French still bitter that Lance Armstrong is better than them.

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SI linked at CNN has the depressingly predictable story.

Summed up:

A French newspaper alledges that Lance Armstrong used some drug to win the '99 Tour but they have no way to really prove it except from some anonymous documents and samples taken before that type of drug was officially tested for. It's slanderous libel.

Of course, the piss-whiner Frenchies still have no explanation for how he beat their collective asses yet again this last year, despite being tested like every f*cking day.

I have an explanation. He's better than you, France.

I heard a funny joke along those lines.

It goes something like this: "Did you hear that the French arrested Lance Armstrong for using banned substances? Yeah, they found soap and deoderant in his hotel room."

Unfortunately for Lance, this accusation has a bit more traction, and if it is a hoax, it has now become a wide-sweeping one. Of course, I continually find it ironic that here in the US, Lance Armstrong is above scrutiny and doubt when it comes to questions of steroid abuse, but other atheletes (mainly baseball players) are tried, convicted, and executed in the American court of public opinion with the same quickness and zeal as the French.

I have a feeling that if a baseball player switched to a sport nobody cares about, got cancer, then dumped his wife after supporting him through recovery and schtooped Sheryl Crow, we'd all worship that baseball player like a saint too. I went there.

I guess I really don't care if he doped or not. They all do it. All professional athletes. No exceptions.

Flaxseed oil, indeed.

This thread was really just an attempt to bad-mouth the French and the media... so the fact I got to nail two birds with one stone was a bonus.

Edit: Rat, that's almost exactly the same article I linked. There's no new information.

Yeah, I mean, they have the numbers of the positive tests, and the med docs with Armstrong's numbers.

Problem with all this is that Lance has this bizarre circulatory system that could probably power a quarterhorse. He's a genetic freak who has been trained to within a few percentage points of the ideal. He *should* be able to outride anyone who doesn't have a similar physical structure. It's the way he's built and trained. Unless people think he was doping in training or something. I don't think he performed worse in training than in competition.

Besides, he was pretty heavily monitored, as I understand it.


Yeah, I mean, they have the numbers of the positive tests, and the med docs with Armstrong's numbers.

I can't tell if you're agreeing with me or not.


L'Equipe's investigation was based on urine B samples -- the second of two samples used in doping tests. The A batch was used in 1999 for analysis at the time. Without those samples, any disciplinary action against Armstrong would be impossible, French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour said.


Jacques de Ceaurriz, the head of France's anti-doping laboratory, which developed the EPO urine test, told Europe-1 radio that at least 15 urine samples from the 1999 Tour had tested positive for EPO.

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.

So, he's not the only one.


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

On one side of the page, 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.

Big deal. People can whip up anything now-a-days.

So they are saying he took a drug BEFORE it was even against the rules to take? Whooptie-f'in-doo.

And the reason no one cares? It's go back to the story of the boy who cried wolf. How many times can the American public here from the french that Lance is doping without just not caring any more? Plus this was six years ago, that is about 5 years 11 months outside the average American attention span.

Reaper, I just don't know, but if there is one guy who doesn't need to dope, it's Lance. Still, the sports commentators are saying the documentation looks good. Let's see how it plays out.

Only reason the French are involved is that, well, it's their race.

Robear wrote:
Reaper, I just don't know, but if there is one guy who doesn't need to dope, it's Lance. Still, the sports commentators are saying the documentation looks good. Let's see how it plays out.

Only reason the French are involved is that, well, it's their race. :-)

That and they've been whiny little bastards for the past however many years he's won their race. I was totally shocked to hear that he was being booed, heckled and spit at during the last race in the lesser monitered and lesser secure sections. What the hell is that?

Bah, I guess I just think this is reaaaaaally stupid. The drug was legal for them to use back then... therefore, this couldn't possibly mean anything for Lance. He's retired... sooooo... what? You're going to ban him from the next race? Oh noooooooo. /sarcasm

That and they've been whiny little bastards for the past however many years he's won their race. I was totally shocked to hear that he was being booed, heckled and spit at during the last race in the lesser monitered and lesser secure sections. What the hell is that?

Were you really shocked? This is pretty common in the sports world. Colin Montgomery gets the exact same treatment in the U.S. and he isn't even that great. It is called nationalism and it's something that occurs regularly among ignorant folks all around the world, and rabid sports fans seem to be especially ignorant.

If I were Armstrong, I'd be pissed (pun intended) enough about this to...oh, I don't know....come out of retirement and beat them again.

-Fan

Ok some further inforation I heard today on the radio. Still looking for an online source.

Apparently these samples were given to the company so they could figure out ways to test for this drug. So, these positives are from research type tests. Another company given the same type of samples could not come up with positives.

Also, the batch given to this company was given with no names.(The samplese WERE NOT JUST Armstrong's) Initially, 75% of the samples tested positive. The researchers concluded that since it was a large amount, Armstrong had to be one of those.

Only later on did this French reporter supposedly find the matching numbers sheet. (like Reap showed above)

I throw the BS flag as well. This newspaper has continuously tried to burn Armstrong. He passed about 106 drug tests every year. NONE have come up positive. I mean, at least one has to pop positive, right?

What is really a shame is that that French head of the Tour blasted him right away. If all this turns out to be nonsense he has to get canned.

It's the French press - I'll say it. Someone over there spiked his piss. Now they're trying to pass it off as the smoking gun. I figure this scenario has as much plausibility as a 6 year old container of anonymous sample being analyzed and undeniably linked to Armstrong.

Sorry guys, but Armstrong is guilty as hell. Than again, in 1999 almost any cyclist was on EPO. Now they use microdoses during the season build-up, that last in the blood for three days. It wouldn't be hard for a perfectionist as Lance to make sure he doesn't get caught. Even more because EPO was an actual medicine during his battle against cancer. Anyway, it's more Ullrich-style to take XTC and get busted for it.

This is not the first time Armstrong has been accused, and not just by French media. I know how sensitive the American-French liaison is, but even Greg Lemond has told the media Armstrong told him personally he took EPO "cause everyone did it, even you Greg! No?" Not to mention the personal witnesses finding drugs at Armstrong's home. One or two confessions like this may be accounted for as revenge, personal wrath, but this is a bit too much.

Armstrong is still a great athlete, even up there with the greatest cyclist of all time Eddy Merckx - who got busted in the Giro d'Italia once btw. Armstrong definitely wasn't the only one cheating, but high trees catch more wind (as they say in Dutch). Him being one of the greatest of all time means they'll make more effort of busting his ass, not that he's innocent. Just dismissing this as a "French connection" is a bit too much for me. And the comment in the Chicago Tribune, "French think we're good enough to buy their wine and drive Germans out of their bunkers" is plain childisch.

high trees catch more wind

I like that saying.

And the comment in the Chicago Tribune, "French think we're good enough to buy their wine and drive Germans out of their bunkers" is plain childisch.

I agree 100%. I am so tired of WWII references about the french, it just makes the speaker/writer look like an idiot.

Again, you all miss the point of the whole thread...come on...

Reaper even pointed to it...

The French and the Media SUCK - its really just that simple...

'''Runnnnnnnnnn Awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"' (say it with a french accent for full effect!)

OH...and I'm never tired of dogging the French about their performance...or lack thereof in WWII...Never...

so am I an idiot? well...yes I am it seems woo-hoo!

Pigpen wrote:
OH...and I'm never tired of dogging the French about their performance...or lack thereof in WWII...Never...

so am I an idiot? well...yes I am it seems woo-hoo!

Nobody said it makes one an idiot - only that it makes one look like an idiot. Proceeed with caution!

*disclaimer* being a long time and loyal friend of Pigpen, I make this comment in jest. It is not to be taken with any amount of flame - he knows the spirit of the joke. It's just that, well, as a long time and loyal friend of Pigpen, I couldn't resist!

baggachipz wrote:
I have a feeling that if a baseball player switched to a sport nobody cares about, got cancer, then dumped his wife after supporting him through recovery and schtooped Sheryl Crow, we'd all worship that baseball player like a saint too. I went there.

It's more of an issue of whether or not the accused is on "your team." Take Rafael Palmeiro, one of the few baseball "superstars" that has been found out as a steroid user. Everyone else in the nation that is a fan of baseball has largely and widely denounced him, with calls for his expulsion or voiding of his records (as said by Washington Nationals manager and Hall of Fame player Frank Robinson the other day). On the other hand, Baltimore fans have been more supportive and perhaps more forgiving of Palmeiro. Or, a more proper analogy would be the likes of Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds, who have been largely tried and convicted sans concrete proof outside of the towns where they played.

Now, move the analogy over to cycling. Lance Armstrong "plays" for the United States, and the charges made by the French newspaper have been widely dismissed here out of hand (and legitimately so, since there are questions as to the accuracy and validity of the evidence). On the other hand, France has made the same conclusion that detractors of McGuire and Bonds have made, and that was even before this proof "surfaced." The ire over all of this is just a matter of perspective; Americans will probably never believe any accusation against Armstrong (even if backed with actual proof) just as the French* will hold their prejudgments for all time.

* = I'd be interested in hearing what other European cycling fans think of all of this, as in whether or not they buy into the charges and/or belief of Armstrong's steroid abuse.

Well, I'm probably not the only Belgian thinking Armstrong is guilty. Even though we may be a bit prejudice, since there's a very strong Belgian connection to Armstrong's succes: team leader Johan Bruyneel has been the co-architect of his Tour career, being the only one who believed in him after his fight against cancer. And Bruyneel isn't the only Belgian in the US Postal/Discovery team. The greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx is a close friend of his, and one of few still believing in Armstrong's innocence.
Bruyneel has already discarded the accusations in Belgian newspapers, saying he would have known if Armstrong had been on dope since they practically lived together for so long. Which would make him an accomplice if it comes to it

There's a lot of truth in what you say, Rat Boy. It's chauvinism against chauvinism, not really a good incentive for rational discussion I do understand American frustration though to a point, I am thoroughly repulsed by the French myth of "cyclism a deux vitesses" - which says French can't win anything because they have stricter drug policies (check-ups, punishment, etc.) Which is a mind-boggingly stupid claim, hilarious or infuriating depending on your point of view and mood of the day.

So maybe the French are on Armstrong's case a bit stronger then they should, but this doesn't mean he's not guilty. I do think he took EPO, during the season up to 1999 and in the preparation afterwards (because of the EPO-test developed and used for the first time in Sidney 2000). Again, he's smart and rich enough to cover his tracks perfectly.

dejanzie wrote:
So maybe the French are on Armstrong's case a bit stronger then they should, but this doesn't mean he's not guilty. I do think he took EPO, during the season up to 1999 and in the preparation afterwards (because of the EPO-test developed and used for the first time in Sidney 2000). Again, he's smart and rich enough to cover his tracks perfectly.

Wait, of course he took EPO "during the season" up until 1999. The season up until 1999 was his cancer battle, was it not? He's already said that he took EPO then - as part of the treatment. Did Armstrong race in anything before the tour, or was it cancer treatment -> cancer treatment/cycling training -> cycling training -> tour (I don't know)?

I guess I don't see you're absolute-ism any more defendable than those that say he is innocent. You're judgment on what he was or was not doing in 1999 based on the fact that "everyone did it" seems a bit excessive. Do you think Alex Zuelle was also taking drugs then? What about Fernando Escartin or Laurent Dufaux? Is it safe to say that in your mind everyone in the top 20 of the leaderboard was EPO positive at some point during 1999's race?

sheared wrote:
Do you think Alex Zuelle was also taking drugs then? What about Fernando Escartin or Laurent Dufaux? Is it safe to say that in your mind everyone in the top 20 of the leaderboard was EPO positive at some point during 1999's race?

Yes. Alex Zulle and Dufaux got busted too, can't remember if it was in 1999 but it was definitely in the aftermath of the Festina/EPO-Tour of 1998. I'm not absolutist, I am inclined to believe Armstrong took EPO. Didn't think it was necessary to be that specific about it, I thought it was obvious between the lines. My bad. As I said in my first post though, Armstrong is still up there with the greatest cyclists of all time, wether he took or not.

sheared wrote:
Wait, of course he took EPO "during the season" up until 1999. The season up until 1999 was his cancer battle, was it not?

He wanted to quit cycling after some failed reappearances in the beginning of 1999, I believe (could be 1998 too). Then Bruyneel got in the picture, and convinced Lance he could win the Tour if he focussed on it. The fight against cancer was 1996-1997. Maybe stretched into 1998 a bit. Too lazy to research Cancer in any case wasn't a valid excuse to be on EPO during the 1999 Tour. Moreover, it would have prohibited him from participating.

Again, who cares if he took it, it wasn't against the rules! FIFTEEN samples tested positive, so it's not like he was the only one and had an unfair advantage!

LeapingGnome wrote:
Again, who cares if he took it, it wasn't against the rules! FIFTEEN samples tested positive, so it's not like he was the only one and had an unfair advantage!

It's the sort of the same logic that many of the self-appointed "guardians" of baseball use when it comes to someone like Mark McGuire. Certainly, during his time in the game, there was no formal apparatus to test and punish steroid abusers. What this sort of ex post facto trial in the court of public opinion is more or less interested in is the truth (er, kind of) and to know whether or not the events they witnessed ('98 home run chase vs. 7 straight Tour titles) were honest and pure, or as I believe is more likely, people are looking to validate their beliefs to seek the ability to say "I told you so!"

LeapingGnome wrote:
Again, who cares if he took it, it wasn't against the rules! FIFTEEN samples tested positive, so it's not like he was the only one and had an unfair advantage!

Actually I think it was against the rules. Seems like I read it was banned in either '91 or '94, it's just that they didn't have a test capable of detecting it until something like 2000 or 2001.

Again, you all miss the point of the whole thread...come on...

Reaper even pointed to it...

The French and the Media SUCK - its really just that simple...

'''Runnnnnnnnnn Awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"' (say it with a french accent for full effect!)

Notoriously evil skimmer here, so if I make a point that is already done, spank me.

#1. This newspaper is owned by the same company that runs the Tour isn't it? They have their own agenda.

#2. Even if he just did it in '99, that still leaves 6 Tour de France that he was clean.

Like Robear said, this guy is a genetic freak. He could probably set a timed swimming record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean. He does not need the drugs.

Pigpen wrote:
The French and the Media SUCK - its really just that simple...

/signé

Pigpen wrote:
The French and the Media SUCK as hard as the American media - its really just that simple...

fixed it for ya

For the record - when I said Media, it was generic - I did not mean to slam just the French media, but all media organizations universally

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