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Great American dupe (or dope?)

One of the greatest American heroes in recent memory has lately fallen from grace. Lance Armstrong was considered one of the greatest sportsmen in the world and his story of coming back from cancer to win the Tour de France inspired millions. He was seen as an All American hero embodying everything Americans value: hard work, determination, charisma, and moral character. So when the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) found that he had cheated by using performance enhancing drugs, the reactions of the US public was predictable. It was predictable because we know how effectively the media works in a society with a cult-like mentality.

It is a cult of personality that made Armstrong who he is. Like all the pop images of people the media creates, it has a shelf-life longer than is warranted. His image has a momentum which leaves reality behind. People will continue to think he is a hero despite the facts. The media will continue to represent him as a hero because he is their creation and like all media darlings, he must be protected at all costs. Reports like this are common in the US media trying to cast doubt on the damning evidence against Armstrong (positive drug tests for a host of banned substances and even a blood transfusion using the most sophisticated detection methods available to science and ten eye witnesses who were his teammates and coaches). Or this NYT article which makes the outright false claim that he has never failed a drug test. The media also continues to paint him in a  relatively positive light or even shamelessly demand that he be made into an exception so that he will not be punished.

More telling are the comments in these stories from posters supporting Armstrong. They display fierce, obstinate refusal to accept the facts of the matter. We live in a culture where the public is at the whims of the media. All the evidence cannot destroy a media-made  image in the minds of the masses no matter how contrary to reality that image is. Once it is created it is nearly impossible to kill. But negative portrayals also have the same shelf life. The masses cannot get over demonizing or denigrating images either. They have been inculcated by the media to see someone or something in a certain way which becomes written in stone.

Contrast Armstrong’s case with the baseless character assassination carried against someone who has no history of positive drug tests or other evidence of cheating, Ye Shiwen. The media damned her before any evidence came out while Armstrong continues to receive positive support after. The negative image of Ye as a cheater or all Chinese athletes as cheaters is just as difficult to destroy as the positive image of Armstrong. Both are created independently of the facts and both will live on in the minds of Americans dupes.

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  1. August 28th, 2012 at 10:48 | #1

    People should take a look at this huffington post article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-weber/lance-cuts-his-losses_b_1835210.html).

    Our hero Lance is the victim of drug testing bureaucrats. Yes, our hero could be guilty, yes, but we technically actually don’t know anything. Lance did capitulate to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and “will be stripped of all seven of his record-setting Tour de France titles, as well as his Olympic medal, and he will be banned for life from all future ‘elite-level’ sports.” But his capitulating is just that. Some people capitulate because they are too tired of spending too many hours with lawyers…(yes, that’s what the article says!).

    Lance’s capitulation only shows that Lance our David has sadly fallen to the world’s Goliath – all the elements of the world envious of Lance great accomplishments and have been gunning to take him down over the last 12 years.

    The article ended with this conclusion.

    It is ironic that a man who overcame cancer and seven times outraced 200 world-class cyclists across 3,000 miles of mountainous terrain could not escape the reach of testing-body bureaucrats. My guess is Lance Armstrong would agree with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who once quipped, “I’ve never had problems with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.”

    Imagine if Lance were Chinese … I wonder what articles we’d be reading… what conclusions would be drawn…

  2. August 28th, 2012 at 23:20 | #2

    whats with guys named armstrong? theyre either doping, or duping us into thinking they went to the moon? also, since american athletes so frequently use drugs, can we have a redo of the entire 2012 olympics?

  3. Charles Liu
    August 29th, 2012 at 09:40 | #3

    To our media testing positive doesn’t really matter if you are American, there are other POVs to report on. But when it comes to China, there can be no narrative other than indictment and conclusion of guilt.

    There are more examples besides Ye Shiwen.

  4. Jay Riter
    August 29th, 2012 at 23:47 | #4

    @ melektaus
    Ye Shiwen passed her drug test.

    Lance Armstrong has passed 500 drug tests. – Even today there is zero physical proof that he has taken any drugs, not even from his frozen blood and urine samples.

    You are also involved in baseless character assassination carried against someone who has no history of positive drug tests or other evidence of cheating.

    You should be ashamed of acting just like that John Leonard guy.

  5. August 29th, 2012 at 23:56 | #5

    @Jay Riter
    “zero physical proof?”

    What about USADA having blood samples taken in 2009 and 2010 showing he has doped. And also 10 former team-mates testifying against him.

    If you are that same damn porn troll, just tell us.

  6. August 30th, 2012 at 01:20 | #6

    @Jay Riter

    That is a damned lie and you are a prime example of the power of the cult of personality. Armstrong repeatedly has failed drug tests throughout his career but UCI has conspired to prevented the results from being leaked. Additionally, USADA has retested his blood samples and the test results are positive for EPO, steriods, and blood transfusions.

    You are mindlessly repeating what Armstrong and his supporters and some media outlets say without knowing anything about the case. That is textbook cult mentality. Moreover, his team’s former doctors admit to running a drug traffiking conspiracy involving Armstrong and there are a dozen witnesses wiling to testify against him.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/sports/cycling/antidoping-officials-move-to-wipe-out-armstrongs-titles.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    “The antidoping agency has said its evidence includes blood profiles from 2009 and 2010 that were consistent with doping, which means they showed blood results that were outside his normal range.

    ‘This is not an adverse finding, but this is certainly a sufficient equivalent to testing positive,’ said Christiane Ayotte, the head of a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab outside Montreal.”

    Please, the USADA and the World Anti-Doping Agency has both said that his results come up “equivalent” to positive results after the analysis by the most modern in doping methods. You are just too blinded by your media’s constructed glittering image of Armstrong to see that.

    Where is one shred of evidence that Ye Shiwen has tested positive for any PED?

  7. Charles Liu
    August 30th, 2012 at 09:41 | #7

    @Jay Riter

    Correction, Ye Shiwen has passed numerous drug tests in her career and never failed one.

    Lance Armstrong did test positive, many times in the past, but got off on retroactive filing of medical use (doctor predated the saddle sore cream prescription) and technicality on appeal (claimed to use homeopathic antidepressant containing DHEA).

  8. August 30th, 2012 at 12:43 | #8

    This Jay dude definitely fit the picture of the three primates.

  9. August 30th, 2012 at 14:20 | #9

    @Jay Riter

    Lance Armstrong is a hero to me. I feel two connections to him. First is cancer. Both my grandpa and dad died from cancer. My grandmom is a brave cancer survivor. Second, I am a cyclist. I have biked every mile of the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Mexico. I have biked a big part of the Colorado Rockies. I have biked through at least 10 national parks. I bike everywhere…

    Besides these connections, I have also donated several times to Armstrong’s foundations. I’ve heard him speak live several times.

    For me Armstrong is still a hero. Even if Armstrong doped, his achievements are still great in my books. If I give dope to most people, much less cancer survivors, they would not achieve 1/10 the things he did…

    Nevertheless I do take issue with you over character assassination. John Leonard made his accusations based on no evidence, based merely on his discomfort of great achievements being linked to the wrong ethnicity / nationality. The accusations being made against Armstrong have come from several sources, including teammates who know Lance well. Don’t forget, Lance is currently being charged not by reporters with no info, but by no less than the United States Anti-Doping Agency, with consequent that all his Tour de France as well as Olympic medals will be stripped. This is not just hearsay. This is not character assassination. There better be something behind it. Would anyone – much less someone of Lance’s stature – simply stand by and do nothing if there is no evidence at all as you make it out to be?

  10. Jay Riter
    August 31st, 2012 at 14:11 | #10

    @ melektaus

    “Where is one shred of evidence that Ye Shiwen has tested positive for any PED?”

    I never said, nor do I believe that she ever tested positive, despite you seeming to believe that I think that, I don’t.

    But as for your writings on Lance, lets look at the Times article more carefully.

    “This is not an adverse finding,” Translation: He passed the tests.

    “but this is certainly a sufficient equivalent to testing positive,” Translation: But we believe he is guilty anyway, and we want you to believe that we have no other motive than the purity of the sport. Seriously, it’s not that we’re getting a bigger budget next year for finding someone famous “guilty”.

    “We’re at the point that if we’re not using these indirect markers, you can just forget about a case. For example, oral testosterone and microdoses of EPO will be detectable for only 12 hours. You just about have to be there when the athlete is doping to catch them.”

    You really expect us to believe that Tour de France can’t afford the mass spectrometer and technicians to test every cyclist before the 12 hours are up?

    Wow, you must really think we are stupid, Mz. Christiane Ayotte.

    They have the money, they have the machines, and a bit of randomization would insure that every rider was tested within hours of getting on or off their bikes.

    So, since they are lying about not being able to catch them doping, there are two conclusions: (1) Someone doesn’t want to catch them doping, or (2) they aren’t doping.
    Believe the one you like.

    As for the people who testified – I would absolutely believe them if they had come forward the day that they saw someone doping.

    But since they testified only when coerced, under the threat of punishment, and only years later, and at least one of them stands to make money from his testimony in the form of book sales…well…

    I’m not rating their testimony as especially trustworthy. It still has some value, but not a lot.

    So, while I do suspect that Lance took PEDs and transfused his own blood back into his body in order to win the races, suspicion is not proof. He is innocent until proven guilty.

    And the United States Anti-Doping Agency has not proved the case. Yet.

    If at some point in time they do prove the case, and technology will catch up to any doping method eventually, then I will agree that he is guilty.

    My question for you is: Why are you so desperate for him to be guilty? Do you hate him? What’s the deal?

    @ Ray,

    Wow, clever comment.

    @ Allen

    “Would anyone – much less someone of Lance’s stature – simply stand by and do nothing if there is no evidence at all…”

    In several cultures, one being Mexico, there is a curse: “May you be involved in a lawsuit in which you know you are right.”

    If you had spent $200,000+ and years fighting an organization that has more money and more lawyers than you, I wouldn’t blame you for just giving up. To keep fighting would just lead to bankruptcy or insanity.

    Do I suspect he is guilty? Yes, but he is innocent until proven guilty, and giving up the fight is NOT proof of guilt.

    @ YinYang

    I’m not a damn porn troll. Are you? Why do you like to insult people? Does it make you feel better?

  11. Charles Liu
    August 31st, 2012 at 14:50 | #11

    Jay, I guess you are not disputing the pre-dated saddle sore cream or the homeopathic antidepressant appeal?

    Look, this story is about how different Chinese athletes, Ye Shiwen being the example, are treated in western media. While the Lance Armstong story had varying POV, the immediate suspicion over Ye Shiwen’s win was straight to guilt, even before IOC had a chance to draw her blood.

  12. August 31st, 2012 at 17:34 | #12

    Jay Riter :

    @ melektaus

    “Where is one shred of evidence that Ye Shiwen has tested positive for any PED?”

    I never said, nor do I believe that she ever tested positive, despite you seeming to believe that I think that, I don’t.

    I never said you said she tested positive. You seemed to have completely missed the point. I was contrasting the difference between Armstrong and Ye. One has repeatedly tested positive throughout his career for PEDs and the masking techniques used to mask their usages while the other has not.

    Since you can’t even understand that it’s not a surprise that you are not be able to read the Times article and understand what it means.

    But as for your writings on Lance, lets look at the Times article more carefully.

    “This is not an adverse finding,” Translation: He passed the tests.

    You seem to be illiterate. His tests results indicate that he took many PEDs. They are “equivalent” to a positive test.

    What this means is that his previous test results were not analysed using the latest test methods and that is why they showed up “negative.” Under the old system, they do not show anything funny because there was techniques he used to mask his doping but since then, newer techniques have been developed to catch cheaters who use such masking techniques. Such was detected. What she meant is that though technically he tested negative but that is only because of these masking techniques he used which he tested positive for. And i have news for you, all drug testing for PEDs involve indirect methods. Even the old tests used during the 90s. They test for byproducts of the bio chemicals and other signs of use. So word games aside, you are prime example of the power of propaganda. He was caught. Red handed. There is overwhelming evidence. You are simply too ignorant and blinded and brainwashed to see that.

    If there had been 1/4 the evidence against Ye, many of the Chinese posters including myself here would agree to the claim that Ye is guilty. The reason is because we are not blinded by a cult mentality like you and the rest of the dupes.

    “equivalent”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equivalent

    1. : equal in force, amount, or value; also : equal in area or volume but not superposable

    3. : corresponding or virtually identical especially in effect or function.

  13. August 31st, 2012 at 17:43 | #13

    You’ve yet to answer this question.

    Why has the USADA been so keen to destroy an American hero and subject itself to such public ire from the millions of dupes like you? Why is the World Anti-Doping Agency in on the conspiracy? Why has 12 of his ex teammates and coaches been seduced by the conspiracy to go against Armstrong? Where is the evidence of this grand conspiracy?

  14. Jay Riter
    August 31st, 2012 at 22:01 | #14

    @ Charles Liu

    “Look, this story is about how different Chinese athletes, Ye Shiwen being the example, are treated in western media. While the Lance Armstong story had varying POV, the immediate suspicion over Ye Shiwen’s win was straight to guilt, even before IOC had a chance to draw her blood.”

    I don’t think this article is really about Ye Shiwen. If it was, why is she only mentioned in three sentences of a 4 paragraph article?

    If it really was about a comparison of Ye and Lance, it would make much more sense for the article have started off with a sentence like, “Lets compare the media coverage of two athletes.”.

    It didn’t. It started off with a rant about Lance, and then a rant about Lance, and then another rant about Lance, and finally at the very end, a few sentences of comparison.

    I think anyone who read the article would come to the conclusion that melektaus hates Lance Armstrong for some reason.

    As for the saddle cream – I’ve never had saddle sores, but I’ve treated horses that’ve had saddle sores, and I wouldn’t deny saddle sore cream to either man or beast. That would just be cruel.
    For the homeopathic medicine – the USADA sets the rules – they set the appeals process – if they allowed it, they allowed it.

    If you think they should change the rules, then lobby them to change the rules.

    @ melektaus

    On the contrary, it is you who seems to be illiterate.

    It is their opinion that it is “sufficient equivalent to testing positive”
    If in fact it was TRULY equivalent, they would simply say, “According to our tests, he tested positive.”
    They did NOT say he tested positive, because HE DIDN’T.

    Did they find masking agents? YES.
    Did he test positive? NO. Learn to read.

    If you are unhappy with the testing, lobby for it to be changed, lobby for the levels of ANY drugs of ANY kind to be set so low that the cycclists can’t even take an aspirin.

    You have refused to answer my question, “Why are you so desperate for him to be guilty? Do you hate him? What’s the deal?”

    I can only guess that for some rabid, mindless reason, you hate him. Why?

    “You’ve yet to answer this question.

    Why has the USADA been so keen to destroy an American hero and subject itself to such public ire from the millions of dupes like you? Why is the World Anti-Doping Agency in on the conspiracy? Why has 12 of his ex teammates and coaches been seduced by the conspiracy to go against Armstrong? Where is the evidence of this grand conspiracy?”

    It is the very first time you have asked me this question, so how can you use the word, ‘yet’?

    It’s not like I’ve refused to answer the question… this is the very first time you’ve asked it.

    Here’s my answer: The USADA is keen to get their name in the news to show they are doing their jobs, and so they’ll get a bigger budget next year. That is how funding for government works. If you don’t use all of your alloted budget, next year, you lose the funds you didn’t use. If you request more for a special project, the next year you will get the same higher amount. This fight is about money, and raising the profile of the USADA, not the purity of the sport. If they were worried about the purity of the sport, they’d just set the level of allowable drug by-products in the blood so low that nobody could take any drugs whatsoever.

    Public ire? Maybe some people are angry at the USADA, but I’m not. They are just doing their job.

    I’ve answered your question.

    Are you going to answer mine?

    Why do you hate Lance Armstrong?

  15. September 1st, 2012 at 00:23 | #15

    @Jay Riter

    If I may chime in…

    First, Armstrong couldn’t possibly have had 500 PED tests, not even half of that.

    Second, not failing a test, can be construed as “technically correct”, somewhat like Clinton’s “is”. Armstrong’s 1999 urine B samples were frozen and tested in 2005. Reportedly they failed the EPO test. However, procedurally with the lacking of another set of samples, Armstrong wasn’t sanctioned.

    Third, USADA’s and WADA’s wording does indeed seem rather strange. My interpretation is that they have found Armstrong’s biological passport from the 2009 to 2011 samples showed a pattern of doping, but the analysis of such pattern isn’t officially sanctioned yet. With this plus the testimonies of his former trainers, coaches, and teammates, USASA felt there was a strong enough case to go for an arbitration proceeding with Armstrong. Armstrong sued in a federal court to bar such an arbitration, contending that it had violated his constitutional rights, and was denied.

    Armstrong has enough resources and backing to go through the arbitration. If the arbitration doesn’t side with him, he still has the option to sue the body that conducts the arbitration. If I were Armstrong and believed myself a clean man, I would for sure go through the whole process to the end to clean up my name. On the other hand, if I had doped, it might be detrimental to bring the testimonies and the unsanctioned biological passport result to the light.

    The USADA is keen to get their name in the news to show they are doing their jobs, and so they’ll get a bigger budget next year. That is how funding for government works.

    I would think the goal of the USADA was to protect the names of future American athletes. By showing the world that it’s willing to go after one of its own superstars years later, it hopefully provides a strong deterrent for future doping.

  16. September 1st, 2012 at 05:45 | #16

    @Jay Riter

    Listen to this liar say that Armstrong has never tested positive for PEDs when he has had repeated positive test for the Tour de France 1999 and his “equivalent” positive tests for EPO, steroids and blood transfusions by the USADA and WADA for samples in 2009-2010.

    What a clown. Armstrong has repeatedly tested positive. It pathetic what kind of silly word games he is willing to play to muddy the waters. Equivalent means equivalent. It means that he has tested for substances that masks performance enhancing drugs which means he used those agents and purposely tried to hide that fact from investigators. You are prime example of someone that is so blinded you can’t see that. Only the biggest scoundrel will not be able to see that means he cannot be compared to Ye’s situation because Ye has never tested positive for any illegal performance enhancing substances.

    What a liar and a scoundrel.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/cycling/2005-08-24-armstrong-samples-details_x.htm

    Story: Armstrong had six positives from 1999 tests
    By Sal Ruibal, USA TODAY
    One month after winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France and retiring from professional cycling, Lance Armstrong is on the defensive over doping allegations stemming from his first Tour win in 1999.

    Caught lying.

    Consider this a warning for persistent lying and ignorance.

  17. September 1st, 2012 at 05:53 | #17

    This is the most idiotic answer I have ever heard:

    “Here’s my answer: The USADA is keen to get their name in the news to show they are doing their jobs, and so they’ll get a bigger budget next year. That is how funding for government works. If you don’t use all of your alloted budget, next year, you lose the funds you didn’t use. If you request more for a special project, the next year you will get the same higher amount. This fight is about money, and raising the profile of the USADA, not the purity of the sport. If they were worried about the purity of the sport, they’d just set the level of allowable drug by-products in the blood so low that nobody could take any drugs whatsoever.

    So they are framing one of the greatest American heroes to the ire of millions of dupes like riter to get more funding? I can’t think of anything that might get you less funding (never mind the possibility of complete dissolution or even criminal charges) than pick on Armstrong in order to receive more funding unless they had absolute solid evidence (such as an equivalent positive and dozens of witnesses!).

    And the WADA, all his ex teammates, coaches, doctors, and even message therapist are in on this because they are also getting kickbacks? It must be a lot of money to suffer all the crap from dupes like you!

    And what are the chances that his teammates and doctors on his team all conspired to dope yet he is innocent?

    What a DUPE.

  18. September 1st, 2012 at 05:59 | #18

    “equivalent”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equivalent

    1. : equal in force, amount, or value; also : equal in area or volume but not superposable
    3. : corresponding or virtually identical especially in effect or function.

  19. Jay Riter
    September 1st, 2012 at 10:49 | #19

    @ melektaus

    You are a very angry person. Why are you so filled with hate?

    Don’t you know it will shorten your life?

    Don’t you know that only cold, reasoned logic, without insults will change another person’s opinion?

    Your arguments above were filled with insulting language.

    Try again, without any insults or anger, and maybe you will convince me.

  20. September 1st, 2012 at 17:34 | #20

    @Jay Riter

    You seem intent on protecting Armstrong and is so vehement in doing so and so ignorant about the facts and so flippantly illogical that your motives most come into question. Why are you attacking others simply because they choose to report the facts about Armstrong?

    Everything that was said by me has been fully supported by the facts and nothing you have said have been supported. You have outright lied.

    Perhaps you really are a troll instead of just a cultish Armstrong fanboy.

  21. Jay Riter
    September 2nd, 2012 at 09:41 | #21

    @ melektaus

    It seems you are incapable of conversing without anger and insults.

    I see no point in communicating with you.

  22. September 2nd, 2012 at 10:05 | #22

    It seems you are incapable of conversing without anger and insults.
    I see no point in communicating with you.

    Translation:

    “I have been caught lying and expressing a cultish admiration for Armstrong and thus must desist from further humiliating myself.”

  23. Bridge
    September 2nd, 2012 at 21:23 | #23

    @jxie
    I don’t think Lance Armstrong was lying about the number of PED tests. Apparently, his doctor did many trial tests on him in order to game the PED testing system used by USADA or other organisations. Lance probably confused some of the trial ones with the official ones and mixed them together when he said ‘500 negative PED tests results’. So, at least on the number of PED tests he’s taken, I would not call him a liar.

  24. Sigmar
    September 9th, 2012 at 12:28 | #24

    There has been a lot of muddying of the waters regarding this topic. The crux of the matter is, based on solid scientific evidence provided by the USADA, Lance Armstrong took drugs. So he was not telling the truth when he denied taking drugs.

    @Jay Riter
    Just because we report the facts doesn’t mean we hate Lance Armstrong. We are merely exposing lies like the one you have made with this statement in #4:
    “Lance Armstrong has passed 500 drug tests. – Even today there is ZERO PHYSICAL PROOF that he has taken any drugs, not even from his frozen blood and urine samples.” (Capitalised emphasis mine)

    The USADA has rubbished this claim.

  25. October 11th, 2012 at 23:17 | #25

    So here is the USADA report detailing how Lance Armstrong tried to escape tests.

    http://cyclinginvestigation.usada.org/

    Here is a NYT article on the report.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/sports/cycling/how-lance-armstrong-beat-cyclings-drug-tests.html?_r=1&hp&

  26. October 12th, 2012 at 02:00 | #26

    “bbbbb..bbb…bbbbut, he passed 8000 drug tests!”

    Says American Dupe AKA Jay Riter.

    One gets another example of how Americans can get so easily duped into things like war and economic policies detrimental to them by their media.

  27. October 12th, 2012 at 02:21 | #27
  28. October 12th, 2012 at 08:44 | #28

    @melektaus
    There are easily a few hundred thousand people who still believed that Chen Shui Bian is framed for corruption. People sometimes just believe in what they, want not on evidence.

  29. October 26th, 2012 at 21:42 | #29

    @melektaus

    One gets another example of how Americans can get so easily duped into things like war and economic policies detrimental to them by their media.

    This reminds me of Davis Swanson and his book – http://www.amazon.com/War-Lie-David-Swanson/dp/0983083002.

    I have gotten permission to interview him, but has been swamped with so many distractions…

  30. January 16th, 2013 at 04:05 | #30

    Armstrong admits to cheating in Oprah’s interview.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/oprah-winfrey-describes-intense-lance-armstrong-interview/story?id=18217400

    But American dupes like Jay Riter still refuse to believe it because Armstrong has passed over 80,000 drug tests.

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