Armstrong Doping Case Gets Political - NYTimes.com
Ottway Ducard stashed this in sports
It's pretty simple. @lancearmstrong has inspired a generation of cancer-patients and families to keep fighting. It's not about the bike.
Nobody deserves a free pass; however, they are arguing about sport. Unlike recent sports-related scandals -- nobody was truly harmed whether or not he doped.
They have no smoking gun. They have no physiological evidence. They tested him thousands of times.
Nothing. Nada. Never found traces of anything. No failed tests.
Give it up already. Lance must have more haters than any other athlete in the history of sport.
Tim Ferriss has advice on dealing with haters: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/05/18/tim-ferriss-scam-practical-tactics-for-dealing-with-haters/
Learn to love haters, he says:
My feelings about this are so mixed I can't even begin to comment. I don't know if there are easy answers here.
About the haters or the doping?
Armstrong definitely has a shocking number of people who -- right or wrong -- want to bring him down. No debate there.
As for the case itself it makes my mind reel because I have many contradictory thoughts.
Contradictory thoughts like "drugs need to stay out of sports" and "why do they go after Lance so much?"
-Is it even possible/reasonable to get drugs out of sports? Most people need to do a lot more reading about how prevalent it is before they answer.
-Do we really want drugs out of sports? Are we all total hypocrites: screaming for drug bans as our eyes stay glued to Barry Bonds homeruns, etc.
-Cycling is a dirty, dirty sport when it comes to drugs. Anyone who knows the stats should knee jerk say "Armstrong used." In fact, most people are incredibly naive about how common PED use is in sports, esp the Olympics.
-Whenever someone obeys the rules and comes in number two and someone else breaks the rules and comes in number one, someone gets shafted.
-Many are irrationally out to get Armstrong.
-Armstrong has done much good. If he used, do ends justify the means?
-WADA (the "good" guys) wield their power imperiously and their testing standards are not as rigorous as they need to be (see Landis case.)
-Current testing is crap and they keep the samples so in five years better methods COULD detect what we couldn't before, like in DNA murder trials. So this isn't over no matter what Lance lovers or haters say.
-What about Tommy Johns surgery, and Lasik eye surgery? Why aren't those banned? And why is a hyperbaric chamber cheating? Should we ban protein powder and Gatorade if everyone doesn't have access to them?
-Circle back: if you really can't separate performance enhancement from sports and in our heart of hearts we WANT health-endangered supermutants to break every record then how much of this is moot?
Fausto Coppi: "I only took drugs when necessary — which is nearly always."
8 out of the top 10 riders in his tours have already *admitted* to doping, so who would his medals go to? Everyone doped. Merckx doped. Zoetemelk doped. Anquetil doped. Ulrich... Basso... Contador... while Armstrong's times are less suspect than, say, Pantani's in that his VAM's aren't off the chart on the last climb of a 6h ride, it's seems implausible he didn't dope.
Doesn't make what he did any less impressive - he was a beast on the bike.
What Edward F. Coyle of the University of Texas-Austin found out about Lance Armstrong was that from 1992-1999, the year of his first of now six consecutive Tour de France wins, “the characteristic that improved most (was) an 8% improvement in muscular efficiency and thus power production when cycling at a given maximal oxygen uptake.” Combining the increased muscular efficiency with a planned 7% reduction in body weight and fat leading up to each Tour de France race, “contributed equally to a remarkable 18% improvement in his steady-state power per kilogram” output, the Coyle paper reported.
The study, “Improved muscular efficiency displayed as ‘Tour de France’ champion matures,” appears in the June issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society. The research was conducted by Edward F. Coyle, Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austi
Every sport has its super-human outliers.
To claim that lance Armstrong must have doped because others did or because his performances were remarkable is argument by fallacy. He had an incredible physiological capacity to put himself into oxygen debt, and he also honed that physical capacity in training that was significant more intense than his opponents. Finally, he rode with the best teams ever assembled in cycling history. Guys like hincappie, landis, contador, Hamilton. At their peak, the USPS/RadioShack teams were utterly dominating.
Landis - doped. Contador - doped. Hamilton - doped. Hincapie - doped. Andreu - doped. Sure it was a strong team - that's what you get when you pay great Classics riders to be domestiques!
Physiologically, Armstrong is no Bolt - there are many cyclists who have put up similar or better watts/lb. Big Mig might be a better example of a physiological freak.
I'm not saying he doped because his performances were amazing - I was actually noting the opposite. His performances, unlike Pantani's, are *within* the bounds of reason on any given stage. But given the culture of the mid-90s, the sheer number of athletes who doped, including his entire team, all the runners up... that seems to be implausible to me. We'll see if Hincapie's testimony is released.
Lastly, "the system" isn't hard to beat! That's the problem - it's almost impossible to detect abuse if done "correctly", and that's just for the drugs we know about. Most guys are caught due to absolutely clownish errors.
It's really not fair to compare Tiger Woods and some of the others to Lance Armstrong. Yes, both are outliers but golf is a game of precision and the Tour is a body-punishing ultra-endurance test. Drugs are far more prevalent (ergo useful) in the latter than more "skill-oriented" sports like golf, tennis, basketball, etc. How many times do you hear about any golfers getting busted for PED? In cycling it seems to happen pretty much every week.
Actually, There have been a ton of statistics to show that the average distance of drives has gone up by 30+ yards since tiger woods came on tour. He used to be consistently top five, and everybody else caught up.
How often do tennis players, golfers or basketball players get tested for PEDs?
Basketball is a precision game, btw.
I wouldn't know golf from curling, but hasn't there also been improvement in the size and material of driver heads since Tiger came on tour that could explain the +30yds? Tiger probably also inspired a different level of training, but not sure if that's a factor.