Thursday, August 25, 2005

Lance Armstrong, even in retirement he is hounded by the French.

So, it is a scientific fact that Lance Armstrong has tested positive for the banned substance EPO. Or is it? According to a French newspaper it is true and the head of the Tour de France, Jean-Marie Leblanc, is all ready to string Armstrong up. A lab has apparently tested some urine samples of Armstrong and the tests prove he was using EPO, at least to the newspaper and Leblanc. The lab says it cannot confirm that the samples were Armstrong’s. At the time the samples were taken, there was not a test for EPO. Now that there is, the French have tested some frozen urine of Armstrong’s from 1999. It tested positive for EPO. Sounds like it should be pretty cut and dry, huh, not when it comes to the French.

The French have been after Lance Armstrong for years because, basically, they do not think that a man can survive cancer and win the Tour de France seven times. It IS pretty unbelievable, and if the French didn’t seem like such sore losers, maybe I buy into this allegation. The urine samples that have been tested are from the 1999 Tour de France. It has been frozen all this time and just now tested. That’s not all. These samples are the B samples. When giving urine for drug tests, the cyclists give two samples because there are so many things that can happen to contaminate a sample. The more samples you have, the better it is to get an accurate answer.

Two samples are taken because a sample can be contaminated. So if one sample tests positive for a banned substance, there is another sample to test to make sure that it is an accurate reading. The samples tested in this case were from 6 years ago. Can we really be sure that these tests are accurate? Can we really be sure this is Armstrong’s urine? These tests are anonymous, the urine sample did not have Armstrong’s name on it. The French claim they matched up the numbers on the sample to the numbers on a sheet with the cyclists names and the numbers are a match to Armstrong’s name.

After writing this all out, I am more convinced the French are real a-holes and can’t let go of the past. They should be celebrating the fact that anyone outside of France even cares about their stupid little bike race. I bet next year’s race will bring a high level of interest. I am sure every news channel will be there to witness Frenchy von French ride to victory. Well, that’s not true because even when Armstrong doesn’t race, the French can’t win.

I am a cynical guy and it would not surprise me to find out that Armstrong used a banned substance. In fact, I heard on a radio show that Armstrong did indeed take EPO, but it was part of his recovery. Could this be what is popping on the test? The French have been after Armstrong for years. Armstrong was tested more than anyone on the Tour de France. He has never failed a test. What he has done in coming back from cancer and being able to live is a much bigger accomplishment than any yellow jersey.

Cycling is commonly known to be a sport rife with cheating. Everyone is trying to get an edge, that is just how it is. I don’t endorse cheating; it is just a fact of life. In fact, here I go again, what if he did take EPO in 1999? Do the last six races not count? If the cycling community were not testing for this substance, should he be punished? Does this take away from the six other races he won in which he never tested positive?

What he accomplished is almost supernatural. He does need to answer these accusations, but what can he do other than to deny them? I do not believe that he should go before Congress and testify like some have said. We already have seen how much weight the threat of testifying before congress under oath carries. Ask Rafael Palmero if he would lie under oath to protect his career and his achievements. Armstrong has already come out and blasted the French newspaper that started this and the Tour head official. That should be enough. Unless they can go back in time and test him, he is free and clear. The French just need to realize this and move on.


Travis said...

Also worth noting that 19 samples from 1999 tested positive for EPO. So even if Armstrong were guilty in 1999, there were 18 others racing right along side of him. So the field was relative and he's still the best.

brem said...

Everyone knows all these cyclists are drugged. Why do we even care anymore?

Just allow them to go on coke... maybe they'll overdose before the end of the damn Tour.


PapaCool said...

PapaCool shouts slander and hopes Lance will win the eventual lawsuit!