Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad News for Alberto, Good News for Tour Drama

Lemond vs. Hinault version two is a go. I can't wait.

Armstrong: 'Shower-gate' case closed

(Click for larger image)

The French anti-doping agency AFLD has confirmed that it will not seek disciplinary action against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong for a March anti-doping control incident.

The AFLD said Friday that it has "decided to take into consideration the athlete's written explanations and, in consequence, not to open a disciplinary procedure against him." It also confirmed that no abnormalities were detected in the urine, blood and hair samples taken during the control.

Armstrong's Astana team spokesman Philippe Maertens confirmed to Cyclingnews that the AFLD met Thursday, and said "the disciplinary commission checked the evidence and explanation from both Lance and the tester and decided not to take the matter further."

The AFLD complained earlier this month that Armstrong left the presence of its doping control officer in order to take a shower. Armstrong, responding to the allegations, claimed he was given permission to leave.

Posting on his Twitter account on Friday, Armstrong wrote, "the word from the French agency AFLD on the shower gate incident. Case closed, no penalty, all samples clean. Onward."

The agency could have pursued a suspension of Armstrong for violating the World Anti-doping Agency's International Standard of Testing Article 5.4.1, which states that the person being subjected to an anti-doping control must remain within the sight of the doping control officer from the time of notification until the sample is collected.

Armstrong said he expected the AFLD's "antics" to prevent him from racing in this year's Tour de France. With the case closed, he will be free to attempt an eighth career victory in the Tour.

Armstrong is currently training in Aspen, Colorado, in preparation for his first attempt at the Giro d'Italia next month. He is recovering from a fractured collarbone that he sustained in the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Léon.


  1. While I agree there may be good drama, and the level of drama could be compared to Lemond/Hinault, that's where the comparison really ends. LA didn't win with the support of Contador, and subsequently promise to support him the following year. LA has to betray AC before he can be compared to Hinault (which could happen, I suppose, but it wouldn't be on the level of the Hinault betrayal).

    Also, AC is nowhere near the whiny baby that Lemond has turned out to be over the years - so desperate for attention that he'll do whatever it takes to have someone notice him again.

  2. Wow. Pretty scathing criticism of Lemond. His goofiness lately notwithstanding, he is without question a far larger figure in cycling history than Armstrong. That aside, LA did in fact start out this comeback with saying he wouldn't ride the Tour, then saying he would ride in support of Bert, and now saying he is racing to win his eighth.

    So I agree that the level of betrayal isn't nearly on par with Hinauld screwing Lemond, but LA isn't doing what he originally said he would. And you can't blame Contador for being unhappy. It really has the potential to split the team, and have some sweet infighting.

    Any predictions on who will ride for who when it all hits the fan?

  3. I will say that Lemond back in the '80's was betrayed terribly, and honestly - if the case was the same with LA and AC, I'd be cheering for AC, no question in my mind (if it was the same scenario as it was back then).

    But I don't think it's anywhere near the same. I don't know that LA ever said he wouldn't race the TdeF, and I believe (correct me if I'm wrong on the previous and this - I know someone will only be too happy to do so!) he had said he would be on the team, and whomever is the strongest, he would respect. I.e. if AC was the stronger rider come TdeF time, he'd ride in support of him. He hasn't said anything to contradict that. He still is riding to win, and he hasn't said that he won't support AC if AC is stronger, or anything along those lines.

    Again, if I'm wrong, so be it - I suppose it's bound to happen at some point - he he...

  4. You know, I don't think there will be any drama. I've never liked AC, not sure why, maybe a bit of cockiness. He IS a doper, so I don't care if he even races. I think that they will have to ride for the stronger guy- done deal. Johann would have it no other way. Maybe Levi will be stronger. Anyway, Cadel doesn't stand a chance- nor does anyone else.

  5. Levi or Kloden winning would be sweet. It will be an Astana rider for sure though. I hope Sastre hasn't spilled any coffee on his yellow jersey, cause isn't ever going to get another.

    Thor for the green jersey? Smash!!

  6. As much as I like Thor, its hard to not pick Cavendish for green based on his form so far.

  7. In the Vanity Fair article (which I believe is where LA finally ended the speculation and announced his comeback) LA said he was coming back to win an 8th Tour, I think a lot of the confusion about what he said comes from all the rumours that were circulating before his announcement. Sorry I don't have the exact quote but google lance comeback and you'll get the article with the qoute.

    Long story short Lars is right but if I needed a new ride I'd get a Lemond, just because he's the anti-lance.

  8. Lemond still makes steel road bikes. I would love one of those... And since Trek has screwed Lemond , are they even a brand anymore? There has to be a warehouse full of Lemond bikes somewhere. They'll probably end up at Costco.

  9. I have my old Lemond Columbus TSX steel frame/fork behind me right now with the newer Team Z color on it (Neon Pink, Neon Yellow, Blue)

    I always say Ill rebuild and ride it.. but its kinda hard to switch from a 15 pound carbon Pinarello to 22 pounds of steel...

  10. "Long story short Lars is right but if I needed a new ride I'd get a Lemond, just because he's the anti-lance." - Paul Doe

    Well, I'll take the affirmation. But the shameless baiting is kinda sad. Lemond couldn't wait to be recognized as a legend - his fragile narcissistic ego couldn't take someone else from the USA getting more attention than himself. Even if that would've ultimately led to his getting more recognition, his legend building to mythical levels (as cycling interest grew in the US, people would want to know more about the past, and if he just sat there passively, people could've seen him as a past hero that paved the way for the future).

    What a putz - if he just would've shut up and let everything unfold, he would've become a legend. Instead he's a punchline. A pathetic over-the-hill man looking for recognition that he now has tainted with his childish rants. Now he's best known (in the general public) as someone who tried to dirty the reputation of a real American legend, and he risks losing that status himself in the process.

    And make no mistake - this was no altruistic effort "for the good of the sport" like some naive fool will undoubtedly argue. This is merely an attempt at gaining attention - "Look at me!!!". Just pathetic.

  11. Whether our "shameless baiting" is sad or not is open to debate. But it gives meaning to our otherwise empty lives.

  12. Campy Chris if you ever want to give that old Lemond a loving home, let me know...