Say it ain't so Lance!!!

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by majorhavoc, Jun 14, 2004.

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  1. majorhavoc

    majorhavoc New Member

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    I just read on MSN.COM that a new book is being released this week by an ex-physiotherapist from US Postal. It claims 1st hand knowledge of Lance doping. It's so hard for me to believe. I know he's the most tested athlete on the planet and I refuse to accept it. Am I being naive?
     
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  2. keydates

    keydates New Member

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    There are other threads about this, but I'd doubt the validity of the book's claim as the authors don't exactly have the credibility.
     
  3. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    Lance says it ain't so and has filed legal proceeding in both England and France against the author and publisher.
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Hi,

    Can you tell me where it states that LA has initiated legal proceedings ?
    If you had a link for this, I'd appreciate it.

    I would doubt that there have been proceeding issued because
    tracts of the book have been published on this side of the pond !
     
  5. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    This is as close as I've seen - from today's CyclingNews.com Why would the fact that parts of the story have already been printed preclude legal proceedings?



    "Armstrong has instructed his lawyers to immediately institute libel proceedings in London against the Sunday Times and David Walsh seeking an injunction and substantial damages, and in Paris against David Walsh, Pierre Ballester, the publishers of "LA Confidential" and the publishers of L'Express, in which excerpts of the book were published Monday. "
     
  6. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    www.lancearmstrong.com

    LEGAL NOTICE
    RE: LANCE ARMSTRONG - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Lance Armstrong has reacted with concern and dismay at the false allegations made by David Walsh, Chief Sports Writer of the Sunday Times. The allegations appear in a forthcoming book entitled 'LA Confidential', co-written with Pierre Ballester and to be published in France. Extracts from the book have appeared in L'Express and some of the book's allegations were repeated in yesterday's Sunday Times.

    Lance Armstrong utterly denies ever
    having taken any performance enhancing drugs.

    Accordingly, Lance Armstrong has instructed his lawyers to immediately institute libel proceedings

    1) In the High Court in London against the Sunday Times and David Walsh seeking an injunction and substantial damages

    2) In Paris, against David Walsh, Pierre Ballester, the publishers of 'LA Confidential' and the publishers of L'Express.

    Proceedings will be filed in the High Court tomorrow.

    Issued by Schillings, Royalty House, 72-74 Dean Street, London, W1D 3TL
    Ref: KS/GB/JR/A113/1 Tel. 020 7453 2500 Fax: 020 7453 2600


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  7. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    If you like Lance you will believe him innocent.
    If you hate Lance you already have him hanging from the highest tree. Human Nature.
    My apologies to those countries that do not allow capitol punishment. I was only speaking figuratively.
     
  8. Brunswick_kate

    Brunswick_kate New Member

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    I like Lance. I have enormous respect for all his accomplishments. I hope these allegations are total crap. It would do so much damage to the work he's put into his Foundation and the cause of cancer awareness. I'd like to think he's smart enough to know that with all the public commentary he's made on the suject of doping in his sport, that there's about a million journalists who would love to nail his hide to their trophy wall.

    I am old. I am cynical. I am jaded by Life and have been let down by heros before....As much as I wouldn't want to see him guilty, I wouldn't be surprised to learn he was. Disappointed but not surprised.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Before compiling a book containing allegations of drug abuse against a sportsman, the publishers would have checked and re-checked the content of the book to ensure that
    whatever allegations were written had been verified so as to withstand a charge of libel, defamation etc.
    Also most people who are implicated by an allegation usually resort to the courts to prevent publication of statement implicating them.

    In this case, it appears that the Sunday Times weren’t prevented from publishing their articles – which suggests either one of two things.
    1.LA and his people did not know about this book and it’s
    allegations and that the bookand it’s serialization was “sprung
    on them”
    2. LA tried to get a court order preventing publication but was
    refused an injunction.
    (if an injunction application is made and refused – it would not
    be public knowledge)

    Before serializing the book, the Sunday Times lawyers would have required proof of the allegations to prevent it (ST) from being open to prosecution for libel, for serializing something that was libelous/defamatory.
    (I don’t know what the legal situation is in the USA but here in Ireland and the UK, the courts, in recent years have been punitive when it comes to cases of libel/defamation etc – no publisher worth his/her salt would risk publishing something which is defamatory).

    That’s why I asked the question about legal actions – because the libel/defamatory laws here are so harsh.
    No publisher in it’s right mind would allow allegations that are so explosive to be published without being 110% sure that what was being alleged was verifiable.
    No newspaper would serialize a publication containing these allegations without being 110% sure that what was being alleged was verifiable.

    The law in Britain and Ireland is clear.
    If I accuse you of being a cheat – you have to go to open court and prove that you did not cheat, in order to win a defamation/libel case.
    If I am found to have defamed you – the court will come down heavily on me.
    But the onus to prove ones innocence lies with the person being accused of cheating and not the accuser.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I have to say that I would be astounded if Walsh was making allegations which cannot be verified.
    I have dealt with Walsh in the past and I can tell you that he is extremely thorough individual when it comes to either writing or speaking about cycling and sport – and he is
    doubly careful when speaking on the drug abuse issue in sport and within cycling in particular.
    He cannot afford to make malicious or incorrect allegations, given his reputation and his longitude in the sport.

    David Walsh, who is from Waterford, here in Ireland started his journalistic career in the early 80’s when he wrote for the Sunday Tribune.
    He has subsequently moved on to the Sunday Times.
    He has also written several biographies such as Sean Kelly’s.
    He also contributes to news and television and he had a famous discussion here on
    Irish television with Stephen Roche in 2002 when he openly quoted transcripts of the charges pertaining to Dr.Conconi in Italy, which implicated Roche.

    So it would be truly shocking that he would simply “make up” allegations against Lance Armstrong.
    Walsh is a highly respect journalist – so we’re not talking about the some tabloid journalist trying to make a name for himself.

    I am not an apologist for David Walsh.
    I am simply explaining my experiences having dealt with him here (he wrote extensively about our domestic competition in his earlier career).

    That is where I draw the line in this discussion.

    I await to see the full content of his book before deciding if his allegations have credibility.
     
  11. unclemuzza

    unclemuzza New Member

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    For a start she's a masseuse, not a physio - big difference mate!. One is professionally trained and registered the other is just a rubber of tired muscles who has no real qualifications and therefore credibility.

    LA is clean as, his only crime is being an exceptional athlete that the world loves cutting down to its own inadequate size. Bring on the mountains in this years tour.
     
  12. rmartin

    rmartin New Member

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    Details of this book don't seem to appear on Amazon (.com, .fr, .co.uk or .de) so I wonder where exactly it is being published!
     
  13. traxnseq

    traxnseq New Member

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    You are definetley naive. Armstrong is not only the most tested athlete but also the athlete who is allowed to take a maximum of pharmaceutic products due to his cancer; where other athlete would be controlled positive he is fine as he is allowed to take certain products; but honestly : everyone doubts since a longtime about epo and armstrong, there were just too much stories in his surroundings; even now he is trying to attack and to forbid the book, the authors were keeping secret the name of the editor to avoid a last minute operation of Mr Armstrong. If he is guilty he has to face the consequences and Jean Marie Leblanc is definetely already thinkink about the 2004 Tour as he already exluded riders for less...
     
  14. philoakley

    philoakley New Member

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    I agree with you that David Walsh will have made very thorough checks as to the validity of his sources. Sadly, I also happen to believe that the allegations are true.

    Around two years ago when David Walsh started writing sceptical articles about cycling and drugs in the Sunday Times, I was annoyed as most cycling fans and believed it was just his way of selling newspapers. However, I have now thrown in the towel and increasingly believe that most international endurance sports have a massive drugs problem.

    As far as cycling is concerned, I would point to the trend in the average speed of the Tour de France in recent years as evidence of continued doping. Since the 1980's the average speed of the winner has increased by at least 2kph and now stands at over 40kph. I know that there have been improvements in training, technology and road surfaces etc which can explain for some of this but not all of it. The explanation rests with significant improvements in rider recuperation which allows hard racing (and training) day after day, up and down mountains. I would also point out the number of riders remaining at the bottom of the last mountain climb of a stage. It is not uncommon to have 30-40 riders instead of 10-15 over a decade ago. In my opinion, Greg Lemond was the last clean rider to win the Tour de France.

    Like all of us who love the sport of cycling, I want to believe that the sport is clean and admire the feats of the riders. Unfortunately, I can no longer do this and believe that Walsh is probably correct in his views. The only objection i have to Walsh's views is that he has almost exclusively focused on the sport of cycling. In my view, distance running has the same problem but this has been largely ignored.

    If Walsh's allegations are true, then international cycling in its current from is dead.
     
  15. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Phil,

    Your points throughout your post are spot on, my friend.

    The trouble that a lot of people have with Walsh's book is that
    Armstrongs story appeals to their subjective (emotional) side.
    (and I'm not being patronising when I say this).
    Of course, we all want to see someone overcome a very serious
    illness and come back and do well.
    And this is where people like Walsh are being pilliored - because they take the time to look at the statistics of speeds in races
    and objectively argue that someone who was totally incapable of
    doing these times during the first four years of his career can fundamentally alter his very being to make gargantuan progress.

    The crux of the matter is - can you believe that a rider who was incapable of competing in the top endurace race for the period
    1992-1996, is capable of dominating that same event between
    1998-now : after suffering a life threatening illness ?
    Further, can you believe that the times recorded in 1998-now
    by the same athlete, which are significantly faster than the catalogued doped cyclists of 1990's, be done without using performance enhancing drugs ?

    If I could progress the discussion onwards - if LA is doping, he's doping.
    Shakespeare said "me thinks he prostesteth a little too much" - and this is my feeling about LA.
    His two books - while being a good read - seem to me to be a vehicle for his attempting to justify the real doubts that some of us have concerning his cycling performances.

    I am anti-doping.
    I do believe that the majority of cyclists dope.
    These are serious issues in themselves.
    But to compound the seriousness of these issues but attempting to convince people that ones performances are based on being clean - to me, this is even worse.
    LA has attracted a lot of attention by his recovery.
    He is on the receiving end of a lot of emotional investment from people who are going through similar, terrible, medical treatments.

    As Greg LeMond says either this is the greatest story that has ever been told - or we are all on the receiving end of the biggest
    fraud that has ever been perpetrated.

    Finally, I can see why there is a lot of harsh criticism from our transatlantic friends concerning Walsh.
    It is evident that Walsh's reputation (or his articles) have been
    widely circulated in the USA.
     
  16. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    If you combine a whole lot of "what if's" surrounding a theory which holds no water, and then convince people that each "what if" builds on the last one, you come up with a well concocted lie. And why would this lie sell a lot of books? Because it's what people might expect to hear about a dominant rider.

    Sure, the masseuse may have disposed of syringes. But what was in them? Vitamin B? Iron? Probably. But what does a masseuse do who is no longer in the game to garner publicity for herself? She treats it as if it is some major unsolved mystery. She doesn't explain that they were most likely for legal injections that all riders take. If she did that, she would still be in the doldrums without the worldwide attention she gathers now from her story, which may be true in what she saw, but preposterous in the conclusion it makes.

    If you want to start seeing what is more likely the truth, read the following article. After all, when you consider Lance Armstrong has passed all drug tests, and he is subject to RANDOM tests all year long and has passed them all, most likely he is clean and has been clean all along.

    http://sport.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=701762004
     
  17. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Read carefully what I wrote in my post above this one, and read the article linked. The book does nothing more than link together many different instances which might indicate that drug use may have occurred. These indications are not the most likely indications; they are simply indications which might arise from the facts. It's the facts that journalists must be held responsible for. They seem to be free to generate trashy opinions about why those facts occurred, and this is what is happening. If someone passes many, many drug tests and comes up clean every time, do you think you can sell a book that declares, "Lance is clean"? Do you think that would make the bestseller list? I doubt it. The tests have shown he's clean all along. So it's no surprise. People aren't going to buy that.

    You can sell a lot more grassy knoll books than lone gunman theory books. People are always looking for a conspiracy. But don't you think someone would have seen something a little more convincing than syringes which may have been used for vitamin injections?

    By the way, I am more inclined to believe the grassy knoll than the doping allegations.;)
     
  18. steve007

    steve007 New Member

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    David Walsh has done interviews about the book and still aint brave enough to state that Lance HAS taken drugs. And as people have said Lance gets tested all year, more than most too.

    Personally, I believe that anything is possible, but even if it was true I would still have massive amount of respect for LA and his accomplishments.

    Bottom Line: LA has done far far more to educate and help people than David Walsh has or will ever do.
     
  19. gntlmn

    gntlmn New Member

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    Let's play devil's advocate to illustrate just how preposterous this sounds. Let's say you are in Lance Armstrong's position. You keep winning the Tour, but you have this horrible secret--you have been doping ever since you recovered from cancer.

    How do you cover this up? Whom do you trust? Do you really think that even your closest friends would avoid outing you to the world press for all this time while you keep winning the Tour every single year, all the while losing so much sleep worrying if anyone whom you have trusted with this dreadful secret will come clean at last?

    I doubt that this would have gone on this long. It defies logic. Consider how many people would have been involved in this conspiracy. Clearly, this coverup would have involved many, many people, not just Lance. It's rather absurd to believe that they could have kept quiet this long.

    I think he's innocent. Conspiracies are a lot harder to put together than you think. Celebrities live in fish bowls. It is very tough to keep secrets that involve many people if you are a celebrity.
     
  20. traxnseq

    traxnseq New Member

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    But the court in France has rejected the demand of LA;
    he will not be able to include a mention in the book....
    justice exists...
    pls stop defending Armstong; if he is guilty he has to face the consequences; this time there are just too much facts against him and I am curious how much time it will take before cylcing authorities will exclude Armstong;
    earlier this year you certainly heard about the cofidis and manzano story & consequences ...
     
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