- Mar 11, 2009
I hear you Bro. Started to pay attention after he won the Worlds.Fausto's Schnauzer said:It's finally over. When he first came on the scene I followed Lance's career with interest. He was brash, strong and his in-your-face attitude was refreshing. While I didn't think he'd ever be a TdF contender, I knew that he'd be in the hunt for lots of stage wins and such.
I was saddened by his bout with cancer, inspired by his comeback and impressed with his media and marketing savvy; so much so that the company I worked for in 1999 sought him out to endorse a product that we were about to launch. He initially took our calls personally and had agreed verbally to our proposals. But as summer came we ended up dealing with first an agent and then an attorney. Then of course he won his first Tour de France and all communication ceased. Zilch, nada, no phone calls, e-mails or letters were ever returned again.
The monetary value of our deal was admittedly very modest for a TdF winner and while we were disappointed, I understood that he had much bigger checks to cash I a let it go. I was still a big fan.
Then came the Dr. Ferrari revelations and the Greg Lemond comments...which I felt were completely relevant and appropriate for Greg to have made. I knew that Greg was also a fan and that he was sincerely disappointed.
Then I heard rumblings from folks within the industry, people connected to US Postal. I heard more thinly veiled comments about Lance from two of his team-mates. One even admitted to using a banned substance under orders of Johan and with the knowledge of Lance (Did you know that a rider who doesn't finish a stage isn't tested?).
I wanted to still believe, I really did. But the more I learned, the closer I looked, the more I found that didn't add up. From his written-by-a-lawyer responses to reporters questions "I never tested positive for any banned substance," to anecdotal revelations from riders and insiders, to the 1999 sample re-test, the back-dated TUE, his campaign against Lemond, the lying about his weight and VO2 max numbers, his vilification of Simeoni, it all added up to someone who I find difficult to admire as a person.
True, you can't make a race horse out of a draft horse, Lance is a unique specimen. And yes history shows that any doping he did pretty much made it a level playing field. But his steadfast denial of the truth, his pomposity, his apparent belief in his own myth and his hiding behind the Livestrong banner are what trouble me about Lance.
The early years were great, fresh and intoxicating, but then as described seeds of doubt that just continue to build and sour the whole experience.
So long LA...