Cyclists say 'good riddance' to Armstrong
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Thursday it will strip Lance Armstrong of seven Tour de France titles and ban the cyclist for life.
August 24th, 2012
09:08 PM ET

Cyclists say 'good riddance' to Armstrong

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

(CNN) - The reaction to Lance Armstrong’s announcement that he would no longer fight doping allegations was about as fast as his record setting winning times at the Tour de France. Armstrong may be stripped of every title he ever won and faces being banned from all competition for the rest of his life.

Andy Shen is a writer for the cycling website, NY Velocity, and a competitive cyclist here in New York:

[1:20] “He did ride at a speed that has pretty much been shown to be impossible without drug enhancement. There’s been evidence of his doping. They had retroactively looked at his blood samples from 1999 and found traces of EPO in them… There’s so much evidence over time that you have to be pretty delusional to think that he was clean.”

Armstrong’s remaining supporters still believe he’s the victim of a witch hunt. They claim his achievements are the result of superhuman capabilities. Shen sees a silver lining in this:

[3:12] "Among competitive cyclists, the hope is that as the truth comes out the sport will be able to clean itself up and face its past. And, you know, it’s pretty much acknowledged that the sport is cleaner than it ever has been."

In saying that he was finished with this "nonsense" and would no longer address the issue, Armstrong still did not admit any wrongdoing. He may still claim innocence, but to many in the cycling world, it was as good as an admission of guilt.

What do you think?  Does Armstrong deserve a lifetime ban?  Ring in with your thoughts in the comment section below.

soundoff (1,207 Responses)
  1. james h. osborne

    NO!!!! personally i believe if they start stripping titles,awards,records they need to do it in every sport like baseball,where mark mcguire,sammy sosa,and others put on a slug fest with which some great records were destroyed by BARRY BONDS when babe ruth and hank aaron did it the old fashioned way,everyone that takes a record down knowing there on performance enhancers should be ashamed of living a lie and taking something special away from someone that earned it!

    September 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
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    September 1, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. PBR

    Andy Shen is a Category 4 bike racer. This article is about as useful as an expert point of view as one I'd write about Roger Clemens, because I play in a city softball league.

    August 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jack

    I really like the logic that anybody who is the best at their sport is automatically a doper. As we slowly peel away the onion, the trophy will eventually go to some fat a** couch potato who watched 15 minutes of the race. That is to say, I'll finally have a chance.

    August 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Deserttrek

    the accomplishments of Lance were not due to anything other than drive and determination. how many of the self named experts have ever used the substances they accuse others of using. how many people know the effects? nothing can make a person able to ride the Tour de France for the 3 weeks other than personal training and guts.

    I agree with Lance, move on. the taxpayers should be outraged as I am as to the waste of money pursuing Lance and others. i no longer support the olympic committee because of the tie to usada. a pox on them all!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Majav

    At the end of the day it is just about a boy on his bicycle. Way too much testosterone here guys. Pick up a copy of Munro's Ferdinand the Bull and start to enjoy the pleasure of riding for the sake of riding and nothing else. Smell some flowers while you are at it. Moo.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Woody

    How much $$$ and how many years can a man spend trying to defend himself against the USA government's bureaucrats with unlimited tax funds to burn. I think the government has better uses for the couple of million in dollars and man hours they put into the investigation of bicycle races of another country. Like maybe feeding the nation's homeless or investigating the bankers and loan sharks. How about a Fed audit?

    Doubt any of those prosecutors could peddle up a hill.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ren

      The USADA (the agency responsible for stripping Armstrong's titles) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, funded primarily by the United States Olympic Committee. Nothing to do with tax dollars, Woody. Perhaps you should take your ignorant anti-government rant somewhere else. Fox News, perhaps?

      August 29, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Jim

        Obviously you haven't read their annual reports. The USADA gets about 10 million a year in federal grants and 3.5 million from the Olympic committee. http://www.usada.org/uploads/2011annualreport.pdf
        Perhaps you should research a little more before you spew your "Everyone on the right is an idiot" BS around.

        August 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Harold Lorch

    To me, Lance is nothing but the replica of Barry Bonds. Sure, Barry may have gotten off the charges brought against him, but a good lawyer can also get you off just about anything these days. At the end of the day people are paid off to say or not say things. Neither one of them deserves to have their names associated with the greats of their sports, or have their records on the books. The worst is that both baseball and cycling had plenty of other players/riders who were also doping, like if it was a normal part of their sport. Truly sad......

    August 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. paulewog85

    You know what is crazy, Lance finished 3rd in a year where he was relatively super old and under a microscope and had a year off. He still finished 3rd. So amazing. We know he wasn't taking anything then. But the super old dude still finished 3rd. He is amazing! I'm on Lance's side, he's still a remarkable person.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AG

    In a mud fight, everyone gets dirty. The only way to stay clean is to stay out. This does look like a mud fight. Why test results were not challenged 7 years ago? Where was the zeal for justice? If this were about justice, the case would have been brought up in 2005 or earlier. This seems to be about personal ambitions. To me, Lance's decision to stay out of this dirt is an evidence of his integrity and humility, not his guilt.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ben Williams

    It's always interesting to me how comment arenas on the internet almost always turn into blatantly disrespectful exchanges; people type things they wouldn't otherwise say to other people–whether on the phone, in person, etc. It's sad that we can't seem to do better than this and have a good discussion at the same time...

    August 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andy Shen

    Hey velogirl, it's true that I suck ass on the bike. I believe Steve interviewed me because of these articles/interviews I was involved in, not because of my riding abilities.


    And I stand behind the statement that anyone who's been involved with the sport for a while would have to be delusional to think Armstrong clean. Time to read up.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dustya

    The courts have said it is not in their purview. Why should anyone subject themselves to a Semi-autonomous entity with no chance of winning. They have already said he is guilty, why should he submit hisself to any more recriminations? He must be guilty if he doesn't fight the ONLY organization that could clear him and they have said he is more that guilty. I'd rather take on the IRS or the EPA, they show so much more understanding. NOT!

    August 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nomar Dupes

    Which would be better: if a tiny minority excelled at some relatively meaningless activity [like how high or how long they could jump] or if the vast majority did just a LITTLE better by trying to truly educate themselves and wise up to the way the world works.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    These go by so fast no one will see this hardly, but...
    Lance isn't fighting, because USADA won't even let him see/hear the evidence against him. Basically they've tied him up with rope, thrown him in the pond, and if he floats and lives, he's a witch, if he sinks and drowns, then he's innocent.
    As I've said elsewhere, I don't firmly believe one way or the other. In fact, I imagine that nearly ALL pro cyclists, including him, have "tried doping" at some point in their careers. And maybe he did in 1998, after trying to recover from multiple surgeries to remove a testicle, and BRAIN surgeries to remove lesions, and maybe the world might even justify that, or maybe not... but all this is irrelevant really.
    SINCE 1998, he's had hundreds of blood and urine tests. Nearly all the "allegations" of his cheating that are supposed to be testified on, are from supposed occurrences AFTER that time. Most of those samples are still around, and still available, and I guarantee between the UCI and FEDERAL (no restrictions on "contractual rules" for federal court testing), those samples have not come back clean, or USADA wouldn't have to resort to hearsay at this point to "convict" Lance.
    It is argued that LA had "medical science" advantages at his fingertips to bypass the testing... maybe so, for the tests that existed at those times, and the technologies, etc. UCI clearly states their rules on how they test samples, and given that, it could be possible to develop a "bypass" methodology to skirt those rules.
    But the federal case against him this past year... they could use any testing known to science if they wanted to... and that case has now been dropped. There is nothing, in the form of hard evidence, to show LA cheated. The guys who got Sosa, Clemens, etc, the BALCO laws, the combined might and power of the US Federal justice system that has brought down through circumstance or facts, the highest profile players of some of the highest profile sports in the US... did not find enough to get Lance. The USADA is simply a witch hunt, and maybe Lance IS a witch... but if he is, his millions of dollars have been able to cover up what the billions/trillions that could be brought to bear against him at the federal level couldn't find.
    His final exit strategy is brilliant.. it makes him look bad "why doesn't he continue fighting if he has nothing to hide"... but again, why doesn't the person float that is innocent... by fighting, he looks like a "presumed guilty" man fighting to prove innocence, and by giving up he claims to be an innocent person who is still presumed guilty... either way, he's presumed guillty, so what value is there in continuing to fight??? But that is the trump card...
    UCI (and all sports authorities) agreements with WADA require that in a case of no hearing (this case), that USADA must then provide their recommendations (done) AND evidence (not done yet) to the sport's governing body, so they may determine their final decision.
    Here is the genius strategy... without the hearing, no testimony is subpoenaed, and therefore is nothing more than "he said she said" testimonials. UCI has clear-cut evidentiary processes to determine failed drug tests. If that doesn't exist, then UCI cannot reasonably find LA guilty based on hearsay. Otherwise, they nullify ALL their years of drug testing procedures, effectively saying "our drug tests are useless because we've decided he's guilty anyhow"... it nullifies the very principal of using "valid positive testing" to determine doping usage. SO long story short, if ALL USADA can provide is hearsay, but they cannot positively identify a failed drug test, UCI logically CANNOT strip Lance of his titles. In fact just the opposite, by UCI procedures Lance will still be "innocent" of wrongdoing.
    It's like a middle-eastern country finding a middle-eastern woman who has moved from Iran to the US and become a citizen, guilty of not wearing a head covering and ordering the US to decapitate her. The US has no such obligation and in fact it's contrary to the US laws and customs, and therefore unless enough evidence existed to require the US extraditing her to her original country, otherwise in such a case the US would do nothing. That is what the UCI really must do in this case (nothing), unless the USADA/WADA have sufficient actual evidence to PROVE within UCI guidelines that Lance is guilty.
    Only then must the UCI strip his titles (or other appropriate penalties, since common 2 years suspension from the last known violation seems to be the UCI normal, then in that case, if it's 1998 evidence, then only from 1998 to 2000 should be affected, etc)...
    These are of course my opinions based on much reading of the facts and rules (there are no acual laws other than contract laws involved at this time). This is why UCI has not confirmed what USADA is "ordering" done, because USADA only controls US sports and athletes in relation to US competitions, and through the WADA has contractual agreements with other world organizations that if they find "PROOF", the other world orgs must act accordingly to those findings (but they don't have to follows USADA "orders", they just have to accept the proof, then act in accordance with their internal processes on that proof basis).

    August 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Oops, had some typoes, I was trying to say between the federal and UCI cases, if those samples had come back positive, he'd have already been out.

      August 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  16. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    WHY THE LOWER STANDARD? He passed ALL tests and the decision is based SOLELY on 'testimony' by proven liars who benefit by saying 'he is guilty' – these guys lied for years about themselves and only when faced with consequences of their own do they point the finger at Lance?

    THAT WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH IN A COURT OF LAW – so why is it enough to strip Armstrong of ALL titles!?! Even a top European Doping Association Official calls it a farce and miscarriage of so-called Justice.

    THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT LANCE ARMSTRONG, but is about The System and how easily they can torment and persecute an athlete into submission!

    August 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elmer

      I totally agree with you, T. E. Lawrence O. A. From the article: "They had retroactively looked at his blood samples from 1999 and found traces of EPO in them…" How on earth do they prove that "retroactive" samples weren't tainted later or were even from Lance? "There’s so much evidence over time that you have to be pretty delusional to think that he was clean.” What evidence? Testimony from liars who will be able to continue to compete and gain monetarily by testifying against Lance even though they themselves are guilty of doping and should be banned? Complete outrage.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
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    August 27, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
    • AF Whigs

      MY understanding is that the USADA's "evidence" this time around was a parade of former cyclists who'd been caught doping, who were going to testify in exchange for immunity. Wow, that's some strong "evidence", huh?

      None of us knows what Lance did or didn't do. I'd like to believe that he was clean, just because his accomplishment of 7 TDF wins is so incredible. The other part of this is that no one wins the TDF as an individual – it's about support from your team and effective team strategy. It's not like he was sprinting off into the distance and winning in some unnatural way.

      Bottome line: if the USADA had real evidence, why not present it? Lance has come out clean every other time someone has tried this. If there's evidence, why hasn't it worked before? Has any other athlete had to spend this much time and energy, over such a ridiculous period of time, defending themselves over and over, despite "winning" each time? Plus, the oft-repeated "if the allegations keep coming up then he must've been doping" is a logical fallacy. It means nothing, other than lots of people in cycling seem to have it out for Lance Armstrong.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
      • JHL

        Lance had a great mdeical staff that was always able to stay one step ahead of the testing regimen.

        If there was a scintilla of a chance that Lance and his advisors thought he could have won at arbitration he would have continued to pursue this. But with a squadron of folks lined up to testify aganst hin - several of who he introduced to PEDs - his day in the sun (make that years) was about to end.

        In the end like McGuire, Sosa, Bonds, Contador, Landis, Clemens, Giambi, Palmiero, et al, he's just a cheater.

        He's done a lot of good through his cheating, but it doesn't mean he's not a cheater. Save some of your tears for the non-dopers who didn't win because of him.

        He still has $millions all of which came his way because of his cheating. If he had been a middle-of-the-pack pro without using PEDs, no one would know him and he'd be a fitness trainer in Austin cycling on the week-ends trying to avoid child support payments.

        August 27, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
        • skastenbaumcnn

          @AF Whigs – If that's the case, if the allegations are based solely on hearsay testimony from former teammates and others affiliated with Armstrong, then why would LA drop the fight? It would be in his interest to fight the charges in the public eye to prove his innocence not just to clear his name but also to sue the former teammates and associates for defamation. Armstrong has made statements to the effect that nothing means more to him than his integrity. Then why give up the fight when you know it will be widely viewed as an admission of guilt? if you were innocent of a crime would you ever stop claiming your innocence? Would you ever give up the fight to clear your name? I'm not making any claims here. I'm just playing devil's advocate. Also, it seems that many people in this discussion are not aware of the positive tests for EPO earlier in Armstrong's career. If you have not yet seen it, watch the Tyler Hamilton 60 Minutes interview. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nTTGGnw8ak Maybe some people are right. Maybe Armstrong is one of those freaks of nature that come along every once in a while and is truly super human, is truly able to do things that no other human being can do. I don't know.

          August 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
      • wmskadder

        Based on your biase for Armstrong (gultly as charged-winning 1, 2,3 tours beleivable, 7 not ) innocense, Bonds and Clemmens are also unjustly accused and their also clean, correct?

        August 27, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  18. Chris

    Sounds like the evidence may indeed cast doubt but also sounds like it is not conclusive AND you have to consider that he did pass hundreds of tests. So why not let the past stay in the past and spend the money on improving the system for the future? It makes USADA look stupid. I mean testing samples from 1999? Seems weird to me. Plus where do we draw the line? Maybe we should dig up Babe Ruth's grave and test his bones for performance enhancers? Maybe take away his record even though there were no rules against stuff back then... We could go back in time and change all the records we suspect might have been 'unnatural'... Geesh....!

    August 27, 2012 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  19. craig

    Cyclists say 'good riddance' to Armstrong

    Really? Cyclists is plural is it not and yet you pick ONE guy – someone named Andy Shen, a previously unheard of person to the general population, and his one opinion is enough for you to pen that title. Yeah, keep writing crap like this – you make LA look less a cheat with every ill-conceived word.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  20. Daniel

    It's shame that Lance didn't try and fight it, as it would have been nice for Armstrong supporters to hear all the damming evidence against him.

    Not only did he cheat, but encouraged those around him to cheat as well, so that they could help him.

    The UCI, the governing body, is an embarrassment to the sport for letting him and others get away with it for long and now trying to fight this. They accepted brides and according to the reports pre-warned Lance of drugs testing.

    I love the sport and will always, I believe that that it may not be 100% clean now, but is a lot cleaner than it was a few years ago.

    August 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean Ross

      And you KNOW this, how, Daniel?

      August 27, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • bec

      "didnt try to fight it"? He's been fighting the accusations for years

      August 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Ed Merkler

    I have found it intriguing that for several years there seems to be a situation where some organization or individuals or governments (France) have had an ax to grind against Lance Armstrong....long after his time competing on the tour was complete.
    Every now and then there are those unique "freaks of nature" that overcome all odds....aka Usain Bolt, Michael Phleps, the list goes on and on...whose performance defies logic. Right away...here come the naysayers with their eloquent academic logic. I suspect that Lance is making this decision on financial grounds. If so, I can't blame him.

    On a broader front, in American sports, if even one tenth of the scrutiny that is currently applied to cycling were to be applied to the big money sports...NFL, MLB, NBA, we would not have those sports because they would have to be shut down.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Really?

    No one cares.... period

    August 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Eros

    how would Andy Shen know what is possible with or without drugs? has his heart ever soared with the gods? what is possible or not is not for someone who only aspired to live in the dirt.

    Milo the wrestler lifts up a full sized bull on his shoulders. This goes with the Olympic spirit. Is this impossible or a thing of beauty?

    August 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Hmmm.

    One of the main discriminators in who is a top athlete in almost any sport... including female amateur sports... is who can dope effectively, and it has been this way for a very very long time.

    August 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. HWB

    It is really a sad situation whereby someone passes over 500 blood tests and still beaten down by the same organization who blood test revealed no positive results????? Wow like being born without conception.

    August 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Amen - never had a positive test show he used anything. You can't just condemn based on hearsay. You need real proof.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  26. skastenbaumcnn

    Hi folks. Steve Kastenbaum here, the reporter who put this story together. Thanks for listening to the piece and taking part in the discussion. There seems to be a common theme among the comments... competitive cyclists are convinced that Armstrong and many of the other top cyclists have been guilty of doping for a long time. People who are not not in the competitive cycling world but have been inspired by Armstrong's story are more inclined to believe him, that he is a victim of a witch hunt because of the incredible things he has achieved. I will say this, the 60 minutes interview with his former teammate Tyler Hamilton is quite compelling. What he said was extremely damning. It's hard to come up with a believable reason for why Hamilton would make up lies with such incredible details. That combined with the positive test results for EPO early in his comeback from cancer – which Armstrong gave an explanation for that racing officials accepted as reasonable – paints a damning picture.
    Another compelling argument is that if everyone at the top of competitive cycling was doping, too, Armstrong was competing on a level playing field. People making that argument say If that's the case, then Armstrong's victories still show that he was the best of the best.
    What's clear is we need a hero from time to time who inspires leagues of people to realize their full potential; to challenge themselves and go beyond what they thought their limitations were. Armstrong did that for tens of millions of people. He inspired me to do better. Maybe that's more important than any race victory or any record finishing time.

    One final thought, I appreciate all the well thought out comments and the people who have added important insight into this discussion based on their competitive experience. However, the comments that bring this debate down to the level of an elementary school yard fight are demoralizing. By making comments like that, certain people make themselves completely dismissible. I'm not sure what you hope to gain other than entertaining yourself by dragging the conversation down.

    August 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • mytoejustjammed

      hey Steve K,
      I'm impressed you were inclined and took more than a short few lines to respond to readers' written remarks to your informative article. Robot-like compassionless writing on the internet is so prevelant that it would only make sense for you to have follow up remarks so thank you! My thoughts on the article's suject – there is an air of intent to suppress goodness and success in the world today which brings along with it no intrinsic value for anyone. In this case, this super athlete, guilty or not of these accusations, gave his life performing in front of the entire world, inspiring and causing financial support to rain on one seeming simple sport, a childhood sport for most of us. I remember my parents asking me who the bright pink Schwinn belonged to parked out on the porch and me wishing its supposed owner would never come back for it... certainly I rode that vehicle every day for the next "as long as I can remember".:) Gone are the days when the simplicity of this sport would remain "ordinary" forever in great part because of Lance Armstrong's dedication to the special sport. Supposed facts sometimes stand in the way of the truth regardless. Politics in business along with professional jealousy can sometimes mean the fall of decent people others are fearful of. I say Lance Armstrong should be honored for his wins and enough of the naysayers because life is too short. Great article, Steve!

      August 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • velogirl24

      So which "competitive cyclists" are you referring to that are "convinced that Armstrong...have been guilty of doping"?!?!? As I stated in my previous post, I am a Cat 1 racer. I have been racing for 10 years. My husband has been racing for over 30 years. I see a lot of other comments on this board from what appear to be competitive cyclists that support Lance and think that the USADA is over-stepping its bounds. I don't see that many comments from people declaring themselves to be competitive cyclsits that support your statement. You are taking one person's opinion, Andy Shen, who is a MEDIOCRE at best competitive cyclist. He is a Cat4, which is one step above entry level. Cat5 is entry level and the only thing that you have to do to become a Cat4 is PARTICIPATE in 10 events. He knows nothing and you are quoting him as the voice of all competitive cyclsts. And where in the world are you getting this assertion that Lance "tested positive for EPO" early in his comeback from cancer?!!?!? Verifiable source please??? He has stated over and over again that he has never tested positive for a banned substance. And one "final thought", Tyler Hamilton has ZERO credibility amongst most cyclists that have any knowledge of his other claims. Look up Tyler Hamilton and his "vanishing twin". Quite a tall tale trying to defend himself against his (actual) positive test results.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Andy Shen

        Bit of a double post to make sure my biggest fan Velogirl gets this.

        Fortunately for us IQ tests aren't administered on the bike. I'm surprised that as a Cat 1 you've heard nothing about Armstrong's '99 samples. I interviewed former UCI Blood Passport Panel member Michael Ashenden about them way back in '09, you can learn all about it here:


        I've also spoken directly to 6 of USADA's witnesses in this case, so I know a few things about the current case too.

        August 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nuins_intel

      I have two comments about this post:

      1. You contradicted yourself, how? You say Lance's EPO results are daming with the stroke of a pen, yet then inform us that it was early in his career and the explanation for the EPO was accepted by bicyclying officials(from his cancer treatments). If its accepted then it's not "damming"....... (note I have not seen the interview you mention)

      2. Is a reporter supposed to editorialize? You are giving opinion in a news story, or am I mistaken and I am actually reading the editorial pages? You are a reporter. Report facts leave the opinions to the readers, and the editors.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  27. G Force

    So... to sum this all up:

    – The only reason anyone is after Armstrong is because he WON.
    – This is a common theme in human nature: when someone is consistently better than the competition... those that are getting beat frequently try to make excuses.
    – The writer Andy Shen is likely one of these jealous one's... trying to make himself feel 'relatively' better.
    – Even if Armstrong did 'dope', so did everyone else he was competing against, so it's an even playing field, except, of course that Armstrong destroyed the competition 'after' nearly dying of cancer AND being dumped by his 'loyal' sponsors.

    Enough said. Armstrong detractors need to look at themselves in the mirror.
    Lance Armstrong = Greatest Cyclist of All Time

    August 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul Brawner

      @ GForce. I beg to differ. Armstrong is very, very good. But his claim to fame will always be the TDF. He skipped all the other big races. I could argue that if he had competed in the other big classics he wouldn't have won 7 straight TDFs. The individual training required for each event wouldn't have allowed him to focus his training so intensely on the TDF. There are a number of cyclists who have accomplished far more than Armstrong ever did. Fausto Coppi, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil to name a few. My personal favorite, Eddy Merxy, is widely regarded as the best ever.

      August 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • jacksprat57

      They're having ever so much fun with the mote which they imagine to be in Lance's eye, G Force, that they've no interest in that which is in their own eye.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  28. camaro889

    Let me make sure I have this right. Armstrong has been under scrutiny since around 1999. That makes roughly 13 years. Not just by the neighborhood watch but legally recognized sanctioned organizations. He has tested negative by these same organizations for doping more times than any athlete in history (or so we are told). I only say tha because it is assumed a person is innoncent until proven guilty and he has been proven innoncent in every instance so far to date.
    Before I get piled on by the "you Armstrong junkie" types, as I have read, there are about 10 witnesses. I assume people that were born prior to him leaving professional cycling the first time. This tells me they have had ample opportunity to state their claims in many other instances of review. Ok, we have a known doping offender in Landis, disgrunteled former employee in Anderson and fellow former riders (of whom I would think the U.S. Federal prosecutor also interviewed in the case that was dropped in Feb 2012.
    All I am saying is the word witch hunt comes to mind. So what if Armstrong doesn't fight back anymore, I wonder how many of the arm chair lawyers and sactimonious A*&holes out there are happy now? What was the purpose of this again...truth or ego. If it was truth, you got that with the test conducted on the urine. If it was ego...well you got that when you took down a "hero" or shall we say...insanely driven cancer survivor who rode a bike.

    August 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  29. gakster

    I sure hope he reads this blog. Maybe some of the comments will slap him hard enough in the face that he will finally realize what a miserable, inconsequential little man he has let himself become. Yeah, fat chance of that.

    August 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • htlba

      And who might that be? Armstrong? So coming from someone who wasn't ever at one race, pretty stong words if they were meant for Armstrong. Oh and by the way, we were there, numerous times. Call me a liar for what I know.

      August 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Sure seems like jealousy drives a lot of the haters personally. They don't seem to care much about the facts and proof, or should I say lack thereof.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  30. Nino

    I agree with Ron, Armstrong's real victory has always been to keep reasonable doubt in the eye of the common person. The only way to keep that was by simply no contesting USADA. Clever move. It will keep money flowing to his bank account (think Nike for instance), his foundation is still very reputable. Even if they take the titles, for many people he's still a hero and titles and medals mean nothing. A cheater, and the biggest fraud in cycling history...but at this point it is too late, he is beyond good or evil. Armstrong does not really have anything to lose in my opinion.

    August 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Ron

    It does not say it in this article, but I read elsewhere on CNN that if Armstrong were to contest the current doping charges, the evidence would be made public. Rather than letting the anti-doping agency prove he used banned substances, he will not contest the charges, and fight on in the court of public opinion, where there is doubt.

    August 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      @Ron – That is correct. If he contested the charges a public light would shine on the case. People can read into that what they'd like.

      August 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. gakster

    He's a fraud, a fake, a corporate hack, and a loser, in both his personal and professional lives. On to the next topic.

    August 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank Castle

      To all the hater's....go chew on Lance's sprocket..... wingnuts !

      August 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  33. christopherjhayes

    Assuming, for the sake of argument or making a point, that Lance doped, it cannot credibly be denied that there was not a clean rider or team in the peloton during the relevant time frame. Such was the predominance and acceptance of "supplements" in the sport. Not particularly cool from a sportsmanlike standpoint, but the norm in high-stakes, high-dollar sports in recent times. One can pursue and prosecute and pillory popular athletes for the purpose of making a point and trying to eradicate the presence of performance-enhancing drugs by example and threats, but the fact remains tha the majority, if not all, athletes in a given professional endeavor of the time are and we're acting on a level playing field with respect to one another. Take away the alleged "supplements" and the athletes would very likely still come out in the same order or ranking with respect to one another. In the case of Lance and the T de F, there is no way one could substitute a "winner" by stripping Lance of his titles because (1) there is no way of determining the next "clean" rider (Imagine the sublime irony of stripping Lance of his titles on account of alleged drug use only to pass the titles on to riders who were equally drugged but escaped scrutiny?) , (2) there probably was not another totally clean rider in the peloton, and (3) all things equal the riders would most likely have finished in the same or substantially the same order. What this situation smacks of is a personal vendetta of the most petty and vindictive manner, all footed by the American taxpayer to support the Napoleonic ego of a government prosecutor. It is beyond dispute that the prosecutor who has dogged Lance all these years has been frustrated by his inability to land the big one and mount Lance's head on his office wall. I personally believe that this was a case of the prosecutor against Lance. The prosecutor was given enough leeway and resources (taxpayer money) to put together this "case" in a forum where Lance had to prove his innocence ignorant of the precise nature of the evidence against him (Any similarly conducted criminal prosecution would be unconstitutional.) in a forum where the result is preordained. The bottom lines are as follows: Lance is still the greatest professional cyclist of his era. Lance WON seven Tours de France! There are people who are genetically constituted to be extraordinary athletes or amazing beauties or Mozartian prodigies and such will always be the case. Professional sports (quite notably, cycling) are rife with use of performance-enhancing substances. Selective, high-profile witch hunts are not the best way to remove the "taint" of performance-enhancing drugs from sports. Drug testing should be uniform and strict. Once the athlete passes the test(s), those results should control. One of the hallmarks of our system of criminal justice is uniformity, the idea that we are all equal under the law. Selective, stacked prosecutions to make a point and fulfill vendettas are perversions of justice and equally, if not more, offensive and distasteful than the targeted alleged offense.

    August 26, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Frank Castle

    Ok...I have a few questions for for the haters, hell, I have a few questions for everyone: How many of you have been given "LAST RITES" by a priest or member of the clergy? How many of you have had xrays that showed you had cancer from your gentials to and in your brain ? How many of you have been told you cannot ever do the one thing you love in this world again? Fast forward the tape, because we all know the story. NOBODY wanted LANCE, not his team, not his sponsors, not team ownership, NOBODY ! Getting that kind of rejection from people & entities does something to you....ANSWER....It fuels you ! It drives you ! It consumes you ! To the point you end up doing your own thing. You hire the coaches, you get a supporting cast, you get sponsors, you get the absolute best bike engineers & company on the planet ! You train day & night, in kinds of conditions, you don't stop till you get it right ! This was BLOODSPORT on a bike ! He would make the French pay for turning their backs on him. He would win THEIR RACE, destroy the competition, claim their prize for himself & his team ! Leave Europe in his rearview mirror each year he competed ! He did all this, AFTER, he was given LAST RITES ! AFTER, he kicked death's door shut, AFTER, the cycling world turned their backs on him ! Here's the "kicker", NOBODY wants to give ANY CREDIT to what fuels the human spirit. Nobody wants to address the personal drive & motivation of an individual who wants "it" so bad they can taste "it." Everybody wants to point to physics, or other scientific calculations to explain Lance's extraordinary achievements. NOBODY wants to admit, that once you see the GRIM REAPER in your room, ready to take you BECAUSE "HE" HAS DECIDED IT IS YOUR TIME TO GO, that maybe the individual MAKES A DECISION, HE'S NOT READY TO LEAVE! He still has an agenda, he still has unfinished business to attend too ! So, he BATTLES back, sends the REAPER packing, gets his life back & begins his quest. There is something to be said for human endeavor, an intangible quality that transforms you & your thought processes, to work at being the absolute best you can be! Pretty soon, the 4 minute barrier will be BROKEN in the MEN'S MARATHON ! Think about that.....4 freakin minutes.....running 26.2 miles at 4 minute clips or lower ! Unbelievable? YES ! Attainable....Your dam right ! I remember watching Dave Scott, the legendary IRONMAN from KONA win the 2.5 ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, & the 26.2 marathon in a unthinkable time of 9 hours & 8 minutes ! That was decades ago ! Has anyone checked the winning times lately ? Or, has anyone watched Chrissie Wellington WIN EVERY IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHE HAS EVER ENTERED ? The point is, extraordinary people do extraordinary things ! They are fueled by thie PASSION FOR THEIR SPORT, NOT THE ALLEGED SUSPICIAN THAT THEY HAVE TO BE ON "SOMETHING" TO PERFORM LIKE THAT! I should know, I took 18 minutes off my previous PR in the marathon to qualify for BOSTON ! I did the unthinkable ! I ran like I stole something...for...26.2 miles ! I GOT IT DONE ! No DRUGS, No INJECTIONS, NO DOPING, No BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS.....just PURE RAW UNADULTERATED STRENGTH BASED on a daily workout regimen that put me over the top ! Yes, it can be done ! I know it CAN BE DONE ! Usian Bolt needs ONLY 41 STEPS to do the 100 yard dash....41 steps! Have you counted your lately?! Give Lance a well deserved pat on the back! He was the man, He is the man.....BUT....He is so much more....He is a SURVIVOR ! He KICKED THE GRIM REAPER'S ASS, & LIVED TO TALK ABOUT IT ! How many of us can say that !? LIVESTRONG LANCE.....YOU ARE THE MAN, 7X'S the man than all your detractors !

    August 26, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  35. mkr

    Funny thing to me is nothing was ever proven. Plenty of accusations and thereats but no proof. USADA says they have teammates and others that will tesify to Lance doping but, so far it is only here say. I have ultimate respect for Lance Armstong finally saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. What surprises me is that after the French gave up, these idiots at the USADA figured it was their time to get their name in the paper so pick up the fight. I think Lance would have a good slander lawsuit against these morons if he wanted to pursue it. Good Luck Lance and LIVESTRONG

    August 26, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • JP

      Nice rant, but it doesn't change the fact he's a cheater and a coward for not admiring it. He's an insult to all the true competitors everywhere.

      August 26, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  36. A cyclist who is pissed a USADA

    Lance used drugs and every other cyclist was clean? Are you kidding me? Stop waiting money on Lance and move on unless you are willing to do the same investigation on the top 10 from 99-2006 this is a witch hunt. Who can blame Lance for giving up, his legal cost must be through the roof!

    August 26, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  37. Jeff

    Lifetime ban? he is aged out anyways. This part of the decision doesn't mean anything.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  38. Zebra

    Nice. So you guys understand that even if he passed the doping tests, it does not mean he is clean? Doping is a moving target, and now that they have the technology needed to prove that he was doping for years, he withdraws from the fight. Not only is he a cheater, but also a coward.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  39. quitsa

    So – we must remove EVERY cyclist that has run the Tour since 1999. Remove every baseball, football, tennis, weightlifting etc title since 1999. While we are at it – remove the Doping Agency who has the apparent authority to seek out anyone that they believe disregards their authority.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  40. FastEddie

    The world is a better place because Armstrong doped. He likely would never have won 7 TdF if he had not doped, in which case he would not have been famous and therefore would not have been able to raise hundreds of millions for cancer research. Armstrong did more good for the world as a doper than 99.999999% of us have done clean.

    August 26, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
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