Must Reads: Armstrong commentary and the doping dictionary

Bonnie Ford registers perhaps the strongest commentary on the Armstrong era following USADA's case file release

I was cheated out of a ride on the tour — Daily Mail

In an opinion piece for, cycling commentator, Endura Racing team manager and former Motorola pro Brian Smith on Friday writes that he feels cheated out of a better career in cycling as a result of Lance Armstrong’s doping program, which the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailed this week in its case file against the Texan.

Smith was a race-winning pro in 1994 when he told Armstrong that he would rather leave cycling than disappoint his former-pro father, to whom he’d pledged he would never use performance enhancing drugs.

“I feel I was cheated out of a ride on the tour and cheated out of a better living — and I’m no different to any rider at that time who took the decision not to dope and was not as successful as they should have been as a result,” wrote Smith. “As Lance was coming into the sport, cycling was starting to boom. There was serious money to be made and all those who went with Lance made serious money.”

In the piece, Smith expresses conflict over setting up a foundation to assist young Scots into the sport and says he is 100-percent certain that Bradley Wiggins won the Tour cleanly this year.

“A few years ago I set up the Braveheart Foundation and we support young Scottish cyclists financially. I have sometimes questioned whether I’m doing the right thing, encouraging young kids to go into cycling when it could end with drug abuse. I’ve wondered how I might feel if my two boys want to go into professional cycling,” wrote Smith. “But there are positives to come from all of this and we have a much cleaner sport today. I have no doubt that, in Bradley Wiggins, we have a clean Tour de France champion.”

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Case closed: Armstrong doped — ESPN

ESPN senior writer Bonnie Ford offers a scathing commentary on U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s case file against Lance Armstrong, writing that to overlook the agency’s dossier, which outlines witness testimony, testing data and financial records, is to be “willfully blind.”

“Doping was endemic during the era when Armstrong dominated the biggest bike race in the world,” wrote Ford. “Every participant in the sport-wide Ponzi scheme of that time was to some extent the product of a warped environment, including the champion. What sets Armstrong apart is that his competitive success, fueled by illicit means and synergized with his comeback from cancer, made it possible for him to transcend cycling and reap greater profits than anyone else.”

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Armstrong was best at using science — BS Report with Bill Simmons

Author and public speaker Malcolm Gladwell compared cycling to auto racing and said that Lance Armstrong used science to his advantage more than others in a radio appearance last week. Gladwell, author of titles including “Outliers” and “Tipping Point,” appeared on the “BS Report podcast with Bill Simmons” from and last week and questioned whether doping should be an accepted part of racing.

“So, what if we thought about Lance and competitive cycling as auto racing,” said Gladwell. “It’s on three levels: you got a bike, you got a driver, and you got science. When you look at what Lance is alleged to have done, basically he was better than everyone else at using PEDs. He was the guy who sat down and was rigorous and focused and thoughtful and intelligent and cutting edge in how to use them, and apply them and make himself better. Like, I don’t know, so is that a bad thing? He’s being rewarded for being the best at his game. It was an element in the competition, and he used that element better than anyone else.”

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The doping dictionary — Bloomberg

Former VeloNews senior writer Fred Dreier outlines the covert dictionary used within the U.S. Postal Service doping network for Included in Dreier’s rundown of drugs terminology are “Glowing, Glow-time — The period immediately after a cyclist has taken performance enhancing drugs, when he would be most likely to record a positive test for PEDs,” and “Polvo — A gray powder riders would sprinkle in urine if it was “glowing,” to cause the drug test to come back negative.”

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