Sports Illustrated: Lance Armstrong cleared of all doping charges

In August 2005, in a shameful breach of ethics, the French newspaper L’Equipe, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and Tour de France Director Jean-Marie Leblanc claimed Lance had failed 6 doping screens during the 1999 Tour de France. This news broke shortly after Lance’s record seventh straight Tour win and his subsequent retirement. L’Equipe went so far as to write, months before Lance’s final race, that, “Never has an athlete’s retirement been so welcome.” Today, Sports Illustrated is running a story today that Lance has been completely exonerated of doping charges, and that a tribunal should be formed to probe legal and ethical violations by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

‘Bout damn time, too.

Tour Director Leblanc said at the time, “For the first time—and these are no longer rumors, or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts—someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body. The ball is now in his court. Why, how, by whom? He owes explanations to us and to everyone who follows the tour. Today, what L’Equipe revealed shows me that I was fooled. We were all fooled.”

M. Leblanc, the ball is now in your court. At a minimum, your apology is called for. Le directeur a été en effet dupé, puisqu’il a bêtement douté du champion du Tour.

“Armstrong always told me that he never used doping products,” five-time winner Eddy Merckx told Le Monde newspaper. “Choosing between a journalist and Lance’s word, I trust Armstrong.” Le Cannibale sait la vérité quand son coeur l’entend.

In “turnabout is fair play” news, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released a short statement, including this bit of hypocrisy:

    “WADA is not in a position to comment at this time other than to state that elementary courtesy and professionalism would have dictated that WADA should have been provided with a copy of the report before interviews were given to the media.

“Elementary courtesy and professionalism,” indeed. They should have been so considerate to Lance Armstrong before releasing his confidential information to the media.

Love him or hate him, Lance has elevated cycling to a new level in the world, both in terms of athleticism and public recognition. Thank you, Lance. Not just for your inspiring turn on the bicycle, but for all you have and will continue to give back to the world.

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Explore posts in the same categories: My Bicycling Log

2 Comments on “Sports Illustrated: Lance Armstrong cleared of all doping charges”


  1. […] and intentional misconduct on the part of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) officials. In late May, Lance was finally cleared of all suspicion of wrongdoing, putting to rest a vicious bit of xenophobic subterfuge started by the French paper L’Equipe […]


  2. […] the sport to the cheers of France’s L’Equipe newspaper, which published, “Never has an athlete’s retirement been so welcome,” that yet another American has won the race, and further that the top Frenchmen were 7th […]


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