Polite discussion and black tape

News & Results

03/5/2013| 0 comments
by Neil Browne
Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis in their US Postal days Fotoreporter Sirotti

Polite discussion and black tape

Some of the main protagonists in the doping scandal met at Yale.

goal of putting the subject in front of uninvested people (Yale students and the public) and who might come up with a novel approach that's more effective to protect clean athletes.”

At one point during the panel discussion a bar graph was used to demonstrate how the climbing speeds in the Tour de France have declined in recent years, in contrast to the 1990s and 2000s when EPO use was rampant, dipping down to speeds similar to those in the 1980s. Did Landis feel this demonstrated that USADA and other government agencies were winning the fight against doping?

“I am highly skeptical of the claims that cycling has been cleaned up as Vaughters states. The reason the bar graphs show that the speeds of the winning riders have been reduced down to 1980 talent might be because the best riders have been kicked out. In other words it might only show that the B-team was doping.”

Sitting next to Landis in the panel was Vaughters who simplistically debunked the “level playing field” myth. But according to Landis, Vaughters thought the panel was going to discuss a completely different topic.

“I told him it was a fashion show and it wasn’t until he got there that I told him it was an anti-doping panel,” said Landis.

Yeah, I don't believe Landis' explanation of Vaughters' appearance either. That said the Garmin-Sharp manager was impeccably dressed, so perhaps he thought fashion was to be discussed later?

Vaughters and Tygart had many interesting points and opinions which were helpful to those not fully immersed into the minutia of the cycling crisis. The discussion at Yale for the most point was aimed at those who are still trying to wrap their head around all the information. Vaughters and Tygart were breaking it down into chunks that people could understand.

Vaughters briefly explained vector doping, AKA blood doping, but left out its recovery advantage. However, his explanation was good enough for the general public that was attending. Meanwhile, sitting quietly was Landis who has undeniably strong opinions about how the sport is run and has also been a part of team-wide doping. Why was he quiet?

“I organized it so those guys could voice their opinion. I'm not that involved in cycling anymore and I was interested in what they had to say.”

One rider who was not a part of the Yale panel discussion and would have been an interesting addition, if he had the courage to answer questions truthfully, was Lance Armstrong.

“No,” was the succinct answer to if Armstrong had been asked to be part of the panel.

The highlight of the whole event is the last 90-seconds of the discussion where someone tried to crowbar her way into the question and answer portion of the event. Trust me – go watch it and you'll understand why “#earpieces” is a popping up on Twitter.

As more lawsuits pile on the discredited seven-time Tour de France champion and he refuses to cooperate with USADA an increasing number of people no longer care what Armstrong says. His

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