scratch!

11/10/2012 at 18:06

Totally tarnished everything he has ever touched.  I read 'it's not about the bike' years ago and I thought he came across as a bit of an arrogant asshole - felt sorry for his wife - but other than that it was hard not to be impressed by his acheivements. As more and more folks were found to be doping I had this little voice in my head that knew it was unlikely but really really wanted him to be innocent and some how superhuman.  

so much for that then.  


I will still wear my livestrong top - when no-one can see it.  

11/10/2012 at 18:06

before the cancer i saw LA as a good rider capable of winning the odd undulating type of stage never a tour winner,then straight away after a full recovery tour wins,Sean Yates his team mate at the time said before LAs first tour victory that he thought that he would win,whats hapened to SY recently?not that i've checked but i believe his picture has been taken off the Sky website,are there also a few britsh famous older respected x riders who have stuck up for LA that have a financial connection? just sayin.


11/10/2012 at 18:09

I was listening to the Radio last night, it was a discussion about Armstrong doping for years. Emma O'Reilly, his masseuse had basically tried to, quite rightly, blow the whistle on it and she got absolutely cruxified for it, she got Subpoenaed nearly every other week and she suffered for wanting to out doping practices. I hope now she has some satisfaction with Armstrong finally exposed.

11/10/2012 at 18:10
Nope Sean's photo is still there
11/10/2012 at 20:48
Sorry TheVicar, but what you said about surviving cancer, riding the tour and doing stuff for charity makes a recipe for LA to still be a good bloke is just so ignorant of the facts. Threatening other rider's wives isn't very nice is it. Or getting people thrown out of their jobs. Or pretty much forcing whole groups of people to take drugs. What possible criteria are you relying on to assess him to be a good bloke, or are you claiming ignorance as a defence? Please read something from the USADA evidence and wise up on this case!
11/10/2012 at 22:32

...I'm not a violent man but I've got as far as p157 and I want to punch Lance Armstrong in the face.

As you were...

Edited: 11/10/2012 at 22:32
12/10/2012 at 06:34
My reaction was just the same Phil. The aggression and intimidation that comes through is just incredible. I see that Wiggo has made a statement along the lines that British Cycling saved him from a similar fate by creating a sympathetic support environment,rather than the exploitative ecosystem which Armstrong developed.
12/10/2012 at 09:11

Is Armstrong now taking mushrooms?

A spokesman for the USADA said that Armstrong’s res/ponse was predictable, but conceded : “He is phenomenal at taking drugs.” 

Edited: 12/10/2012 at 09:21
12/10/2012 at 09:54

Keir!  All right fella!

An excellent contribution to the debate, which I've just borrowed. 

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