Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Armstrong's Latest Doping "Scandal"

A number of people have asked my opinion on the latest revelations leveled at Armstrong by former teammate Tyler Hamilton.

My opinion is that this is nothing new. Armstrong was lucky never to get caught doing what nearly all (if not all) the top cyclists were doing in the 1990s and 2000s. In baseball, there was a dead-ball era, a "greenie" (sort of amphetamine) era, a steroid era, etc. In cycling there was a kola era, a "dynamite" and amphetamine era, an EPO and blood doping era, etc. Armstrong rode during the latter.

This cartoon by Mike Luckovich made the rounds via e-mail:

(original source:

It is funny. But if you pull the cartoon lens back, you'll see that all Lance's challengers were riding the same bike.

I prefer the Onion's take on it. Their article (online here) is titled, "Lance Armstrong: I Never Failed One Of Those Shitty, Easy-To-Fool Doping Tests."


Andrew said...

If Landis was guilty of doping from 2002 to 2006 but was only caught in 2006, then all of the previous tests obviously weren't very good. This adds plausibility to the claim that others were doping but just didn't get caught.

Kevin Jensen said...

As a cycling fan and (still) a Lance Armstrong fan, I agree with your opinion.

Clearly there were few, if any, of the top tier cycling teams that didn't "dope". This fact does not make it right to cheat, but a does call into question how illegitimate Lance's wins were when in reality most of the competition was riding similarly enhanced in a system that was too flawed to recognize the fix.

Hopefully this decade of cycling will be considered the cleanest in some time, although I fear there will always be a new form of doping waiting when another becomes easy to detect.

Robert J. Hudson said...

As a Dodgers fan, I have great disdain and resentment for Barry Bonds; BUT, in an era when an estimated 1/3 to half of MLB players were juicing, he was still the greatest slugger of his era. I wish he hadn't broken Maris' or Aaron's record. Still, the talk of an asterisk is nonsense. In that case, why don't we put an asterisk over the entire decade of the 90s? Bonds knowingly doped--shame on him--but he was still an unbelievable talent.

Same is true of Lance: he was the best cyclist in an era of dopers. I agree, Corry--the camera rarely focuses in on number 2.