Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of the Cycling Steroid Era?

2012 was a very bad year for cycling fans everywhere. Lance Armstrong was accused of running the most extensive doping network ever conceived in the annuals of sport history and was banned from the sport for life.  His seven Tour de France titles were rescinded without the necessity of due process based upon testimony of ex-teammates who met the legal requirements of the macnaughton rule. USADA chief Travis Tygart would have meted out the standard two year suspensions to the serial and habitual doping ex-teammates of Lance Armstrong except for the fact that they were not only intimidated and forced to take drugs, but due to the fact that they were robotic automatons who did not have the mental capacity to distinguish the difference between right and wrong.  It is pointless at this juncture to point out to Travis Tygart that the doping behavior exhibited by Lance Armstrong's ex-teammates could also fit a person suffering from antisocial personality disorder.  That "scumbags" were more interested in using dope to further their own interests with motivations of greed, fame, and accolades from adoring fans.  In addition, the ex-teammates although intimidated, threatened, and coerced by bully Lance Armstrong with the sanction of his sport director Johan Bruyneel, nevertheless, used these very personifications of evil to catapult themselves into more lucrative positions with increases of salaries and opportunities to compete in Grand Tours and Classic races.  It has been reported that Floyd Landis wishes to sue Lance Armstrong in a whistle blower lawsuit?  Or that Tyler Hamilton is afraid that Lance Armstrong will retaliate against him?  Paranoid delusions.  Floyd Landis used his association with Lance Armstrong and dope as a springboard to win and lose a Tour de France title.  Floyd Landis has only himself to blame for his own mismanagement of his affective meltdown after his colossal bonk, when in a fit of self pity he resorted to swigging shots of Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey and forgetting to take off his testosterone patch.  As for Tyler Hamilton, the guy may be a convicted antisocial personality doper with tinges of chronic paranoia, but he does have a knack for manipulation of fools like Travis Tygart, and any media dolt within range.

The VV 2013 Wish List:
 
-A dope free peloton.
-A rewritten World Anti-Doping Code that ensures fairness for the athlete.
-A judge to dismiss the Floyd Landis whistle blower lawsuit.
-Greg LeMond to remove his name for consideration as candidate for the presidency of the UCI.  A fabricator of history cannot be allowed to replace a scoundrel.
-Some one to insert a gag into Tyler Hamilton's mouth.  The man who invented the vanishing twin cannot be believed.  So sorry.
-A rewritten World Anti-Doping Code that ensures due process for the athlete.
-The return of the statute of limitations that cannot be subjected to prosecutorial manipulation.
-A cycling union that protects the interests of the riders, that can initiate strikes and negotiate binding contracts.
-All of the existing loopholes to be extracted from the World Anti-Doping code that allows the prosecution to convict an athlete of using performance enhancing drugs sans a mandatory independent official arbitration hearing.
-A divorce between WADA and the UCI.  WADA can't detect performance enhancing drugs with their existing tests and they should be prohibited from extracting fees from signatories that is enforced by blackmail, threats, and coercion.  If the IOC threatens to exclude cycling from the Olympics as punishment for the UCI dumping WADA, then the IOC should be forced to reap the whirlwind.
-Give Jonan Bruyneel a chance to defend himself in arbitration before convicting him of an offense.

The list could be expanded indefinitely, but no extraterrestrial rational entity can be found to enforce compliance with common sense and decency.  So there is a high probability that nothing on the 2013 wish list will be full filled and the requests will be repeated endlessly to no avail.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jonathan Vaughters: Modern Day Tartuffe

Jonathan Vaughters disgusts me truly.  Bitten by some bug and swelling up like a melon that freak refused to accept a cortisone shot to reduce the swelling and continue to race; touted as a shining example of a principled man who refused to compromise his integrity in the prevalent steroid cure all culture of Grand Tour racing.  But sadly when the affidavit is examined, Jonathan Vaughters pretense and the subsequent media hoopla turned out to be nothing more than a thin facade designed to mask the fact that the man was flying high on a whole pharmacy of prohibited substances.  Thus Jonathan Vaughters joins the expanding club of past professional cyclists who used disinformation to manipulate the media and cycling fanatics into thinking that he or she is the personification of a person prone to resist temptation in the name of moral purity, a mirage that vanishes upon further examination of the factual evidence that these clowns try so hard to suppress and deny. 

Then there were the days when Garmin Slipstream were anti-doping pioneers, employing Rasmus Damsgaard to test team riders and setting a precedent as a no tolerance anti-doping team.  Garmin tried to set a principled example of creative initiatives to be emulated by other cycling teams; to create a permanent log of biological parameters that could be suggestive of a high probability of doping, which could result in warnings, fines, suspensions or termination from the team.  Of course, in highly egregious cases the evidence could be forwarded to the relevant national cycling governing agencies for further action.

These pioneering efforts prompted other teams to initiate no tolerance anti-doping programs and indirectly prompted the UCI to formulate the UCI Biological Passport; physiological data collected from riders in random in-competition and out-of-competition tests that would establish baseline parameters that could be used as a control sample and compared to test scores of a population of people who were established abusers of dope; or against ranges of physiological values that would be deemed normal of the entire population of elite cyclists: if performance enhancing drug use was suspected. Of course, even though this system is touted as having high validity and reliability, in reality there have not been enough comprehensive scientific studies done to effectively calculate the effect of random events such as heat, dehydration, exhaustion, stress, uncommon variations in diet; disruptions of circadian sleep/wakefulness cycles, or other predictable variables that may effect individual rider physiology and performance; variables that directly result from a hectic schedule of racing, travel, road accidents, medical interventions or other causal factors.  Then there are issues of micro-dosing of performance enhancing drugs to establish false baseline values; values that could be detected and circumvented if only the UCI and WADA would invest enough money in scientific research to resolve these issues.

After all a three week Grand Tour is not a laboratory.  In a laboratory the idea is to control all of the variables you are interested in studying by manipulating the environment and then seeking a causal relationship; for example, heat could be examined as a variable and different temperatures could each be regarded as variables that may effect physiological values. If heat value x only accounts for twenty or thirty percent of the variance of a fluctuation in a specified biological parameter, then the experiment must be continued at all temperatures until one hundred percent of the causal relationship between temperature, and these specific physiological fluctuations are accounted for.  Of course, these experiments could be expanded indefinitely.

But the alphabet soup cycling management signatories can shout, bah humbug!  Who wants to expend that kind of cash in establishing the truth when the Court of Arbitration of Sport does nothing but rubber stamp all of our results and verify all of our accusations?  Of course, this scenario only applies if the athlete has enough gumption to challenge our accusations in arbitration: otherwise we have enough loopholes written into the anti-doping process to do an end run around the judicial process.  Obviously, the prosecution should never be allowed to write a decision without a mandated automatic review by an independent commission that has no stake in the outcome of the review process.  But alas, protections that were formerly adhered to in the World Anti-Doping Code, such as the statute of limitations have now been rewritten, excluded, and discarded by the USADA  Reasoned Decision; protections that were written expressly to prevent prosecutorial abuse of power.

But so what?  Jonathan Vaughters has no business having any contact with cycling and he should be run off with a stick!  Johathan Vaughters, the pretentious, pardoned, and amnestied cosmic anti-doping pioneer is, like Pat McQuaid, an intolerable embarrassment to cycling and the sort of person that you don't want your children exposed to: much less emulate!  Nevertheless, some people need more evidence to be convinced as to the truth of their folly, as Elmire sarcastically opined to Orgon in Tartuffe, because they are so blinded by their delusions that they can not understand that it is impossible to fool everyone and that some of us are wise to their perfidy!  This blatant disrespect of cycling can not be tolerated and must end, the deterrence value of punishment of dopers and their adherents is being undermined by fools who subject the anti-doping process to a blatant ridicule that is an exact duplicate of the methods used by Tartuffe.  And Jonathan Vaughters has no need to be critical of Quick Step for terminating Levi Leipheimer, because Quick Step did the right thing, and as a fellow admitted doper cycling should do the right thing and rid us of you.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winter Riding Blues

I got the winter riding blues, the weather has turned nasty again, and in Salt Lake City with the lake effect, huge quarter size snowflakes pelt against your glasses rendering your vision inoperable with an opaque fog, you lower your glasses so you can see out of a tiny little vent between eyeglasses and helmet visor thus subjecting your eyeballs to a vicious pelting; you pray you can reach the stoplight before your eyeballs go opaque so you can reach into your pocket for a napkin to clear off your glasses before venturing onward.  Riding down the bench, a feature caused by the Wasatch Fault; a fault that separates the Colorado Plateau from the Great Basin; a precipitous descent that is harrowing on a clear spring day let alone with the greatest snow on earth driving straight into your face horizontally.  If it has snowed all night long, which is of frequent occurrence in the Wasatch, the morning rides become fraught with danger with a heavy covering of slush or worse clear ice on the pavement; then idiots; pedestrians and automobiles entering the roadway in your path completely oblivious of the fact that wet wheels and breaks require a longer stopping distance; or worse: your wheel locks up just a wee bit on the clear ice and bang down you go.  I swear when the weather gets bad the suppressed automobile driver idiot gene expresses itself in spades, it is not enough to be chilled to the bone with frozen fingers and feet, you also must be petrified with fear hoping that that nut who is ahead has enough common sense to get out of the way.  Get out of the way!  Vocal demonstrations of frustration are common among cyclists when contemplating the certain extermination of the self: a poor delusional fool who has enough stupidity to try to steer, under the most abysmal road conditions, a two wheel self propelled vehicle that weighs twenty eight pounds out of a path of a demented person who possesses a fifty intelligent quotient and nitwit who is driving an automobile that weighs four thousand pounds and has the energy equivalent of four hundred horses.  Yes, the pavement is a very hard object that has a tendency to road rash the skin and break the bones, you need to develop the skills of a professional tumbler to avoid lethal consequences when encountering an automobile collision as I found out one fine day when a distracted driver turned left right smack dab into my front wheel and I was propelled like a rocket from my saddle in a parabolic arc straight into the street. Fortunately, a nifty acrobatic roll saved me from any serious injury while a passing shuttle bus full of horrified passengers looked on.

Riding a bike in winter is hard work, you can wear a neon green, florescent yellow, or retina scorching red skin suit that is supposed to wick away moisture and heat from your body but they still can't see you.  At night you can have the best headlight and flashing taillight in the world, wear a vest with reflective tape, plaster your frame pedals and wheels with reflective tape, reflectors, and lights; and still they can't see you.  With too much frequency lately you hear reports on the radio news of another winter bike rider being crushed by some hit and run driver; they murder you and then flee like rats from an aflame sewer.  Two days ago a twenty five year old cyclist, in the prime of life, probably riding his bike to work was extinguished like a candle by some moron probably texting or yucking on the phone, or who was in a hurry and could not be bothered.  Salt Lake has a ghost bike, an old cruiser painted white and chained to a power pole, a monument to a young woman who was killed by a hit and run driver who was never tracked down and who did not have enough courage or honesty to come forward and admit their responsibility.

Winter riding trashes all of my components, and I hate the filthy ice and oil spatters that ruin my clothes...ah shut up already you big crybaby.  You want to be a couch potato, go out a buy a car. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Amphetamines Are Performance Enhancing Drugs

Millard Baker made a very perspective comment concerning the peloton of the eighties, they allegedly were not too focused on enhancing oxygen transport to the mitochondria, or increasing the levels of red blood cells which also transport oxygen, or beating the drug testers with forty nine point nine percent hematocrit levels, or enhancing their performance with human growth hormones. Although the transition was in process with doping pioneer Francesco Conconi, who was accused of providing human growth hormones and doped blood to the Italian Olympic Team as far back as 1980.

There is confusion as to the advent of the blood dopers, but it is certain that in 1984 Francesco Moser, aided by Francesco Conconi and his star student Michele Ferrari, blood doped to break Eddy Merckx's 1972 One Hour world record ride.  Of course, Francesco Moser also built a unconventional bicycle with improved aerodynamic properties that was considered an unfair advantage over the conventional safety bicycle design and his record was subsequently rescinded.  Naturally, this reminds one of the 1989 Tour de France time trial where Greg LeMond used questionable aerodynamic additions that were not only allowed but probably proved to be decisive.  Of course, Laurent Fignon had a decisive aerodynamic disadvantage with his ponytail flapping in the wind.

But for the common rouler, a cyclist who has all the requisite talents of time trialist, sprinter, climber, ace lieutenant; the man or woman who chases down the breaks, sets tempo, eats wind, protects the team leader; there probably was not too much of an investment into the newly evolving unconventional methods of cheating: most of the small fry probably relied upon the old conventional methods of amphetamine or cocaine use which had been in practice since the days of Maurice Garin.  But, there is no need to plead ignorance of the fact that team doctors knew that increases in oxygen transport from autologous blood transfusions increased performance in long term endurance sports and that cycling teams were using blood transfusions to gain an unfair competitive advantage.  After all, Jacques Antiquel understood that the Tour de France can't be won on mineral water alone.  There must be additions, sympathomimetic amines, for example.  In 1967 Jacques Antiquel broke his own world record ride but he refused to submit to the newly instituted doping testing.  From Wikipedia:

In 1967, 11 years later, Anquetil again broke the hour record, at 47.493 km, but the record was disallowed because he refused to take the newly-introduced post-race doping test.[8] He objected to what he saw as the indignity of having to urinate in a tent in front of a crowded velodrome and said he would take the test later at his hotel. The international judge ruled against the idea and a scuffle ensued that involved Anquetil's manager, Raphaël Géminiani. Cycling reported:[9]
Wonderful Jacques Anquetil has broken the world hour record as he said he would... and then ran into official trouble when he refused to take a trackside dope test demanded by the Italian authorities. An Italian Dr Giuliano Marena asked for the urine sample, but Anquetil refused and asked him to come to his hotel. Dr Marena refused and, after waiting a couple of hours at the track, left town to go home to Florence. Anquetil said at his hotel: 'I didn't and don't intend to escape the test, but it must take place under circumstances far different from those at the velodrome. I'm still here and ready to undergo the test.' While Italian officials talked of taking the matter to the UCI, Dr Tanguy of the FFC [French cycling federation] took a sample from Anquetil on his return to Rouen, pointing out afterwards that it would be valid up to 48 hours after the record attempt. But Raphaël Géminiani, his manager, had all but lost his temper with the Italian medical man and had tried to throw him out of the cabin, though Jacques had remonstrated mildly. Later he said that he understood the tests would be valid for up to 48 hours and said he was trying to locate another doctor for the test.[9]
Wonderful are these examples of cheaters who refuse to submit to dope tests after setting inhuman athletic records.  Remember, that the man who laughed at mineral water as an acceptable supplement won five Tour de France titles; none of which have been deleted from the record books.

But no matter.  These diversionary tales of yore, the cocaine users and amphetamine users, would be considered cheaters by any rational definition, but do we live in a rational world?  Apparently not.  There seems to have emerged into the discussion a dispute over what class of drugs constitutes performance enhancing drugs. For example, I heard a raging debate on a nationally syndicated sport talk show the other day where the host insisted that Dexedrine was not a performance enhancing drug, and when the caller insisted that amphetamines were performance enhancing drugs, the host called the caller an idiot.  There is some debate as to the action of amphetamines but it is clear that amphetamines increase the levels of catecholamines in the brain and thus could be considered a performance enhancing drug.  From drugs.com:

Mechanism of action/Effect:

Amphetamines are sympathomimetic amines {12} {13} {14} {15} that increase motor activity and mental alertness {14}, and diminish drowsiness and a sense of fatigue {14}.

In attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, amphetamines decrease motor restlessness and enhance the ability to pay attention.

The exact mechanism of action has not been established. However, in animals, amphetamines facilitate the action of dopamine and norepinephrine by blocking re uptake from the synapse, inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase (MAO), and facilitate the release of catecholamines. Increase in locomotor activity at relatively low doses and increase in stereotypic behavior with a concomitant decrease in activity at higher doses appear to be due to stimulation of mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathways. Dextroamphetamine may also stimulate inhibitory autoreceptors in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmentum. {01}

Some studies support the theory that amphetamine exerts a dual effect on the striatal dopaminergic nerve terminal, thus explaining the paradoxical effects of amphetamines. Amphetamines may selectively facilitate the dopaminergic transmission by promoting the release of recently synthesized dopamine from a reserpine-resistant pool and, in addition, may inhibit the classical dopaminergic neurotransmission involving the calcium-dependent depolarization-evoked release of dopamine from reserpine-sensitive storage sites. {02}
Cocaine increases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the synaptic cleft through autoreceptor blockade, but this is only one method of reuptake inhibition.  Autoreceptors act as a feedback loop; the pre-synaptic neuron is attempting through this feedback loop to maintain synaptic neurotransmitter homeostasis. Once the feedback is disrupted through autoreceptor blockade, the presynaptic neuron increases the quantity of dopamine in the synaptic cleft through depletion of storage granules, which generates long term depolarization in the post synaptic neuron.  Long term potentiation of post synaptic neurons that are catecholamine dependent has been demonstrated to enhance performance.  It has been postulated that the central nervous system neurotransmitter norepinephrine regulates drive, and that dopamine regulates reinforcement of behavior.  Amphetamines are stereoisomers designated dextro and levorotatory. "Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine sulphate) is the dextro-isomer of the compound d, l-amphetamine sulphate,"* having the longest half-life, and the most potent longest lasting effects.  "Adderall (amphetamine dextroamphetamine mixed salts) tablets contain d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts in the ratio of 3:1,"** which would reduce the potency of the drug, and theoretically the performance enhancing effects.  However, there is a caveat to this logic, hyperarousal has a tendency to decrease performance both physically and cognitively.

Of course, if the drugs are not modern: adderall, provigil, or ritalin, and they were not abused by the legends, Jacques Anquetil or Eddy Merckx in cycling, or Babe Ruth in baseball, as the nationally syndicated radio show host claimed; then they have no performance enhancing benefits. No matter that amphetamines and similar central nervous system stimulants were the most abused drugs in cycling and baseball during the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

 But even the legends used performance enhancing drugs, Eddy Merckx tested positive for fencamfamin a central nervous system stimulant during the 1969 Giro d' Italia and was given the boot.

Here is an another example.  Though the exchange between cycling legends Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi is hilarious, the discussion does reveal the acceptance of amphetamine use at the time.  Quoting: Seven Deadly Sins, David Walsh, Atria Books, 2012.

Gino Bartali:  "Do cyclists take the la bomba [amphetamine]?"
Fausto Coppi: "Yes, and those who claim otherwise, it's not worth talking to them about cycling."
Gino Bartali: "And you, did you take la bomba?"
Fausto Coppi: "Yes, whenever it was necessary."
Gino Bartali: "And when was it necessary?"
Fausto Coppi: "Almost all the time!" P.59

Then, of course, there was British rider Tommy Simpson, who sadly died on the moon scape of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France, so high on amphetamines that he did not know he had ridden beyond his physical capacity.  Tommy Simpson collapsed just a few kilometers from the summit of Mont Ventoux, his jersey pockets were full of amphetamine tablets, more amphetamines were found in his luggage at his hotel.

So come on.  Do your homework before you shoot your mouth next time.  Amphetamines are performance enhancing drugs and that is why they are on the prohibited list.

Warning:  Too much amphetamine arousal can have counterproductive adverse effects that will diminish performance in both cognitive, and physical areas, and chronic abuse will produce a syndrome that exactly mimics paranoid schizophrenia.


*Source: rxlist.com/dexedrine-drug.htm
**Source: rxlist.com/adderall-drug.htm  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

UCI: A Culture of Omerta

Man, it is impossible to reform cycling, the old scumbags refuse to depart, even in the face of universal condemnation, and that is despicable.  Because let us face it the whole point of the monstrosity that is titled The Reasoned Report was to inspire deterrence from doping, not forgetfulness of dopers, nor amnesty, nor an article designed to inflame public opinion or prejudice upcoming arbitration cases, or to create a culture of fear and intimidation among professional cycling teams, nor a validation of the UCI biological passport, nor the validation of an exemption to WADA laboratory positive test results: but to deter dopers from cheating plain and simple.  Pat McQuaid who refuses to step down in the face of a pending "ethics committee probe" fosters the old culture that everyone agrees should be discontinued, the steroid era.

Man, this old anti-doping gig is stale and it generates allot of repetitive thoughts, based, of course, on a topic that should have died on the vine long ago.  Just when you want to lay down the pen forever new revelations come to light, even though in some cases the revelations included conduct that happened fourteen years ago, and perhaps should have remained dormant.  Nevertheless, this redundant scenario would not be considered hopeless, if and only if, the persons who should be setting an example on how to behave properly would only set an example by embracing a new code of truthfulness and honesty instead of embracing the old outdated code of omerta. It boggles the mind that there existed a culture of omerta not only among the drug crazed cheaters of old but among the very organizations that were founded to police the dopers.

Listen, cycling is simply wasting time trying to hold on to the old scumbag refugees that should have had a "T" branded on one shoulder and a "P" on the other.  [See: Marquis de Sade, 200 Days of Sodom or Honor de Balzac, Le Pere Goriot for examples of old world French branded convicts.] Perhaps we should brand the letter "B" on Pat McQuaid and a "D" on Lance Armstrong; "B" for bribery and "D" for doping.  But: we should not brand the letter "A" on ex-doper foreheads for amnesty [nor the Scarlet Letter A for adultery: after all, what are we, a bunch of puritan extremists?] nor the letter "F" for forgetfulness; the idea is to remember the past not to forget as an reminder to others as to how not to act.  But: perhaps this subterfuge by Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen was an attempt to make the cycling community forget their involvement, and to extend the amnesty to themselves along with the reformed dopers, in an attempt to whiteout the past and to set an example for the future.

Velovortmax riddle of the day:

How does a wind chime chime if there is no wind? 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

UCI: Unabashed Corrupt Individuals

Cycling is a shambles and the main culprits are not deranged dopers willing to testify against the culture of doping. No the problem originates in alphabet soup organizations who seem to have no useful purpose other than to skim money off the top, charging race organizers with senseless fees to sanction races, and racing teams to fund questionable anti-doping efforts.  Once, the UCI (International Cycling Union) represented honesty and integrity; now UCI stands for Unabashed Corrupt Individuals.  Men who accept bribes from riders to alter allegedly test positive for drugs on the prohibited list, men who would go as far as to cover up their malfeasance through a comprehensive program of lies and denies.  These men, Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen refuse to heed the call of Greg LeMond to confess and quit, preferably in eternal shame.  Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen refuse the honorable course and insist on pursuing the dishonorable course even though their conduct has been considered so egregious that the UCI executive committee has called for an independent committee to clarify allegations raised against them in the USADA investigation of rampant use and distribution of performance enhancing drugs to the U.S. Postal Service Professional Cycling Team by Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel; as graphically outlined in the Reasoned Decision.

It will be a hard slog for the independent committee. There is no paper trail and no way to verify through  scientific analyses the Lance Armstrong 2001 Tour of Switzerland stored urine samples for possible traces of recombinant EPO, because the samples have been destroyed. This is a significant point that is suggestive of foul play and this should be thoroughly be investigated by the committee.  There are other problems with the reliability of certain witness testimony as to the allegations raised that the UCI engaged in a systematic conspiracy to alter test results of favored cyclists.  Floyd Landis admitted to federal agents that he lied not only to Irish journalist Paul Kimmage, but probably to Travis Tygart and USADA as well.  Floyd Landis subsequently was found guilty of libel in a Suiss court and ordered to pay damages to Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.  Paul Kimmage wrote an investigative journalism article detailing the allegations raised by Floyd Landis against the UCI in a newspaper and was subsequently sued for libel by Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.  Then the bombshell allegations raised against the UCI in the USADA Reasoned Decision by ex-teammate Tyler Hamilton that Lance Armstrong admitted to testing positive to rEPO during the 2001 Tour de Suisse and that the UCI accepted bribes from Lance Armstrong in payment of a falsification of the laboratory results to purchase blood diagnostic laboratory equipment, and as a contribution for UCI operations; prompted the UCI to drop the lawsuit against Paul Kimmage.  This prompted Paul Kimmage to file a counter suit against the UCI seeking damages for filing a baseless, pernicious legal action.

This nonsense cannot be invented!  Now be reasonable, someone is lying here.  Either Floyd Landis told the truth to Paul Kimmage, and lied to federal agents when he admitted that his previous statements implicating the UCI altering positive test results for favored riders were lies: or Tyler Hamilton is lying about the admissions made by Lance Armstrong; or the USADA Reasonable Decision is a fabrication based on lies of ex-teammates of Lance Armstrong; or Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen are lying: but they all can't be telling the truth.

 It will be up to the Independent Committee to sort out this nonsense in a worthless investigation that is touted to last into June, 2013; well past the Giro d' Italia.  This is unacceptable considering the fact that the entire cycling community is sick of the UCI, sick of this subterfuge.  Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen awake!  we are sick of you!  we want you to resign! spare us this comedy, we want people in charge of cycling that we can trust and respect, not charlatans!

Must view video: teen builds wooden bicycle.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tejay van Garderen: Lose or Be Annihilated

Wada makes it official, Lance Armstrong; C'est la mort!  Thus ends the Lance Armstrong doping saga, sans arbitration, positive tests, and due process.  Thus evolves the anti-doping crusade into an era of paranoid suspicion; where confessions trump science and where coverups trump truth.

Of what possible use are redundant WADA anti-doping tests that fail to detect the use of performance enhancing substances when the UCI already has a series of tests; the UCI Biological Passport?  Why pay additional needless expenses to an agency that specializes in blackmail and extortion?  Why pay additional fees for service to a worthless organization that does not produce results?  WADA seems to have no useful function in sport except to cash checks from signatories that are required to use their testing facilities.  The WADA redundancy in testing is a stupid and wasteful expenditure of precious resources that could be spent in more productive areas.  Here is an example of the stupidity of redundant testing.  If an athlete wanted to cheat the system and fly under the radar, to dupe the tests, to establish a false physiological baseline range, would not these methods also defeat detection of performance enhancing drug use measured by an additional test performed in a accredited WADA laboratory?  WADA, like Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, represent failures of responsible stewardship to maintain order during cycling's torpid steroid era and they must be replaced.  Why?  Because it has become universally accepted that WADA tests are superfluous.  John Fahey rationalized WADA's viewpoint; a positive test is not required to ban an athlete permanently from sport competition.  Sadly, this viewpoint seems a belated agreement with the general consensus that WADA tests have been regarded with incredulity and scepticism for years, not only by the UCI; but by the scientific community and by public opinion.   There are too many examples of failure to justify further faith in the system.  There must be changes.  WADA as a testing agency, like Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, must go.

Now to the most pressing topic, the future of cycling, and a warning to the talented American prospect Tejay van Garderen.  Do not win the Tour de France!   If you are in contention, back off and let Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, or Alberto Contador win.  Because, let us be honest, the UCI blinders will remain on for Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, and Alberto Contador no matter how many links to doping or red flags these riders raise, but the UCI blinders will be removed for you.  Your medical data will be examined with a microscope and flouted before the whole world.  Travis Tygart will make a phantom case out of these random variations and convince the whole world that they represent "overwhelming evidence" of doping.  USADA will anoint your scalp with a crown of thorns and bind you to a stake, your feet will rest upon a pile of tinder dry faggots.  A raucous crowd of drunken vigilantes carrying flambeau will ignite your funeral pyre as Grand Inquisitor, Decider, Travis Tygart dressed in his most splendorous pontifical robes will smile approvingly and spread his arms invoking the prince of darkness to bless this ravenous spectacle.  WADA and the UCI will deposit your ashes into a cesspool.  The mainstream media will laughingly applaud your public execution as warranted and justified.  Your former sponsors, parasites, whom you enriched in the days of yore will abandon you to your fate.  Remember!  A positive test is not required to ban an athlete permanently from sport competition!  Remember!  Arbitration and due process are no longer required as conditions to enforce a lifetime ban!  Remember!  That you will be economically devastated from an endless  legal costs, and after you are deemed guilty, lawsuits!  It is very simple to avoid all of these problems, finish on the podium, be a perpetual contender, but don't win any of the Grand Tours or Classics and you will be safe from the persecution that is sure to follow. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

UCI and WADA: Recuse Yourselves

There are some odd and curious developments occurring in the anti-doping realm that frankly defy description.  First, is the weird stipulation in the code that the alphabet agencies, WADA and the UCI have the discretion to appeal a case to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, to challenge a prosecutorial decree, the Reasoned Decision, if the athlete declines to take the case to arbitration.  In a normal situation of an adverse analytical finding, the normal process would be flawlessly applied, the laboratory would be deemed infallible and the test results would be deemed incontestable.  But the Lance Armstrong doping case is based upon a non-analytical positive that was generated from testimony of past teammates, the prosecution has deemed these witness statements "irrefutable evidence" even though the anti-doping test results generated by WADA support an opposite conclusion, irrefutable evidence of clean competition.

Second, overlooked by everyone is the continuing scandal of the UCI and the continuing accusations that Hein Verbruggen accepted payola in the form of bribes to falsify a positive test and to destroy the sample [thus rendering the opportunity for further testing with improved methodology obsolete] and that Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid endeavored to cover up this chicanery with lies and denies.  The athlete who payed the bribes?  Lance Armstrong.  The race?  The 2001 Tour of Switzerland.  Now it should seem perfectly obvious to everyone that an agency that has the option to either challenge or waive an appeal of a prosecutorial decree to the Court of Arbitration of Sport has no business doing so, under suspicion of accepting bribes from the defendant.  The UCI executive committee should have recused themselves, appointed an independent board of impartial people [not a group of people affiliated with a WADA signatory] to examine the Reasoned Decision presented by USADA, and the entire unabridged case file, and only after a thorough examination of the evidence make a determination whether to proceed!  The fact that the UCI refused to appeal the Reasoned Decision to  the Court of Arbitration of Sport suggests an attempt by the UCI to continue the cover up by denying the prosecution the opportunity to call Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid to the witness stand, to invite Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid to testify truthfully under oath, and confess.  The fact that the UCI executive committee has called an emergency meeting to deal with crises, after the fact, suggesting that an independent agency investigate the UCI, [the independent agencies suggested were WADA or the Court of Arbitration of Sport; both of whom could technically be considered players who have a stake in the outcome of the proceedings, and who should therefore be disqualified from participation] to determine the fate of Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen [why all the phony dramatics? why not just resign now?]

WADA should also have recused themselves from exercising their opportunity to waive the appeal of the Reasoned Decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sport.  The Lance Armstrong case has everything one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase.  With an adverse analytical finding based upon a positive test the burden of proof rests solely upon the athlete to prove that the laboratory finding was in error.  The WADA accredited laboratory and test results that it generates are considered infallible and incontestable, based upon solid science, and the tests are considered impervious from generating false positive results. But in the Lance Armstrong case WADA is forced to admit that five hundred and fifty WADA accredited laboratory negative test results are incorrect.  Lance Armstrong insists that the WADA generated test results are infallible and incontestable.   Who would of expected such a pole shift?  But people should realize that USADA, WADA, the UCI, are primarily prosecutorial entities, they were never created to defend the athlete.  Why would WADA expend money in an attempt to defend their test results as infallible in defense of Lance Armstrong, a man who they have always wanted to brand a cheater?  This cognitive mind set, the insane hatred of Lance Armstrong and the desire to be rid of him at any cost by WADA and it's signatories constitutes a conflict of interest and grounds for recusal.

You know some of the statements you read in the newspapers can't be true.  For example Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, and David Millar are all existing on continuing the myth of the infallibility of the WADA anti-doping tests, even after WADA has shamelessly fleeced the UCI and other signatories out of millions of dollars by fraudulently charging fees for service.  [The UCI has paid WADA money for anti-doping tests that do not detect the presence of prohibited substances.]  Wiggins, Cavendish, and Millar base their argument upon the following premises: 1) There no longer exists doping in the peloton and if anyone were stupid enough to dope they would be caught because there have been great improvements in the science of doping detection. [If so, what purpose would there be in a Truth and Reconciliation Committee?]  2) The UCI Biological passport can detect doping in the absence of a failed test and is the perfect stop gap measure to detect deception.  Well, we can all see the fallacy of these arguments.  1) Bury your head in the sand and you will have another U.S. Postal disaster staring you in the face, next time it might be called U.K. Postal.  2) If I were duping the fools, cheating by establishing artificial baseline scores on the worthless UCI Biological Passport by micro dosing with undetectable amounts of prohibited substances and thus allowed freely to dope during a grand tour race; then yes, I would praise the worthless WADA testing to the skies and I would succeed in getting away with everything; unless USADA pointed a gun at one of my teammates and ordered him to sing like a nightingale.

Oh yea, Quickstep dumped Levi Leipheimer.  One rat fink down, twenty to go.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Johan Bruyneel, Pat McQuaid, and the Reasoned Decision

Johan Bruyneel, apparently the last hope for the accused to present a defense in the sordid U.S. Postal doping conspiracy was terminated from team Radio Shack by mutual agreement after the overwhelming evidence presented in the USADA Reasoned Decision.  Johan Bruyneel stated that he did not want the conflict of the pending arbitration to distract the team.

This is a familiar pattern, first there is an accusation, the accused loses his job, then the arbitration process is extended for years by obstructionist prosecution tactics designed to suppress evidence from the defense.  Of course, anti-doping agencies with lavish taxpayer funded budgets have no incentive to ensure a speedy trial for the defendant.  Extended arbitration ensures favorable extended press releases for the anti-doping agencies at the expense of the defendant and serves to justify the taxpayer funded budgetary largess, even if the prosecution tactics ensures financial destitution for the defendant.  As Richard Young stated in the Bloomberg Businessweek article; if the defendant is stupid enough to proclaim his or her innocence they are "opening the door" to attack, even if this attack amounts to a USADA smear campaign, deliberate manipulation of public opinion, and to a virtual gutting of Richard Young's precious World Anti-Doping Code.

Richard Young has a strange attitude in his recommendation to the UCI not to appeal the Reasoned Decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, but to declare the Decision "a job well done."  Of course, the Reasoned Decision is a well done hatchet job which accuses the UCI of being complicit in a falsification of a Lance Armstrong positive test for rEPO during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland, and of accepting payola in the form of bribes from Lance Armstrong to cover up the test results.  Frankly, if the UCI were to follow the advice of Richard Young, this would be tantamount to pleading "no contest" to the accusations.  If this is the case, then Pat McQuaid should resign effective immediately.

Of course, the graft and corruption the UCI is accused of is trivial compared to the issue of the wavier of the statute of limitations that Travis Tygart has dictated from his office in a prosecutorial decree reminiscent of a state declaration by Kim Jong Il.   USADA has no legal right to waive the statute of limitations without the waiver being arbitrated. The UCI has no option but to argue against the waiver of the statute of limitations in arbitration, because to do otherwise would constitute one of the most infamous acts of legal subterfuge ever perpetrated on a free world since the arbitrary illegal actions of the French Citizen Courts during Maximilien Robespirre's  Reign of Terror.  During the Reign of Terror, French Citizen Courts ordered arbitrary executions and deportations of the aristocracy without restraint or oversight.  If Pat McQuaid is unwilling to protect cyclists against illegal arbitrary abuse of power by individual anti-doping agencies then he should resign now.







 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

USADA: The Reasoned Report

Count Leo Tolstoy asked a pertinent question in his novel Resurrection.  "If the laws can be changed at random and applied arbitrarily, then of what use are the courts?"  This reflection could equally applied to the current Lance Armstrong doing investigation.  If USADA can be allowed to change the World Anti-Doping Code at random and impose these changes arbitrarily, then what use is arbitration?  USADA has waived the statute of limitations against Lance Armstrong not based upon an established precedent of perjury, but upon a newly invented notion of intimation of potential witnesses, who according to USADA would have flocked with potentially damaging information to USADA while a massive doping conspiracy was in progress, not years later when they had been convicted of multiple doping violations, denials, and attempted cover ups of their own behavior and subsequently banned, retired, and left with nothing to lose but the desire for revenge.  This idiot logic on behalf of the USADA would not be so alarming for athletes in all sport profession if not for the fact that this newly established precedent, "suppression of potential evidence through intimidation of potential witness whistle blowing," will be arrived at not through "thorough due process" but by administrative fiat, not through an arbitration award, but from a single declaration of USADA dictated by a megalomaniac prosecutor who thinks that he is Idi Amin, and thus is exempt from International Law.

Of course, the statute of limitations problem is only one of the ever expanding redefinitions that undermines the World Anti-Doping Code.  There are multiple assertion by USADA contained in an reasoned report that attempts further modifications of the World Anti-Doping Code by attempting to include "scientific proofs" that have no bases in reality, to supplement witness testimony that cannot be corroborated by a single clear and conclusive positive test result.  This adventurism by USADA was first successfully attempted in the Floyd Landis doping arbitration when USADA introduced the concept of additional carbon isotope testing in irrelevant stages of the 2006 Tour de France that could not result in additional adverse analytical findings because the test results could not be confirmed in compliance with the World Anti-Doping code; but could be used by the arbitration panel by as supplemental evidence of doping by Mr. Landis.  This concept, using unverified test results as a bases to support USADA's witness testimony, thus establishing "scientific proof " has expanded to include the 2004 research tests conducted by the WADA accredited laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry France that claims to have found perfect isoforms of recombinant EPO in several of  Lance Armstrong's 1999 Tour de France urine samples.  Even under the most dismissive argument, the research samples tested at Chatenay-Malabry France cannot be considered evidence under the existing World Anti-Doping Code because there were no existing "A" samples available for testing.  To accept these tests as valid scientific supplemental evidence to support witness testimony is unjustified, illegal, and is not supported by the World Anti-Doping code, and the Code is not subject to manipulation by USADA to establish an adverse analytical finding where none could possibly exist in reality.

This would be bad enough but USADA is attempting to undermine the therapeutic use exemption.  USADA claims that Lance Armstrong illegally used a topical cortisone cream to treat saddle sores, even though Lance Armstrong has argued that he had a doctor approved therapeutic use exemption to use the cream.  This issue is rife with controversy because some have claimed that on the initial medical declaration that riders are required to file, Lance Armstrong listed legally prescribed prohibited substances that are allowed under the therapeutic use exemption as "none."  It is alleged that the therapeutic use exemption was issued only after Lance Armstrong tested positive for trace amounts of corticosteroids.  But USADA claims that the unresolved issue of if and when Lance Armstrong obtained an therapeutic use exemption for corticosteroids has been suddenly resolved through witness testimony and therefore these witness statements constitute a validated  scientific proof of doping by Lance Armstrong.  In my opinion, this issue should have been resolved years ago, if there were any questions as to the validity of the therapeutic use exemption, then the UCI should have taken some action to resolve the issue.  Since nothing was done it is safe to assume that there was nothing inappropriate with the therapeutic use exemption and that USADA is grasping for straws.

There are other equally preposterous examples of supplemental "scientific proofs."  UCI biological passport data that cannot be explained away by any other variable except "micro dosing" with rEPO.  But I simply don't have the space to list everything.  Let us just say that there are some very curious conclusions contained within the "reasoned report" that deserve comment and perhaps at some future date I will discuss them all.

Attention dopers!  You want the shortest, sweetest suspension in history? [Even though this is in violation of the World Anti-Doping Code, that calls for a two year suspension for the first doping violation]  Sing against your teammates, baby!  You don't have to accept any responsibility for your behavior, you blame the bad guy Lance.  You learned that trick when your mother caught you with your hands in the cookie jar, you plead your mea culpa: I didn't want to take the cookie, but mean old Lance made me do it.  George Hincapie sounded the most pathetic in his confession:  Lance made me do it, he was the team leader, and if you didn't toe the line then you were not going to be a part of the team.  But then George Hincapie goes on to say that he stopped doping six years ago [what didn't you feel intimidated then George?]  It would be an interesting study to examine the power output and weight ratios of George Hincapie during all the years he rode, the doping years and the "clean" years to see if we could measure any discernible difference.  If I recall the only stage George Hincapie won during the Tour de France was when he was riding for Discovery Channel, and that would imply an increase in performance during the "clean" years, not a decrease, but then again I am thinking like a USADA prosecutor. 

Will the UCI allow USADA to dictate terms to them?  Will the UCI accept the "reasoned report" as is or will they demand that USADA turn over the entire case file?  Will the UCI appeal the USADA "reasoned report" to the Court of Arbitration of Sport? Will the UCI accept the six month sweetheart sanctions?  Will USA Cycling strip George Hincapie and David Zabriskie of their national championships?  Come on people, David Zabriskie was living with Floyd Landis, they both rode for U.S. Postal, David Zabriskie must have known that Floyd Landis was doping.

But then again nobody cares about Floyd Landis unless he is blowing the whistle.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

USADA Witness Greg LeMond: Personal Motivation for Revenge

The Lance Armstrong doping case gets stranger by the minute.  Travis Tygart claims that he received death threats  against him and his family, attacks which might be expected because there are some very unpredictable people in this world.  Thus the phrase going postal.

Yeah, there were disgruntled people who had grudges against their employers who thought it appropriate to murder people at random in retaliation for some incoherent slight.  There were riders on the U.S. Postal Service Professional cycling team who probably felt slighted too, guys who thought they should have been included on Tour de France teams, or guys who thought that their contracts should have been extended for another year.  Yes. Some team decisions probably generated some resentment among miffed riders against sport director Johan Bruyneel and team leader Lance Armstrong, and a strong desire for retaliation. Given the chance in an opportunistic setting the long repressed desire for revenge suddenly manifested itself in glowing testimony in front of an arbitration hearing.

Fanciful?  No.  Greg LeMond had the strongest desire to be known as the only American Tour de France champion and he was mortified when Lance Armstrong emerged as the better American cyclist.  Greg LeMond was chagrined by being upstaged by Lance Armstrong, a man who had as good as a recovery  from a personal calamity as Greg LeMond.  Lance Armstrong was stricken with testicular cancer, a man  who survived invasive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, a survivor who went on to win seven consecutive Tours de France.  Greg LeMond survived being shot by a cousin in a hunting accident, there are still shotgun pellets lodged in his heart, nevertheless, against all odds, Greg LeMond survived to win two Tours de France.

But curiously, instead of supporting the medical miracle of Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond displayed an offended, sour visage.  Greg LeMond has always maintained that when he rode there was a miraculous hiatus of doping among the peloton; even though Bernard Hinault and Laurent Fignon both tested positive for amphetamines during his riding career.  Yes, the mythical spin of the complete clean Greg LeMond riding triumphantly during cycling's drug free years, crushing the badger during the 1986 Tour de France.  Yes, Greg LeMond told the press if not for the hunting accident he would have dominated the Tour de France for ten straight years!  But woe descended upon poor Greg LeMond during his greatest years and left him a bitter man.  Without the hunting accident Greg LeMond was convinced that he would have been regarded as the greatest all time cyclist, better than Eddy Merckx!  Greg LeMond could never accept this injustice of fate, he constantly lamented his misfortunes, his personal reaction to his tragedy is perfectly understandable, and his story did elicit sympathy and praise from the cycling fanatics, until one fine day the bitterness was transferred into personal doping accusations and attacks against the then current and defending Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.  After each and every Lance Armstrong Tour de France victory, Greg LeMond would race to the podium and into press interviews imploring Lance Armstrong to confess his use of performance enhancing drugs.  This alleged use of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong became a fixation for Greg LeMond and soon began to become tiresome to racing fanatics who came to the conclusion that Greg LeMond was jealous of Lance Armstrong's success.

Jealously of Lance Armstrong's success would have been motivation enough for Greg LeMond to tell tall tales, but sadly there is more.  There is the issue of the mysterious telephone call Greg LeMond claims to have received when sitting in an airport parking lot, a call that supposedly was witnessed and transcribed by Kathy LeMond, a telephone call where Greg LeMond claimed to have been threatened by Lance Armstrong.  Greg LeMond contends that Lance Armstrong told him to back off on the unceasing defamatory comments or he would find seven Z ex-teammates that would testify that they saw Greg LeMond using the blood boosting steroid recombinant EPO.  [Note:  rEPO was available as a performance enhancing drug during the 1989 and 1990 Tours de France; although there was no test to detect the substance at the time.  This statement of fact further undermines the assertion of Greg LeMond that the peloton was riding performance enhancing drug free during this period.]

So we have the Greg LeMond telephone story, and the Greg LeMond threat story, and this certainly fits into the hypotheses concocted by USADA that Lance Armstrong was a brutal dictator of the U.S. Postal Service Professional Cycling Team who used threats and intimidation to suppress witnesses from confessing to USADA that there was a conspiracy of rampant forced distribution and forced use of performance enhancing drugs ongoing on the U.S. Postal Service Professional Cycling Team.  For example, Floyd Landis would have pointed out to USADA years before cheating with synthetic testosterone to win the Tour de France that there was rampant doping going on years before at U.S. Postal only if he did not live in fear of "living with the fishes."  And Tyler Hamilton would have never considered blood doping to win an Olympic time trial gold medal, if only he did not live in constant fear that he would be buried in concrete somewhere in the Meadowlands.  Thus, it is as obvious as the nose on your face that these threats of certain death by Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel during the U.S. Postal days certainly justifies the suspension of the statute of limitations by USADA. [Note:  The suspension of the statute of limitations was first based upon the supposition that Lance Armstrong, who cited his five hundred and fifty passed drug tests was committing perjury, thus the justification for the waiver of the statute of limitations has evolved over time into totally unrelated areas than perjury.]

Greg LeMost has attained his lifetime goal of being the only American Tour de France champion and he and his charming wife Kathy must be celebrating this fact with tears of gratification to USADA and champagne.  And you can bet your last dollar that if called upon to testify against Johan Bruyneel that Greg LeMond will be more than an enthusiastic witness, and on his face there will no longer be an offended, sour visage, but a  happy, joyous expression of personal self satisfaction!

You see, good old Travis Tygart can't seem to figure out why Johan Bruyneel would want to contest the USADA conspiracy charges, he wanted every thing on a silver platter carte blanche.  Travis Tygart does not seem able to understand why USADA would spend precious American taxpayer dollars defending his "overwhelming evidence."  Travis Tygart declared that Johan Bruyneel has nothing to gain by contesting the USADA charges and Mr. Tygart has declared that he will force Lance Armstrong to testify against Johan Bruyneel in the arbitration hearing.  These USADA threats against Mr. Bruyneel are certainly unnecessary, what could Mr. Armstrong possibly testify to, the fact that he passed every anti-doping test administered to him?  But, nevertheless, Travis Tygart has forgotten the most important thing:  if Johan Bruyneel does not contest the charges he will face a lifetime ban.  Mr. Bruyneel has nothing to lose and must fight. Mr. Bruyneel has everything to gain.  USADA will be forced to show their hand and present their witnesses in open arbitration. The Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel confessions of doping and conspiracy that Mr. Tygart was counting on are not going to materialize, and without any material or physiological proofs, USADA has a great probability of losing in arbitration.

If USADA loses the Johan Bruyneel arbitration case, then it will be time for Congress to seriously consider de-funding USADA!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anti-Doping: Bread and Circuses

The enraged crowd is ready to riot over the disappointment of being deprived of the Lance Armstrong circus. Travis Tygart in the role of lion tamer had ten buffoons lined up to testify to the rampant abuse and distribution of performance enhancing drugs on the U.S. Postal Professional Cycling Team, Discovery Channel Team, Astana, and Team Radio Shack. There were to be jugglers, clowns, sword swallower's, trapeze, high wire acts, an entire three ring agenda performed at the direction of master of ceremonies Travis Tygart himself, accompanied by a fat lady serenade on accordion. But, boo ho, the Lion refused to perform and what circus act could continue without the main entertainment?

Yes, the press was all geared up to stir up the stink with endless critiques and then deflated like a balloon when the opportunity for stench was not forthcoming. Who did not want to revel in the crimes of the cycling steroid era when a fountain of blood was to be splattered all along the pavement?

 But fear not. There is still Johan Bruyneel, the man who volunteered to substitute for the lion in the place of Lance Armstrong. Mr. Bruyneel seems to be a masochist of the first order, never being satisfied with being jolted in the backside with a cattle prod by envious adversaries, he insists on taking on USADA in [we hope] a public arbitration hearing where the aforementioned buffoons will be on display. This among other things explains why USADA has refused to comply with World Anti-Doping Code, Section 8.4 and a UCI request to provide a complete dossier of the "overwhelming evidence" that USADA claims to have accumulated that proves conclusively that a doping conspiracy existed on the U.S. Postal Service Professional Cycling Team.  This dossier would also detail all evidence that justifies the lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong and the revocation of his seven Tour de France titles, Olympic Bronze Medal, prize monies, ad nauseum.

This prospect of an open arbitration hearing must be disconcerting to Travis Tygart.  So far USADA has behaved like an d-amphetamine induced paranoid schizophrenic; there are threats everywhere; treats to witnesses who would be so daring as to testify against Lance Armstrong, threats from people who did not write letters of approbation to USADA; Travis Tygart commented that there were some disturbing letters written to USADA after he banned Lance Armstrong from cycling for life, probably from people who had the audacity to disagree with the tactics USADA used in this case: they are to be considered threats too.

This USADA paranoid schizophrenia may have required professional psychiatric treatment, but behold, Pat McQuaid and the UCI may have saved the day by offering all of the USADA witnesses an unconditional amnesty. Also included in the proposed amnesty; all cyclists who rode during the steroid era and who cheated by using performance enhancing substances.  Anyway Pat McQuaid wanted to make an amnesty proposal to the UCI executive board. This is an abysmal idea, unconscionable. Dopers are to be punished not exonerated for cheating the sport of cycling.  The former riders who were to testify against Lance Armstrong should be banished for life, especially Frankie Andreu; who should be forbidden television color commentating during the Tour de France forever.  This infuriating hypocritical reasoning of the UCI; eternal banishment for some and total amnesty without sanction for others is idiotic and serves to undermine the basic goal of the anti-doping crusade: ride clean.  If you kill off one head of the hydra others will spout out like a metastasized cancer. There is also a question of impropriety in an unconditional amnesty; will this insane idea set a bad precedent and create further expectations for future amnesties for certain groups of riders who desire to cheat en mass?

The UCI is forced to face the grim prospect of never being able to "reassign Lance Armstrong's titles" since Pat McQuaid has stated that the UCI has no desire to contest the USADA banishment of Lance Armstrong; and since it has been determined that every Tour de France podium finisher for seven straight years (1999-2005) had either tested positive for performance enhancing drugs or have been linked to a doping scandal.  Thus, the quandary: how do you make a fair reassignment of Lance Armstrong's titles?  Pick a rider least likely to have committed a doping offense?  How about the lanterne rouge?

Forget the amnesty unless you forgive Lance Armstrong first.  Lance Armstrong is the only man who never failed a drug test, and the only man during the steroid era who was never conclusively linked to a doping scandal.  Let's not be reduced to the state where we have to lampoon the worthlessness of the WADA labs, and the uselessness of WADA test results, in favor of unprovable assertions made in a anti-doping circus.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Doping Conspiracy on La Vie Claire?

The Lance Armstrong doping saga appears as old as an worn out shoe.  There was a virtual avalanche of media outrage over the USADA revocation of Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles for a whole week.  Today? A mausoleum like silence.  Even the startling revelations of Tyler Hamilton in the blockbuster book The Secret Race could not excite the imaginations of the jaded bored public.

Why?  Because people are burned out with dopers and their confederates.  People are burned out with the unending Lance Armstrong saga and the unending vendetta to strip him of his titles and destroy his reputation and career.  Even though most Americans are natural born sadists and love nothing more than to see a person ruined; with the twenty four hour sports news cycle even the destruction of a legend grows stale.  People are impatient, like bloated flies they want fresh scandals, they want unending supplies of maggoty meat.

USADA understands this boredom concept where even the most egregious crimes and infamous conclusion are filed away and forgotten.  Most people could not tell you of what the "overwhelming evidence" against Lance Armstrong consists of; even though a few might babble some nonsense about omerta, or the code of silence employed by cycling teams with regards to doping. But, most of the public would also insist that if someone were daring enough to blow the whistle, then the whole house of cards would come tumbling down.  There is the assumption that a deviation from the established status quo conveys virtues of honesty and integrity to witness testimony of the person blowing the whistle; no matter how well documented the past history of doping, denial, dishonesty, and pretensions of this person happens to be.

But, hey, it doesn't take much imagination to spin a credible yarn does it?  Greg LeMond said he could have dropped Bernard Hinault by five minutes on L' Alpe D' Huez during the 1986 Tour de France and Urs Zimmermann, who was second on the general classification, by seventeen minutes.  Why should I not conclude that there was a doping conspiracy on La Vie Claire?  If Lance Armstrong would have made a statement that he could have dropped Jan Ullrich by five minutes up L' Alpe D' Huez the media would have screamed dope.  In addition, using the impeccable logic of the anti-doping crusaders, there is certainly additional anecdotal circumstantial evidence to support such a conclusion that there was a doping conspiracy on La Vie Claire. Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond one, two, in the general classification for two consecutive Tours de France?  Very unusual.  Bernard Hinault asked to comment on the Lance Armstrong case said that he didn't care, "It's his problem."  But Bernard don't you realize that now that the statute of limitations no longer applies in doping arbitration that it could become your problem.  Listen, if accusations are repeated long enough, even though they have no factual bases, they soon evolve into truths. You don't expect us to buy the nonsense that cycling had a great hiatus from doping when you and Greg LeMond raced merely because there were no positive tests, do you?  Doping doctors knew that autologous blood transfusions of red blood cells increased oxygen transport and utilization even in 1985: added bonus; use of autologous blood transfusions cannot be detected.  A dopers dream!  Not only did the doping doctors know it, but the riders knew it, the teams knew it, and there is a great probability that every rider in the peloton was using autologous blood transfusions during the 1985 and 1986 Tours de France.  Nevertheless, there is Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault finishing ahead of Urs Zimmermann hand in hand like the best of teammates on L' Alpe D' Huez by twelve minutes! Using this circumstantial summary of events and one witness could cost Greg LeMond his three Tour de France titles and Bernard Hinault his five Tour de France titles.  The titles could be distributed to other riders with conclusive links to dope.

For a more detailed argument pro and con of the possible doping on La Vie Claire read Velo Vortmax:  Slayng the Badger: A Book Review.

Yarn spinning is fun and easy.  You merely have to mix in a little truth with a lot of jive, find the right audience, and then lay on the screws.  Some people are stupid enough to believe anything.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Is the Secret Race a Hoax?

The Secret Race.  The sensational new thriller of doping and cheating among the U.S. Postal Professional Cycling Team by Tyler Hamilton.

The U.S. Postal conspiracy never fails to ensure more entertainment, the last being the new tell all expose written by Tyler Hamilton The Secret Race. In this book Tyler Hamilton claims that Lance Armstrong distributed rEPO and other performance substances to the U.S. Postal team directly under the nose of the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) the private owner of the Tour de France, the French public, and the French police.  Most of the media reports state that Tyler Hamilton claims that a motorcycle rider followed the U.S. Postal team with a thermos bottle filled with chilled rEPO, that Lance Armstrong provided Tyler Hamilton directly with rEPO, and that white lunch bags were distributed to the team by Johan Bruyneel containing performance enhancing substances.

These facts, the thermos bottles filled with rEPO, the white lunch bags given to the U.S. Postal team are all well known facts, they reveal nothing new.  David Walsh in from Lance to Landis provides the exact same description of the lunch bags, with the caveat that his source did not know for certain what these bags contained.  They could have contained vitamin B tablets and other mundane legal supplements for all she knew.

But Tyler Hamilton changes the entire equation from a person who suspected but did not know to a rider who knew everything. We now have "overwhelming evidence" that the lunch bags contained not only vitamin B, but performance enhancing drugs!  Handed out personally by Johan Bruyneel!  Ingested by Lance Armstrong, Geroge Hincapie, and Tyler Hamilton!  This was the smoking gun that the USADA was seeking to convince the UCI and the American public that the USADA charges are the truth and nothing but the truth; not the sensational fabrications of deranged revengeful charlatans.

Tyler Hamilton: A Man of A Thousand Inventions

A man who can invent a vanishing twin to account for the fact that he tested positive for a double red cell population; a man who lived in a perpetual state of self pity and who portrayed himself as a innocent victim of the anti-doping crusade; a man who recruited groupies to intimidate people into accepting the message to "believe Tyler" as reported in Bicycling magazine: all lies and dishonesty, nevertheless, there will always be some deluded dupe who will honestly believe that a man of a thousand inventions can certainly be relied upon in the Secret Race to honestly tell the truth.

The old proverbial expression in Russia, "to lead a man by the nose" means to make a fool of someone.  It is quaint, if not curious, that Tyler Hamilton is profiting from his nefarious doping behavior by trying to dupe the fools by spinning a yarn for book royalties!  Exploiting the doping crusade to fill his pockets full of filthy lucre, how dare he!

Don't be a fool and buy The Secret Race.  Dopers don't deserve to be rewarded, they deserve to be punished.

If Tyler Hamilton wants to blow the whistle, why not write a expose on Team Phonak doping, or how he smuggled blood and transfusion equipment into the Athens Olympics, or into the Tour of Spain.  This would be fascinating reading and USADA would be delighted with the confession. However, this hypothetical book would also prove once again that Tyler Hamilton is nothing more than a manipulative narcissistic creep who cheated the sport of cycling and then had the audacity to brag about it.

And if Tyler Hamilton ever writes such a book don't buy that garbage either.  Why set a bad example for other opportunistic dopers to exploit people.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why Did Lance Armstrong not Contest USADA?

Comment: USADA where is the factual explanation of the conclusive proof of the U.S. Postal doping conspiracy that you claim to possess. A short summary of the witness list with all pertinent statements or affidavits, including dates and times when the alleged doping incidents occurred, and a complete summary of all of the false statements made by Mr. Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and other suspended defendants that constitute your grounds for waving of the statute of limitations is required to comfortably satisfy the demand for total public transparency. Otherwise, there may be some cynics who will insist that the charges levied against Mr. Armstrong was based upon nothing more than a bluff, that the U.S. Postal conspiracy is nothing more than a charade, that you and your supposed witnesses are nothing more than imposters. Either provide proof or withdraw your charges. It is obvious from a short study of cycling history that neither USADA, witnesses Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton can be trusted to make factual statements based upon honor.

USADA is suffering from a obsessive compulsive desire to kill Lance Armstrong based upon the assumption that Lance Armstrong duped the golden standard of WADA anti-doping testing by flying under the radar five hundred and fifty times. By God a man who hires a doping doctor who can generate five hundred and fifty false negative test results must be punished for his crimes. Digging deep into the arsenal there still remains for USADA the golden UCI Biological passport, a deceptive device used to monitor so called baseline scores of athletes over time, any random variable in these scores could be construed as a result of doping. And if the UCI Biological passport is not enough to convince an independent arbitrator that doping occurred, there still remains the golden ticket for USADA, a burden placed upon the athlete to prove that claims by disgruntled teammates are factual statements and not the result of confabulations that are a result of rampant abuse of performance enhancing drug abuse that has caused an enlargement of the third ventricle of the brain and that has caused these witness patients to fill in lapses of memory with fictional accounts of events that never occurred in reality.

Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton also seem to be suffering from a malady known as attention seeking disorder. When prospects were good, salaries high, team leadership, accolades, gold medals, and Tour de France championships; there was no time to accuse former teammates of engaging in a conspiracy to use performance enhancing drugs.  No indeed, not until these truthful witnesses were caught using performance enhancing drugs themselves and were stripped of their titles and medals did the thought occur to them that if I am stripped of my Tour de France title or my Olympic gold medal then by God I will cause Lance Armstrong to lose his Tour de France titles and his Olympic gold medal.  Thus the e-mails and the television interviews, the accusations, the testimony.  The attention seeking syndrome was back in full force. Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton were back in the news, they were important, people were paying attention to them again.

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, one of the few and rare sports journalists who would dare to question the anti-doping crusade with an intelligent discussion; wrote a very good article questioning the need for doping testing if USADA was to force an athlete into an impossible task of defending him or herself against  unfounded and unprovable conspiracy theories based upon confabulations of demented ex-teammate dopers.  She says why not just do away with testing entirely?  The reason is obvious.  Some tests to produce results, they do detect performance enhancing drug use, positive test results obviate the need for a circus with jokers and clowns.  The second reason is also obvious.  WADA laboratories can produce a tremendous amount of false negative tests, but it is impossible to produce a false positive test result.  When the test result is positive it is deemed incontestable and infallible proof of doping.  The Court of Arbitration of Sport will rubber stamp any positive test no matter how long it is contested.  A problem emerges with false negative tests because it is assumed that the athlete and his or her doctor is flying below the radar and thus a passed test is no proof of competing clean.  Thus these false negative tests can be discounted as proof and deemed to be lies, and if an athlete makes statements of his innocence upon these tests he is considered by the anti-doping crusade to be a liar.  This seems to be the attitude taken by USADA: Lance Armstrong merely stated that he passed five hundred and fifty tests, which is a factual statement of truth, but according to USADA he manipulated the tests in a way to make them appear truthful when they were in fact deceptive; thus the statement of truth is no longer the truth but a lie, and this justifies the wavier of the statute of limitations.   Plus:  WADA and USADA justify their existence and funding with positive tests, they are achieving results, and this is very important to the wallet.

People are mystified as to why Lance Armstrong did not contest his doping charges.  The answer could be answered from an old study done on rats in a psychology experiment.  A rat is placed in a box on an electric grid, the juice is turned on.  At first the rat engages in multiple behaviors in an attempt to turn off the current but when nothing seems to work the rat resigns to doing nothing but crouch in the corner.  Even if an escape hatch is opened the rat will continue to huddle in the corner rather than escape through the hatch.  This is called the learned helplessness model.  Well, Lance Armstrong finally reached the learned helplessness stage, driven there by classical conditioning.  Hounded, vilified by the government, the press, the UCI, the public; for years bombarded with multiple accusations, law suits, investigations, probes, jeers and sneers, Lance Armstrong after multiple victories simply gave up out of exhaustion just like the rat on the electric grid.  "Enough is enough" and "no more of this nonsense," was how Lance Armstrong reacted.  He could have said, "Man, I have had enough of this shit and I'm tired of it.  I just want to spent time with my family and with my foundation."  And to those clueless assholes who never tire of claiming that Lance Armstrong quit because he was guilty of something; it is not your money that is being spent to defend your honor!  It is not your life that is being wasted fighting with USADA in arbitration!  There is a limit to human endurance!  Get a life! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Travis Tygart Does a Dance Macabre on Lance Armstrong's Grave

Wow! What unexpected news! The former seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong declined to be a participant in the rigged doping arbitration process and fourteen years of his life were erased with a single stroke of the pen by the mighty USADA without the need to bother with the inconvenience of rigorous due process!  The anti-doping crusade has added another milestone in the evolutionary process to ensure fairness.  However, even though USADA is consistent in attempting to redefine the process at every opportunity the UCI is objecting and demanding an explanation as to what exactly what evidence the lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong is based upon, since to this point USADA has not been forthcoming with any justification of their action.  But knowing how USADA operates it is certainly credible to believe that USADA is currently working a scheme to undermine Article 8.3 of the World Anti-Doping Code.  Article 8.3 of the World Anti-Doping Code states that in absence of a hearing the agency in charge of the results management must provide a coherent legal explanation of the justification for its charges and sanctions against an athlete.  So far the UCI has complained that USADA has provided no information to the UCI to explain the reasoning for the lifetime bans already issued to the team doctors and trainers who are alleged to have participated in the "U.S. Postal Conspiracy," but who failed to respond to by the deadline to the ultimatum of arbitration or automatic suspension.  Athletes, doctors, and trainers cannot be suspended at the whim of USADA, there must be a coherent reason for these suspensions, but so far USADA has shrouded their entire case in a mysterious fog.  Incredibly, USADA is acting exactly like a star chamber, they take action, then refuse to explain their actions.  It is incredible to believe but the UCI, which has always proved so weak and ineffectual when it comes to protecting the rights of athletes, has grown a set of balls, and is engaged in a pissing match and turf war with USADA over Lance Armstrong!

I, for one, am looking forward to reading these awards. It will be quite interesting to know how USADA can justify a U.S. Postal conspiracy without a shred of physical or physiological evidence.  For instance, there are no U.S. Postal team positive tests for prohibited substance use, there are no Lance Armstrong DNA and recombinant EPO syringes stored in a coffee can somewhere.  It seems impossible to understand how the most scrutinized team in the Tour de France, a team that was constantly under surveillance, a team where medical waste was recovered from dumpsters by enterprising television crews, rushed to labs and subjected to rigorous laboratory testing [tests that revealed that the medical waste in question contained no prohibited substances] could openly dope with impunity without being apprehended.  In fact, contrary to the USADA version, I argue that Johan Bruyneel ran the cleanest team in the Tour de France peloton out of necessity, worried that if any of the U.S. Postal team tested positive during the Tour de France that he would be tarred, feathered, and castrated prior to being pilloried in public disgrace before the angry populace of Paris.  Because, my good friends, the French hated Lance Armstrong, the Americans hated Lance Armstrong, Europe hated Lance Armstrong, the whole world cried dope from the highest towers; Lance Armstrong had to be doping and cheating didn't he?  Jan Ullrich got busted for taking ecstasy at a rave in a out-of-competition test, and he was linked to Operation Puerto, convicted of doping and suspended for two years. Yes, there were so many other examples of riders linked to doping convictions during the steroid era, Ivan Basso, Iban Mayo, Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, these scum cheated to gain an unfair advantage did they not?  How could a clean rider keep up with a juiced peloton?  After all everyone was doing it.  If a man was tempted to take performance enhancing drugs to keep pace, well who could blame him.  But, if you don't understand the hypocritical culture of cycling that forgives certain dopers, that makes them icons of virtue, that makes exceptions based upon their stellar behavior, for instance David Millar, who was caught by the French police in a raid with vials of EPO resting upon the mantle of his fireplace, who confessed as the dutiful but repentant prodigal son, and who was rewarded with forgiveness by the UCI and then deified as the shining example of virtue after adopting an anti-doping philosophy; or the incredible tolerance of certain riders who could only be described as serial dopers Alberto Contador for one.  Linked to Operation Puerto and forgiven by a Spanish judge [purchase and use of performance enhancing drugs was not prohibited by Spanish law in those days]  convicted of use of clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France, a man who won the 2009 Tour de France and beat an allegedly doped Lance Armstrong [do you remember the old cliche parable about the man who had to use performance enhancing drugs to keep pace with a doped teammate?  Reminds me of Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond during the 1986 Tour de France] but who is endlessly forgiven for his crimes against cycling and who is encouraged to continue racing.  Is not Alberto Contador currently riding in the Tour of Spain?  Did not Pat McQuaid proclaim that when Alberto Contador returned to the peloton for the 2013 Tour de France that Bradley Wiggins would face stiffer competition?  Yes, there is a double standard in cycling, some dopers are glorified, some are exonerated, some are ignored, and some are hung.  If a member of the U.S. Postal team would have tested positive for performance enhancing substances during the Tour de France he along with the rest of the team would have been publicly hung in the city square and to Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong the consequences was not worth the risk.

As far as the legacy of Lance Armstrong here it is.  Here is a shorter version.  You see a huge number of American flags in this film, Americans were proud of their hero, they were proud of a man who could ride stride for stride up Mont Ventoux with the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d' Italia champion Marco Pantani,  while they dropped 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich.  This film still gives me goose bumps every time I see it, I loved Marco Pantani as a rider even though he got kicked out the the 1999 Giro d' Italia for health reasons. [50+ hematocrit].  And I love Lance Armstrong for keeping me glued to the television in suspense, the Joseba Beloki shortcut; the day Lance Armstrong hooked his handlebars on a musette bag and he and Iban Mayo crashed to the ground like a ton of bricks, and like gentlemen Jan Ullrich and Tyler Hamilton waited; and how even with a broken chain stay Lance Armstrong showed his true mettle and soloed to win the stage.  I don't care if he used dope or not, the guy was the greatest rider of his generation, steroid era or not, and that is his true legacy.

Lance Armstrong has never admitted to prohibited substance use, he is not admitting guilt now.  He understands that millions of dollars spent in legal expenses and years wasted in fruitless arbitration and court challenges will accomplish nothing more than ulcers. The system is rigged, the athlete cannot win.  Lance does not need to prove anything to anyone, he does not need to save his legacy by fighting pointless battles.  But sadly for Lance Armstrong now that he is a cycling corpse the buzzards are circling, the lawsuits will start, and the truth for all we know will finally come out.  After all even though USADA may be able to hide their witnesses behind a wall of immunity and anonymity; in the real world of litigation their identities will be revealed.  And Lance Armstrong can call teammates to the witness stand that will testify to the fact that they know nothing about any doping conspiracy during the U.S. Postal years, because as everyone understands, there were more than ten teammates who rode for Postal during the Armstrong years.

BTW:  When will USADA begin to announce the suspensions of the witnesses they bribed for testimony?  Or should we forget the whole thing and accept the truth that USADA is engaged in a cover up of participants in a conspiracy?  


Monday, August 13, 2012

Tour of Utah: Big Mountain Summit Photographs

Tour of Utah Website






Top: Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (EPM-UNE Colombia) first over the top.  The Media motorcycle spoiled my unobstructed view.

After being almost run over by the team cars I had to sprint to the other side of the road, thus the different perspectives.

Tour of Utah stage 3 winner: Michael Matthews (Rabobank) who out sprinted a fifty man group. 3:24:07

Tour of Utah overall winner: Johann Tschopp (Team BMC)