I’m done with Armstrong.
So did others.
Most likely still do.
And will do.
Some will do anything to gain a competitive edge.
Nothing new there.
Maybe Armstrong was more ”thorough” than most.
I still don’t care.
Only thing to me that sets Armstrong apart is the damage he managed to do to others while denying his doping.
I thought I should answer your claims a little more thoroughly:
The methods that are used for "doping" do not make a riding faster over endurance length events. At best they prevent your strength from reducing as rapidly over time. For instance, in hard endurance events your red blood cells are degraded carrying nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. And they die off.
EPO is not a drug per se' because it occurs naturally in the body and the "artificial" form of it is identical to that the body generates normally. When your body generates EPO it is somewhat held back because it requires energy to manufacture it and it also consumes a lot of water/liquid in the generation and the effects of it in order to generate new red blood cells. Therefore EPO was NOT a good choice for use IN COMPETITION but rather in the times between competition when you weren't wearing yourself out and weren't dehydrating yourself extensively.
When Greg Lemond had his hunting accident the blood banking systems all over the world were closed down because something in them was making people ill and dying. This turned out to be HIV and I was part of Dr. Kary Mullis' team to build laboratory instruments to use his specially invented chemistry (PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction) to discover the HIV virus but to identify it as the cause of AIDS. I designed all of the digital hardware and programmed it when very high level engineers said it couldn't be done.
With the availability of transfusions out of the question the sudden recovery of Greg by using "iron shots" is so far fetched that I find it hard to believe. Perhaps his doctor used the recently invented artificial EPO and who here would say that he was a doper even if he didn't know that was what his doctor was giving him without telling him, to avoid questions of doping? And if you would be willing to give Lemond a pass why would you not also consider the use of EPO out of competition equally prescribed since recovery from a hard tour shortens the lifespan of riders?
In any case the UCI dealt with their inability to detect the artificial EPO from the natural by setting a maximum hematocrit or the percentage of red blood cells in a sample to 50%.
Now, because EPO was not a good idea to use in competition because it could cause as dangerous side effects as killing a rider from dehydration, the medical people came up with the idea of blood boosting by taking blood from a rider for a month or so before a major tour, using EPO to allow the rider to recover from that loss and then in the Grand Tour to reinfuse the rider's own blood back into him before the hardest stages so that his hematocrit would return to "normal".
Again, none of this would improve a rider's strength above his baseline.
Now what about anabolic steroids? These are artificial forms of testosterone. These also do not improve a rider. They can build muscle but pro racers don't need increased muscles. This is added weight on them that must be fed and watered. You might argue that a sprinter can always do with extra muscle power but then you also have to finish a race to win anything including a green jersey.
As for the various pain-killers you probably get a better boost from a single 325 mg aspirin tablet which decreases muscle pains and cramps and also reduces the effects of LDL cholesterol than even the opioids which some riders used taking the chance that they would be tested at the end of that stage.
The long and the short of it is that while everyone was using the same system of blood boosting, and it was indeed cheating because it was against the rules, they were all pretty much on a level playing field.
Now, should we address the chatter of Armstrong "destroying the lives of other riders". This too is so far over the top that it's plain to see that the people talking about this have never really studies the Tour. Most of the big time winners of the Tour would destroy ANYONE that stood in their way. I doubt that Armstrong was as bad at this as Eddy Merckx. And let's not forget that Merckx was caught drugging three times in his career without the charges of him destroying the sport.
How do riders go faster than others? There are basically two methods for people of like proportions and levels of training:
1. You can have a genetic predisposition for generating less of the lactic acid in your muscles as is generated when you are using more energy than your circulatory system can handle. This can also be a sign that you have a more powerful circulatory system with more blood vessels that others. This is probably a bad theory since most people with grow the same amount and size of vessels in their muscle tissue with exercise
2. You can have a predisposition for having a higher pain threshold for that lactic acid burn than others. We know that there are these people but we really don't have much idea of how or why. And I should add that there is a high pain threshold and a high pain tolerance. These are different - the high threshold means that you don't feel the pain below a certain level while the other means that you can withstand more pain for a longer period of time. Neurologists have studied this quite a bit. And their theories can be pretty humorous such as having a high tolerance when getting enough sex.
The long and the short of it is that cheaters can barely be called cheaters. And any great champion will become egotistical regardless of what his public face could be.
So its long past time to lighten up on Armstrong.