Did Nike pay $500,000 to Verbruggen to cover up Armstrong positive?

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Aug 6, 2009
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Microchip said:
I always thought the hush money was Lance's! This is going to be good! It's getting better all the time.
Certain things haven't made sense until now about the Armstrong positives in 1999 and 2001.

Armstrong's payments to the UCI never coincided with the timing of the positive test dates, nor did the amounts seem large enough for a proper cover-up of a positive drug test on such a high-profile athlete. So it seems that with this alleged $500,000 payment directly to Verbruggen by Nike, the amount appears to be plausible enough to warrant the scenario of "protection money".

It also answers the question why Verbruggen, who is no longer the President of the UCI, is so intimately involved in sticking his face into all this instead of letting McQuaid handle it.
 
Oct 8, 2012
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Berzin said:
Certain things haven't made sense until now about the Armstrong positives in 1999 and 2001.

Armstrong's payments to the UCI never coincided with the timing of the positive test dates, nor were the amounts large enough for the proper people to be sufficiently happy to get them to take part in covering up a positive drug test. So it seems that with this alleged $500,000 payment directly to Verbruggen by Nike, the amount appears to be plausible enough to warrant the scenario of "protection money".

It also answers the question why Verbruggen, who is no longer the President of the UCI, is so intimately involved in sticking his face into all this instead of letting McQuaid handle it

Very true. I've always wondered what the hell Verbruggen is still doing involved at the UCI. Maybe he has more pull than he admits.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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BTW if you want to boycott Nike you need to boycott a whole lot of sports companies:


President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Parker, 55, has been President and Chief Executive Officer and a director since 2006. He has been employed by NIKE since 1979 with primary responsibilities in product research, design and development, marketing, and brand management. Mr. Parker was appointed divisional Vice President in charge of development in 1987, corporate Vice President in 1989, General Manager in 1993, Vice President of Global Footwear in 1998, and President of the NIKE Brand in 2001. In addition to helping lead the continued growth of the Nike brand, Parker is responsible for the growth of NIKE, Inc.'s global business portfolio, which includes Cole Haan, Converse Inc., Hurley International LLC, and Umbro Ltd.
 
I really agree with what Mark said. Regardless of whether this story is true or not, it's astounding that a mainstream newspaper would dare publish it. That was the first thing I thought about when I heard it.

And though it seems to me that Nike would have no interest in LA until after he won his first Tour--surely you don't pant over someone who is merely leading the Tour before it's finished, to the tune of under the table payments?--that story Pelodee found is a real eye-opener. I had no idea that LA was considering marketing himself as a cancer survivor before he had even won a Tour. I thought it all came later. I guess I had forgotten that during the Tour, there were a lot of stories about how this cancer survivor was riding the toughest athletic contest in the world.

The Clinic's insistence all along that LA used his charity far more than the other way around is really supported by that article. The diehard fanboys who insist that his cheating is insignificant compared to what he's done for cancer ought to be shown that article. What would their response be to this being a marketing ploy from the very beginning, with the primary purpose of LA's visits to patients not empathy, but to build his brand?

The degree of cynicism here is almost beyond belief, my belief, any way. The guy has just recovered from cancer, you would think all that would be on his mind is how lucky he was to survive, and he's already plotting how he can use it to make money? Sick, sick, sick.

Roadent said:
Phil won't have an email address that is accessible by the public - better to go to US brand VPs and BOD members: as someone upstream said, they don't need this kind of thing...John Slusher, VP of Global Sports Marketing would be a good place to start...
He's in charge of the Slush Fund, no doubt.
 
Merckx index said:
The degree of cynicism here is almost beyond belief, my belief, any way. The guy has just recovered from cancer, you would think all that would be on his mind is how lucky he was to survive, and he's already plotting how he can use it to make money? Sick, sick, sick.
One area where the media hasn’t picked up on yet is the foundation wrapped around Comeback 2.0. It was horribly cynical at the time but with what we know now it beggars belief that he attempted the comeback on the back of the foundation when truth be told it was about his own personal gain.

I agree. Sick, sick, sick.
 
Jul 6, 2012
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MarkvW said:
And this story is a bad story, no doubt about it. The statement was Kathy Lemond (who had no firsthand knowledge) relating the statements of a bike mechanic (who probably has no firsthand knowledge) about a financial transaction that the mechanic did not execute. That looks like rumor to me.
Yeah, I can't help but wonder if something this nebulous does more harm than good in that it distracts attention from the wealth of hard evidence.

On the other hand, I'm glad to finally see Thom Weisel's name enter into this. I was very disappointed to see his name wasn't mentioned a single time in the 202 page reasoned decision. Guys like him always skate, somehow.
 
Oct 8, 2012
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Man, the Armstrong mongrels are out in full force today with their talking points. Armstrong didn't beat cancer. And he definitely didn't just recently beat cancer. Cancer just lost that one.
 
Jul 7, 2012
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Merckx index said:
The degree of cynicism here is almost beyond belief, my belief, any way. The guy has just recovered from cancer, you would think all that would be on his mind is how lucky he was to survive, and he's already plotting how he can use it to make money? Sick, sick, sick.
But it is clear that is exactly how he, and perhaps to an even greater degree those behind him, saw his status as a 'cancer survivor'. It was regarded as being nothing more than something 'which broadened and deepened the brand', as was publicly acknowledged over a decade ago.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/2001-07-01/feature4.php

To me the greatest cynicism relates to the way he used his status as 'the patron saint of cancer' to sell a lie to other sufferers and to create a protective shield against possible criticism.

The whole idea built around him that you can 'beat cancer' is also a lie, and one that can have very destructive consequences.

Myth: A positive attitude is all you need to beat cancer.

Truth: There's no scientific proof that a positive attitude gives you an advantage in cancer treatment or improves your chance of being cured.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer/HO00033
Cancer survival not linked to a positive attitude, study finds

In the large-scale study conducted over nine years, Coyne and colleagues used baseline quality-of-life questionnaires to assess the well-being of 1,093 cancer patients. All participants were involved in clinical trials, which ensured uniformity of treatment and ruled out substantial health disparities in the sample. During the study, 646 patients died, and the research team found no relationship between their emotional well-being and cancer progression and death.

Though his findings strongly contradict the notion that a positive attitude is related to survival, the idea of "fighting" cancer is deeply rooted in our culture, says Coyne.

"It's the American way, that you can do it, you can fight it," he adds.

Based on the study results, Coyne believes it's important to not blame cancer patients who don't adopt an aggressively positive spirit.

http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan08/cancer.aspx

The voodoo cult of positive thinking

The Armstrong philosophy veers dangerously close to the self-help mantra of books such as The Secret. Its author, Rhonda Byrne, mused after the Java tsunami of 2006 that such events only ever afflicted people who were “on the same frequency as the event”. Smile or Die, Barbara Ehrenreich’s exposé of the positive-thinking industry, includes a chilling story from a psychiatrist at a New York cancer clinic: “Patients come in with stories of being told by well-meaning friends, ‘I’ve read all about this – if you got cancer, you must have wanted it.’ ”

Every age has its deities. The medieval mindset placed its blind faith in God. The Enlightenment anointed reason and science. Our own age has indulged a pseudoscientific cult of willpower: the deification of determination. At its best, it is a questionable creed. At its worst, it suggests that all losers must also be weaklings.

With luck, Armstrong’s career – and the legend that surrounded it –will one day be seen as the high-water mark of the voodoo cult of willpower.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2012/09/voodoo-cult-positive-thinking
Smile or Die: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich

To write Nickel and Dimed, about how America's working poor live, Barbara Ehrenreich took low-paid work herself. For Smile or Die, her latest instalment on what's eating America, having cancer was the personal starting-point for an investigation into the ubiquitous notion that positive thinking is essential to health, wealth and wellbeing. Positivity and magical thinking may actually make illnesses worse, prompt us to seek wars we can't win, make us waste time and money "improving" ourselves when the real impediments to happiness lie far beyond our control, and make bankers believe they're benevolent demigods.

It's when writing about the cancer industry that she's at her most eloquent. When she got breast cancer, Ehrenreich found that not only did she have to confront a life-threatening illness but also a whole bunch of idiotic pink products, from proud cancer-defying sweatshirts and breast cancer candles, to a teddy bear with a breast-cancer ribbon sewn on its chest.

Cancer victims are expected to exude happiness – otherwise you're apparently exposing yourself, and fellow cancer patients who come into contact with you, to toxic negativity.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jan/09/barbara-ehrenreich-smile-lucy-ellmann
 
Sep 5, 2009
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It has been discussed on this forum in the past with links:

1. Verbruggen (senior moment? Freudian slip?) was reported as claiming Armstrong had paid hundreds of thousands in donations to the UCI. Could he have been confused that his Swiss bank account was controlled by him and was not a UCI asset and included a Nike payment? :)

2. Armstrong also on the record as stating he had paid significant donations to the UCI. I would expect more than the 2 amounts amunting to $125,000 over 5 years McQuaid fumbled over in explaining. The $100,000 component in timing was aligned with the release of the dubious Vrijman report in 2006 and would have been Armstrong underwriting UCI's costs to support him. The UCI is a non profit organization and budgets each year to break even. An unbudgeted $100,000 cost would create a big hole.

3. There is a claim that Floyd has quoted Armstrong that the 2001 TdS EPO positive cost Armstrong a $100,000 payment to Verbruggen. I believe knowledge to Floyd arose through Armstrong requesting Floyd to back off on his previous team contractual dispute as Verbruggen was not happy and Armstrong informed Floyd about how helpful Verbruggen can be. Unfortunately, Floyd's stand alone evidence without corroboration was worth zilch. LA's TdS positive had corroborative support from the results and other team riders but not any payment to Verbruggen.
 
Oct 2, 2012
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sniper said:
Verbruggen's legacy?

The fall of Nike.:)
Nike is huge. This could all be true, and they could admit it, and it wouldn't put a dent in the company.

Many successful companies have suffered much worse indignities. Goldman Sachs?
 
Jun 19, 2009
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lean said:
this occurred to me as well. it seems far fetched that even a company as wealthy as Nike would recklessly throw 500k at this problem. armstrong wasn't an established commodity.

although LA was on the precipice of winning the TdF. what would a tour winner be worth to Nike? maybe a half million was a gamble they were willing to take?

we need to REALLY return to 1999 in our minds. in another sense, the last thing ASO or the UCI wanted at that time was an armstrong positive following the 98 disaster. Nike is bribing the UCI with a large sum to accept the TUE, something they already WANT to do? it doesn't seem shrewd. i wouldn't rule it out but it seems like a stretch to me.
Yip - but 2 points.

Firstly, the article says it was Nike and Thom Weisel
Reading about Wiesel he appears the sort who would have no problem paying off HV, but would also have no problem reminding others of what its worth and getting them to chip in to cover it.

Second- Nike had just taken over sponsorship of the TdF, they had their names on all the jersies.
It was their re-entry in to cycling, as they were involved before and pulled out.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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To me you guys are almost connecting the dots but not adding enough dots..as someone said think back to 1999.

OLN acquires the rights in America to show the TdF in 1999, 60 million more homes in the US..ie huge market..Now OLN had been on the air for 4 years, why now did they pick to grab the Tour after the Festina mess. Nike steps in and Oakley to help this American "get back on the bike", USPS it seems with what we have read starts the greatest doping program ever in history(short of MLB, IMO)..

In 1999 there was no Pantani, no Ulrich and people knew way ahead of time they would not be there. Why do you bet $500,000 on a horse you know is going to win....because you know he is going to win...I think the UCI, NIKE, OLN, Oakley all worked together to make as much money off this guy, and him to make as much as money as well and nothing was going to stop them. They knew his doped up power outputs in training could not be beat, nor could the rest of the blue train...save for a crash they had a perfect storm, American, American TV, sponsors and a get out of jail free card with payments to the guys that threw people out of cycling.

Dimspace's chart is crazy look at all of the people connected to Lance, there was no way they were going to let their meal ticket go down.

Maybe the above is a crazy idea, but I think the tip of the iceberg in corruption has only been seen.
 
lol, i always told my friends who got offended by suggestions that bolt and messi dope, "as if nike etc wouldnt protect hundreds of millions worth of investment".
Not surprised to see there is evidence to back this up now.
 
Oct 12, 2012
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Love the Scenery said:
UCI has sued Kimmage in a SWISS court for libel, Kimmage having accused the UCI of corruption. Kimmage must prove the UCI corrupt. Can his lawyers in Switzerland compel the production of interbank transfer receipts? If so, this should come out. Anybody understand Swiss rules of evidence and discovery? If Kimmage can force these receipts into the public sphere, his legal defense fund suddenly takes on a whole new significance.
It depends. Usually the banking secret is lifted, if data are needed in criminal investigations, so if Kimmage's lawyers request the data, they should get them.
Then there is also "Plan B". German Authorities (maínly the tax agency) have bought several CD's off whistle blowers inside swiss banks with data about German customers. Hundreds of tax evaders have been caught that way.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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mikeNphilly said:
To me you guys are almost connecting the dots but not adding enough dots..as someone said think back to 1999.

OLN acquires the rights in America to show the TdF in 1999, 60 million more homes in the US..ie huge market..Now OLN had been on the air for 4 years, why now did they pick to grab the Tour after the Festina mess. Nike steps in and Oakley to help this American "get back on the bike", USPS it seems with what we have read starts the greatest doping program ever in history(short of MLB, IMO)..

In 1999 there was no Pantani, no Ulrich and people knew way ahead of time they would not be there. Why do you bet $500,000 on a horse you know is going to win....because you know he is going to win...I think the UCI, NIKE, OLN, Oakley all worked together to make as much money off this guy, and him to make as much as money as well and nothing was going to stop them. They knew his doped up power outputs in training could not be beat, nor could the rest of the blue train...save for a crash they had a perfect storm, American, American TV, sponsors and a get out of jail free card with payments to the guys that threw people out of cycling.

Dimspace's chart is crazy look at all of the people connected to Lance, there was no way they were going to let their meal ticket go down.

Maybe the above is a crazy idea, but I think the tip of the iceberg in corruption has only been seen.
OLN signed their deal in 1998
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Race Radio said:
OLN signed their deal in 1998
The 1999 (and 2000?) Tour was on ESPN during the weeknights. They just did 30 minute recaps. On the weekends there were longer broadcasts on CBS.

OLN announced they had bought the rights to the Tour at the end of July 1999 and 2001 was the first year we got daily live broadcasts in the US.
 
Aug 27, 2012
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The $500'000 story by Julian deVries is going worldwide almost as rapidly as the Lance doping story 5 days ago. Last 12 hours in Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Italian main stream media and so on.

Below copious comments by a "Julian deVries" to a Bicycling story last year. Not particularly supportive of LA/Livestrong... Wonder where Julian is now and if he would be happy to discuss more details...

http://bicycling.com/blogs/dailylance/2011/09/15/armstrong-to-compete-in-us-xterra-championship/
 
Mar 18, 2009
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It seems to me that people are focusing on Nike but Weisel is who people be looking at. He is the one most likely to have put up money. Armstrong and winning the Tour were a long term project of his.

Armstrong is an accounting blip to Nike. He was not important at that time. He is not very important now.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Epicycle said:
The 1999 (and 2000?) Tour was on ESPN during the weeknights. They just did 30 minute recaps. On the weekends there were longer broadcasts on CBS.

OLN announced they had bought the rights to the Tour at the end of July 1999 and 2001 was the first year we got daily live broadcasts in the US.
OLN negotiated their deal to broadcast the Tour for most of 1998. They spent $3,000,000 for 4 years starting in 2001. It was a huge deal as they finalized prior to Lance winning the Tour so they got a great deal. If the ASO had waited they could have got much more.
 
May 6, 2010
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Lukenwolf said:
It depends. Usually the banking secret is lifted, if data are needed in criminal investigations, so if Kimmage's lawyers request the data, they should get them.
Then there is also "Plan B". German Authorities (maínly the tax agency) have bought several CD's off whistle blowers inside swiss banks with data about German customers. Hundreds of tax evaders have been caught that way.
Thanks for the info, Lukenwolf. Well then, it's possible that the UCI's decision to go after Paul Kimmage will prove their undoing. As people have commented on this forum, this Nike story has had unexpected play in world newspapers. What Kathy Lemond said has been public record since 2006, but no newspaper would touch it. As other posters have said, now the situation is changed, and suddenly this item is hitting major newspapers all around the world. McQuaid and Verbruggen could not have predicted this situation, since it was something they believed they had already dealt with. Thanks to Travis Tygart's brilliant coup de grace, though, all that changed overnight. Newspapers are scouring the USADA decision for news items. They are relishing this. They're going to keep publishing stories as long as it gets them readers (in print) or page-clicks (on the web). At any rate, it's global news now and UCI have given Paul Kimmage the opportunity to get the banking secrecy lifted in order to defend himself from the charge of libel. If they withdraw the suit they admit to corruption and if they carry on with it they expose themselves to financial scrutiny. My bet is they will choose to withdraw the suit, lesser of two evils for them.
 
Sep 30, 2009
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"In response to the offensive allegations in today's New York Daily News, Nike vehemently denies that it paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs."

Unless you cut Armstrong loose, yes, you do.
 

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