Thursday, May 27, 2010


Belief Systems

The Service Course has had a few inquiries on how it's managed to not weigh in on last week’s Floyd Landis confessusations. Well, the fact is, between the time I heard and the time I could even think about writing anything – a period of roughly 45 minutes – everything about the whole mess had already been written six or seven times over. Sure, it was written with widely varying degrees of sanity, logic, giddiness, mouth-frothing, and spelling acumen, but it was written nonetheless, and I didn’t really have much to add to the conversation. We all read the same articles, the same denials, and the same trail of emails, didn't we? There just wasn't that much more information out there.

Not adding to the noise was one motivation for keeping silent, but I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that there was another reason as well: when it comes to anything Lance Armstrong-related, people are fucking nuts. I mean, have you seen the things people write on other sites and in comments sections about this thing? I can actual feel the veins on their foreheads throbbing. So, if I were looking to lead a nice, quiet life, free from people calling me names, questioning my manhood, and threatening my dog, I’d apparently be better off writing that Jesus didn’t exist than daring to wonder aloud whether Lance Armstrong might have, once upon a time, taken a little taste of the forbidden fruit.

I don’t cover the Jesus beat, though --- I write about professional cycling, so I guess I have to take what I’m handed. But this Landis/Armstrong quagmire does feel a whole lot like a religious issue sometimes, in that there’s very little I or anyone else can write that will change what each individual already believes to be true, and in that the more anyone tries to sway people's beliefs, the more pissed off those people are going to get. And, just like religion, I’m not sure I really want to change anyone’s mind, anyway. But since people keep asking me whether I "believe Landis," I’ll risk my fictional dog’s well-being and tell you what I believe:

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Ryan, an excellent post that really tears apart the situation on a fairly neutral point-by-point basis. You have expressed many things in a single post that have been swimming in my mind since the story broke.

What struck me most was that a) the vast majority of the media were reporting on someone else's story, rather than doing their own research or verification, and b) that Landis admitted to taking everything in the medicine cabinet, except for what he was convicted of. So many people who are calling him a liar, don't have complete justification for this. He "could" be guilty of a - y, but not z.
Great post. I have been searching for an analytical and philosophical take on this Landis/Cycling situation. While I am completely against drugs in competition, there are other areas that athletes seek to gain an edge. I have come to believe that this is the case in all sorts of competition from the beginning of Darwin's Theory. The Landis situation sucks us all "in"(drama). He has performed and spoken unethically on all fronts. As a man and as an athlete. He has nothing to lose and is a volatile individual, probably even to himself. He is willing to bring down individuals that have careers at stake(directly the Bahati Racing Team) He should move on and make a change for himself and then others. No one appreciates The Village Idiot
Julich is another not caught up in it
Very well said. You iterated a lot of points that are applicable here.....where there's smoke there's fire, team/personnel involvement in doping activities, the fingers in the ears crowd, etc.

Floyd got busted for doing what everyone else was doing, and he got caught. Can you imagine how po'd he is when he finishes his suspension, and everyone has abandoned him? He played good boy, didn't talk, then he's fucked by the "network". Frankly, I'd be pissed too. He lost everything. Not a justification, but you can see where the guy is coming from.

And good job highlighting how impugning Landis' credibility doesn't buy license to ignore the claims. But those are typically the LA apologists, so we go around in circles again....
On the fraud point - I don't think they have to show a direct cash link. I believe they could prosecute based on Fraudulent representation, or Obtaining of funds by fraudulent means. That is to say that, US Postal will have handed over cash on the basis that they believed the team to be clean, and may have received assurances to that effect. Were the people that made those assurances 'in the know' (i.e lets assume the assurances were made by the senior rider and team management, and that what Landis has said is pristine) then they have lied to obtain funds - ergo, committed fraud.

Thats my understanding of how a case might be made without a cash trail.
Allen Lim's rice cakes! That's hysterical. I remember that article too. The rice cakes were offered as a cheaper and more delicious alternative to energy gels. I think there also was an option for including vitamins and minerals in some liquid form.

To be serious, I too always scratched my head at how JV could justify hirng Lim.

Also, I too am waiting for Tyler Hamilton and Tugboat to come out and say something. What does he have to lose anymore?
Funny that you start the post saying you're not sure if you have anything to add to the discussion and then do just that.

I have to agree that the Garmin stance is huge as the way I read their press release didn't just say "feel free to cooperate" but "you better cooperate because if you don't and someone else rats you out then you are done". That and "Kik" cooperating feel like the tipping point that might crack this whole thing open.

I Also agree with the comment above on not needing a cash trail. If you take money from the gov' and spend money on illegal stuff it's curtains, no matter how the accounting works.
a very educated selection of points- very well made..
most to my own opinion.

here comes the but.......
Unless FL comes up with some evidence it is mud thrown to a wall.

He should have 'come out' with back up and something, anything to back up statements.
the LA camp has another chance to circle the wagons and cycling get more rubbish headlines- underlining the shame and doubt tag our sport has spent 40 yrs developing.

Im worried nothing/no one will come out to make the mud-stick. then a cry wolf situation will envelope and the farce extended.

Lets all keep riding and spreading the ethical ethos from the grass roots up.
Good work, the only thing I think you can be pulled up over is the statement over bad record keeping, as far as I can gather from my reading of the whole situation Landis was told in 02 about a positive test that happened in the 01 Tour of Switzerland.

Maybe you should check that out ?
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