Monday, May 23, 2011

Lance Armstrong Under Fire

Lance continues to angrily deny that he ever took performing enhancing drugs (PEDs) or ever failed a doping control test however more and more these claims are coming under fire.

At least 3 teammates have now testified UNDER OATH that they saw and or participated in taking EPO (erythropoietin - a PED) and having blood transfusions with Lance. Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton and now Georgie?

The most devastating testimony - that of close confidante and Lance's right hand man, George Hincapie.

"One of those riders is Armstrong's other close teammate, George Hincapie. We're told that now, for the first time, Hincapie has testified to federal investigators that he and Armstrong supplied each other with the blood-booster EPO and discussed having used testosterone, another banned substance, during their preparation for races."

This all stems from a Federal investigation into whether or not Lance defrauded the United States government as a rider on the US Postal Team.

We think the most incriminating facts to date are that Lance, and his manager at the time, Johan Bruyneel met with Swiss Lab officials after a failed test in 2001. The meeting was arranged by the cycling federation, International Cycling Union.

This is damning if true.

Why would the ICU intervene and kibosh the failed test? MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in marketing and tourism were on the line.

No one even followed cycling before Lance hit the scene. At least not in the numbers they do now. Lance Armstrong personally has made millions of dollars off the sport and so have the sponsors, tour operators and the ICU.

With so much to lose, it seems the ICU stepped in and made the failed test, caught by the Swiss Lab prior to the Tour de Suisse in 2001, go away.

And it cost Lance roughly 125,000 dollars, made in two payments to the ICU. Once for 25,000 and another for 100,000. At lease one official has said this kind of payment to the ICU is unheard of and should have been a red flag, but as even now, people want to believe Lance. Believe in the dream. Believe that this once cancer beleaguered star has been and always has been the greatest natural athlete of his sport...sans PEDs.

We have a personal theory here. Going through all of his cancer therapy, Lance was in the hospital for weeks at a time. He was used to needles, blood transfusions and the idea that the body can handle all of this. It came as no big deal for him to shoot up PED's and then dilute or "clean" his blood with additional blood transfusions. Hell, if all this is true, then he's more of a pro at this than anyone can realize.

Bill Strickland, editor at large of Bicycling magazine, said he has evidence that Armstrong had used drugs. "I wrote a story in May for Bicycling ... that said I thought he was guilty, I knew he had doped. In the course of investigating around him, I finally found the conviction. So I've known for awhile. This is just inevitable, I think."

We're still not sure of what "evidence" he speaks of.

And the UCI denies it covered up anything.

If Lance is found guilty all hell will break loose. We cannot even imagine how it will affect his 7 Tour de France wins. Will the second place "winners" be given trophies after all these years? It boggles the mind.

Lance's vehement denials are strikingly reminiscent of Marion Jones who swore up and down and over and over again she never doped and then in a tear filled press conference admitted guilt, served time in prison and relinquished her Olympic gold medals.

It seems Lance's glass house has finally developed more than one crack. It's literally coming apart at the seams.

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