Discussion in 'Sports, by Huey Lewis and the News' started by Kalle, Oct 10, 2012.
And pretty much destroying his business, by some accounts.
I wouldn't care if bike racers crossed the finish line with syringes hanging out of their arms, it is a dirty sport but Armstrong is a special case.
He harassed and intimidated fellow riders into doping and lying about doping -
And used his cancer charity like a cudgel -
Lance Armstrong is a piece of shit who by all accounts has absolutely no compunctions about hurting people who get in his way.
Does it really? There are a lot of questions about Livestrong too.
So, given everything else he's done, does he deserve the benefit of the doubt that he is truly fighting cancer? Or is it more accurate to say that he used his charity to promote himself and his brand with donations that otherwise could have gone to charities that actually do fight cancer.
(stolen from SA)
Yes. As far as I know, having read a fair amount on this, his charity is mostly set up to promote him and, uh, his charity. Actual donations towards causes that are likely to cure cancer are minimal. So the "good" that he has done is "made people aware of cancer" - which is not really up there on the scale of 1 to "get out of jail free" - rather than anything that should make people want to weigh in his favour when determining whether he's a shithead or not.
Posted this on QT3 as well, I like people on both forums and want feedback from them.
Regarding the Oprah interview:
Watching part one for the second time, first time I was totally distracted by (a) trying to prepare for a meeting in the morning while also (b) posting Manti images in a facebook battle to the death with my professional comedian buddy.
From what I heard and sort of witnessed first time around, Lance didn't come across very well. He wasn't awful, but he wasn't nearly as forthcoming as he should have been. I was one of those people that fought like hell on the web defending him against doping accusations back in the day, then went silent as I saw how obvious it was that he was cheating too. I wanted to believe. I am in no way in the "Fuck Lance" camp even now, but I do agree that he was a total asshole in the way he destroyed people to protect his lie. I doubt anyone here watched the Tour like I did before or after the Armstrong years, so I'm probably coming at this from a position you can't understand.
I guess I don't understand how you can watch the tour *like anything* that creates a position where things other than "fuck Lance" make sense. It's just a bike race, and he's a colossal asshole. Not for cheating, but for cheating and then what he leveraged that into from one self-righteous crusade to another while probably not doing as much in terms of charity as it seemed like he was doing.
I'm not sure what you mean by "like I did" here. Are you suggesting that no one else here watched the Tour before or after Armstrong? If so, you're wrong. I did.
Or perhaps you mean that while watching the Tour we weren't imagining skipping through a field of daisies arm-in-arm with Lance while he told us how pure of heart and body he was? If so, then you may have a point.
All I know is I want my six bucks back for the shitty Livestrong quit smoking app I wasted my money on. I've come to one unassailable conclusion throughout this whole controversy:
Lance Armstrong wants me to have cancer.
What he did meant a lot to me as it was happening, I missed time on vacations with my family to watch Lance and his USPS team destroy and break the hearts of rival teams on tv while my kids were on the beach looking for dad. My TDF love started in the old days of US coverage on NBC when Greg Lemond won and I had to wait days to get coverage. I get why everyone hates Lance, he certainly deserves it after what he did to people that he destroyed for telling the truth about him, but it's difficult to toss away all of those great memories of what he did on the bike. Again, I know I'm wrong and I'm trying to come to terms with it.
Okay, wtf. Is that Youtube video failing to play for anyone else?
I see it, and I couldn't believe he said that in front of Oprah. And she let it go without comment!
Holy shit, he really is a 41 year old man child.
Ah, it's failing in Chrome. Must be a weird Google code thing right now.
I have been one of the biggest Lance bashers ever, always, but I watched that clip and can only come to the conclusion that there's something genuinely wrong with him. "I never called you fat". There's no artifice there. After everything he's done, that genuinely means something to him. He smiles when he admits he called her crazy, "but I never called her fat."
Boy ain't right.
Shorn of context that clip makes him just seem, Tom Cruise level, mentally ill. I'm not sure how the wider interview context would really help but I guess you never know.
As much as Armstrong deserves the approbation being heaped upon him it's worth remembering that these kinds of dramatic status losses often end in mental illness or suicide. In a way I hope he still has enough of the old fighting spirit that he can push on past that and try and find some quiet redemption by doing something to make it up to all the people he's hurt. And by "quiet redemption" I mean going about it in such a way that doesn't feel like a publicity Tour for the Lance Armstrong RedeemStrong Foundation.
Moving back to cycling generally, I think the UCI needs to step up now to regain credibility they need to always support ever tougher doping controls and turn decisively from a organisation focused around denial of doping in cycling to one that spends it's energy supporting whistle blowers. They could also probably assist the organisers of the Tour in a brief publicity drive around how much current doping controls in cycling have improved and moved on since the Armstrong Tours (and that the effect of these controls can be seen on the road where the average times of the best riders have dropped). If they really want to get extra credit they could also start addressing the problems of sexism in cycling recently highlighted by retiring gold medallist Nicole Cooke.
Lance Armstrong Admits To Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs To Show Remorse
I don't believe for a second that his remorse is genuine. If he really was burdened by the Lie then he would have come clean the moment the USADA released their report. He didn't. Instead he posts a picture of himself lounging beneath his yellow jerseys and calling the USADA and his former teammates a pack of liars that are on a witch hunt. His confession isn't even really a big deal. The real heinous things he did remain elusive.
He didn't admit to doping now because he regrets things. He did so because he now realizes that he isn't as untouchable as he thought he was. Having all your big sponsors leave, being banned from cycling, and being kicked out the charity you founded does that. Being an overbearing asshole that pressures anything and anyone into submission doesn't work that well if the other party is bigger then you.
(Aside - I had been having problems playing embedded YouTube for the last few days - clearing the cache fixed it)
One of the talking heads on Ireland AM this morning posited the theory that Armstrong is trying to somewhat rehabilitate his image so that he can take up another sport (triathlon being the most likely one, in her opinion).
I'm giving him much more of the benefit of the doubt than he deserves, but I honestly believe that the sport corrupted him before he corrupted the sport. It doesn't justify taking the path he did -- "I need to enhance the doping culture in order to compete" vs. "I should actively work to develop a clean sport for everyone" -- but that's a level of altruism and integrity that's easy to allocate from the sidelines of a sport that was already damaged before he came on the scene. The stuff we've been hearing from other admitted dopers over the years has been pretty crazy; it got to the point where performance enhancements made the difference between the bottom of the pack and turning in times competitive with everyone else -- the other dopers.
And any reaction or sincerity we expect from him now is completely irrelevant because he's spent the past decade perpetuating a fiction that is going to be hard for him to deconstruct, so I don't pay much mind to the whole "he didn't seem sorry enough" stuff. Sure, he's probably just trying to rehabilitate his image in order to continue to be active in whatever sport will take him, but that's such an insurmountable task right now (particularly with the raging public denials and lawsuits, not to mention just retraining your body to perform without doping after all this time) that I'm of the mind that if he fails, he gets what he deserves, but if he succeeds, it'll be just too crazy to ignore.
I don't know how much of a conscious thought that liability issues played in him keeping quiet until now, but either his conscience or his desire to continue to compete was more important to him than getting his pants sued off (which is going to happen), so that accounts for at least something to me. I don't feel sorry for him by any stretch of the imagination and it's ridiculous to paint him as some sort of tragic victim. But the dirty game was already there and he became the most visible element only because he learned to play it better.
So now that he's confessed to being the dopiest of doping fiends, how the hell is it that he's never had a positive test? If the testing regimen is really that easy to evade, what the hell is the point?
Personally I never thought he was a doper until recently simply because he's never had a positive test; I sort of assumed that the volume of testing he'd undergone would have exposed something. Apparently those tests are all a waste of time!
As my brother said earlier, emphasis mine:
Ah, I thought the testing regimen involved subsequent re-tests with modern detection facilities. Nonetheless, it really does seem like the detection regimen was basically a waste of time. Has that changed?
I believe Armstrong himself goes over the question of how he avoided the tests in his Oprah interview. In short:
The test during the Armstrong Tours could only test if you had used EPO in the last 24 hours.
The benefits from EPO in terms of oxygen retention/performance enhancement lasted for much longer than 24 hours.
There wasn't a test for blood doping at all.
The testing regime was predictable and often featured advance (24 hours) notification in the case of a random test (I believe there were also automatic tests for the stage winner during at least some tours).
It was easy to manipulate the testing process, many riders would just 'pretend to be out' to avoid random tests when they had recently used drugs.
Even if you somehow completely forgot the doping schedule and just dosed up like a total idiot right before a test it was still possible to do the sample swap/saline injection technique due to incredibly lax enforcement between the end of races and the testing and during the testing itself.
Basically Lance and his team had a doping schedule that he knew would bypass the tests 98% of the time and he stuck to it.
In modern cycling afaik most of these loopholes have been closed, there is no more advanced notification, cyclists to be tested are escorted by officials at the end of a race right to the testing process (something you can even see on TV as interviewers try to crowd around the stage winner) and most importantly there is now a testing regime that keeps detailed blood and other samples from cyclists on record for up to x years so that those samples can be retested later should new tests be developed as their were for EPO. If Lance was cycling with his doping regime under the modern system then he would have been officially 'caught' by the testing regime as soon as the better EPO tests were discovered.
Of course as testing evolves so does cheating and I doubt we can ever be certain that any sportsman hasn't found a new way to subvert the regime in pursuit of an edge. What we can say is that cycling is definitely a lot harder and more risky to cheat at than it was, and there is some observable evidence that it has been successful because of the slower speeds now seen across the whole peleton compared to the Armstrong era.
"Thanks, Manti Te'o!"
There's also the spectre of cycling being kicked out of the Olympics. I doubt it will happen but the fact that it's being brought up is clearly an effort to put additional pressure on the UCI.
Seriously. Why the fuck is this getting so much press? I was watching some god-awful morning show today and they seriously talked about Te'o for ten minutes while giving Armstrong's Oprah interview a couple of sound bites and some passing commentary.
For real. The restaurant where I had lunch yesterday had all the bar TVs tuned to sports channels, and it was all Te'o, all the time. Of course, I wasn't familiar with Te'o's original "tragedies," so maybe they got a lot of coverage as well, justifying the new coverage.
Because it's football. Football football football. Armstrong's admission is big, but imagine if it was in a sport Americans actually cared about.
mmm no. The Lance Armstong story is old and the Big Reveal has been obvious to anyone paying any attention for at least a year now.
The Te'o thing came out of nowhere and has a ton of weird and interesting angles.
If Armstrong could manage an unexpected twist, like revealing he was a Skrull, or had a clone made of himself that he's been harvesting for parts, then you'd see the equivalent media frenzy.
I had the misfortune of being subjected to forty-five minutes of Mike Francesa last night (driving to handball with my dad; he listens almost exclusively to WFAN). The baseline for a Francesa show is somewhere around awful, and yesterday was no normal show. I had to listen to the idiot talk about Teo for forty-five minutes. I feel like I lost at least a dozen or so IQ points.
Armstrong *admitting it* is pretty new and fairly unexpected. His weaselly interview with Oprah went as expected but it's still Big News compared to some dude who lied about his girlfriend which really shouldn't be news at all.
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