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It's all downhill from here
May 20, 2011 4:50 AM   Subscribe

"I saw [EPO] in his refrigerator...I saw him inject it more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times." Ex-professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, has accused the seven time Tour de France winner of using performance enhancing drugs such as EPO and testosterone during several of his Tour wins. Hamilton made the allegations during an interview with "60 Minutes" which will be shown this Sunday. Hamilton rode with Armstrong on the US Postal Service team from 1998 until 2001 and was himself banned for eight years in 2009 for taking testosterone. Armstrong is already the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged doping conspiracies and financial irregularities. A year ago Floyd Landis, after finally coming clean about his his own drug use, accused Armstrong of systematic drug abuse. Armstrong, who recently retired from professional cycling, has always denied these claims.
posted by joannemullen (94 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Surely, this.
posted by pts at 4:54 AM on May 20, 2011


Armstrong is already the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged doping conspiracies and financial irregularities

'Cause that's why unemployment is at 9%. 'Cause Lance was dopin'.

Muthafuckas on Wall Street never dope, they just 8-ball and snort blow off $5K a night hookers' asses. (They call that "trickle down" or "Ronnie" for short.)
posted by orthogonality at 4:55 AM on May 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Let's say you still believe Lance didn't take PED or doped or anything of the sort. He's never failed a drug test, right? So in your mind, he's still innocent. Okay, well, what's the conspiracy? Is everyone just jealous? Surely not. Surely there must be a grand schemer in the background, orchestrating and funding the conspiracy. Soros? Buffett? Zuckerberg? Who is it? And what's the point? How exactly does the conspiracy work, and why does it exist in the first place?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:05 AM on May 20, 2011


I don't know much about cycling, but is it even possible to finish the Tour de France without doping, let alone win it?

And hasn't it always been this way?

In a 1949 interview with Fausto Coppi, the 1949 and 1952 Tour winner, he admitted to amphetamine use and said "those who claim [that cyclists do not take amphetamine], it's not worth talking to them about cycling"..
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 5:06 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course he did. So did Eddy Merckx. So did Miguel Indurain.

But here's the thing. You, me anyone on MeFi could take ten times as much EPO, HGH and steroids as Armstrong and we still wouldn't be able to ride a quarter as well as he could.

The thing is, they took drugs in such a way that they didn't get caught by a tough regime.

Anyone who thinks that high level athletes don't take drugs is a fool. They all do. In every major sport. Get over it.

Read the excellent Positive by Werner Reiterer for an idea of how it goes. There are other books and articles about it too.

The testing is still useful though, it means the harm that athletes do to themselves is hopefully not too bad, Flo Jo notwithstanding.
posted by sien at 5:08 AM on May 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


If doping is such a problem, then let everyone dope.

Level the playing field, and may the best doper win.
posted by bwg at 5:09 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to follow cycling, and the TdF quite closely. I don't any longer. I'm not saying crap like this is the reason, but...
posted by tommasz at 5:09 AM on May 20, 2011


Anyone who thinks that high level athletes don't take drugs is a fool. They all do. In every major sport.

Yeah, probably.

Get over it.

Non-sequitor.
posted by DU at 5:10 AM on May 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, without real proof, he's innocent. And if somehow he turns out to be guilty after all, color me shocked.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:10 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think Lance Armstrong doped. There is little doubt about that. If you wonder, just look at his competition during the years when he won the Tour--all of his major competitors later were busted for doping.

That said, I don't trust Tyler Hamilton at all. Hamilton was a chronic doper and he could have come clean, but he didn't. There is no reason to trust him. He was accused of blood doping in the 2004 Olympics and then irregularities showed up later in 2004 at the Vuelta a Espana. For these violations he served a two year suspension for doping. He was implicated in the Operation Puerto investigation in 2007, and then he was busted for doping again in 2008.

Hamilton had a chance to come clean and never did. Armstrong probably doped, but there is no reason to believe Hamilton's word.
posted by stan.kjar at 5:11 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


For years with Tyler Hamilton, it was a litany of increasingly outlandish scenarios to explain why he was actually innocent (genetic chimera???) before he reverses course 100% and how launches into how Lance Armstrong is a doper. Floyd Landis is much the same story, even going so far as to publish a book proclaiming his innocence, with the proceeds allegedly going to his legal defense fund, and is now also dumping on his former boss.

So you'll excuse me if I say that I'm just tired of hearing from these two. They just seem like opportunists who will say whatever is necessary to stay in the limelight.
posted by indubitable at 5:12 AM on May 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Anyone who thinks that high level athletes don't take drugs is a fool. They all do. In every major sport. Get over it.

Until I see evidence for this, I think this is wildly off base. While it may be true in cycling, I doubt it's the case in other major sports. I base this opinion off of books I've read, anecdotes from former players, and the testing restrictions of various sports. Why do you think "all" athletes use drugs? And why am I fool for paying attention to sports and coming to a different conclusion?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:13 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


As much as I admire Lance Armstrong it's impossible for someone to have achieved the results he did in the world of professional cycling as currently constituted without doping.
posted by unSane at 5:14 AM on May 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


If doping is such a problem, then let everyone dope.

That is pretty much the current situation in cycling.

My solution is one step further: divide the competitive world into two segments, doping and non-doping. As soon as you have a majority of competitors who are non-doping, any doping athletes will get ratted on instantly. Any athlete found to have doped is instantly and permanently barred from the non-doping leagues, but still has a career in the doping world.
posted by unSane at 5:17 AM on May 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


If there's any professional cyclist who actually has a justifiable excuse for taking testosterone supplements, wouldn't it be Armstrong?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:20 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Incidentally, the reason pervasive doping is such a bad idea is that it becomes a horrible situation in the upper echelons of recreational/amateur cycling, where everyone who wants a chance at the big leagues has to dope. I have several friends who are sponsored cyclists but in order to progress to professional status they would have to do things to their bodies they are not willing to do. For teenagers coming up in the sport, the pressure may be more than they can bear).
posted by unSane at 5:20 AM on May 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


Looks like my fantasy dope team is going to have another banner season.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:21 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


So look, I won't even begin to say whether Lance doped or not, but what I can say is that he has never been caught. If the allegations are to stick, Mr. Hamilton needs to show how he passed his tests, or at least show how he prevented himself failing them. That's it - seriously. To insist that Lance Armstrong doped is fine, but without explaining how he got away with it Scooby Doo style, Mr. Hamilton's words are meaningless, slanderous and irrelevant to the truth. Lance Armstrong has been one of the most tested atheletes of all time and if he was doping, he beat the system - and the methodlogy needs to be clearly presented to the cycling comunity to ensure tests and measures can be made that ensure that any future allegations against a successful but dirty cyclist stick.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:22 AM on May 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


In other news, famous body builder took steroids.
posted by Decani at 5:24 AM on May 20, 2011


The conspiracy is that a few athletes who are out of the game for cheating are desperate to cash in with appearance fees and book deals. It's not like Bonds or Clemens or Sosa, where their disfigurement made it obvious they were cheating - Armstrong is fit and athletic, but not freakishly so. He's also been pursued non-stop by private investigators and subjected to public investigations and constantly tested by suspicious officials. I can't think of any other athlete who competed under such scrutiny. I mean, really - the French have been trying their damndest to nail Armstrong with a doping rap for more than a decade. If he was cheating, he would have been caught by now.

To be frank, any real evidence of doping would have long since come to light, and would be a lot more solid than a pair of disgraced dopers hoping for a quick buck or some kind of amnesty.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:26 AM on May 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


As soon as you have a majority of competitors who are non-doping, any doping athletes will get ratted on instantly.

If the money is going to the faster racers, then, well, there won't be any competitors in the non-doping world.

To be frank, any real evidence of doping would have long since come to light, and would be a lot more solid than a pair of disgraced dopers hoping for a quick buck or some kind of amnesty.

Yes. Both of them were busted hard, both fought the charges hard and lost -- and then both accuse a vastly more successful rider of doing the same thing.

So we start with 'I didn't do it', 'It was a friends', "C'mon, Mom, why don't you trust me?' and then 'Everyone's doing it, even Lance, and he gets straight As!!!!'

Apparently, testosterone and EPO are hard on maturity as well.
posted by eriko at 5:31 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


So look, I won't even begin to say whether Lance doped or not, but what I can say is that he has never been caught. If the allegations are to stick, Mr. Hamilton needs to show how he passed his tests, or at least show how he prevented himself failing them.

Yeah, seriously. I'm tired of hearing from bitter grunts who got caught, lied a lot, and now want to make someone else look bad. They were adults and knew what they were doing. Tattling on someone else, without any proof, just makes Hamilton look worse in my opinion. This is nothing new.

What would be new is hearing how Armstrong fooled the tests (or bribed his way out, or whatever he did). If they were around him enough to see him doping numerous times, then surely someone knows how he got away with it. That's the million dollar question and I'm bored with the same ol' thing.
posted by Danila at 5:31 AM on May 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not like Bonds or Clemens or Sosa, where their disfigurement made it obvious they were cheating - Armstrong is fit and athletic, but not freakishly so.

EPO != steroids
posted by kersplunk at 5:36 AM on May 20, 2011


Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis have for the past several years seemed to me as though their attitude is, If I'm going down, I'm gonna make damn sure that Lance Armstrong goes down with me. This doesn't change that perception.
posted by blucevalo at 5:37 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, yeah, one more thing.

Tyler? Floyd? Even if he did dope, he beat your ass repeatedly.

I'm not saying he's innocent. Not at all. There's a good chance LA did in fact dope up for races. But having Landis and Hamilton be the big evidence is like having....

must. not. godwin.
posted by eriko at 5:37 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why are these dudes snitching on each other when they're all in the same bag? Stop being jealous and STFU.
posted by haroon at 5:38 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is everyone just jealous? Surely not.

Well, why not? Not only has Lance won the Tour two more times than anyone else in history, his record has eclipsed every other American cyclist. People barely remember who Greg LeMond is any more, even though he won his second and third Tours with shotgun pellets embedded in his chest, the legacy of a hunting accident that nearly took his life, and might have won more had those pellets not triggered an autoimmune disorder that took him out of competition. Shit, who wouldn't be bitter? All that fame and notoriety, all those yellow bracelets... and all those competitors who got taken out of the race, one by one, for doping.

None of which really matters with regard to Armstrong's innocence, which should have been well-established by now, given that he was probably the most-tested athlete in the world during his years of active competition. (In his autobiographies, he noted, with some bitterness, the willingness of the people assigned to collect samples to interrupt him at the worst times, including at a wedding reception where he was best man and as he was going out the door with his then-wife who was in labor with twins.) I'm not sure where Hamilton is going with the EPO accusations, because AFAIK its use is presumed if a cyclist's hematocrit level goes above a certain amount, an easy test to do.

I've been generally supportive of anti-doping efforts in the past, and scornful of apologists for the likes of Barry Bonds, who claimed to have not known that the mystery substances that he was taking were steroids, even when his body was almost literally exploding in size (he actually went up a couple of hat sizes), but the accusations from various ex-cyclists, including LeMond (who never rode with Armstrong) and Frankie Andreu, who was on a team with Armstrong but whose testimony was based entirely on a passing remark that Armstrong allegedly made while he was in the hospital being treated for cancer, are extremely thin. They're of a piece with things like this, which notes that Armstrong let the statute of limitations for suing Floyd Landis for defamation expire.

I really don't have a dog in this hunt--it's pretty obvious by now that just about any celebrity or public figure is capable of letting their supporters down, and Armstrong may be no different--but I have to feel for the guy with the perennial drip of allegations that end up going nowhere. Seriously, is he going to be holding press conferences when he's sixty because yet another cyclist or Tour functionary is making yet another claim? Is Jeff Novitsky simply incapable of admitting that, in at least one case, he's been wasting his time?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:38 AM on May 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't know much about cycling, but is it even possible to finish the Tour de France without doping, let alone win it?

Well, that's the thing, isn't it. A steady stream of confessions is demonstrating that every highly-regarded teammate and competitor to Armstrong was using banned methods to enhance their performance. If Armstrong didn't dope, he'd just be another former cyclist selling real estate and none of us would ever have heard of him.

Instead he's giving his detractors the finger from his solid gold rocket car (with the window up though so all his cash doesn't fly out). Whether he was the best at cycling or the best at concealing his doping, they playing field was level. Declaring someone an asshole doesn't carry much stigma if the accuser is wearing a t-shirt that reads "certified asshole."

People who truly love competitive cycling are free to find this view un-nuanced. I don't care much about competitive cycling beyond wonderment that people are that fit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:41 AM on May 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Someone recently posted a list of the top finishing cyclists from some of Lance Armstrong's previous races and it showed how Lance had beaten all these other top cyclists who HAD been caught and/or reprimanded for steroid use at one point or another... Basically implying that everyone was doping and showing how doubtful it was that he, the winner in all those races, somehow managed to beat all these top, doping cyclists in a "clean" fashion ... Anyone know what im talking about?
posted by ReWayne at 5:41 AM on May 20, 2011


If the money is going to the faster racers, then, well, there won't be any competitors in the non-doping world.

That's the point. The doping league would have an *extremely* hard time getting sponsorship money.
posted by unSane at 5:42 AM on May 20, 2011


Basically implying that everyone was doping and showing how doubtful it was that he, the winner in all those races, somehow managed to beat all these top, doping cyclists in a "clean" fashion

That's the hard evidence which is impossible to ignore. By insisting he did not juice, Armstrong is essentially claiming to have super hero powers.
posted by three blind mice at 5:55 AM on May 20, 2011


To be frank, any real evidence of doping would have long since come to light, and would be a lot more solid than a pair of disgraced dopers hoping for a quick buck or some kind of amnesty.

I'd like to think that would be true, but I suspect that they'll go for the bigger american football players, the faster cyclists, etc. The only difference with this scheme is they get to keep racing.

We already have the rule that if you're caught doping, you get suspended or thrown out of the league with the money. It's just not working very well -- though it is working a great deal better than it did, most of the really nasty drugs are out because you *will* be caught. LA was once found to have traces of a corticosteroid in a sample (below the official positive threshold) because of a steroid cream he used for a saddle sore. If you really hit the stuff that has a big effect, it'll show up in the tests and in your performance.
posted by eriko at 5:55 AM on May 20, 2011


...is it even possible to finish the Tour de France without doping, let alone win it?

Well, they used to do it while smoking cigarettes.
posted by TedW at 6:06 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]



Basically implying that everyone was doping and showing how doubtful it was that he, the winner in all those races, somehow managed to beat all these top, doping cyclists in a "clean" fashion


This is why I'm convinced he was using. Everyone was; it was the culture of the sport (and maybe still is). Either cycling needs to actually confront it, or just shrug and allow for drugs and electric motors and all the other innovations science can provide. In the meantime, with this unresolved, it's not a sport that I'm going to follow.
posted by Forktine at 6:12 AM on May 20, 2011


Is this something I'd have to have a bicycle to understand?
posted by Naberius at 6:16 AM on May 20, 2011


That's the hard evidence which is impossible to ignore. By insisting he did not juice, Armstrong is essentially claiming to have super hero powers.posted by three blind mice at 5:55 AM on May 20 [+] [!]

This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. The only way that it is bad is if it isn't true. Until it can be shown HOW he beat the tests and that he DID beat the tests, regardless of how many more people at the top dope there is no direct indication that Armstrong doped. Failure to recognize that the same tests that found those other top cyclists did dope have not found a way to show that Armstong did dope.

Continuance of the myth that because someone else cheated means that someone who performed better than them must have as well is as disingenous to science and intellectual thought as Jenny McCarthy is to the anti-vaccination movement.

The facts to this point say Armstrong was clean. The allegations say he wasn't. Those that have made the allegations weren't clean. Until the facts change, meaning that they can show not only how Armstrong could have beaten the tests, but that he actually did take those actions, Armstrong's record should be clean.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:18 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Doping is a nash equilibrium. It seems like the closest thing to an arms race outside ofthr military there is. When you add in that the rate at which medical technology develops better doping methods far exceeds the rate at which our ability to detect the new doping, you're almost guaranteed a trajectory where almost everyone dopes.

Add to this the incentives facing any oversight board. Lance Armstrong is easily the best thing to happen to professional cycling. I wonder how many people took up the sport because of him. The attention he gave the sport was probably monetized billions.

There isn't a smoking gun for Armstrong, but also, would you expect there to be even under the state of the world where he is guilty? Professional sports depends on superstars for revenue. Why I'll the goose laying the golden egg?
posted by scunning at 6:22 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


But here's the thing. You, me anyone on MeFi could take ten times as much EPO, HGH and steroids as Armstrong and we still wouldn't be able to ride a quarter as well as he could.

Yes, but he's not competing against your or me, is he?
I think you probably meant to make the argument that all of his competitors were doping, so he, too, had to dope to compete with the cheaters on an even playing field. Yes, I'm sure that it was common knowledge amongst all the cyclists that everyone doped, and winners were getting away with it, and that it was somehow an accepted fiction that everyone who won did so "fairly," in which case, as a practical matter, why would these athletes want to perpetuate that cycle? If you win, you put yourself in a position where every medal - every achievement you win is a lie. So doping is a two-fold whammy to an athlete's integrity: not only did the athlete cheat to win, the athlete has to lie about winning fairly. I guess as a cheating athlete, you go back to this "level playing field" argument to sleep at night, and to continue getting all the sponsorships and financial support necessary to keep participating in a sport that due to widespread cheating is not really the same sport as the one you got into in the first place.

However, let me say this: I do fully support his cheating of cancer.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:24 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soros? Buffett? Zuckerberg? Who is it? And what's the point? How exactly does the conspiracy work, and why does it exist in the first place?
Yeah, Zuckerberg founded a secret society at age 15 to make Armstrong win the tour de France. After Armstrong announced he was retiring, Zuck made him ride one more year, but started facebook as a backup plan.
posted by delmoi at 6:24 AM on May 20, 2011



Just say nope!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:25 AM on May 20, 2011


I'm stunned that no-one has posted this yet.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:28 AM on May 20, 2011


I really wish that we could take it down a notch, and start competing on a smaller scale, where more participants could enter, and there was less pressure to excel at the level that our athletes currently do. It's horrifically unhealthy. Being the best at any international level and getting the kind of fame and financial recompense they do is an unfortunate amount of pressure. Even the amount of time a day they're expected to train is totally ludicrous.

...but that will never happen I suppose, it hardly seems worth even talking about.
posted by Stagger Lee at 6:36 AM on May 20, 2011


But here's the thing. You, me anyone on MeFi could take ten times as much EPO, HGH and steroids as Armstrong and we still wouldn't be able to ride a quarter as well as he could.
Sure, but if we took drugs that would OBVIOUSLY show up on a drug test, we probably could beat his time. And then our testicles would shrink and we'd get cancer and... OH SHIT.

Bleh, whatever. Am I supposed to be outraged about this? I'm totally not. They tested him every year. If he was really doping, he was probably doing a good job of it and probably not something that was going to destroy his body.
Well, they used to do it while smoking cigarettes.
Back then, they also used amphetamines
posted by delmoi at 6:38 AM on May 20, 2011


Sure, but if we took drugs that would OBVIOUSLY show up on a drug test, we probably could beat his time. And then our testicles would shrink and we'd get cancer and... OH SHIT.

Most of us certainly could not, not with any amount of drugs. I wouldn't underestimate how seriously this guy trained, and the level of skill and athleticism required to do what he did.
posted by Stagger Lee at 6:49 AM on May 20, 2011


Look, I hate the idea of steroids as much as the next person but I think it's clear that...

A) The arms race between production and testing will always be won by production
B) Forcing athletes (professional and amateur) into black-market sources for injectables without physician supervision is killing people.

In light of the reality of the situation, I think it's time we had a gut-check about all this and allow steroid use. It will be better for the health of everyone involved.

Rigorous supplement quality testing, clean supplies, good information.

It's up to the public how they want to deal with it, but killing off athletes to maintain a facade seems to be a dumb idea.
posted by unixrat at 6:54 AM on May 20, 2011


I don't know much about sports, but I did play a lot of video games. So how do I know that Lance Armstrong wasn't doping? This is why.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:17 AM on May 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm in the "at that level of competition, everybody dopes". Come on, to go to the very top in pro sports you have to be pathologically committed. If everybody trains 12 hours per day, 7 days per week, you have to train 13 hours. If everybody follows a strict diet counting every calorie, every hour, you have to count twice. If everybody is going to risk their lives going 90 kph downhill, in the wet, on razor-thin tires, you're going to go 95 kph.

So, if everybody is doping, you are going to dope better and more. No doubt whatsoever. What's going to stop you? Testing? You'll find some way around it. Health concerns? Well, it isn't as if the Tour de France, three weeks of sheer hell, cycling over 200 km every day at an average of 40-50 kph through mountains and valleys, come sun, rain, snow or sleet, burning 9000 kcal per day and eating them again in the evening, is a healthy pursuit.
posted by Skeptic at 7:17 AM on May 20, 2011


In light of the reality of the situation, I think it's time we had a gut-check about all this and allow steroid use. It will be better for the health of everyone involved.

I assume you mean drugs in general, because EPO or testosterone would be the drugs of choice for cyclists, not steroids. Anyway...

I like the marathon, so I'll give my example there. The men's record is 2:03:59. Imagine that a new drug is found that will take your typical 2:10 marathoner (of which there are plenty) and, if taken an hour or two before a race, will let them run 1:55 or so. There is one downside that I think I should mention - there is a 10% chance that you'll drop dead at the end of the race.

Do you know what country would have the world record in the marathon in that scenario?

North Korea.

Yes, it's an extreme hypothetical, but some of these drugs (like EPO) can be very dangerous. Is it fair to say to people that in order to compete on the top level they have to take drugs that can kill them? Or even just give them cancer? Make them sterile?

Why not let women dope with testosterone? The ladies who don't want to remain, well, ladies any more can go on to set records and win medals and all the whiners who want to be able to have kids and not grow facial hair can hang out in the sissy leagues and play at jump rope or whatever.

Plus, if it happens at the professional level then it will trickle down to the lower levels too. Do you think that high school football players would take steroids if the pros did not? If the NFL was actually serious about catching dopers? I doubt it. Make everything legal at the top level and then 15 year olds will be taking drugs with potentially serious side-effects - and they won't be doing it under the safe supervision of a doctor.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 7:30 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


A) The arms race between production and testing will always be won by production

Only if you insist on instant results. Escrow prize money or have a no cheat clause where it has to be paid back if you are caught and then preserve drug samples and retest them every two years or so for say the top 10 (and their teams).

Suddenly athletes won't dope because they can never be sure what the future state of the art will be able to detect.
posted by srboisvert at 7:46 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: my fantasy dope team
posted by chavenet at 7:47 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure where Hamilton is going with the EPO accusations

A federal grand jury, that's where.

If anyone happened to catch Armstrong's performance in last summer's Tour, you got a good picture of the rider he was before he started in with the PEDs.
posted by grounded at 8:01 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe he should make some yellow "stop snitchin'" bracelets.
posted by snofoam at 8:04 AM on May 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Plus, if it happens at the professional level then it will trickle down to the lower levels too. Do you think that high school football players would take steroids if the pros did not? If the NFL was actually serious about catching dopers? I doubt it. Make everything legal at the top level and then 15 year olds will be taking drugs with potentially serious side-effects - and they won't be doing it under the safe supervision of a doctor.

A) HS Football players are already taking steroids.
B) They would do it with a doctor if we made it available. People don't seek out bathtub moonshine that could make them blind if they can walk down the street to the liquor store. It's distasteful, but true.
posted by unixrat at 8:09 AM on May 20, 2011


So the question is if Armstrong was doping, how'd he beat the tests? Undetectable drugs that no one else had? An inside job at the agency doing the testing?
posted by Nelson at 8:19 AM on May 20, 2011


Armstrong is already the subject of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged doping conspiracies and financial irregularities

'Cause that's why unemployment is at 9%. 'Cause Lance was dopin'.


Well, it took $55 million and 9 years to nail Barry Bonds for one marginal count of obstruction of justice, but I bet we can get away with a bill of $30 million over the next 5 years to bust Lance Armstrong for, I dunno, copyright infringement or something. I think we'd all agree that's a small price to pay for an almost imperceptible increase in the public's belief in the integrity of professional cycling.
posted by Copronymus at 8:24 AM on May 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


These men are fighting intensely for their financial futures.

Maybe this will start a wave of denunciations in the sports world. The FBI will form interrogation and prison details to deal with the influx. I think with the right methods, we could probably get most of them to confess. Then shoot the other ones. Let the sports world, you know, purge itself.

We could even have a big public trial and broadcast it to the world---imagine Lance Armstrong on the stand confessing desperately to excessive doping and Armstrongite Counter-Athletic Centers and terrorist doping rings. The leaders of the Hamiltonite-Landisite movement will also confess and implicate thousands. We will demonstrate our absolute commitment to ending doping.

Then when all the old athletes are breaking rocks in Montana and atoning for their sins, we will usher in a new era of athletes who don't use dope.

Except for the ones we want to win, they get dope.
posted by TheRedArmy at 8:28 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone said above, EPO/blood doping != steroids. It's harder to look for (EPO is naturally produced by the kidneys, for example, so testing for presence isn't enough) and the world of anti-doping regulation is a mess (they restrict the chemical signatures for an official 'positive' test in such a way that a minor tweak to the drug can be seen but not acted upon). If you're interested, there was a great BBC World Service radio doc about this back before the Beijing Olympics: Secrets in the Blood. Part Two focuses specifically on cycling. tl;dl version: Whether Armstrong did or didn't blood dope, it would be easy for him to have done so and not been caught.
posted by mzanatta at 8:30 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Professional Cycling has had rampant doping for decades now, it was endemic in the 80s and is omni-present now. I think you could probably still compete un-enhanced but you would be a support rider, you simply can't keep up with the top cyclists unless you are a) as talented a rider as they are and b) able to recover at a extremely fast rate.

EPO and transfusions of RBCs (both from other people and banked blood of the athlete himself) have been present in cycling for a long time and offer so much benefit to an endurance athlete that simply put I'm not sure you can compete at the highest level without using EPO or transfusions.

Armstrong was never proven guilty although anecdotal evidence seems to confirm that he was complicit. Some people will take that as an indication he was probably guilty and others will see it as sour grapes from rival cyclists who haven't achieved the same stature as Lance.

Ultimately it's up to each and every one of us to determine whether theoretical doping diminishes his accomplishments or if they are remarkable despite doping.
posted by vuron at 8:30 AM on May 20, 2011


A steady stream of confessions is demonstrating that every highly-regarded teammate and competitor to Armstrong was using banned methods to enhance their performance.

I think it's in Lance Armstrong's War that the reporter crunches the numbers and basically says that there's a 2% difference in performance between Armstrong and his competitors. The reporter goes on to detail how hard it is to find that 2%. The people who say his wins against other dopers don't count as evidence are essentially suggesting that Armstrong was actually 10% better than his fellows. I don't buy it. I don't buy that he's that extraordinary. I think he doped.
posted by OmieWise at 8:37 AM on May 20, 2011


Take the absurd quantities of money out the sport and the rest of the dope will follow.
posted by Ritchie at 8:58 AM on May 20, 2011


Can't find the link, but there's pretty good scientific dissections of Lance's performance in his early TdF wins. Short version: he very likely doped.

How do we know? Watts generated per pound of body weight. There's a long history of times up many of the historic climbs in the TdF, and the times and power outputs derived from those times from the height of the doping era haven't been remotely approached since testing has gotten tighter - even by the same riders. Here's at least one story about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/sports/cycling/11climb.html - in fact, the most convincing argument I've read on the web citied the watts per pound figure in Armstrong's own book - which was published during the doping era, and which cites a number that is significantly higher than anything people are capable of today.

Additionally, people will regularly look at the top 5 or top 10 finishers at the TdF over the last 15 years. Lance might not be the only one who hasn't tested positive, but I'd be very surprised if he's one of maybe 3 riders, total, from the doping area who haven't.

A pity - I like that he's leveraging at least some of his fame for good - but while there's no smoking gun, I just can't believe he's clean.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 9:17 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Victor Conte, Mr. BALCO, who provided PEDs to Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, etc., has said he is 100-percent sure Lance is dirty.


And there was the incident with Simeoni. Lance was said to have made a zip-your-lips gesture to Simeoni.
posted by ambient2 at 9:27 AM on May 20, 2011


LIVESTONED
posted by banshee at 9:29 AM on May 20, 2011


And there was the incident with Simeoni. Lance was said to have made a zip-your-lips gesture to Simeoni.

Or maybe Lance was mad at Simeoni for using drugs and casting more stigma on the sport, and didn't want Simeoni to take anything away from the lead breakaway group because he was a doper, so that's why he took on Simeoni and also didn't want to race with him in the Italia. The article you linked doesn't mention the zip-your-lips gesture, just the sprint to the breakaway group.

Not that I really believe either scenario; the point is that all we have is conjecture. Armstrong has never failed a drug test, and he's been tested over 500 times. The French changed the scoring of the Tour de France several times in an effort to prevent Lance from winning his last several Tours. If they could have caught him doping, they would have done so then.

And Floyd Landis has the credibility of Donald Trump at this point, while Hamilton is looking for a book deal to try to make up for any losses his own doping has cost him.
posted by misha at 10:29 AM on May 20, 2011


Hamilton has surrendered his 2004 Athens gold medal.

After Hamilton’s admission became public on Thursday, Armstrong posted on Twitter an early and perhaps presumptive congratulatory note to his former teammate Viatcheslav Ekimov for being elevated to gold medalist from silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic time trial.

“Congratulations to @eki_ekimov on his 3rd Olympic Gold Medal!!” Armstrong wrote.

posted by blucevalo at 10:46 AM on May 20, 2011


Well, they used to do it while smoking cigarettes.

Those aren't cigarettes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:05 PM on May 20, 2011


In fact he hates drugs in sport so much, that he donated $100,000 to buy drug testing equipment!

Yes, donated! To the UCI, the very body administering the tests! On him!
posted by Kiwi at 12:17 PM on May 20, 2011


As at least one person has noted, Lance has failed a drug test, said he was taking steroids for saddle sores, though the medical exemption had not been filed.

Simeoni, by the way, told authorities he got drugs via a doctor who had been Armstrong's doctor.
posted by ambient2 at 12:26 PM on May 20, 2011


This thread is filled with awful...


On the Landis, Hamilton, and Andreau aren't credible argument. It isn't just hearsay from team mates with varied personal interests. Armstrong tested positive for a steroid and was allowed to provide a post dated therapeutic use exemption. Also, when a test was eventually developed for EPO, it was found in his old samples.


That whole hypothetical thing about marathons and North Korea and 10% chance of death.. WTF dude?!?! That situation actually did exist in pro cycling in the 90s. It was all westerners dieing, and they brought in the 50% hematocrit rule to stop it.


Cycling has always been translucently ambiguous--post modern even--in a way most pro sports aren't. It is common practice to buy and sell victories, for example: "I'll work for you to win if you give me XXXX". Small amounts of motor assistance is allowed, like holding on a bit too long when taking a water bottle (the true story behind Landis' remarkable stage win in the 2006 Tour), or sprinters just hanging on when nobody is looking. And, various drugs have always been used, often drugs that didn't turn out to be as performance enhancing as the cyclists thought they'd be.


Drug use changed with the discovery of EPO, and the Indurain era. At that point "the drugs" became a major influencer of success rather than a marginal edge.


To me, the real controversy with Armstrong is two fold. Some have floated the idea that cycling was starting to clean up after the Festina scandal of 1998, but that Armstrong pulled it back into the gutter (his first victory being in 1999, when he and his team were "riding with an extra gear"). Also, it appears that Armstrong received protected status from the sport's governing body. Both Hamilton and Landis corroborate the 2001 Tour of Switzerland story. And lest you think the governing body isn't capable of bias, consider how long it took them to reveal Contador's positive for the 2010 Tour.


Finally... As questionable as drug testing in cycling is, it does appear to be helping. Performances are less superhuman today than they were 5 years ago. Testing in cycling is still highly flawed, but they are doing far more than other sports (consider pro tennis or pro soccer).


PS: Carl Lewis probably had Ben Johnson contaminated with steroids at Seoul by conspiracy. Down the Rabbit Hole :P
posted by Chuckles at 12:43 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


"the drugs"--doesn't read clearly enough.. What I was trying to bring up is the importance of blood transfusion. It isn't just DRUGS, it is the medical program in general.
posted by Chuckles at 12:46 PM on May 20, 2011


And, from that link on Lewis/Johnson:
There is no suggestion Lewis knew of the plan.
So my implication is wrong about that. Better to say "Johnson was probably contaminated with steroids at Seoul by a Lewis supporter."
posted by Chuckles at 12:49 PM on May 20, 2011


ReWayne: I'm not sure if this is the infographic you're talking about, but it does a pretty good job of showing just how many of the top ten finishers from the tours have now been busted for doping. This was from a Bicycling magazine cover story by Bill Strickland, editor of bicycling magazine, a long time supporter and someone who has a lot to lose from the downfall of Lance, in which he seems to come to terms with the fact that Lance likely cheated.

I think that the more you read about this, the more likely you are to believe that Lance was doping in the same way that everyone else was. The fact that he's tested clean so many times seems to be a reflection of his money and the corrupt system that views his success as a necessity. There are a ton of examples referenced above including the missing samples and the donations to the UCI.

One thing that bothers me about all of this is that once someone has lied, they can never tell the truth. Landis said as much in his 60 minutes interview earlier. When Landis and Hamilton told lies, they were full of gaps and half truths and weird excuses. Now that they are (claiming to be) telling the truth, Landis at least has lots of names and dates and specifics. I'm sure Hamilton will too. But because they lied and did the wrong thing earlier, we're supposed to ignore all of the things they say now. The way I see it, when Landis and Hamilton were telling everyone they were clean, they had everything to lose. But once they have nothing else to lose, why not just tell it like it is.

If a portion of the public wants to see Lance fall, I think that the primary reason is because he's viewed as a dishonest hypocrite with a somewhat nasty and vengeful personality. He's worked pretty hard to crush other people, and actions like the Simeoni story above are plentiful.
posted by monkeystronghold at 12:53 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Armstrong or any other top athlete usually doesn't do any of these things themselves (plan and schedule their workouts, figure out and take the supplements they need, get the right equipment, etc.). It's their trainers and strength coaches. The athletes generally don't do shit, they pay other people a lot of money to make sure they do it right for them. So you get to talking with some of these caught athletes and all of a sudden they start waffling back and forth and what and how they took certain substances. Maybe they know the details, or maybe they just allowed someone else to poke a needle in them when it came time to. Of course they were complicit, but it wouldn't be surprising if they are passive in that decision. If you want to find out how they get around the tests, with a little slick googling and some good searching you may be able to find out. The problem with that is this is part of the top coaches repertoire, if I had a "system" that produced top athletes I sure as hell wouldn't tell anybody else. Especially if I'm counting on that to help pay the bills. To sit back and say "well, how'd he pass the tests then?" is putting a lot of faith into a) the supposed infallability of these (not so) secret tests and b) the superhuman ability of someone who competes above and beyond others being shot down for doping.

The real competition is being able to take the most of the best drugs without being caught.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:44 PM on May 20, 2011


The only reason this is interesting is for the outside the cycling world. Inside the cycling world I think people assumed Lance had been doping for years. But few people within cycling benefit from blowing Lance's cover-- the ones coming out now are the ones with nothing to lose.

Outside the cycling world is where the real damage could come, because Armstrong has been held up as an icon, a living legend, and an inspiration to millions. It won't go over well if conclusive proof ever emerges of his doping, and since that isn't going to happen, it's a daily decision for Lance to maintain his innocence, which is interesting to think about.
posted by cell divide at 2:01 PM on May 20, 2011


I'm a sports and sports medicine ignoramus. For those who might be interested to see this controversy from the perspective of the ignoramus, read on.

On the argument: such performance is impossible without drugs, and the proof is results from other athletes - I don't buy it, not at all. I don't know the first thing about sports doping medicine, but I've read enough medical research papers over the years, that I find this line of argument complete not credible. Extraordinary features of physiology, do occur in individuals. What LA did, wasn't assisted by robots, it was fully physiological. Example: the dude whose physiological response to cold was so unique that he's the only know case in medicine (he come to people's notice because he could swim in extremely cold water, and swam off the coast of Antarctica in ice water etc.). Merely being a freak, is not enough to say something nefarious is going on - and please, no arguments from authority, I've seen medical authority be wrong plenty but plenty of times.

On the argument, that others such as Landis claim that he did it - if so, why were they also not able to avail themselves of the same methodology to not get caught? Someone upthread mentioned that "it's easy" to avoid getting caught. If it's so easy, why didn't LA get nailed repeatedly? Why did these guys, who are certified liars, manage to get caught?

Here's the thing about conspiracies. If the conspiracy demands large groups of people to maintain silence, and there's a complicated set of actions over a long period of time necessary to pull off the evil deeds, then such conspiracies are exposed and don't have long staying power. If LA took performance-enhancing drugs over decades, with the cooperation of perhaps dozens of people, while performing under world scrutiny, with many parties greatly interested in exposing him, parties which had a great deal of power (France), then it strikes me as unlikely that he'd be able to pull it off. Yet the fact is, he was never officially caught.

Now, I am not about to assert that LA did or did not do that or the other - I have no way of knowing, furthermore I'm an ignoramus in this field. I'm simply reporting on a perspective that seems to me pretty common among us folk-not-in-the-know.

If you want to convince the ignoramuses out there one way or another, this ignoramus is reporting: you need to do a better job than you've been doing so far.
posted by VikingSword at 2:15 PM on May 20, 2011


VikingSword, as someone who's read enough about performance enhancing drugs, and been around a few top level athletes, to be able to discern a few things on how this works I tend to see that as almost answering a "PEDS and sports, how the f#@k do they work?" question. I mean the easy answer is money but beyond that you should read up a bit before going off on wild tangents. There's probably newer stuff out there but here's some old links I found and think are good reading as far as what some coaches are doing.
Chemical Solution
Interview with Chris Street
Charlie Francis (Ben Johnson's Coach) Interview
posted by P.o.B. at 2:56 PM on May 20, 2011


Another graphic.
posted by fire&wings at 3:39 PM on May 20, 2011


Maybe they know the details, or maybe they just allowed someone else to poke a needle in them when it came time to. Of course they were complicit, but it wouldn't be surprising if they are passive in that decision.

If you know anything about Lance Armstrong at all, you know how likely this is in his case.

However, the fact is it is very unlikely in every case. Since Festina in 1998, organized team doping has been less and less common. Cyclists have gone of their own accord to doctors known for their skill with performance enhancing techniques. Hence Dr. Ferrari and Dr. Fuentes working with individual riders from many different teams.

In some cases cyclists have chosen to forgo the expense of qualified help, in some cases this has led to grave consequences.
posted by Chuckles at 3:57 PM on May 20, 2011


And now it looks like Hincapie has corroborated Landis and Hamilton.

While I've never agreed with the line of reasoning that says we shouldn't care what Landis and Hamilton say because they aren't credible, it is a reasonable point. Nobody can say the same about Hincapie though; he has everything to lose.
posted by Chuckles at 4:47 PM on May 20, 2011


Frankly, I don't care if he took EPO. From what I know of the drug, it seems sort of ridiculous that it's on the banned list at all. It's a naturally occurring substance, you can increase your levels of it without injecting it (by training at altitude, for example), and from what I know, the health risks don't kick in until you're way above the effective level. Are there even any health consequences besides polycythaemia? Sure, it increases your endurance, but so do all kinds of legal things. To me, it's in a totally different class than anabolic steroids. Hell, for all I or anyone else knows, Lance Armstrong might naturally have kidneys that are freakishly willing to synthesize EPO.

Just because something enhances performance doesn't mean it's evil or unfair. Shit, ibuprofen enhances performance by helping you "train through the pain." But it's not a PED. Where do you draw the line, and why?
posted by KathrynT at 4:49 PM on May 20, 2011


Chuckles, that link 404s for me.
posted by KathrynT at 4:50 PM on May 20, 2011


Second try...
posted by Chuckles at 5:13 PM on May 20, 2011


Lance Armstrong: world's most clever doper. Kids, don't do drugs or you could end up a rich, world-champion, history-making athlete.

Acutally, looked at in the strictest sense, wasn't LA's cancer treatment doping? He used chemical means to change his body's biochemistry, thus enabling him to win races.
posted by telstar at 6:33 PM on May 20, 2011


Chuckles, that article includes this:
Cyclingnews attempted to contact both Hincapie and his BMC racing team but all calls went unanswered. He said on Twitter, "I can confirm to you I never spoke with 60 Minutes. I have no idea where they got their information."
If not quite a denial, then definitely not a confirmation.

telstar, there are exceptions for therapeutic uses of drugs. The one, single solitary time that Armstrong tested positive for artificial testosterone, he was excused for having a plausible reason--he'd been using a topical cream to treat saddle sores that contained it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:46 PM on May 20, 2011


George Hincapie is putting another nail in the coffin of Armstrong's reputation. All these former team mates saw what happened to Marion Jones when these same guys went after BALCO and don't want to get jailed like her for lying the grand jury and committing perjury. Armstrong is still sticking to his 'never failed a test line' but it's always been a give away that he usually phrases it that way, rather than 'i never took drugs'. Let's be honest, everyone was on EPO at that time, Armstrong just annoys people because he's been holier than thou about the whole thing while winning the tour seven times and treating other people in the sport pretty poorly.
posted by joannemullen at 6:55 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've followed cycling for years, as my father cycles and has done time trials for the cycling sections of the triathlon, etc.

Armstrong tested positive for a steroid and was allowed to provide a post dated therapeutic use exemption.

That's not accurate. In the 1999 Tour, a urine sample showed small traces of cortico-steroids. Armstrong was cleared, however, when his U.S. Postal team, produced a medical certificate showing that he used a cream to ease the pain of a saddle sore. Even that sample, however, was below the levels that would have triggered a positive result at the time. via

Also, when a test was eventually developed for EPO, it was found in his old samples.

Supposedly, 12 samples from 1998-1999 were tested using a new experimental method years after that showed evidence of EPO. Six were alleged to be Armstrong's, according to L'Equipe, while the other six were not identified. The agency that took the samples would not confirm what L'Equipe alleged.

Not only that, but there are serious ethical problems: with the fact that anonymous information was leaked, with the testing methods used, and with the fact that these were "B" samples, where "A" samples had already been destroyed and so there is no accepted manner to verify or dispute the tests. Urine was not tested for EPO at the time, and Lance didn't test positive once they did start testing urine.

These allegations would not have disqualified him in any event, but the insurance firm behind the Tour de France at the time owed Lance 5 million dollars and used the allegations to keep from paying him.

Lance sued them and sued the British Times for libel for printing the allegations. He won the the settlement and an apology from the Times.
posted by misha at 8:14 PM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, and the results of the EPO allegations? An independent investigation concluded, "There is no factual basis to find that there has been an Adverse Analytical Finding, let alone that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation could be asserted." Lance was exonerated by the UCI in 2006.
posted by misha at 8:28 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Incidentally, the reason pervasive doping is such a bad idea is that it becomes a horrible situation in the upper echelons of recreational/amateur cycling, where everyone who wants a chance at the big leagues has to dope. I have several friends who are sponsored cyclists but in order to progress to professional status they would have to do things to their bodies they are not willing to do. For teenagers coming up in the sport, the pressure may be more than they can bear).

This. A friend's father worked with a sports institute, and a disturbing number of the teenage athletes, when surveyed, stated they'd be happy to use dangerous PEDs to boost performance.
posted by rodgerd at 11:10 PM on May 20, 2011


Ritchie writes "Take the absurd quantities of money out the sport and the rest of the dope will follow."

Seems unlikely. I don't follow cycling but cheating is rampant in many competitive sports where the only bragging rights are other people in your league and the only payment is a couple rounds at the sponsoring bar. Even something as laid back as rec league slow pitch seems to have on going problems with a team or two in every division/league pushing the legal envelope (commonly in roster irregularities and equipment). My wife went to the western softball finals last year and the amount of paper devoted to prevent people from signing up ringers was unbelievable because if they didn't teams would morph radically between qualifying and competing.
posted by Mitheral at 1:58 AM on May 21, 2011


I work out at a 24 Hour Fitness Center dedicated to Lance Armstrong, and every time I go there, I face a giant quotation next to a giant photo of Lance saying "what (sic) am I on? My ass is on my bicycle six hours every day blah blah blah..." I don't suppose they are thinking of taking it down.
posted by kozad at 7:47 AM on May 21, 2011


This entire 60 Minutes feature is brutal. Hamilton is obviously reluctant to drop Armstrong in the shit -- he looks pained and ashamed to even be there, and verbally excuses Lance as no worse than Hamilton himself more than once -- but what he's saying is damning, not only of Armstrong but of the team and its management as a whole.

He didn't just see Armstrong administer EPO, but says they both underwent blood doping on the tenth day of a tour, and that Lance gave him some steroid by mouth -- a tiny dose that wouldn't be detectable the next day -- and then took the same dose himself.

Oh, and this statement from Armstrong's lawyers, cited in the first link?
"Tyler Hamilton just duped the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley all in one fell swoop. Hamilton is actively seeking to make money by writing a book, and now he has completely changed the story he has always told before so that he could get himself on 60 Minutes and increase his chances with publishers. But greed and a hunger for publicity cannot change the facts: Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete in the history of sports: He has passed nearly 500 tests over twenty years of competition."
The same non-specific kind of denial was sent to 60 Minutes: nothing saying that Armstrong never doped, but just that he never failed a test. But hey, at least they didn't mention sheep with machine guns who wanted to go to the best cocktail parties.
posted by maudlin at 4:35 PM on May 22, 2011


The United States Anti-Doping Agency said on Friday that Hamilton had handed over his gold medal, after the International Olympic Committee said it could strip him of it.

The title will go to the Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov, as Armstrong pointed out in his reaction on Twitter: Congratulations to @eki_ekimov on his 3rd Olympic Gold Medal!!


Way to keep it classy Lance.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:38 PM on May 22, 2011


At some point you have to wonder: did nobody pay attention to the saga of Jose Conseco? Everybody called him (probably accurately) a lying, cheating, bitter publicity seeker, but those names he put out there suddenly started popping up on the positive test lists.

"I've never been caught" is a terrible defense, given that we know that the doping scientists are about a decade ahead of the anti-doping ones, and that plenty of cyclists have stated that everybody's doing it and you only get caught if you're careless.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:25 PM on May 22, 2011


you only get caught if you're careless.

You only get caught by doping controls if you are careless. Most of the famous busts -- Festina, Puerto, BALCO -- come from police action against doping organizations. So, most doping athletes never get caught, and most of the ones who get caught are caught by police investigations.

Doping controls are almost completely useless for catching anything. They probably impose relatively healthy limits on the athlete's medical programs though, which is a good thing.
posted by Chuckles at 4:16 PM on May 23, 2011


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