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Finally, Someone Tells What Seems To Be The Truth About Illegal Drug Use At The Tour De France
Henry Blodget | Oct. 5, 2010, 6:26 AM | 220 | 1
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Floyd Landis (foreground) and Lance Armstrong in the 2005 Tour de France

Image: AP

See Also:
More Of Lance Armstrong's Teammates Tell Criminal Investigators That He DopedHere's How Lance Armstrong Cheated At The Tour De France (Per Floyd Landis)Cyclist Floyd Landis Finally Admits To Doping Like A Drug Fiend, Says Lance Armstrong Did It, Too

Ever since the controversy about blood-doping and drug use in pro cycling started a couple of decades ago, we've been waiting for someone to come out and tell the truth.

If cheating was as rampant as it appeared to be, it seemed inconceivable that some riders could be competitive without cheating.

So either the doping and drug use was confined to a couple of "bad apples," as the authorities always implied, or everyone was doing it--and had to do it to compete--and only a handful of riders were getting caught.

Well, in the wake of another Tour de France winner failing a drug test (Albert Contador) and the investigation of Lance Armstrong moving toward a likely unpleasant conclusion, another former cyclist has finally dropped any pretense of denial. And, in doing so, he has described a reality of pro cycling that rings more true than anything we've heard from a rider in the last 15 years.

Juliet Macur, NYT:

Bernhard Kohl, the Austrian rider who was stripped of his third-place finish at the 2008 Tour for doping, said Monday he was not surprised a top cyclist had tested positive for more than one banned thing.

“It’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping,” said Kohl, who was in Leesburg, Va., to speak at the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s science conference. “You can tell by looking at the speed of the race. Every year it has been about 40 kilometers per hour. It’s the same the year I raced, the year Floyd Landis won, this year. It shows riders are still doping.”

Kohl, who said he retired from the sport to avoid having to think about doping every day, has no specific knowledge of Contador’s case but said most of the top riders rely on transfusions of their own blood and of designer, undetectable drugs like different types of the blood-booster EPO.

“I was tested 200 times during my career, and 100 times I had drugs in my body,” he said. “I was caught, but 99 other times, I wasn’t. Riders think they can get away with doping because most of the time they do. Even if there is a new test for blood doping, I’m not even sure it will scare riders into stopping. The problem is just that bad.”

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Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/lance-armstrong-doping-tour-de-france-2010-10#ixzz11UHSvDVv
 

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Such things as said by Kohl have been said in the past by many others who were much greater in stature. All I know is that it is disappointing to know this and hear this said over an over. I would love to see someone finish this great race, or other great stage races clean and win it. Sure it would not be as fast or as elegant, but wonderful none the less.

Armstrong was an extremely gifted and strong rider. But if you tell me that he gapped Pantani in 2000 on Ventoux and he was clean, well, that is just nonsense... Pantani has become one of my favorites over time, one of the greatest ever climbers... I wear a yellow wrist band daily, one of the greatest complete riders ever was Armstrong. Yes, I can't help but just be in awe of what Armstrong has done. But clean, I just can't sit there and say they are clean, any of them. What keeps me thinking just so highly of all of them is that I know, that no matter how early someone would have taken me aside, and no matter what drug regimen I would have been put on, there is NO WAY I could have done any of what those pros have done. So they are still special in my opinion, doped or not.

Don't think you can ever get rid of this problem. Now you make fun of my completely obvious statements and viewpoint :)
 

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MaddSkillz said:
Great article. I'd guess it's more right than it is wrong.
+1

Elaborating further would just be a step toward this thread being locked, if you know what I mean.
 

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Brad the Bold said:
+1

Elaborating further would just be a step toward this thread being locked, if you know what I mean.
Go ahead and elaborate, that's what this forum is for. :thumbsup:
 

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Somewhere out there someone is (or was) the greatest completely clean rider to ever clip in.

The optimist in me would love him to have his day in sun!

The pessimist in me thinks he is (or was) buried pretty far back in the peloton.
 

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Solopc said:
Such things as said by Kohl have been said in the past by many others who were much greater in stature. All I know is that it is disappointing to know this and hear this said over an over. I would love to see someone finish this great race, or other great stage races clean and win it. Sure it would not be as fast or as elegant, but wonderful none the less.
The Indurain and Armstrong wins were fast. Elegant and wonderful? If you mean neither of them showed weakness, I'd agree. Armstrong's ride into Morzine in 2000 wasn't as bad as it was made out to be and the TT in 2003, he came in second.

The tours during the Indurain, and Armstrong eras seemed like foregone conclusions. There was very little excitement at all, except for the early years, when Armstrong's victories were a surprise, and we didn't know much about how those victories were achieved. The 2002, Heras led victory demonstrated the absurd power of systematic, teamwide, doping.

Solopc said:
Armstrong was an extremely gifted and strong rider.
In classics maybe. Grand Tours, no, or at least not in '93,'94,'95, and '96.

Solopc said:
But if you tell me that he gapped Pantani in 2000 on Ventoux and he was clean, well, that is just nonsense... Pantani has become one of my favorites over time, one of the greatest ever climbers... I wear a yellow wrist band daily, one of the greatest complete riders ever was Armstrong. Yes, I can't help but just be in awe of what Armstrong has done. But clean, I just can't sit there and say they are clean, any of them. What keeps me thinking just so highly of all of them is that I know, that no matter how early someone would have taken me aside, and no matter what drug regimen I would have been put on, there is NO WAY I could have done any of what those pros have done. So they are still special in my opinion, doped or not.

Don't think you can ever get rid of this problem. Now you make fun of my completely obvious statements and viewpoint :)

What do you say to a rider like Bassons? He was a guy with a VO2 max of 85ml/kg which was superior to that of Armstrong.

Clean he could hang with Virenque in the mountains and drop guys like Moreau. When they were doped, he didn't have a chance.
 

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blackjack said:
The Indurain and Armstrong wins were fast. Elegant and wonderful? If you mean neither of them showed weakness, I'd agree.

What do you say to a rider like Bassons? He was a guy with a VO2 max of 85ml/kg which was superior to that of Armstrong.

Clean he could hang with Virenque in the mountains and drop guys like Moreau. When they were doped, he didn't have a chance.
Yes, not showing weakness is elegant and full of wonder, to me at least.

As for Bassons, I appreciate you pointing him out to me. Being I am new to the history of the sport I have much to read and learn. Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother with reading the history, then a reference like yours to Bassons confirms that I should do just that.

So, what would I say of a rider like Bassons? Pretty simple, it is guys that like that inspire even more imo. Shame that they(the clean riders) could never have their day in the sun as one other poster put it in this thread. Raising monuments to the likes of Armstrong and Pantani sure seems like a grotesque notion when, on the flipside, Bassons was chased from the sport.

The other thing that I wonder, and I am sure someone (more intelligent than I) has raised this before... Suppose even if Armstrong did not dope, what of his TdF wins in which his teammates helped him gain time in Team Time Trails, and these teammates where later busted for doping? Or what of the teammates that led him up so many climbs and worked for him that later got busted? All interesting stuff to me...
 

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Solopc said:
Yes, not showing weakness is elegant and full of wonder, to me at least.

As for Bassons, I appreciate you pointing him out to me. Being I am new to the history of the sport I have much to read and learn. Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother with reading the history, then a reference like yours to Bassons confirms that I should do just that.

So, what would I say of a rider like Bassons? Pretty simple, it is guys that like that inspire even more imo. Shame that they(the clean riders) could never have their day in the sun as one other poster put it in this thread. Raising monuments to the likes of Armstrong and Pantani sure seems like a grotesque notion when, on the flipside, Bassons was chased from the sport.

The other thing that I wonder, and I am sure someone (more intelligent than I) has raised this before... Suppose even if Armstrong did not dope, what of his TdF wins in which his teammates helped him gain time in Team Time Trails, and these teammates where later busted for doping? Or what of the teammates that led him up so many climbs and worked for him that later got busted? All interesting stuff to me...
Some great points I haven't thought about before. Especially the last paragraph. In the Olympic 4x400 meters, T&F, Medals were returned because of a positive by Pettigrew. Tragic, cautionary tale.

If cycling is a team sport as Armstrong is so fond of pointing out.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Pettigrew

Marion Jones, same thing, but she seems to have moved on.

As for your first sentence, the trait of not showing weakness, is by definition, inhuman, which is why a lot of people are disgusted with cycling and the doping era. This is why the FL disqualification hit so hard. People thought it might have been real.
 

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Brad the Bold said:
Somewhere out there someone is (or was) the greatest completely clean rider to ever clip in.

The optimist in me would love him to have his day in sun!

The pessimist in me thinks he is (or was) buried pretty far back in the peloton.
Vande Velde. He's on the ground back there somewhere. Somebody please tell the man that calcium isn't a banned substance. Thanks.
 
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