Lance Armstrong’s personal Statement.

Via on Aug 23, 2012

Lance Armstrong: “My official statement regarding USADA’s pitiful charade.”

“Armstrong’s decision, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, means he will be stripped of his seven Tour titles, the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympics and all other titles, awards and money he won from August 1998 forward. It also means he will be barred for life from competing, coaching or having any official role with any Olympic sport or other sport that follows the World Anti-Doping Code.”

~ The New York Times.

We’ll always see him, in our mind’s eye, in yellow.

He was a champion who beat cancer, and attracted millions to the sport—and everyday activity—of cycling. Our debt to his leadership, magnetism and exertion will never be repaid.

He was a champion who beat cancer, but could not beat the USADA’s “witchhunt.”

Competing in a time when everyone doped, it’s likely he did so. Cyclists have told me he did so, and that everyone did so, and he had to compete, but that he would eventually be busted.

Well, seems like he made his move to end the punishing case against him before he was busted. Before he was damned in reality, or in the public eye. Either way, he must have figured, he’d lose in the end.

This way, he exits without admitting guilt, still proclaiming innocence, and with his personal reputation, if not his fame, public role or titles, intact. ~ ed.

~

Lance Armstong’s Statement of August 23, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas – August 23rd, 2012 – There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.

I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.

The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.

USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.

Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.

~

Background via NY Times:

… Armstrong was already a world-champion cyclist when he was found to have testicular cancer in 1996, at 25. He had a razor-thin chance of survival, but pushed ahead to beat the disease. He then showed superhuman strength and resilience by returning to cycling to win the Tour in 1999, gaining a mass of followers with almost a gravitational pull. They idolized him for showing that cancer could not stop him…

A tribute:

YouTube Preview Image

Via a friend of a friend:

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, a fascinating read is the wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_doping_cases_in_cycling

Some highlights:

1896 – Nitroglycerine…was credited with improving riders’ breathing. Riders suffered hallucinations from the exhaustion and perhaps the drugs. The American champion Marshall Taylor refused to continue a New York race, saying: “I cannot go on with safety, for there is a man chasing me around the ring with a knife in his hand.”

1924 – Henri is reported as saying “Do you know how we keep going? Look, this is cocaine, chloroform, too. And pills? You want to see pills? Here are three boxes – We run on dynamite.”

1930 – The acceptance of drug-taking in the Tour de France was so complete by 1930 that the rule book, distributed by Henri Desgrange, reminded riders that drugs would not be provided by the organisers…

A wise take via another friend of a friend:

“They all do it. Some of them get caught. Lance isn’t the hero we all wanted him to be, nor is he the demon he is painted as now. He did what he needed to win.

Pro RPS is immune to these scandals because a banned substance list is archaic and unenforceable.”

Relephant:

Video: Lance Armstrong with Oprah.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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30 Responses to “Lance Armstrong’s personal Statement.”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Some informed FB chatter via cycling insider pals'o'mine:
    http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/news/comme… Stripping Lance of his wins doesn't result in 7 clean riders being awarded TdF wins…

    Ryan: Which is why the sport deserves to admit to itself that no one won back then, and award them to no one.
    about an hour ago · Edited · Unlike · 1
    Rob: The other way to put it: Now 7 other dopers will be awarded tdf medals. Doesn't really make the results more fair. The results were fair as they stood as all the real gc contenders were dirty anyway. Look forward not backward.
    Or yeah, Ryan, no one won the tdf between 95 and 2007 because they were all losers.

    Ryan:
    Well if all the top 3 1999-2007, except one I think, have been tainted by doping, then yeah, no one won, maybe as I like to say 170 was clean, but anyways. USADA only takes away it does not give, UCI decides what to do with the titles. We'l
    l see how slimy the UCI is, which I think we already know the answer to that, I mean really this whole thing could have been a good old fashioned house cleaning, but LA didn't go to arbitration… Wonder why?

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Also via FB:

    Waylon: Sad. But, as always, he saw it coming and took the smartest path, if not the right path:

    Matthew: What is the right path, here, I wonder? His statement is very interesting, and to me, seems truthful.I agree the whole affair is sad but it doesn't diminish the good work he does for cancer warriors.

    Waylon Lewis Most "insiders" that I know here in Boulder seem to say and have said for years, duh, he doped, they all did, it was the only way to compete then since they all did…now that it's getting tighter I think that's changed. So even if it was technically illegal, and morally wrong, it was the only way to compete, it was an arms race in a way. So the right thing might be to admit to it all, and start fresh, but defeated. The smart thing is what he did: to exit, give up, without admitting guilt, and before the lengthy and public trial going through everything he did according to various colleagues.

    Waylon Lewis And, yah, I still admire and look up to him, no less. What he did for cycling and those dealing with cancer, as you mention, is unbelievable.

  3. Keith says:

    As you said, Waylon, if he cheated he was in a culture where everyone else was as well. So in a sense, his wins count. I hope they take the same vigor and determination to “bust” all the other Tour winners before and after as they have with him. It does seem, to my eye at least, indeed a bit of a witch hunt.

  4. Jamesw2 says:

    Under the rules he did not cheat. In order to cheat he had to be caught. LA was not caught either figuratively or literally. Travis Tygart should receive the same treatment as he gave. Accused, and banished based without a basis.
    I would like to see LA spend his last dime fighting Trgart but one learns patients and Tagert may himself be the item of an Inquisition some day without LA ever having to do anything but wait.

    LA do the yoga and let Karma do it;s thing

    • Ronna Holtz ronna26 says:

      Thank you James. He is the most tested athlete in history, and has never tested positive. There still is no proof. LA has spent most of his life fighting something or someone and I honestly cannot blame him for wanting out of the insanity. He will always be a hero to me and I will always see yellow when I think of him.

      • GeoffOfOz says:

        Wrong ther eis proof. That's what USADA had. The testimony of 10 former teammates, the results from the 2001 Tour de Suisse, the testimony of Pete Ashenden, former WADA expert analysis. tHere seems to be a fair bit of moral relativism here.

        i find it fascinating that on elephant, I site I love going to for great articles, there is a real reluctance to hold someone accountable for their misdeeds of the past. How he betrayed the very hope he inspired in people, be actively seeking to deceive the system. i say this with full knowledge of the dirty world that is cycling.

        Also why is he being chased when others aren't? Most of his former competitors have either admitted doping, implicate din doping rings, or slipped silently off the radar.

        What is most disppointing is that in the USA it seems there is disregard for cheating. WIn at all costs? Is that living the mindful life?

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  6. Kris says:

    Drugs or not…no one can ever take away the feat that Lance accomplished in overcoming life-threatening cancer to win, not once, but seven times, the most grueling competition there is. His strength and will power, his good work with his foundation will not be forgotten nor diminished by this “witch hunt” in my mind. And what is the point? What will this accomplish? It seems to me that it only serves a small-minded and unaccomplished man who wants to take Lance’s greatness for himself.

  7. Ryan says:

    You’d think beating cancer would be accomplishment enough, no? After that it seems these things should be of little importance.
    If breaking some rules regardless of the context in which they were broken is immoral or wrong , then it would seem we all have some morality issues. I do believe, however, we can derive much greater pleasure from ignoring and justifying our own issues while harshly judging those of others.

  8. yoga bear says:

    It is never about the cheating,stealing, or the lying. It is about denying what everybody knows is true. Has anyone learned anything from watergate. I have a lot of respect for Lance and I always believed that he cheated like almost everyone else in that sport. I respect him more for his fight with cancer than anything else. He has done a lot of good as a result and should be held in high reguard by everyone. I am ashamed at the witch hunt this has become. Congress has wasted our tax dollars to see if a few bloated ball players may have used some chemical help to launch those monsterous homers. This whole affair is embarassing. Keep doing your work in helping others in the fight against cancer and I will and have been a fan for life.

  9. Xerxes says:

    No doubt he probably cheated – everyone did, just like those in MLB did. My beef is with the USADA. I mean, how does it work that this one agency can trump the UCI, Tour de France and everyone else in taking away titles? It seems to me that cycling organizations have the jurisdiction to make such a call, not them.

  10. Greg Lemond says:

    Finally!

  11. Don says:

    The only thing that remains untarnished in Armstrong's sorry career is the lesson to be learned from his extreme hubris…the god's did make him mad with pride before they destroyed him. He didn't need to make the choices he made: Andy Hampsten didn't.

  12. Anita says:

    am I understanding the argument ? everybody did it so it makes it okay or at least defenseable???? really?

    • Don says:

      Great post re. Lance

    • yoga bear says:

      no, the defense is who cares who is doping or not. There is a price that is paid for cheating whether you are caught or not. It is the time and money spent to find out who is cheating. In cycling there is a culture of cheating like in no other sport, is that ok? i do not know. I would guess that he may regret that he circumvented the rules and has a regret about that. Welcome to the human race Lance. I was at where you were at once Anita, and I am not patronizing you, but I am saying -do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Have a great day

    • elephantjournal says:

      As I said above, this is simply "sad. But, as always, he saw it coming and took the smartest path, if not the right path." I'm not making an argument that what he did or didn't do was right. I still admire him greatly, in any case.

  13. LynnBonelli says:

    In my pea-brain I can't see any difference between elite athletes doping and the anorexic and/or air brushed images of models that everyone is up-in-arms about. The result is the same for us "average joes"…we idolize people who are not *real*…and we have no way of even approaching the bar set if we choose to live a moral and ethical life. If what is being said is true, and Lance only doped to remain competive, then how is that okay? It was still his choice. False advertising all around.

  14. Like It Or Not says:

    Cheaters cheat because they lack what it takes to play it straight.

  15. mark says:

    Another sad time for professional sports. As a child I was heart-broken when pitcher Whitey Ford, of my cherished Yankees, was caught doctoring a baseball. Devastated, I swore that I would never revere another sports star. But later I found myself drawn to Lance because I too cycled and it was such a great "feel-good" story with him winning all those TdF. I even found myself riding in Livestrong Foundation events to raise money for cancer awareness.

    I'm now older (and thought wiser…) and I am torn as to what side to come down on. Unlike Whitey ford, there was no tack found in his glove that scuffed the ball. Lots of innuendo and accusations, finger pointing and now, the inevitable lawsuits. I'm just sad. Sad for Lance, sad for clean riders, sad for myself.

  16. Joe Sparks says:

    Amazing what people will do to be loved!

  17. Steve says:

    Lance. You know in your mind how much you've advanced and contributed to the sport of cycling. Gears, frames etc all were advanced with many companies you helped to push the envelope. They signed on and I thank you. I read your books and was thrilled to see Radio Shack/LIVESTRONG ride like the wind when I visited Europe. A thrill and a dream executed. You are an incredible athlete Lance, do not ever forget that (I know you won't). It's not your style. You are also an incredible MAN in a time where Men need to step up in life and take action in the reality of this time in our lives. For this I thank you and have supported the LIVESTRONG Foundation.
    I would not like to be the Number 2's out there behind you receiving these unearned victories. Knowing who they are I'm sure they will not be claiming victory but will be behind you in a "got your back" representation. They know the truth. The same goes for our Olympians who have been stripped of victory. Not a well earned win and it would be hard to live with.
    Lance, I wish you peace for you and your family. I will continue to back you and as a result, so will all the companies who believe in you also, "have your back" because you do so much good for this whole messed up world and make us believe that we can all be champions like you. You inspire us.
    And Mr Tygart, I'm not sure why you have such a vendetta against what's making the world bright these days. I send you blessings for peace in your life. Do something really unique. Buy a bike and go for a ride.

  18. Poor poor Lance, such a martyr for the "witch hunt" over his lies for the past decade. I am glad that he is being exposed for the cheater that he really is. I don't care that he's done work for cancer, and blah blah blah. Surviving cancer doesn't negate being a liar. Starting a foundation and taking credit for being a hero doesn't erase the fact that you cheated. It really angers me that all these people are still defending and worshipping this guy. So everyone cheats and that makes it okay that our noble hero cheated too? Give me a break.

  19. Rick Elkin says:

    Lance, Lance King of France!!!
    Now and forever!
    That The US government continued its oppressive charade against the people should come as no surprise to anyone.
    As a cycling coach I can say Lance inspired more kids to train, race and become lifetime cyclists then you can imagine!
    His decision is admirable!

  20. Mark says:

    Until unquestionable proof from untainted/unbiased sources or the word's "I doped" come from Armstrong's very mouth, anyone stating he cheated or doped is stating nothing more than their opinion or their version of reality. "Everybody knows he doped" is laughable. There are a lot of people who assume he doped. Until that day happens he is still the legitimate winner of 7 Tours and one of the greatest cyclists to compete. And if that day comes, he will then be the smartest cyclist ever to compete because he was the most tested athlete and there has been the allegation of one "dirty" test.

  21. [...] Why do we constantly find ourselves justifying our actions? I mean, is it a form of compensation? [...]

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