David Walsh on Lance Armstrong Life ban

I’m on holiday, so I don’t want to write an article, but David Walsh said pretty much everything I wanted to say:

“I’m pleased that it’s come to this and that he’s accepted the charges against him. I’m disappointed that it didn’t go to arbitration because that would have given us the details as to why this process was so necessary,” Walsh told Cyclingnews.

“For me it’s a good day in at least that some guy who has been incredibly cynical has his just desserts. But the investigation should really be much deeper than Lance Armstrong. Who are the people who protected him? Are they still in cycling, are they still controlling cycling? Even the most neutral observer would say that cycling has been incredibly badly served by its leadership.”

David Walsh on Armstrong USADA’s charges.


Their USADA made their statement on Armstrong.

In addition to the lifetime ban, Armstrong will be disqualified from any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 1, 1998, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, winnings, finishes, points and prizes. This sees him lose his seven Tour de France titles and a number of other high profile victories.

“Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf, to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition” said USADA CEO, Travis T. Tygart.

“Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case.”

“As is every athlete’s right, if Mr. Armstrong would have contested the USADA charges, all of the evidence would have been presented in an open legal proceeding for him to challenge.  He chose not to do this knowing these sanctions would immediately be put into place,”

“The evidence against Lance Armstrong arose from disclosures made to USADA by more than a dozen witnesses who agreed to testify and provide evidence about their first-hand experience and/or knowledge of the doping activity of those involved in the USPS Conspiracy as well as analytical data. As part of the investigation Mr. Armstrong was invited to meet with USADA and be truthful about his time on the USPS team but he refused.”


A very partial listing of doping cases

6 Responses to David Walsh on Lance Armstrong Life ban

  1. AJM August 30, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    I have spent most of my life as a runner/athletics coach but have used cycling to get through injury etc. and have now taken it up as my sport due to back injury and surgery.

    I love all sports and always watch The Tour De France and marvel at the skills and fitness level of the Athletes on show

    As a coach in athletics I have to say that I never came into contact with or know anybody who had deliberately taken any performance enhancing drugs.

    I have been involved and trained with some top national/international middle and long distance athletes so my experience has not just been at grass roots level.

    All the coaches and athletes I have come into contact with have been massively against it but time and time again at the highest level people are being “found out”

    Unfortunately this is a sad indightment of the modern world in any field of sport where money is involved!

    I watch most sports and have to believe that “the best of the best” haven’t cheated and take what we are seeing at face value.

    This maybe naive but you cannot just presume everybody is a cheat!

    In my experience this is not the case and to think otherwise would place all top sporting achievement into doubt and make sport irrelevant!

    All these cheats do is damage the sports they tell us they love.

    Unfortunately whether he cheated or not, Mr Armstrong has made a very good life for himself off the back of it and, whilst there is advantage to be gained it is a problem we will have to accept will be there for a long time to come.

    Personally when things like this happen I just find it very sad.
    I remember watching him achieve most of his wins on the TV and marvelling at the spectacle just to learn now that it could have been drug enhanced and another athlete has been denied their chance of glory.

  2. frosty August 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    I agree, the never failed a drugs test doesn’t really hold true for a number of reasons. The ones you mentioned above and also due the fact that biological passport data doesn’t return positive or negatives, rather it is a means of monitoring athletes blood data for signs of doping.

  3. Hurumph August 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    A good day for cycling – it HAS to be shown to be clean or will lose all credibility as a sport and a pasttime – but a sad day because I once believed the image of a clean winner and a star has died.

    • Marcus (Chicago) August 25, 2012 at 4:34 am #

      Disagree…I was a very bad day for cycling. I WAS a growing fan of cycling. I’ve had enough! This is obviously not a judicious trial against Mr. Armstrong. The truth cannot be known without physical evidence and all other evidence is circumstantial. Regardless of your position on Armstrong this is a deathblow to the sport of cycling as either there is a biased governing body willing depose its greatest star with circumstantial evidence or a sport where to be exceptionalu need to dope. What does it say about a sport when the majority of it’s champions have been considered cheats. The sport is doomed to remain/decline into the under levels of International Sport. I will not be following next year’s “Tour”. A sport is only as strong as it’s interest level……..One American done with cycling!

      • Tim August 26, 2012 at 2:16 am #

        I read parts of Armstrong’s statement in the news stories. Walsh says “he’s accepted the charges against him”, which is clearly nonsense, so I’m not even going to read the rest of what he wrote, let alone take it seriously. Saying “life’s too short to argue with organisations I no longer respect” is *not* the same as saying “fair play, I’m guilty” whether the person saying it is lying or not.

        I admit that, like many people, I’d like to to believe Armstrong’s innocence and that colours my judgement. But even considering that, surely Armstrong’s argument – “show me one failed drug test”, some physical evidence, – holds some merit? So I’m with Marcus. Maybe one of cycling’s greatest heros *is* a fraud, but its governing body is rubbish either way, because they’re making accusations they refuse to (or can’t) back up.

        Really disappointing.

        • Hurumph August 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

          I wish I could still believe in his innocence but the ‘show me one failed drug test’ is the straw that broke the camels back for me. He claimed to have passed 500 tests but the most he ever took coud ony have been 230-240. Several of those he DID fail but he was able to persuade the authorities not to make use of them Some were in the initial testing for EPO phase and others he got a retrospective prescription written out to cover him. There are also many that claim to have been paid to keep quiet, or pressurised a very great deal to keep quiet.

          The case against Armstrong is claimed to consist of testimonies from more than a dozen witnesses, including eyewitness reports from team-mates that amount to “overwhelming evidence” that Armstrong was not only guilty of using an array of illegal performance enhancing methods, but also played a vital part in their distribution and use by other riders.

          In the same statement, Usada said: “Numerous witnesses provided evidence to Usada based on personal knowledge acquired, either through direct observation of doping activity by Armstrong, or through Armstrong’s admissions of doping to them that Armstrong used EPO [erythropoietin], blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from before 1998 through 2005, and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and HGH [human growth hormone] through 1996.

          “Witnesses also provided evidence that Lance Armstrong gave to them, encouraged them to use and administered doping products or methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from 1999 through 2005. Additionally, scientific data showed Mr Armstrong’s use of blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions during Mr Armstrong’s comeback to cycling in the 2009 Tour de France.”

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