Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

From the Stands

Recently, cyclists have been getting caught using performance-enhancing drugs. A USADA report reveals that Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France, was among those.
Courtesy of Furman Athletics

Over the years, I’ve heard story after story of cyclists getting banned after testing positive to various drugs that enhance their performance in races, most notably the Tour de France, a grueling three week cycling event that sends its riders through three countries. Recently, however, it seems that these cases are becoming more and more common.

As the technology improves, the amount of cyclists testing positive to using performance-enhancing drugs liekwise increases.

Although he had beeen investigated for over two years, seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong managed to maintain a clean record. Until now, that is.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) came out with a report last week revealing Lance Armstrong’s doping, leading many to refer to it as the the greatest fraud in American sports.

Twenty-six people, 11 of whom were Armstrong’s teammates at some point in his career, including Landis and Hamilton, have stepped forward.

All of them say that Armstrong was guilty of using performance enhancing drugs like erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone, cortisone, testosterone, and blood transfusions. They also maintain that he never got caught because of the level of care that went into covering everything up.

Some of the witness testimonies includes secret nighttime meetings between Armstrong and Dr. Michele Ferrari, a mysterious “breakdown” of the U.S. Postal Team’s bus before a race, babysitting blood in Armstrong’s home, and a hefty donation to UCI to cover up a positive test result. With mountains upon mountains of testimonies and evidence piling up, it’s difficult to ignore.

What was the result of this discovery? Well, first off, Armstrong received a lifetime ban from sports under the USADA realm and was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories, although this has yet to be verified by the International Cycling Union.

Armstrong has fervently denied the allegations until recently, when he decided to drop his fight against the USADA investigation. While it may come as a huge shock to some, I don’t find it nearly as surprising.

After all, Armstrong had the most to lose out of any of his teammates, with seven Tour de France wins under his belt and years of denial of any use of banned substances in the sport, and a multi-million dollar foundation devoted to helping cancer patients.

What this document and the escalating number of positive test results for performance enhancing drugs has done, in essence, is prove that doping has become as important as the races themselves.

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