Armstrong had some of the claims against him thrown out of court on Tuesday, but still faces false claims allegations relating to USPS sponsorship

Lance Armstrong and his associates won a significant legal victory on Tuesday, when a US District judge ruled that Floyd Landis cannot pursue his claim that the sponsorship deal between United States Postal Service (USPS) and Tailwind Sports defrauded the US government.

Landis alleged that, by covering up doping practices at the USPS team, Armstrong and other parties running the team violated their contract and defrauded the government.

But US District Judge Christopher R. Cooper overturned a 2014 ruling by US Circuit Judge Robert L. Wilkins that allowed a “reverse false claims” action against Tailwind Sports – essentially, that they had illegally avoided paying money owed to the US.

Judge Cooper ruled that, even if Tailwind violated the sponsorship deal with the use of banned drugs, the contract did not create an obligation of repayment of sponsorship money separate from the government’s right to sue.

In the decision, Judge Cooper said: “Tailwind owed no legal obligation to the United States at the time that any defendants allegedly made (or caused to be made) false statements to avoid repaying money received under the sponsorship agreement.”

>>> Lance Armstrong hits out at hypocrisy in cycling’s doping culture

Judge Cooper also dismissed some of the claims against Bill Stapleton, Armstrong’s agent, Bart Knaggs, Stapleton’s business partner, and Capital Sports & Entertainment (CSE), which Stapleton and Knaggs founded together.

Judge Cooper threw out reverse false claims accusations against CSE, stating: “Even if such an obligation existed, it belonged only to Tailwind, as the party to the Sponsorship Agreement,” adding that Landis “has not identified a single actionable false statement by Stapleton, Knaggs, or CSE.”

Judge Cooper, however, did not absolve CSE of ‘direct false claims’ regarding payments made to Tailwind by USPS, nor did Judge Cooper’s opinion address the direct false claims allegations against Armstrong.

>>> Lance Armstrong issues two-word opinion on Boogerd’s ban

Landis filed the suit against Amstrong under the False Claims Act in June 2010 and serves as a ‘relator’ in the case – a private party trying to help retrieve government money paid out due to false claims.

The US government joined Landis in bringing claims against Armstrong in April 2013 to attempt to retrieve money paid by the USPS in sponsorship money, roughly $40 million between 1998 and 2004.

What does this mean?

While the case is by no means over, this is good news for Armstrong and his associates, who have had the ‘reverse false claims’ allegations against them dismissed.

Judge Cooper ruled that the sponsorship agreement between Armstrong and USPS “created no legal obligation” for Armstrong “to repay USPS any sponsorship fees obtained as a result of materially false statements.”

This could even mean that the federal government’s own suit (which is separate from Landis’) will be stripped of its reverse false claims counts, but the government will have the chance to appeal.

Armstrong and Tailwind Sports will still face a suit over sponsorship money paid by USPS to Tailwind, so he isn’t quite out of the woods yet, but this ruling means that at least some of the counts against him have been dropped.

What is the difference between a direct false claim and a reverse false claim?

Basically, it is difference between improperly receiving money and improperly withholding money.

Direct false claims cause the federal government to pay money directly to the claimants, while reverse false claims cause the improper withholding of money the federal government is owed.

This ruling means that Armstrong did not improperly withhold money from the federal government, as he wasn’t legally obliged to repay sponsorship money, even if he used banned drugs. However, the direct false claims suit continues.

What next?

It is likely that the federal government will appeal Tuesday’s ruling and continue to pursue the reverse false claims against Armstrong and Tailwind, in addition to the direct false claims that are still outstanding.

Armstrong may attempt to settle with Landis out of court to avoid a lengthy legal battle but the combative Texan, emboldened by this week’s victory and never one to shy away from a fight, may decide to fight the case to the bitter end.

  • Eric

    Stop. It. Already.

    You are beating up on a straw dummy, and have gone over the line, slandering Armstrong for things that don’t even exist.

    Your obsession here, borders on pathological. I suggest you seek psychiatric attention.

  • Eric

    Yet another excuse for the American-hating Euros. You are boringly predictable, by now. So: you were in the UCI offices, to know for certain about this so-called ‘disarray’ you’re excusing them with?

  • Eric

    You are reaching SO HARD, here…again I ask, who’s paying you; or, don’t you need “meds” for this Lance-only obsession of yours, there?

  • Eric

    You are a zealot. And, you are wrong. You want to hold up Frankie Andreu as an example, when he also doped?!

    Some nerve. The whole world of dirty pro bicycle racers is so innocent, compared to the ‘monstrously evil’ Lance Armstrong. However, you have nothing to say about Operacion Puerto. All-too-typical, as of late; for far too many Euros and Brits.

    Your dedicated trolling of this issue is impressive from a certain weird viewpoint, but disingenuous; in that you ignore valid scientific evidence presented to you, claim “real” pro bicycle racing experience yet brush off repeated requests for references, and continue to blithely hammer away with ad hominem constructions that refuse to acknowledge the respectful discourse of others here; to the point hwere you accuse another of being “pro doping”.

    Screw off – go away, troll. Your overzealous point has already been made for others to agree with or not, and pounded into the ground ten times over. Who’s paying you to pour it on like this?

  • Eric

    Then you are being selective, not “paying attention” to all of the applicable “science”. He lost some 9 kilos because of the cancer. He already had one of the most powerful ‘engines’ in the pro peloton. The weight loss increased his power/weight ratio considerably. Thus, he was able to climb in the first ranks of the pro racers.

  • Duane Boxwell

    It certainly does appear that you cheated to enhance your credibility to gain an unfair advantage in these discussion forums. I don’t think it is your cheating that everyone cares so much about; that is too common on the web. What other commenters find repugnant is how you continue to lie about it, to be evasive in your answers, and to attack people who are just asking questions to get at the truth.

  • Josh

    It’s a simple yes or no question: are you a seasoned professional bike racer as you have claimed? As far as I can tell you have never answered this question once, much less “constantly”. It certainly won’t take much time. Why are you so evasive?

  • Zogzog

    I stand by my statements and don’t feel a need to constantly answer questions that I’ve already given my position on. Doing so would be a waste of time.

  • Josh

    Nomad, I understand anyone can say anything on the internet. More broadly, I understand that people lie. And maybe they justify it because it’s easy, or everyone else does it. I get it. What I don’t get is hypocrisy. I don’t get all the puffed up public posturing on the moral transgressions of others when one is guilty of the same thing. But it is always the guy who rails about the evils of homosexuality who is dashing out to an airport bathroom to take a wide stance.

    If, on the other hand, Zogzog is a pro … then I am just perplexed. When I was in Barcelona in the late 90s and early 2000s, a number of pros shifted to nearby Girona. They were happy to ride with mope wannabes like me, and doping was an open secret. They wore their patches and had stuff in their refrigerators. But they took stuff conservatively, so they could pass out-of-competition tests. And they talked about it freely, to civilians. So if Zogzog is a pro, it is hard to understand his surprise and indignation that this culture existed, or even more, to hold one person responsible for it.

  • Nomad

    He’s not going to answer your question. He made that claim when he thought I insulted his intelligence by telling him there’s more to winning a bike race than just showing up on dope (which he fails to understand). Anybody can say anything about themselves on a discussion forum. But keep in mind that he’s not only saying he’s a pro cyclist…but a “seasoned” one. That puts a whole different perspective on it.

  • Josh

    Zogzog, I am serious about the truth: are you really a seasoned professional racer as you have claimed? This is a simple question to understand and answer. How you answer (or ignore the question) is really an indication of your character.

  • Nomad

    You misunderstood what I said. The Cyclingnews report that I referenced was about Ferrari denying that he ever provided LA with EPO… I found that very “amusing.” You have LA and practically the whole team confessing that Ferrari administered EPO to them. Sounds like your guy Ferrari is in the denial stage.

    On your supposition that Ferrari had a more sophisticated doping program than anyone else or that he genetically modified LA with clandestine technology, or whatever you’re trying to say…I have no idea what you’re talking about. You present absolutely nothing other than your unsupported opinion. When the EPO test was in full swing in 2002, most of the top riders shifted to blood doping anyway to avoid detection. There was no ABP in place yet, so that would have been a better way of elevating blood values without using EPO. You can see this with much lower percentages of reticulocytes at that time. Zorzoli and Rossi did a paper referencing this as part of a data analysis for the ABP: “Implementation of the biological passport: the experience of the International Cycling Union.” (Drug Test Anal/2010). So, the paridigm probably shifted to blood doping…nothing too sophisticated there as blood doping goes back to old technology from the 1970s. Also, Hamilton was getting blood doped from Fuentes and he explains about his experience with him in a Cyclingnews article: “Operacion Puerto trial: Hamiltion outlines doping and blood transfusion program.” (Cyclingnews/021015).

    As I said before, I’m not concerned with LA’s personal troubles, legal issues, media statements, etc. If the UCI maintains the lifetime ban, that’s their decision. If LA can complete in non-USADA events to stay fit, like you mentioned, then he can still train and live a healthy lifestyle like the rest of us try to do. Ironically, there are some people who believe that LA was some kind of club-level cyclist who was transformed by Ferrari with top secret technology into a world-class athlete overnight…I think you’re one of those people who believe that.

  • Zogzog

    The bottom line is that the approach you are taking is fine, up to a point, but since the case centers around the secretive nature of both dope dealing and the tightly held performance enhancing knowledge, its going to be impossible to find “peer-reviewed research” to substantiate everything that you want to know. I can see how far off base you are, when you are even looking for proof of the most obvious stuff, like whether Ferrari has ever administered EPO to Lance. You really would have to have your head in the sand to believe that. No disrespect to you intended, but you have to realize the limitations you’ve placed on yourself to understanding, when you raise the bar so high on proof. That’s why Lance lasted so long, because of people who (like you) held out for incontrovertible proof. As intelligent as you seem to be, the whole thing makes me think that you are not really serious about the truth, but prefer to embark on an exercise of trying to frustrate people that DO know what they are talking about, in an attempt to somehow lighten he load on Lance. Maybe you’re a closet die-hard fanboy.

  • Nomad

    I’ve oversimplified? It seems pretty obvious that the UCI would rather leave the spots vacated instead of elevating another rider with ties, or supected ties to doping. How far down the ladder would you have to go to find a completely clean and “legitimate” rider? Who really knows? I recall hearing some former riders back then suspecting that 90% were using PEDs, referring to the other 10% as “passive dopers.” The other big-time lifer; Danilo Di Luca, said in an interview that 90% of the field at the Giro were doped, and the other 10% didn’t care about the Giro as they were preparing for other races (Cyclingnews/062114). Think he might know a little something about doping at the Grand Tours?

    On LA’s VO2max: He’s in pretty good company with a near identical number to Froome and Steve Prefontaine, and an even higher number than track legend Jim Ryan. You’re right, LeMond is incredible with a 92+. Amazing (and clean) cyclist…someone should do a film on him.

    Do you have any links on this supposedly “sophisticated” doping program orchestrated by Ferrari? I’m not finding anything, and on the contrary, some anti-doping experts are saying that his program was successful, but no more sophisticated than others, i.e., Fuentes, Concini. Wouldn’t the PEDs of choice back then be EPO, blood-doping (after EPO was implemented), testeterone and HGH? And still the hct #s would have to be maintained below the 50% threshold and T/E ratios below 6/1…nothing sophisticated there. And didn’t Fuentes have a pretty big blood-doping program of his own going on with Operation Puerto, to include a client by the name of…Jan Ullrich? Btw, I see your guy Ferrari is saying he never administered EPO to LA, and that LA could have just as well achieved his blood values with altitude training (Cyclingnews/020215/100215). The whole thing is starting to sound like a comedy act.

  • Zogzog

    I explained why they didn’t jump to place someone else in the winners spot, we apparently disagree on the reason. You reason is oversimplified and there is no proof that 90% of the approximate riders were on EPO. We only know some of the top contenders were dirty, but I’m sure several others were as well, but 90% of the peloton seems a bit much.

    I don’t know why you try to spin my unbiased and objective criticism of Lance as being a “Lance hater”, because I’m not.. In fact, I have already said that I wish he would find a way to reform himself and work to improve cycling’s reputation, rather than continuing to tear it down, which is what I don’t like. You can say I’m more optimistic about him, than many Lance supporters

    Ok, we agree that Lance had a relatively high VO2max, but it was still 8-10% below top guys like Lemond and some of those top cross country skiers that even surpass Lemond, and they’re in the mid 90’s, while Lance is only in the 80’s.

    But you did get one thing right, and that is that many people think Lance is a big chump who would stop at nothing to get an edge by stepping on anyone, anywhere, anytime who opposes him.And I don’t seen anything unreasonable about thinking that Ferrari and Armstrong’s program was a step above the others. Look at today’s cheating with motors and special ultra expensive powered rims. That is the sort of things he would be considering to beat the opposition. And its a known fact that there are drugs that are pre-release and were off the radar of the drug lab testers. It should be very clear to you that Lance would be using those, if he knew about them, thanks to his association with the top doping doctor in the world.

  • Nomad

    Yeah…right…”they didn’t rush to slap the next guy into the official winners spot”…that’s because they couldn’t find one. Maybe they could have found some domestique in 150th place or something, but he wouldn’t have been a factor if the race was run clean anyway. The problem with the obsessed LA haters is they’re unable to separate LA the “person” from LA the “athlete.” The guy was a top HS XC runner and probably could have made a decent living as a pro triathlete. He was tested while in HS at the renowned Cooper Institute in Texas and recorded one of the highest VO2max ever at their lab. This irritates LA haters because they want to believe that he was some kind of a chump who was genetically engineered with clandestine advanced technology by Ferrari. Vacated titles? Another great idea…let’s keep it that way for the next Millennium or so. Sounds like cycling’s version of “who’s on first?”

  • Zogzog

    Bravo to Mr. Derek Bouchard Hall. There were lots of us who were staunchly anti-doping before it became popular, but that’s not taking anything away from him, because he was directly impacted by the situation and rose above it all to make a difference. Man of the Lance apologists are too fast to rush to judgement about him and say that his efforts are fruitless, but I also know different and agree with Christine on this one.

  • Zogzog

    I like how Lance apologists attempt to take advantage of a complicated situation, to proclaim that their man should be in that spot. The reality is that the UCI management was in total disarray with management change and records were undoubtedly in a similar situation to cover that mismanagement. So when they didn’t rush to slap the next guy into the official winners spot, I wasn’t surprised, because it could make an already chaotic situation even worse. I support their decision to vacate the title, but doing so certainly doesn’t mean that the worst person should get it. He would be the last choice, not the first.

  • Nomad

    Yeah…I figured you’d get bored with someone who isn’t on the LA – hatred bandwagon. My point on the Oprah interview was that some of his fans didn’t believe he doped until they actually heard it from the “horse’s mouth,” so to speak. These fans had blind faith in him. They wanted to believe he was a “superman” who was capable of beating doped riders…after all he “passed” all those tests. So, I thought the confession he gave surely erased any belief some fans had that he wasn’t doping.

    The TDF GC overall from 99 – 05 is currently vacated. The UCI hasn’t elevated anyone to that postion, which suggests they can’t find a clean athlete to take that spot. Therefore, the way I see it is LA is the “best” placed doper from that prevelant doping time period…FTFY.

  • Christine


  • Zogzog

    This is beginning to bore me now. You’re the only one that I’ve ever heard who had a takeaway from Lance’s Oprah interview as being impressed with his honesty. Most people who knew anything about cycling, went away very disappointed, because they expected much more. He was very careful to only admit the bare minimum, in basically a yes or no style answer. It had to be one of the most disappointing interviews in history, other than Jeraldo’ empty vault episode. Remember that?

    I agree that interest in Armfraud is waning, but that’s because the majority of people don’t think as highly of him as you do. Thankfully, most people have cast him off as irrelevant. But to people like you, he’s still a 7-time grand tour winner who shouldn’t have been stripped of anything. Do you see the giant cavernous divide between your position and reality? I’m sure not. Ahem..

  • Nomad

    It’s not what I say…it’s what experts and others in the know say. How about anti-doping expert Sandro Donati, former Festina trainer Antonie Vayer and a teammate of Indurain’s on Banesto in 1995; Thomas Davy. In fact, Davy testified at a legal hearing that Banesto had a “system of doping with medical supervision” and said everyone on the team was doing it (“Former Banesto rider confesses to taking EPO”/CBC Sports/2000). Also, this is on Indurain’s Wikipedia page:

    “Doping conjecture
    Indurain has never failed a drug test, but some remain skeptical of his accomplishments. “Highly respected” anti-doping expert Sandro Donati released information that Indurain and his Banesto team were clients of Dr. Francesco Conconi who was later found to be doping many of his cyclist clients. It has been confirmed the Banesto team met with Conconi but teammates claim it was only for the then vanguard Conconi test.[26] Former Festina coach Antonie Vayer has also cast doubt on Indurain’s performance, claiming only “mutants” could have performed at the level he did.[27] Indurain has always denied doping.”

    As far as “countless others”…I don’t if I would characterize it that way. However, if you go search Wikipedia’s: “list of cycling doping cases,” you’ll see an exhaustive list of cases from the early years all the way to the most recent doping cases from last year. They’re calling the the 90s the “era of EPO”…so you decide.

  • Nomad

    He went on Oprah and confessed when I didn’t think he ever would…I was impressed. And he’s being honest when he said if he were to go back he would “probably do it again.” He’s not fake like some of the other big-time dopers over the past years who cry and say “if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have doped in my career.” FWIW, the public isn’t that fixated on LA like you think they are. People have moved on. The movie about him has been a dud so far (I can hardly wait for the sequel to come out…perhaps appropriately titled: “The Confession”). If LA competes in the Hawaii Ironman or runs Boston, most people aren’t going to be in “shock & awe” and lose sleep. There’s not going to be mass riots in the streets. The media would probably yawn being more interested in the next NFL or MLB scandal.

    Btw, if you’re not a pro cyclist…are you the current president of the Armstrong hate club?

  • Zogzog

    What proof do you have that Indurain or countless others who you say doped alongside Armstrong and were never caught? The statute of limitations has long passed on Lance’s early days.

  • Zogzog

    Lance was doing a lot more than just replying to questions asked of him related to doping suspicions. He embarked on numerous anti doping campaigns with Nike that were so much in our faces, to the tune of costing millions of dollars. You must agree, that went way beyond his being simply cornered into answering questions by prying journalists, that you seem to be implying. Don’t you think?

  • Zogzog

    What’s wrong with Lance competing in the aforementioned events, is that he’s proven himself to be a nonrepentant cheater, that is more than likely to reoffend, as a career cheat. Sponsors will be turned off and his participation brings the wrong type of attention to any event. The exception might be an EPO producer such as a pharmaceutical company or maybe some freewheeling cannibus company looking to get attention. That would be a media spectacle wouldn’t it?
    Even the banning of Lance from sanctioned events hasn’t stopped him from finding plenty of competition in unsanctioned events like those ultra endurance events like the Leadville 100 and various triathlons like Superfrog. That’s plenty, if he truly has the desire to stay fit and still compete. I think your argument is simply a ploy to give him an excuse to enter the spotlight again and take a victory away from some other deserving athlete who is clean. Dope testing is very expensive, and as we already know, difficult to detect. I think a proven 20 year history of doping is enough to pull the plug on giving him more chances. To do otherwise defies all logic and common sense. We would be sending our teenage kids into these events to compete alongside him and if he wins, it will be allowing him to profit again from all of the residual steroid and other drug use in his past, as well as receiving undue adulation.

  • Nomad

    What “proof” do you have? Any postive test results? Any doctor’s testimony? Any eye-witness accounts from other athletes, etc.?

    Btw, what pro cycling team did you say you’re with?

  • Nomad

    The same Ashenden who was on the biological passport review board back in 09 and passed Armstrong’s passport profile?

  • Nomad

    Armstrong has already been nailed. A lifetime ban and all his results annulled from 1998 onwards. He can’t even compete as an age-grouper in any of the major U.S. marathons, the Hawaii Ironman or even the Austin 10k! As an older age-grouper myself, I can appreciate some of these ex-pros who want to stay fit and compete into their middle-age. What’s wrong with that? I don’t care about his personal life (like you seem so obsessed with), nor about his legal trouble. That’s his business. We all know he made a complete fool of himself denying his PED use with his arrogant and repugnant attitude, and waging a public war against USADA…nothing new there. And if LA never went into pro cycling, Ullrich would have won and dominated most of the TDFs during that time period (he missed a couple of those due to injury). But there wouldn’t have been an impetus to start a Ullrich hate movement. Why? Because he’s a soft-spoken, humble, laid-back, “respectable” doper that everyone wants to have a beer with. Armstrong is an athlete – and he wants to compete as an athlete into his middle-age. Nothing wrong with that in this climate of overweight, unfit, chronic disease-ridden middle-aged Americans.

    And to make PED use a criminal offense??? Geez…how brilliant is that? As if we don’t have enough illicit drug users overcrowding American prisons…now we’ll add a whole new group of hard working athletes into the mix. How about criminally prosecuting these drug companies that sell non-FDA approved drugs to people on the Internet? There were a few pro cyclists last year who tested positive for the experimental drug; FG4592 (HIF), apparently buying it right on-line from the manufacturer! The drug is still in clinical trials and hasn’t been reviewed by the FDA. The safety of this drug hasn’t been determined and yet pharma sells it to anyone on-line? How about permanently revoking the license of and prosecuting any M.D. who prescribes or recommends any drug to an athlete for a non-medical reason? How about not having a major manufacturer of EPO (Amgen) sponsor a pro bike race?

    IMO, the UCI has done a good job in implementing measures to control and reduce PED use. The 50% Hct safety limit is probably one of the best things they ever did to ensure the athlete’s health from the risks of CV complications from high Hct levels (no more “60 percenters” running around). The UCI also implemented the ABP that prevents any major usage of EPO or blood doping without a noticable change in profile parameters. The T/E ratio for a positive was reduced from 6.1 to 4.1, again making use far more risky in getting caught. And samples are indefinitely stored for retroactive testing. Also, consider that a 1st time offense is now a four (4) year ban! This essentially ruins any athlete’s career as many teams won’t be willing to take a chance on a doper, who is one offense away from a lifetime ban. With all this you advocate for a criminal offense for PED usage? Oh…btw, you never said what pro team you’re with?

  • Christine

    Someone who does a nice job of acknowledging that things had to change while moving toward the future is the guy who just came on to lead USA Cycling, Derek Bouchard Hall. He may have to tear some things down, but ultimately his legacy will be what he has built. So when he started in Colorado Springs, he took down all the pictures of the guys who came up through USA Cycling who have since gone down in infamy. It’s not that they deny those guys ever existed; rather, they just don’t spend a lot of time talking about that era.

    Ironically, if anyone in America has a reason to hold a grudge against PED users, it is this guy. He was adamantly and publicly anti-drug long before that was cool, and he took his lumps. When the top two guys in the road trials went to the Olympics, he finished 3rd by a few centimeters to admitted drug cheat Andreu and another US Postal guy I won’t name. He had to race Paris-Roubaix on bread and water. And yet he is publicly embracing all the heroes of yesteryear at Richmond Worlds, those who have served their sentences and those who still are. By the same token, he will not allow anyone who has admitted or tested positive for drug use to serve in any coaching capacity so as to break the chain. And when the top – really, the only – US track cyclist was nailed for a barbiturate that is legal out of competition, thereby knocking him out of next year’s Olympics, Bourchard-Hall stuck to his guns: “The system works.”

    He seems to do a good job of standing by his principles, of managing to live in this world while working toward a better one. It is a hard thing to do!

  • Edward M.

    Excellent post. It has always been difficult for me to understand how so many still don’t want to accept the realities of doping in sport. Or why they equate that understanding with acceptance and approval. I am not pro doping, but that doesn’t mean I cannot understand why an athlete would choose to dope, or why he would choose to lie about it afterward. That simple black and white world must be, as you say, quite nice. that is the only explanation I can find for the sheer number of those who refuse to come out of it.

  • Edward M.

    Zog, clean sport would be a wonderful thing. Don’t confuse my frustrations with how the sports past has/is being handled with me being pro doping. I am not pro doping. However, I am also not in favor of destroying a sports past in a ridiculous way in order to say that nothing like that happens anymore. I will lay out for you what i feel an ideal doping control policy would be. A list of banned substances and a their hard cut off amounts that is easily understood by riders + team personnel. This would prevent riders from being able to say that there was confusion regarding the legality of a substance. 24 hour year round testing. this would help to eliminate the micro dosing of banned substances, since there would technically be no safe period. A clear discipline structure that doesn’t allow for varying punishments. A rule violation is a rule violation and all should be treated equally. A clearly defined appeal process with a realistic time frame. Cases should not be languishing for months or longer. A list of labs that the athletes can choose for re testing in the even of a positive. this should be created with input from the teams and riders , there also needs to be a rider representative at the lab when samples are tested with video documentation of the process so that the contamination defense can be squashed. and finally, samples need to be verified destroyed after a negative control. We all know that there are athletes who will be pushing the boundaries of PED’s. while doping controls should be kept as current as possible, if it’s not on the list when the test is administered, it shouldn’t be tested for at a later date. That only undermines the public’s and sponsor’s faith in a sport ever being truly clean. when new tests are developed and proven effective, the substances should be added to the next list update and from that point on a positive test for it would be a violation. with the new structure you would have less opportunity for the athletes to take advantage of no testing periods and the maze of appeal processes that cases can get stuck in. Your views on Lance are going to differ from mine and others. That is just a fact and I accept it. Lance has no motivation to admit everything. He has already been the scapegoat for a generation of dopers and unless the sport is willing to rethink the ridiculous punishments it has levied, he has no obligation or motivation to assist them any more than he already has. It is sad to see the sports governing bodies allow the athletes from any past period of sport to be repeatedly held to higher and higher standards than they were at the time of participation. It’s just not fair for any of them. It undermines trust in the sports organizers and the sport itself and does absolutely nothing to benefit the sport now. If they suddenly decided to test old samples from Indurain or Lemond and found them guilty of using banned substances (which I would wager a large sum of money that they would) , would it do the sport or the current athletes any good for them to be villified and criminally pursued? To have their results erased and their future involvement in the sport banned forever? No. It absolutely would not benefit anyone in any way. the governing bodies and the journalists need to focus on developing a satisfactory current doping control program. the public needs to feel good about the fact that the sport is being governed. Dragging lance, floyd, ulrich, virenque, pantani, beloki and all the other who came before them through the mud will have absolutely no positive effect on cycling. It just won’t. you can spin it any way you’d like, but nothing you have written in a single post does anything to improve our sport. you want the people you don’t like destroyed, and the slate wiped clean for everyone else. that is hypocritical and quite frankly, asinine. personal agendas have no place in the betterment of the sport. there will always be limitations to testing, and there has to be a realistic way to accept that.

  • Christine

    That is a very thoughtful and compelling summary, Edward. It does seem like a topsy-turvy world. Although I have to say, it seemed that way before. I can’t count the number of times during the Armstrong era that non-cycling acquaintances asked me, “Do you think Lance is using PEDs?” And I would respond, “Of course! How could he not? Most professional athletes use PEDs.” You know when they find EPO use in the 100 meter dash, where you could hold your breath for the duration of the event, that it had to be darn near universal.

    Then they would ask, “If he isn’t using, why does he keep lying about it?” “Simple,” I would say. “They keep asking him.” Like your statements, this seemed so clear that it beggared description. And yet I found most people preferred to believe he was telling the truth, rather than trapped in the same lie that smeared generations of athletes in his and other sports. So many people preferred the simple-minded explanation, and certainly it made for the most joyful narrative to have the cancer survivor jetting around the world to give hope to cancer patients, and occasionally taking time out to win the most demanding athletic event on the planet. And Armstrong, to his ultimate detriment, abetted the creation of this impossible myth. When all these myth-believers fell, they were going to fall hard.

    I think the mistake in his calculus was that the government would never go nuclear, or that if it did, he could survive or even win. For a long time, his fans stayed his fans, no matter how clear it was that he used PEDs and offered coded admissions. But when the government brings in perjury and racketeering weaponry, no one comes out alive. These same tools have been used to bring down vast criminal conspiracies. That catch-22 of copping to the crime or lying about the crime is impossible to get out of. There are a fair number of people who see his enterprise as a vast criminal conspiracy, worthy of the resources used to bring murderers and drug barons to bay. These people live in a nice world; unfortunately, it is not this one.

  • Duane Boxwell

    Zogzog, the majority of the people on this forum think you should answer the simple question: are you a “seasoned professional cyclist” as you have claimed?

    If so, your words have some weight and merit. If not, you lied when you thought you could get away with it. If you can’t answer this simple question, then you are the worst thing of all: a coward and a hypocrite. You can’t endure one second of the scrutiny you wield so freely on others.

  • Zogzog

    Well, the majority of people think that Lance should get nailed. There is a reason that countries like German and France have updated their laws to make illegal doping a criminal offense. The same thing should happen in the US as well. Since several major counties think doping should be criminalized, that should tell you that you are barking up the wrong tree and your logic is faulty. Everyone knows its wrong and giving the law some new teeth will help. We can’t have our kids doping in high school to win awards, but have to accept health problems later from drug abuse.
    As for Frankie, you are trying to make Lance look like he was giving Frankie a position on his team out of charity. This is crazy…Frankie earned his place on the team from hard work and Lance was lucky to have him. It’s too bad that Lance tried to force the teammates to dope. We don’t know how persuasively yet, until all the truth comes out, but nevertheless his teammates felt pressured and fortunately for Frankie, he and Betsy quickly decided that doping was wrong and left the team. I’m proud of Frankie for standing up to the bully and setting aside his chance for big financial rewards, because taking the moral high ground was more important than winning and money…a noble thought Their kids see their parents actions and can be proud, meanwhile Lance’s kids have to be home schooled because they were getting picked on at school, because they had been defiantly standing up for their dad for having not doped. It’s kinda sad, you know, to stand by knowing that your kids are at school being battered by other kids claiming daddy is a doper and a cheat, when it was true all along. Don’t you feel sorry for them too? Or do you want them thinking its alright to cheat at school, as long as they see other kids doing it too? It’s not the kids that get to decide what the rules are, just as it was not up to Lance to make up the rule that it was ok to dope, just because others were doing it.

    I love the sport of cycling and that’s why I do what I do to try and protect it from the dark influence of people that have a cavalier attitude about cheating. It’s interesting how you try to spin a positive into a negative.
    As for the suspected and reformed dopers currently in the sport, I think the majority of them have served their suspensions and been stripped of their titles, so some justice has been served, I’d rather some of them stay out of the sport entirely, while maybe some others who have shown that they have been reformed may deserve another chance, but be on a short leash. What I mean by that, is stiffer penalties and sanctions for any further doping involving their teams. Obviously, if they are out altogether, its better for the sponsors, because no sponsor wants to be drawn into a doping scandal and be accused of knowing, as happened with Nike and Oakley for Lance. .
    The goal is a clean sport, so having only clean coaches and team personnel would be preferable, like doing a total housecleaning of the sport and get back to more wholesome values.

    Lance was liked so much before, not so much for the winning tours, but because he pawned himself off as this paragon of virtue and anti-doping advocate. Of course, Lance fanboys will disagree with this–saying it was all about winning at all costs. This is so not true in the hearts and minds of the public. Sure people who are not in a position to do anything about suspected cheaters might just look the other way, but others will simply stop being a fan of the sport and leave it cold turkey–the same way droves of former supporters have left the Livestrong Foundation..I hear donations have plummeted, even though Lance continues to lie, saying that things are unaffected. I even saw Lance in an interview tell people that donations have actually gone up. He’s a liar, and doesn’t appear to changing any time soon.

    I would say that you appear to be having a problem with figuring out how the sport could be cleaned up, so you point to all the negatives, rather than focusing on all of the positives, with the new CEO of USA Cycling taking the bull by the horns. Rather than just say its not working, how about giving the guy some credit and support him, when you know its no easy task to completely wipe the slate clean, when there are so many entrenched old timers with views similar to yours. It amazes me that you will spend so much time in these forums with your pro-doping stance. I know you aren’t preferring doping, but you might as well be, because rather than supporting my side or simply staying silent, you’re potentially damaging the sport even more.

    What should happen is that Lance should admit everything and come clean 100% and let the chips fall where they may. Everyone knows he is holding back a lot of secrets and has only admitted what people already knew. Cycling could be the sport that leads the world in a comeback to clean sport and I’d like to be a part of that world, and so would most of the American fans. Lance could conceivably come out of this and be a part of the solution instead part of the problem, but his line of defense lately is not working, where he is simply pointing fingers at everyone else, to try and make himself look better.

  • Edward M.

    Zog, I don’t care who gets nailed, if anyone. The FBI has no place in sport, so to see them try so hard to legally destroy an era in baseball and fail was entertaining. Now they’re trying to do it to cycling. they have certainly had more success than the last time around, but ultimately I still think it will be chalked up as a failure. Recent legal developments in the case help to show this. As for how he is now known, well, I find it odd that someone who is passionate about cycling would be so enthusiastic to see the sports most successful period destroyed by journalists and outside legal agencies and it’s public image thrown into the gutter. No one believes the current riders are clean (myself included) because all the general public is pummeled with when cycling is brought up is doping. How this “mastermind” is facing a 100 million dollar lawsuit, or the “scary blood transfusion on a bus” story, or the “clean and innocent riders were deprived of opportunities and forced to make career ending choices” (which is a farce) We’re bombarded by the incessant whining of Betsy Andreu, “Lance, Lance, Lance. He did so much to hurt me and my family.” Oh really Betsy? Like allowing your husband to be a part of a Tour winning team? By rewarding him financially for his contributions? Or by helping land him a job as a commentator after he could no longer cycle competitively? It’s all a complete joke. Poor broke Floyd Landis, Lance cheated and he made me cheat too. ( Is that why you tested positive after he retired, AND you were riding for a different team?) So he should be forced to give me money. This is not how responsible grown adults should act. It’s how spoiled little brats who think they are entitled to other people’s successes and rewards act. Lance had an FU attitude because people like this have always been attacking him. People who he helped to achieve more success than they were ever likely to see without him then turned on him and attacked him at every opportunity. He was the face of the sport, and he didn’t want the sport to get flushed down society’s toilet. so of course he lied, they all did. Not one single athlete has ever said yes when asked if they were doping. But because it’s Lance that somehow deserves more punishment? the legal case exists only because Travis Tygart and Jeff Novitzky wanted to make names for themselves. After Novitzky’s crowning jewel of a case turned into a turd (Barry Bonds) he had to do something to redeem himself. So he used strong arm tactics (of the same type that Lance is accused of) to get people to rat out lance. In exchange for this he allowed these admitted dope cheats to stay in the sport as riders and team management personnel. (how hypocritical is that? I thought the goal was clean sport) Then he used these coerced and bribed confessions to pin the transgressions of multiple generations of professional cyclists on one man, Lance Armstrong. Meanwhile, the test failing and admitted dopers are allowed to stay in the sport and the organizers still can’t keep up with the development pace of new doping techniques. But because you got Lance all is right with the world. HA, what a joke If you were writing a book you’d be hard pressed to make this a believable story. That’s why they say real life can often be stranger than fiction, I guess.

  • Edward M.

    I’ll preface this with saying that I personally was a huge fan of Lemond, his second tour win is what got me on my first road bike and helped me discover just how much I love it. Seeing an American succeed at the World level of a niche Euro sport was also a source of pride. so…..
    I believe that it is just easy and comfortable for all the journos and the Europeans to tidy the whole doping mess up into one bow and pin it on a single person and a single era. There weren’t testing protocols that could prove much of anything in the pro peloton with certainty until the late nineties (even then EPO was undetectable for the tests) so the prior generations have that going for them. There is also the matter of likeability. Greg Lemond was soft spoken and easy for the journos to interview, as were almost all of the big names in the sport. These guys were easy to like. I believe a large part of this is that they didn’t have to worry that every performance and every statement about that performance would be dissected on the altar of doping control, which mustv’e made it much easier to not have to play the defensive all the time. Lance was/is a bit different. He doesn’t have a problem telling a journalist that he’s wasting time or asking dumb questions. He didn’t give everyone the easy access of the prior generations, and of course with all of the accusations being lobbed at literally EVERY interview or presser, he was always attacking those statements and defending his performances. If you look at other riders from Lance’s era, you’ll see that even they were a lot easier on the press/public, and I believe that this is also because took the brunt of all the doping questions, so these riders didn’t have to defend quite as much. Today the riders are trying their best to hide everything while giving the appearance of transparency. They give vanilla interviews and deflect most doping questions in the direction of the sport being “cleaned up” now that the sins of the Lance era have been exposed. And because they are so guarded, they are BORING. So it’s easy to give the other guys a free pass, they were nice, they were easy and they gave good info. I wonder what it would’ve been like for Lance and company if they had not been constantly pestered by doping accusations. Something tells me he would’ve been a much more relaxed and likeable guy. I also feel that the directors and organizers of the sport think it is advantageous for them to just villify the lance era in the hopes that it’s easier for the public to just say, “yup, lance was bad, he caused the doping problem and now that he’s gone and they have new tests these guys are clean.” It’s so frustrating that people cannot see the realities of the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and now the 10’s pro athletes. Even after repeated examples of what those guys did and still do escape into the public almost weekly. I remeber the tests that you referenced, and when I thought about what these athletes had riding on being succesful at an Olympic games it all made sense to me. They want to be professional athletes, they want to make a living in their sport, so they are going to do what they can to give themselves that opportunity. Pro athletes are only different in the respect that they have already passed that threshhold and are now seeking a bigger name/contract/endorsement deal/legacy. But both groups are willing to do what it takes to win. Having the sport rip itself apart from the inside by giving special deals to certain athletes for ratting on others and then using a single rider as an example by giving him/her a much harsher punishment has not been good for the sport. It has not served to even dissuade the current pros from doping. It has only tarnished the reputation of the sport’s true golden era. It’s really all quite sad.

  • Josh

    Yes, Nomad, I remember now. I forgot when these different eras began and ended. I remember at some point EPO was illegal, but there was no effective test for it, so they used the proxy of 50% hematocrit. So for a number of years, every rider tested at 50.0% regardless of where their natural level was. Then they raced, and whoever won, won. I had forgotten (or maybe never knew) that an EPO-specific test was fielded as early as 2000. I thought it came later. I wonder why more guys in that era didn’t test positive. It seemed like every year there was a new Spanish superhero (plus one Rumsas). Although maybe those guys were using something entirely different.

  • Duane Boxwell

    Zogzog: are you really a seasoned professional cyclist? Or did you just lie about that? If you did lie about it, did you justify it by saying that everyone else lies on the internet? Or do you now wish you hadn’t lied, but aren’t quite sure how to walk it back? Do you have the courage to stand by that lie, or will you show yourself to be a coward by attempting to deflect a question about your statement that has substantial bearing on everything you assert here?

  • Zogzog

    The problem that I see with your logic, is that you want to lump all cyclists that doped together, from the guy who accidentally took something, not knowing it was on the banned list….all the way to mega cheater of-all-time, Lance Armstrong.
    It’s not that simple. I’ve already explained ad nauseum why people are justified in censuring Armstrong over the others. I’d really like you to understand fully, why he appears to be hit harder than the rest, many who cooperated fully with the FBI investigations, while Lance stood defiantly against justice seekers with his arrogant bravado and F U attitude to the authorities. This is WHY he’s going to get nailed. Historically speaking, it usually not the crime, but the lying about it that gets people in the most trouble–and it’s public record that he’s lier extraordinaire.
    Nowadays, he’s better known as that lier sports guy on Oprah, than anything else.

  • Pablo

    You were/are a pro cyclist?

  • Nomad

    EPO was banned by the IOC in 1990 and the UCI followed in 1991. But the test for EPO didn’t debut until the Sydney games in 2000, and the UCI upper safety hct level (50%) wasn’t established until 1997. That’s why I call it the “wild 90s” where many riders probably thought; no test, no safety limit, no problem …full speed ahead! After all, with Riis being known in the peloton as “Mr. 60%” – that should tell us a little something about the risks some riders were willing to take back then.

  • Josh

    I wonder why it is that one cannot point out Lemond was on his way out as a professional cyclist after his hunting accident until he got his mysterious iron injections and then rocketed back to take two further Tour de France victories before flaming out completely? Is it because he was a nice guy, or because EPO was so new it wasn’t illegal (which I’m not sure about but am accepting from whatever_dude since he seems knowledgeable), or what? Not that I am advocating for vilifying him on those grounds. But it is a shame how an entire generation of cyclists has been sacrificed on the altar of the PED witch hunt. All these guys were decent guys, as were all the Spaniards, Italians, and French they were doping to keep up with. That was the system. There were rules; some people got caught; others got away. But beyond the reflexive schadenfreude of a large number of people like Zogzog, it is hard to see how the interest of sport was served by compelling all of them to rat each other out in every direction for all eternity. They were just guys who wanted to ride their bikes fast.

    At one point an academic retested the blood of medal-winners from a number of sports from the Atlanta Olympics. He found evidence of manipulation in almost every sample from almost every sport using modern techniques and drug lists. Then he sealed his results. Because what was the point?

  • Duane Boxwell

    That is pure surmise and conjecture. Your premises are false, and your implications wouldn’t follow even if they were true. Good luck to you and Cycling Weekly defending the statement “Lance has been doping since he was a triathlete” when the lawyers come calling.

  • Nomad

    Thanks. I’ve provided him all the references, citations, etc., but I’m sure he’ll probably find the information unappealing due to his profound and obsessed hatred for Armstrong.

  • Nomad

    Thanks. I’ve provided him all the references, citations, etc., that I could locate…but he’ll probably find the info unappealing due to his profound & obsessed hatred for Armstrong.

  • Edward M.

    My logic is reality, your view is something that has never been and never will be how professional sports and even high level amateur sports work. Where there is a reward to be had other than the joy of competition, there will be those who seize every opportunity to gain an advantage. These opportunities have often and will continue to often be some type of banned PED. I have never said PED’s are necessary for exciting sport. They absolutely are not. The athletes at the top levels of sport are amazingly talented and skilled. We watch them because of what they are capable of doing and what that can inspire us to attempt to do on our own levels. I think you also are misunderstanding my point about sponsors. I’m not saying they are complicit, or even aware of sponsored athletes that might be doping. I am saying that they pay athletes at the top professional levels in order to associate their brands with success and skill and bravery. People bought Trek bikes (and still do) because Postal used them to great effect in the Tour. People spend ridiculous amounts of money on chinese carbon Pinarello bikes now because of what Team Sky accomplishes with them. The sponsors want results. They don’t care about clean sport until people like Travis Tygart come along and try to rip apart a sport to make a name for themselves and get a financial reward from it. He did it to baseball and he’s now done it to cycling. Neither sport is better off for it. Of course Lance’s sponsors dropped him at that point. Just like every other athlete who has been shoved into the doping limelight. Your hatred of Lance Armstrong is easy to see and even easy to understand. He did some fairly vile things to people. However, people such as yourself take that as an opportunity to try and neatly package all that was bad in cycling with him and now say that it was all good before and is all good after. That’s what I cannot understand. they were doping in the 70’s. They were doping in the 80’s. They were doping in the 90’s, the 2000’s, and they are doping just as much now. They are still using the same tired denials and the same tired public shaming of past cheats to take the spotlight off of themselves. You believe that Lance deprived so many of opportunity, that there were all of these “good” people around him that he decided to attack. These people that you feel so badly for, Lemond, Emma, Betsy + Frankie, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis etc. These are all CHEATS. They are drug smuggling, PED taking, rule breaking, fame and glory hungry cheats! They were eagerly complicit in the transgressions of Lance Armstrong. They were eagerly complicit in their own transgressions without Lance Armstrong. But once they no longer thought that they were receiving sufficient benefit from Lance, they “got righteous” and couldn’t contain themselves with the need to tell the world what a bad person he was, and people like you ATE IT UP. You still do. You can’t get enough of it. these cheaters and liars pointing the spotlight on someone else and saying how bad he was in order to help redeem themselves. You try to put Lemond and Indurain and the lot of them on some pedestal for their successes while throwing Lance off of his. It’s sickening. I watch the races, I see the successes and the failures, I am appreciative and entertained and awed by the performances. And as long as it’s the rider’s legs turning the pedals and not a motor, I am happy to take it at face value. Because they all cheated, and they are all cheating, and they will all be cheating. Stop acting like you have some moral high ground on which you’ve earned the right to criticize the athletes and just enjoy the sport. People like you are just joy vacuums. You suck the good out of sport to serve your own agenda. (usually by whining) It really gets tiring.

  • Zogzog

    If you read any forum on doping, including this one, you will find it full of people claiming all professional and semi-pro athletes have doped since the the first Tour de France and that includes the Olympics and triathlons. If this is true, then that would include Lance. Dopers have a cheating mentality and it doesn’t change, so it must have started early on. I’ve heard lots of people claim Armstrong has always doped and since we now know his character and propensity to stop at nothing, who’s surprised?

  • Zogzog

    I understand how people like you think, yes. Thankfully, your view doesn’t represent the majority view. There is a reason that doping in sport has become a punishable crime in several countries including France and Germany. That is because it is not allowed and cheating that way has its consequences. Lance has now felt the ramifications of his erroneous decision to join the dark side. I’ve a long history of working with some world class coaches, and doping was never part of their recipe for success. As an honest competitior, you must rely on the system to keep competition clean for a level playing field. You’re attempting to turn everything upside down and dist r gard everything we’ve been taught. Sponsors only want clean athletes and that’s why Lance’s former sponsors jumped ship so fast. You can split hairs all you want by claiming what sponsors know, but that’s a dangerous game leading to disaster and short careers as we have seen. The dark side will never prevail! People can do without illegal doping and claiming that it is “necessary for the excitement” you crave, can easily be solved by shortening the distances to allow more opportunity to recover. Who cares if the stages are 290km or 180km. They don’t show it all on TV anyways.
    It’s possible that Dr Ferrari wasn’t the best when he started out. Everyone has to learn somewhere and Dr Ferrari certainly achieved that knowledge probably due to million dollar funding from Armstrong. Who would be surprised if money was funneled from Livestrong to Dr Ferrari under the guise of cancer research? That’s the thing…..people in society and business establish their reputations built on their word and when credibility is lost, everything else crumbles. Following your logic leads to failure and disrepute.

  • Christine

    If Zog was a pro, you’d have to look for the only American pro in the Armstrong era whose career prospects didn’t improve. Or whose request for used chamois got turned down.

    But who knows? On another forum Zoggy is an astronaut.

  • Duane Boxwell

    There has been no allegation that Armstrong doped as a triathlete, and certainly no proof. Your statement is libelous. Disqus logs your IP address, and from there it is a simple legal discovery request to your ISP for your identity. You can ponder the wisdom of your bolder assertions.

  • Edward M.

    Excellent post. And one that I’m sure mr zog will do his best to discount without response since he knows that the facts don’t fall in line with his Lance Armstrong is the devil agenda.

  • Edward M.

    Ha! Here is where I throw a little of that “taste of your own medicine” logic your way. You repeatedly counter the level playing field argument by stating that Lance had dr ferrari’s expertise exclusively to himself during his 7 years on top, and that because Dr ferrari was so much more advanced than anyone else in his field it gave Lance and Postal a huge advantage. Miguel Indurain had Dr conconi at the disposal of his team banesto. This is the dr who trained Ferrari. During his Motorola days and his triathlon days lance would not have had any hung approaching that level of medical expertise to assist his efforts. So I can make a very valid argument that the deficiencies in Lance’s doping regimen compared to Indurain and banesto’s conconi run operation would account for a large part of that gap. And it’s no surprise that he was doping while competing with professional triathletes. It’s not a hobby, nor is it a pastime. It’s a cutthroat way to earn a living. Much like every other high level pro and amateur sport, the majority of the athletes are pushing the envelope or just outright cheating to gain am advantage. That’s called the real world. You seem to think that pro athletes owe you clean competition. They absolutely do not. They owe you entertainment. That’s what they get paid for. To excel in a sport that will entertain people who can financially support it. You do understand that the bike companies don’t sponsor teams just for the sport of it, right?

  • Zogzog

    Did you know that Lance has been doping since he was a triathlete? So when he was getting crushed by Big Mig (Indurain), he was still juiced.

  • Edward M.

    I will respectfully ask that you not use the king of the 1990s dopers as the measuring stick for not “having the wattage”. Indurain outpaced the most brash dangerous dopers the sport has ever seen. All during a time where there were almost no controls to keep them in line. So not having Big Migs wattage in his wild west doping days doesn’t mean someone isn’t capable of winning against other riders when the controls have reined in the rampant abuse somewhat.

  • Nomad

    You’re a seasoned pro cyclist? So then, who are you? What pro team are you on? You realize that anybody can say anything about themselves on the Internet (just say’in).

    Where did LA say that he didn’t need to take PEDs in order to win over the other competition? On the contrary, I’ve heard him say that he did need to use them because everyone else was.

    I have no agenda, but your profound hatred for Armstrong is the impetus for your idealogical postions not supported by scientific evidence. You continually assert, without any evidence, that LA had a decisive PED advantage over all the ~other~ PED users. You refute the notion that he was the “best placing doper of the dopers.” You discredit the “level playing field” principle implied by Ullrich who has publicly stated that LA should be reinstated due to “the prevelance of doping during that time.” You claim Ullrich couldn’t have said otherwise without potential repercussions from LA. How ridiculous! What is your proof?

    The low hct thing is also getting old with your assertion that LA would have been the ~only~ one in professional cycling with a low baseline hct, therefore having a greater effect from EDAP. What was his documented baseline OOC hct during that time period? What was his baseline VO2max/LT? What were the baseline crit & VO2max/LT #s of all the OTHER riders? (comparitive analysis). The Morkenberg et al. paper (“Changes in Blood Values in Elite Cylist.”, Int J Sports Med/2009), show an average baseline OOC hct with 28 elite cyclists who competed in the TDF of ~43.2%. Some unverified reports I’ve heard of put LA in the low 40s, so that’s statistically comparable with the average (His ABP #s were released for 2009 which showed a WADA verified pre-tour hct of ~42.8%). Interestingly though, hct levels may not have a significant influence over VO2max according to the Brun et al. paper (The Paradox of Hematocrit in Exercise Physiology, Clin Hemorheol Microcirc). Their findings were that lower hct was associated with higher aerobic capicity.

    And contrary to the pseudosciene you’re paying attention to; VO2max/LT/work economy is significantly increased with weight loss/body max reduction. I’ve seen it in lab experiments, and anecdotally with my group of runners. Weight loss = more improved aerobic capicity = faster times.

    You continue to make unsupported statements without documented evidence. Btw, LA was spot-on when he said everyone else was using PEDs:

    “More importantly for Lance Armstrong, during the 7-year window when he won every Tour de France (1999-2005), 87% of the top-10 finishers (61 of 70) were confirmed dopers or suspected of doping.” (Business Inside/Jan.2015).

  • Zogzog

    You appear to be trying to use the strategy of ignoring my questions and points, while simultaneously attempting to bury me in irrelevant info, in an attempt to sidestep getting to the bottom of the matter.I can’t believe that you have decided to backtrack and try to lecture a seasoned pro cyclist about “team strength, tactics and the like”. Those points are understood.already and are outside factors. Part of Lance’s argument has always been that he didn’t need drugs and that he won through perfecting all of the small things, that add up to a larger whole. That’s a crap argument. All the top teams were executing at the same level or higher, except for the doping because they didn’t have Dr Ferrari and Lance used his millions to purchase his exclusivity for months at a time, knowing that he was monopolizing a key element to winning. It was part of the game, that you are still missing. I suggest that you drop your agenda and take note of my legit assertions.

  • Zogzog

    I totally disagree, like most knowledgeable cycling fans.

  • Nomad

    Your presenting strawman arguments. Ferrari wasn’t leaps and bounds above the rest. Fuentes & Concini were well known doping doctors back then providing guidance to top contenders (have you researched Operation Puerto?). All the PEDs and techniques that LA was utilizing, his rivals were also using (e.g., EPO, blood-doping, HGH, T, stimulants). And if Ferrari was doing clandestine EDAP studies they mean absolutely nothing to the scientific community without the peer-reviewed process and journal publication. Provide proof that the other contenders ~didn’t~ have access to the same PEDs that LA had. In fact, LA’s top two rivals; Ullrich & Pantani, had *higher* peak average power output #s than LA (Ullrich ~441, Pantani ~446 to LA’s ~438). Geez…how did Ullrich & Pantani achieve those near “mutant” #s…by eating their spinach? Lol

    And on the Indurain – Armstrong thing you keep bringing up: Do you think it’s theoretically possible that Indurain was doping with that average power output # of ~455 (mutant), when he “pummeled” a “clean” Armstrong? (A level playing field there?). And do you think Armstrong soon realized that he would have to use PEDs in order to be competitive with “confirmed” dopers, such as Riis, Ullrich & Pantani, who were winning & dominating the TDFs in the late 90s? (Imagine that).

    Also, how am I “cherry-picking” data when I presented a multi-authored/peer-reviewed meta-analysis that reviewed 17 separate EDAP-relationship studies:

    Lodewijkx et al: “Overestimated Effect of Epo Administration on Aerobic Exercise Capicity: A Meta-Analysis (AJSSM/2013). “The magnitude of the EDAP-relationship is overvalued.” (note: “overvalued”…not ineffective).

    Also, LA may have had a lower than normal baseline hct, but according to some research, so did other riders. Therefore, LA wasn’t unique in that feature:

    Morkenberg et al: “Changes in blood values in elite cyclist.” (Int J Sports Med/2009) 28 elite cyclists who competed in the TDF had out-of-competition (i.e., baseline) average hcts of ~43.2%.

    Just hard training and weight loss? No, not just that (though Wiggens lost significant weight to transform himself into a TDF GC winner). Many factors come into play in a multi-stage race. For example, nutrition (go ask Tejay on that one), team strength, team tactics, team leadership, injury management, equipment, abandonments, avoiding trouble, etc. (I’m sure you know this). How do you think Team Sky has won 3 out of the last 4 TDF GCs?

  • Zogzog

    I’m going to be brief here.Are you open to accepting the possibility that top doping doctors are way ahead of the documentation curve? I can tell you that they are way ahead, because they have lots of willing subjects who will do anything to win and those studies don’t get published, sorry to the guys who sit on the sidelines waiting for proof to be handed to them. If you’re going to cherry pick studies that play devils advocate, I suppose you’ll always be in denial. Lance had Dr Ferrari and he was the leaps and bounds ahead of the rest and had time to perfect his techniques on Lance over several years. That’s top secret information that he paid dearly for. It wasn’t just shared with all Lance’s rivals, as you seem to assume by implying that it was a “level playing field “, and that they all were doing the same stuff. Lance’s results are enough to show that something wasn’t the same, and it wasn’t just harder training and weight loss. The weight didn’t hurt him on previous flat time trials, when he was getting pummeled by Indurain in earlier tours, but he didnt have the wattage, even at his peak without doping.

  • Nomad

    So, I’ve now become a “worthy opponent?” (worthy opponent of what?). I guess that’s some kind of a complement (?). FWIW, you seem more than just the typical on-line LA hater – are you involved in some kind of legal action against him? Did you perhaps work for LeMond Cycling? Some of your posts appear to insinuate that you’re involved in some legal action (e.g., preferring to not name the names of your contacts or the labs that tested Armstrong). Also, are you’re saying that I should accept “logic” and “hearsay” from “people in the know?” What people? What do they know? Where’s the data on LA that I asked about in my previous post? You’ve provided very little data other than an animal study.

    I disagree on animal studies when they’re used as an “endpoint” to reach a conclusion involving a PED influence on human aerobic physiology, etc. However, if you want an animal model study that conflicts with the study you presented, here it goes:

    “Erythropoietin elevates VO2,max but not voluntary wheel running in mice.” (Journal of Experimental Biology/2010).

    Conclusion: “Although EPO evelated [Hb] and VO2max, it did not increase wheel running in either HR or C lines, and indeed caused a reduction of ~28% in wheel running in both at the higher dose.” Note: they even used the “souped-up” version of EPO (Aranesp)…guess the mice like to race clean lol.

    On the blood volume viscosity: Yes, that’s true…but the other “guys” also had access to anticoagulation meds and were also monitored by their own doping doctors…not just LA had those resources. For example, Ullrich was involved in blood doping with Operation Puerto and his team was utilizing the services of Fuentes. I did find a study that gives some idea of baseline hct in elite cyclists. It’s a small sample size of 28 European-based elite cyclists that showed an average of hct of ~43.2 (sea level). If LA’s baseline is in the low 40s, as some reports have indicated, then he would be comparable to this average.

    “Changes in blood values in elite cyclist.” (International Journal of Sports Medicine/2009).

    Lastly, I think the Heuberger paper is an interesting read. It’s a multi-authored/peer-reviewed study that was published in the prestigious British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2013. The study talks about VO2max, LT & work economy being much better predictors than hct/hb levels in aerobic performance with elite and world class cylists. The paper postulates that most elite and world class cyclists generally have a low hct and a correspondingly high VO2max.


    Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;75(6):1406-21. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12034.

    Erythropoietin doping in cycling: lack of evidence for efficacy and a negative risk-benefit.

    Heuberger JA1, Cohen Tervaert JM, Schepers FM, Vliegenthart AD, Rotmans JI, Daniels JM, Burggraaf J, Cohen AF.

    Author information


    Imagine a medicine that is expected to have very limited effects based upon knowledge of its pharmacology and (patho)physiology and that is studied in the wrong population, with low-quality studies that use a surrogate end-point that relates to the clinical end-point in a partial manner at most. Such a medicine would surely not be recommended. The use of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) to enhance performance in cycling is very common. A qualitative systematic review of the available literature was performed to examine the evidence for the ergogenic properties of this drug, which is normally used to treat anaemia in chronic renal failure patients. The results of this literature search show that there is no scientific basis from which to conclude that rHuEPO has performance-enhancing properties in elite cyclists. The reported studies have many shortcomings regarding translation of the results to professional cycling endurance performance. Additionally, the possibly harmful side-effects have not been adequately researched for this population but appear to be worrying, at least. The use of rHuEPO in cycling is rife but scientifically unsupported by evidence, and its use in sports is medical malpractice. What its use would have been, if the involved team physicians had been trained in clinical pharmacology and had investigated this properly, remains a matter of speculation. A single well-controlled trial in athletes in real-life circumstances would give a better indication of the real advantages and risk factors of rHuEPO use, but it would be an oversimplification to suggest that this would eradicate its use.

    © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.

  • Zogzog

    Yes, the reason higher blood volume doesn’t always equate to increased performance, is because the blood thickens proportionally, which can have a negative effect, if not countered by blood thinning drugs as well. But of course, Armstrong’s doctors knew this and he was able to counteract it by using those other drugs. You’ve successfully bogged me down into detailing the parts of scientific studies where your logic goes astray. I’m happy to point out exactly where those areas are, because you’ve become a worthy opponent since you’ve finally steered away from insults and innuendos.

    I believe that you have to take each bit of scientific evidence for what its worth and apply it towards the whole. Animal research certainly has an incredible amount of validity to add to the investigation, because they obviously can deal with much higher numbers and different gene pools to test theories, which they had done. Another huge advantage to animal studies is that they can push the tests to levels far beyond what would be allowed by human subjects, for obvious reasons (you can’t kill people).

    Yes, I’m saying that Armstrong had lower than normal Hct blood levels, while his Vo2 max is on the high side, but not super high like Lemond’s. I suppose that’s a point that is always going to be a sticking point for you, because it weakens your case, so maybe you’d prefer to frustrate the argument, rather than just accept logic and what the hearsay is from people that were in a position to know. I personally have talked to people that know and it wasn’t a secret at the time. Later, it became a secret when the knowledge of it, could weaken his case. Now, they want to threaten and sue over HIPA medical privacy laws.I prefer not to name the names of my contacts or the lab that tested Armstrong, but its all out there by putting two and two together from all the extensive testimony already given.

  • Nomad

    I don’t use animal studies in my research because they are unreliable. People aren’t animals:

    “Why animal studies are often poor predictors of human reactions to exposure.” (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine/2009).

    I’m confused: Are you talking about The Netherlands study (EDAP-relationship) as being just one study? If so, that’s incorrect – it’s a meta-analysis that examined 17 separate studies. It’s also held-up to some challenges from other researchers. Did you review the French study? (Clin Hemorheol Microcirc). It’s a study using human athletes (lol) that compared low hct (45) on aerobic capicity. The researchers concluded that higher red blood cell volume ~doesn’t~ necessarily equate to better aerobic fitness. I found the data to be interesting.

    Agreed…riders were pushing crit levels right up to that 50% safety limit. The question is did it significantly improve their VO2 max/LT from their pre-EPO/blood doping baseline numbers. Did most or some of the riders, or just LA (I guess you’re saying he would be the only one in this case) have an improved aerobic benefit from EPO/blood doping? What was LA”s verifiable low baseline hct? (high 30s? – I’ve seen reports of low 40s…so which one is it? Was it recorded at altitude? Sea level? Do you have any creditable documentation?)

    Therefore, was Armstrong the only “one” that benefited from a 9 or 10 pt increase over other riders, some of whom may have also started with lower crit levels? Wouldn’t you have to do a comparitive analysis with the other riders to make that assertion? For example, what were the other rider’s baseline hct ~before~ they initiated EPO/blood doping usage? What was their baseline VO2max? Did ~any~ other riders have baseline crits as low, or near as low, as LAs? For example, if Ullrich, Basso, Vinokourov or anyone else during those years had an identical or near identical hct at baseline, how would LA have a EDAP advantage over them? If LA and one other rider, for example, started with an identical baseline hct and both went up to the safety limit, why would LA have an EDAP advantage over that rider? (Did LA use the brand name EPO when the others used the generic? lol) Can you provide a multi-authored/peer-reviewed study published in a journal (not a bias opinion paper) of what Armstrong’s and his competitor’s baseline hct & VO2 max was before & after EPO/blood doping usage? That would a good start to a science-based comparitive analysis.

  • Zogzog

    This study is not conclusive at all and was based upon a very small sample size, etc. There is a reason that 99% of the TDF athletes tested at a hair under the Htc 50% speed limit–because it helped dramatically! And Lance benefited much more than the others, as evidenced by his explosion out of nowhere and his incredible fast RPM spinning, that only a highly oxygenated blood, combined with blood reinfusions could achieve. Lance had blood bag infusions in almost plain site (in his bus), at times others would not dare. So call it going for broke and he went broke!

  • Zogzog

    Yes, I did read the whole thing, not just the abstract. It’s only one study. I spent half of today reading another study that disputes it. They did expensive studying on rats and found that EPO in the “right” dosage would indeed improve performance significantly, which is exactly what I an others, more expert than me, have found. It also passes the common sense test, unlike yours. You have not addressed why 99% of the top TDF rides were at the 49% Hct level, if it wasn’t helpful. In my understanding, that you are trying discount too much how EPO turned Lance into a super hero, because of his low natural Hct levels. Of course, other factors came into play also, such as his weight and all. That’s just muddying the waters, which is what :Lance supporters try to do at every turn.
    Have you read the study entitled” Optimal hematocrit for maximal exercise performancein acute and chronic EPO treated mice”, by Schuler, Arras, Keler, Rettich, Lundby and Gassmann? .

  • Nomad

    Did you even read the Lodewijky/Verboon paper, beyond the abstract I posted for you? The evidence you present is anecdotal, speculative and fueled by the profound hatred of LA. I’ve presented scientific papers from qualified mainstream researchers that have published their work in peer-reviewed journals. I have no interest LA’s civil case and could care less. I was never a fan of his attitude and behavior. He made a complete fool of himself with his aggressive public denials of PED use. I was simply looking at the science of exercise physiology/sports medicine, and in this case the EDAP-relationship in athletes and the level playing field contraversy. You, like many others, are unable to separate Armstrong…the “hated by many” from Armstrong…”the athlete.” This isn’t about LA’s personal issues but about the EDAP-relationship of athletes and the concept of a level playing field in widespread doping of sport. LeMond was a great athlete. I wonder if he thinks that Indurain was clean or doped? (Indurain has ~denied~ ever using PEDs). Was Indurain clean and won 5 TDFs on superior aerobic ability or was he just another doped rider winning over other doped riders in a relatively level playing field? I don’t see LeMond addressing this issue.

    Some cycling fans fail to understand there were more to PEDs than EPO during that time. Evidence suggests that there was also widespread use of Testeterone, HGH, IGF-1, stimulants, steriods, etc., even as early as the 90s. That would certainly account for better recovery, better glucose-muscle metabolism, improved latic clearance, improved time to exhaustion, etc. All of this could account for stronger riders, more power, faster speeds, etc. That is why I asked you if two “known dopers” such as Contador & Heras, both dominant in many Grand Tour GCs, had an unfair PED advantage, or were simply competing in a level playing field? (i.e., “the best dopers of the dopers”). Were they responding any differently to the PEDs, comparitively speaking?

    Once again on the subject of the higher hematocrit equals better aerobic capicity: *According to the researchers of The Netherlands study;* the EDAP-relationship with highly-trained athletes appears to be overrated/overestimated. Here’s also another very interesting study (multi-authored/peer-reviewed) from French researchers that was published in the Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation journal:

    “The paradox of hematocrit in exercise physiology: which is the “normal” range from an hemorheologisis viewpoint?” (Clin Hemorheol Microcirc/2000):

    The researchers looked at two groups; those with Hcts 44 on a measure of aerobic fitness. They concluded that athletes with the lowest Hcts “had a lower value of blood viscosity and a ~higher fitness level~ as reflected by their aerobic working capicity, their relative maximal power output, and their isometric abductor strength.” The researchers also stated: “It is interesting to notice how this observation is in contrast with a common athlete’s belief that increasing hematocrit by various doping procedures increases fitness.”

    Again, another interesting multi-authored/peer-reviewed study by mainstream scientists.

  • Zogzog

    I agree with you on that. But I think most people realize that it’s about much more than just doping, in Lance’s case. I see that the motivation of Lance apologists is to try and frustrate those seeking justice, by attempting to muddy the waters and blur as many lines as possible, because it turns the arguments into where the line should be drawn, which is always controversial by nature.
    I have no problem with all of the issues they bring up by pointing to differences between other prosecutions and handling of all these complicated scenarios. I’ve successfully defended all of them over the years and have seen every argument. The argument that “everyone else was doing it” does not work. That’s what a child does on the schoolyard. When a bank robber gets caught, the judge isn’t going to let him go, simply because others did it too and may have gotten away with it or received probation.

  • whatever_dude

    Don’t forget Ashendon. This isn’t just a claim by a non-scientist journalist.

    Regardless, I am continually amazed by apologists who focus on the minutia of Armstrong’s doping. The guy was a criminal far beyond the issue of PEDs. Intimidation, false claims, questionable accounting, tortious interference, fraud, bribery…there are so many more criminal and clearly immoral acts that Armstrong performed; the doping is the least of it, really just a red herring that his legal team focuses on to distract us because the public are complete fan-boy rubes.

    Armstrong was a mafia don, and deserves to do time, and lose the rest of his fortune to civil litigation by the people and businesses he screwed with to protect his lies.

  • Zogzog

    I know enough about the research, that there’s a huge debate whether Armstrong’s performances were much out of line or not. Most of the evidence seems to be on my side, which indicates that TT and hill climbs were considerably faster beginning in 1991, as concluded by Lemond who has talked extensively about those speed increases. Lemond said clearly that “domestiques that he could previously drop-at-will, we’re now dropping him”. And Lemond was at the peak physically in his career after just winning 2 tours de France as well as the world championships, the year or two before.
    There’s a ton of BS going around as fabricated evidence to help support Lance’s case, just before his 100 million dollar lawsuit comes to trial. I put my faith in reputable icons like Lemond and respected journalists like David Walsh, who wrote a book on his findings. He wasn’t just some reporter, he literally spent over 10 years researching the Armstrong Lie.

  • Nomad

    I assume you do pay attention to science, that’s why I was surprised you weren’t aware of The Netherlands meta-analysis that specifically addressed this issue. David Walsh may be an esteemed journalist but he’s not a researcher with a background in exercise science/sports medicine. I was instructed to stay away from “opinion” only papers/articles, preferring to read multi-authored, peer-reviewed studies published in science journals. Higher baseline VO2max levels will have less aerobic effect from an EDAP-relationship as opposed to lower levels. You would have to know every rider’s baseline VO2 max/LT pre-EPO and see what improvements occurred post-EPO. Lower levels should see more improvement than higher levels. Weight loss is also a significant factor in VO2 max/LT improvement. In fact, the formula for determing VO2 max is milliliters of oxygen consumed per ~killogram~ of body weight per minute.

    Also, in the era of widespread doping many cyclists wanted to take “everything” the other guy was taking – nobody wanted to be left out of the party. EPO back then was as fashionable as communication radios. Wouldn’t you agree? Didn’t Armstrong also have a build-up period post cancer including a 4th place finnish at the 1998 Vuelta? Also, what is your opinion on some of the other Grand Tour “crushers” such as Contador (7 Grand Tour GCs!) and Roberto Heras (4 straight Vuelta’s). A level playing field…or a PED advantage? Lastly, here’s an interesting study (multi-authored/peer-reviewed) showing that LA wasn’t any faster in time trialing compared to other Grand Tour TT winners from 1934 – 2010:

    “Lance Armstrong”s era of performance – part 1: Are his time trial performances different from other winners?” (Lodewijkx, Verboon/Journal of Athletic Enhancement/2013). (Again, this site is putting links into moderation, so here’s the abstract):

    In the aftermath of USADA’s doping charges, Lance Armstrong eventually acknowledged the use of banned substances during his professional cycling career. Reckoning his confessions, we decided to evaluate Armstrong’s sportive accomplishments by comparing his winning time trial achievements with achievements demonstrated by other riders in similar races over the years. In time trial racing, there are no collaborating riders on the course, making opportunities to profit from other riders’ efforts through drafting impossible. Time trial performances thus solely depend on the strength and endurance of the individual rider. Accordingly, we argue that an examination of the ‘historic’ variation in these individual performances will increase chances to detect the influence of illicit doping aids on Armstrong’s performances. In view of his doping use, we expected that his performances would be faster compared to performances of his counterparts in foregoing and succeeding years. We scrutinized archival records of the cycling sport and retrieved information concerning Armstrong’s winning time trial performances (N = 7), realized in the Tour de France (1999–2005), as well as performances of other riders (N = 55) who, from 1934 to 2010, won races in the three European Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España) and all faced time trial distances comparable to Armstrong’s (50–61 km). We examined our research question by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with riders as the independent variable (Armstrong vs. the other riders) and mean km/h performances as the dependent variable in which we controlled for the influence of year of competition (i.e., the year in which riders won their time trial) and distances of the trials on riders’ speed. ANCOVA initially revealed that Armstrong (Mkm/h = 49.37) indeed raced faster relative to the other riders (Mkm/h = 44.67, p ≤ 0.05). However, this main effect disappeared (p = 0.80) after controlling for the influence of competition year on riders’ performances, b = 0.20 km/h, p ≤ 0.001. Distance did not have a significant influence, b = -0.03 km/h, p = 0.84. ANCOVA further indicated that all but one of Armstrong’s performances fell within the bandwidth of the 68%–confidence interval. Reckoning the historic variation in riders’ performances, Armstrong’s achievements do not appear to be outstanding or atypical, implying that effects of the performance–enhancing doping aids he resorted to are limited. Alternatively, his performances can also be plausibly explained by a gradual progress in speed over time, which is characteristic for professional cycling races such as the Tour de France. 

  • Zogzog

    I do pay attention to science. I havn’t yet verified the study you cited. I will. I was citing the research done by esteemed journalist David Walsh, who totally found Lance’s “level playing field” argument to be bogus. It’s obvious that a higher hematocrit level, approaching the 50% limit would be beneficial. Clearly, this is why the majority of the top riders doped to reach the max allowable level for the tour. If it didn’t help and wasn’t worth it, why would they do it? I ask you.
    This is where common sense comes into play.
    Secondly, the small 1km/hr speed increase (from your cited study), sounds small, but the number of watts necessary to get that increase is very significant at their level and at those high speeds. Combine that with a suped up team, the effect is magnified. Walsh found that the EPO benefit was a substantial benefit to Armstrong, who transformed from a one day racer into a tour crusher. This just never happens that fast.

  • Nomad

    You need to pay attention to the science 🙂

  • Nomad

    What’s with all the inflammatory remarks? You’re only looking at a preconceived notion and not the science involved here. The lower Hct better performance benefit from EPO is a fallacy the LA haters use to obscure the fact that other factors are involved in aerobic performance. This has been looked into by researchers. Hct is insignificant to baseline VO2max in highly-trained athletes. Max VO2 is a much better predictor than crit levels for determing aerobic capicity. The ~first~ determinate of VO2 max is max heart rate. Max HR is determined by genetics and decreases with age. You’re probably unaware (unless you’re cherry-picking your data) of a key study on this subject from the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (AJSSM/2013). This is The Netherlands study that is a multi-authored and peer-reviewed meta-analysis:

    *”Overestimated Effect of Epo Administration on Aerobic Excercise Capicity: A Meta-Analysis”* The study specifically looked at EPO doping & aerobic performance (EDAP) with cyclists. The CONCLUSIONS of the study is that EPO doping and cycling at real contests is *overated & overvalued* To wit: “VO2 max is a necessity, but not a sufficient condition to win a competition.” There are other individual PHYSIOLOGICAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL factors involved in winning a multi-staged race. The magnitude of the EDAP-relationship is overvalued: “The largest improvement in VO2 max we found equals an increase in velocity of about 1km/h.” This paper specifically addresses the EDAP-relationship in multi-stage bike racing (note: this site is putting the link into moderation, you can search under the title – it’s also indexed in PubMed).

    The take home point for you Zogzog in understanding this analysis is that EDAP has little effect due to the already high VO2 max seen in highly-trained athletes REGARDLESS of Hct levels. In case you haven’t noticed, top-level cyclists have high VO2 max (that includes your nemesis Armstrong). From the researchers: “EPO-induced improvement in VO2 max will have a *very limited * effect on their performance.”

    I do, however, stand corrected on one point ref the Hct “speed limit.” This is not a “speed limit” but an upper limit for the athlete’s safety. Levels >50% start to create blood viscosity which can be a risk for CV adverse events. Factor in an increase futher due to dehydration (8-10 pts in some cases) and that can be a recipe for disaster. Patani was pulled from the 1999 Giro for a 2 week period for health concerns ref a >50% finding. And if Riis was flying around with 60% or so, he was really rolling the dice with his health! I don’t think these athletes really understand the danger of EPO. Maybe instead of bashing me, you should bash the athletes that continue to use this dangerous stuff!

    As a competitive distance runner, taking EPO and boosting my VO2 max isn’t going to get me to the Olympics anytime soon. There’s many more factors involved as explained in the study. You’re also discounting the fact that LA had significant body mass loss, post-cancer, that would have improved lactate threshold, which equals faster speed. Also, Less body mass = less weight that needs to be lugged on climbs, and less cardiac strain with stronger LT ability. That’s why accomplished climbers are very dimitive ~even~ with superior cardiovascular endurance. I’ve seen this with other runners in my group: less body mass = improved VO2 max/LT = stronger aerobic capicity. Generally speaking, if you want to be a fast endurance athlete, especially with distance running, “thin is in.” There was also Testesterone use during that time. T = strength & recovery, which would be very important in a gruelling stage race like the TDF. An athlete not using T would be at a distinct disadvantage with others that are using it. Don’t know what LA’s T/E ratio was during that time period (?). I believe Landis’ was 11/1 when they popped him in 06 (?). Getting back to LA: His max HR has been recorded at 200/201…that’s a huge engine to work with (by comparison mine is 178). That alone would give him some advantage in ~aerobic capicity~ in long sustained efforts over most competitors. Big engines produce big aerobic power! Training stimulus, PEDs, nutrition, etc., have ZERO effect on improving max HR. However, studies have shown that VO2 max type training can slow the rate of age -related decline in max HR…good to know for us veteran athletes!

    Once again, the study cited suggests that LA did not have an EDAP advantage over his doped rivals. A level playing field in that respect…no surprise there (pay attention to the science…it’s interesting). Also, same doping problems in distance running, triathlon, XC skiing…really no surprise there.

  • Zogzog

    There sure are a lot of Lance paid shills here.

  • Nomad

    What’s with all the inflammatory attacks? You’re only looking at a preconceived notion and not the science involved here. The low Hct benefit from EPO is a fallacy the LA haters use to obscure the fact that other factors are involved in his aerobic performance. Baseline Hct is insignificant to baseline VO2 in highly trained athletes. You’re probably unaware (unless you’re cherry-picking your data) of a key study on this subject from the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (AJSSM). This is the Netherlands study that is a multi-authored and peer-reviewed meta-analysis: *”Overestimated Effect of EPO Administration on Aerobic Excercise Capicity: A Meta-Analysis”* The study specifically looked at EPO doping & aerobic performance (EDAP) with highly trained cyclists. The CONCLUSIONS of the study is that EPO doping and cycling at real contests is *overated.* To wit: “VO2 max is a necessity, but not a sufficient condition to win a competition. There are other individual PHYSIOLOGICAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL factors involved in winning a multi-staged race.” The magnitude of the EDAP relationship is overvalued. Please read section 4.2: Validity of the EDAP – relationship:

    As a competitive distance runner, taking EPO and boosting my VO2 max isn’t going to get me to the Olympics anytime soon. There’s many more factors involved as explained in the study. You’re also discounting the fact that LA had significant weight loss, post-cancer, that would have improved his VO2 max and lactate threshold, which equals faster speed. Also, Less body mass = less weight that needs to be lugged on climbs, and less cardiac strain with stronger LT ability. That’s why accomplished climbers are very dimitive ~even~ with superior cardiovascular endurance. I’ve seen this other runners: less body mass = improved VO2 max/LT = faster speed. Generally speaking, if you want to be a fast endurance athlete “thin is in.” There was also widespread Testesterone use during that time. T = strength & recovery, which would be very important in a gruelling stage race like the TDF. An athlete not using T would be at a distinct disadvantage with others that are using it.

    Once again, all evidence suggests that LA ~did not~ have an EDAP advantage over his doped rivals. A level playing field in that respect…no surprises there (get over it). Same doping problems in distance running, triathlon, XC skiing.

  • Zogzog

    I was trying to be kind and civil, but I see that your “type” just can’t handle a few well placed facts. My research is extremely detailed and extensive and I’ve been on it for 15+ years. I suggest that it must be your mental block and agenda that’s getting in the way of your understanding the facts and common sense.
    The hugest mistake that you are making is your attachment to you completely bogus “level playing field” argument. It’s sad when someone like you thinks you know so much, when you know so very little regarding the hematocrit situation and how it couldn’t possibly be a ‘level playing field” since different athletes respond completely differently to EPO, because they start with such wide differences between their starting points or baseline hematoctit levels. Basically, Lance benefited much more than many of his competitors, because his baseline hematocrit was much lower. Some guys had natural levels in the high 40 percentile, while Lance was in the high thirties. COMMON SENSE should tell you that a guy, like Lance, would be able to go all the way up to 50% and see massive improvements, while guys who were already naturally near 50%, saw little improvement in performance..
    Actually, you are 100% wrong in almost everything, including saying that I have a strong hatred for Lance. I was a huge fan and simply want to see justice done, no more. EPO was a miracle drug for Lance, but not so much for many others, for the reasons mentioned above.Lance’s almost overnight turnaround from a middle-of-the-pack wannabe to a grand tour winner was basically impossible. Something had to be going on–and now we know what it was!! Lance was passed like he was standing still by riders like Miguel Induran in previous tours. Lance was basically a nothing rider, but drugs transformed him into a superstar–a fake one. So please do your research and come to the proper conclusion on the ‘level playing field’ bullcrap argument of yours.I only wrote this to try and help you to understand.

  • Nomad

    And you need to quit being such an arrogant jerk. I tried to be nice and simply offer “my opinion” on a very contraversial subject. But I should have known better when an obsessed LA hater is running ramped with a bad case of repulsivenes. So fine…I can be a little less nice too: You know very little of competitive endurance sports and you’re simply on that LA “villian” bandwagon montra that you can’t even think straight…no surprises there. You’re too obstinate to see that LA trained, prepared, suffered, etc., just as much as the other riders did during that period. There was also such a thing as the Hematocrit “speed limit” (50% – think Patani when he got flagged in 1999/Giro) that actually did, in fact, create a more level playing field as opposed to the “crazy 90s,” where it was full speed ahead. Remember Indurain & Riis’ insane “mutant” power numbers back then? (~455 & ~449, respectfully).

    And if you researched the facts, you would see the UCI isn’t very fair at handing out penalities to other “known” dopers. Other than the previous examples I provided, look no further than Michele Scarponi and retired Dennis Menchov. Both are “confirmed” dopers for most or part of their careers …and yet they retain their Grand Tour GC overalls (Scarponi – 2011 Giro/Menchov – 2007 Vuelta & 2009 Giro). Where’s everybody’s outrage over this? How many other riders did they ~cheat-out~ with their Grand Tour victories? But I get it: they’re “nice, respectable, humble” dopers, unlike that villian Armstrong.

    Far easier to blame Armstrong for the climate of widespread PED usage that started in the 90’s and continued into the late 2000’s. Remove his results, ban him for life and let the others skate. It would only be “too fair” to separate his despicable & deplorable personality from his achievements on the bike. You’re too oblivious to realize that with a level playing field, it came down to equipment, tactics, team strength, nutrition, injury management & mental toughness – all factors that can separate the podium finishers. And of course, LA’s uncanny luck to stay out of trouble also had a lot to do with it (just go ask Beloki). You’re the kind that becomes so obsessed with hating Armstrong that you’re incapable of recognizing his accomplishments as an athlete and cancer survivor. You need to think more and look deeper into the ability of seperating an athlete’s personality and “off-field” incidents from their athletic accomplishments. Take that and smoke it yourself.

  • Zogzog

    There’s no bias, just facts.The examples you cite are examples of cyclists who just got caught and we’re flawed down and out dopers who admitted what they had done. They support Armstrong because they basically would get hammered if they didn’t. How can they say anything about Armstrong without openING themselves up to a barrage of public criticize from Lance”s powerful legal team? It never ends….Lance still has hundred’s of millions at his disposal to use to crush any single cyclist”s attacks. The inevitable result would be just bringing more unwanted attention to a part of their careers that they would like to forget. You really need to think more and look deeper into the rationale behind why things are as they are, not the way you’d like them to be as a Lance psychophant.

  • Nomad

    Your position is truly bias. With your imperious hatred for Armstrong, your unable to separate his “off-field” behavior with his achievements as an athlete. Yes…he was a bully, chronic liar, toughguy and all that; a “pro-wrestling” type attitude…nothing new there. But what your oblivious to is the unfairness with the UCI in that some of the biggest confirmed big-named dopers of that time period; Ullrich, Vinokourov, Basso, Rumsas, Kloden (e.g. confessions, retroactive positives, Operation Puerto, etc.) get to keep their TDF podium finishes (check the results for 1999 thru 2005 TDFs …it’s interesting on all the implicated riders who get to keep their final placings). Ullrich has even gone on record saying that LA’s TDFs should be reinstated due to “the prevelance of doping during that time.” Do you know more than a big-time doper like Ullrich would know having competed against LA for several years? Even more perplexing is the fact that the UCI won’t elevate Ullrich’s 2nd place finishes to LA’s vacated titles because of doping but yet he retains his podium placings (?).

    How about “Mr. 60%” Bjarne Riis? In his book, he ADMITS to doping his ENTIRE career including when he won the 1996 TDF and he ~doesn’t~ get stripped. Perhaps because he’s a “nice” guy and doesn’t have LA’s reputation? In fact, Riis is quoted as saying that the peleton didn’t consider doping as cheating but more along the lines of “the normal preparation of a professional cyclist.” Simply put – Armstrong was the “best doper” of infamous doping era, and you won’t find any arguments from his main rivals who finished on the podium behind him. He trained, prepared and raced just as hard as any of the other doped riders of that time. If anything, he had uncanny luck in avoiding cashes and staying out of trouble. Btw, Indurain hasn’t admitted to any doping during his dynasty years, but of course he’s a highly respectable athlete and not a “villian” like that Armstrong guy. LA was the best placing “doper” of that era…no surprises there (and he’s a stage 4 cancer survivor). Just get over it and go for a training ride or something…that’s where I’m going right now.

  • Zogzog

    I don’t think bringing up corrupt politicians is really a fair argument. It’s easy to pick a dirtier sport (like boxing) and try to make apples and oranges comparisons. Your argument truly is extremely weak and is grabbing at straws as a diversionary tactic, from the real issues. Number one, is that Lance was the worst of the worst among cycling cheats, because of the number of years, races, corruption, scheming, lying, fraud, the millions involved, threats, intimidation, and on and on! Frankly, it’s difficult to imagine anyone possibly being worse, if they tried. He did EVERYTHING and affected so many to such a high degree. To top it off, all the others confessed and cooperated with Federal authorities, while Lance continued lying until he was the only one left pleading innocence.
    My question, when considering all of this, how could he not be made a huge example of, justifiably so? Even if he loses all the lawsuits, he still will never pay Lemond back, the millions he cost his business. Lance hurt so many people and has to pay for that.
    Yes, there were cheats in other sports, that should also pay, and who are. But thus far, no athlete has ever done so much evil for so long and to such a horrendous degree. Take that and smoke it.

  • Nomad

    He’s got a lifetime ban, not just for cycling, but for any USADA sanctioned events – which means he can’t compete in the Hawaii Ironman, Boston Marathon or even the Austin 10k. All of his results from 1998 thru retirement have been scratched while other “big-time” dopers retain their GC podium finishes (~think Ullrich & Riis), and he won’t be rubbing elbows with Phil & the boys on TDF broadcasts anytime soon.

    Should we also name him “Public Enemy #1?” Btw, there’s been far worse liars & cheaters right here in our Government (and Wall St.!).

  • Zogzog

    Where is the venue, or court case being held? If it’s in Texas, especially Austin, Lance will be at a strong advantage, because they are fond of leniency there with dopers and bad boy rock star types. Willie Nelson is praised there and Lance already has a large Bike way named in his honor. Attempts on having it renamed have failed.

    Lance deserves to be nailed to the wall for being a drug kingpin, who used his cancer awareness foundation as a shield to deflect criticism. He had insiders in the UCI and the drug labs, who helped him cheat, while other riders were thrown out of the tour. His actions were essentially criminal in nature and went so far beyond simple abuse of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

    His claim of a “level playing field” are so outrageous. He had everything tilted his way, and he went to the lowest of lows in his battle with Lemond and Landis. The psychopath should never be allowed near any organized sports, ever!

  • westcoasttraveler

    This immoral desperate bully has nine lives. “Livestrong” = deadwrong

  • elan

    Well done lance.You deserve this.Hope all the rest of the crooked claims get thrown out as well.

  • Chris Williams

    Totally agree 🙂

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Good for him .