Saturday, August 25, 2012
LANCE ARMSTRONG STRIPPED!!!
It's official. The USADA has announced Lance Armstrong will be stripped of all his Tour wins from 1999-2005 and is banned from racing for L-I-F-E. This is not only for his egregious doping, which evidence will soon prove was of epic proportions, but also for aiding and abetting, procuring, and trafficking. He wasn't just a doper-he was a supplier who cajoled and bullied his teammates into doing likewise.
He took the only road left to him-deciding not to go to arbitration and then denying the USADA the jurisdiction to sanction him. His lawyer Bill Herman made a statement saying if they dare strip him of his Tour titles, they will sue the USADA in Federal court. This is a convenient ruse that has his fanboys up in arms but fools no one. In a vain attempt to control the narrative, he has tried and failed to control the proceedings by filing a lawsuit challenging the jurisdiction of the USADA. Then he used Livestrong lobbyists to garner support in Congress to undermine the efforts of the USADA. He's tried EVERYTHING, but this time nothing worked. In the press conference where he made his announcement, he martyred himself so his base of idiot fanboys and apologists will never leave his side. Must be comforting knowing the only assholes who believe in him are just like him.
It's come time for him to pay the piper, and getting stripped of his Tour wins will be the least of his worries.
I'm not going to get into the bullshit about all the good he's done for cancer. This doesn't make him noble or particularly magnanimous, and it just so happens to not be true. From the very start, his cancer foundation has been about selling vaporware to annoying groupies who gleefully suck on the magic yellow cock with one testicle, selling plastic yellow wristbands so the lemmings can proudly and publicly proclaim their admission into the tribe without actually doing anything worthwhile for cancer research.
It reminds me of those obnoxious, entitled 20-somethings I met during an AIDS walk in New York City. I was asked why I don't walk for a good cause-I said curing AIDS isn't about finding a magical cure. It's about curbing irresponsible sexual behavior and stopping the enforced sexual enslavement and rape of poor women all over the world. Walking ain't going to do that. One of the responses I received was, "Yeah, but it's about awareness, duuuude...Besides, walking raises money for the cause..."
Awareness my ass. Knowing how non-profits and other charities spend their contributions, I don't really care to donate. Some of these charitable organizations have CEO's with six-figure incomes, all derived from donations. I'd rather walk, thank you very much. It's been chronicled how Armstrong uses his charity to direct traffic to his for-profit site so he can continue to market himself, and very little if any of the money raised by Livestrong goes into actual cancer research, where the real fight against cancer takes place. But that ain't gonna last too long once the world gets a load of just what he did to win all those Tour de France titles.
Part of the process going forward is the USADA has to hand over whatever evidence it collected to the UCI so they can formally strip Armstrong of his victories. The UCI is in a bind because if they do, they run the risk of having someone like Armstrong spill the beans about the corrupt nature of their relationship, which includes but is not limited to making positive dope tests disappear. If they don't, the IOC will be up Pat McQuaid's ass like a proctologist and pro cycling will be removed as an event from the Olympics. The UCI cannot affords this because they derive a large portion of their funding from the IOC and the Olympic Games.
The stories are already being fed to the media, and the USADA will release a statement this coming Thursday that may include some of the malfeasances Armstrong was involved in that caused them to proceed with filing charges against him and his whole crew of degenerates. We are going to have corroboration of blood doping during his 2009 "Comeback 2.0" that was supposedly all about cancer awareness, the steroids and bags of blood stored in his home in Girona, Spain, and more of this-
To add perspective to this sorry tale of hubris and ego run amok, Travis Tygart, CEO of the USADA, had given Armstrong plenty of opportunity to salvage his reputation and keep most of his Tour titles. The deal was this-come clean about EVERYTHING and we will only strip you of your last two titles, thereby respecting the statute of limitations. But the SOL was superseded due to the massive extent of the cover-up, of which Armstrong played a major role.
The deal entailed Armstrong ratting out Hein Verbruggen and "Fat" Pat McQuaid, the previous and current heads of the UCI. He decided not to. Armstrong can still compete one day if he wants. The lifetime ban from competition of his beloved triathlons, where he mistakenly thought a second career as a perpetual, aging HgH-fueled yuppie jock awaited him, would be lifted if he just stopped fucking lying and told the truth.
The systematic corruption of the UCI is what is at the heart of the matter. Keep in mind what a cop from the Al Pacino film "The Panic in Needle Park" once said to a junkie he was trying to turn-"You rat up, you never rat down". Armstrong had to rat his superiors out, the ones he was in cahoots with at the highest levels, the ones that protected him and made positive doping tests disappear like magic. Here is a quote from Tygart explaining the options he laid out to Needle Boy Lance-
The agency would've reduced Armstrong's punishment "if he would have been truthful and willing to meet to help the sport move forward for the good," Tygart says. "Of course, this is still possible and we always remain open, because while the truth hurts, ultimately, from what we have seen in these types of cases, acknowledging the truth is the best way forward."-Travis Tygart, USADA
Paul Kimmage, the Irish sportswriter for the Sunday Times of London and author of the seminal, if somewhat dated, book on doping in the peloton called "Rough Ride", chimed in about the corruption and complicity of the UCI and how it played into the hands of Armstrong during his seven-year reign of terror at the Tour-
If Kimmage has one nagging regret about Armstrong's decision not to contest the USADA charges, it's that some of the evidence might not make it into the public domain and so may prove difficult to truly assess the level to which the UCI was complicit in the American's story. Nonetheless, he feels that the UCI's heavy-handed attempts to seize jurisdiction of the Armstrong case from USADA in the past month were a stark indictment of its' mindset over the past decade and beyond.
Even by their own miserable standards, the UCI have absolutely disgraced themselves this last month-they had that statement from McQuaid during the Tour saying they were going to leave it totally up to the USADA and then the very next day theyr'e sending off letters trying to wrest jurisdiction of the process," Kimmage says. "I mean, my God, come on! Come on!"
It seems as if George Hincapie, the closest thing to a brother Armstrong had on the road (which begs the question, "What type of asshole was George if he got along so well with someone no one liked?"), was the tipping point in terms of testimony given to the USADA. It's one thing to discredit cats like Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, who are indeed liars and lied their asses off when they were caught doping. But it's quite another to attempt to discredit the one guy who rode with Armstrong throughout all seven Tours and is one of the most well-respected members of the pro peloton-
I leave the last word to the one and only Bernard Hinault, who retired at the age of 32 with plenty of miles still left in his legs and has never ridden a bike professionally since, just as he promised he would do. As an ubiquitous staff member of the Tour organization and prominent podium presenter, he was there to witness first-hand all seven Armstrong victories. In the inimitable style that earned him the nickname "Le Blaireau" ("The Badger" in English) he retorted when asked about this situation-"I don't give a fuck. It's not my problem. This should have been taken care of 10 or 15 years ago". Absolutely right.
Bernard Hinault, seen here not giving a flying fuck about Lance Armstrong...
While you're waiting for more sordid details to enter the public domain, let me remind you now is a good time to go to the World Cycling Productions site and shop for your favorite Lance Armstrong Tour DVDs. They are currently on sale. Pick them up before he disappears into irrelevance. Or wait until after Christmas when they'll probably be half the current sale price of $29.99 per video.