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LA 84 - the blood-doped Olympics

Anyone here remember LA 84? Couple of Qs.

1) Was Sheila Young - Jim Ochowicz's wife - on the USCF board at that time? Know she was a board emmber, just don't know whan that was.

2) What did Och know? Given how many 7-Eleven riders he had on the team, did he know about it before the scandal broke in Rolling Stone? Before USCF found out about it? Before the Games?

Reason for my interest: http://cyclismas.com/2011/11/book-review-team-7-eleven-by-geoff-drake-part-3-of-a-series/
 
Nov 20, 2010
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fmk_RoI said:
Anyone here remember LA 84? Couple of Qs.

1) Was Sheila Young - Jim Ochowicz's wife - on the USCF board at that time? Know she was a board emmber, just don't know whan that was.

2) What did Och know? Given how many 7-Eleven riders he had on the team, did he know about it before the scandal broke in Rolling Stone? Before USCF found out about it? Before the Games?

Reason for my interest: http://cyclismas.com/2011/11/book-review-team-7-eleven-by-geoff-drake-part-3-of-a-series/
That is the past. Cycling must look to the future. Or something like that courtesy of Pat McQuaid.
 
Funny thing about Och-he was Armstrong's director sportif during his Motorloa days, yet when he won the Tour in 1999 I attended an even at Niketown in NYC where Lance was speaking (the turnout was OK but not huge, it was'nt a mob by any means at this point) and Och seemed like the odd man out, standing around after Armstrong left just like any other attendee.

He told us at the time he was working or looking for work in the financial sector, maybe as a broker or something. But he didn't seem to be part of the Armstrong entourage, not even as a hanger-on.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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fmk_RoI said:
Anyone here remember LA 84? Couple of Qs.

1) Was Sheila Young - Jim Ochowicz's wife - on the USCF board at that time? Know she was a board emmber, just don't know whan that was.

2) What did Och know? Given how many 7-Eleven riders he had on the team, did he know about it before the scandal broke in Rolling Stone? Before USCF found out about it? Before the Games?

Reason for my interest: http://cyclismas.com/2011/11/book-review-team-7-eleven-by-geoff-drake-part-3-of-a-series/

Everyone knew. Rebecca Twigg was from our neck of the woods and people were aware of it in the immediate years following. We all suspected she was publicity shy because it didn't sit well with her ethics. I think she was a bio-med grad and eventually a Phd. researcher so she would definitely understand the advantage. Either way it was no state secret because blood doping wasn't banned.
Assuming Eddie B didn't use other means would be naive and once USACycling got a big infu$ion after Olympic success; they never turned back.
 
Oldman said:
Everyone knew. Rebecca Twigg was from our neck of the woods and people were aware of it in the immediate years following.

Am I talking about years? No, I'm not. I'm talking about days, weeks and months, the time between the idea to do it, the execution of the plan, the internal investigation by the USCF's board and the media - Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrates, the NYT etc - splashing the story. I'm talking about the period between about May/June 84 and Jan 85.

So. If anyone can answer the question as it relates to that time period, an answer would be appreciated.
 
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Berzin said:
Funny thing about Och-he was Armstrong's director sportif during his Motorloa days, yet when he won the Tour in 1999 I attended an even at Niketown in NYC where Lance was speaking (the turnout was OK but not huge, it was'nt a mob by any means at this point) and Och seemed like the odd man out, standing around after Armstrong left just like any other attendee.

He told us at the time he was working or looking for work in the financial sector, maybe as a broker or something. But he didn't seem to be part of the Armstrong entourage, not even as a hanger-on.

Armstrong does not have friends, he has employees. Och is one of his best friends. Within months of that encounter Lance named him as Godfather of his first child.

Och went to work for Thom Weisel managing rich people's money. His key customer was Lance.

Eventually got back into cycling, where he ignored the obvious doping of many riders on his teams.
 
Race Radio said:
Armstrong does not have friends, he has employees. Och is one of his best friends. Within months of that encounter Lance named him as Godfather of his first child.

Och went to work for Thom Weisel managing rich people's money. His key customer was Lance.

Eventually got back into cycling, where he ignored the obvious doping of many riders on his teams.

But now Och has seen the light and is managing the new face of clean cycling, team Phon...I mean BMC.
 
fmk_RoI said:
Am I talking about years? No, I'm not. I'm talking about days, weeks and months, the time between the idea to do it, the execution of the plan, the internal investigation by the USCF's board and the media - Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrates, the NYT etc - splashing the story. I'm talking about the period between about May/June 84 and Jan 85.

So. If anyone can answer the question as it relates to that time period, an answer would be appreciated.

You are trying to establish some facts in a situation where the truth is obfuscated by blame shifting and it's made triply hard by the years passed and the specific time frame requested.

Les Earnest could probably give you some specifics from his side of the situation. (USCF big wig) http://www.stanford.edu/~learnest/cyclops/dopes.htm
 
DirtyWorks said:
..............
Les Earnest could probably give you some specifics from his side of the situation. (USCF big wig) http://www.stanford.edu/~learnest/cyclops/dopes.htm

That article reads like the script for a horror movie.
Although I have been aware of blood doping at the LA 84 olympics for a long-time, many, many years, I was not overly scandalized as the method wasn't prohibited at the time and many people disputed its effectiveness.

I hadn't heard in 1985 that there was a big scandal about it in the US.

What shocks me today is the role of Ed Burke in the overall scheme.

When I lived in the States I was an avid reader of his chronique in the ABLA monthly publication. I also have his books on training : high-tech cycling/Serious cycling ~1996(?).
In 1997, realizing that he was entering the Mount Evans hillclimb ( and in the same age group as myself at the start) I tried unsuccessfully to find him and talk to him.

All this to say that I was really shocked earlier this year to read about his role in that doping scandal, and it really is a scandal when you read the article mentioned above and how amateurish the whole enterprise was, putting people health at great risk (homologous !!! blood transfusions).

There is no mention of the road racing team being involved.

Were they trained/selected by another group in the USCF staff? (read "masking agent" contribution higher up)

Other question :

Any reason to suspect that Ed Burke premature death could be due to him trying new doping methods on himself - a la Conconi/Ferrari?
 
Oct 25, 2010
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masking_agent said:
funny you should bring up LA 84, as I was just mentioning the men's road race where a skinny "ectomorph" developed a better sprint than a "sprinter" and snatched gold away from him. :confused:

In the last year or so, Alexi has told the story of that day. Might have been on his website. He said that he played every member of that breakaway to convince them that he was just barely hanging-on, when in fact, he felt great. I remember the moment where we all thought Bauer was dropping him on the climb, but that was just the moment where Alexi tricked him into towing him the remaining 2-3 miles.

He also mentions the stupid vanity of Davis Phinney and his decision to wear a skinsuit instead of a jersey and shorts. Phinney had a very small pocket and carried just one banana that day, and basically, he started to bonk. He came up to what he thought was a "fried" Alexi and asked him for his food, and Alexi lied to him and said he was out (he wasn't). He felt Phinney would have won easily if it were not for his running out of food.

Also, if you watched the sprint, it was quite obvious that Bauer was way overgeared. Alexi knew it (as Bauer led it out), and he chose a gear that allowed him to make that killer jump at the end.
 
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Le breton said:
I hadn't heard in 1985 that there was a big scandal about it in the US.

It was. And it started in Fall of '84, not in '85.

Le breton said:
What shocks me today is the role of Ed Burke in the overall scheme.

Who brought you up? ;-)

Le breton said:
Other question :

Any reason to suspect that Ed Burke premature death could be due to him trying new doping methods on himself - a la Conconi/Ferrari?

There's a reason we call 'em "Masters Fatties". Did ya ever have a look at Ed's gut?
 
BotanyBay said:
In the last year or so, Alexi has told the story of that day. Might have been on his website. He said that he played every member of that breakaway to convince them that he was just barely hanging-on, when in fact, he felt great. I remember the moment where we all thought Bauer was dropping him on the climb, but that was just the moment where Alexi tricked him into towing him the remaining 2-3 miles.

He also mentions the stupid vanity of Davis Phinney and his decision to wear a skinsuit instead of a jersey and shorts. Phinney had a very small pocket and carried just one banana that day, and basically, he started to bonk. He came up to what he thought was a "fried" Alexi and asked him for his food, and Alexi lied to him and said he was out (he wasn't). He felt Phinney would have won easily if it were not for his running out of food.

Also, if you watched the sprint, it was quite obvious that Bauer was way overgeared. Alexi knew it (as Bauer led it out), and he chose a gear that allowed him to make that killer jump at the end.

Ahhh.. now we get the full scoop. Thanks for this.
 
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I remember that final sprint as if it were today. I knew Bauer had it lost the moment he gunned-it. He gritted his teeth and you could see how far he had to swing the bike to mash the gear he picked. Alexi didn't have to do much to cover the move, as Bauer's "jump" was like trying to get out of a vat of molasses. Alexi just spun a lower gear and rocketed right past him.

And Bauer very literally had to tow Alexi along over that last lap. They were away, but not by a whole lot. Alexi played the "I'm cooked" card very well, and Bauer just unwittingly played his role. If there is one thing Alexi was, was a great tactician. He beat the world that day, including his own team. Eddie B called everyone together before the start and said "Race for Phinney" and Alexi just nodded. FU buddy.
 

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The US road team did not partake in the blood doping (which involved too small quantities to even have a performance effect). The riders involved were
Steve Hegg, Rebecca Twigg, Pat McDonough, Leonard Nitz, John Beckman, Mark Whitehead and Brent Emery.