Opinion is split between the 25 surviving Tour de France champions on whether Lance Armstrong was winner of the Tour de France between 1999-2005

Respected Dutch journalist Raymond Kerckhoffs, the chief cycling writer of Dutch daily paper De Telegraaf, decided to ask the 25 surviving winners of the Tour de France if they thought that Lance Armstrong should be ‘given back’ the seven Tours  that the UCI and Wada stripped from the American following the publication in October 2012 of the USADA Reasoned Report.

Over a period of months, Kerkoffs contacted riders from Federico Bahamontes, winner of the 1958 Tour to Chris Froome, winner in 2013, canvassing opinion from former Tour winners on the prickly question of whether or not Armstrong’s name should be reinstated as the winner of the Tour between 1999 and 2005.

Perhaps surprisingly, half said that his name should be listed as the winner of the race, with those ‘for’ including Stephen Roche, Miguel Indurain, Jan Ullrich, Oscar Pereiro and Andy Schleck, as well as Janssen, Felice Gimondi and Joop Zoetemelk. Indurain, a five-time winner between 1991-1995 said, “If nobody else can be reasonably declared the winner of the races in those years it’s clear that Armstrong won these seven Tours.”

For his part, Ullrich declared, “I don’t want wins to be awarded to me by a committee, I want my wins to have been achieved on the bike. Armstrong is the winner of those Tours, nobody else.”

Some former winners preferred to keep their thoughts to themselves, like two-time winner Bernard Thevenet (who has admitted to doping using cortisone during his career) or Eddy Merckx who had ‘no comment’ to make on his former friend, as did his former team mate Alberto Contador.

Both Bradley Wiggins and Froome reckoned that it would be better if the ‘winner’ of the seven Armstrong Tours was left blank.

“I think we should leave it as it is now,” Froome told Kerckhoffs, “We know what the problem was in those years in cycling. The seven empty spaces characterise a period in the history of the Tour de France.”

Lance Armstrong may be banned from all sport, but he still casts a long shadow over cycling and his thoughts – which the Texan recently shared the with UCI Independent Commission – are still sought by those seeking closure on a wound that will take a very long time to heal.

The full story (in Dutch) can be found on the De Telegraaf website.

  • Mikey

    He’s a psychopath, a criminal. He’s destroyed too many lives, caused too much pain to be forgiven. He will never get his titles back. Period.

  • http://batman-news.com Andy

    Well said Michael … All his wins should be re-instated, and everyone who has admitted to using PED’s should then have an asterix put next to their wins. As far as i’m concerned Mark Cavendish is only 4th on the list of stage winners as Armstrong won 27 I believe.

  • Kelvin Kong

    You said it yourself… most riders, not all. Even if there was just 1 cyclist in the peloton that was clean, he got cheated by the likes of armstrong & co. If anyone deserves a medal, it was the clean cyclist/cyclists, no matter how insignificant he is to you.

  • Mike Carr

    Listen, he is a piece of garbage for how he treated people, I’d support lawsuits and all kinds of charges against him for that. He should be broke just from his defense attorneys by now. However, he competed under the same circumstances as other cyclists did.

  • Prestachuck

    You have no idea what what you are talking about.
    Anyway, he is under a lifetime ban.
    That is the way the cookie crumbles, and the world is better place because of it.

  • Kyle McHattie

    Nor could any of the other racers who were also doping. The fact that he responded to doping better suggests that he is a superior athlete, which suggests that if nobody was doping, Lance would still have won.

  • ladyxx

    Absolutely.

  • Zig

    It doesn’t matter if “Most of the riders were on something”, (which you cannot prove, and is a slap in the face to many good, honest riders) Armstrong was a liar and a cheat and deserves nothing but disdain.

  • Zig

    Absolutely no way Armstrong should be reinstated!!! He is a liar and a cheat. I don’t even want to see him in the news. He’s a pathetic human, and his opinion to the cycling community is worth ZERO.

  • Margaret Pope

    I believed in you until I couldn’t believe anymor.I came on FB and defended you.So did our only son.Shortly after it all came out our son died of cancer .The damage you have done is irreparable.Good thing I didn’t. meet you after our beloved son died.We were so upset about what you had done,then to lose him after that .Words cannot express what we feel about you.We are a family who loves professional cycling and even have books going way back.We know about the cheating that goes on but somehow we believed in you.Now I don’t watch cycling,all due to you

  • GW

    Armstrong’s story isn’t so much about the doping as it was and is about his mistreatment of people. He is not a role model for children. Without the dope, he may not have won seven Tours, it’s true. And it is also true that most if not all of the riders on the UCI Pro Tour were, AND ARE STILL, doped. But the doping is actually the side story in the Armstrong saga. I don’t remember any other pro rider who harassed people, including riders’ wives, sued anybody and everybody who told the truth, tampered with witnesses, ruined or tried to ruin careers, lives, businesses, families or perjured himself in court! He even hid behind a cancer charity for protection against the truth! What other pro rider did that? None. That is Armstrong’s story. No way should he be reinstated. Armstrong HOPES the discussion will turn into one solely about doping, because controlling that narrative will make people take their eyes off the ball, off the true story: Armstrong is a criminal who is a narcissist bordering on sociopath. He is not only a “jerk” as you say; he broke the law on multiple occasions.

  • GW

    No. His story isn’t so much about the doping as it was and is about his mistreatment of people. He is not a role model for children. Without the dope, he may not have won seven Tours, it’s true. And it is also true that most if not all of the riders on the UCI Pro Tour were, AND ARE STILL, doped. But the doping is actually the side story in Armstrong’s fall. I don’t remember any other pro rider who harassed people, sued anybody and everybody who told the truth, tampered with witnesses, ruined or tried to ruin careers, lives, businesses, families or perjured himself in court! That is Armstrong’s story. No way should he be reinstated. Armstrong HOPES the discussion will turn into one solely about doping, because controlling that narrative will make people take their eyes off the ball, off the true story: Armstrong is a criminal who is a narcissist bordering on sociopath.

  • GW

    It was never a “race of equals”. That is a BS argument that has already been made by people who have very little understanding about doping in sports. It was not a “level playing field” (the usual name for your argument) for several reasons: not everybody had equal access to drugs, the same drugs, the better doctors, drug delivery methods, and not everybody responds to the drugs in the same way. For example, a rider with a low Hct would have a very different response to EPO or blood doping than a rider with a higher Hct. So, if you don’t understand how doping works, you do not understand that it can never be a “level playing field”. Please leave uneducated opinions out of the discussion, and ask the questions you should be asking.

  • GW

    No f-ing way. His story isn’t so much about the doping as it was and is about his mistreatment of people. He is not a role model for children. Without the dope, he may not have won seven Tours, it’s true. And it is also true that most if not all of the riders on the UCI Pro Tour were, AND ARE STILL, doped. But the doping is actually the side story in Armstrong’s fall. I don’t remember any other pro rider who harassed people, sued anybody and everybody who told the truth, tampered with witnesses, ruined or tried to ruin careers, lives, businesses, families or perjured himself in court! That is Armstrong’s story. No way should he be reinstated. Armstrong HOPES the discussion will turn into one solely about doping, because controlling that narrative will make people take their eyes off the ball, off the true story: Armstrong is a criminal who is a narcissist bordering on sociopath.

  • ILW

    Barry, if you read what I’m saying properly you will know that i have not said that at all. I am saying punnish LA, but yes, punnish all the other dopers too – every last fucking one of the cheating arseholes. I cannot believe that people like Veinokourov are allowed anywhere near the sport. The UCI needs to grow a pair of balls!

  • Barry Murphy

    Yeah, so just punish one of the biggest dopers but leave all the other dopers records intact. Perfect logic that

  • Barry Murphy

    We all know cycling has always been one of the filthiest sports on the planet. It’s insane to believe that the majority of these riders can put themselves through the punishment they do & get up the next day to do it all over for 3 weeks straight (Just for the Tour alone).
    Armstrong won those 7 tours, everyone knows it. He pushed that bike from start to finish & had great battles along the way.
    He’s still respected by many for those reasons, especially those who competed against him on those 7 tours.
    It was a level playing field for all the top guys. Top 10 for sure, top 20 may be.
    I find it comical that those 7 years are left blank. The organisers know well that many before him cheated, many after him too. Contador for one….. what a joke the UCI & WADA are … don’t get me started on the USADA!

  • Ray Houghton

    Oh! S 2-3-4-5-6 wrongs make a right, they were all liars and thieves, so OK, its get real!

  • Ray Houghton

    NO! He is a liar, thief, drug addict and brought shame to the Sport and the USA. He should remain unrewarded in any way. If the ‘places’ don’t remain blank, then award the ‘win’ to second place. Armstrong is a criminal, l that endorsement income, the freebies, the speech money, travel and accommodation paid for, disgusting!

  • Michael Phillips

    What about Biarne Rees,(openly admitted using in 1996) Pantani 1998 and Ullrich 1997 (who also admitted) plus Hinault and Merrx (just to name a few) who have stated they used PED’s…..shouldnt they too be wiped from records???

  • The Bat Out of Durham

    He’s a liar and a cheat. Lance Armstrong should remain disqualified. As should all cheats.

  • Bieber_Hater

    drugs cheats? cant get too much S in the world. thats cool

  • Yemi

    In a word “Yes”

  • Gary Crocker

    He should be reinstated. I have all the tour races on disc and after re watching them over and over I believe, between all the top contenders, he earned the wins.

  • chucky

    *facepalm*

  • chucky

    *sigh*

    Of course that would be your fallback tactic – putting words in other people’s mouths when you’re incapable of refuting what they ACTUALLY said.

    Pathetic.

  • chucky

    You have NO valid “point” to “miss”.

  • Dennis Sorrows

    This years tour is good example of why Lance’s titles should be reinstated. To finish first you must first finish….with all but one of the top contenders crashing out we see that there is more to the tour than just pedaling the bike faster/longer than the other riders. Regardless of your views on doping, you have to admit that Lance avoided numerous disasters and potential crashes that could have taken him out of contention during his seven year run. And as other have stated, LA’s cheating was in response to and on par with what 90% of the other riders doing the same, so the competition was as equal as it could be at the time. His punishment is unequally harsh to other riders who were caught doping.

    Is this an ideal situation? No. But I believe that if this sport is ever going to get past the doping era then the sport has to equally punish past offenders (remove all dopers or reinstate the only one removed), adopt new standards of testing and punishment and move on.

  • Ron Hunt

    I’m disapointed that he did use aids but he still won against everyone else who were just as guilty,I feel he has been used as a scape goat,I’ve watched all the vidoes of his win and his training and he was a superb the only problem I have is he lied too long he should have come out earlier.He won fair and square at the time and should have the wins acknowleged.

  • ST-Tech

    HELL NO – he screwed other peoples reputations when he lied and cheated… because other people have taken drugs, just makes him a member of the rotters club **** him and all of the other scumbag cheats.

  • ILW

    If that’s what it takes

  • http://pleaselikeme.tumblr.com statelypenguin

    If we did that there’d be like five TdF winners.

  • Alessandro

    They all trained and they all doped.

  • chucky

    You really have nothing to offer intelligent life, do you?

  • Prestachuck

    He DID test positive.
    He got a backdated prescription, and threw money around to cover it up.
    Read the testimony in the reasoned decision case.
    He in fact tested positive more than once.

  • Prestachuck

    I agree. Not to mention the fact that some athletes are much more responsive to blood doping than others.
    Blood doping turns the field upside down.
    Armstrong couldn’t have even finished the Tour without EPO and bags of red cells.

  • Prestachuck

    No way. Cheating is cheating. Period.
    If there is a power outage, and “everyone else” (it NEVER really is EVERYONE ELSE) is looting stores, that still does not exempt you from the laws against looting, and you belong in prison.
    Armstrong is a piece of trash.
    But then some of us have always known that.
    Too bad they didn’t look further back. I think they might have found more issues within his years racing as a junior.
    USA Cycling is in trouble now for doping juniors during that era.
    And guess who’s name keeps popping up? LancyPoos’ coach, Carmichael who of course doesn’t want to comment on the matter.

  • Peter

    I would pretty strongly question the role of Lance vs. the roles of the team directors, doctors, etc., even sponsors & promoters. The causes/motivations for doping are at least as much “top-down” as “bottoms-up”; these teams had extremely sophisticated programs, it required the whole organization implement them and avoid detection. I think it’s deeply unrealistic and unfair to attribute so much of the responsibility for the doping scandals to one rider in the peloton.

  • Lopekal

    You really have nothing to offer the conversation, do you?

  • Lopekal

    The technology is controlled to a degree by the boundaries that the UCI lay upon it (i.e. 6.7kg weight limit on bikes, etc).

    Trying to compare secretive, fatally dangerous doping regimes to all other aspects that team (legally) employ is the sign of either an apologist for cheats or an ignorant fool.

    And they are not mutually exclusive.

  • http://www.justanothergeek.org Bill Teeple

    yes

  • trummy

    Absolutely NOT – Not just for the fact that he doped – but his attitude towards Filippo Simeoni and others, that has no place in any sport. If you cheat and get away with it you get away with it. If you get caught, you get caught and can expect to face the consequences

  • luckyoldsun

    Then vacate most of the other Tour championships–not just Armstrong’s.

  • Mike Carr

    There is a huge difference. If you can’t see that, you you aren’t looking with both eyes open. Until the day they do pull the trigger and do the same thing across the board, it is a farce. A bad joke.

  • ILW

    So what’s the difference? He was caught out one way or another and appropriate action has been taken. We just need the UCI to pull finger and do the same to the other cheats.

  • Mike Carr

    The memo said the 4 tests showed a minimal level of cortisone. Not high enough to produce a fail on the test. We know he doped, he admitted to it, but he didn’t fail a test.

  • Mike Carr

    Not officially. Fact is out of the 100s of people officially retested and found guilty in the recent years, LA is not one of them…..yet.

  • ILW

    There was a leaked UCI memo about 4 failed tests in 1999. His ban is not a farce. The farce is that so many others have been allowed to get away with it.

  • Mike Carr

    They should all be treated the same, but aren’t and thus his ban and title removal is a farce. Officially, there was no failed results. Until proven there was no cover up.

  • ILW

    At least we agree on one thing, the UCI is moronic. I, however, believe that every drugs cheat should be treated the same as Armstrong. I don’t think Armstrong should be let off the hook. And LA did fail tests – the UCI covered them up in their greed for the American TV audience and the money that brings.

  • ILW

    Armstrong did fail tests during the 1999 and 2001 TdF but the UCI covered it up as they thought it would be bad for the sport at a time when Armstrong was pulling in the huge American TV and advertising bucks.

  • Mike Carr

    That is moronic. Either they use the same rules for everyone or they don’t. They made up a whole NEW punishment just for him. At the same time people who got caught in the act aren’t given a fraction of the punishment, or aren’t even punished at all. It absolutely makes a case for reinstating him, legally and morally. Its like catching a group of drug dealers in the act, giving them a ticket or a warning. Then another drug dealer admits to dealing drugs, but was never caught, but he is an asshole so they put him in jail for life. It is a farce. IF it had been Christophe Bassons who had done the exact same thing, but wasn’t an asshole, he would have been in every Tour since and still hold his titles. Armstrong is most guilty of being a jerk, and American.

  • Mike Carr

    No, not at all. I’m saying that Bassons says he wasn’t using, and passed the very same tests that Armstrong passed. That is all you know. Bassons didn’t fail a test, Armstrong didn’t fail a test. Unless you are Bassons yourself, you have NO way of know if he was any cleaner than anyone else. I think he has a higher likelihood of being clean than most, but then again, his whole team was doping so in reality, one never knows for sure.

  • ILW

    Thanks Lopekal, a good article.

  • Bev King

    Thanks for letting me know that it’s Americans that tend to tear their heros down. I wasn’t aware that other countries don’t do that.

  • chucky

    *facepalm*

  • chucky

    Not sure you understand much of anything.

  • chucky

    You delusionists are sickening.

  • chucky

    Oh so it’s “an arms race where those with the most money can afford ‘better’ doctors and a more efficient regime”? Just like how those with the most money can afford better technology and more efficient training regimes? Just like how those with the most money can afford better soigneurs and more efficient recovery regimes? Just like how those with the most money can afford better domestiques and more efficient team regimes? Just like that?

  • chucky

    *sigh*

    Ummmmmmmmmm, yeah, Champ – I’M the one who’s “missed the point”. Whatever you say.

    *facepalm*

  • Lopekal

    It would appear that CW didnt like my original reply maybe because of the link but I’ll try to remember it as best I can:

    >> “Most of the riders were on something or other so it was a race of equals.”

    Any opinion that contains that sentence should automatically be discounted.

    Doping is not a ‘race of equals’. It is an arms race where those with the most money can afford ‘better’ doctors and a more efficient regime. It is not equal in any terms whatsoever.

    What your opinion suggests is that time in cycling should be forgotten, swept under the carpet, and no lessons learnt from it. All that does is reinforce the power of the omertà, force athletes into doping and show there is no real penalty for cheating.

    Seeing as CW doesnt like links, go and read Gwen Knapp’s article called “The Forgotten Ones” on sports on earth [dot com] from October 23rd 2012

    “Why don’t we talk more, a lot more, about what happened to these people?
    We might learn that all the deaths were coincidental. We’d probably
    discover a lot of conflicting, confusing facts and half-truths. But at
    least we’d learn something of value. It beats obsessing over whether
    Armstrong should receive an asterisk or a DQ, and wondering who really
    won the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.”

  • Lopekal

    Armstrong did test positive during a race and had a retroactive therapeutic use exemption applied.

    You revisionists are sickening.

  • Lopekal

    Armstrong did test positive during a race and had a retroactive therapeutic use exemption applied.

    You revisionists are sickening.

  • ILW

    I agree with you. The UCI has been very weak on this. They need to root out all drug cheats, strip their titles and start again. I would suggest something like a truth and reconciliation commission where people are invited to come forward and tell all they have done, and name and shame all those involved from the top down. Those that co-operate get a 2 year ban, those that don’t and get found out get a life ban. After that start with a clean slate and any caught dopers get automatic life ban.

  • ILW

    I agree with you. The UCI has been very weak on this. They need to root out all drug cheats, strip their titles and start again. I would suggest something like a truth and reconciliation commission where people are invited to come forward and tell all they have done, and name and shame all those involved from the top down. Those that co-operate get a 2 year ban, those that don’t and get found out get a life ban. After that start with a clean slate and any caught dopers get automatic life ban.

  • cyclism

    You may also note that it is only the US that delights in creating heroes and then dragging them down. No other country is even remotely interested in this kind of activity, uniquely American.

    Did you note all the Pantani memoriams and favorable press during the Giro?

  • cyclism

    You may also note that it is only the US that delights in creating heroes and then dragging them down. No other country is even remotely interested in this kind of activity, uniquely American.

    Did you note all the Pantani memoriams and favorable press during the Giro?

  • cyclism

    So we know your stance on LA, what do we do about the rest of the dopers and their titles? do we punish one and ignore the others? I think what people are reacting to with LA is not the doping which everyone agrees should be punished, it is the inequity of the punishment relative to others with the same infractions.

  • cyclism

    So we know your stance on LA, what do we do about the rest of the dopers and their titles? do we punish one and ignore the others? I think what people are reacting to with LA is not the doping which everyone agrees should be punished, it is the inequity of the punishment relative to others with the same infractions.

  • ILW

    While we’re on the subject how’s the Spanish anti-doping program coming along?

  • ILW

    While we’re on the subject how’s the Spanish anti-doping program coming along?

  • ILW

    What I mean is the principle is simple. It’s black and white, yes and no. Did you cheat or didn’t you? Catching the miscreants and cleaning up the sport is not simple. It’s hard, maybe impossible, but that doesn’t mean we should not aspire to clean sport.
    And I agree with you, the rule should apply to everyone.

  • ILW

    What I mean is the principle is simple. It’s black and white, yes and no. Did you cheat or didn’t you? Catching the miscreants and cleaning up the sport is not simple. It’s hard, maybe impossible, but that doesn’t mean we should not aspire to clean sport.
    And I agree with you, the rule should apply to everyone.

  • ILW

    Sorry, let me get this straight – are you saying LA was riding clean?

  • ILW

    Sorry, let me get this straight – are you saying LA was riding clean?

  • Bev King

    I agree that IF all of Lance’s records are to remain removed, then everyone else proven to be guilty (by test or confession) …including riders, directors, managers, etc…. should have their records and awards removed. What would we wind up with on the record books? MAYBE a hand full of forgettable names. You have to admit that thanks to Lance far more people from all countries followed the annual Tour and supported cycling. So I vote YES all of Lance’s records and awards should remain on the records.

    For those who call Lance a bully, who’s to say all the other dopers weren’t also? They just weren’t as popular and easy to ‘drag thru the mud’ as it was to do to Lance. Its a proven fact thru all history as soon as someone makes it to the top, others can’t wait to push them off.

  • Bev King

    I agree that IF all of Lance’s records are to remain removed, then everyone else proven to be guilty (by test or confession) …including riders, directors, managers, etc…. should have their records and awards removed. What would we wind up with on the record books? MAYBE a hand full of forgettable names. You have to admit that thanks to Lance far more people from all countries followed the annual Tour and supported cycling. So I vote YES all of Lance’s records and awards should remain on the records.

    For those who call Lance a bully, who’s to say all the other dopers weren’t also? They just weren’t as popular and easy to ‘drag thru the mud’ as it was to do to Lance. Its a proven fact thru all history as soon as someone makes it to the top, others can’t wait to push them off.

  • cyclism

    If it’s that simple, why aren’t we applying the rule to everyone? Obviously not that simple, and saying so doesn’t make it so

  • cyclism

    If it’s that simple, why aren’t we applying the rule to everyone? Obviously not that simple, and saying so doesn’t make it so

  • ILW

    I won’t be apologetic for being an idealist. I get that cleaning up sport is hard (maybe impossible) but we should still strive for that. Otherwise there is no point in even watching sport.

  • ILW

    I won’t be apologetic for being an idealist. I get that cleaning up sport is hard (maybe impossible) but we should still strive for that. Otherwise there is no point in even watching sport.

  • ILW

    The fact the UCI is not pursuing the others (as they should) does not in any way make a case for reinstating LA’s victories. At least the UCI got it right once.

  • ILW

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • chucky

    *sigh*

    There you go with your asinine reductio ad absurdum again.

    *facepalm*

  • ILW

    I agree. What they should do is something like a truth and reconciliation commission. All riders who ‘come clean’ about their past and name and shame get a two year ban. Those who refuse and get caught out, lifetime ban. Start with a clean slate and then from there on, anyone caught gets all their victories stripped, winnings to be repaid and lifetime ban.

  • ILW

    Yet again you miss the point

  • ILW

    This is obviously going nowhere. I am unwilling to move from my stance that no cheating is acceptable in sport, no matter the circumstances. You clearly have a win at all costs attitude where the end justifies the means, no matter how skullduggerous those means are. I see no point in continuing the debate as I am not going to move towards your POV and you are not going to move towards mine.

  • chucky

    *sigh*

    Duh. ‘Disgraced’ riders who put their own self interests ahead of that of the peleton. You really have no clue what you’re talking about.

  • chucky

    Duh. That wasn’t a “question”, it was an asinine exercise in reductio ad absurdum – so it’s not worthy of an answer.

    Oh, and FYI, I didn’t actually ‘call you names’. I simply enquired if it was possible for you to be any more pathetic and desperate than you’d already been – which IS a perfectly reasonable question (just so you know what one actually looks like).

  • ILW

    No, the point is it’s cheating.

  • ILW

    Ummmmmmmm, remind me how Armstrong was exposed? Oh yes, it was riders breaking the code!

  • chucky

    Duh. The point is that Armstrong (and a lot of others besides) did what needed to be done. Duh.

  • chucky

    Duh, “doctors, other riders and team members who would have known if Basson had doped” are all aware of ‘the code’, and keep their mouths shut. Duh.

  • ILW

    And the people who were racing clean? Can we reinstate their careers?

  • ILW

    One thing about drug taking – you cannot do it in isolation, especially blood doping. There will be doctors, other riders and team members who would have known if Basson had doped, and when he spoke out 90% of the peleton were against him. If any had any evidence of him doping do you not think they would have raised it by now? The riders all know who was doping and who wasn’t – it’s only because of the bizarre omertà amongst them that more have not been named and shamed.

  • ILW

    You still haven’t answered my question from 3 hrs ago. I agree people taking lifts would be absurd, but I am wanting to know where you would draw the line. For me, cheating is cheating and should not be tolerated. You seem to be saying that some cheating is ok, but only if everyone is doing it. I’m just wondering at what point you’d draw the line. Call me pathetic and desperate if you will (you’re entitled to your opinion) but I’d appreciate an answer. And enough with the ‘facepalm’

  • chucky

    “Name calling”? Really?!

    Where exactly? All I see is a question – and given the nature of your comments, an entirely pertinent and appropriate one.

  • dourscot

    Yes, they should.

    Armstrong won those Tours using substances abused my many others who reached the podium. Put them back and put an asterisk beside them stating that they were won under the influence of banned substances.

    History will understand what he did.

  • ILW

    Name calling…really?!

  • chucky

    Seriously?! Could you possible be any more pathetically desperate?

  • chucky

    Seriously? Are you THAT pathetically gullible?! He ONLY spoke out AFTER the whole Festina blow-up. There’s no actual proof he wasn’t on the juice – only hearsay – and we know how reliable that is! The fact is he was NEVER a genuine contender, so he chose to seek ‘fame’ and make money through other means.

  • ILW

    Are you a politician? You are pretty good at not answering the question.

  • ILW

    What are you on? His career was destroyed because he had the balls to speak out about drug use. Not sure that was the best career move ever. But it showed integrity and courage which was in very short supply in those days in the peleton. If he makes some money with a book deal now because the cheaters have finally been found out then good for him, it is no less than he deserves.

  • chucky

    *sigh*

    It’s hardly surprising you feel compelled to resort to the classic ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

    *facepalm*

  • chucky

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah! They’re all clean simply because they say so – and/or in Christophe Basson’s case, there’s money to be made out of denying drug use. Gullible much?

    *facepalm*

  • ILW

    Stalin introduced childcare and free education in the USSR. I suppose that excuses the purges does it?

  • ILW

    He never tested positive? You sound like his lawyer. Oh, no sorry, even his lawyer has had to confirm that he was a drugs cheat.

  • ILW

    They were only top riders because they were doping. If they were not doping perhaps some of the clean riders would have been the top riders. But we’ll never know because the cheating dopers took that from them. I cannot believe how many people are prepared to condone cheating like this. It is quite depressing reading.
    How would you like your child to go into a sport knowing the only way they could succeed is by taking drugs, some of which are incredibly harmful?

  • ILW

    So Chucky if I extend your ‘insight’ to absurd lengths then if a riders start hopping in cars and getting a lift for half the stage that would be ok if they were all doing it?

  • ILW

    Yes it is simple. If you take performance enhancing drugs you’re a cheat. If you don’t you’re not. Why does it have to be any more complicated than that?

  • ILW

    You don’t know me and how much I do. I know how tough it is. But that is not the point is it? The point is that Armstrong (and a lot of others besides) were drugs cheats.

  • ILW

    Let’s start with Christophe Basson. And there were many who didn’t speak out because of fear, and many many more who ended up taking the drugs because they were so desperate for a cycling career.

  • ILW

    My stance is to strip all the cheats of their titles, not just Armstrong. I’m not saying don’t forgive, but they must lose their ill gotten gains.

  • Madonna Buiter

    It’s not so much that he used performance enhancing substances, I agree a lot if not most probably were but it was the court battles, the lying, bullying all team members to use as well. Destroying the reputation of any who dared question him that’s why his ‘wins’ should not be reinstated. He’s a lying cheat and a bully.

  • amanda jones

    His 7 wins should be reinstated. He never tested positive. I know he has caused alot of people grief and heart ache though and that nastiness and bullying gets to me more than him keeping his tour titles.

  • Mike Carr

    Why not? He didn’t fail a single test and people who did, multiple times, where never hit with this harsh a punishment.

  • Mike Carr

    Sure will once you provide a single failed test.

  • luckyoldsun

    The ignorance is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
    Armstrong had no unfair advantage. ALL the top riders were doping.

  • chucky

    Interesting. That “simpleton’s analysis” provided far more realistic and intelligent insight than any of the ignorant drivel YOU have been spouting, so what does that say about YOU?

  • chucky

    Ummmmmmmmm, no. He won by being the BEST overall rider in those seven Tours. Duh.

  • chucky

    Ummmmmmmmmmm, don’t you mean “the ‘failed’ careers of those who [CLAIMED they] refused to dope”?

  • chucky

    Oh really? Christophe Bassons? Can you prove it with 100% irrefutable certainty? No, I didn’t think so.

  • chucky

    Can you name these alleged “clean riders of the time who ended up with no careers because they refused to dope”? Any of them? With 100% irrefutable certainty? No, I didn’t think so.

  • cyclism

    I’m pretty sure being an A-hole does not exclude you from being successful. At best, it is the reverse, and almost a requirement

  • cyclism

    Contador tested positive in the race, Armstrong did not. If we are going to strip admitted dopers, there is a long list cycling needs to address. Riis, Pantani, Merckx, and Indurain if you look at power tables…

  • johnmack

    Pantani had titles striped, no?

  • johnmack

    It wasn’t just racers, but anyone involved in support of the team. If they told the truth, they got punished badly, like Emma O’Reilly did.
    Think about that a minute. What did she do?
    She told the truth.
    For that, he came down on her like a ton of bricks.
    This did not happen with “all the other racers who were doping”.
    What a creep.
    Left the wife that stood by him through cancer too, and then dumped his girlfriend Sheryl Crow. What great character.

  • Jaysun Graham

    All you have to do is go back and look at all the riders who have been busted for drugs or admitted to taking them. So yes, Lance won those tours.

  • Oscar fumero

    Yes….he still for me is a champion as Miguel indurain

  • doublefootballhappiness

    what ever this loser did; he did on drugs. This seven year gap , a perfect reminder for all the dopers.

  • cyclism

    Not to mention, every team in the world cup is doped to the gills. Cycling is the only sport that actually cares to test and punish. Just wait till there is a players union in cycling, it will become illegal to test for EPO or blood boosting just as it is illegal to test football, baseball or basketball players for HGH

  • cyclism

    You are completely correct, but why are we only penalizing one doper? Why are we not stripping titles from Merckx, Indurain, Pantani, etc. etc. Fair is fair, if we are going to strip’em go all the way. To just reply to every response with the plight of the undoped is also too simplistic.

  • ian franklin

    Well said Steph. The problem with Armstrong is that he was not just a cheat and a liar. The problem was that he raised the stakes through his doping that it gave other riders no choice. We’re not talking amphetamines here, we are talking a sophisticated programme that went way, way beyond anything the sport had seen before and he then kept stepping it up so that his rivals were nearly always one step behind. His non-acceptance of his ban and the way he has an excuse (Others did it so did I) continues the lies. But those of us who have lived with sociopaths have seen all of this behaviour type before. He should just end his whingeing and whining and think of those honest folk who were ejected from the peloton (Bassons? Simeoni?) and those who never made it because of his actions. Go away Lance. Please!

  • cyclism

    The question is should titles be stripped from people that were not caught doping at the race (yes, arguments for Armstrong there but he did not officially get caught at the time), but instead from people who admitted, or were implicated later on. If your answer is YES, then I am waiting for titles and podiums to be stripped from: Miguel Indurain, Bjarne Riis, Marco Pantani, Eddy Mercx, Bernard Thevenet, etc. etc. etc. You can’t strip one, then call it a day. BS. To see Eddy and Miguel on the podium at last years tour and not Lance was a farce.

  • Bieber_Hater

    whatever you say ILZ

  • SP

    No, because it is not fair to those who did not cheat. Bribing and bullying to get his way is not a winner just a cheat. He even admitted that he would have not won if it was not for the doping. If you have an advantage over somebody else, lets say for instance having an electric motor in the bottom bracket when nobody else does is that fair or cheating? No difference period.

  • Bieber_Hater

    its a sport. and its a gruelling, tiring sport that will suck every inch of your strength and willpower. pedalling for 6 hours a day of 150 km on average. climbing very steep mountain side roads, hills, going down on descends as fast as 70-80 km/hr with 100+ riders in front of you all jammed into a moving pack. now, go get a bike, get out out on the road and tell me if its a medical experiment. stop spending time on front of the keyboard. go out and see some sun!

  • Bieber_Hater

    YES.

  • Derek Brawders

    The same ban needs to be applied to all who were caught doping, no 6 months here, a year there.. if he is banned from all sport for doping, then all others who have doped should be banned at the same level.. With Contador, ‘oh, he only won one race so we’ll allow him back in 2 years..’.. all or nothing if you’re going to uphold it. You want a clean sport, you reach back as far as there is proof or admittance and you pull the titles and wins, no ‘selective enforcement’.. You’ll lose a lot of history and the sport will have a HUGE stain on it, but if you want it clean you need to go all in or not at all.. period.

  • Peyton W.

    Every sport has cheats. And even the ones not always caught do it too. Wrong…yes. But unless all are treated equally, then yes they should be reinstated. Also, for a guy who beat cancer, he is one I don’t mind that cheated compared to the rest. #survivecancer #cheataway

  • Philip Holman

    Cheating is not OK, neither is persecution. Find another doped rider who has been punished as much and he is still being punished, Plus a life time ban and all the other crap the media hype to sway public opinion. He has and continues to be severely punished, On what moral grounds is it OK to continue? That is totally against Christian philosophy.

  • Philip Holman

    Of course it doesn’t. Neither does his punishment compared to all the other dopers. If you want a clean sport, try tiddlewinks. I get the idealist stance but get real. As for wrongs, let (s)he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Steph Durant

    A simpleton’s analysis.

    Just make sure SOME of the others are cheating and then cheat BETTER than all of them, including by bribes and threats. WTF?!?

    Loonytunes.

  • Steph Durant

    And then he lost it 7 times. NOW, end of story.

    Move on folks.

    (OK, let’s reinstate the wins so that when still more evidence comes up about how he, say, for example, paid every other rider to let him win, we can just strip him of his wins again. Enough already. Done with the dirtbag.)

  • Steph Durant

    He “won” only by bribery, thuggery, drugging, cheating and skanking.

    No reinstating nothing: no wins, no lifting of his lifetime ban.

    Adios, Amigos!!

    Bizarre suggestion to let people caught off the hook because not all the people who cheated got caught ?!?! What ?!??!? Talk about some daft!!! Where do these people come up with their logic?!? Absolutely bizarro!!

  • StupidPolice

    He won! What happens after is too late – it’s that simple. How many soccer matches were won by cheating or incorrect referee decisions which only became clear later? The results always stand.

  • ILW

    Have you ever heard the saying ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’? Well I’ve got news for you, 90% drugging doesn’t make a fair! clean contest.

  • ILW

    Oh, so because not many were riding drug free that means cheating is ok? On what moral ground is your argument founded?

  • Philip Holman

    Don’t reinstate him, just lift his lifetime ban. I’m sure he would settle for that.

  • ILW

    That is beside the point, surely.

  • Philip Holman

    I’m trying to but they are so few and far between I’m having a hard time. Most of the people LA went after were themselves outed dopers. Those that were not, selectively told the truth. Greg Lemond outed no one except LA……go figure that out.

  • ILW

    Not sure I understand your point

  • ILW

    Except training is not unfair, it’s what sport is all about.

  • Philip Holman

    The part about 90% of the peloton being cheats. I’d be OK with not reinstating if he was one of just a few but he wasn’t.

  • ILW

    Ask the clean riders of the time who ended up with no careers because they refused to dope how ‘even the terrain’ felt for them

  • Farbar

    Are there that many to consider? There may not be.

  • ILW

    What you are mooting is not sport but a medical experiment and those with the most expensive doctors will win…how depressing

  • ILW

    Why don’t you ask clean cyclists of the time like Christophe Bassons whether he thinks it was a level playing field?

  • ILW

    Your simplistic view ignores the ‘failed’ careers of those who refused to dope. To them it wasn’t a level playing field.

  • ILW

    I agree – all past winners who were not clean should have their titles stripped. No place for cheats in sport

  • ILW

    Agree. Think of all those who had no careers because they wanted to race clean.

  • jmsptrk

    so does altitude, but they still ride through the mountains.

  • ILW

    Don’t be so daft. There is NO place for cheats in sport. There are a lot of past winners who should have their titles stripped too if only the UCI had the balls to do anything about it. And I think past cheats should not be allowed to take any part, including managing teams etc. I like Nibali and the way he races but his riding for Astana just feels wrong to me. I honestly hope he isn’t doping.

  • Bicycle Pete

    I love Lance. He’s a hero in so many ways. I’ve even forgiven him for not owning up to the truth sooner. However for the rules of professional cycling to ever be respected, the obvious answer here is NO. Lance knew when he cheated that if he was caught there would be the probability of disqualification. His name had to be removed. He broke the rules. End of story.

  • Alessandro

    He won the race 7 times. End of story.

  • Alessandro

    so does just plain old training.

  • Dave Pace

    I look at it like this. He was a bully, and an ahole to his friends. No one can deny that. Heck he admitted it. But being a good friend or not is not what the TDF is about. It is not Miss America.

    What the TDF is about is racing. And racing “Clean”. So to answer this question you must ask the following.

    Did Lance race and win those tours? Yes.
    Did lance race clean? No
    Did the others that race race clean. No
    So on that alone that is a no,But then you come to the 1 question that makes the answer a yes. And that is as follows.

    Did Lance Armstrong race the TDF while “Doping” against others who were racing the TDF at the same time that were “Doping” and win against those that had the exact same advantage as him? Then the answer is a YES.

    In the end the race was 1 doper against another. No one had any more of an advantage than the other. The playing field was level no matter how much it was then frowned on.

    So on te note that the playing field was even I will have to say yes re-instate them, but they should be asterisked.

  • Jamie Taylor

    It was not a level playing field. You need to research. If you have a
    Lower haemoglobin count then you can get more benefit from EPO and blood tranfusions… Doping effects people differently and unfairly.

  • Mike Carr

    The playing field was as level as it could be. It is a corrupt sport and he should have his titles. The real issue with Armstrong is how much of a jerk he was to people who outed him.

  • Ryan Kirchoff

    He should be re-instated. Right above this article it still shows winners in 2012 who are doping. This sport has always, and will always deal with this because it is simply the most grueling sporting event in the world. I will not be convinced of the sports cleanliness until I start to see the speeds revert backwards. I used to ride, nothing on this scale, but would train and still can not see how those guys coupld accomplish this feat without the use of some PED’s. Re-instate him and the wins. Or go back and erase any rider who was ever convicted of anything. I think its useless to continue down this road, because there will always be guys caught, and going back on riders years after they won and nailing these guys is a joke. These guys, if not caught during the event or within at least 6 months of it, shouldn’t have stuff stripped. Re-instate all the cheaters.

  • LorenzoJ

    The US witch hunters wanted his titles stripped. His closest competitors for most of those years will say that Lance won those tours. Let the wins stand for those years especially as the officials have no interest in moving anyone else up to claim the win. Put an asterisk on if you must.

  • Patrick Trepp

    Give them back… Let’s put an end to this. He won them just like the others that won the Tour.. Drugs or not.. He had to pedal that bike not the drugs..

  • http://gramtrails.com/ Jim Garlits

    Yes, Lance’s wins should be reinstated, and they should have asterisks next to them, as should everyone who made the podium by doping. Everybody was doping. I think Lance aggressively pursued his detractors because he knew it was so widespread that they were actually “racing on even terrain.” I watch basketball games where players are receiving oxygen on the bench. Doping was nothing different than that, and THAT is widely practiced.

  • f0rtylegz

    Lance WON. He should be reinstated.

  • David chadderton

    I like the Eddy Merkx, “No comment”, best. Eddy understands all of the truth and the consequences, I think. The clock cannot turned back. If it was, how far should it be turned back? To 1901 or Madison Square Gatden perhaps? No, decisions have been made by the authorities, riders, teams, doctors, DS’s have all been sanctioned, banned or fined, now it is a lawyers picnic to finalise. Professional sport may never have been an equal race, even The Milk Race must have had Eastern European racers who were untouchable by British amateurs. Reg Harris reckoned he raced against drugged sprinters. No, clean up the spirt as best we can, test and let the authorities make their decisions. Do not wreck decisions already made or there will be anarchy and then how will teenagers today ever become champions without doping?

  • allen moyer

    We all know he won those tours. It is sad watching the TDF coverage now and seeing all those great tours cut from any highlights. It was a level playing field as all of the peleton was doping.

  • johnmack

    Reinstate?
    Then the message will be “If the cheat is big enough, the win will be reinstated”, which almost sounds like Third Reich thinking, which is so fitting for the way Armstrong went after people who dared tell the truth.
    Can those people have their careers “reinstated”?

  • Gordie Hordie

    What part of “Cheat” do people not understand, And Eddy was caught cheating several times.

  • Bobby Bobson

    if armstrong gets his reinstated then contador gets his reinstated as well? therefore schlock voting for himself to lose his title? or because of contador being the only one on drugs he wouldn’t get his back

  • Baz Elvin

    Much could be said on the subject but one word is enough to answer the question “Should the wins be reinstated?” No