Wednesday, August 24, 2005

French Say Armstrong Cheated In First Tour Win

One day after being beaten by Lance Armstrong for the seventh straight time, some French crybabies thought and thought. "Sacre Bleu! Zat Americain Lance Armstrong beet us at our own game again! How, oh how can we undo zis? Ah, we can use really old urine samples to say he cheated!" And that's what they did....
French officials of the Tour De Lance, er France claimed that they have evidence that Lance Armstrong used illegal performance enhancing drugs during his first Tour win.
"Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc's comments appeared in the French sports daily L'Equipe on Wednesday, a day after the newspaper reported that six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the '99 Tour tested positive for the red blood cell-booster EPO. 'For the first time -- and these are no longer rumors, or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts -- someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body,' Leblanc told L'Equipe."
Someone? Who's this someone, and how can he or she be sure these samples are from Armstrong? Well we see in the story that the French national anti-doping laboratory did the testing. The samples were provided from various riders and were to be kept anonymous. In fact the lab denied they could even match the riders with the samples. That didn't stop our intrepid L'Equipe from publishing "on one side of a page what it claimed were the results of EPO tests from anonymous riders used for lab research. On the other, it showed Armstrong's medical certificates, signed by doctors and riders after doping tests -- and bearing the same identifying number printed on the results."
Ok, because I've had blood and urine tests myself, I can verify that there are two matching sets of numbers, one on the control paperwork left at the provider's office and a numbered label sent to the lab along with the sample. So if the numbers really matched Armstrong's testing papers it could be seen as circumstantial evidence he used the drugs. However, Jean-Francois Lamour, the French Sports Minister said "he had doubts about L'Equipe's report because he had not seen the originals of some of the documents that appeared in the paper." Hm, something's Rather-gate strange about those papers, there are no originals. Mais oui! Those papers do exist! Trust us, we know, we got them from a Kinko's in Texas! And they were typed on an IBM Selectric typewriter!
Until we can see the originals I would withhold judgment on the test results. If the results are real, it certainly tarnishes Lance Armstrong and his achievements. The story said six samples tested positive, how many samples were there? Will L'Equipe produce these originals? We don't know. Perhaps Sandy Berger can smuggle them out of France for us to examine. One thing we do know is that "L'Equipe is owned by the Amaury Group whose subsidiary, Amaury Sport Organization, organizes the Tour de France and other sporting events. The paper often questioned Armstrong's clean record and frequently took jabs at him -- portraying him as too arrogant, too corporate and too good to be real. 'Never to such an extent, probably, has the departure of a champion been welcomed with such widespread relief,' the paper griped the day after Armstrong won his seventh straight Tour win and retired from cycling."
Yes, I hope the results are false, just because the French envy him, however even the French could be right once in a while.

2 comments:

GUYK said...

Its just more French bullshit and just about what i expect from the frog eating filthy bastards.

ScottG said...

Guy,

I've also given up my French heritage.