THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Dopey charges: Jealousy cause of Armstrong witch-hunt

Lance Armstrong
Flickr/Paul Coster

I'm not a fan of the 1992 movie A Few Good Men. I haven't found Jack Nicholson entertaining since The Shining, and I'd rather be forced to listen to James Patterson read one of his own books than hear Tom Cruise utter dialogue. 

It's unfortunate, then, that I must hark back to the most melodramatic scene from that movie to explain my situation. Simply put– I can't handle the truth.

At least I can't handle what some people are saying is the truth. In the last two weeks, an "unnamed" cyclist has claimed that the U.S. Postal Service team used performance-enhancing drugs rampantly and systematically, and that Lance Armstrong was an encouraging and willing participant during his career. It's a claim a lot of people, including many in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), readily believe.

There's one reason the USADA, three-time Tour de France champion-turned-vigilante Greg LeMond, and random haters on the street all believe Lance Armstrong doped: they want to believe it. Before you lose your temper, let me acknowledge that the converse is also true: I and those of like mind defend Armstrong because we don't want to believe he took performance-enhancing drugs. 

To those who would make that claim, let me say, you couldn't be more right: I sure as shootin' don't want to believe it, and thanks to the USADA, I don't have to.

One needn't be a lawyer to grasp how important it is for an argument to have a solid foundation. Even a courtroom drama like the ever-dubious Boston Legal constantly references circumstantial evidence and hearsay: two things that can easily kill a case, even in real life. It's not that circumstantial evidence is useless, but for a prosecutor to build a case on such shaky ground is indicative of one thing: a lack of direct evidence.

Add Floyd Landis to the mix, and you have a real doozy.

The USADA and its federal prosecutors claim it was 2006 Tour de France winner Landis' public allegations this spring about Armstrong's drug use that prompted them to investigate the famed rider. 

If that's true, it's a sad state of affairs. Not only was Landis stripped of his 2006 Tour title and subsequently banned from cycling for two years for testing positive for dope, this past January the French government issued an arrest warrant for him on computer hacking charges related to the 2006 doping allegations. If that's not enough, back in 2007 when he was still under suspension, Landis outed the USADA for offering him a deal to point a finger at Armstrong. (Landis refused the deal then.)

So why talk now? Accusing Armstrong takes the focus off Landis' own doping, and now that his suspension is over and he's racing again (oh, yes he is), he can use the USADA to gain notoriety without looking like a rat.

Landis may have changed his tune, but the USADA is up to its old tricks.

Former U.S. cycling gold medalist Tyler Hamilton, who's serving an eight-year suspension for doping (his second), has already received a grand jury subpoena, but the "anonymous" rider who never tested positive for drugs has not. Prosecutors are interested only in witnesses who will "jump on the bus," a prison term for earning time off a sentence at another's expense.

But why is the USADA so intent on this witch-hunt anyway? How could they possibly benefit from turning Lance Armstrong's heroic career into a doping scandal? 

The answer lies in France, Belgium and Spain. They will never forgive the United States for producing Lance Armstrong, and this triumvirate is making and will continue to make life very, very hard for U.S. cycling. Unless we make amends and serve up Armstrong's head on a platter, the big three will find a way for every American rider to pay a hefty price.

Greg LeMond's reason for accusing Armstrong? Simple: seven is more than three.

Despite being the most closely scrutinized rider in cycling history, in his 20-year career, seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong has never failed a single drug test– not after a time trial, a stage win, or a trip to the dentist. And no USADA sweetheart deal can change that. 

Now that's a truth I can handle.

Juanita Giles lives in Keysville where she makes videos and updates her Sports Doctor site.



Wow! I believed the same after reading Lance's books, but then I read "From Lance to Landis" by David Walsh and you find out it is more complex than "seven is more than three".

Jan Ulrich never tested positive either and his manager just admitted to organizing a complex doping program the years he finished second to Lance in the Tour.

As a cycling fan I held hope that Lance didn't dope, but from a purely physiological basis to beat someone else who is doping is beyond human capabilities. Everyone who shared the podium with Lance during his wins has admitted to doping. Even former teammates have admitted to using blood doping products.

A good primer on comparative power outputs from this years tour compared to the "doping years" can be found here:

How is this possible, for a clean rider to beat doping riders when transfusions and doping products increase power output and recovery, two very important factors in winning a 3 week bike race? That is the truth I want to hear.

How can it be possible that Lance and Ulrich rode the same climbs used in this year's TDF 10 minutes faster than Contador and Schleck (who were giving it their best)? Ulrich has an excuse, he's admitted he was doping.

By the way, Lance did fail a drug test, and then was given a post-dated medical exemption after not declaring using a cream for saddle sores that had a banned product...It's in David Walsh's book.

I meant to type "pre-dated" medical exemption for the cream.

lance was "surprised by the dope police" prior to the tour this year and went to take a one hour shower while his coach confirmed the persons idenity. more than enough time to take the masking agents. he also twittered "thanks for heads up on comming by".major league baseball does not announce drug tests they only call the day before to ask for a parking pass. too much money to have the big guns caught and blow up there respective sports. ask Dick pound at UCI

Come on Brian,
Your coup de grace was a steroidal cream for Lance's nads? Steroids are not generally used by cyclists anyway. They make you bulk up.

Interesting conclusions in the article. France, Belgium and Spain want Lance’s head on a platter? Who in these countries want Lance's head? The government? The sports federation? What do they have to do with a US Federal Investigation and/or USADA? What they now control these federal organisations? They made one phone call to the Feds and said “Hi we don’t like Americans winning sport in Europe so can you take Armstrong down with some bogus drug charge?” - yeah right. You really have to do better resort to nationalism and its “those nasty indifferent Euros against our Lance” to make your argument – now that’s what I would consider circumstantial at best!

There are some very serious allegations on the table. Its not just about doping. Its about money laundering, misappropriation of government funds, bribing sports officials, drug trafficking, drug using, coercing and commercial fraud. I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate riders from say Belgium, Spain and France coming to the US and setting up vast drug and payment networks along with sophisticated and dangerous blood labs.

If this is the sport and world you want our children to enter then lets just say that. But I for one would want to know that if these allegations are true and that they will be investigated.

As much as "Its not about the bike" glorifies and tells a wonderful story we have to be reasonable from everything we know today through various accounts of riders, the national federations and the even the UCI that “never tested positive” doesn’t actually mean “never used performance enhancing drugs”. It may not be the truth you can handle but it doesn’t mean its not the truth.

Everyone in the world of cycling knows that Lance doped. It's common knowledge. It's just a matter of who is going to step up and tell the truth knowing he'll have turned his back on all his buddies.

Why don't we just put all these cyclists in front of a grand jury and see who wants to perjure themselves like Clemens? Let's put them under oath and then, we'll hear the truth.

I think it's really disturbing how much of this doping case against Lance Armstrong is based on disgraced cyclists like Landis and Hamilton. Those guys will always be remembered for their doping and the only way they can make themselves feel better is if they can say, "Well at least we didn't lie like Armstrong lied. He's the real cheat".

Maybe Armstrong is guilty of doping. If he is, then he should be ridiculed, tied to the back of a bike naked and dragged through the mud. But until I see some solid, scientific evidence, I will continue to support him as the awesome cyclist and athlete he is.

@ Emily

Scientific Evidence? Right here:

"So there is no doubt in my mind he (Lance Armstrong) took EPO during the '99 Tour."

Who is this guy? He sites on the UCI Bio Passport committee.


Armstrong suspicious blood values

One of Denmark's leading blood researchers believes that Lance Armstrong's blood values from the Tour de France looks suspicious and indicate blood doping

Lance Armstrong impressed in his Tour de France comeback this year with a third place. But maybe it was not surprising for one of Denmark's leading blood researchers, James Dark Mountain from Bispebjerg Hospital, has looked at American's blood values over and they can indicate the use of blood doping"

Both the number of red blood cells, hematocrit and hemoglobin were essentially the same on the first day and last day of Tour'en, which is quite unusual.

Furthermore, increased hematocrit value during 11th-14th July, representing the middle of Tour'en, 40.7 to 43.1, which is also strange, does Dark Mountain.

Can also be caused by diarrhea ?

- What we know from our research is that the hard work as a Tour de France will see a marked decrease of these blood values, and it seems we are not in Lance Armstrong, he says to DR, and suggests that there may be due blood transfusions.

- This does not mean that he has received it, but it could be one explanation, he says, but insists that another reason may be diarrhea or dehydration.

- But the picture the contradiction that we would normally see. Lance Armstrong's values are unchanged from the first to the last sample, and would normally expect a decline. This fall also sees the cyclists values during the Giro d'Italia a few months before, but not so during the Tour de France.

Scientific Evidence?

Or maybe he had the craps.

The craps? Perhaps. Perhaps not. And the 1999 EPO samples? Spiked with crap? There's the science. It is what it is. Science.

The steroid cream should have been declared at the medical check-in, it wasn't. He only stated he had a legitimate use after the positive test, and the team doctor was able to produce that information after the positive test.

I've never run a doping program, so I don't know why a cyclist would use a steroid.

Please, you guys are wearing out my bingo card!

Seriously, can you even believe this drivel you're writing?

Juanita, to quote you: "But why is the USADA so intent on this witch-hunt anyway? How could they possibly benefit from turning Lance Armstrong's heroic career into a doping scandal?

The answer lies in France, Belgium and Spain. They will never forgive the United States for producing Lance Armstrong, and this triumvirate is making and will continue to make life very, very hard for U.S. cycling. Unless we make amends and serve up Armstrong's head on a platter, the big three will find a way for every American rider to pay a hefty price."

- Can you give even one example of a US rider who has been unfairly treated by those three countries, because of Lance Armstrong? Do you honestly believe those countries would be so petty, or jealous?

Maybe USADA is determined to catch Armstrong because it is in a position to know something you don't? That's also valid logic, no? I've been involved in cycling for most of my life and while I'm sorry to say it, there's substance to these claims.

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Juanita...I find this piece quite laughable. You really need to become more educated before you write articles like this.

I see NO mention of the lengthy Michael Ashenden interview done last year, and NO mention of Doctor Coyle (the physiologist who first made the claim that Lance was the most gifted rider on the planet) being taken to task for his faulty research methods in 2009 either. There is of course the Ferrari (PED program designer of the gods) association, the 60 missing Trek bikes (to fund ??? for USPS), and the fact that every rival Lance beat was doped to the gills.

All that I see here is flimsy character assassination of individuals who have already or are currently serving their suspensions for doping. They lied once and were beaten, so obviously every statement that proceeds out of there mouths from here on out is a falsity and must stem from jealousy, right? Of course, let us not forget that many of these individuals are the SAME "domestiques" who made Lance's victories possible.

It's nice that you hate USADA and keep your head in the sand for Lance. However, before you drag us into the desert with you, at least do some rudimentary research first.



PS. Maybe this will help you get started:

Why does this article exist? A sports column should be penned by someone that knows something about sports. Juanita has shown repeatedly over the last couple of months how utterly clueless she is when it comes to high-level athletic competition.

Her predictions regarding the World Cup and the NBA Finals were ridiculous, and I mean that in the strict sense of the word: worthy of ridicule.

Now she writes this column about Lance Armstrong. She might as well write a column about why she wishes Santa Claus were real and then trash all those that have provided evidence that he is not.

I am truly and utterly baffled as to what this column's purpose is. It certainly isn't to provide expert opinion or exposition or clever writing.

Oh, but why? you now know this about Juanita:

"I'm not a fan of the 1992 movie A Few Good Men. I haven't found Jack Nicholson entertaining since The Shining, and I'd rather be forced to listen to James Patterson read one of his own books than hear Tom Cruise utter dialogue."

Doesn't that make it all worth it???