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gingerjon

Tour de France cyclists

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My dad did actually once visit one of the places where East Germany 'trained' its athletes. In many ways the drugs weren't even half the problem.

You can't leave that there. What did he find and why was he visiting?!

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As regards athletics, especially women's athletics, the list of world records is a bit depressing.

  • 100m - Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA), 1988
  • 100m hurdles - Yordanka Donkova (Bulgaria), 1986
  • 200m - Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA), 1988
  • 400m - Marita Koch (East Germany), 1985
  • 400m hurdles - Yuliya Pechonkina (Russia), 2003
  • 800m - Jarmila Kratochvilova (Czechoslovakia), 1983
  • 1,500m - Yunxia Qu (China), 1993
  • 3,000m - Junxia Wang (China), 1993
  • 5,000m - Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia), 2008
  • 10,000m - Junxia Wang (China), 1993
  • High Jump - Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria), 1986
  • Long Jump - Galina Chistyakova (Soviet Union), 1988
  • Discus - Gabriele Reinsch (Germany), 1998
  • Hammer - Betty Heidler (Germany), 2009
  • Javelin - Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic), 2008
  • Heptathlon - Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA), 1988

That's a hell of a lot of records lasting from the 1980s, some of them from nations that no longer exist, even. Just two track records from this century before the women's 4x100 final in this year;s Olympics. (I've omitted the Steeplechase and Pole Vault, as they are too new to women's athletics to compare to the dodgy old days).

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You can't leave that there. What did he find and why was he visiting?!

I'll see if he still has the photos.

Basically, young kids doing literally nothing but train, nothing but work towards goals & winning, straightforward brutality and no humanity.

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straightforward brutality and no humanity.

That's not confined to East Germany. My daughter got her kids season tickets to Bradford City.

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That's not confined to East Germany. My daughter got her kids season tickets to Bradford City.

It lacks the ruthless focus on winning though.

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No doubt like many others, it was Lance Armstrong who got me into (televised) cycling around 2003 when he was having his TdF battles with Jans Ullrich. I was instantly fascinated with the guy and how good he was. I've subsequently followed the TdF each year and was touched when reading Armstrong's autobiographies about his fight against cancer and then how he went back and won the Tour.

I find all this stuff today very sad. I'm not sure where I stand or who to believe but would still like to give Armstrong the benefit of the doubt.

One thing that does puzzle me though is that if Armstrong was genuinely cheating - in whatever form - when he won his seven titles, then how the heck did he return in 2010 as a 38 year old and finish 3rd in the GC and still not fail a drugs test. He must be an extraordinary athlete to achieve that at that time, at that age and out of the sport for so long.

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One thing that does puzzle me though is that if Armstrong was genuinely cheating - in whatever form - when he won his seven titles, then how the heck did he return in 2010 as a 38 year old and finish 3rd in the GC and still not fail a drugs test. He must be an extraordinary athlete to achieve that at that time, at that age and out of the sport for so long.

When you look at facts like you've just mentioned, there could be a real case that Armstrong is actually just a freak of nature, say similar to Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt. These things do actually happen - human beings are capable of extradionary things. For me, Armstrong shouldn't be stripped of anything UNLESS he's failed a drugs test or there is some SERIOUS evidence of him cheating i.e. a video or something.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/lancearmstrong/9498423/Lance-Armstrong-stripped-of-his-seven-Tour-de-France-titles-after-refusing-to-defend-drug-charges.html

"The USADA’s case against him, which followed a two-year federal investigation which had failed to yield a prosecution, relied on witness statements from 10 former colleagues and what they claim is new evidence of positive tests from 38 samples previously passed as negative during Armstrong’s comeback to the sport between 2009 and 2011."

This is such a sad case. Read twitter and he's an inspiration to so many cancer sufferers

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I think Dwain Chambers didn't fail a drugs test either.

I have just read David Millars book, it is a real eye opener and by the end he makes it clear, without saying it aloud, what he thinks of Armstrong.

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I think Dwain Chambers didn't fail a drugs test either.

I have just read David Millars book, it is a real eye opener and by the end he makes it clear, without saying it aloud, what he thinks of Armstrong.

Chambers did fail a test, though he was using the same thing as Jones.

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Forgive my ignorance, but I have been puzzled by the similarity between Lance Armstrong and an athlete from years ago, Lasse Viren. (Sorry if the spelling is wrong) Viren seemed to do very little of note between big competitions, then, come the World/European/Olympic Games, he turns up and is way better than all the other runners, especially in the late stages of a race. Armstrong also seemed to do very little of note between Tours, but was untouchable every July. I remember there was talk of Viren using his own blood in transfusions (blood doping?), but I don't think anything was proven or any action taken. The similarity is just so striking.

PS. I know LA, and probably LV, didn't do nothing between comps, just nothing of note.

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I've only gotten into cycling in the last two years so missed Armstrong's era. However I did admire and respect him and considered him one of the greatest cyclists of all time. This morning my first thought was 'say it isn't so'.

He will most definitely be stripped of his Tour titles (the USADA cannot do that despite what many news outlets are saying). It does make me wonder whether the likes of Eddie Merckx doped (a very distinct possibility as the practice was widespread at the time) and whether the Tour records are worth bothering with.

IIRC Merckx had a couple of brushes with the sport's authorities over doping allegations. I think he failed at least one test for banned substances.

To me, it doesn't alter the fact that he's the greatest bike rider the sport has ever seen.

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What's the point of stripping Armstrong of his titles when at least one would go to runner-up Jan Ulrich, who has been convicted of doping?

Let the past go and concentrate on the present.

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What's the point of stripping Armstrong of his titles when at least one would go to runner-up Jan Ulrich, who has been convicted of doping?

Let the past go and concentrate on the present.

No.

The fact that there might not be another suitable winner is no reason why this cheat should keep his titles.

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No.

The fact that there might not be another suitable winner is no reason why this cheat should keep his titles.

If he is a cheat. Why has he never failed a drug test?

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Froome will make up some time in the time trial but I don't think he has what it takes to win a grand tour yet. Hope I'm made to eat my words.

Oops wrong thread.

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If he is a cheat. Why has he never failed a drug test?

Because he was a very good cheat.

He failed at least two though, apparently.

If he is honest and clean why is he not using his substantial wealth and already-appointed legal team to clear his name in open court?

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Because he was a very good cheat.

He failed at least two though, apparently.

If he is honest and clean why is he not using his substantial wealth and already-appointed legal team to clear his name in open court?

Because USADA are self appointed judge, jury and executioner. The whole thing has been a stitch up from the start. A number of the witness they claim to have, have denied being suspended, as USADA states. The fact that USADA have allowed people who have, apparently, admitted to doping to continue cycling, stinks. And USADA have no jurisdiction to take anybody's titles of them. That is up to the governing body, but it hasn't stopped them trying. If I was Lance I'd be tempted not to fight it too. There's no point fighting a battle you know you can't win.

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apparently.

If he is honest and clean why is he not using his substantial wealth and already-appointed legal team to clear his name in open court?

A bit like the " if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear" argument used to justify things like the police storing your DNA, or compulsory ID cards etc.

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So where is the proof to back this claim up?

It was to be presented in open court along with multiple witness statements, other evidence etc etc.

The Lanceaylytes seem not to notice that the only way Armstrong had of avoiding this was to withdraw from the court process.

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A bit like the " if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear" argument used to justify things like the police storing your DNA, or compulsory ID cards etc.

A bit like ... in the sense that Lance Armstrong is a very wealthy and influential man, backed by Nike and with a substantial army of legal and medical representation to draw on. He made $17m per year when cycling (Bloomberg) so he's not exactly 'the little man'.

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If he is honest and clean why is he not using his substantial wealth and already-appointed legal team to clear his name in open court?

I'd be tempted to not bother if this had been going for 10yrs with little sign of an end state.

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