Good Riddance

Armstrong: The Mountain He Couldn't Climb
He just couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth. Unlike Tyler Hamilton, he didn’t agree that the truth will set you free. Unlike Floyd Landis, he didn’t want his conscience back. Unlike everyone else on his US Postal team — with the glaring exception of Kevin Livingston — he sees no good reason to come clean. He won’t do it for himself or his kids or even the love of his sport. A sport that is ready for a deep cleanse with only one holdout, the most famous and influential rider of his generation.

Martin supports Garmin stance on USADA-sanctioned riders 
"I'm very fortunate to have been able to turn professional when I did and ride for a team like Slipstream Sports, and that's why I'm very happy to continue with the team – the very strict anti-doping policy and the philosophy of the team. That's very important for me and something that all of the riders believe in."

Martin said that he also took encouragement from the fact that Vande Velde had produced the stand-out performance of his career while racing for Garmin, when he finished 4th at the 2008 Tour de France. Vande Velde has been stripped of his results from June 4, 2004 through until April 30, 2006 and handed a six-month ban following his confession.

"Christian's proven that he's stronger than ever since he came to this team. He's had his best results while racing clean at Garmin," Martin said. "That says a lot, and that goes for all three of those guys, not just Christian."

Vaughters confirms past doping by Danielson, others at Garmin

"CVV, Zabriskie, Danielson, while all clearly have a past, and from an ethical standpoint are no different from JJ, there is a very pragmatic difference," wrote Vaughters. "That difference is performance based. Basically, I knew from what my time at USPS, how "inside" or not those riders were. Based on this, I knew their transgressions, while ethically the same as JJ's, were much less in terms of enhancing performance. Therefore, I knew they could perform close to their enhanced level, clean."

"How do I pick? Talent, work ethic, and personality. the above things aren't part of my consideration, because quite frankly taking the Sky/new suisse team stance on "we're hiring no one with a known history in doping" is just stupid in cycling today. It's just glorifying those who managed to slip by and damning those who got caught, even though the crime is exactly the same. It's ethically untenable for me.

Millar says USADA report will change lives
"By doing what they have done, they change the sport in the right direction," Millar said.

The Lance Armstrong fairness fallacy
Do they think it was fair that Armstrong should encourage and even pressure his teammates to join his doping program in order to help him win not only those prestigious titles, but to rake in $750,000 in base salary in 2000, $3 million in 2001, upwards of half a million more each subsequent year - all out of the pockets of the US Postal Service, and therefore their own pockets every time they mail a letter?

Do they think it was fair that Armstrong was allowed to bully, intimidate and threaten anyone who should cross him, to ruin the businesses or careers of those who would dare speak the truth, or threaten the financial health of the newspapers, magazines and web sites who tried to expose his lies?

Do they think it was fair that Armstrong and his cohorts helped to scuttle a chance for cycling to make a new start after the Festina scandal, plunging the better part of a decade of the sport into the deep, dark depths of cheating, and leaving seven blank pages in the Tour de France history books?

I wonder if the average American, who last year made only $50,000 per year, thinks it is fair that Armstrong amassed a net worth upwards of $125 million based on deception, cheating and lying, and will get to keep a large part of that, the ends very much justifying the means.

I applaud Matt White for volunteering to step down from GreenEdge and Cycling Australia, for admitting to his doping past and allowing himself to be judged before moving forward. I have utmost respect for Jonathan Vaughters for recognizing his mistakes, making these revelations and helping to change the culture of the sport. I thank the riders, past and current, for admitting to their part in the doping at US Postal and helping USADA to seal its case.

Vaughters admits to doping during career
"The choice to kiss your childhood dream goodbye or live with a dishonest heart is horrid and tearing. I’ve been there, and I know. I chose to lie over killing my dream. I chose to dope. I am sorry for that decision, and I deeply regret it. The guilt I felt led me to retire from racing and start a professional cycling team where that choice was taken out of the equation through rigorous testing and a cultural shift that emphasized racing clean above winning," Vaughters wrote.

USADA: Armstrong created a doping culture at US Postal
"George Hincapie and I were quite open with each other about our use of performance enhancing drugs," Christian Vande Velde testified. "On several occasions, I expressed my nervousness about using EPO to George and he reassured me and got me through it."

But his fears of needles and of being caught meant he was reluctant to follow the program.

Vande Velde left the team in 2003 for the Liberty Seguros team, which he stated "had an organised doping program as well". After moving to CSC in 2005, and in the absence of "the pressure of an organised doping program, I decided I would only continue in the sport if I could ride clean." He stated he stopped doping in April, 2006.

By 2000, he [Zabriskie] caught the attention of Bruyneel with a win in the U23 GP des Nations. He was hired on at $40,000, but refused to participate in "recovery injections". In 2001, he was begging to keep his job, accepting a drop in salary to $15,000 just to stay. In 2002, he began using the injections, because "I came to believe it was just vitamins".

Although he joked about EPO on the team bus earlier, Zabriskie testified that he was reluctant to succumb to its use until finally, when his teammate Barry decided to give in, Zabriskie did as well in 2003.

After leaving US Postal in 2004, Zabriskie moved to CSC, during which time he used doping products growth hormone and testosterone several times, but then in June, 2006 he stated he quit doping for good.

[Danielson]"I began to worry that my blood would be mistaken for someone else's," Danielson testified. "The more I thought about it, the more worried I became.

"I found the whole process to be almost emotionally paralyzing," he said, admitting that he got so paranoid that he began to have panic attacks and was given a sedative on the last night of the 2007 Vuelta a España.

"I continued to experience anxiety attacks and have trouble finishing well in races. As a result, I stopped doping in 2007. He then left to join Vaughters' team "where I knew I would be more comfortable competing clean."

By all accounts, Armstrong never carried such concerns. Confident in his advisor, Michele Ferrari, he by all accounts doped with abandon through his retirement in 2005, continued working with Ferrari during his retirement on plans for marathons and triathlons, and resumed his cycling program when he returned to the sport in 2009.

Why was he so confident? It could be tied to a statement by Vaughters in his under-oath testimony: "I had a conversation with Lance in which he told me that the UCI should have detected a high level of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, a doping product and naturally occurring hormone indicative of testicular cancer in males) in his doping controls when he had cancer, and failed to do so.

All emphasis mine.

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