Lance's program was superior? The evidence

There have long been allegations that Armstrong’s TDF success resulted from not simply doping, but having access to superior drugs and/or superior methods for using the same drugs used by other riders. Several months ago I asked someone on this forum who makes this claim, I can’t remember who, to gather and post all the available evidence for this. So far as I know, he never did.

It seems to me that this would be a good time to revisit this issue. Here are some of the possible ways in which LA might conceivably have obtained an edge over rivals we now know were doping, such as Ulle, Basso and Vino.

1) unique drugs - the SI story’s discussion of HemAssist raises the possibility that LA was using a blood booster that could not have been detected at the time. In addition to the difficulty in obtaining this or another HBOC, though, there are questions about both it’s safety and efficacy. We will probably have to wait to see what comes out of Novitzky’s investigation. Another possibility is per fluorocarbons (PFCs), but as far as I know, no evidence has come to light that LA might have used these. Still another possibility is the use of advanced forms of EPO, such as CERA, ahead of the time during which they became fairly widely available to the peloton. There was a window when they could not be detected, so that any rider using them during this period would not have even had to microdose, the usual way of avoiding detection.

Are there any other drugs that are performance enhancing, were not in use as far as is known by the peloton during the Armstrong years, and which he might have used? I’m not going to discuss gene doping, though it can’t be entirely ruled out.

2) superior program - It’s well established that LA was advised by Ferrari for many years, and the recent evidence from the raid on Popo’s house suggests that he might never have terminated this association, despite his claim to have done so following Ferrari’s legal troubles. The key questions here are, did Ferrari make available to LA procedures that were 1) clearly superior to those other riders were using; and b) intended exclusively for LA’s use? I would like someone here to address the first point in detail, if possible. How, specifically, could Ferrari have provided to LA information that would have enabled him to get more performance benefit than other riders? With respect to the second point, it has been claimed that LA was Ferrari’s sole client during much of this TDF success. However, as far as I know, this is based on negative evidence. No other rider is known for certain to have been associated with Ferrari during this period. I’m quite sure Ferrari himself has never discussed this.

Another relevant question is, if LA was indeed Ferrari's sole client, how did he make this arrangement? Was he really capable of outspending any of his rivals, even before he won his first Tour? Did Ferrari want to focus solely on LA? But if so, why, given that LA showed less promise initially as a GT rider than several if not many of his contemporaries?

3) help from UCI - It has also been alleged that LA was able to avoid being tested at critical times, or that incriminating test results were covered up. In support of this we have long known about the backdated TUE, and now the SI story discusses several T/E positives that, strangely, could not be confirmed with positive B samples. There have been several stories of LA being warned in advance of testers. There is also indirect evidence, such as LA’s donations of money for equipment to UCI, which strongly suggests a conflict of interest. What other evidence do we have of this relationship?

I would love to see any other information related to the question of superior performance enhancement discussed here.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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That's a mighty big post. Maybe answers a little at a time? The exclusivity arrangement is detailed in "Lance Armstrong's War" By Coyle. Ferrari himself told this to the Author.

Many bales of media hay had been made questioning Armstrong's continuing relationship with Ferrari. Many observers, including three-time winner Greg LeMond had condemmed Armstrong for the association. They pointed darkly to Armstrong's apparent reluctance to reveal the relationship, which was brought to light in 2001. They archly wondered why Armstrong kept Ferrari on exclusive contract (Ferrari can work with other riders, provided they are not Tour contenders), and raised the question of whether Ferrari had a more vital impact than Carmichael on Armstrong's success.
P. 113
Lance Armstrong's war: one man's battle against fate, fame, love, death
 
Jul 29, 2010
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TheComeBackKid said:
...most guys who had team backed programs during Armstrong's era know he was just a better cyclist than they were.
??

I think you're missing the part about the exclusive agreement w/ Ferrari.
I think you're missing the part about having a team that allows you to ride a few Spring Classics "just for training" and base your whole season around a few weeks in July.
I think you're missing the part about operating w/ impunity vis-a-vis the UCI. The tipoffs, the payoffs, the buried postives, the cups of coffee in the hotel lobby while you get ready upstairs.

Yeah, other than all that, he was not a bad cyclist by any right. :rolleyes:
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Armstrong lost his nuts or atb least one of them and with kemo he probably lost testosterone production from the other one. poor old Lance.
But he would have a TUE for some sort of hormone replacement that is for sure and no one will find out what that is it locked away with US cycling and WADA under privacy laws.

His testosterone must stay below a level that is not performance enhancing but there all sorts of manipulations that experts can do with that hormone replacement. get the most out of it and still be below the requirement of WADA.

Testosterone alone is no use in Cycling it helps recovery and possible strengthens muscles to some degree. But it also hinders breathing and causes joint pain in high doses. again different levels of the hormones that come from testosterone are manipulated to produce different effects.

He will get away with any drug investigation regardless but if they find any financial issues relating to use of public money USPS he is gone. That is what this investigation will prove.
 
Merckx index said:
1) unique drugs - ... Another possibility is per fluorocarbons (PFCs), but as far as I know, no evidence has come to light that LA might have used these...
I may be picking nits but there's no evidence either way. I read the above as assuming he didn't take per fluorocarbons. If you start with "I just don't know." it leave open many more possibilities!

Merckx index said:
Still another possibility is the use of advanced forms of EPO, such as CERA, ahead of the time during which they became fairly widely available to the peloton. There was a window when they could not be detected, so that any rider using them during this period would not have even had to microdose, the usual way of avoiding detection.
Don't underestimate Pat losing a few adverse analytical findings. Hein might have needed to bring in a fixer. I think we'll never know unless the FDA can get the Swiss to bring some heat on Pat and Hein.

Merckx index said:
Was he really capable of outspending any of his rivals, even before he won his first Tour?
Armstrong had Tailwind principals with plenty of money. Money to blow up the myth was the least of his problems.

Merckx index said:
Did Ferrari want to focus solely on LA? But if so, why, given that LA showed less promise initially as a GT rider than several if not many of his contemporaries?
Money would be a decent motivator.

Merckx index said:
3) help from UCI - .... What other evidence do we have of this relationship?
What you wrote seems like enough to me. Add to it as of the last 48 hours, Pat still has man-love for Armstrong and has effectively thrown Contador out of the UCI because of a WADA leak, not because Pharmador had a positive....
 
Mar 13, 2009
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private planes
drug smuggling
UCI complicty
positive cover-ups
random ooc testing tip-offs
Weisel USAC
Bristol Myers Squib or Merck
3 Spanish docs
Ferrari
Verbruggen
backdating
Caitlin
horse steroids
hemassist
drug couriers avec panniers
US economy behemoth myth insofar as the procycling economy multiplier effect
 
Aug 4, 2009
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blackcat said:
private planes
drug smuggling
UCI complicty
positive cover-ups
random ooc testing tip-offs
Weisel USAC
Bristol Myers Squib or Merck
3 Spanish docs
Ferrari
Verbruggen
backdating
Caitlin
horse steroids
hemassist
drug couriers avec panniers
US economy behemoth myth insofar as the procycling economy multiplier effect
All armstrong needs is a good Doctor who can manipulate his Testosterone replacement because any odd blood values can be put down as metabolites of exogenous testosterone and there is no proof.
Testosterone can be used to increace the red blood cells and many other things if used in such a way.

Originally Posted by Merckx index
Did Ferrari want to focus solely on LA? But if so, why, given that LA showed less promise initially as a GT rider than several if not many of his contemporaries
They will never get him on blood or drugs he and his doctors are too smart
Ferrari would have noted the TUE for testosterone the cancer drugs and whatever and seen it as a way to make money.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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I'll be happy if Lance gets busted; nonetheless, I have never believed that Ferrari had access to all sorts of knowledge and supplies that would have eluded Luigi Cecchini. Thus, the "superiority" of Lance's "program" has never been an issue that has gotten me particularly excited.
 
ergmonkey said:
I'll be happy if Lance gets busted; nonetheless, I have never believed that Ferrari had access to all sorts of knowledge and supplies that would have eluded Luigi Cecchini. Thus, the "superiority" of Lance's "program" has never been an issue that has gotten me particularly excited.
You seem to be an exception here. Again and again and again and again, I see posters here who insist that LA was not simply enhanced, but had a better program than his rivals. That since he showed no early signs of being a GT-type of rider, he must have had stuff that was not available to the much more talented riders that he came to dominate. I think it's fair to say that a great deal of the heat that LA takes on this forum originates from this belief, that he was more than simply another doper who got away with it.

Yet when I ask someone, anyone to back up these claims, there is nothing substantial. Ferrari? As you say, it's hard to believe he was that much more knowledgeable than other doping docs. And I still haven't received a good answer to why Ferrari would have been willing to work exclusively (if indeed he really did) with a cancer survivor who had shown no prior GT potential. Money? So LA before the 99 Tour had more money than any other rider in the peloton?

The same could be said about the cozy relationship with UCI. There does seem to be some evidence for this. But if this is really the case, how did the relationship begin? Why LA? Did UCI just decide it wanted a cancer survivor as the poster boy for pro cycling? Was this decision made even before the 99 Tour, when LA was still under most people's radar as a contender?

Or was it a drug that no one else had? What? HemAssist? The current thread on that raises plenty of questions as to its effectiveness. Even if it was effective, we do know that riders not named Armstrong were using it, or intending to use it. So if it was a genuine super-drug, it seems unlikely LA was the only taking advantage of it.

I'm not saying that none of these things is possible. I'm just saying that given how flat-out certain many posters in this forum seem to be that LA had advantages that his rivals did not--that "they were all doing it" does not go far enough--I'm a little astonished that when the question of evidence is put to them point blank, they have so little to say.
 
Jan 20, 2011
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ergmonkey said:
I'll be happy if Lance gets busted; nonetheless, I have never believed that Ferrari had access to all sorts of knowledge and supplies that would have eluded Luigi Cecchini. Thus, the "superiority" of Lance's "program" has never been an issue that has gotten me particularly excited.
I'm sort of inclined to think this was also a mental edge over his TdF competitors. Similar to HemAssist- I have something that you don't have and I'm going to kick your ****.

If a bunch of people on a forum can buy the 'superior plan' I'd say other cyclists probably felt the same.
 
Oct 7, 2010
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Think about this, if it wasnt on an anonymous tip, would any of the labs known about CLEAR?

If the USOC wasnt sent a certain syringe a few years ago, would they known about about Balco?

There are hundreds of drugs that never hit the market, some of those get stolen for other parts of the world to copy and try. There are dozens of cocktails to try and find out what works best on a rider.
 
Jul 2, 2009
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PotentialPro said:
Think about this, if it wasnt on an anonymous tip, would any of the labs known about CLEAR?
Eventually, they would. There were patent applications for it and lots of companies track patent applications (WADA probably do too).
 
May 26, 2010
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Ferarri worked exclusively with Armstrong, dropping a lot of others. where did they go for their programs? Ferarri was one of the first Doctors to implement EPO programs.

but he had something superior. why? well you dont go from finishing nowhere for years to winning 7 in a row without a better program than the riders who are talented GT riders.
 
Aug 1, 2010
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Merckx index said:
Why LA? Did UCI just decide it wanted a cancer survivor as the poster boy for pro cycling?
That is something that puzzles me. It doesn't make a great deal of sense when you look at it. There are several maybes I can concoct, but they are all just guess work.

But perhaps I am looking at it from the wrong direction. Perhaps UCI didn't decide, as such (and never did). Perhaps it was a deal 'put to them' so to speak. I mean, if Armstrong did have a superior training programme and preparation method - is it beyond possibility that he made inquiries, spoke to the right people, made it worth their while etc etc etc??? Slowly and gradually formed mutually beneficial relations with key individuals?? It's all just conjecture on my part, not even conjecture really, it's way looser than that.

What I am saying is that there are always many possible ways to get where we are. The seemingly most obvious way is not necessarily the one that was taken.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Muriel said:
That is something that puzzles me. It doesn't make a great deal of sense when you look at it. There are several maybes I can concoct, but they are all just guess work.

But perhaps I am looking at it from the wrong direction. Perhaps UCI didn't decide, as such (and never did). Perhaps it was a deal 'put to them' so to speak. I mean, if Armstrong did have a superior training programme and preparation method - is it beyond possibility that he made inquiries, spoke to the right people, made it worth their while etc etc etc??? Slowly and gradually formed mutually beneficial relations with key individuals?? It's all just conjecture on my part, not even conjecture really, it's way looser than that.

What I am saying is that there are always many possible ways to get where we are. The seemingly most obvious way is not necessarily the one that was taken.
Maybe things would have been different if Ullrich and Pantani had ridden the 1999 Tour, if Marco had not been kicked out of the Giro. What if Armstrong had lost time in the crash on the Passage du Gois, Jan had won the first TT and taken the jersey, and Pantani had won Sestrieres? One thing seems certain is that media became very interested in the Tour of redemption/resurrection after Armstrong won the prologue and it built from there. If he hadn't figured it out before the Tour, Verbruggen surely identified Armstrong as his golden goose very quickly.
 
Epicycle said:
Maybe things would have been different if Ullrich and Pantani had ridden the 1999 Tour, if Marco had not been kicked out of the Giro. What if Armstrong had lost time in the crash on the Passage du Gois, Jan had won the first TT and taken the jersey, and Pantani had won Sestrieres? One thing seems certain is that media became very interested in the Tour of redemption/resurrection after Armstrong won the prologue and it built from there. If he hadn't figured it out before the Tour, Verbruggen surely identified Armstrong as his golden goose very quickly.
Exactly! The UCI have always kept their eyes out for stars to help promote the sport. The media had been loving LA even when he never finished a Tour. After the Festina scandal, it was no problem for them and the UCI to jump all over him and do anything and everything to keep another scandal from cycling; meaning no more positives please!
 
Mar 8, 2010
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Benotti69 said:
Ferarri worked exclusively with Armstrong, dropping a lot of others. where did they go for their programs? Ferarri was one of the first Doctors to implement EPO programs.

but he had something superior. why? well you dont go from finishing nowhere for years to winning 7 in a row without a better program than the riders who are talented GT riders.
This is because people like you can't accept that some human beings need a kick into the arsch to wake up and use the full potential.

It is not forbidden to improve and to focus.
 
May 26, 2010
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Cobblestoned said:
This is because people like you can't accept that some human beings need a kick into the arsch to wake up and use the full potential.

It is not forbidden to improve and to focus.
i fully accept that some people need a kick up the ****, a few post on here;)
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
i fully accept that some people need a kick up the ****, a few post on here;)
...could not have said it better myself...as always a very meaningful and well thought out contribution...we thank you so very much...

Cheers

blutto
 
May 26, 2010
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blutto said:
...could not have said it better myself...as always a very meaningful and well thought out contribution...we thank you so very much...

Cheers

blutto
i thank you, i'm here most evenings, remember to tip the fanboys:D
 
Oct 9, 2010
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My guess:

1. He was a risk taker, already before having cancer. He knew the world of doping.
2. He got cancer. Took good medicine. He might have had some experimental things as he's into that and his strong will doesn't settle with normal products. He knows some medics.
3. He felt good and returned to procycling, in a not so amazing American team with a former not so amazing Belgian rider as team director, who happened to be acquainted with Spain and some dinosaurs there who ruled UCI behind the scene.

Add some talent and you've got a winning combination
 
May 26, 2010
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Scatto said:
My guess:

1. He was a risk taker, already before having cancer. He knew the world of doping.
2. He got cancer. Took good medicine. He might have had some experimental things as he's into that and his strong will doesn't settle with normal products. He knows some medics.
3. He felt good and returned to procycling, in a not so amazing American team with a former not so amazing Belgian rider as team director, who happened to be acquainted with Spain and some dinosaurs there who ruled UCI behind the scene.

Add some talent and you've got a winning combination
i'm inclined to believe that when he got cured of cancer he felt that the his body would take to the PEDs like a duck to water like it did in curing his cancer. i dont believe he felt that his pre cancer steroid abuse caused it his illness.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Merckx index said:
You seem to be an exception here. Again and again and again and again, I see posters here who insist that LA was not simply enhanced, but had a better program than his rivals. That since he showed no early signs of being a GT-type of rider, he must have had stuff that was not available to the much more talented riders that he came to dominate. I think it's fair to say that a great deal of the heat that LA takes on this forum originates from this belief, that he was more than simply another doper who got away with it.

Yet when I ask someone, anyone to back up these claims, there is nothing substantial. Ferrari? As you say, it's hard to believe he was that much more knowledgeable than other doping docs. And I still haven't received a good answer to why Ferrari would have been willing to work exclusively (if indeed he really did) with a cancer survivor who had shown no prior GT potential. Money? So LA before the 99 Tour had more money than any other rider in the peloton?

The same could be said about the cozy relationship with UCI. There does seem to be some evidence for this. But if this is really the case, how did the relationship begin? Why LA? Did UCI just decide it wanted a cancer survivor as the poster boy for pro cycling? Was this decision made even before the 99 Tour, when LA was still under most people's radar as a contender?

Or was it a drug that no one else had? What? HemAssist? The current thread on that raises plenty of questions as to its effectiveness. Even if it was effective, we do know that riders not named Armstrong were using it, or intending to use it. So if it was a genuine super-drug, it seems unlikely LA was the only taking advantage of it.

I'm not saying that none of these things is possible. I'm just saying that given how flat-out certain many posters in this forum seem to be that LA had advantages that his rivals did not--that "they were all doing it" does not go far enough--I'm a little astonished that when the question of evidence is put to them point blank, they have so little to say.
...that is usually a problem when a supposed proper investigation is little more than back-filling a preconceived story line...a whack of smoke but not much flame...the hubriotic cloud that envelops his Lanceness certainly does much to colour the ongoing revision of the Lance story...but you are absolutely correct, there is surprisingly little to say...

...my favourite conspiracy tid-bit ( yes I inhaled a whack of that smoke ) is from a local cyclist/oncologist who was convinced that the secret is not in the drugs he took but in the masking potential of a drug that is used in the treatment of cancer that was apparently still used by LA after the official treatment was over...and as a bit of corroboration that this idea had legs, it was this drug that the reporter was originally looking for when he stumbled onto the now infamous EPO tests....and sorry no real hard evidence as this was a conversation with someone who has since moved on...just another wild-assed guess ????...but that reporter was motivated by something wasn't he?...and there are references to that story that may shed some light on the story or may just produce more smoke....so until real hard evidence surfaces the witch hunt continues...and that is too bad because the way it stands now everybody is a loser...

Cheers

blutto
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Benotti69 said:
i thank you, i'm here most evenings, remember to tip the fanboys:D
...so what would you consider a fair tip to be...and exactly to which group of fanboys would it be due?...

Cheers

blutto
 
May 26, 2010
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blutto said:
...so what would you consider a fair tip to be...and exactly to which group of fanboys would it be due?...

Cheers

blutto
i think they may cherish a yellow bracelet and it would be right.
 
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