Donkeys to racehorces. The effect of PEDs on cycling performance

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fepate said:
But he was on PEDs both before and after cancer. With Ferrari pulling the strings the whole time. So you're saying that the PED cocktail got significantly more effective between 1996 and the fall of 1998? Or did every other rider's PED cocktail get weaker?
Good questions. LA hooked up with a guild-approved Ferrari in 1995, but he wasn't exclusively working with Armstrong then, and he, Ferrari, certainly wasn't preparing him to win the Tour.

Afterward they sealed their pact, made the decision to go for gold and certainly things changed from the mid-nineties to the end of the decade. A new generation of the Epo emerged, Nesp, for example. I surmise that together they both just found an optimal balance between program and methodology. Then with LA's cancer background and US connections who knows what he had access to and, under Ferrari's guidance, which resources were exploited.

It was an arms race you know!

So I wouldn't say the others cocktails got weaker, more the possibility that Armstrongs became that much more potent. In this sense he dropped the rest on the Armstrong "system", before dropping them on the road. Though this is point, which I have already stated.
 
May 26, 2010
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rhubroma said:
<snip for brevity>

So I wouldn't say the others cocktails got weaker, more the possibility that Armstrongs became that much more potent. In this sense he dropped the rest on the Armstrong "system", before dropping them on the road. Though this is point, which I have already stated.
Remember he could take a much as he wanted as he was not going to fail testing.

Also USPS took lots. David Walsh tells the story of JV going to Credit Agricole expecting the usual amount of injections and stuff everyday but it was so little compared to USPS. He also talked about how Armstrong had told USPS riders they were doing what others were doing and it was the same as other teams to make it level. BS

If this thread is about Donkey's to Rachorses can we at least post up some numbers.

Someone posted Armstrongs very average numbers in another thread to show he was not the genetic freak he told everbody he was. Can they be reposted to demonstrate he was a true dyed in the wool donkey?

Thanks
 
patricknd said:
stereotype much?
i'm helping you with your labels. a criminal organization of that type had to have the hand of an expert, a rube from Texas couldn't have orchestrated that, hence the italian. ;) my question is this: if he were from Iowa, would that have been included in your narrative? how about Montana? Kansas maybe? of course it wouldn't. that wouldn't fit into your tabloid journalism style of posting.
you don't need to hate those of us that grew up in Texas. we didn't get to ride horses to school, and most of us don't have oil wells in our back yards. so don't feel like you missed out. :D
Oh, right, because all Italians are mafioso and I'm being accused of stereotyping too much. :rolleyes: Tabloid style of journalism indeed.

I don't know how one goes about orchestrating such a criminal organization of that scale; ask Rumsfeld, ask Wolfowitz, ask Carl Rove. They should be able to give a you better idea then poor ol' me. You know the real mafia guys don't like have their names broadcast out there, so I can only direct you to their public equivalents.

And it's not my fault that Lance is a Texan. Ok, let's make him Iowan, or from Montana (Montanan?), or how about from New Jersey?
 
Mar 17, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Oh, right, because all Italians are mafioso and I'm being accused of stereotyping too much. :rolleyes: Tabloid style of journalism indeed.

I don't know how one goes about orchestrating such a criminal organization of that scale; ask Rumsfeld, ask Wolfowitz, ask Carl Rove. They should be able to give a you better idea then poor ol' me. You know the real mafia guys don't like have their names broadcast out there, so I can only direct you to their public equivalents.

And it's not my fault that Lance is a Texan. Ok, let's make him Iowan, or from Montana (Montanan?), or how about from New Jersey.
the wink was to show that i was being facetious.

________________________
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now you can practice reading between them :D
 
Jun 12, 2012
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rhubroma said:
Indeed and there were also Spaniards and a Belgian involved. So. What's your point? I see this as just indicative of the European stage upon which the cycling drama gets played out. No more. He simply surrounded himself with an equip of the best experts, who are Euros. Yet the way he built his persona and corporate approach to prepotency and invincibility, was about as "all American" as it gets. In fact Lance, the Texan, the US Wonderboy script, was like some bad 60's Captain America comic book narrative: "Bam!" "Slam!" "Boom!" Or derived straight form the appalling neocon ideology of "Shock and Awe" firepower. The culture and expertise was largely European, the means of delivery and persona totally US.
Bravo! I was never a fan, but long before I was prepared to believe that he was a doper, this is why I disliked Lance. The corporatism, the win at any cost mentality, the greasing of palms, the disrespect for the sport that those things imply.
 
Bicycle tramp said:
Bravo! I was never a fan, but long before I was prepared to believe that he was a doper, this is why I disliked Lance. The corporatism, the win at any cost mentality, the greasing of palms, the disrespect for the sport that those things imply.
Personally it was the combination of what you so aptly define and the bullying.
 
Mar 26, 2009
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Maxiton said:
Let me suggest with all due respect that you try following the conversation. Or perhaps a reading comprehension course would be in order.
Actually I understood exactly what he was saying, and why, and how it was linked to the conversation. You might want to check out that reading comprehension course you suggested for PouPou before you insult fellow forum members.
 
rhubroma said:
Surely what happened to the Texan was an incredible, farcical metamorphosis and we know that Ferrari was the grand alchemist behind it all. We don't know the details, we don't know the specific formula, though the results were plain to see and nothing less than extraordinary.
I don't think we know any of that, other than Armstrong's results were drastically improved.
One potential factor is the affect of having cancer, a widely reported prognosis of worse than 50% chance of survival, brain surgery, and extreme (transient) weight loss. Surely that course of events will have a psychological impact on anyone, and it seems likely to me that it will have also some non-trivial effect on the hormonal and endrocrine systems.

I think as a community we tend to discount these effects, but it appears to me that the reasons for discounting are not objectively justified.

Why not believe that some of the improvement is due to more effective "preparation", some to loss of shoulder musculature with an increase in the legs/core, some to better off-season focus, and some to just "wanting it more"? That Armstrong reacted mentally and physiologically to the cancer in a way that enhanced his performance?

Frankly, a combination of small factors is much easier for me to believe than the notion that Ferrari chose a unproven cancer survivor (including an experimental chemotherapy regimen intended to reduce damage to lungs) as the rider who would receive Ferrrari's best program. Wouldn't have Ferrari expected a better chance of success (and the financial reward) with a different rider?
 
Jun 28, 2012
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rhubroma said:
LA hooked up with a guild-approved Ferrari in 1995...
Okay, then wouldn't a reasonable interpretation of events be:
1) Armstrong's doping program was below par before some time during 1995, so all results prior to that date show what he could do when he was at a disadvantage compared to his competition.
2) During 1996 he had some good results in the spring, but his cancer started to slow him down at some point during the season.
3) In 1998, being healthy again and on a doping program on par with the competition, he became a GT contender.

Wouldn't this hypothesis allow for him to go from what appeared to be a donkey (due to home-grown doping that wasn't as good as the European programs at the time) to a GT contender by being perhaps an above-average PED responder, but not necessarily the 1 out of 1000 responder that Krebs objects to based on his EPO studies?
 
Jul 19, 2009
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KingsMountain said:
I don't think we know any of that, other than Armstrong's results were drastically improved.
One potential factor is the affect of having cancer, a widely reported prognosis of worse than 50% chance of survival, brain surgery, and extreme (transient) weight loss. Surely that course of events will have a psychological impact on anyone, and it seems likely to me that it will have also some non-trivial effect on the hormonal and endrocrine systems.

I think as a community we tend to discount these effects, but it appears to me that the reasons for discounting are not objectively justified.

Why not believe that some of the improvement is due to more effective "preparation", some to loss of shoulder musculature with an increase in the legs/core, some to better off-season focus, and some to just "wanting it more"? That Armstrong reacted mentally and physiologically to the cancer in a way that enhanced his performance?

Frankly, a combination of small factors is much easier for me to believe than the notion that Ferrari chose a unproven cancer survivor (including an experimental chemotherapy regimen intended to reduce damage to lungs) as the rider who would receive Ferrrari's best program. Wouldn't have Ferrari expected a better chance of success (and the financial reward) with a different rider?
According Lance he didn't lost much weight :
http://tcrc.acor.org/lance.html
What were the treatments you had?
One 3 week cycle of BEP here in Austin...outpatient...then I went to MD Anderson and then to Indiana University...I had the brain operation there the Thursday prior to my next chemo cycle and then started that the following Monday with 3 more cycles of VIP. The last VIP (chemos) were inpatient...cycles 3 and 4 I was sick as a dog, but I didn't lose any weight. One thing I don't understand--you're in this place where they're trying to make people better, trying to heal people--and they serve this food, it has to kill people! (laughs)
 
Jul 4, 2009
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KingsMountain said:
I don't think we know any of that, other than Armstrong's results were drastically improved.
One potential factor is the affect of having cancer, a widely reported prognosis of worse than 50% chance of survival, brain surgery, and extreme (transient) weight loss. Surely that course of events will have a psychological impact on anyone, and it seems likely to me that it will have also some non-trivial effect on the hormonal and endrocrine systems.

I think as a community we tend to discount these effects, but it appears to me that the reasons for discounting are not objectively justified.

Why not believe that some of the improvement is due to more effective "preparation", some to loss of shoulder musculature with an increase in the legs/core, some to better off-season focus, and some to just "wanting it more"? That Armstrong reacted mentally and physiologically to the cancer in a way that enhanced his performance?

Frankly, a combination of small factors is much easier for me to believe than the notion that Ferrari chose a unproven cancer survivor (including an experimental chemotherapy regimen intended to reduce damage to lungs) as the rider who would receive Ferrrari's best program. Wouldn't have Ferrari expected a better chance of success (and the financial reward) with a different rider?
...nice post...interesting perspective...but I'll have to say its way too reasonable for these here parts....where's the hate?...there are no boneheaded blunders...all those words and not one insult?...and you really gotta work on your turgidity....this is a tough crowd here and if you don't play by the rules the sharks will eat you....

...just look at what happened to poor Mr Krebs...he is now a husk of the man who started this thread...and I warned him I did...but he said it was a fine idea and I agreed it was...and bravely he pushed on...but I just knew...and sure enough, they came after him...relentless they were...he put up a good fight but they overwhelmed him in the end, they did...they have very strong beliefs and their own way of doing things here they do...and you mess with that at your peril....

Cheers

blutto
 
Jul 19, 2009
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silverrocket said:
Actually I understood exactly what he was saying, and why, and how it was linked to the conversation. You might want to check out that reading comprehension course you suggested for PouPou before you insult fellow forum members.
Thanks for your support.
 
KingsMountain said:
I don't think we know any of that, other than Armstrong's results were drastically improved.
One potential factor is the affect of having cancer, a widely reported prognosis of worse than 50% chance of survival, brain surgery, and extreme (transient) weight loss. Surely that course of events will have a psychological impact on anyone, and it seems likely to me that it will have also some non-trivial effect on the hormonal and endrocrine systems.

I think as a community we tend to discount these effects, but it appears to me that the reasons for discounting are not objectively justified.

Why not believe that some of the improvement is due to more effective "preparation", some to loss of shoulder musculature with an increase in the legs/core, some to better off-season focus, and some to just "wanting it more"? That Armstrong reacted mentally and physiologically to the cancer in a way that enhanced his performance?

Frankly, a combination of small factors is much easier for me to believe than the notion that Ferrari chose a unproven cancer survivor (including an experimental chemotherapy regimen intended to reduce damage to lungs) as the rider who would receive Ferrrari's best program. Wouldn't have Ferrari expected a better chance of success (and the financial reward) with a different rider?
None of which I dispute. But you seem to discount the tremendous boost LA got from Ferrari. He certainly didn't pay him all that money to just learn about better off-season focus and how to "want it more."

Otherwise we just accept the script. But none of that matters now, for USADA is re-writing it. It was about friggin time.
 
Jun 12, 2012
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My guess is that the military has the best data on PEDs. Which suggests a couple of questions.

Is there much PED knowledge transfer between military & sport? Of particular interest, does the military outsource PED research to civilian scientists?

What protocols are in place when an experimental drug is tested by the military? How secure is the test stock?
 
May 26, 2010
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fepate said:
3) In 1998, being healthy again and on a doping program on par with the competition, he became a GT contender.
Vaughters dismissed this, as most teams doping dropped to virtually zero after Festina Scandal, as he found when JV joined Credit Agricole. So Armstrong/USPS were doping but most weren't as they were too scared.

He also had an exclsive deal with Ferarri, which meant all of Ferarri's other clients had to go else where and rebuild their doping programs. Another huge advantage in favour of Armstrong.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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rhubroma said:
In challenging a "concept that any average pro-level....." you are making a rather large assumption that I don't believe was ever put out here, at least not by the serious posters on this forum. You thus address a moot point, because most understand that doping alone does not make a Tour champion out of someone, however the actual change in the performance of LA is quite well known.
....and yet here you are making that assumption.....

rhubroma said:
None of which I dispute. But you seem to discount the tremendous boost LA got from Ferrari. He certainly didn't pay him all that money to just learn about better off-season focus and how to "want it more."
Yes it is plain for all to see that LA improved dramatically. In 1995 he places 36th and then 3yrs later he places 4th in the Vuelta and a year after that wins the TdF. This on its own isn't really that out of the ordinary, surely there are dozens of examples of riders who have improved 30 or 40 places in the TdF from 24 to 28yrs of age? Cadel Evans went from 60th in the Vuelta to 8th in the TdF in a single year and he did that without PEDs!! What IS astonishing however is the 6 extra wins in a row.

Now just answer me one thing. If, as you said above, you understand that performance is a combination of genetics, training and overall preparation, and PEDs, then how do you know whether he got a "tremendous" increase in performance from Ferrari's doping program as opposed to an average or good improvement from both training and the PEDs? Or maybe he improved "tremendously" due to training and overall preparation and had an "average" increase from Ferrari's program?

Many people have already said that he was doping in 1995, which implies he is actually worse than about 36th in reality and is thus already punching above his weight. So maybe he already has an "average" increase from PEDs. Everyone says he is "responder" so he must have. Now on top of that he would have needed at least another average or good increase in performance just to bust into the top 10, so if we add those together, it really means he needed a "tremendous" increase just to get there. But that wasn't good enough. Now we need to invoke a "virtually impossible" increase in order to win 7x in a row.

Not you, not me, not anyone on this forum knows the answers to these questions. I never claimed to know the answers and if you or anyone thinks I did, then you have completely misinterpreted and misunderstood everything I have written over the past week.

There is however, one thing that we do know (or least myself and a few others seem to be able to understand) which is the following....

Either a "tremendous" increase in performance from doping alone OR a "tremendous" increase in performance from training alone are LESS PROBABLE than a combination of "average" or "good" increases in both. If you don't understand why this is a fact, then do some reading in the field of statistical probability instead of whining at me about making assumptions.

People have accused me of making assumptions and yet you and others are making assumptions on a far grander scale than I ever have. I can barely even see through the thick fog of steam coming out of that boiling kettle of black pot.


edit: added some bait in the post, I wonder if it will get picked up ;)
 
May 14, 2010
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silverrocket said:
Actually I understood exactly what he was saying, and why, and how it was linked to the conversation. You might want to check out that reading comprehension course you suggested for PouPou before you insult fellow forum members.
I appreciate that you have risen to the defense of a fellow forum member who you feel has been unfairly disparaged. You are, however, wrong. Let's review.

The ostensible subject of this thread is "the effect of PEDs on cycling performance." What has been discussed through most of the thread, however, is Armstrong and whether he'd have won one or more GTs without PEDs. Poupou has been participating in this discussion, and at one point even provided an attractive chart.

I said

Maxiton said:
As for whether he'd have ever won a Tour without the enhancement and protection: that's really a way of asking if he was somehow deserving, from a sporting standpoint, of any part of his success, I think. And the sad thing is, there's no way of answering that question with any certainty. In the end it doesn't really matter, though. Because none of those Tours was a real contest.
I was postulating something, in other words, about the nature of our discussion, about its very basis: if what we were really asking, unconsciously, was whether LA deserved any part of his success.

My answer was that, in the first place, it doesn't matter, because how he would have performed in a PED-free environment is pure conjecture. It doesn't matter for a more fundamental reason, I added, and that is that none of these Tours was a real sporting contest, anyway (the outcomes being effectively predetermined) - and therefore the critical factor we are occupied with trying to pin down - namely, native athletic ability - is not correlate to them. (That's the long-winded, remedial way of saying it.)

To this, PouPou responded

poupou said:
If I robbed a bank is it correct because I could have earn that monnay by work?

There is no reason to consider if Lance or any dopers deserve their cheated wins.
Wooosh. Clearly, he missed the entire thrust of my comment, thinking instead perhaps that it was I who asking whether LA deserved his wins, but in any case not understanding my point. Later I realized that English is not his first language, so perhaps that explains it.

Then you step in, and, well . . . here we are. I've resisted the urge to be nasty here, or cutting, but as I said up top, and as I hope you can now see and admit, both Poupou and you were wrong, and not reading very well.

And the only reason I haven't taken all this to PMs (for you mods who might be reading), is because I don't like being called out unfairly in public by people who don't make an effort to understand the conversation, number one; and, number two, my point about the nature of our discussion is viable, I think, and worth considering further.
 
Jun 28, 2012
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Benotti69 said:
Vaughters dismissed this, as most teams doping dropped to virtually zero after Festina Scandal, as he found when JV joined Credit Agricole. So Armstrong/USPS were doping but most weren't as they were too scared.
That was one team. Do you think it was the same at Telekom, Once, Mercatone Uno, Banesto, etc...?

He also had an exclsive deal with Ferarri, which meant all of Ferarri's other clients had to go else where and rebuild their doping programs. Another huge advantage in favour of Armstrong.
Already by 1998? How did he manage to do that?

Putting these together, though, is the theory that everyone else's doping programs got weaker until LA got Ferrari exclusivity and the UCI in his pocket. It's possible.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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There is one other thing that I'm really intrigued to find out. Since some of you seem to know exactly how much of an effect Ferrari's handiwork did for LA, surely you must know exactly what effect the PEDs had on all the other riders too?

So I want to know which riders actually were real racehorses and TdF contenders between 1999-2005 but had poor responses to PEDs. I also want to know how it is that you know they had poor responses to their doping regimes and how it is that you know Ferrari the alchemist was soooo much better than any other cheating doctor or how he was able to get soooo much more out of LA than any of his other clients despite the 50% hct rule.

edit: exclusivity deal with Ferrari? What evidence of this is there?
 
May 26, 2010
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Krebs cycle said:
There is one other thing that I'm really intrigued to find out. Since some of you seem to know exactly how much of an effect Ferrari's handiwork did for LA, surely you must know exactly what effect the PEDs had on all the other riders too?

So I want to know which riders actually were real racehorses and TdF contenders between 1999-2005 but had poor responses to PEDs. I also want to know how it is that you know they had poor responses to their doping regimes and how it is that you know Ferrari the alchemist was soooo much better than any other cheating doctor or how he was able to get soooo much more out of LA than any of his other clients despite the 50% hct rule.
A possible answer to the 50% rule and the effects of EPO can be judged in part by what a riders natural % was and then how much they could raise it to get it to 50%, so someone with a low % gets a bigger benefit and someone with a natural high % gets less as they can not raise it by using lots of EPO.

But then it appeard some rider's could raise it above 50% without fear.
 
May 26, 2010
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fepate said:
That was one team. Do you think it was the same at Telekom, Once, Mercatone Uno, Banesto, etc...?.

The evidence of Telekoms program has been written about. They stopped after Festina for a few years and didn't restart it till it was obvious they need to restart it.

Pantani was caught at the giro with a high % and he was not the same after. Whether his doctors dialled back his dosage or not who will ever know but he wan't the same from then.

Pantani talked about the fear in the peloton of hidden cameras in hotel rooms.

USPS it appears did not have that fear, which was obvious when Armstrong caught for steroid positive, produced a backdate tue after stating to the press he would never put anything not natural near his body again after cancer

fepate said:
Already by 1998? How did he manage to do that?.
i imagine we will soon know the near enough the time of the exclusive working deal between Ferarri and Armstrong.

fepate said:
Putting these together, though, is the theory that everyone else's doping programs got weaker until LA got Ferrari exclusivity and the UCI in his pocket. It's possible.
It is pretty obvious that Armstrong was a decent rider who could perform at 1 day races, but he never was a GT contender. He decided to change that with assistance. He managed to do it at a time when the sport was in the dumps and people were paranoid of getting caught by the police, not the UCI. He also had serious finacial backing which Verbruggen must have thought was desperately needed for the sport and the return from cancer story snowballed it. It was the perfect scenario to play out in the media for everyone, fans and sponsors. Pity they had the biggest sociopath in sport was the main character otherwise we probably wouldn't be here.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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Krebs cycle said:
....and yet here you are making that assumption.....


Yes it is plain for all to see that LA improved dramatically. In 1995 he places 36th and then 3yrs later he places 4th in the Vuelta and a year after that wins the TdF. This on its own isn't really that out of the ordinary, surely there are dozens of examples of riders who have improved 30 or 40 places in the TdF from 24 to 28yrs of age? Cadel Evans went from 60th in the Vuelta to 8th in the TdF in a single year and he did that without PEDs!! What IS astonishing however is the 6 extra wins in a row.
But we cannot differ Lance's improvement for PED' use or naturall improvement.
It has been reported that on long term, PED usage makes change on body.
I has also been reported that after a long usage of PED, an athlete that has become clean, still get an advantage for a period of 2 years.
 
Krebs cycle said:
....and yet here you are making that assumption.....


Yes it is plain for all to see that LA improved dramatically. In 1995 he places 36th and then 3yrs later he places 4th in the Vuelta and a year after that wins the TdF. This on its own isn't really that out of the ordinary, surely there are dozens of examples of riders who have improved 30 or 40 places in the TdF from 24 to 28yrs of age? Cadel Evans went from 60th in the Vuelta to 8th in the TdF in a single year and he did that without PEDs!! What IS astonishing however is the 6 extra wins in a row.

Now just answer me one thing. If, as you said above, you understand that performance is a combination of genetics, training and overall preparation, and PEDs, then how do you know whether he got a "tremendous" increase in performance from Ferrari's doping program as opposed to an average or good improvement from both training and the PEDs? Or maybe he improved "tremendously" due to training and overall preparation and had an "average" increase from Ferrari's program?

..... ;)
This is getting a bit tedious, here you have said the same things which you have always been saying about what I said in my propositions to the inquires laid down in this thread. Though L. A.'s curve was more exceptional because, unlike Cadel who risked winning his first Giro and Ulrich who won his first Tour, Lance was slow in each of his first Tours.

Go look back and read my analysis, in which I have always maintained that I think it was a combination of factors, with the added benefit of possible drugs and methods that were unknown in the peloton at the time. The latter giving him an unnatural edge, even within the doped peloton, that made him the greatest "champion" at the Tour. But it was a scam and the drugs, not the determination and will, became the decisive factor.

An interesting article was published today in Sports Week of la Gazzetta dello Sport by noted Italian cycling journalist Pier Bergonzi called Lance Armstrong: Angelo o Demone. As Bergonzi notes there had been speculation years ago that Armstrong was on a special PEDs program: "When he surprisingly conquered his first Yellow Jersey in 1999 there were already skeptics, behind the scenes innuendos and accusers of all sorts. Without officially coming forward, some were sustaining that he would have had the advantage of using still other pharmaceuticals from his cancer treatments, while others hypothesized having recourse to genetic doping."

What were these possible drugs? What access to US treatments did Lance get? What advantage does Ferrari give him by working exclusively with Armstrong? These are questions I hope the USADA will answer for us.

Then, as Bergonzi points out, Lance was able to pass nearly 500 tests (Ferrari?) prevented Walsh's L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong from being published in England and, following a law suit, even get a public apology from the Sunday Times!

That's power and influence no lying, bully of a doper should have.
 
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