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!