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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.”

    • 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?

      • 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.

    • ILW

      Thanks Lopekal, a good article.

  • 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

      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?

      • 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.

    • 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?

  • 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

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

    • 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?

  • doublefootballhappiness

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

  • 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.

    • ILW

      I agree wholeheartedly.

  • 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.

    • luckyoldsun

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

      • 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?

        • luckyoldsun

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

  • 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

    • ILW

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

  • 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!!

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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!

    • chucky

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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

  • Philip Holman

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

  • ILW

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

  • 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.

    • 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.)

  • 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.

    • ILW

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

      • Bieber_Hater

        whatever you say ILZ

      • 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.

        • johnmack

          Pantani had titles striped, no?

        • 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?

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

      • chucky

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

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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?

          • chucky

            *sigh*

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

            *facepalm*

          • ILW

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

          • chucky

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

          • ILW

            Name calling…really?!

          • 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.

          • 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

            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

            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*

            There you go with your asinine reductio ad absurdum again.

            *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.

  • 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.

    • ILW

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

      • chucky

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

      • Mike Carr

        Sure will once you provide a single failed test.

        • ILW

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

          • 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

            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

            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

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

  • 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.

    • ILW

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

      • 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!

        • 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.

          • chucky

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

          • ILW

            No, the point is it’s cheating.

          • chucky

            *facepalm*

          • chucky

            *facepalm*

  • 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

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

          • 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.

          • ILW

            Yet again you miss the point

          • chucky

            *sigh*

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

            *facepalm*

          • chucky

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • Alessandro

        so does just plain old training.

        • ILW

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

          • Alessandro

            They all trained and they all doped.

      • jmsptrk

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

        • ILW

          Not sure I understand your point

          • chucky

            Not sure you understand much of anything.

  • 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”?

    • ILW

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

      • Farbar

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

        • ILW

          That is beside the point, surely.

        • 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.

          • 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

      • 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

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

          • 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.

          • 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.

          • http://pleaselikeme.tumblr.com statelypenguin

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

          • ILW

            If that’s what it takes

  • Gordie Hordie

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

    • 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

        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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

  • 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

    • 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…

      • Lopekal

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

        You revisionists are sickening.

        • chucky

          You delusionists are sickening.

          • Lopekal

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

          • chucky

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

      • Lopekal

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

        You revisionists are sickening.

  • Baz Elvin

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

    • Bieber_Hater

      YES.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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.