The Most Nagging Question of All About Lance Armstrong: If He Was Doping, Why Did He Never Fail a Drug Test? Here’s Why, Claims the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

Oct 12, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"How could [Lance Armstrong], the world’s greatest cyclist, always in the cross hairs of doping officials, never fail a drug test if he was doping," asks a report in The New York Times, which continues, "An explanation emerged Wednesday, when the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released its dossier on Armstrong, citing witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results."

The New York Times article continues: "’It has been a frequent refrain of Armstrong and his representatives over the years that Lance Armstrong has never had a positive drug test,’ the [USADA] report said. ‘That does not mean, however, he did not dope. Nor has Armstrong apparently had nearly as many doping tests as his representatives have claimed.’”

The story adds: "As part of its investigation, USADA asked Christopher J. Gore, the head of physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport, to analyze test results from 38 blood samples taken from Armstrong between February 2009 and the end of last April. Those taken during the 2009 and 2010 Tours, the report said, showed blood values whose likelihood ‘of occurring naturally was less than one in a million,’ and other indications of blood doping."

The article notes: "’The most conventional way that the U.S. Postal riders beat what little out-of-competition testing there was, was to simply use their wits to avoid the testers,’ the report concluded."

The story adds: "When the testers could not be avoided, Armstrong and his teammates turned to drug masking, the report said. It indicated that during the 1998 world championships, testers were diverted to other riders on the United States team while one of Armstrong’s doctors ‘smuggled a bag of saline under his raincoat, getting it past the tester and administering saline to Armstrong before Armstrong was required to provide a blood sample.’ The saline infusion restored Armstrong’s blood values to a level that would not attract attention. The report also described how Armstrong, often in conjunction with [Michele Ferrari, a sports medicine doctor] and the team director Johan Bruyneel, was careful to use techniques and drugs that were untraceable through tests."

The article concludes: "The USADA says it tested Armstrong only 60 times, and it cited reports indicating that the International Cycling Union had tested him about 200 times, although USADA said many of the cycling union’s tests were for a health program rather than for prohibited substances. ‘The number of actual controls on Mr. Armstrong over the years appears to have been considerably fewer than the number claimed by Armstrong and his lawyers,’ USADA said."

To read TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross’s lastest insights about the Armstrong affair, entitled "Lance Armstrong Needs Oprah Winfrey in the Worst Possible Way," please click here.

5 Comments

  1. Who cares anymore. If they couldn’t catch him when it counted, why does it matter now? This continuing unrelenting pursute of Armstrong raises lots of questions about what is going on now. Why aren’t they putting this same level of effort into catching the drug abusers today. This is a complete waste of resources. People have decided about Armstrong years ago and this isn’t going to change many people. He recovered from cancer when no one thought he could. He then won a bunch of races which was remarkable whether he did the drugs or not. Telling us 10 years later that he possibly did some drugs doesn’t mean anything now. Which year was it? they haven’t said. This is all very general still and there is no evidence about the saline. Just hypothesis. And drugs that aren’t detectible?! What a phony allegation that is. Anyone could be doing drugs that were not detectible. Are all the racers going to be disqualified since they all must have been using drugs that were undetectible?

  2. If it is confirmed that he was as involved in the doping as he seems to have been, Armstrong made two critical mistakes that will likely cost him his personal integrity, his professional and sporting accomplishments and his lucrative financial endorsements. First, he chose to do it and lean on his teammates to do the same, and second, he lied about it from the first. If he had chosen to admit his involvement when first questioned years ago, it would have been long forgotten by most of us. He deserves what he gets, the choices were his alone.

  3. Their explanations are smacking more and more of conspiracy theory here with explanations involving more and more people and getting ever more complex.
    Given the witch hunt, I don’t begrudge Armstrong’s giving up his defense at all.

  4. I can’t believe our government is wasting this much time and money on this matter. The government needs to put the money wasted on this effort into solving some of the real problems this country and it’s citizens are facing.

  5. I agree with the comments here. What drugs? If it was that easy to be tested and pass, then how can they say any of the cyclists are clean? I don’t care. What Lance achieved is STILL remarkable and what he has done with his celebrity is admirable. This rapid effort to take him down is just STRANGE and should be investigated too!

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