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Must Reads: Overend shuns Armstrong, Danielson; What Lance did

New Twist in Armstrong Saga — The Wall Street Journal

Despite Hein Verbruggen’s 2008 claim that he’d never entered a business relationship with former U.S. Postal Service team co-owner Thomas Weisel and former USA Cycling president-turned-BMC Racing president Jim Ochowicz, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night that Ochowicz managed funds for the honorary UCI president between 1999 and 2004. Ochowicz joined Thomas Weisel Partners as a broker in 2001, bringing Verbruggen, then the acting UCI president and a client from his previous firm, Robert W. Baird & Co., with him. The next year, Ochowicz became president of USA Cycling.

In the report by Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell, they quote Ochowicz as saying, “There was no hanky-panky,” and that Weisel did not have “direct access” to Verbruggen’s account.

Ochowicz, a two-time Olympian and member of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, was the manager of the 7-Eleven and Motorola teams. He is the godfather of Lance Armstrong’s first son, was an advisor to BMC owner Andy Rihs when he owned Phonak and Floyd Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone at the 2006 Tour de France while riding for the Swiss team, and joined BMC Racing as president in 2007.

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Local cycling legends shun Armstrong, Danielson for roles in doping scandal — The Durango Herald

Former world cross-country mountain bike champion Ned Overend has spoken out against Lance Armstrong and former U.S. Postal teammate Tom Danielson, among others, labeling their doping as “a crime,” The Durango Herald reported Wednesday.

“You’d want that person to be charged with a crime,” Overend, who won his world title in 1990, said of riders partaking in doping. “And it’s not just Lance. I’d put all the guys who cheat together with Lance. To me, all the guys who cheated are thieves, and they made millions.”

Gaige Sippy, race director for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, expressed similar sentiments.

“I think they should’ve been banned for life,” Sippy said of former Durango resident Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and other former Postal riders who admitted to doping in their testimony to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency against Armstrong. “They get six months suspension during the winter, and they did all the same things.”

Both Overend and 1999 national cross-country champion Travis Brown added that the ongoing scandal is, in the long-run, a benefit to cycling.

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Longtime sponsor Thomas Weisel denied knowledge of Lance Armstrong doping — San Francisco Business Times

Tradewind Sports and U.S. Postal Service team co-owner Thomas Weisel, reported to be under investigation for his role in the team’s doping scandal, told Lindsay Riddell in September that he had no knowledge of Postal riders doping. He said the same of team manager Mark Gorski and operations manager Dan Osipow.

“People say ‘Jesus, you had to know this was going on because everyone was doing it,’” Weisel told Riddell. “That’s not true. I never thought it was. I don’t think many cycling teams were deploying that practice. And we certainly had part of our rider contract where if a person tested positive, they were off the team. We were very explicit there.”

Weisel, the patron of the USA Cycling Development Foundation and San Francisco-based financier, is thought to be among the U.S. Postal officials against which Lance Armstrong is reportedly considering testifying. Recent attempts by VeloNews to reach Weisel have gone unanswered.

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What Lance Armstrong did — The New Yorker

Michael Specter was in a New York City bar when he overheard an argument amongst friends and started yelling. What happened next was a discussion not of Lance Armstrong’s doping activities, but, as Specter writes, his mythological status and his ultimately self-serving confession.

“Lance Armstrong was not a man, he was an idea; an American myth like Honest Abe and Johnny Appleseed,” writes Specter. “He was the little engine, brutalized by illness and then savaged by opponents, who could anyway, somebody who shrugged off hate and always took the high road.”

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