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Lance Armstrong Says ‘Enough is Enough’!

In rare occasions, Cognac Paradis writes about a subject unrelated to Cognac.

Yesterday, the news have announced that Lance Armstrong the winner of 7 Tour de France in a row from 1999 to 2005 and 3rd position in 2009, also winner of the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and so many other titles would be stripped off his titles, awards and money he won from August 1998 onward according to the World Anti-Doping Code.

After more than a decade of fighting examinations of doping-related crimes, Lance Armstrong, one of the best known and most successful athletes in recent history, gave up yesterday on Thursday 23 August 2012, one month short of his 41st birthday, ending his fight against charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

As a side note, the examinations and accusations are from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, and not from the Tour de France officials or independent French people who do not like Lance. On the contrary, many French people like him and are sadden by this situation and breaking news. Here are screen shots from a vide I took of him while he competed in his last Tour de France in 2009. Photo was taken 10 miles on the way to the arrival in Perpignan (8th July 2009, Cap d’Agde to Perpignan). He was wearing the yellow jersey and everyone was screaming ‘allez Lance!’.

Lance Armstrong 2009 Tour de France

Lance Armstrong 2009 Tour de France

Like so many other people I idealized Lance and respected much of his achievements including creating his cancer foundation based on his credential of surviving cancer at the age of 25 year old and then building up his sport career. Who can forget the Livestrong yellow wristbands that became a global symbol of mental strength with 100s of million people wearing the bands.

I am appalled by how long this all thing took to unfold.  Yesterday, Lance decided to ‘admit’ his use of drugs I guess to allow him not to go through the arbitration process which would have mean that witnesses would have testified against him in a messy judgment including close friends such as George Hincapie or Tyler Hamilton. Lance does not need this and it may be time for him to move on. This decade of accusations must have been difficult on his personal life and I think most people can understand his decision. We all would rather remember him as it is without the drama.

For this reason I decided to go through the official results of the Tour de France since 1999 when he first won the Tour de France to revise the results to let us all move on and keep Lance as the cycling hero of the 2000s in peace.

Obviously, this opens the door to some new results which will take another decade to appear in the official books. So thanks to the internet we can get this done quickly. Here are my comments on the interesting changes it generates.

1) Jan Ullrich

We can not re-live history but Jan Ullrich becomes a new legend from this as his personal results make him a 5 times Tour de France winner now.

Jan Ullrich (GER) 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2003

One may wonder if it would have been the same without Lance for Jan. Sometimes your competitors are driving you to be the best you can be. But it is a bitter-sweet news for Jan as I am sure he would have preferred to win at the time rather than now.

2) Other interesting changes are for Alexandr Vinokourov (KAZ) who places now 2nd in 2003 who recently won the Gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. He won at about 40 years old on the first day of the Olympics. Aleksandr was a contemporary of Lance and that is amazing it happened. Alexandr also had some problem with doping issues but I will not get into it.

3) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) who just won the 2012 Tour de France and the Gold medal time trial in the 2012 London Olympic Games 2 weeks ago, is now finishing 3rd in 2009. He was kind of presented as a newcomer this 2012 Tour de France, not anymore.

4) These changes also emphasize the importance and to some extent the dominance of the Spanish riders since the early 1990s in the Tour de France, congrats to name a few:

Miguel Indurain, Carlos Sastre and Joseba Beloki

At this point the idea is that everyone has to decide what matters most and move on. I think he is a champion and the rest is unfortunate.

Let’s hope this is the end of this and we will see more great Tour de France.

1999:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Alex Zulle (SUI)
2. Fernando Escartin (ESP)
3. Laurent Dufaux (SUI)

2000:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Jan Ullrich (GER)
2. Joseba Biloki (ESP)
3. Christophe Moreau (FR)

2001:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Jan Ullrich (GER)
2. Joseba Beloki (ESP)
3. Andrei Vivilev (KAZ)

2002:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Joseba Beloki (ESP)
2. Raimondas Rumsaas (LIT)
3. Santiago Botero (COL)

2003:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Jan Ullrich (GER)
2. Alexandr Vinokourov (KAZ)
3. Tyler Hamilton (USA)

2004:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Andreas Kloden (GER)
2. Ivan Basso (ITA)
3. Jan Ullrich (GER)

2005:
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
1. Ivan Basso (ITA)
Jan Ullrich (GER) tested positive
2. Francesco Mancebo (ESP)
3. Alexandr Vinokourov (KAZ)

2006:
Floyd Landis (USA) tested positive
1. Oscar Pereiro (ESP)
2. Andreas Kloden (GER)
3. Carlos Sastre (ESP)

2007:
1. Alberto Contador (ESP)
2. Cadel Evans (AUS)
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA)

2008:
1. Carlos Sastre (ESP)
2. Cadel Evans (AUS)
Bernhard Kohl (AUT) tested positive
3. Denis Menchov (RUS)

2009:
1. Alberto Contador (ESP)
2. Andy Schleck (LUX)
Lance Armstrong (USA) tested positive
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBR)

2010:
Alberto Contador (ESP) tested positive
1. Andy Scheck (LUX)
2. Denis Menchov (RUS)
3. Samuel Sanchez (ESP)

2011:
1. Cadel Evans (AUS)
2. Andy Schleck (LUX)
3. Frank Schleck (LUX)

2012:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
2. Chris Froome (GBR)
3. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)

SOURCE: www.nytimes.com

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , .
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