24 August 2005

Was Armstrong Doping in 1999?

There are a lot of things about this article that piss me off. The fact that L'Equipe has been after Armstrong since he first won the world championships and started racing the tour is one reason to be concerned about their quality of investgative reporting.

"For the first time — and these are no longer rumors or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts — someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body," Leblanc told the paper.

Given the way the rest of the article reads, I'm not sure how Mr. LeBlanc has come to this conclusion. In my opinion, there are a number of things that raise red flags...

Five-time cycling champion Miguel Indurain said he couldn't understand why scientists would use samples from the 1999 Tour for their tests.
"That seems bizarre, and I don't know who would have the authorization to do it," he told L'Equipe. "I don't even know if it's legal to keep these samples."

And later...

Separately, the lab said it could not confirm that the positive results were Armstrong's. It noted that the samples were anonymous, bearing only a six-digit number to identify the rider, and could not be matched with the name of any one cyclist.

However, L'Equipe said it was able to make the match.

On one side of a page Tuesday, it showed what it claimed were the results of EPO tests from anonymous riders used for lab research. On the other, it showed Armstrong's medical certificates, signed by doctors and riders after doping tests — and bearing the same identifying number printed on the results.

This seems a bit too easy. I'm wondering how L'Equipe came up with these documents. Also, would it not be quite easy to doctor these papers to show what you want to see? And finally, in terms of L'Equipe's credability...

The paper often questioned Armstrong's clean record and frequently took jabs at him — portraying him as too arrogant, too corporate and too good to be real.

"Never to such an extent, probably, has the departure of a champion been welcomed with such widespread relief," the paper griped the day after Armstrong won his seventh straight Tour win and retired from cycling.

Something else that comes to my mind is the fact that if he was doping in 1999, and even if he was doping in 2000, that still leaves him with 5 straight wins at the Tour de France from 2001 until 2005... Each of those years he essentially crushed his competition, and won other tours besides the primary in France. If 1999 and 2000 were the only years he had won, this would be more believable because he would not have been able to keep up this type of performance without the doping agent. However, seeing as how he was able to win the tour in later years without EPO, or other doping agents, should say a lot for his own abilities and credability.

I am of the firm opinion that Lance is just a rare breed of athlete, he was an anamoly.

Article: By ANGELA DOLAND, Associated Press Writer

2 Your Opinion:

At 09:46, Anonymous rogge said...

mmm, Tommy's.. I collect for you in september!

At 09:49, Anonymous rogge said...

ok so i have blogger problems... some open a new window, others stay on the same page.

Armstrong = 1 damn good athlete. I think "Un'Equipe" is just disappointed that no european has won during the last 7 years... 'cause it is easier to complain than to train.


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