I can’t add anything unique or meaningful to the Lance Armstrong issue — though I definitely enjoy discussing it in-person, if you’re interested in chatting it up. But it may be useful to put-together a few of the outstanding links that have popped-up in the past 10 days.
I love how livestrong’s official video of the 15th anniversary last weekend doesn’t include Armstrong’s closing line, “let’s have a helluva good time tonight”, which was captured by attendees and uploaded to youtube.
Neal Karlinsky’s story on ABC News merged the official (with the unofficial) together to good effect here:
When your organization’s disgraced founder closes his MLK-quote-infused opening remarks with a declaration to party-it-up, Texas-style, you gotta wonder.
It made me wonder of Armstrong’s similarities to another Texan biker, who, after remarking about suicide bombers in Israel, famously declared, “now watch this drive.”
Back to Karlinsky’s story, I was amused that one of the attendees at the Livestrong bash would think it appropriate to make a “zip the lips” gesture, the same move Armstrong made to cameras and Felippo Simeoni in the 2004 Tour de France, after purposely preventing Simeoni from having a chance to win a stage and speak publicly about the evils of doping, and specifically of the doctor they shared, Michele Ferrari.
You can see Armstrong chase down Simeoni and do the lip-zip in this video from the USADA document drop.
Gwenn Knapp has a remarkable piece about the cyclists who died from EPO (often in their sleep, because their blood was too thick with red blood cells) during the Armstrong dope-race of the late 90s and early 2000s. And Kathy Lemond has a companion piece from a few years ago about the death of Johannes Draaijer:
“I finally found the phone and answered. All I heard was screaming and crying. I totally panicked. I yelled to wake Greg up. I didn’t even understand who was on the phone. Then I got it. Anna-Lisa Draaijer was sobbing that she had tried everything but,” he was dead.” He was cold when she touched him. She was waiting for the ambulance and what should she do?” He’s dead! He is cold, he is cold. I am so afraid! Oh my God, oh my God!””
“I’m sorry I told Christian Vande Velde to dope or get dropped from the team, and I’m sorry I allowed David Zabriskie to dope, because he got into cycling to escape his drug-addict father, the way I used it to pedal away from my absent father and my abusive stepfather and the emptiness of Plano, Texas.”
Former Sports Illustrated scribe Selena Roberts penned “The Influence Peddler”, which highlighted Armstrong’s connections with politics (yet didn’t mention Sensenbrenner), with an enlightening tale of how desperately he wanted a photograph with Obama on his arm.
Four Corners, an Australian TV-show, have a long, 40-minute segment including interviews with the principles (or principled). It’s a must see, and be sure to look at the included snippets from the SCA depositions, included on the right-side of the page.
And today, one of my old favorites, Robert Millar chimed-in with this intelligence: “The Bare Minimum”, which includes this gem:
“Of course those teams in at the very start of the substance abuse held a head start for the first few years, but eventually the lesser teams caught up and everyone could ride up a mountain at 30kmh with their mouths closed.”
Which is exactly what I saw while standing roadside on Alpe d’Huez in 2001, as a former cyclist and cycling fan long before converting to a Lance-fan, and not long before realizing he was a fraud (thanks in large part to his actions against Simeoni in 2004, plus Emma O’Reilly’s statements, and then the leaked depositions in 06(?) from the SCA case).
It’s hard to believe that a busy family man like Armstrong would go through the steps to actually block me on twitter — the truth must hurt him more than any of us know. As always, the twitter has proven to be a ridiculously relevant resource while following the story. Start with @nyvelocity, @theraceradio, @davidwalshst and work your way up from there!
And if you haven’t made it through the remarkable USADA affidavits, you can load-up here, but be sure to click “Appendices and Supporting Materials”.
And again, the famous Armstrong push of the “LiveClean Devil” during the 2009 Tour of California.
Oh, and how about the infamous 2009 question from Paul Kimmage, while Hincapie and Leipheimer sat on their hands, saying nothing? Never mind the “journalists” in the room who applauded when Lance dressed Kimmage down.
In hindsight, if you sub-out “Floyd” and “Landis” and replace it with “I”, Lance could be seen to be prophetically speaking about his current, confessionless situation:
“I do not believe I am guilty. So to appease people like you, and others, I can’t confess. I don’t feel like I’m guilty. I don’t feel like I broke the rules. You can’t do that just to get people off your back.”
“And finally, the last thing I’ll say to the people who don’t believe in cycling, the cynics and the sceptics: I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry that you can’t dream big. I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles.”
I would love to see a collection of images where Lance Armstrong’s name or quote or poster is being removed from the walls of cafeterias, buildings, fitness clubs and bedrooms. This photo, from the Daily Mail is the best example I’ve seen, taken at the OTC in Colorado Springs.