Sunday, November 29, 2009

Testimonies In The Lance Armstrong Doping Crisis

Last Updated : June 02 2010. Please let me know if you have trouble in viewing the writeup, and hearing the audio clips provided below.

A great person once said that history is written by the victor. The one who is smart and cunning, who wins and has the money, who is extremely powerful and has a throng of followers around them, who can literally decide your fate if you turn your back on them...these are the people who have the muscle to bend a true story to their liking and ultimately to their advantage.

It's all too easy to be star-struck watching the hundreds of video clips of Lance Armstrong on Youtube. Its easy to buy a bunch of books written by him and his lieutenants and believe what he invariably asks you to slurp in. And it's easier going with the fan following based around him and his brand and do exactly what they're all doing.

But it's difficult to go out against the tide and exercise some independent critical thinking skills to challenge the root of the system. We're often times lazy to explore or plainly just narrow minded to accept the other half of the story. When we believe in something, we fix it in our world view and build castles around it to protect it. But if castles are built on loose foundation, like the story of the man who built his house on mud, it will topple sooner or later. When it crashes down, that will be a mind-blowing experience.

So what is the other half of the story for those of you who haven't heard at all? Join in this post as I amass together a few facts, figures and audio clips that are absolutely critical if you are to have a "balanced knowledge" of the persona of Lance Armstrong. Some of these I collected over from some who were bold enough to only share, talk and write. By all means, this is a re-pollination of facts but done so as to never let people forget the past. So get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and focus for a while on the 'other side of the grass'.

1. "LANCE ARMSTRONG'S DOPING HISTORY" : This 50 page report challenges us to think about the curious holes in Lance Armstrong's story and his strange attitudes towards doping in general, especially given his stature in the sport. You'll be going "But Why" in little-time.

Floyd Landis shocked the cycling world on May 20, 2010 when he confessed to doping via email to UCI. Not only did he reveal how he took the drugs, he also implicated "master tactician" Armstrong and his seemingly evil manager Bruyneel for instructing him on how to use them. Besides, from his firm email, there is little doubt that Armstrong was also on the juice. Read the startling letter below :

Mike Anderson was not only Armstrong's former team mechanic, the man also ran errands for him, maintained his kids toys and bicycles, did groceries for him and his family and performed other manual labor around the cyclists' home property in Dripping Springs. Being so close to Armstrong, you would think he would have an intimate knowledge of Lance's homely affairs, behind closed doors. And sure he did. One interesting account, of several, involved him discovering an unmistakable box of androgen in Lance's apartment bathroom. The friendship and written contracts between both parties quickly turned sour from then on. This court account gives the full details of another one of Armstrong's broken relationships.

Read on through NYVelocity as reputed exercise physiologist Dr. Michael Ashenden from Australia explains the 6 positives from Armstrong's '99 urine samples with a level of detail you can only imagine. In short, there is 100% certainty that all results from the tests were valid and news stories and other allegations trying to bend this fact is simply misinformation. See Link.

5. "GROSS ERRORS IN CALCULATION OF ARMSTRONG'S CYCLING EFFICIENCY" : PhD Sports Scientists from South Africa elucidate the outright gross errors and measurement inconsistencies in Edward Coyle's battery of tests performed on Armstrong at the University of Texas. This study is suspect not just because of the errors in it, but also for the fact that the paper curiously appeared at a time when Lance Armstrong was suing SCA Promotions in court. And what else? Ed Coyle was a PAID CONSULTANT for Lance Armstrong during that time. In other words, Armstrong was paying him to manufacture some results on paper that would help him win the 5 million dollars. If that doesn't tell you anything, this study is often quoted to others to make believe that Armstrong is somehow magically way off the charts when it comes to pedaling efficiency. That's why he won the Tour de France 7 times, or so they claim. Well, consider that the latest research has blasted this myth apart with a double barreled shotgun. See Link.

One of the most honest journalists around happens to be showing honesty in return for little money. And our cancer humanitarian called him a "f**cking little troll" while the honest journalist returns only professionalism in his job. In this candid interview with David Walsh at NYVelocity, you learn a few good things going on that are nicely hidden behind the charisma of Lance and the world of pro cycling. Guaranteed that you won't get this in your Texas newspaper. See Link. Alternatively, Mike Anderson, a former personal mechanic of Lance, testified in great detail in court to the elaborate meetings between Lance and the notorious doping doctor. See Link to read the Anderson Report.

7. "WE'VE BEEN FED A PACK OF LIES" : A short interview with Walsh by NPR. Team Motorola had decided to dope like the others and this was gained from inside sources working very closely with the team. "Cycling has gone into the gutter" because of the silence of folks who knew all along the real kind of game going on behind the scenes.

8. "THE SMOKING GUN IS IN LANCE'S COVERUP..." : When your own wife knows something is seriously different as you charge up Sestriere, dragging along another EPO filled black sheep to help him win the 1999 Tour, and when she goes against all odds to come out and be sincere and forthright about the all these events from the perspective of friends who were close to Lance, it makes for a powerful take on the issue. This 1 hour revelation from Betsy Andreu as she spoke to Competitor Radio will shake the castle you had built around your view of Lance...the truthful, kind, charity-driven hero who is known to spark streaks of performance miracles over the course of many years.

9: "STEPHANIE McIlAVAIN AND HER HUSBAND WERE UNDER IMMENSE PRESSURE FROM OAKLEY..." : When your very future career is put at stake because of what you will say in court, you comply so that truth is bent in favor of the manipulator of truth. There is substantiated evidence that people involved in Lance Armstrong's circle in his early days were 'straightened' to say what Lance Armstrong wanted them to say. Fortunately, in a sea of liars, only one woman selflessly stands strong to tell the truth. Here is Betsy's interview in 5 parts with an Irish radio show host.

10. EX-FRIENDS SAY ARMSTRONG ADMITTED TO DRUG USE : NPR explores sworn statements from Armstrong's close friends and others about an incident at the Indiana hospital room where Armstrong openly discussed using performance enhancing drugs with them. Mcllavain was the only one, originally present in that room, who admitted in her deposition that she did not remember anything from the hospital room about PED's. Later, she was proven a liar by Greg Lemond, which is covered in [11].

Why was Stephanie Mcllavain, an employee of Armstrong's sponsor Oakley so completely shaken and nervous in court? Because she was disgraced as a liar with irrefutable audio proof. Greg Lemond taped a phone conversation with her on September 21, 2004 without telling her, where she went on to candidly admit hearing and knowing the things Lance did in his great pharmaceutical career. That audio, presented below, is not the best in the world, but if the listener gives it the required attention and patience, many disgusting things can be learned about the state of pro cycling back in those days. At one point in the clip, she goes nonchalantly with reference to drug taking, "Its going to be funny to see what George Hincapie's baby is going to look like." Horrible.

12. "TEAM POSTAL SOLD BIKES TO RAISE MONEY FOR DOPING" : This video that went along with an exclusive Wall Street Journal interview with Floyd Landis exposes further doping practices in Team US Postal, including selling team bikes to raise cash for buying doping products. Armstrong was in the thick of it. The revelations are compelling.


3. Ed Coyle's Error Prone Research : "Improved Muscular Efficiency Displayed As Tour de France Champion Matures", JAP (2005)
-"Delta efficiency Calculation In Tour de France Champion Is Wrong", Ashenden, JAP (2008)
-SIAB : Dr. Michael Ashenden Bio
-"Scientist : My Research On Lance Armstrong Was Flawed" : NYTimes Daily

4. Lance Armstrong's Blood and Urine Testing Results : August 2008-July 2009
-NYVelocity : Interview With Armstrong's Bio-Passport Critic, Jakob Moerkeberg

5. -4 Part Analysis - "Lance Armstrong Meets BioPassport: Reticulocytes Difficult to Explain"

6. How Pro's Defeat Anti-Doping Control : An Article By Joe Papp

7. -Blood Journal : "False-Positive EPO Test Concerns Unfounded" by Don Catlin, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA

And for those who're addicted to this post, and still can't get over the urge to push on and learn more...

Below is a closeup portrait of Lance Armstrong's narcissistic, temperamental personality. This, most people knew from a long time back. But even
the latest news reports confirm that his is an attitude that hinges on deliberately creating conflicts and tension among people, even if its in his own team! This is his strange way of inflicting psychological wounds on people he doesn't like, his way to disintegrate an opponent.

Besides, he's also one of the smartest guys in the room, and knows very well how to get around the system. The following observations are from
Cédric Vasseur, a former teammate who rode for him in Team US Postal. Credits for the quote go to the book From Lance to Landis by renowned journalist David Walsh. Every real cycling fan must have read this book at least once. Investigative journalism doesn't get better than this.

Note : This blog will always remain democratic, so feel free to voice your opinions after you have read and heard the above post.

* * *


Anonymous said...

I always had my suspicions, simply because if everyone else does, how could he not, and keep winning?

Anonymous said...

'Fuking little troll" isn't adequate. Lance should punched a hole in his face. And no points to you for continuing to bleat about the past. Do you have some serious insecurities?

Trackasaurus said...

This is brilliant. I haven't heard some of those clips before.

Anonymous said...

boring old crap. claiming david walsh is an honest journalist atleast added some humor to the post. sure he probably doped, along with all his major competitors, including alberto. if contador was a more luctrative target walsh would surely find the time to dig into his operacion puerto connections.

CfP said...

Nice work. It's a fine compendium of some terrific reporting that's out there. Walsh - and I know him personally - is an honorable fellow for whom I have the deepest respect.

Anonymous said...

I read the Michael Ashenden article and one argument he makes is that LA could only have achieved this level of performance with EPO and 99 was the key year because there was no test. Then how did LA maintain these levels of performance (more or less) for the next 8 years when, presumably, EPO could be ruled out? It seems like you can't have it both ways. If he needed it then, he must need it now. Or if he doesn't need it now, he must not have needed it then. Personally, I would need to know a whole lot more about the laboratory tests that are mentioned in this article to be able to judge their uncertainty.

El Matador said...

Amazing beyond words. This post is what I call doing the public a service. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

the speed at which the groupies jump to defend the myth of Armstrong is impressive. As usual they ignore any of the evidence and choose to call names like 7 year olds.

It takes a large amount of effort to ignore reality and continue to believe the myth of Armstrong.

He was, and is, a doper. EPO, Blood transfusions, the entire Ferrari medical program. He cannot win without it.

Recumbent Rider said...

There is no doubt in my mind that Armstrong is a heck of an athlete. But that '99 Tour wasn't right at all. The extent to which he denied, lied and chose the path of "litigation" when evidence keep knocking persistently on all doors all point to that fact that he did it. Whatever you say about him, whatever he does in future with his new team, this will continue to haunt him all his life because of the actions he took.

karang said...

The speed at which the Hater Boys/Girls with a Lance fixation and hard-on troll is amazing to me. Gotta love the spin, obsession for the masses who can't think for themselves and need to be hand fed their poison via net blogs.

A virulent disease for sick individuals, with no cure. Sad...

Phil said...

I think its clear to us all that the people who drag their self important ass here to personally attack the author without reading any of the material above have nothing to offer in terms of intelligent argument.

Anonymous said...

Garbage in, Garbage out!

Paul said...

Just who is the self important ass? You might want to ask yourself the same question Phil.
- pot calling the kettle black -

Anonymous said...

Who is 'us all'?
You don't speak for me.

Trackasaurus said...

I'd like to see Lance release a statement on Twitter in response. This is absolutely disgusting.

Daryll said...

Brilliant stuff mate! Its amazing that your average Lance Armstrong conversation doesn't involve any of this stuff. People talk of the same thing they know all the time. Well, what do you not know? And here it is.

anonymous pro rider said...

I beg to differ mate! Absolutely vulgar,nasty stuff being dragged out of the recycle bin again and again. The agenda is to destroy one man, but funny thing is it destroys the instigators and the sport in the process. What a pity.

Anonymous said...

while i too am of the opinion that armstrong is not a nice guy and that he likely doped, i cannot say that i am convinced he took banned substances. none of what you presented is tangible evidence of his doping. it is all circumstantial and hearsay, therefore unlikely to sway a fan boy. unless and until there is a doping positive concomitant with and not retrospective to some particular race or season, few who worship at the armstrong alter will be swayed. even then, like with hamilton and landis, there will still be some people who will not change their opinions about their here.

Procyclist34 said...

To the clueless who still resort to saying there is no evidence.

This Visual Chart obtained from NYVelocity's interview with Ashenden shows clearly Lance Armstrong's systematic doping practices stage by stage during the '99 Tour.

Open your eyes people!!

anonymous pro rider said...

As you stated - "circumstantial and hearsay, unlikely to sway a fan boy"

Does that mean it WILL sway a non- fan boy? Sure looks that way to me mate.

Oh what a tangled web of BS this is.

Anonymous said...

PRO34 - you protecting your patch man. Everyone has an agenda these days. What a joke.

Joe said...

Way to go! I can sense that this article is going to be a smashing hit for a long time to come. Whatever Armstrong does, I hope when people choose to elect him for a public office in America, they meticulously do their reading on the "other side" of his fame and fortune. And there are public officials in this country who want to observe a "Lance Armstrong Day" in his remembrance. What a complete joke!

Sarah said...

Armstrong running for office is a smoke screen built by the Non-Lance Fan crowd. He's not nor will he ever run for public office. This I know for a fact.

BroDeal said...

1 . Six of Armstrong's urine samples from the 1999 Tour were retrospectively tested and found to contain artificial EPO.

2. Four people have said that in the 1996 he admitted to using a wide range of doping products.

3. His personal assistent, Mike Anderson, found steroids in Armstrong's bathroom and helped Armstrong avoid OCC tests.

4. A team Postal soigneur, Emma O'Reilly, picked up doping products for Armstrong. She also helped him hide injection marks with make up.

5. Another Postal soigneur listened to Bruyneel brief the team about their hematocrits right before the 1999 Tour. All the riders were just under the 50% rule.

6. As related by Stephen Swart, in 1995 Motorola's riders made an agreement that everyone on the Tour squad would use EPO. Armstrong was the one that was pushing everyone to do it.

7. The IM messaging between Andreu and Vaughters show that Armstrong was pushing everyone on Postal to dope. He would tell the riders that everyone does it.

8. In a phone conversation with Greg Lemond, Armstrong said that using EPO was no big deal and everyone does EPO.

9. After denying to the press that he had a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to use any drug in the 1999 Tour, Armstrong tested positive for a corticosteroid. The team, as related by Emma O'Reilly, created a backdated TUE that was accepted by the UCI. Sylvia Shenk, when she was running for president of the UCI, revealed that later in 1999, Armstrong made an under the table payment to the UCI of five hundred thousand dollars.

I could go on and on and on. Saying there is no evidence is either ignorant, naive, or both.

Rod Diaz said...

Thanks for the compendium of articles + audio/video references. Hadn't heard some of those before.

You don't need to "ride a bike like Lance does" (only AC, maybe, can do it?) to form an informed opinion.


Cycling Fan said...

It's funny how the Armstrong admirers resort to ad hominem attacks to 'support' their tainted hero. Nothing like addressing the facts by pointing to the person who is telling them. Wonderful.

I've never purchased the Armstrong myth, mainly because he reduced himself to be a one race specialist and logic alone dictates that he doped. It's easy to avoid detection from the UCI vampires when you don't race that much, less need to dope, and it's hard to justify how a 'clean' Armstrong could beat other cyclists such as Ullrich and Basso who were doping.

For me the Armstrong myth is that he is kind of like Icarus in that his Daedalus, Dr. Ferrari, gave him the necessary 'wings' to fly on to a podium in a grand tour. I'd like to think it would be a matter of time before enough evidence melts the wax that holds the Armstrong/Icarus myth together, but because Armstrong has a thirst for litigation, that may not come to pass. Still, count me a non-believer in the 'talent' of Armstrong.

mojo said...

"For me the Armstrong myth is that he is kind of like Icarus in that his Daedalus, Dr. Ferrari, gave him the necessary 'wings' to fly on to a podium in a grand tour."

Can I nominate this for the best quote of the day?

your karma said...

...As evidenced here, I think we can all agree Armstrong haters love the ad hominem attack as well.

The petty hate machine marches on.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely suspect that Lance couldn't take the guilt he had in him for doing what he did, yet lying in front of the press. That's why he made this comeback to prove that he can race and win without doping. But even that decision might come back to hit him. I think he's going to get thrashed by Contador big time next year however well he does.

Lucky_B said...

I also beleive that JFK was shot from the grassy knoll, but without a smoking gun it doesn't mean shit.

Martha, Washington said...

I love Betsy's radio conversation and you can just hear the honest in her voice, especially in the fifth clip. Lance was a liar, is a liar and will always be a liar in my books.

Anonymous said...

Pharmstrong, Strongarm, all his nicknames don't do enough to illustrate his fraud. Thanks for the public service. BTW the guy who wrote the second comment has his head up Pharmstrong's a$$.

Reid Rothchild

Abraham Lincoln said...

"Honesty in her voice" muahahahahahahahahaha oh my goodness, now I've heard it all.

Idi Amin said...

On this we can all agree -
Reid Rothchild, has a Lance hard-on that won't go away anytime soon. What's a poor troll to do?

Magilla said...

This is an excellent one-stop shopping center for the ultimate Lance beatdown. You should also link to the Stephanie McIlvain phone speaks for itself.


Bill said...

The article from Science of Sport on the manufacturing of Armstrong's "efficiency" is just outright alarming. And if I recall, Discovery Channel went on to shamelessly use a lot of that junk to make the "The Science of Lance Armstrong" soap opera. Can you imagine the kind of fraud people are being subjected to? How much money did this guy make off all this stuff?

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about the Scribd report is that the original website where its uploaded is flooded with Lance Armstrong ads.

Procyclist34 said...

And here comes some drunk MTB'r from Ithaca with a useless blog named "Uriahpalooza" telling us to work on legs. Comments are getting humorous by the minute.

Anonymous said...

Best cycling blog ever!

BBaker said...

This blog is at best a representation of cycling at its ugly core. Jealousy, paranoia, obsession abound and believe me NO ONE wins. Congratulations Ron, be proud.

Andy said...

Good site, too bad you FUCKED IT UP with this rehash. Why pray tell? Lose the Lance fetish and get back to what you do best.

King of 5th Avenue said...

velocitynation wants their agenda back, post-haste.

Samuel Crawley said...

C'mon people. Let's be a little more open minded towards a rational discussion. Coming on such a high quality bike blog and using foul language and name calling certainly does not prove that any of the stuff mentioned in the article about Armstrong is false. And that's a bigger waste of time than anyone "bleating" about the forgotten past.

Jim said...

Dear Ron, I cannot express how much I love your blog and have been a long time reader since 2007. While this article is excellent and the links offered are great beyond doubt, my advice you on this matter is ... never risk your reputation to do something the other clowns won't understand. Like Abraham Lincoln said "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Didi said...

The mountain of evidence linked here strongly points to the fact that the case for Armstrong being a fraud is very strong. It's not completely conclusive. Investigative journalism, science and the honesty and integrity of the people within the cycling ranks will make it conclusive in future. The race is on.

Gareth Tourneau said...

Nor can anyone prove he did Mr. Anonymous.

When everyone is jockeying for a piece of the pie how can a rational discussion be held?

I propose we let every pseudo scientist, bitter acquaintance, rival, jilted lover, blogger, anonymous forum poster…etc (all with personal agendas) accuse, destroy lives and render whatever punishment they see fit to their hearts content. Let's all get under the same Orwellian microscope.

No wonder this sport can't move forward with fans such as us.

Sam said...

After many years within this industry I fear you'll be hard pressed to find the illusive 'honesty and integrity of people within the cycling ranks.' There is profound jealousy and backstabbing at cyclings core.

Nate said...

Sometime Ron and I don't get along but I'm glad we agree on this. I have always had my doubt about Lance Armstrong's clean record even if he never tested positive. The data supporting his doping is large. Combined with his endless enraged fans who will berate you if you question their hero man god. I never understood the Lance love. From what you read, he is a world class ass. Who leaves his wife after she stuck around when you were dying?

Also, GWB was never convicted of war crimes but it doesn't mean he did not commit them. Same idea!

Craig said...

Ron, I'm from Sheffield. This is an absolutely SPLENDID effort. Keep yer spirits high and keep blogging. Armstrong can run. But he can't hide. How much longer?

Anonymous said...

Xiao said...

Haha brilliant post and you know what, I dream of the day the Yes Men will get to teach the Livestrong Corporation a lesson by issuing a public apology to all Lance Armstrong fans. I mean, could we expect any remedy for a sporting fraud? One hoax could be battled with another. I don't see a wrong there.

Betsy Andreu said...

Job well done. It is so important to note that Lance refutes by smear not by fact.
How in the world did you get that Irish interview? I've been wanting it and thanks to you, I now have it.
Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Here's my take on Lance, & the "I never failed a test" company line.

I'm was racing down the Interstate, & end up losing control, and skitter into the ditch.
The State police show up and question my speed.
"Looks like you were speeding"
"I wasn't speeding"
"We can see a 400ft skid mark on the pavement".

There seems to be evidence that backs up their view.

"But did you get me on radar?"
"Did you witness the crash?","No?"
"Then I wasn't speeding"

The evidence points to another reality. but with only a small but telling piece of evidence, no charges are able to be laid.

Ron said...

Anon @ 10:17 : Like Greg Lemond has made a very good point, circumstantial evidence have put people to death in the past. If you have enough circumstantial evidence against someone's dishonesty and corruption, you don't need the smoking gun to bring him hell. What are you waiting for anyway? Seems like you're hesitant to open your eyes and ears.

Moots said...

Maybe you should rename your blog the Cozy Cult of Self-Righteousness.

Julius Liptak said...

Yep - I agree. The muscular efficiency calculations have been widely criticized to the point the Ashenden and others tried to get the editors to withdraw the paper because of scientific fraud. The basic scientific principles used in the remainder of the calculations are seriously flawed. He had preseason body weights and power outputs for 1992, 1993 and 1999. But instead of using Lance's preseason body weight for 1999, he uses an estimated and unmeasured racing weight of 72kg (provided by Armstrong, to which Armstrong admitted in the SCA trial that the lowest he has weighed was closer to 74kg). So based on this single inappropriate use of data, Lance's "incredible" 18% improvement in his power-to-weight ratio from 1992 to 1999 actually becomes a 1.6% improvement from 1993 to 1999 if the correct figures were used. Also, his 10kg weight loss following cancer treatment, which many have attributed to his success in the mountains, is totally false because Coyle's paper actually shows that Lance maintained his body weight (or was about 1kg heavier in 1999 compared to 1992 and 1993).