Lance Armstrong and Paul Kimmage

I have great respect for Paul Kimmage. He was one of the first professional cyclists to ‘lift the lid’ and speak about the culture of doping. For his efforts he was widely condemned and ostracised by the procycling community who closed ranks and denied doping was a problem. It’s taken innumerable doping scandals, failed dope tests, and admissions by champion cyclists for cycling to admit what everyone knew but was reluctant to say. In fact, Paul Kimmage’s revelations in a rough ride seemed relatively mild compared to the industrial and scientific doping levels of the 1990s and 2000s.

The re-emergence of Lance Armstrong on the pro scene has re-awakened many of these old issues. It has been exacerbated by the return of many failed dopers back into the peleton. I can’t hide by sense of disappointment that so many cyclists convicted of cheating have been welcomed back into the peleton as if they had just made an ‘honest mistake’. The problem is that failed dope tests are just the tip of the iceburg, we had so many confessions from cyclists who never failed dope tests (e.g. Bjanne Riis, David Miller) that the limitations of doping controls are still relevant.

Following Paul Kimmage’s questioning of Lance Armstrong at the recent tour of California, he has been getting a tough time in the American Media. It seems the American media have little time for awkward questions. But, this isn’t just a cycling issue, it can also be seen in the attitude to doping in sports like baseball and American football.

Everyone is a mixture of good and bad and Lance Armstrong has definitely done some good things. But, on the issue of doping, he has always disappointed me. Be it chasing down Fillipo Simeoni, working with Michael Ferrari or his acceptance of dopers and dislike of those who tried to get rid of doping.

Lance Armstrong and doping

3 Responses to Lance Armstrong and Paul Kimmage

  1. Sounak March 30, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I think European journalists are not able to fathom the fact that an American athlete is sitting pretty on the pinnacle as far as all-time greatness of Tour De France history is concerned. Accepted that doping was, is and probably will be there in the future in cycling, but you cannot crucify a man who has never been tested positive. And more importantly, Lance used to be intentionally tested and not randomly , “How randomly can you choose Number 1 from a stack of arranged cards ?”

  2. Pete Simpson March 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    From what I heard Kimmage say about Armstrong, he was way out of line. Chasing down Simeoni? He was in the leaders jersey, he didn’t like what Simeoni was saying so it was his choice to do so.
    Ferrari was a friend of his and untill the media made a huge deal about it i think he wanted . going to continue his friendship with him. Apparently Armstrong believes people make bad choices and deserve a second chance like David Millar for instance! Remember, Lance was and still is the most tested athlete in history and NEVER tested positive for any illegal substance. Not sure about europe, but here in the USA a person is innocent untill proven guilty.

  3. Mike February 24, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    The bicycling doping saga continues. There seems to be no end to the doping debate between additional athletes getting caught and old cases being debated. Lance’s change of heart for his self defined program does not help the situation. It just raises more questions. With all of the doping in the news I compiled a list of excuses for athletes ( )to help the next one that fails a test.

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