Saturday, September 25, 2004


Two stories today that I felt I had to comment on- I’m steering clear of Kerry and co. and their absolutely staggering insults to Prime Minister Allawi because it just doesn’t seem possible that anyone could be so stupid (but the Kerry seems to be plumbing new depths as each week of the campaign goes past).

First up, a little bit of movie news- plans are afoot for Terminator 4 with the possibility of a small appearance by the Governator. I hope that they can pull this off because I’ve a soft spot for this franchise and it’ll be interesting to see how they cope without Arnie. Maybe Vin Diesel could be brought in to play a Terminator?

Second, is this nonsense. Even though he’s never failed a drugs test and has legitimately won the Tour de France a record six times, a company charged with paying Lance Armstrong a $5 million bonus is refusing to cough up- because of a book which claims he’s taken drugs. At the time of the Tour I can recall hearing about this book and its claims- none of which have been proven. In the Tour the yellow jersey wearer, the top three finishers and also some random cyclists are drug tested every day as far as I know. So Lance was drug tested quite a lot this Tour and never once failed a test. That this company is refusing to pay out now is ridiculous and an insult to a great sporting hero. I hope Lance sues the hell out of them for this.


Anonymous said...

How can you know whether or not he has cheated by taking erythropoietin, testosterone and/or growth hormone. Reading an article on (which you can look at here: and (possibly naively) assuming there is any truth to it, surely any cyclist could cheat to a certain extent and still know he could 'get away with it'. Presumably however, if this is the case, most cyclists will do so and it creates a reasonably level field. Thus, Armstrong would still be the best Tour De France cyclist about. However, the wording of his contract and legislation within relating to his payments might create a loophole where he would, quite legitimately, not get paid. It's just a theory and not necessarily correct. I'm not saying Armstrong is or is not a cheat or whether the company refusing to pay out is or is not being stupid about it, just that it might be within its legal rights to hold back on payment.

Jay.Mac said...

I accept that there can be problems testing for drugs (the 50% hematocrit level for example is not so accurate- an athlete's normal level can be pushed up to that level by dehydration or so I've heard) but for a professional athlete drug testing doesn't just occur during an event, but also throughout- and off-season, so the argument that an athlete could cheat a few weeks before an event and still get the benefit isn't the most convincing- he could be tested at any time- especially for someone in Armstrong's position. Also, the upper limits for hematocrit and testosterone have to be there because people vary naturally- normal distribution is along a bell curve, with most people at the peak and some to either side. Some people are bound to have naturally high red blood count levels for example and so any level set to drug test will have to take this into account. Lance has won six Tours now and has never once tested positive during any event in his career, so I don't think that the company charged with paying his bonus has any basis on which to withhold it on what is simply hearsay from a (possibly disgruntled) ex-employee of the team. According to the rules of the race Armstrong has legitimately won the Tour- he's passed the drug tests given to him and that's all there is to it. As well as trying to get their money, I'm sure Armstrong's team is also considering some sort of slander suit too. I know I would.