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Author Topic: The case against Lance Armstrong  (Read 87911 times)
Ingmar
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Reply #210 on: August 24, 2012, 01:27:00 PM

It occurs to me that if we assume he wasn't doping, and managed to win 7 in a row in dominant fashion while fighting cancer yadda yadda, doping really can't be all that helpful, can it? If it was effective to any kind of reasonable degree one of the dopers behind him would have beaten him at least once in there. OR.... he was doping.

Let me extricate you from your bizarre fantasy version of events. I have followed pro cycling as a fan and professionally and have read Lance's best selling autobiography It's Not About the Bike.

He was the "strong as a bull" kind of young pro cyclist through his 20s. The kind that wins stages of races, not overall wins. Then he got testicular cancer that had metastized into his lungs and brain by the time he was diagnosed. He lost a testicle and underwent full-on chemotherapy, with an estimated 5% chance of survival. He became a skeletal Auschwitz-looking figure, unable to exercise.

Note: he was not racing while he had cancer. His then team abandoned him and cut off his health insurance, leaving him for dead.

He survived. The cancer went into full remission. He built himself back up from less than nothing, until he could ride again. He emerged a smaller, wiry man compared to the bull-like figure he had been. Small, wiry riders are the kind that win Tour de Frances. He decided to target that race, even though people doubted him. He trained and trained until he was an elite pro cyclist again.

All of that is undisputed. The allegations are about what he did after that. Because what he did then was win seven consecutive Tours.

He had the unique combination of a strong, powerful cycling form that had been brutally reduced into a wiry, smaller body. He had the focus and pain tolerance of a guy who had stared down death. And he always had the best team (cycling being a team sport where your teammates sacrifice their chances by cutting through the wind resistance for you, while you sit behind, conserving your energy for key moments at the end).

These factors are why he was uniquely suited to winning the race. The question is whether he went a further step, and how much that affected things.

Um, really? Bizarre fantasy version of events? You got that from the entire one sentence I wrote about him?

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Paelos
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Reply #211 on: August 24, 2012, 01:35:51 PM

So when they say that's he's raised $500M for cancer? No, he raised $65M for cancer and $435 for running a "non-profit" behemoth.

I've heard this is the same for just about every non-profit is out there, so I'm not really shocked.  Can you give us something similar for the Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen and United Way as well?  I ask because you're the professional and going to know where to look and compare fairly quicker than I will.

The United Way is a sinkhole, and I never recommend people giving to that either. The Red Cross has had issues with fraud, but I believe overall in their efforts. The American Cancer Society pulled in $375M at the home office in 2009. They gave up $120M in grants. That's almost 32% of their take going directly to research. Honestly, that's a pretty solid number to be giving a third of your money away for an organization with that much national sway and presence. They also run consistently at a loss because they've built up a billion dollar endowment. The one thing they've done I don't agree with is their CEO officer salary is way out of whack. John Seffrin makes about $2M a year for running the organization, compared to the the officers making low to mid six figures.

EDIT: That is to say the national version of the United Way. There are local versions that do a good job, but you have to take them on a case by case basis.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 01:40:15 PM by Paelos »

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Reply #212 on: August 24, 2012, 01:42:03 PM

Um, really? Bizarre fantasy version of events? You got that from the entire one sentence I wrote about him?

Sorry, it was an overreaction. I thought you had him winning Tours with cancer :)
Nebu
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Reply #213 on: August 24, 2012, 01:46:21 PM

The American Cancer Society pulled in $375M at the home office in 2009. They gave up $120M in grants. That's almost 32% of their take going directly to research. Honestly, that's a pretty solid number to be giving a third of your money away for an organization with that much national sway and presence. They also run consistently at a loss because they've built up a billion dollar endowment. The one thing they've done I don't agree with is their CEO officer salary is way out of whack. John Seffrin makes about $2M a year for running the organization, compared to the the officers making low to mid six figures.

The ACS has funded a lot of my cancer research and that of my colleagues.  They are very selective in who they give money to and often get a great bang-for-their-buck in research productivity.  I can not say enough good things about how ACS has helped cancer research.  I am biased though. 

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Ingmar
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Reply #214 on: August 24, 2012, 01:47:14 PM

Um, really? Bizarre fantasy version of events? You got that from the entire one sentence I wrote about him?

Sorry, it was an overreaction. I thought you had him winning Tours with cancer :)

He still describes himself as "fighting cancer" in the statement from yesterday so that's where that came from.

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proudft
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Reply #215 on: August 24, 2012, 01:49:46 PM

He won't give up fighting cancer until cancer denies his appeal.
Paelos
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Reply #216 on: August 24, 2012, 01:51:12 PM

The ACS has funded a lot of my cancer research and that of my colleagues.  They are very selective in who they give money to and often get a great bang-for-their-buck in research productivity.  I can not say enough good things about how ACS has helped cancer research.  I am biased though. 

I like what they do, and I think giving them money is a good thing. Generally, they run a tight ship and I have very little complaints. Why I'm against the United Way, even though they give a much larger percentage of their income to grants, is because you are essentially paying a middle man for charity. The United Way just takes that money and doles it out to charities like the ACS, and they take a 20% cut for overhead along the way.

I mean, what the fuck? Why not just give directly to the cause and cut out the middle man. I don't really see any reason for most United Way organizations to exist.

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Reply #217 on: August 24, 2012, 03:35:43 PM

ghost
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Reply #218 on: August 24, 2012, 03:58:54 PM

The ACS has funded a lot of my cancer research and that of my colleagues.  They are very selective in who they give money to and often get a great bang-for-their-buck in research productivity.  I can not say enough good things about how ACS has helped cancer research.  I am biased though. 

I like what they do, and I think giving them money is a good thing. Generally, they run a tight ship and I have very little complaints. Why I'm against the United Way, even though they give a much larger percentage of their income to grants, is because you are essentially paying a middle man for charity. The United Way just takes that money and doles it out to charities like the ACS, and they take a 20% cut for overhead along the way.

I mean, what the fuck? Why not just give directly to the cause and cut out the middle man. I don't really see any reason for most United Way organizations to exist.

They're kind of a relic from the past, when it was harder to find out what charities were available to donate to and a middle man was more necessary.
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Reply #219 on: August 24, 2012, 05:34:18 PM


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Ingmar
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Reply #220 on: August 24, 2012, 05:40:46 PM

Amusingly, nearly every rider who finished 2nd to Armstrong in a Tour has tested positive or gotten themselves in trouble for doping-related activities at some point or another - Alex Zulle, Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Joseba Beloki.

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Maledict
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Reply #221 on: August 24, 2012, 06:11:15 PM

It was a sign of the times - you had to be doping to compete at the top level.

It's a shame because Lance Armstrong *was* the best rider around, yet now he goes down even worse than the rest because he refused to admit doping. They just need to void all the wins from that time period and focus on keeping the sport cleaner.

(if the British cyclists are ever found to have doped it would be horrendous for the sport in this country. Fortunately the British teams seem to have an incredibly strong anti-doping ethos, and barring french cyclists vaguely mentioning stuff at the Olympics there doesn't seem to be those accusations flying around. But even so...)
ghost
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Reply #222 on: August 24, 2012, 06:17:37 PM

Amusingly, nearly every rider who finished 2nd to Armstrong in a Tour has tested positive or gotten themselves in trouble for doping-related activities at some point or another - Alex Zulle, Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Joseba Beloki.

Yes.  In fact, I'll redirect you to my article posted here: 

Here's an interesting run down of the runners up in the Tour de France on the years Armstrong won. 

Also, if you look at the winners of the TdF since Big Mig, only Oscar Pereiro, Carlos Sastre, Cadel Evans and Wiggins have not been suspended for doping.  The Tour de France is littered with dopers throughout the past 20 years.
ghost
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Reply #223 on: August 25, 2012, 08:17:44 AM

It appears as though public sentiment towards Armstrong and his foundation hasn't waned

Quote
Ulman said $3,200 came in Thursday to the organization's website, which was in the range of what it typically receives. As of 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Ulman noted $78,000 in donations.

Quote
Merchandise sales were up almost threefold, from $4,000 in gear sold on Thursday to $11,000 sold on Friday.

There's no such thing as bad publicity, I suppose.
Sir T
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Reply #224 on: August 25, 2012, 10:20:55 AM

Well, since he has besicly pled guilty, the believers can keep believing and all the evidence stays buried. And the money can keep rolling in.

Sometimes irony is pretty ironic.
ghost
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Reply #225 on: October 10, 2012, 11:00:18 AM

Apparently the USADA is going to make public their evidence on Armstrong soon

It looks to be pretty much a nuclear bomb in Armstrong's living room:

Quote
The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced Wednesday that it would soon make public its doping file on Lance Armstrong and that the file would include details of what the agency is calling the most sophisticated and professional doping program in recent sports history.

The agency said its dossier on Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor who denies ever doping, will include sworn testimony from 26 people, including nearly a dozen former teammates on the United States Postal Service team. Those Postal Service teammates have admitted their own doping and say that Armstrong doped, encouraged doping and administered doping products on the team, the agency said on Wednesday.

Quote
The evidence against Armstrong features financial payments, e-mails, scientific analyses and laboratory test results that show Armstrong was doping and was the kingpin of the doping conspiracy, the agency said. Several years of Armstrong’s blood values showed evidence of doping, said a person involved in the case who did not want his name used because the results have not been revealed yet.

He's so fucked.  I can't imagine that Livestrong will be able to stay afloat, and I would imagine that the government could come after him for earnings since he was employed by the US postal service. 
Nebu
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Reply #226 on: October 10, 2012, 11:17:44 AM

Meanwhile, thousands of corporate execs and oil moguls enjoy record profits while paying no taxes. 

These witch hunts are nothing but a distraction from the real crimes being perpetrated on society. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
ghost
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Reply #227 on: October 10, 2012, 11:21:27 AM

Meanwhile, thousands of corporate execs and oil moguls enjoy record profits while paying no taxes. 

These witch hunts are nothing but a distraction from the real crimes being perpetrated on society. 

I agree.  I would also argue that the election and the politics that we generally see publicly are a distraction from the real crimes being perpetrated on society. 
Paelos
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Reply #228 on: October 10, 2012, 11:24:09 AM

I hope Livestrong tanks. It preys on people's sympathies and does next to nothing for the cause it purports to champion.

In fact, Cancer research charities are some of the worst in the nation in terms of efficiency with your money. The American Institute for Cancer Research is just as bad.

The best, if not one of the best, is the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in NY. I HIGHLY recommend that if you want to give to cancer research projects without all the bullshit about "awareness".

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Nebu
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Reply #229 on: October 10, 2012, 11:25:36 AM

The best, if not one of the best, is the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in NY. I HIGHLY recommend that if you want to give to cancer research projects without all the bullshit about "awareness".

The best would be to send your money directly to me and cut out the middle man!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
ghost
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Reply #230 on: October 10, 2012, 11:26:31 AM

I don't see how Livestrong could help but fail now.  Who in their right mind would give money to such a manipulative cheater?  I am highly suspicious of most charity organizations as it is. 
Nebu
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Reply #231 on: October 10, 2012, 11:31:18 AM

Who in their right mind would give money to such a manipulative cheater?  I am highly suspicious of most charity organizations as it is. 

This guy had no problem extracting millions...



"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
ghost
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Reply #232 on: October 10, 2012, 11:40:20 AM

Who is it?
Nebu
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Reply #233 on: October 10, 2012, 11:42:23 AM

Who is it?


Billy Graham: Evangelist. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Paelos
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Reply #234 on: October 10, 2012, 12:24:52 PM

Low blow. Graham's a pretty nice guy and all-around good human being.

EDIT: I would have used Swaggart, Bakker, or Osteen.

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ghost
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Reply #235 on: October 10, 2012, 12:25:58 PM

Ah.  I think Billy was playing with more of a stacked deck.  He had Gawd on his side.   awesome, for real
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Reply #236 on: October 10, 2012, 12:59:28 PM

Low blow. Graham's a pretty nice guy and all-around good human being.

EDIT: I would have used Swaggart, Bakker, or Osteen.

Hinn.

Does any one know where the love of God goes...When the waves turn the minutes to hours? -G. Lightfoot
ghost
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Reply #237 on: October 10, 2012, 01:09:19 PM

I live 2 miles from John Hagee's church.  He's such a piece of shit. 

ghost
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Reply #238 on: October 10, 2012, 01:19:29 PM

Hincapie's statements on doping are pretty interesting. 

Quote
"Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them," Hincapie said in a statement released to The Wall Street Journal Wednesday.

With the purported 20% boost in effectiveness with doping in cycling, I don't see how any of these guys could be in the top 25%, or even in the top 75% of the field, and not dope.  If you were on the podium, you were doping.  I'm not sure anything has changed since the mid 90's.  They're all guilty until proven innocent. 
Sir T
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Reply #239 on: October 10, 2012, 02:23:00 PM

This comment made me laugh out loud
Quote
Recall the Onion article August 30, 2007:

"PARIS—A small but enthusiastic crowd of several dozen was on hand at the Tour de France's finish line on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées Tuesday to applaud the efforts of the 28 cyclists who completed the grueling 20-stage, 2,208.3-mile race without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. One month after the leaders finished the race."

Sometimes irony is pretty ironic.
ghost
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Reply #240 on: October 10, 2012, 02:28:30 PM

You think about a 20% difference and you're talking about 16-18 extra hours of racing as compared to a Tour de France winner.   

Out of the list of past winners, you have to look back to LeMond (and prior) to see a significant change in the peloton times.  I would love to believe that cycling has come clean, but Wiggins and Evans are posting the same dope tainted times as the past 15 years. 
Nebu
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Reply #241 on: October 10, 2012, 02:39:57 PM

Keep in mind that bicycle technology has improved pretty significantly in the past 20 years.  A state of the art racing road bike in 1990 is entry level by today's standards.  I imagine equipment alone would improve performance by nearly 10% since 1990. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #242 on: October 10, 2012, 02:43:27 PM

Wait. The bikes are doped?

I'm just going to say here that I don't really want to read 7 pages of a thread that's been going on for a year, but Lance Armstrong is a shitbag of a person. I wish famous people's personalities were auto-included in how much people liked or admired them.
ghost
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Reply #243 on: October 10, 2012, 02:45:08 PM

Possibly, although they have included more regulations to make bikes more "standardized".  Look at some of the old bikes from Big Mig's days of time trialing.  They were like clown bikes, in a lot of ways.  They've also instituted minimum weight requirements.  So my personal thought is that it is probably less than 10%, just knowing what I know of bikes.  

And that is an interesting thought, schild.  I wonder how much mechanical "doping" is going on.  Fabian Cancellara has been accused of it in the past.  It would be relatively easy, I would think, to put a small motor in the crank case or even in the hubs that would give a little speed boost.  Even 2-5% could make a big difference for these guys.

Example:

Nebu
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Reply #244 on: October 10, 2012, 02:46:38 PM

Wait. The bikes are doped?

I was just pointing out that an improvement in pelaton times can partially be attributed to an improvement in technology.  Nutrition, training, and genetics also play a role.  Do these guys dope?  Probably.  That wasn't the point.  


"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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