Friday, October 12, 2012

Lance Armstrong and the USADA Report...

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, the USADA sent it's reasoned decision against Lance Armstrong to the UCI in Switzerland. This document, encompassing over 1,000 pages (200 of which made it to the public sphere through the USADA's own website), puts paid to all the bullshit excuses ever uttered by the screeching hyenas who make up his deluded choir of culi-cagao fanboys. The report is as nauseating as it is pathetic. Riders wee coerced., bullied and intimidated into taking part in the most cynically clinical bamboozling of the spirit of sport not seen since the East German Olympic squads of the 1970's. And still this asshole continues to deny his role in the conspiracy. But that's alright. He's going to get his titles stripped, and his legacy will be that of the perpetrator of one of the biggest sporting frauds modern sport has ever seen. And thankfully, the details are out for all to see.

The details of the doping conspiracy are so outrageous, even Rudy Pevenage was taken aback. For those of you who don't know, Pevenage was Jan Ullrich's manager, the man who sent the star-crossed rider to see Dr. Fuentes in Spain for blood transfusions when it was clear to them what Armstrong was up to. Ullrich's partaking in "Operation Puerto" was his last hurrah in the sport of cycling, and after being provisionally suspended right before the 2006 Tour de France (the year he was poised to finally shed the Lance Armstrong curse and be able to win the event in his own right) he retired and never raced again.

Here is what Pevenage had to say about the recently released report-

Pevenage previously admitted his involvement in assisting Jan Ullrich's visits to Dr. Efemanio Fuentes in preparation for the German's 2006 tour bid. However, his connection to the infamous doctor goes back to the days when Pevenage was racing.

"The rivalry pushed us to give it everything to try and beat [Armstrong]", Pevenage told L'Equpie in 2010. "With all the money he earned, Jan could not afford to be beaten. He was stressed out by the pressure and even put on weight because of that. Stress poisoned his career."

In light of the USADA's report, Nieuwsblad reports Pevenage now compares his methods "petty" compared to the gangsters surrounding Armstrong. In addition  Pevenage believes the real change came about when Johan Bruyneel arrived.

"It surprised me how far the team of Armstrong went. It was also strange that they could use EPO and continue working while we were all strictly controlled. Everything changed with the arrival of Bruyneel." 

Under Rudy Pevenage's guidance, Ullrich won the race 15 years ago but finished second to Armstrong three times between 2000-03. The American won the race seven times in a row from 1999. 

"Did we have a choice? After the Festina scandal in 1998, we had stopped everything at (team) Telekom. No substances, no preparation, nothing!" Rudy Pevenage, who was implicated in the Operacion Puerto blood-doping scandal that broke in 2006, told French sports daily L'Equipe. 

"We worked like this until 2001, believing that our rivals were doing the same. But Armstrong and U.S. Postal made us wonder. We were seeing that nothing was true with them. We were seeing that Armstrong had become superhuman," the Belgian added. 

"What could we do? Let him play while no control could get him? We tried to find the recipe. The same recipe as Armstrong. Today we finally can say that we were all the victims of Lance Armstrong and (U.S. Postal manager) Johan Bruyneel." 

"I remember the Tour in 2001, Jan was really in a very good form, maybe his best ever- and he was clean. But there was absolutely no chance, Armstrong played with him, it was disgusting." 

So much for the myth of the level playing field.

Jan Ullrich and Rudy Pevenage during the 2003 Tour de France-

Here is the list of ex-teammates who gave testimony against Lance Armstrong-

Frankie Andreu
Michael Barry
Tom Danielson
Tyler Hamilton
George Hincapie 
Floyd Landis
Levi Leipheimer
Stephen Swart
Christian Vande Velde
Jonathan Vaughters
David Zabriskie, aka "Captain America"

There were fifteen others who gave testimony for a grand total of twenty-six people in total. I'm still awaiting confirmation on whether or not Armstrong's ex-wife Kristen and Sheryl Crow gave testimony as initially was reported, but it's clear Kristen not only aided and abetted the conspiracy, she was one of the leading apologists, having said that using PED's was "the cost of doing business" in pro cycling. 

Here is the USADA document released to the general public two days ago on October 10th-

Here are the affidavits of Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Jonathan Vaughters-

As for the other players in this disgraceful drama, there are updates-

Johan Bruyneel has been summarily sacked by the Radio Shack-Nissan professional cycling team effective
immediately. As stated previously, Bruyneel's tactic was to say he was going to arbitration so he could continue to collect his pay packet as general manager of his cycling team until at least December of this year, but the owner put paid to all that and now he has nothing.

Here is what one of his riders, Fabian Cancellera, had to say about the situation-

"Lance was apparently a systematic doper. He doped on a scale that cycling has never seen before. He has really destroyed a lot."

"I hope that Armstrong is the last of the Mohicans, that he's the last of the Ullrich, Basso, Landis, Heras generation. If you drive too fast, you pay the penalty. Lance must now live with the consequences of what he did," the Swiss rider continued.

"Today riders are again paying the price for what went wrong six or seven years ago. that's not fair. Lance has ensured that the early years of my career were wasted years. I hope that this time is finally behind us. It will not happen immediately, it takes time but it should happen."

The Swiss rider continued by saying that he was hopeful the times were changing for the better. "Now I understand how US Postal was able to put eight or nine riders in the front on a mountain stage and drop all the others. In the 'golden years it was all very simple, it was 'training and loading, training and loading'. 'Loading', that's the term the riders use when they talk about doping. Nowadays, we work differently, more professionally, with more attention to detail. That's the cycling I believe in, not 'training and loading'. It's changed."

There is an investigation currently underway in Italy pertaining to steroid trafficking and money laundering. No surprise that Dr. Michele Ferrari is involved knee-deep in this particular quagmire. After the Federal investigation against Lance Armstrong was shut down, the Italian authorities, who were looking into unilateral assistance from the US Feds on this matter, became so discouraged they had initially decided to fine Dr. Ferrari for tax evasion and leave the matter at that. Now that their investigation is either nearly done or completely finished, Ferrari may face criminal charges of money laundering, tax evasion and steroid trafficking. Let;s hope this weasel finally gets his. 

And since Johann Bruyneel's name came up a whopping 129 times in the abridged USADA report, the Belgian authorities have become interested in the allegations of Bruyneels' steroid trafficking and money laundering. Boys and girls, don't be surprised if the US Federal case against Armstrong is re-opened. Recall that it was dropped on the eve of indictments being handed out, so they don't have much farther to go. All they have to do is re-open the case and send the indictments, hopefully via the US Postal Service registered mail service. And wouldn't THAT would be the height of irony?

I'll leave you with a video of Anderson Cooper interviewing Tyler Hamilton for your viewing pleasure...

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