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Old 03-10-05, 10:42 PM   #1
Figaro
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Armstrong weasles out of the Giro

I have been wondering how Armstrong would weasles out of the Giro d'Italia. Easy: blame a little guy with the help of a big guy. Here't the story from cyclingnews.com:

Verbruggen: Simeoni stopping Armstrong riding Giro
'The' incident
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
UCI president Hein Verbruggen has said that Lance Armstrong is not riding this year's Giro d'Italia because of the dispute between him and Filippo Simeoni. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Verbruggen said, "Without the Simeoni affair, [Armstrong] certainly would have come to the Giro, he had promised me."

Verbruggen added that Armstrong's actions during the 18th stage of the 2004 Tour de France, where he followed Simeoni up to a breakaway and effectively killed the Italian's chances of getting clear, "did not deserve a penalty." A judicial investigation was opened in Italy after the incident, trying to determine whether Armstrong had threatened Simeoni, and whether he could be charged with sporting fraud, violence and intimidation of a witness. Thus, Armstrong could be questioned by police if he sets foot in Italy.

Armstrong and Simeoni are involved in another legal battle arising from Simeoni's testimony in the Dr. Ferrari trial, where Simeoni claimed that Dr. Ferrari had instructed him on taking doping products. Armstrong called Simeoni a "liar" after this, and Simeoni is now suing Armstrong for libel.

Just amazing! Lance's treatment of Simeoni stank last summer, and now Lance uses his bullying of a little guy as an excuse to stay out of a country that's tough on doping. It's amazing what you can get away with when you have the head of the UCI and the president of the USA on your buddy list. Not wanting to set foot in Italy reminds me of Raimundas Rumsas (remember him?) avoiding going back to France. Is Armstrong just chicken or does he have something to hide?
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Old 03-10-05, 10:46 PM   #2
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BOY... MAKes Me Hate Armstrong's GUTS!!!!!


Not.

Until they have solid physical evidence that he's a doper, get over it.
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Old 03-10-05, 11:55 PM   #3
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It is exactly because of the way that Rumsas (both Raimondas and his wife) were treated by French authorities that Armstrong would be well advised to be cautious of going in to Italy. I'm no expert on Italian law, but he'd be a fool to go if there is a chance of him being detained due to the charges of "sporting fraud, violence and intimidation of a witness". Some of those allegations seem to be much more nebulous than being caught with a trunk load of performance enhancing drugs in your car. I'm still trying to figure out the violence charge, as I do not remember hearing of Armstrong physically contacting Simeoni. Even if you are innocent until proven guilty, it can take a while until the wheels of justice turn, and the Italian legal system is not particularly known for it's expediency. Why should Armstrong give some hot shot prosecutors the opportunity to get their own names in the headlines by detaining him?

Although I think Armstrong's antics with chasing down Simeoni were a grade A bonehead move, I agree with ultra-g: Armstrong is innocent until proven guilty. Not alleged to be, not rumored to be, not claimed to be a doper by some journalist trying to make a buck or some pundit who has probably never even met Armstrong.

(Edit: By the way, that last comment about a pundit is not aimed at figaro personally. I just find it amazing how many people are convinced that Armstrong, Hamilton, insert the name of your favorite racer here__________ either is or is not a doper, when they've probably never met the person in question.)
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Old 03-11-05, 08:21 AM   #4
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The Italian authorities opened a CRIMINAL investigation of Armstrong because of something he said to an Italian rider in a race in France. Where did the Italian police get the idea they have jurisdiction over something that happened outside of Italy? And when did a conversation become a crime?

Who knows why Armstrong enters or does not enter a race? But, the re-emergence of fascist police tactics in Italy is not going to make the Giro more attractive to any riders.
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Old 03-11-05, 08:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
The Italian authorities opened a CRIMINAL investigation of Armstrong because of something he said to an Italian rider in a race in France. Where did the Italian police get the idea they have jurisdiction over something that happened outside of Italy? And when did a conversation become a crime?

Who knows why Armstrong enters or does not enter a race? But, the re-emergence of fascist police tactics in Italy is not going to make the Giro more attractive to any riders.
The Italians want an Italian to win the Giro - its' really that simple. They certainly do not want the added competition of a fast American in the peloton. Armstrong will never race the Giro now. Unfortunately, the cycling fan is the one who has really lost out in this deal.

I would guess that if Simoni, Cunego, or Basso chased down a break (regardless as to the reason), they would not have an issue with the Italian police now.
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Old 03-11-05, 08:49 AM   #6
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Given the probability that some hot shot prosecutor
could get big press (and not piss off the italians
by arresting an Italian or miafoso) by detaining Lance.
While I agree that stage 18 was a stupid move
(albeit it did work) I too think it would be foolish
for Lance to go to Italy.
Given that he was in italy last year, scouting the mortirola (sp?)
and other possible routes I'd say he was going thinking seriously
about riding the Giro.

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Old 03-11-05, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
The Italian authorities opened a CRIMINAL investigation of Armstrong because of something he said to an Italian rider in a race in France. Where did the Italian police get the idea they have jurisdiction over something that happened outside of Italy? And when did a conversation become a crime?

Who knows why Armstrong enters or does not enter a race? But, the re-emergence of fascist police tactics in Italy is not going to make the Giro more attractive to any riders.

I am stunned...we agree...


BTW, having lived in Europe, they do not have the same legal approach as we do...good or bad the location of the incident has nada to do with their "involvement"...
But then they can search a rider's room in the middle of the night without probable cause or a warrant. And that's only the beginning.

Last edited by roadwarrior; 03-11-05 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 03-11-05, 01:41 PM   #8
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I guess no German tourists are allowed either then. Can you imagine how much more threatening they must have sounded on Alp Duez?

--- __0 __0 __0
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Old 03-11-05, 03:12 PM   #9
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What exactly happened on stage 18?
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Old 03-11-05, 03:25 PM   #10
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What exactly happened on stage 18?
Several riders, including Simioni, who were no threat to the GC were in a break when Sir Armstrong decided to chase down the break, effectively ruining the day for everyone involved.. When he got up to the leading group he said something to Simioni. What he said and how he said it is open to debate.
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Old 03-11-05, 03:28 PM   #11
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this whole thing with Simeoni is so ridiculous. Could you imagine another sport where someone complained because someone who didn't like him kept him from winning leads to criminal charges. "Bad Ray Lewis, how dare you sack that quarterback just because he is suing you!" "In other news, Barry Bonds was arrested today for catching a fly ball that sealed the defeat of his opponent. The opponent complained because he had come out against Barry Bonds using steroids and Barry was suing him for libel. 'They already had a playoff spot locked up and we are no threat to even enter the post season, so he should have just let us win. He just doesn't like me. When he went back to the dugout he gave me a mean look and said dirty words at me.' The FBI are investigating."
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Old 03-11-05, 03:55 PM   #12
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What lotek said.

And I'll add that Simeoni should have just kept riding stage 18 to win instead of letting Lance pull him back. It wouldn't have done Simeoni much good with the peloton, but he's black sheep as it is. Forcing Lance to stay out with his break would have harmed Lance more than Simeoni, we wouldn't have this silly harrassment suit, and Lance and Simeoni could renew their differences at the Giro.

Didn't like Lance chasing down Simeoni (or especially Ekimov's snot rocket during the final stage), but Simeoni should have left it on the road.

Last edited by gcasillo; 03-11-05 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 03-11-05, 04:38 PM   #13
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It's my understanding that Simeoni claims (don't know if there are any willing witnesses) that Lance threatened him professionally and economically when he caught up to the break. That's witness tampering whether it is in a sporting event or a darkened parking lot or in a hotel room. If you threaten a witness of a court case you are intending to influence their testimony, hence tampering with that witness.

In addition to harming his ability to make a living by threatening his position in the break, this quote is from an MSNBC article:

"Simeoni was quoted by Gazzetta as saying that while he rode with Armstrong, the Texan said, “You made a mistake to speak against Ferrari, and you made a mistake to take legal action against me. I have money and time and lots of lawyers. I can destroy you.”"
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Old 03-11-05, 05:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac
The Italians want an Italian to win the Giro
No less than the French want a Frenchman to win the Tour or the Spanish want a Spaniard to win the Vuelta. There's no shortage of American prosecutors who would have done the same had the nationalities been reversed and the races taking place in different, respective countries.

Last edited by gcasillo; 03-11-05 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 03-11-05, 05:17 PM   #15
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No less than the French want a Frenchman to win the Tour. There's no shortage of American prosecutors who would have done the same had the nationalities been reversed and the races taking place in different, respective countries.
Very true, but it doesn't make my statement false.
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Old 03-11-05, 05:26 PM   #16
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Then I'll disagree that on good terms at least(discarding the feud with Simeoni), Italians would relish having a six-time Tour winner ride in their Giro. Cycling fans will always pull for their nation's guy first, sure, but on the whole they respect talent regardless of country of origin. Witness the general love for Ullrich, Freire, Simoni, Basso, etc. from Americans on these forums. Italians are no different in that regard.
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Old 03-11-05, 05:47 PM   #17
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Yeah, Armstrong remains as fiercely loyal to Ferrari as some of you guys are to him................

Some of the national slurs hurled in this thread would never have been unchallenged, had the words "Italian" and French" been replaced by "American".

At least the French and Italians are making some moves against rampant drug abuse in sports, cycling being just one. Waiting for Verbruggen's UCI to self-regulate was a waste of time. Of course, UCI testers are more polite to the riders than policemen, with the evident outcomes.......

Hey, to hell with the future of the sport, so long as the stars and stripes are on top of the podium.........is that really what we want?

The whole Simeoni thing is a joke. Patrons have always dominated and policed the peloton in the way Armstrong did. Guys like Hinault and Van Looy would eat the lunches of riders that crossed them. There is no case to answer- and Verbruggen is an ass, for suggesting otherwise........

In this era of disinformation, we will never be told why Armstrong ducked the olympics and why he won't race the Giro. All that close season BS, about him giving the Tour a miss...........like winning a Classic, or the Giro would have enough cachet for the new sponsors.

There are those among us who loved the sport before Lemond and will do so after Armstrong. Quite what will be left of it's credibility at that point, who knows?
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Old 03-11-05, 05:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HJR
In addition to harming his ability to make a living by threatening his position in the break,
Simeoni's Palmares

1995 (CARRERA - TASSONI): NO VICTORIES
- 1996: (CARRERA): NO VICTORIES
- 1997: (ASICS): NO VICTORIES
- 1998: (ASICS): NO VICTORIES
- 1999: (RISO SCOTTI-VINAVIL): NO VICTORIES
- 2000: (AMICA CHIPS-TACCONI SPORT): 4 victories: (GP Civitanova Marche, 1 stage Tour of Luxembourg, 1 stage and Final Overall in Regio Tour)
- 2001: (CANTINA TOLLO - ACQUA E SAPONE): 1 win: 1 Vuelta Stage (Albacete-Cuenca)

2003 - Domina Vacanze
1 - Stage 19 Vuelta a España
2 - Florencia-Pistoia Ita
118 - Vuelta a España
2004
1 - Stage 5 Vuelta a Austria
2 - Stage 4 Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi-Bartali
3 - Stage 1 Settimana Ciclista Lombarda
118 - Tour de France


based on this career, I don't think Armstrong hurt is income to much by reeling him on a stage of the Tour. I mean, he has won a lot of stages there hasn't he.

Believe me, I don't approve of what Armstrong did. It was unnecessary and unsportsmanlike. But the response to this is over the top. I understand that Cycling prides itself in being a "gentlemen's sport," but the greatest heros of its history are known as the cannibal and the badger for a reason.
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Old 03-11-05, 06:00 PM   #19
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I'd love it if anyone anywhere actually cared whether or not I rode or took it at all seriously whether or not I showed up anywhere.
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Old 03-11-05, 06:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Flaneur

Some of the national slurs hurled in this thread would never have been unchallenged, had the words "Italian" and French" been replaced by "American".
forgive me for being clueless, but where did someone do this?
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Old 03-11-05, 07:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by HJR
It's my understanding that Simeoni claims (don't know if there are any willing witnesses) that Lance threatened him professionally and economically when he caught up to the break. That's witness tampering whether it is in a sporting event or a darkened parking lot or in a hotel room. If you threaten a witness of a court case you are intending to influence their testimony, hence tampering with that witness.

In addition to harming his ability to make a living by threatening his position in the break, this quote is from an MSNBC article:

"Simeoni was quoted by Gazzetta as saying that while he rode with Armstrong, the Texan said, “You made a mistake to speak against Ferrari, and you made a mistake to take legal action against me. I have money and time and lots of lawyers. I can destroy you.”"
Lets see, Simeoni has a case against Lance, Lance responds with the above and exactly how
does that equate to witness tampering.
If someone threatens a lawsuit,and I say I will destroy you in court is that witness tampering?
intimidation maybe, but not witness tampering.
The whole thing, the lawsuits, the smack down in stage 18, is incredibly childish.
both Lance and Simeoni need to get over it.

Flaneur, I too am baffled as to the first part of your post exactly what slurs do you mean?

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Old 03-11-05, 08:24 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Flaneur
The whole Simeoni thing is a joke. Patrons have always dominated and policed the peloton in the way Armstrong did. Guys like Hinault and Van Looy would eat the lunches of riders that crossed them.
Flaneur, I have yet to hear one credible, documented instance of a patron engaging in an act of intimidation comparable to this. The patron traditionally polices the peleton or other riders with regards to race tactics or race etiquette or acts as a voice of the riders in matters of rider interests. What Armstrong was doing was motivated entirely by self interest and was wholly unrelated to the interests of the peleton, unless one considers silencing someone blowing the whistle on doping "in the riders interests".
 
Old 03-11-05, 08:56 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Crack'n'fail
but the greatest heros of its history are known as the cannibal and the badger for a reason.
Whether Merckx and Hinault are the greatest heros of the sport of cycling is of course an individual choice, but the reasons for their being known as the cannibal and the badger respectively is because of their racing styles, not because of the way they treated their fellow competitors.
 
Old 03-11-05, 09:00 PM   #24
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The Pro peloton contains a lot of pack fodder. Yeah, Lance kept this guy from "winning a stage"...a fella who has never even won a race to the outhouse. This fourth rate POS keeps suggesting that Lance wins because Lance cheats...based on who Lance knows. A honest racer is NOT going to tolerate being slandered, especially by a guy who was in the race only to carry water bottles for his team.

If someone accused me of cheating, the discussion would involve MUCH more than an exchange of words. Lance let the guy off easy. If YOU win a race, and the guy who finishes last calls YOU a cheater, you are just gonna SPEAK with the fella?

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Old 03-11-05, 09:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by don d.
Flaneur, I have yet to hear one credible, documented instance of a patron engaging in an act of intimidation comparable to this. The patron traditionally polices the peleton or other riders with regards to race tactics or race etiquette or acts as a voice of the riders in matters of rider interests. What Armstrong was doing was motivated entirely by self interest and was wholly unrelated to the interests of the peleton, unless one considers silencing someone blowing the whistle on doping "in the riders interests".


Well said Don, well said....
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