Restoration of Armstrongs titles?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by jhuskey, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,596
    Likes Received:
    336
    This is by no means an advocacy for Armstrong. Just thinking outloud of what could happen or may never be.

    I know that many hate to even hear his name and cycling in the same sentence but I was considering that somewhere down the line that those that make decisions might deem it correct to restore Armstrongs titles considering the 7 year gap and taking into consideration the doping culture of the time.
    In 1912 Jim Thorpe won two events in the Olympics but lost them due the fact the he got paid to play baseball. Many others were doing the same thing but using aliases as not to endanger their amateur status. His titles were eventually restored 30 years later and we all know that professional compete every 4 years in the olympic..The times and culture have changed. Thorpe to me is one of the greatest athletes of all times and at the time of his scandal most Americans payed little attention to his demise. I really don't think many payed a lot of attention to Armstrong's demise either, at least those outside the cycling community.
    In 30 years the powers that be may look back and say "look at this shameful gap in the history of the Tour. We know it was a doping culture and they rode in a doped peleton so it was level playing field". Who knows doping could be made legal in 30 years just as being a pro and competing in the Olympics did.
     
    Tags:
    hullhull10 likes this.


  2. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    13
    Someone in the Armstrong vs. Lemond thread summed it up best with the example of speeding and random enforcement. Speeding is always illegal, even if you don't get caught and called out. The fact that most people do it is not going to hold up as a defense in traffic court. Likewise, everyone participating in the TDF those years knew doping was against the rules. Just because Armstrong happened to be the one crucified for it doesn't make the stripping of his titles unfair and "most other people were doing it" doesn't hold up as defense. If you accept the race license, you accept the rules that come with it. No one is allowed to cry if the rules catch up with them when the rules are quite literally printed in black and white.

    I think Thorpe is a different issue. His rule breaking did not artificially enhance his performance vs. non-cheaters like Armstrong's did. He could have stopped collecting a pay check and thus magically not been a "professional", yet competed at the exact same level as he did. Armstrong could not have competed at the same level without the doping. It IS possible to say how those Olympic games would have turned out if Thorpe wasn't collecting a paycheck from a baseball team (no differently than they did), but it isn't possible to say how the TDF would have turned out for those seven years if Armstrong wasn't doping. That's why one deserved the restored wins and one doesn't.
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,596
    Likes Received:
    336
    That is a good anology but I am trying to project what might be in the future. I am stunned by what is acceptable today as opposed to 30 years ago. View points change and standards change.
    Of course in 30 years I probably won't care about much of anything if I am still alive.
     
  4. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    13
    I think you have to consider why sports organizations started banning doping in the first place. Unless it's proven safe and you get a large majority of athletes within a given sport willing to use PED in the next 30 years, I don't think it's ever going to be allowed. If it becomes acceptable, everyone will have to use it to keep up. On the other hand, the rule change in Thorpe's case was simply a focus shift of what the purpose of the Olympics is. In the same manner, 30 years from now it'll probably be acceptable to show boobs (maybe more?) on prime-time TV, but I seriously doubt meth will be legal then or ever. One is a mentality shift that only effects the hearts and minds of those involved, the other has serious consequences to life and limb.
     
  5. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    87
    I think the "everyone was doing it" analysis is why the titles are vacant, instead of being awarded to the various known dopers who finished second in those years. In more recent years, Andy Schleck hasn't been proven to be a doper, so he got Contador's vacated title. Periero won Landis' vacated title due to the magic of the retroactive TUE.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Personally, I fall into the camp of "if you go after one, you go after them all - otherwise let the past be." Don't stop because it suits the argument of the day.

    I don't think what happened to Lance was wrong. Over zealous, yes - bordering on a witch hunt actually, but the lad cheated and admitted to it. But where do you draw the line and troll back in time to ban more people? Zoetemelk admitted to using "limited" blood doping to "replenish in order to stop sickness and fatigue" during his 1980 Tour win. Merckx said he refused a transfusion prior to his hour record - which makes you wonder on top of his other doping offenses how many transfusions he took... Anquetil doped - ban him too... It's be fair to say that more wins from the early 80's onwards were done with some aid in the hematocrit department than without....

    ... but does that mean that Lance gets all his victories back? Not necessarily.

    Why is 1998 a cut off point? PDM intralipid (aka EPO) affair in the early 90's - why stop there? We had a guy that couldn't climb nor finish his first couple of Tours go on to win 5 in a row that was managed by the same guy that managed Pedro "under IOC rules I doped, but the UCI ain't gonna ban this stuff until the end of the month so I'll take it to win the Tour" Delgado and Alex EPO Zulle. Hmmmm. USA Olympic team blood doping to the hilt along with Moser in 84 - why not go back to then?

    If you're not going to apply the same witch hunt to all the other riders in past years then yeah, apply the same 'blind eye' to Lance.

    I have to smile when people make Lance out to be a complete doping shithead yet go onto worship Merckx, Moser, Kelly et al... Irony cloaked in ignorance.
     
  7. Viking55803

    Viking55803 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    7
    This issue reminds me of the book "The Stranger" by Albert Camus, where a French man murders an innocent Arab. He is convicted and sentenced to die not because he committed the murder, but because he did not cry at his mother's funeral and felt no remorse for his actions with regard to the murder.

    Armstrong was an arrogant bully, a skilled and effective liar, and remains unrepentant to this day. He also hurt the sport of cycling and ruined the careers of other cyclists who dare to challenge him and the business of Greg LeMond though his influence with Trek.

    This sort of thing happens every day in the criminal justice system. We just had a social pariah in our community who sold synthetic drugs (ostensibly legal) to a small group of unfortunates. His shop was located in the middle of a section of town that is being redeveloped into a yuppie-hipster haven and refused to be contrite and go along with the program. Honestly, he seemed to be a fairly despicable human being who was profiting off of others misery.

    Just a week or so ago he was convicted of multiple but obscure crimes and sentenced to 17 years on prison! No one died from the drugs he sold as far as we know, yet he got the sentence of a killer (at least manslaughter or second degree murder.) Was that fair? I would bet my next paycheck that if he had "played ball" with the City Fathers he would never have seen a minute of jail time.

    Life is unfair and we all have to learn to live with that fact one way or the other.
     
  8. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    I think people forget that Armstrong was the only accused rider who refused to go before USADA and answer the charges against him. He built his case on the legitimacy of USADA investigating and sanctioning him, and he lost.
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    Where was the precedent for a lifetime ban and about 10 years loss of results? I don't think it's hard to argue that he was guilty as sin but the difference between the punishments handed out to lifetime dopers like Leipheimer and Lance just scream witch-hunt.
     
  10. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    There was none. Contempt of one of the sport's governing bodies is an Armstrong precedent.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    He wouldn't be the first person, athlete or not, that didn't work with a governing body or court. Choosing to not go into arbitration isn't contempt. If we look back at similar cases in years past, like the Festina Affair or the "intralipid" PDM fiasco that later was said to be EPO - where did we see people being banned from the sport for life and a decade of results removed as the result of organized doping within a team, by the team and fully organized within the team? We didn't. What Lance and Bruyneel did in cycling isn't new yet due to their status within the sport they received punishments far in excess of anyone in prior cases.
     
  12. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,185
    Likes Received:
    907
    He had broader charges than the other clowns. Trafficing, adminstration to others, covering up. That is why he got a life ban. Did you miss that bit?

    And swampy, why do you bring stuff up from 20 years ago? 30 years ago? 40 years ago? The rules were different. It's irrelevant in the context of the punishment one nut and the hog got. What relevance does what Merckx did in 1973, Anquetil in 1967, PDM in 1991, Festina in 1998, Roche in 1992 and the rules that applied back then have on the sanction Armstrong got? NONE! This 'go after one, go after them all' argument is stupid. Its like the little kid sooking he got sprung by the teacher while all his mates got away with it. Tough shit.
     
  13. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    I care because if you're gonna fcuk one person over then do them all. I've always been that way and hopefully I always will. It shouldn't stop with one. The whole premise seemed to be go after Lance and make and example of him and hopefully that'll 'scare' the next generation not to do it. What really needed to happen was blow the roof off the sport and really make sure that it never happened again. Naysayers said that people would never watch the sport, even after the Lance case. 2.5 million people on the side of the road in Yorkshire's two stages of this years Tour proved that to be utter bollocks.

    Blood doping was made illegal in 84 after the Yanks systematically blood doped at the Olympics - so that includes PDM, Festina, Roche (inc his first stint at Carrera - the team where everyone got better when they joined and shit when they left and were "doctored" by Conconi). For those guys the rules were the same - it was banned. I don't know what part of banned and organized on a team level - which would have included procuring the stuff illegally and administering it, you don't get. The only way to make it more simple for you Classo would be to put together a kiddies book with colourful pictures 'n shit ;)

    Everyone either doesn't know or just forgets that Conconi (Ferrari's mentor) worked with CONI, the organization that seems so high and mighty in Italy against doping, to develop a program to systematically bloody dope athlete's for the winter Olympics back in the early 90's. They pretty much won everything and it was an operation that dwarfed Team Postal's "back of a team bus hiding on the floor" shenanigans by a country mile, yet everyone things that sneaking EPO around in an ice box on a moped is "the most organized doping operation in the history of sport." Give me a fcuking break. Festina was the same way, illegally procure, smuggle across international borders (which is how they were eventually busted) distribute and administer EPO, Hgh and a whole bucket of other things - but they took it to a level that Armstrong never could in the 90's before the 50% rule was introduced. If anything, those guys that really took the piss should be made an example of. 60% hematocrit, more in the cases of the riders that actually farking died. Teams were giving the stuff to riders and they were dying for fcuks sake - how is that not worse that anything that every happen in the sport? Fark. But "shush" no need to say anything, it won't sell newpapers like Lance would nor will it advance the careers of a certain few. ;)

    As for doping before then, it was banned. That's why Merckx was banned several times. Doesn't really matter what you do to seek an advantage, you cheat and the guys should be labeled as such. I find if fcuking ironic that there are some on here that worship the ground that Merckx walks on when he took whatever he could (ie the best available stuff of the day) and got busted many times over for it - and it was all done by the team docs. Ain't no different from what Lance did. Maybe rose coloured glasses tint your view of the past and you can't see it for what it is. Merckx did allude to taking blood transfusions, a practice used by top marathon runners of the day... That in itself wasn't "banned" back then but put in the context of "modern day sins" and all that...

    I dig watching Merckx smashing cnuts. I dig watching Kelly in that time trial in Ireland dripping sweat and pounding that 12 sprocket at 100 rpm and making Van der Poel look like an idiot - inspirational. Despite the fact he had planned to retire that very day due to 2 years of unbelievably crap form and almost unbelievable Vitamin B12 revival, I find LeMond's final TT in the 89 Tour absolutely amazing. But like Lance, they're all as guilty as sin. So I'm at the point where I'll shoot the shit with the people that think Lance stinks yet everyone elses shit smells like roses but I'll go back and watch all the ace footage from years gone by and appreciate it for what it was - riders doped to the gils and smashing cnuts in ways that no 'clean' rider ever could.

    The biggest organized sports related doping operation in the world. How come that is often said yet no one mentioned East Germany and Russia back in the day? I bet they had more than a moped with an ice chest to deliver their 'goodies' when they needed it. OK, it may have been a Trabant, Lada or a Yugo but you could carry more in those...
     
  14. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    13
    This is what made the difference and what all the Lance fans keep overlooking. The guy was a total douche so they slapped his peepee hard. Everyone else was cheating, he was cheating and being a completely obnoxious dick about it.
     
  15. classic1

    classic1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,185
    Likes Received:
    907
    tl dr
     
  16. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    I'm of the opinion that his titles weren't removed because he cheated but like AyeYo mentions, he was an obnoxious dick about it. Furthermore he's like the guy the casino knows is counting cards, and gets so greedy about it they run him out the backdoor into the alley and break every bone in his hand with a hammer. Lots of card counters in Vegas, plenty of them leave by the front door. Maybe the Lancer should have stopped at five, or six, or...

    Whether the titles are officially restored or not it's like that manipulated photo of Stalin on the bridge with Yezhov. To anyone who's seen the original, he's there, even when he's not. Still the TDF winner in my mind, and watching how painfully uncomfortable Emma was during their last meeting, apparently still a douche.
     
  17. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    2,289
    Likes Received:
    139
    I'm inclined to agree with that. Its been well proven that driven people will go to almost any lengths to reach their goals. That's human nature and not much point in arguing with that. Resist it, sure. But arguing is pointless. What a person does, by himself, to himself is always ultimately up to him. What makes LA special is the collateral damage he created when the facade began to crack, and the number of willing and unwilling "co-conspirateurs" he created. If it'd been only LA and his doc, I wouldn't have thought twice about the whole thing ever. On a side note: I've been diagnosed with late onset asthma just a few years back. I've probably had it for ages - I can remember running buddies commenting on my loud, wheezy breathing since my teens. But hey, I've only got this one body to use, so I didn't have any reference to base any opinion on. And I managed OK anyhow, mostly. So performance with slightly restricted breathing has been what I've thought of as "normal". Now, I still feel a thrill when I dose up properly. My "medicated normal", which is supposed to equal a "healthy normal" boosts my peak heart rate with 5-8%. Easily noticeable when I go at it hard. Despite me having endlessly less riding on my achievements than someone like LA, such a boost out of a bottle is mighty tempting.
     
  18. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,131
    Likes Received:
    115
    Thorpe was an amazing athlete. He was disbarred because he took a nominal amount in payment for playing baseball.
    It seems to me that Thorpe was done for breaking the rules of amateurism.

    Armstrongs breaking of the rules, to me at least, is a whole different method of cheating.
    His cheating involved earning money under false pretenses, through doping. What he did was fraud.

    Thorpe won his medals fair and square. Armstrong cheated to get his titles.
     
  19. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,131
    Likes Received:
    115
    Things do change in sport.

    For example the rule to enforce amateur rules in athletics here in Europe were very very strict. World class middle distance athletes from Ireland and the UK could not win prizemoney for races.
    The prize money in many cases was put in trust until they retired otherwise they would have broken amateur rules.
    Things like sports endorsements only applied to professional athletes. Amateurs could not get sports equipment endorsements. I remember the New Zealand rugby team blackening the white logo of a certain brand on the boots because the players were not getting a slice of the sponsorship action due to amateur rules. The NZ rugby board were being paid thousands by the boot sponsor however.

    Rod Laver was disbarred from competing at Wimbledon when he became a professional tennis player.

    The amateur ethos across all sports was strictly enforced back then,
     
  20. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    87
    Except in the Eastern bloc where they were professionals by any common understanding of the term. State subsidized, often nominally in the military but having an "occupational specialty" that gave them tons of time off to train, and compete.
     
Loading...
Loading...