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lance: protesting too much?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

just a gut feeling from someone who's wanted to believe, but this stuff - his choice of words, where and what he tries to emphasize, and the "american tax dollars" thing...i dunno, it just isn't sounding good to me. has the feel, to me anyway, of taking the "only going after owners/directors, not riders" thing and running with it. i wanna be wrong.

 

from today's NY Times:

 

Armstrong Distances Himself From Doping Inquiry

 

CHAMBÉRY, France — Lance Armstrong, a focus of a federal investigation into possible fraud and doping on the now-defunct United States Postal Service cycling team, distanced himself from that investigation Wednesday, saying that he was just a rider for the team and had no knowledge of what went on within its management.

“The most glaring thing is the misconception that I was the owner of the team,” Armstrong said before Stage 10 of the Tour de France, in which he is in 31st place over all. “That’s completely untrue. No ownership, none at all.”

Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour, said he did not know the people who issued his paychecks when the team was sponsored by the Postal Service through 2004, only that they were signed by the company that owned the team, Tailwind Sports. He said he had “absolutely” no knowledge of how Tailwind used its funds during that time.

“It wasn’t my company,” Armstrong said. “I can’t make it clear enough to you. I don’t know. I didn’t know the company. I didn’t have a position. I didn’t have an equity stake. I didn’t have a profit stake. I didn’t have a seat on the board. I was a rider on the team. I can’t be any clearer than that.”

When asked why he had not cleared up misconceptions about his role on the team years ago, Armstrong said, “I’m correcting that now.”

Armstrong did gain an interest in Tailwind sometime in 2004, after the Tour, according to testimony in a lawsuit that Armstrong and Tailwind brought against SCA Promotions, an insurance company that was seeking to withhold a bonus from Armstrong because of doping allegations.

In testimony related to that lawsuit, Armstrong’s agent, Bill Stapleton, said Armstrong was formally granted an 11.5 percent interest in the team sometime around the fall of 2004.

The Postal Service’s contract ran from 1996 through the end of 2004. The Discovery Channel became the team’s main sponsor in January 2005.

Federal authorities investigating possible fraud and doping charges against Armstrong and some of his associates recently issued grand jury subpoenas to witnesses, according to several people briefed on the case. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a federal investigation.

Armstrong said Wednesday that he had not spoken with federal investigators, and had not received a subpoena.

The authorities are particularly interested in the people who dealt with the finances of the Postal Service squad.

Jeff Novitzky, a Food and Drug Administration agent who led the investigation in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative steroids case, is in charge of the cycling case and is trying to determine if Armstrong, his teammates, the owners or managers of his former team conspired to defraud their sponsors by doping to improve their performance and win more money and prizes. Authorities want to know if money from the Postal Service, an independent agency of the United States government, was used to finance doping.

Thom Weisel, the founder of Tailwind Sports and the owner of a San Francisco-based financial services company, declined to meet with a reporter who traveled to his hotel in Talloires, France, on Wednesday to discuss his role in Tailwind. He was staying at the hotel for a gathering of top USA Cycling donors.

Although Weisel founded the team, Stapleton’s company, Capital Sports & Entertainment, managed it from the “winter, spring ’03, ’04,” according to Stapleton’s testimony in the SCA insurance case. That company also received an 11 ½ percent interest in Tailwind, Stapleton testified.

Armstrong said neither he nor Stapleton’s company gained equity in the team until 2007. His personal lawyer, Tim Herman, said in a statement Wednesday that Armstrong received his first shares of common stock of Tailwind in December 2007.

Armstrong could not say Wednesday who the principals of that Postal Service team were, except for Weisel, whom he called the team’s “spiritual leader,” and Eddy Borysewicz, a former national team coach who Armstrong said was the director of the Postal Service squad.

“I never had any dealings, any dealings, with the Postal Service, zero, and I never made any assertions either way,” Armstrong said. “That’s the truth and that’s what’s in the contracts and that’s what will come out.”

Capital Sports & Entertainment’s Web site says it had direct dealings with the Postal Service when it sponsored the team. “In its role as manager, C.S.E. handled all aspects of this legendary professional cycling team,” including an $18 million annual budget, the Web site said.

Armstrong’s current RadioShack team manager, the former Belgian rider Johan Bruyneel, helped Armstrong win his seven Tours — including the ones he won while on the Postal Service team. He is among the team officials and riders implicated in allegations by the former Tour winner Floyd Landis, who was stripped of that 2006 title for doping. Landis recently said that riders and officials on the Postal Service team had doped or encouraged doping while he was on the team in the early 2000s.

Bruyneel said last week that the Landis allegations were false.

Investigators have contacted other riders on the Postal Service team whom Landis accused of doping. Landis said Armstrong doped and that he encouraged his teammates to do so, too.

“As long as I live, I will deny it,” Armstrong said. “There was absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated. Absolutely not. One hundred percent.”

Landis and at least two other riders on the Postal Service team — Frankie Andreu and a rider who did not want his name published because he still works in the sport — told The New York Times that they were doping while on that squad. But Armstrong said he was sure that none of his former teammates, other than Landis, would implicate him in any doping scheme. He said that if his teammates had doped, he had no knowledge of it.

“I can’t speak to what they did themselves; I can’t control that,” he said. “It would be like me asking you, ‘Listen, do you think there’s any abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in the N.F.L. in the offensive line?’ Most people would say probably yes. Does that mean Peyton Manning is guilty? I mean, I can’t control what other riders do.”

Armstrong said he would cooperate with any investigation and that he was “respectful of the process,” but he hinted that he was not happy about the case.

“Do the American people feel like this is a good use of their tax dollars?” he said. “That’s for them to decide. Like I said, as long as we have a legitimate and credible and fair investigation, we’d be happy to cooperate. But I’m not going to participate in any kind of witch hunt. I’ve done too many good things for too many people.”

Armstrong, a cancer survivor who founded a foundation that advocates cancer research and support, said it would be “a shame” if the case affected his foundation or his efforts in the fight against cancer.

“It would be a shame for a lot of people,” he said. “I can’t control it. Other than clarifying some things, I hope that everybody can pay attention and understand the facts here.”

The government rarely prosecutes individuals for using performance-enhancing drugs because it is only a misdemeanor crime, but prosecutors have gone after people who have used such drugs in connection with other crimes, like the baseball player Barry Bonds and the track star Marion Jones.

Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia University and a former federal prosecutor, said fraud can be difficult to prove.

“Fraud involves obtaining money through some type of misrepresentation or holding back important information,” Richman said. “But proving it can be a complicated mess because you need to determine how and when things were said and what the mind-set of the person was.”

Richman said even if Armstrong was not directly involved in ownership of Tailwind during the Postal Service years, he might still be implicated in fraud.

“If he is holding himself out as someone that was clean and he was profiting from it, it wouldn’t have any impact on his exposure to fraud charges,” Richman said. “It doesn’t matter what official position he had or did not have with the company.”

 

Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting from New York.

 

 

 


 
post #2 of 26

Who cares...professional athletes dope....is this news to anyone?  They dope now and they have always doped.  can we watch the current crop of dopers race and stop talking about has beens. 

 

Why don't we investigate Merckx or Anquetil while we are at it?

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

i think the potential fallout, in this case, is worth noting. IMHO.

post #4 of 26

One of the thing they teach in investigations "101" is to listen very carefully to defective but true statements.  People do not like to lie and are reluctant and/or they think they are being clever and ... gee if I buy time this may all go away and/or ... Hey, I didn't lie, I never

responded to that.

 

Sounds like he is dancing between verbal raindrops ...

 

An old friend is heavily into competition and so was my doctor.  Doc claims they are doping .. they all do.

 

My only doubt is because when I was in the Navy, I started body building (bored at a remote base way down in Dixie), and went from 170 to the 210 mark in no time and had these huge arms in a short while.  I could not even get shirts that would button at the neck.  The formula was lift one day eat the second.  Today, you would swear I was on steroids.  My "trainer" was ... "Mr. Philadelphia" ... there are probably six of those even then but he was massive also .... we never heard the word steroid.  It was all done by ripping muscle and eating more.  Probably at prime age ... I was 18 and the natural hormones were raging.

post #5 of 26

Whoever is leaking this is who should really be on the lookout. Marion Jones is out of jail, but the people that broke the gag-order in the BALCO case are still in Federal Prison.

post #6 of 26

Marion Jones is a good case study of the fact that people kinds know people are doping but really don't care unless it's made too glaring by things like guilty pleas.  She had two significant others, a coach, etc. etc. all caught up in doping, but for a long time people were willing to make the assumption that this was simply a random cluster of dopers around a clean athlete who was maybe a bit naive. 

 

 

Landis is a great object lesson in this regard.  No one would be bothered too much by his doping, anymore than they were/are by all the others who dope, if he'd just taken the pain.  They got  ***sed when he told the truth, though.

post #7 of 26

I'm 100% sure all this what Landis said (now, not in last 3 years ;)) is truth. But sorry he's just not person to tell this. Year ago he was still swearing he never used doping. He didn't know anything about doping, and his positive sample was lab mistake. Now all of a sudden he remembers everything. I'm sure he really does, but sorry, based on this what he was telling until now, he's last person to talk about this and to be considered as reliable. And that's the thing that plays in Armstrong's favor.

post #8 of 26

^^^ "Stop Snitching."

 

I'm kinda reminded too of Mark McGwire in baseball.  It was obvious to anyone with a brain that he was juicing, but the story was so good that people just wanted to go along.  I'm not a baseball fan, really, and if McGwire hadn't juiced I doubt I'd remember him.  It was among other things economically rational for him to do.  It worked.

post #9 of 26

I think the real danger for any cyclists wrapped up in this is indictments against non-0cyclists who have nothing to gain by following the Omerta. It'll be interesting to see who all is named. If some doc or pharmacist or soigneur is threatened with Federal prison time, what's he gonna do?

post #10 of 26

So they've subpoenaed LeMond to appear in court. I guess now we know where this is going. 

post #11 of 26

It is no secret that the whole field was doped.  They have made huge progress toward minimizing it, with the biological passport giving the testers a leg up for the moment.  The loss of sponsors, and better monitoring has knocked doping from the organized team level to more of an individual thing.  Teams like Garmin are clean for the moment.

 

I'm not sure what dredging up past races accomplishes. Lance doped.  He beat other dopers.  He raised 50 million for his cancer foundation.  Move on. 

post #12 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Teams like Garmin are clean for the moment.

Hehehe sure... teams like Garmin are clean, but their riders are as "clean" as riders of any other team ;)

post #13 of 26

"I'm 100% sure all this what Landis said (now, not in last 3 years ;)) is truth."

 

The guy is a admitted liar. He has already perjured himself in a court of law. He duped people into giving him millions of dollars for his defense when he knew he was guilty all along. He wrote a book that was more fiction than truth to get more money from people, and now he's writing another book about all the lies he told in the first edition, and you're saying that you believe 100% of what he's saying now???

post #14 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

It is no secret that the whole field was doped.  They have made huge progress toward minimizing it, with the biological passport giving the testers a leg up for the moment.  The loss of sponsors, and better monitoring has knocked doping from the organized team level to more of an individual thing.  Teams like Garmin are clean for the moment.

 

I'm not sure what dredging up past races accomplishes. Lance doped.  He beat other dopers.  He raised 50 million for his cancer foundation.  Move on. 


I 100% agree.

post #15 of 26

 

I think we've all missed the major point of this thread.

 

 

 

 

 

ryan is back

!

 

 

 

 

 

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post


 


I 100% agree.



 

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post


 


I 100% agree.


Yep.

post #18 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mac View Post
The guy is a admitted liar. He has already perjured himself in a court of law. He duped people into giving him millions of dollars for his defense when he knew he was guilty all along. He wrote a book that was more fiction than truth to get more money from people, and now he's writing another book about all the lies he told in the first edition, and you're saying that you believe 100% of what he's saying now???

Yes, I actually do believe this last part what he's telling now. I know a thing or two more about all those things, and not just that what's written in newspapers. That's why I'm saying, I'm sure he's telling truth now. But if I would read rest of this what I wrote, you would also see, I wrote he's last person to talk about all this. Why? Exactly because of reason also you mentioned.

post #19 of 26

I don't doubt that what he's saying now is the truth. That's not my point. Stop and think about it. Have you ever heard a rider rat out another rider while they were still active in the sport? Only the ones that get caught and/or were forced to retire. Do you think for one minute that these riders would sit there and keep their mouths shut if they knew their rivals were cheating, and thus taking money and food off their tables? The reason they don't rat each other out is because they're all cheating. One of the unwritten rules in cycling: " don't tell on me, and I won't tell on you." They don't want their rivals to get caught just because every time one does get caught, it just brings the long arm of the law one step closer to them. If Lance was doping, then he did it better than anyone else. At least he was smart enough not to get caught. And there is no doubt that his major rivals were doping, because they all were caught. It's my suspicion that Lance was doing it too, but I doubt if it will ever be proven. All I have ever heard are accusations and allegations, but I have never heard of anyone come up with any kind of a plausible story as to how, where or when. And if there was any solid evidence of his cheating, it seems to me that it would have come to the surface a long time ago. Remember, when Lance retired back in 2005, he turned around and sued a handful of newspapers and the like that said they had evidence of him cheating, and it all turned out to be hogwash. Seems to me, if I had cheated my way to seven TDF championships and gotten away with it, that the last thing that I would do would be to extend an open invitation in court for somebody to prove that I was a fraud. As for Floyd, it may very well be that he's telling the truth about some things, but it doesn't change the fact that he's a liar, a cheat, and now, in the eyes of the rest of the world, and worse yet, in the eyes of his piers that trusted him, a rat. It doesn't get much lower than that, IMO.

post #20 of 26

Still love to hear what Sheryl might have to say........

 

L S.jpg

post #21 of 26

Did they all dope, sure.  Do they all deny it until they can't anymore, you bet.  The difference is that Landis profited from a book based on his "innocence" and "wrongful" prosecution.  He also went around begging people for money for his defense fund, for which he took hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I honestly do not know how he can live with himself.  For him to now present himself as some kind of brave hero taking on the evil dopers is truly pathetic and hypocritical.  He should be embarrassed to show his face anywhere in public, much less at a professional bike race.  It doesn't matter if he is right, he is a disgrace and should have the decency to just withdraw from public life.

post #22 of 26

And now LeMond has opened his mouth to let his foot out and sprout some words of wisdom.

post #23 of 26

I don't want to hear any more whining from Greg "sour grapes" Lemond until he comes up with some proof to support anything he's been implying. This has been going on for years now, and he hasn't been able to produce one piece of solid evidence to back him up. It's time for him to put up or shut up.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac View Post

I don't doubt that what he's saying now is the truth... As for Floyd, it may very well be that he's telling the truth about some things, but it doesn't change the fact that he's a liar, a cheat, and now, in the eyes of the rest of the world, and worse yet, in the eyes of his piers that trusted him, a rat. It doesn't get much lower than that, IMO.


Let me break this down for you:  anyone in his situation would have issues. 

 

I just kinda have a feeling that he won't be the only person speaking to this in front of the grand jury.  All the efforts to make him sound like a mob informant will kinda go away if there's lots of corroboration for what he has to say.  And is a mob informant really morally inferior to the bosses he implicates? 

 

Maybe he was an unreliable doping partner, for sure.

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Still love to hear what Sheryl might have to say........

 

L S.jpg


"Well.... he has really small testicles."

post #26 of 26

Testicle.

 

Singular.

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