Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs? Behold our shock!

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Theatregirl1122, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    I figured we should get a thread to talk about this so that the Cycling News thread can be left for... Cycling news as opposed to the Lance Armstrong circus. Especially with the Cycling season actually being about to start. Especially since a few people mentioned they were looking for one.
     
  2. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    I know nothin' excpet about Lance Armstrong except he was an ass to Sheryl Crowe. I just like Oprah. I thought she conducted a very good interview. I like her channel, even if I don't watch it that much. I like the Lisa Ling specials.
     
  3. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Oh, for sure - I am shocked that the guy who beat all the dopers (and, to give credit where it's due - some riders who were clean) turns out to have doped extensively himself. Stunning turn of events.

    I wonder what kind of behind the scenes legal maneuvering is going on, considering the sheer scope of legal issues that this confession can lead to - and not just financial liability.

    Anyway, just to address something that came up in the cycling thread: it's possible to have been a doper and a jerk in some contexts and to still have done good work for cancer patients and their loved ones. These things are not mutually exclusive. Armstrong shouldn't be off the hook because of his philanthropic work, but I don't feel whatever good he has done should be dismissed because of his doping, either.

    I'm glad there is now a separate thread. I'm not a huge cycling fan so the cycling thread is where I get caught up on the news and fun stuff - and I'd rather read about actual races and riders and not just the Armstrong saga.
     
  4. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I wonder if the good work is being called into question to - this is from an article in the Globe and Mail rounding up reactions to the interview:

    Not saying this is true because I know little about it, but he wouldn't be the first celebrity to start a foundation for tax and image reasons, and those yellow bracelets did as much for his personal brand as for their inspirational message and fundraising. True, a lot of money has been raised in his name and hopefully a lot of good work done, but it now seems as though the cost of that work has been enormous (ie negatives weighed against positives).
     
  5. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Now ubering Machida's hair

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    I think it was John Coughlin who wore a livestrong bracelet at skate America - I was surprised anyone was still wearing them, since I think dope and not cancer fight when I see them...

    Even though it is no surprise now that he was doped, I think that the confession is significant anyway. He is more than a very successful cyclist (I don't follow cycling at all), he is a hero, a symbol, an idol of what you can overcome, and how well you can succeed. As Jenny quote shows above, people get upset when their heroes fail...
     
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I have a lot of problems with Livestrong. Not the least of which is, their message seems to rest on "if you think positive and are strong, you can beat this". So what happened to all the people who die of cancer? They didn't think positively enough?
     
  7. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Charity Navigator rates Livestrong pretty highly. I know a lot of people take issue with the fact that their focus is not on funding research, but I believe they do good work in providing various types of assistance and support to cancer patients and their families, and awareness related initiatives (e.g. reducing stigma and barriers to cancer detection?). That's valuable. I think at this point, considering the scope of the positive work associated with Armstrong versus the offenses he has committed, the positives still outweigh the negatives. This is not a Penn State type situation.

    If someone's view of Armstrong was entirely dependent on his having raced clean, I can see how that person would be severely disappointed and disillusioned. However, from the interview transcripts, it didn't seem to me that Armstrong used cancer as an excuse for his actions; he used the "everyone was doping and I'm flawed" line of reasoning. I never thought Armstrong was clean, and didn't idolize him, but I think the idea of someone who beat cancer and became the best was something a lot of people hung on to during difficult time, and I am sorry that this has ended in disappointment for them. However, I am happy that this story as it was known then - even though it turned out to be based on obviously false premises - gave them hope and encouragement at a time when they needed it.
     
  8. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    The most surprising thing about the interview for me was that the beginning of the interview, where he admitted to using all those various performance enhancing drugs, was the least offensive part of the interview. He came off even worse in the rest of the inteview. He did not seem at all contrite and I didn't find him at all believable. Most of all he seemed like a grade A a$$hole. One of the saddest things for me is that he came out of his fight against cancer with the most important thing in his life being to win at any cost, including drugging the body he had just saved and destroying people who had been his friends while he was fighting cancer. It's amazing how much more I dislike this guy after watching the interview, and it's not because he used drugs because I already knew that before watching the interview.
     
  9. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    Spot on, Allskate. He showed absolutely no remorse, and came off as a very unlikeable person. If he's seeking redemption, I'm not sure this will that interview is going to deliver for him. (Still wondering exactly what he was hoping to accomplish by the interview. Given his lack of contrition, it seems rather ill-conceived.)
     
  10. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I am very curious as to what exactly Armstrong is seeking. I'm really not sure, but I imagine that if he'd wanted to come across as contrite he would have managed it. I suspect there's something else at play here. Or maybe he's just had enough of lying and wants it to be over with? Years of keeping secrets, lying and doing various unsavory things to perpetuate these secrets and lies aren't good for the soul.

    Or maybe a different reason will be revealed in the second part of the interview?
     
  11. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    When he was diagnosed with testicular cancer - my first thought was the performance enhancing drug use relationship. One of the oncologists that I knew talked about this relationship when a young football player (in high school) developed testicular cancer.

    I don't think that anyone is really surprised and like Zemgirl I wonder the what's in it for him.
     
  12. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not at all surprised to see John (or anyone) still wearing a Livestrong bracelet. Many of my friends (and I) have been wearing them for years and I don't know anyone who has stopped. Because it was never about Lance Armstrong for them. It was about supporting loved ones who have fought and are fighting cancer.

    As far as the message being "if you think positively, you can beat this!"... well, I don't think it is intended as some sort of affront to people who have lost their lives to cancer. It's just that "no matter what you do, you're dead!" isn't much of an inspirational message. People want to feel like there is something they can do to fight, even if they won't win.
     
  13. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    I pretty much agree with this. He donated 'tainted' money for cancer research. If it saved lives, that should not let him off the hook. What bothered me the most about Armstrong was not the drug use but the way he destroyed whoever said (truthfully) that he used drugs.

    It is possible for a person to truly feel sorry and to become a very different person. However...........

    Watching his face, I did not get the feeling that he was truly contrite. He came across as a businessman who got caught with a bad product and had to answer his customers. I wouldn't buy a thing from that guy.

    On CNN some lawyers were asked about potential lawsuits. Chances are he could lose upto 90 million, but he already has about 125 million, and he is not likely to serve time in prison. So even if he gets sued, pays off, he still has about 35 million to live on- more than comfortably.
     
  14. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Well, it depends where he is living...
     
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Not only is the latter not an inspirational message, it's also an all too common belief that is very harmful. Too many people avoid screenings that could save their lives because of fatalistic beliefs regarding cancer and other misconceptions. There are cultures where cancer patients are made to feel like they have no hope and in some cases, like they have done something to deserve their illness. There's a lot of work still to be done in addressing stigma and misconceptions about cancer and in making sure that people not only have access to screening and treatment, but that they are able to use this access and to get whatever support they need.

    Finally, while positive thinking in itself can't beat cancer, it does help to approach treatment in as positive a frame of mind as possible.
     
  16. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    I don't follow cycling, but watched the interview out of curiosity, and I came away with similar feelings to what someone posted in the cycling thread. I don't like the doping but could get past it, but what makes me angry is the way he treated people who made allegations against him. If he hadn't gone on the offensive like that, I don't think I'd be as convinced that he's an asshole. Also, with his history of lying, I really don't believe much of what he says now...if I had to hazard a guess, I wouldn't be surprised that a lot of the allegations he denied are actually true.

    One part that confused me - does anyone have any theories on why he refused to comment on Betsy Andreu's statements? Her statement was fairly mild (and nothing more than he's already admitted to now), so I'm not sure why he can't answer and say it's true.
     
  17. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Why is that?
     
  18. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I think it can help in coping with what is a very difficult and scary experience, and in drawing upon available resources and sources of support. But I'll admit I'm not familiar with the research on this subject, so I could be wrong. I do stand by what I wrote in the main paragraph of my previous post, however.

    As I understand it, the Andreus divulged information that they had heard Armstrong share with his doctors when he was diagnosed with cancer. While this was originally done as sealed testimony, they later shared the story with anyone who'd listen. Even when someone is a jerk, I think revealing that kind of private medical information, in that manner, is wrong -and considering the other stories they had to tell, unnecessary.

    So, my theory: perhaps Armstrong feels that this crossed a line, but doesn't want to lie outright or to get into a public argument with Betsy Andreu again? It would do him no good in his current position.
     
  19. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    My biggest problem with Armstrong is not the doping because at that time it was systemic on the Tour. The fact that no one was awarded Lance's former titles is telling and sad. My biggest problem with Armstrong is that he went after people who dared to tell the truth. That he sued folks for lying when he knew the truth is warped and mean. I think he is a sociopath.
     
  20. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    The whole cycling world is rotten to the core. Armstrong despite all his doping is just a product of his environment. But he certainly has a long way to go to make amends to all the people he hurt.
     
  21. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing sympathetic about Lance Armstrong. Reprehensible man.

    For all the lies he told and all the lives he ruined, zero respect for this man.

    Why admit it now? He hopes to gain something, he didn't do what he did for the last decade+ to suddenly feel the urge to clear his conscience. The man wants something and I only hope Americans aren't stupid enough to give it to him again. He isn't sorry, he's calculating.
     
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  22. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Also, spending months believing that you're going to die isn't a way to live. It's one thing to prepare a will, it's another to stop making plans for the future because you don't believe there will be a future.

    Armstrong is an asshole, but it doesn't negate the fact that he came back from cancer to be a professional cyclist. He didn't dope merely to get back on the bike - he doped to win. Getting back on the bike after cancer was all him. I think there is still some inspiration there. But general role model? No way.
     
  23. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    Isn't a possible side effect of prolonged steroid use testicular cancer? Isn't that what Armstrong had?
     
  24. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Now ubering Machida's hair

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    I guess that does make a lot of sense.
     
  25. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    At first, I thought he might be doing the interview to try to be able to compete in triathlons and maybe as a prelude to writing a book. Now, I think he also thought that, if he admitted to doping during his winning Tours, he could use the opportunity to look like he was now being honest and continue to lie about other things like whether he pressure the UCI to hide his drug use, whether he doped after the winning Tours, and whether he pressured other people to use drugs.

    To me, the biggest mistake Armstrong made in the interview was his discussion of Betsy Andreu. The fact that, after all he did to her, he refused to admit that she had been telling the truth shows just what a scumbag he is. His defense that at least he didn't all her fact shows how clueless he is about basic decency. He is so lacking in decency and integrity than he can't even fake it effectively. I don't give a rip that this was private medical information that Betsy revealed. She was subpoenaed to testify under oath and she was right to tell the truth. The fact that she would not retract it later when Armstrong pressured her to do so is no kind of rationalization for what Armstrong did to her and her family. Any person with a shred of decency would know that. And yet he still can't do the right thing.

    This interview showed just what a total scumbag he is, and I'm betting there's worse, and that he will continue to be a liar for the rest of his life whenever it is in his own interest to lie.
     
  26. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more. I'd like the media to focus more on Betsy and the other lives he tried to ruin so that they can all get the recognition and healing they need and deserve.
     
  27. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree that a positive attitude is a good method of coping. But it's the "you *can* beat this" part that's problematic IMHO. People die of cancer, and that outcome often has nothing to do with how positive their attitude is or isn't.

    The other issue that I see with the message of positivity is that it doesn't leave space (for lack of a better word) in people's experiences to be scared, sad, depressed, in pain, and so on - which are inevitably going to happen, no matter how positive-thinking you are. IME what this leads to is people being encouraged, implicltly or explicitly, to ignore or downplay emotions that should really be recognized as part of the experience and managed as such, not treated as something wrong that wouldn't happen if they were positive enough.
     
  28. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    W/me, it was his eyes. They never changed and were ice cold the entire time. There was no emotion there at all.

    Yeah, that one had me wondering too. Only thing I could think of was possible law suits, but over what in this case? Betsy had every right to be as upset as she was last night on Anderson 360. Especially after...

    I still can't wrap my brain around that one. Did he really think saying what he did about how he basically ruined her life in a very public and calculated way and tossing off w/, "Yeah, I said all those things, but I never called her fat..." would make him look good? When he did that, I looked at Mom and she looked at me and we both could *ot* believe he not thought it was a smart thing to do, but to think that and then to say it? I.....Unreal.

    Mom intends on watching Part Two tonight. I've seen enough.
     
  29. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

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    The difference between this interview and clips they played of his 2005 tesimony was striking to me- it looks like he's much more comfortable lying than he is in telling the truth.
     
  30. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    ITA with this. When I was a cancer patient, admitting any of the negative emotions was met with 'stay positive'. Ugh.

    I've never purchased anything labelled 'Livestrong' because it always seemed like his personal brand and more about promoting Lance Armstrong than anything to do with cancer research or supporting cancer patients. That's my own personal perception but it was enough to keep me away.
     
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