Beatty 1

Cole Beatty Instructor: Malcolm Campbell English 1103 Date: 11/8/12 Lance Armstrong, a deceiving cheater or a hero falsely accused?

Introduction Lance Armstrong’s story has been all over the news as of recently. The question as to whether or not Armstrong did participate in blood doping to help him win his seven titles. Blood doping can highly increase the athletic performance level of an individual by giving the doper’s muscle more oxygen which allows the muscles to be more resistant to fatigue. There is a long history of blood doping cases in cycling as well as other high conditioning sports. It is not uncommon to see athletes get accused of doping charges, but when we see it happen to a legend in the sport we do not want to believe it is true. Hero’s in a sport are on a higher pedestal than their competitors and fans can have a hard time accepting that the athlete they admire may also be cheating. Doping has occurred many times in many different races since about the 1950’s (Kitchen). Based on my research, there is more evidence to suggest that Armstrong did take part in blood doping, but like many other people, I do not want to believe that he did. Honestly, I do not know for sure but there are some reliable sources that testified such as his teammates. Just as it is hard for me to form my own opinion, it makes it hard to imagine the decisions the court had

Beatty 2

to make in this case. The reliable sources are probably his closest friends and it is very unlikely that they would testify against him if he actually did nothing wrong. It is very difficult to tell who is right and wrong when there is such little evidence to be found. All the press and media persuades the audience to ask themselves, do you think what they are saying is true or do you just think they are jealous of how good Lance was (after all, he is retired)? Since there is no way to test his blood so many years later, no one knows for a one hundred percent fact, except Lance and possibly the ones closest to him, if these allegations are true. In my opinion, I am not sure if they can prove he cheated with him never failing a drug test. With no tangible proof, I do not see how they can continue pursuing the case. My guess is because he had enough people testifying against him including his eleven of his former teammates. All eleven testified against him, confessing their doping pasts as well as Armstrong’s. Blood doping Blood doping has been defined by WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) as the misuse of techniques and/or substances to increase ones red blood cell count. The most common form is removing approximately two pints of blood weeks prior to a race or event, which is then frozen until just a few days before the race. Then it is thawed and injected back into the athlete. This form is called autologous blood doping, and the other is call homologous blood doping, which comes from another party or individual. One other form of doping is the use of artificial oxygen carriers, such as Hemoglobin oxygen carriers (HBOC) and Perfluorocarbons (PFC). These make the body able to carry more oxygen to the muscles. Blood doping can drastically improve an

Beatty 3

individual's athletic performance because it is said that only three percent of oxygen is carried to your muscles by plasma, and ninety-seven percent is carried by hemoglobin which is found in the red blood cells (Blood doping). EPO is a peptide hormone that is naturally produced in the human body and stimulates the red blood cell production.(WADA) Doping cyclists would use this method because when they remove their blood, they need it to be replaced as soon as possible. History of Blood doping Lance Armstrong is definitely not the first person to dope in the Tour de France, or any race for that matter. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of cases of cyclist and other athletes participating in doping in all kinds of races. In 2012 specifically, there were many known cases. First was Remy Di Gregorio of France, he was arrested outside of his hotel after being accused of doping. He was withdrawn from the race and the investigation is still continuing (Zant). Frank Rene Schleck, who is from Luxembourg, was removed from the 2012 Tour de France for doping charges. Schleck said that he was poisoned, but back in 2008, he was suspended for similar accusations. His investigation is still going on as well. Alberto Contador Velasco from Spain did not get to race in 2006 because of accusations of doping, so he did not get to start. He did however race in the 2007, 2009, and 2010 races, and won each of them, but was later stripped of his titles once he was found guilty of doping. The strangest one is Tom Boonen of Belgium who actually tested positive for cocaine in the 2008 Tour de France. He was found guilty, but he was still allowed to continue racing. These are just a few more publically known instances of athletes getting caught doping, there are numerous cases that do not even get

Beatty 4

investigated. But these examples help show how common blood doping is in cycling alone, and how serious it is taken by officials. Punishment is taken to the extent of banning competitors from the sport as well as taking all their past titles. Lance Armstrong's Case Lance Armstrong has been accused of blood doping for many years now, but just recently he was accused and the accusations were backed up by many witnesses. These accusations ultimately led to the removal of all seven of his Tour de France titles. In early August 2012, Lance was accused and brought before the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). It is often said to defend his case that there was no evidence, but in all reality he just never failed a drug test; there is a major difference. The USADA said that they actually in fact do have evidence of Lance Armstrong cheating which consisted of his financial payments, emails, scientific data, laboratory test results, and testimonies from 11 former teammates. He never failed a drug test so they could never charge him of blood doping. Armstrong claims that the stress from all the press and allegations was too much on him and his family that he decided to stop fighting all of the accusations and confesses to doping. This would ultimately lead to him being forced to give up all his titles. The fact that he gave up his fight makes many believe he actually did dope. It is inconsistent with all Armstrong stood for with his Livestrong campaign and his determination to win so many titles that he would give up on something if it was not true. Once he proclaimed that he was not going to fight it any more, he was banned from the sport for life and completely stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. It is unbelievable that after working as hard as he did for the sport, that he would give up on his case. The chief executive,

Beatty 5

Travis Tygart, states that "The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,"( Cyclist Armstrong). This quotation is claiming that Lance Armstrong's team successfully got away with doping for some time, fooling many of the sports officials and participants. Testimonies against Armstrong When Armstrong came onto trial, many of his teammates were asked to testify in court on his allegations. Christian Vande Velde, one of Lance Armstrong's teammates from 1998 to 2003, said that he was called to Armstrong's apartment in Spain and was told that he had to use Dr. Ferrari's doping program. He also explained that what Armstrong said goes and that if he wanted to stay on the team he would have to step up his "drug use" (Inside USA) Frankie Andreu, who was his teammate through the nineties said that on a trip to Milan they stopped by a hotel so Armstrong could meet up with Ferrari in his camper. Later, Armstrong got mad at Andreu for not working with Ferrari and that at the race there was a bruise on Lance's arm from the syringe. It is claimed that he had to get it covered with makeup.( Inside USA) David Zabriske, another teammate from 2001 to 2004 said that Lance Armstrong pressured him to dope "for the good of the team". Afterwards he felt guilty about cheating and wondered if that was the reason he crashed in his later years as Armstrong’s teammate. He even states that Lance made a song on the team bus about using EPOs (Erythropoietin). The song was "EPO all in my veins, lately things just don't seem the same, Actin' funny, but I don't know why,

Beatty 6

'Scuse me while I pass this guy." The song was written and sung to the beat and melody of Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. (Inside USA) I thought that was a pretty clever song even though it is not about something good, it is still pretty funny. I think Lance should not have been so blatant. I believe that his teammates confessing to doping as well as claiming Armstrong either made them or pressured them into doing it, hurts Armstrong’s case. His teammates were making themselves look bad as well, not only Armstrong. It takes real courage and strength to confess to doing something so dramatic such as doping, and that can really turn your whole life around. Cycling is these guys' whole life and they got "pressured" into doing something that could throw it all down the drain. They really almost had no choice, because if they really wanted to pursue their dreams as cyclers then they basically had to do want Armstrong said since he was the "leader" of the team. The testimonies of his former teammates and other riders put the case over the top and helped to make the court’s decision. Conclusion From many different accounts, one can see that blood doping is very common in high endurance sports, especially in cycling. Blood doping is taken very seriously and is reprimanded very harshly. Other cyclist, along with Armstrong, have been stripped of their titles and have been banned from racing ever again. Doping is not a new phenomenon, but new technologies are making it a little easier to detect. While there is not concrete evidence to support that Armstrong participated in doping, him stopping the fight for his case led to him losing all seven of his titles and banned from the sport forever, even though he is retired, but honestly I do not think he could have won unless he had a really good lawyer or if he really was innocent. From the evidence

Beatty 7

given, it is left to our own personal opinion whether to believe he actually did dope or not before his races.

Beatty 8

Works Cited Alva. "Legalize It: An Argument For 'Doping' In Sports." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. < doping-in-sports>. "Blood Doping." Blood Doping. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <>. "Blood Doping - World Anti-Doping Agency." World Anti-Doping Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <>. Chester, N., and N. Wojek. "Caffeine Consumption Amongst British Athletes Following Changes To The 2004 WADA Prohibited List." International Journal Of Sports Medicine 29.6 (2008): 524-528. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. "Cyclist Armstrong Accused of Elaborate Doping Operation." Yahoo! Sports. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <>. Fordyce, Tom. "Lance Armstrong Affair: Insiders and Experts on Drugs in Cycling." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <>. "Inside USADA's Case against Lance Armstrong." USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <>. Kitchen, R. Elizabeth C. "Doping in Cycling: Looking at the History." Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, 24 Aug. 2012. Web. 04 Nov. 2012. <>.

Beatty 9

Macur, Juliet. "Antidoping Agency Details Doping Case Against Lance Armstrong." The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <>. Zant, Unwirklich Vin. "Top 10 Tour De France Cyclists Who Have Faced Doping Allegations." Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, 24 Aug. 2012. Web. 04 Nov. 2012. <>.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.