No foot in the mouth this time as Lance blasts Drug Chief

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by hemplands, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

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    The Following text came from a letter to WADA the Drugs Agency from Lance Armstrong.

    "On behalf of myself and the professional cycling community, I am compelled to address statements made by Mr Dick Pound,"
    "I am abashed and saddened by the fact that a person with such responsibilities as Mr. Pound can issue such long-range declarations that clearly mean that me or my colleagues are taking drugs,"
    "Mr Pound, if you truly want athletes to be clean, go fight for that rather than slinging dirt at them in such an irresponsible manner.
    "I ask you to focus your efforts on the fight against doping rather than spending your time accusing innocent athletes without any evidence other than your own speculation," the U.S. Postal rider said.
    "My eyes are wide open. I know WADA would be useless if there was no doping but this is not a reason to assert the athletes are not clean, even when their tests prove negative.
     
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  2. Saucy

    Saucy New Member

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    His foot may not be in his mouth but in my opinion he never should have opened his mouth in the first place. Here is the comment from Dick Pound that is causing Lance to be "abashed and saddened":

    "The public knows that the riders of the Tour de France and the others take forbidden substances"

    What exactly is so wrong about that statement? Its completely true! Do riders in the TDF take drugs? YES. Does the public know about it? YES. All true.

    (Its possible that Pound made more damning comments. I have been unable to find the Le Monde article translated in English so if someone could post it, please do. The above quote is the one most widely quoted in the articles I could find)

    He is trying to fight doping, you dumbass! Unfortunately WADA is being stymied at every turn by the governing bodies, including the UCI! His proposals for stiffer penalties have been met with stiff resistance from the UCI, which tells me how disingenuous the UCI is about fighting drugs. Say Lance, if you really give a crap about this (which I know you don't) why don't you start writing letters to your own corrupt governing body and tell them to get their sorry act together? The more lance opens his mouth, the more he exposes his own hypocrisy.

    Without any evidence? Haven't riders been busted for testing positive? Haven't teams been found in possession of drugs? Haven't dead riders been found with drugs in their system? That is evidence. Shut your pie hole Lance!

    And why are LA and McGee talking about this over a month after the comments were made? Did it take them this long to formulate a response with their publicists?

    Here is Dick Pound's response to LA's letter:
    http://www.wada-ama.org/en/t1.asp?p=41275&x=1&a=90350
     
  3. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    If you can't understand what is wrong with Mr. Pound's statement, then I must assume that you haven't put yourself in the place of a clean Tour de France rider. His comment is all-inclusive. "...riders of the Tour de France...", makes it sound as though every rider competing in the Tour de France is taking drugs.

    I'm not sure what the laws are in France but if I were in Lance's position I probably would have kept my "pie hole" shut and let my lawyers go on Mr. Pound for his incredibly libelous and irresponsible statements.

    :D
     
  4. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    If I was a clean rider in the TdF I would be glad that Pound had raised the issue. I would want there to be a full and thorough purging of this problem.

    OTOH I can understand Lance gettnig so dicked off with it because he takes it personally. He is tested so much it makes him sick with anger. He probably shouldn't have taken this particular rant so personally. As Pound points out, he didn't even mention Lance's name and certainly didn't expect an angry reaction.

    I too agree with the statement:

    "The public knows that the riders of the Tour de France and the others take forbidden substances"
     
  5. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    So you feel that every single rider in the Tour de France is doping?

    I believe that I agree with Mr. Pound's intent, but not with the black and white of his statement, which was likely an unfortunate choice of wording.

    :confused:
     
  6. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Did'nt i read that lance was tested more then any other rider for some reason?
     
  7. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Did'nt i read that lance was tested more then any other rider for some reason? Oh, clean every time.
     
  8. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    A person with the responsibilities that Dick Pound has, making speculative and inaccurate statements like that, is disturbing.

    Imagine if you will, your local police chief saying this: "everyone knows that all the people living on your street are theives or drug dealers", while he plans investigations and searches. You'd be not only outraged at the false accusation, but a bit nervous as well.

    The correct statement would be - some riders in past TDFs have used forbidden substances. One would think that Mr. Pound could more effectively pursue his duties by citing known facts - like the number of cyclists known to have died due to complications arising from performance enhancing drugs. That would not only be correct, but might even persuade some cyclists to stay off the dope.

    What else do we plan to put our top cyclists through? In addition to pretty much devoting their lives to the demanding training regimen of the sport, they must also tolerate random searches, and now blanket accusations of dishonesty. Is it any wonder Lance gets a bit frosty at times?
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I am with you 100% on this, Saucy.
    Dick Pound is absolutely right in making the ascertions which he makes against the sport of professional cycling.

    In the absence of any real wish to eleiminate the use of drugs in our sport by cyclings absentee landlord - the UCI, Dick Pound
    has merely articulated what the wider public feels and knows about our sport.

    I read Armstrong's quotes with interest and I have to say that it
    merely re-enforced my opinions about this man.
    Armstrong decided to publicly reply to Dick Pounds ascertions about our sport.
    Is Armstrong taking up the mantle of grand patron ?
    And if he is, why then won't he support the likes of Christophe
    Basson ?
    Here's why I think he replied to Dick Pound.

    Dick Pound is a powerful figure in international sport - and he is also American.
    In America, Dick Pound's comments carry a lot of media interest.
    The reason why Armstrong replied publicly to him - is because
    Armstrong knows that the adverse comments made by Pound
    will naturally attract widepsread media coverage.
    Most Americans associate the TDF with Armstrong : thus Dick Pound is, implying that to win the TDF one has to use drugs.

    In this case Pound is absolutely right in questioning the authenticity of what we have seen since 1998 in cycling, and in the TDF in particular.
    Dick Pound is correct to suggest that most riders in the TDF are taking drugs.
    Not all TDF riders are dopers though
     
  10. alicem

    alicem New Member

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    Such outrage, yet no response to my thread on this matter re doping and the 'big names' and outright truth re one particular rider! Sadly I clack away with whatever darned nail polish that takes my fancy feeling more disheartened as the clock ticks to the 04 TDF. I'm confused; sad, angry and lost. How can I sit there watching the Giro and then the TDF (I wish I had more channels to be able to see more Classics but can't afford it)when so few are coming clean? Impossible. I think I'm done. ~reaching for a cigarette~ Time to end. Alice :(
     
  11. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    Dick Pound was at least careless and at most libelous in his inaccurate and accusatory statements. This just goes to re-enforce the feeling I have that some people will find a way to hate Armstrong no matter what he does. The man is tested to rediculous lengths and still people, sometimes those in positions who obviously know better, still make accusations.

    Making a blanket comment about illegal drug use which insinuates that every rider in the Tour de France peleton is doping is just inexcusable. Lance was right for responding since he was accused without evidence. I wonder how many would be so quick to find fault with the response if it had come from Ullrich.

    If people wish to hate Armstrong then fine, that's their right. But please, try to use enough sense and logic so that it at least looks like a valid reason rather than such a transparent issue of hating Armstrong and anything he does.

    I have to wonder who might take issue with the statement, "People who favor Ullrich don't show any common sense."
     
  12. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    I didn't say that. Nor did Dick Pound's statement imply that, unless that is what you want to hear. You'd have to be pretty crazy to believe that he would try to imply that!

    Yes - the wording was imperfect, but I think good enough for people to understand what he meant. What he didn't mean is exactly what you say at the top of your post.
     
  13. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    There are too many people out there , like Limerickman , who are make claims they can´t back up about doping and cycling that would , in any other medium , be grounds for libel .
    That some sportsmen take drugs is a fact , but cycling tests more than any other sport and has few positives for anything that isn´t a medicinal drug . The list of banned substances is now so great that it´s almost impossible to take anything that would be used by the public without failing a test .
    This is the reason for cycling wanting a sliding scale for offences not just a 2 year ( or as some zealots would have it life ) bans for taking the wrong med , prescibed by a doctor in most cases .

    The problem with Pound is that as a supporter of Rogge , who hates Verbruggen ( mind you who doesn´t ) for being too close to the previous president of the IOC and cycling makes a good scape goat because unlike football or athletics nobody loses hugh amounts of money if it´s attacked .

    In America there is a major problem with drugs in football ( US style ) where a player tested for THG and got a 4 match ban !, and Baseball , ice hockey etc not to forget that the US athletics association has been hiding positives for the last 15 YEARS , and is Pound shouting about that ???????

    ZEALOT = somebody who doubles the effort having forgotten the point .
     
  14. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    Assuming the quote of Mr. Pounds, posted earlier on this thread is accurate, that's exactly what he said. It wasn't an implication, it was a clear statement. The phrase, "the riders of the Tour de France", means just exactly what it says -- Those people who ride in the Tour de France. It's as all-inclusive as "the people at this table", "people who attend this forum" or "skiers in the Olympics".

    As someone who doesn't, couldn't and will never ride in the Tour de France, my tendency when reading such a statement is to believe that he didn't mean every single rider. However, as someone who has continually been accussed, tested, tested again, accussed, singled-out, tested some more, always shown clean test results and then accussed some more, I'd likely take great offense to the comment. Even as a rider of the Tour who had never been accussed and only tested the minimal amount, I'd likely take offense and feel that a person in a position of great authority had just told the public that I was doping. This is perhaps why Lance has received contact from no less than 42 other Tour de France riders, thanking him and showing support for confronting the issue.

    Unfortunately, it has become a very delicate situation and the statement issued by Mr. Pounds was, under the circumstances, a bit indelicate and, as worded, terribly inaccurate.

    If Mr. Pounds meant "some riders", then perhaps he should publicly correct his erroneous comment.

    :)
     
  15. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    There are too many people out there , like Limerickman , who are make claims they can´t back up about doping and cycling that would , in any other medium , be grounds for libel .
    El Ingles : endquote

    Such outrage, yet no response to my thread on this matter re doping and the 'big names' and outright truth re one particular rider! Sadly I clack away with whatever darned nail polish that takes my fancy feeling more disheartened as the clock ticks to the 04 TDF. I'm confused; sad, angry and lost. How can I sit there watching the Giro and then the TDF (I wish I had more channels to be able to see more Classics but can't afford it)when so few are coming clean? Impossible. I think I'm done. ~reaching for a cigarette~ Time to end. Alice

    Dick Pound was at least careless and at most libelous in his inaccurate and accusatory statements. This just goes to re-enforce the feeling I have that some people will find a way to hate Armstrong no matter what he does. The man is tested to rediculous lengths and still people, sometimes those in positions who obviously know better, still make accusations.
    Making a blanket comment about illegal drug use which insinuates that every rider in the Tour de France peleton is doping is just inexcusable. Lance was right for responding since he was accused without evidence. I wonder how many would be so quick to find fault with the response if it had come from Ullrich.
    If people wish to hate Armstrong then fine, that's their right. But please, try to use enough sense and logic so that it at least looks like a valid reason rather than such a transparent issue of hating Armstrong and anything he does.
    I have to wonder who might take issue with the statement, "People who favor Ullrich don't show any common sense." Beastt

    Alice, Beastt, El Ingles.

    Hold up here !

    Dick Pound made a general comment about the TDF and the riders in the race.
    All of you obviously disagree with the view that Pound has taken.
    This is fair enough.
    But given the widespread coverage of doping in our sport – is it not surprising that Pound has come to this conclusion ?

    The only rider we know for sure, who isn’t using drugs is Bassons.
    As for the rest of them – well, we don’t know whether they are or not, and this includes Ullrich and Armstrong and Beloki etc.

    It’s important to get the chronology right here.
    If you read the reported comments that Pound made – he doesn’t refer to anyone by name, he makes a reference to the TDF in general.
    He never used Armstrong’s name in the initial statement that he issued on this subject.
    Armstrong then decides to rebutt Pound’s statement, with a defence claiming that he’s tested X-amount of times.
    Why did Armstrong feel the need to counter Pound’s statement ?
    Armstrong states that Pound is impugning the whole TDF peleton.
    And, yes, Pound is correct to impugn the whole TDF peleton, given what has transpired in our sport concerning drug abuse.
    BUT POUND NEVER IMPUGNED ARMSTRONG INDIVIDUALLY – HE IMPUGNED THE TDF PELETON COLLECTIVELY.

    Why then is Armstrong being so defensive about this ?
    I’ve stated it before and I’ll state it again, US news media are more likely to cover comments uttered by Dick Pound of WADA, than Christophe Basson French peleton cyclist.
    Add the fact that most Americans associate the TDF with Armstrong, it is clear that
    Armstrong feels personally threatened by the comments made by Dick Pound because an American audience might well draw the conclusion that the winner of the Tour de France just might be a doper.

    Thus, Armstrong publicly issues a riposte to Dick Pound, claiming that he (LA) does
    so not because he himself feels threatened, but he does so in order to protect the reputation of the sport of cycling !
    Are we expected to believe that Armstrong has the best of intentions for cycling at heart, when he issued his reply to Dick Pound, defending the integrity of the TDF ?
    Or do we believe that Armstrong issued his reply to Pound on the basis that he feels threatened by Pound questioning the authenticity of the TDF and de facto the winner of the TDF ?

    My belief is that Dick Pound is correct questioning the entire TDF – which he did in his initial statement, given what we know about the drug culture in cycling.
    It is curious that a man – who says he’s clean, who says he sleeps well at night – feels the need to ride to the defence of the TDF – in this specific instance, even though he’s not named in the aforementioned statement.
    At other times when members of the TDF have questioned what is happening ie Basson, our Texan friend has publicly called him unprofessional.
    It’s an interesting dichotomy.

    Armstrong’s reasoning that he issued his statement to defend the reputation of cycling is, in my view, baloney.
    He issued his riposte because he knows that perhaps his home audience might question the whole ethos of the TDF and the performances therein.
    His reply to Pound is more about self preservation, than altruism.
    Armstrong is more worried about his reputation in the USA, than he is about doping in the peleton, or defending riders integrity etc.

    One final point – I can only speak for myself on this matter but I suspect that others here on this Forum, come from the same viewpoint.
    In any of the remarks that I have made about LA, I have stated categorically that
    I don’t hate LA, even from the outset when I first stated posting to this Forum.
    (Look at page 5, thread “10 reasons to hate LA” – my first comment ever on this Forum regarding LA).

    In assessing all cyclists, I evaluate all the available data concerning that cyclist and I then decide whether or not the cyclist in question is genuine or not.
    In LA’s case, after weighing all of the available information, I don’t think that he’s genuine.
    In weighing the available information about Ullrich, I think that he is – and I chose this phrase carefully – more believable than LA.
    Ullrich’s palmares and his performances seem to me to be more genuine than LA’s palmares and performances.
    My choice is based upon cycling data only – it has nothing to do with nationality, it has nothing to do with LA being American, my choice is solely based upon the available facts.
    If a cyclist from Spain or France or indeed Ireland, had the same palmares as LA, please be in no doubt that that cyclist would also be criticized from this quarter.
     
  16. Saucy

    Saucy New Member

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    I think you are stretching it a little. I can't imagine anyone assuming that his quote was meant to include all riders. Even those of us who are cynical about this whole issue would acknowledge that there are clean riders. I would also point out that the poorly phrased wording is probably due to translation from French to English - it is more likely that Pound said "The public knows that riders in the Tour de France and others take forbidden substances". In the french language they add "the" before any noun so my guess is that it got translated as such into English. Even if one could argue that grammatically it is all inclusive (which I don't think one can) common sense says that it was not intended that way.

    The best part of Lance's statement is that he has now attracted even more attention to Pound's statements in the English language media! I love it!

    I thought Pound's reply was excellent. Pointing out how LA's statement was misguided without making a personal attack and getting nasty. Well done!

    Just to add: Pound is Canadian not American.
     
  17. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

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    There is a very informed article on the Pez Cycling news website entitled Armstrong Vs Pound; words are not enough.

    www.pezcyclingnews.com/default.asp?pg=fullstory&id=2061

    It is very though provoking as the texts of the letters are in full and it draws some interesting conclusions.
     
  18. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Saucy & Hemplands,

    In relation to Dick Pound’s comments about doping in the TDF, I read that Armstrong says that he has received a lot of support from the peleton, regarding his (LA’s) reply to Pound.

    It is being reported that LA’s reply was issued in order to defend the reputation of cycling.
    Indeed.
    Let’s face it, Armstrong reply is based more on self preservation than any altruistic feelings which he claims to have toward the peleton.
    Armstrong knows that Pound’s comments will be picked up by the transatlantic media
    more readily than say, Christophe Basson’s comments.
    And in making his reply, Armstrong wants his transatlantic audience to know that the race with which he is most associated with, is, by and large, clean.

    What is worrying though is the alleged level of support that LA claims to have received from the rest of the peleton.
    Assuming that there is a groundswell of support for LA’s comments, do you not think that this is more worrying, than the actual spat between Pound and Armstrong ?

    There is now a window of opportunity where the peleton can make take a definitive stance on the drugs issue – and yet they apparently attack those, like Pound, who question
    the integrity of the cycling and TDF in particular.

    Given everything we know about the continuous drug scandals that plague our sport,
    wouldn’t isn’t now the opportune time for all those allegedly clean cyclists, within the peleton, to support Dick Pound’s allegations concerning the sport of cycling ?
    Wouldn’t you think that the likes of Brad McGee – who states that he is clean – would take the opportunity to welcome the view of Pound, given that McGee states that everyone knows who the cheats are in the peleton ?
    (quote : “. The inner world of cycling knows what goes on and knows who the cheats are and who are not. This I am sure and it is why I fear not in asking for large contracts as not only do I ensure results but I, more importantly, ensure that I will never be involved in a doping scandal.” endquote @ bradmcgee.com).

    The moral outrage of Armstrong’s reply to Pound, is matched only by the moral cowardice of those who allegedly support LA in his reply on behalf of the peleton.
    Not one cyclist in the peleton has endorsed Pound’s questioning of the authenticity of the TDF peleton.

    And finally, what about Armstrong’s reply.
    Why did he feel the need to reply to comments made by Pound, over a month ago ?
    To borrow a phrase from Shakespeare : “me thinks he protesteth too much” – probably sums up best, my thoughts about LA’s reply to Dick Pound.

    Armstrong’s corespondents – Verbruggen and LeBlanc – have attempted to row in behind Armstrong’s reply on behalf of the peleton.
    It surely cannot help Armstrong’s cause to have these two ethically bankrupt has-beens
    on his side ?
    Neither of these two dysfunctional autocrats have done anything to try to eradicate the drug culture which permeates cycling.
    Verbruggen and LeBlanc’s record is clear – since 1998 more drugs scandals have been
    uncovered in that time period, than at any time in the history of cycling.
    And before we move on – let me state that the scandals have been uncovered were though the work of the civil authorities in mainland Europe and not by UCI or TDF organizations respectively.
    Without the great work of the respective police forces and customs and excise people,
    the wider public would be none the wiser to the level of cheating in our sport.
    Thus, LeBlanc and Verbruggen’s endorsement of Armstrong’s reply is thoroughly meaningless, given their total abdication in the fight against drugs within cycling.
     
  19. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

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    Limerick, I agree with you on this.

    The UCI and ASO (leblancs lot) seem to be full of hot air. Its a good thing that Verbruggen and Leblanc are retiring soon and perhaps new brooms will sweep clean.

    J-M Leblanc should have retired after last years tour, it was going to be his swansong but his bosses persuaded him to stop on. His sucessor and deputy, and I forget his name, was a youngish dynamic man, but at this he decided to leave the organisation, because of 'working conditions'. I don't think there was any love lost between him and J-M L, and the thought of carrying on was too traumatic. From other sources I read that the new man is approved of by J-M L and he doesn't mind moving over for him. IMO I don't think anyone could be as 2 faced as that man, who says one thing and means something completely different.

    I don't know enough about the UCI successor to HV, so I haven't a true opinion on it, but over the weeks and months ahead I'm sure I'll find out.

    On the Lance subject. I'm very surprised that other cyclists aren't nailing their flags to the mast and agreeing with him. IMO they're either not clean or they're frightened of the consequences of speaking out. At this time I'm veering, reluctantly, towards the former. I sincerely hope I'm wrong, our sport needs it as much as a hole in the head.
     
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