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Is Armstrong the biggest ass in the history of Professional Cycling?

Old 10-21-12, 06:07 AM
  #176  
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Originally Posted by Kurt Erlenbach View Post
I have a little different perspective on this. I started riding to recover from colon cancer. Riding probably saved my life when my cancer spread into my liver. Someone gave me "It's not about the Bike" when I was first diagnosed, and it scared the hell out of me. But I found Lance extremely inspirational, given my situation. LiveStrong does great things for cancer patients. Lance is clearly a major league a-hole, but the things he has done for those of us with cancer, and those of us who have been inspired by him to beat it, mitigates at least some of it. I've read Tyler's book, and I fully believe Lance doped, lied, and screwed many people to get where he is. But he, to an extent, helped save my life. I've taken off my LiveStrong bracelet, but I know what Lance did for me.
Very well said.
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Old 10-21-12, 10:27 AM
  #177  
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
Very well said.
So roadwarrior, did you use PEDs?
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Old 10-21-12, 10:50 AM
  #178  
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Originally Posted by Kurt Erlenbach View Post
I have a little different perspective on this. I started riding to recover from colon cancer. Riding probably saved my life when my cancer spread into my liver. Someone gave me "It's not about the Bike" when I was first diagnosed, and it scared the hell out of me. But I found Lance extremely inspirational, given my situation. LiveStrong does great things for cancer patients. Lance is clearly a major league a-hole, but the things he has done for those of us with cancer, and those of us who have been inspired by him to beat it, mitigates at least some of it. I've read Tyler's book, and I fully believe Lance doped, lied, and screwed many people to get where he is. But he, to an extent, helped save my life. I've taken off my LiveStrong bracelet, but I know what Lance did for me.
I'm glad to hear that you're a cancer survivor who rides. So am I.

You may have found LA "inspirational" but please explain how you suppose that your LA-derived inspiration contributed towards beating your CRC. I'm in the field of anti-cancer drug discovery/development and have a professional interest in your response. Please refer to hard data that can be reference, not to nebulous theories around the immune system etc etc.

For many, support for Armstrong is a quasi-religious matter. His last, best hope is the unscientific and irrational attitudes of some people. Sad but true.

Last edited by ChasH; 10-21-12 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-21-12, 11:11 AM
  #179  
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Whatever support or solace people find when they're in need is wonderful for them. Still, the fact remains that there is a great deal of myth and propaganda surrounding lance and Livestrong. Serious questions remain about what they do and where the money goes.
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Old 10-21-12, 12:10 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by ChasH View Post
I'm glad to hear that you're a cancer survivor who rides. So am I.

You may have found LA "inspirational" but please explain how you suppose that your LA-derived inspiration contributed towards beating your CRC. I'm in the field of anti-cancer drug discovery/development and have a professional interest in your response. Please refer to hard data that can be reference, not to nebulous theories around the immune system etc etc.
I was diagnosed at age 47 in 2003 at stage 3, and had chemo, radiation, surgery, more chemo, and more surgery. By mid 2004 I was finished with treatment. I started reading the American Society of Clinical Oncology reports, and found a study around then (sorry I can't find the exact one now - search asco.org "colon cancer recurrence exercise" for several reports) that showed a strong correlation between physical activity and stage 3 colon cancer recurrence. When diagnosed, I was a typical middle aged sedentary lawyer with 4 children and too much stress. I also learned that lack of physical activity, aside from age, was the strongest risk factor initially for colon cancer. The ASCO-published study showed an inverse relationship between recurrence rates and weekly MET levels, so I devised a MET calculator and started swimming. In August and September 2004, three hurricanes wrecked my house and pool, and put us into a rental for 6 months. I've never been a runner due to bad feet, so cycling was a natural way to go. I had gotten into pretty good shape by the end of 2005. Then the cancer came back in my liver, which was a crushing blow. More surgery and brutal chemo followed, and I've been cancer-free since mid-2006. Also ridden about 25k miles since ending chemo.

Exercise clearly is good therapy for colon cancer patients. When mine came back in 2005, I recovered from major liver surgery far better than earlier surgeries because I started in far better shape. I know that one study doesn't mean much, but it makes sense that those who are physically active are less likely to develop colon cancer, and it makes sense that those who are physically active are less likely to relapse. I've never been much of an athlete, and I was in a 30% five-year survival rate category following liver surgery, so I truly do credit cycling with saving my life, along with good doctors, good medicine, good insurance, and good luck.

Serious cancer is a brutal kick in the gut, especially when you have children who depend on you. Livestrong in the early and mid 2000s was a real PR force, and the psychic benefits that support like that provides is important. I don't run, swimming isn't available year round, but cycling is, and having someone like Lance out there encouraging people in my spot really meant something to me. So, I'm won't say that Livestrong saved my life, but it provided encouragement at a time when I really needed it.

So, for me, the connection is that the likelihood of colon cancer recurrence is reduced by exercise, cycling is my exercise of choice, and Lance and Livestrong provided something of a boost when I needed it. Doesn't mean he's not a doper and a bastard, but the service he and Livestrong has provided to people like me mitigates some of the damage he has done to the sport.
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Old 10-21-12, 01:26 PM
  #181  
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Thanks for the detailed reply and sincere congratulations on your clinical history. My father died of Duke's C (very late diagnosis, massive liver involvement) and it was very nasty.

I would only add that certainly there is an enormous amount that we do NOT know about factors affecting progression of CRC and I wouldn't say that we know that exercise plays no role (as a prognostic or a predictive factor). But of course there is a difference between a factor for which there is a large body of evidence (multiple well-designed and well-executed clinical studies with statistically impressive results) and a hypothesis for which there exist one or a few studies in support. And of course I cannot judge any individual study without looking at the data closely so I cannot comment on the one you found from the ASCO site but good work on the investigation. I've been going to the annual ASCO meeting for almost 20 years - imo there exists no better clinical oncology organization.

Exercise is a good thing for a number of well-established reasons unrelated to cancer, as we all know, and should be encouraged especially for people who have had chemo/rads/surgery. Personally I don't exercise enough, partly as a result of the effects of intensive chemotherapy (mainly neuropathy), but that is not a good excuse. I can certainly cycle and swim much more than I do. Golf and motorcycling don't exactly do the job.

All the best.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:10 PM
  #182  
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Thanks, ChasH, I appreciate that. As I understand it, the connection between physical activity and colon cancer incidence is pretty well established, in that the life-long level of physical activity has a strong negative correlation to the incidence of the disease. I'm sure the connection between exercise and recurrence is less well-established, but the connection makes at least intuitive sense. And Livestrong helped encourage me when I was down. Being a lawyer, I'm used to holding competing ideas in my head at the same time. I know Lance is a world-class jerk, but he and Livestrong did good things for me, and I will not let that go.

The best to you, and congrats or your success.

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Old 10-21-12, 07:14 PM
  #183  
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This is what's so annoying about Lance. He's done so much damage to the sport, but at the same time, his foundation has done so much good. Everything I read about Livestrong is good. It seems like many things are 50 shades of grey. I'm just glad he's stepped away from Livestrong to minimize their damage from the fallout. The UCI will announce their descision tomorrow -- Monday.
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Old 10-22-12, 02:30 AM
  #184  
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Lance inspired so many people in his comeback. But at the same time, his comeback was marred by doping that might date as far back as his first all pro race. Now there's a catch 22...

He got last place in his first pro race in Europe, but a year later, he was winning national championships, and then world championships.

For the record, Lance's Livestrong foundation donated to cancer awareness, not cancer research or treatment. He also donated a lot of money to the USADA in order to express his support for the work they do. But really, he was trying to cover his tracks in the positive drug test he got in Switzerland. He took drugs, and encouraged his teammates to take drugs so that they can support him in the TDF, all the while playing his poker face to the media in complete denial of the drug allegations

I suppose my point is that cycling is so dirty, and it's unfair that Lance and his foundation has to take all the heat. Sure he's probably the biggest cheat in sport history, but there were the doctors, the trainers, the officials, all of whom played a part in letting this bullsh*t continue. Also, drugs like EPO were apparently necessary to be even competitive; that's how widespread this was. One teammate on US Postal said that he took EPO just so he could keep up with the group...

I don't think this should be a defamation of Lance so much as it should be a defamation of pro cycling as a whole, and an initiation to reform it so that people can have respect in cycling again.
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Old 10-22-12, 05:22 AM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
So roadwarrior, did you use PEDs?
A PED when I was racing is over the counter now. Amphetamines were all the rage. And everybody took them and nobody cared. There were two things that guys were looking for...an accelerated heart rate and masking pain. Guys would do coke...not me, no way...but aspirin taken regularly during a race helpled some. But now, heck it's like a moon shot getting ready to race with what they have now. You can buy cold pills today that were really cutting edge back them. So, yeah, amphetamines and aspirin. Pretty bad stuff...lol...
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Old 10-22-12, 05:27 AM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
Lance inspired so many people in his comeback. But at the same time, his comeback was marred by doping that might date as far back as his first all pro race. Now there's a catch 22...

He got last place in his first pro race in Europe, but a year later, he was winning national championships, and then world championships.

For the record, Lance's Livestrong foundation donated to cancer awareness, not cancer research or treatment. He also donated a lot of money to the USADA in order to express his support for the work they do. But really, he was trying to cover his tracks in the positive drug test he got in Switzerland. He took drugs, and encouraged his teammates to take drugs so that they can support him in the TDF, all the while playing his poker face to the media in complete denial of the drug allegations

I suppose my point is that cycling is so dirty, and it's unfair that Lance and his foundation has to take all the heat. Sure he's probably the biggest cheat in sport history, but there were the doctors, the trainers, the officials, all of whom played a part in letting this bullsh*t continue. Also, drugs like EPO were apparently necessary to be even competitive; that's how widespread this was. One teammate on US Postal said that he took EPO just so he could keep up with the group...

I don't think this should be a defamation of Lance so much as it should be a defamation of pro cycling as a whole, and an initiation to reform it so that people can have respect in cycling again.
Yeah..pretty much. The only thing I will add is that don't put too much weight on his first race result. There is a steep learning curve coming from US racing to the real stuff over there. Many guys don't do well for a while in Europe. It's not as bad now because there are more road races versus the steady diet of crits in parking lots and downtown courthouse squares.
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Old 10-22-12, 06:34 AM
  #187  
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This thing with Lance has way too much collateral damage. You can't go backwards and rewrite history. Who do you give the titles to? Jan? I am a big fan of his, but the entire field was doing the same thing. You catch them during the Tour, not YEARS later. This does nothing good for anyone and is a joke. Very poorly handled. You have to improve the future of cycling not shatter the past. Are you going to strip ALL titles since the 70's? Might as well just not have a Tour.

I never really cared for Lance and his style, but I always respected his Livestrong Foundation and that goal. He has done too much good to drag him through this for nothing. It is for nothing really, because who wins the Tour those years you take them away? Are you going to spend the countless funds to see if that second place and then third and so-on investigating them as they did Lance? Who is paying for all this? It is a joke and should have been left alone. Past is past and future is where the focus should be.
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Old 10-22-12, 06:54 AM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
This thing with Lance has way too much collateral damage. You can't go backwards and rewrite history..............
Past is past and future is where the focus should be.

Absolutely nonsensical statement in the wider concept of sport as a whole, not to mention the justice system. Working to improve the future is vital, but surely recognition of and punishment for past transgressions is an integral part of this.
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Old 10-22-12, 08:06 AM
  #189  
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In 2007, when Riis admitted to doping in the 1996 tour, his victory was temporarily taken away. It was reinstated a year later with an asterisk. Does anyone know why his status was changed from non-victory to victory-with-an-asterisk? As for LA, I don't really care if he loses his titles, or gets asterisks, etc... However, I wish the UCI would be more consistent about it. Riis gets an asterisk, Ullrich and Pantani keep their victories despite getting caught, Armstrong loses his, Landis loses his, Contador loses one but keeps two.
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Old 10-22-12, 08:27 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
A PED when I was racing is over the counter now. Amphetamines were all the rage. And everybody took them and nobody cared. There were two things that guys were looking for...an accelerated heart rate and masking pain. Guys would do coke...not me, no way...but aspirin taken regularly during a race helpled some. But now, heck it's like a moon shot getting ready to race with what they have now. You can buy cold pills today that were really cutting edge back them. So, yeah, amphetamines and aspirin. Pretty bad stuff...lol...
That's the difference between back in the day, and the EPO era.

Amphetamines help some for the reasons you stated. But it's not a huge effect, and it also can have downsides to performance. It was definitely possible to race without it.

EPO dramatically increases performance, making it much more difficult to compete against people using it, if you didn't.
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Old 10-22-12, 08:28 AM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
In 2007, when Riis admitted to doping in the 1996 tour, his victory was temporarily taken away. It was reinstated a year later with an asterisk. Does anyone know why his status was changed from non-victory to victory-with-an-asterisk? As for LA, I don't really care if he loses his titles, or gets asterisks, etc... However, I wish the UCI would be more consistent about it. Riis gets an asterisk, Ullrich and Pantani keep their victories despite getting caught, Armstrong loses his, Landis loses his, Contador loses one but keeps two.
It's ASO, not the UCI, that makes those decisions.
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Old 10-22-12, 10:07 AM
  #192  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
That's the difference between back in the day, and the EPO era.

Amphetamines help some for the reasons you stated. But it's not a huge effect, and it also can have downsides to performance. It was definitely possible to race without it.

EPO dramatically increases performance, making it much more difficult to compete against people using it, if you didn't.
There was some blood doping going on but not at my/our level. I think blood doping was banned about 1985 or 86...epo was banned, I think in 1990. Not every team can do this...it's expensive as hell and even if someone was motivated to try, you'd have been on your own and would need to be able to affford it and have someone that knew what they were doing. Espoir teams do not typically get involved in this, but individual riders literally take their lives in their own hands messing with this stuff.
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Old 10-22-12, 11:18 AM
  #193  
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He's definitely made his case for the top spot!
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Old 10-22-12, 12:12 PM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
I think the kind of "mental fortitude/drive/sine qua non" that is embodied in people like that is also mostly responsible for the way they look at people, ie expendables to be used and discarded in pursuit of their goals.
I think the term you are looking for is "narcissistic sociopath" but I could be wrong.
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Old 10-22-12, 12:31 PM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
I think the term you are looking for is "narcissistic sociopath" but I could be wrong.
Well, I'm not a psychriatist/psychoanalyst/psychologist, but I play one here on BikeForums
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Old 10-22-12, 02:20 PM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
There was some blood doping going on but not at my/our level. I think blood doping was banned about 1985 or 86...epo was banned, I think in 1990. Not every team can do this...it's expensive as hell and even if someone was motivated to try, you'd have been on your own and would need to be able to affford it and have someone that knew what they were doing. Espoir teams do not typically get involved in this, but individual riders literally take their lives in their own hands messing with this stuff.
Blood doping was banned in 1986. A Finn named Kaarlo Maninen was doing it fairly openly during the 1980 Olympics.
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Old 10-22-12, 02:41 PM
  #197  
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
He has done too much good to drag him through this for nothing. It is for nothing really, because who wins the Tour those years you take them away?
Then we should give back all the results to all the people who were found to be doping. Because if one doper gets to keep his results, all should. Or do we have a social litmus test based on charity dollars raised?
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Old 10-22-12, 02:41 PM
  #198  
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Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
Blood doping was banned in 1986. A Finn named Kaarlo Maninen was doing it fairly openly during the 1980 Olympics.
As was our 1984 Olympic cycling team.

USA.

USA.
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Old 10-22-12, 03:37 PM
  #199  
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Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
, but individual riders literally take their lives in their own hands messing with this stuff.
As a number of young pros experienced, dying in their sleep with EPO thickened blood.
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Old 10-22-12, 04:11 PM
  #200  
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Not to mention the long term risks of taking androgens. BPH and prostate cancer for starters. Any physician responsible for obtaining any of these drugs (androgens, EPO, etc) for professional atheletes should be permanently barred from the practice of medicine in all western countries. There ought to be a black list.

Kurt: the beneficial effects of exercise for people with diabetes are of course well established. I'm not aware of similar results for any tumor type but that's not to say that future research won't show a correlation.

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