Lance Armstrong Not In JAIL

foolLance Armstrong Not In JAIL

There is an implication in the article quoted below that Armstrong could have his lifetime ban from cycling reduced. I’m sorry. I don’t understand. He cheated on a colossal and unprecedented scale. As far as I can tell he did everything to win but assassinate his opponents. He’s a serial liar and a wrongdoer. He has committed fraud and lied to every kind of media source and government agency imaginable, so why is he walking around free?

This is just a strange country.

Look at him, unembarassed, doing the talk shows, and apparently working on negotiating a return to cycling.

Lance Armstrong is a walking, talking repudiation of business ethics. He is a symbol of what’s wrong on in America – the focus on winning at all costs, a focus on the short term over the long term, a corporate flack approach to the truth as opposed to honesty, and last and most horrible, if you have enough money: you don’t pay penalties, you just walk.

What does this say to the millions of Americans involved in sports? What does it say to my college students? It says playing by the rules is for suckers. And the more that message is pounded into the population as the media still focus on this failed windbag, the more we will see outright fraud and lying institutionalized as part of this society’s beliefs.

James Pilant

James Pilant

Lance Armstrong’s promise to come clean ‘a little late’, says Usada chief | Sport |

Tygart, attending the World Conference on Doping in Sport, said the American had been given chances to tell his side of the story but had declined.\”We invited him to come in June 2012 at the same time as we invited other athletes guilty of doping. He was the only one of the 11 that refused our offer,\” he said.\”We attempted to meet again in December and in January and February this year and so far he\’s refused to come in and be truthful and answer all the questions under oath just like all the other athletes have done, so at this point we are going forward.\”We are hopeful that we\’ll get to the bottom of a deep culture of doping that took over the sport and give clean athletes final hope that they can compete successfully without having to use dangerous performance-enhancing drugs.\”Cycling\’s governing body said only Usada could consider any reduction of Armstrong\’s life ban from the sport.

via Lance Armstrong’s promise to come clean ‘a little late’, says Usada chief | Sport |

From around the web.

From the web site, Lance Armstrong, Doping News.

The highly-decorated cyclist said he did not believe that doping program on the US Postal Service team was the biggest in the history of sport as claimed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. He remarked the doping program couldn’t be compared to others in the past like the state-sponsored doping program in the former East Germany. Lance Armstrong denied that the world governing body of cycling covered up a positive drug test from the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. He added that he didn’t use banned drugs when he returned from retirement and raced in the 2009 and 2010 Tour de France. The cyclist went on to add that it was humanly impossible to win the Tour a record seven times without doping. Armstrong said his history of testicular cancer somehow justified his favored “cocktail” of EPO, blood transfusions and testosterone.

Armstrong added that he did bullied people who did not go along with the “narrative” constructed by him. He added that some of those most hurt including his former teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, may never forgive him. Armstrong denied forcing teammates to dope but said they may have felt the pressure to follow his doping practices. The cyclist remarked anti-doping officials would have never caught up with him had he not come out of retirement in 2009. The eminent cyclist of his times said he was concerned when accusations by former teammate Floyd Landis against him sparked a US federal criminal probe in 2010. He added that he would be happy to play a role in a “truth and reconciliation” period in cycling and would be the first man in the door if invited and remarked he had “no moral platform” from which to pursue a clean-up of cycling.

Lance Armstrong, American Villain

Lance Armstrong, American Villain

prologue1Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview: His threats and bullying are the real story. – Slate Magazine

Armstrong couldn’t deny all the lawsuits he had filed and all the times he’d accused people of lying. So he attributed these intimidation tactics to fear, a rough childhood, and his cancer. He had vilified witnesses who told the truth because he saw them “as a friend turning on you.” He had attacked any threat because when he was a kid, his family “felt like we had our backs against the wall.” And, tragically, “my diagnosis … turned me into a person” who was resolved to “win at all costs,” since cancer compels you to “do anything I have to do to survive. … And I took that attitude, that ruthless and relentless and win-at-all costs attitude, and I took it right into cycling.”

That seems to be the game plan Armstrong brought to this interview. Downplay your power over others. Deny issuing explicit orders to dope. Convert any such story into a matter of setting a poor example.  Take responsibility for yourself, but suggest that others—those who claim you pressured them—must do the same. Recast your threats, retributions, and demands for silence as products of a hard life. Reduce your sins of coercion to a sin of deceit. When Winfrey asked Armstrong “what made you a bully,” he answered: “Just trying to perpetuate the story and hide the truth.”

That’s Armstrong’s message: Everything he did, no matter how domineering, menacing, or manipulative, was a desperate effort to protect a single lie. “I tried to control the narrative,” he says. And he’s still trying to control the narrative. Which is a good reason not to believe it.

Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview: His threats and bullying are the real story. – Slate Magazine

Armstrong seemed to be exposing himself the most when he confessed to bullying Emma O’Reilly, the former massage therapist who tried to expose Armstrong’s doping in 2003. “We ran over her, we bullied her,” he said. But then when Oprah asked if he’d sued O’Reilly, he couldn’t remember even the basic details—who he’d sued, for example. His admissions stopped exactly at the point when it turned from a character trait to real adult, legal action, which caused actual measurable harm in another person’s life. Yes, sure, we agree with Lance Armstrong he was a bully. As team leader and megastar cyclist, he had far more power than the people around him, and he used it to make their lives miserable when they did things he didn’t like, especially exposing the cheating and lying that allowed him to build his own myth and stay on top. But bullying hardly covers it. More like, “he assaulted people with intent to absolutely destroy,” as a Twitter user named Brian G. Fay wrote to me last night.

Lance Armstrong was a bully, but that hardly covers it. – Slate Magazine

Yes, cycling is corrupt. If there is any one individual who made it impossible to compete without cheating, it’s Lance Armstrong.

I don’t think, people are getting the picture here of a long term criminal conspiracy to subvert a sport. Yet, that is exactly what was going here. Armstrong is the Bernie Madoff of cycling. He didn’t just cheat, he used such a wide variety of banned substances, the only way he could’ve broken the rules further was by riding a motorcycle, or putting in a double.

He didn’t just steal money. He stole our ideal of what a sports figure should be. He cheapened heroism, and made a world of high athleticism, cheap and tawdry.

His victims include those who deserved those medals, those endorsements, the keys to the city and the honorary degree. We’ll never know their names or respect their accomplishments because he stole their glory.

He’s a villain, and he deserves to be treated like one.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, Poems and Sundry Writings by Rebekka Roderick:

Just go away and shut up already. You have done more than enough damage. Just fuck off. Everybody is tired of your BS. Just go. We know you don’t mean what you say. We know you’re just a liar who kept lying right up until the entire house of cards was pulled down, torn up and set on fire. I know this because I was a similar person the last few years, lying to and cheating on and not appreciating the man that loved me unconditionally. I was not a tad bit remorseful, contrite or altruistic about it at all until the ultimate realization of all the pain I had caused him and the awareness that I had let go of somebody that I was important to, a once in a lifetime thing, hit me in the face.

From the web site, Live STRONG Blog:

We expect Lance to be completely truthful and forthcoming in his interview and with all of us in the cancer community. We expect we will have more to say at that time. Regardless, we are charting a strong, independent course forward that is focused on helping people overcome financial, emotional and physical challenges related to cancer. Inspired by the people with cancer whom we serve, we feel confident and optimistic about the Foundation’s future and welcome an end to speculation.”

From the web site, Growing Dogwood:

I never bought the fact that he was not using. Call me a skeptic if you must, but it never made sense that that these athletes could do what they did and then turn around and do more the next day – for three weeks. Sorry, I think they’re all using. With that said, what’s the problem? How different is the use of PED’s from say the actress that has plastic surgery to enhance her performance? I would never endorse or do either, but I guess I just don’t want success that badly. At the same time I am not in any position to judge anyone’s decision on what they do.

As far as I care what he did is still a great accomplishment. Like I said, everyone was cheating and he was clearly the best cheater. So hats off to Mr Armstrong on those seven yellow jerseys.

From the web site, [un]-conscious stream- [ing]:

Meaning that to look at the whole picture of a person is to see the truth about their material reality. Peter used the idea that behind closed doors, Hitler may well have been a ‘really nice guy’, when he was playing the piano and people were drinking tea and having dinner with the polite house painter. But the material reality of Hitler – the totality of his existence, the big, whole picture was that he sanctioned and ordered the ethnic and elitist ‘cleansing’ of Germany and the killing of over six million Jews.

Which led me to the thought that, if Lance does admit to the doping allegations, then no matter who interviews him, we have already seen the ‘real Armstrong’. The ‘real Armstrong’ is in the totality of his material reality, not in the soft, contrite and repentant man that we might see on a tv screen attempting to win back the favour of the public.

If the allegations are true, the ‘real Armstrong’ has already revealed his hand and shown his true colours: someone who is ruthless, prepared to systematically cheat his way to the top of a sport, push others out, lie repeatedly about it, bully his way through to rule the peloton and bully a number of journalists on the way as he churned out untruth after obfuscated distraction over and over again (I’ve heard many of the interviews over the years). Someone who has to be in control and on top and will stop at nothing to get there.

And finally, from the web site, Getting Back in Shape:

That pretty much sums up my feelings towards this whole confession. He sued dozens and dozens of people that said he was doping. Test after test proved without a doubt he was doping all those years. Eventually once the USADA took all his Tour De France wins away, banned him from the sport for life, and all his sponsors dropped him, did he finally admit his guilt. Really, what choice did he have? That is as rock bottom as one can get. Some might commit suicide, others might just live in a cave the rest of their life. He obviously is the type that wants to move on, and this was the only thing that could be done. If not, he would be treated horribly anytime he was seen in public, I’m sure of that. Disgraced is a good word I would use. But on the flip side, he did play a part in raising millions and millions for cancer research. And if so many other people are doping just like he was, it still shows his performance was superior to theirs. Coming back from being diagnosed and treated for cancer, that is very impressive.

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Lance Armstrong, Hollow Magic

Lance Armstrong doping: How the cyclist is like Lehman Bros. – Slate Magazine

Many of us instinctively presume that cheating creates a level playing field. In fact, it does precisely the reverse. Widespread cheating rewards the few who have the best information, the most money, and the highest risk tolerance. In this world, Armstrong and his team ruled: Armstrong spent more than $1 million maintaining his exclusive relationship with Dr. Michele Ferrari, regarded as the sport’s best doping doctor. Armstrong used his private jet to transport drugs, and he cultivated a friendly working relationship with the sport’s governing body that, according to the USADA report, may have helped him evade sanction for a suspicious drug test in 2001. Armstrong also had an entrepreneurial attitude toward risk, hiring his gardener to follow the 1999 Tour de France on a motorcycle and deliver EPO.

While a few intrepid journalists were farsighted enough to cast doubt on the validity of Armstrong and Postal’s dominant performances, most were content to focus on the myth-like story they witnessed on the road each July. Only in 2010, when the federal government and USADA began their respective investigations, did the truth begin to emerge. Thanks to investigators and the riders who have stepped forward, cycling now faces its watershed moment: an opportunity to build a culture of meaningful regulation, accountability, and to ensure a clean sport for future generations.

The Armstrong era happened because doping worked so powerfully and lucratively that no one—not riders, not cycling’s governing body, not the media—was willing to stop it. It was a time of hollow magic. It helped create kings and heroes that were too big to fail.

Until, all at once, they weren’t.

Lance Armstrong doping: How the cyclist is like Lehman Bros. – Slate Magazine

The article goes on to point out the similarities between cycling corruption and that in the investment firms of the 2007-8.

I have been telling my class that many of the stories we find in the media are negative business ethics stories, success stories where individuals have made enormous sums of money by flouting the rules or subverting the purposes of the government to gain a competitive advantage. These are stories that make a mockery of following the rules, doing the right thing or simply obeying the law.

How do you teach business ethics when you compete with a “win at any cost” culture? In a society where the worship of the “long green” seems to have supplanted much of Christianity, it is hard to argue for the intrinsic benefits of living the virtuous life.

The good fight is worth fighting but the media ethos is a detriment to that fight and to a continuing fidelity to right and truth.

James Pilant

The Cyclist that didn’t cheat?
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