Wednesday’s mail bag: Jeanson’s treatment; Lance’s revenge

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on, write to Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.A warning!?!?!?Dear USCF, USADA and AAA/CAS:Thank you so much!I cannot express enough joy and gratitude when I finally heard thatCanadian cyclist, Genevieve Jeanson, was given a mere warning and smallfine after she failed to show up for a drug

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on, write to Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

A warning!?!?!?
Thank you so much!I cannot express enough joy and gratitude when I finally heard thatCanadian cyclist, Genevieve Jeanson, was given a mere warning and smallfine after she failed to show up for a drug test at the Fleche Wallonnerace in Belgium last April.I have been following this with a lot of interest, waiting patientlyfor the outcome, as now you have granted me (as well as all women cyclists)a “get out of jail free” card! Now, I too can miss my next drug test ofchoice and get off with just a warning and fine. This has opened up mycycling future!If I fail to show up at a post race drug test you only have to takea look at my past to clearly see that I have more valid excuses than Ms.Jeanson.I have a much “cleaner” history. My last blood test prior to an UCIrace revealed my hematocrit at 39 percent. I have never been associatedwith a doctor who has been charged with administering me EPO. Never haveI made the news for any drug related allegations. So my case should beeven easier for you to judge. In fact, after dealing with Ms. Jeanson itshould be rather straightforward. Perhaps with my “clean slate” you caneven forego the fine and grant me just a warning?However, I am concerned that your punishments in past drug-related caseshave been quite subjective (Amber Neben was given only six months whileScott Moninger initially had two years, lessened to a year, and BrookeBlackwelder was given an eight-month suspension for the same offence).Just to be on the safe side I will have to hire on a lawyer to make surethat I am issued equal treatment with a penalty the same as Ms. Jeanson.Obviously, the only difference between us is her superstar status. Weare both Canadian and we are both females. I would have to say that totreat one rider differently due to her talent and results is discrimination.Therefore, I strongly believe that I have a strong case to assure myselfI will receive the same penalty as Ms. Jeanson. You have set the precedentfor all women cyclists here in the USA and I cannot thank you enough forthat. I have never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to missa post race drug test and get away with a warning!You have given renewed hope that I just may reach some of my cyclingdreams.Sincerely happy,
Anne Samplonius
(A Canadian, who may be applying for a USCF license next season)Imagine the possibilities
VeloNews Staff,
My hats off to Mr. Hendricks and Discovery Communications for keepingthe boys in blue together and LA on the road for at least a couple of moreyears. The new sponsorship, however, sent my mind racing. It seems thatin the past two years, more than ever, the sport of cycling has seen atremendous amount of sponsorship pull-out and turn over.Given this fact, beside paying all the hefty fees in salary and otherexpenses, and providing another venue for marketing their product, whatelse does a company receive when they decide to sponsor a team? Since DiscoveryCommunications also owns TLC and the Travel Channel are we being set upfor: Lance or one of the boys getting a make-over from the Fab 5, an internationalepisode of Trading Spaces, as Lance’s Spanish neighbors remake his livingroom in Gerona or perhaps episodes of the physiology of competitive cyclistson Discovery or TLC (that would be something to watch).Leonard J. Basobas
Chicago, IllinoisThe truth is out there, man
Has anyone thought that perhaps this “new doping evidence” is reallya ploy to help Lance (see “Upcomingbook alleges Armstrong involved in doping“)?We all know how competitive he gets when confronted and how much betterhe performs when challenged. French on the side of the road yelling “Doper”at him only spurred him on.Could Walsh’s allegations be a similar tactic? Just a thought….Michael Frew
Bethesda, MarylandI’m a believer
Everything that Lance has said, written and done in the saddle runscounter to the concept of illegal doping.If these allegations prove to be false, I hope the accusers are soundlypunished in every legal way.

Jack Stiteler
Encinitas, CaliforniaNo news
Shame on you for publishing the latest innuendo and gossip about LanceArmstrong and passing it off as “news”. What’s next? “Bedroom secrets ofLance and Sheryl”? “Lance and Jan hold hands in the peloton — hot man-on-manaction in the hotel?”Apparently, if some bottom-feeding French ex-reporter with an ax to
grind published it first, VeloNews would happily repeat it as if itwere responsible journalism.It is up to you to take a responsible, ethical approach to what youpublish and how you present it. Why do you promote this latest garbagefrom the rumor mills instead of helping it get the oblivion it deserves?You owe your readers an apology and a change in your editorial standards.Richard Wilton
Los Angeles, CaliforniaThere’s one way to be sure
Couldn’t Lance inspire confidence in his denials of drug use by archivinghis blood and opening it to analysis at any point in future as drug testingevolves? I can imagine no stronger way to say “I’ve nothing to hide”. Itwould also render the rumors and innuendo of wrong-doing impotent and goa long ways towards sparing Lance, his sponsors and the sport the damagecaused by Walsh & company.Darrell Craig
Seattle WashingtonI know it ain’t so
Dear Velo,
Having shared a coach with Lance Armstrong for two years (Chris Carmichael)as well as a home town (Austin, Texas) and many associates,
I can categorically say that I find it utterly ridiculous for anyoneto accuse Lance of doping.Both Lance and I always took to heart what Carmichael thought and saidand he was so emphatically against doping in any form– not just becauseof “legal” matters but because Chris genuinely cared for our health andwell-being. I traveled with Carmichael to the 2002 and 2003 Tour de Franceand would stake anything and everything on the fact that Lance didn’t dope.What Lance does is work. He works harder than anyone I have ever knownand for those who think there “must” be some doping involved to reach theheights he has reached, they need to see the man train, know his coachand other support systems, and then look in the mirror and realize thatany claim of doping is preposterous.Lance and I haven’t gotten along very well personally for a number ofreasons but on this subject, I will absolutely defend him to the utmostand stake my reputation on it.Bryan Holley
Austin, TexasNope, no dope
Dear Sirs,
As a former U.S. Postal Service cycling team staff member, I workedin 1999, 2000 and 2001 for the team like soigneur Emma O´Reilly,I have only one word for this baseless case of Mr. Walsh: Disgusting.To all cycling and Armstrong fans I would like to say: isn’t the factthat Lance and his teammates passed all doping tests proof enough?Enjoy what they are doing!
GO BLUE TRAIN !!!Let’s do it again in July and go for six.

Arno Obrie
Altea, Spain
(Former bus driver for the U.S. Postal Professional Cycling Team)Go gettem
I am pleased to see that Lance is suing the Sunday Times andDavid Walsh.Let’s hope the English Legal System shows these allegations to be withoutfoundation and penalize the authors and publishers accordingly. I am tiredof the ability of people to make allegations and insinuate without proof.Perhaps the court action will make others think twice before doing likewise.Given the timing, this latest round of attempts to convince people thatLance is other than the most gifted, hard-working athlete is for the transparentpurpose of furthering the pathetic vendetta of a once respected journalist.Walsh no doubt hopes to cash in on his gossip with the release of the bookjust before the Tour. It would be a travesty if people bought this bookand in any way gave the unfounded allegations any credibility or providedany financial benefit to the authors. Lets hope it does not distract Lancefrom making history as he deserves to do.Ian Wood
Halifax, United KingdomThey don’t all do it!
I find the arguments on the Lance Armstrong doping allegations thatgo something like “everyone is doing it so it is okay,” ridiculous. I thinktax-evaders use the same argument… just before they are hauled off tocourt.

Jim Croxton
Columbus, Ohio

He wouldn’t do it
Dear Editor,
Lance Armstrong doping? You must be kidding. No one who has ever faceda life-and-death struggle with cancer would ever take drugs that mightimpair his or her health in the short or long term. Mr. Armstrong’s credibilityas a spokesperson and fundraiser for those in the cancer community wouldbe completely undermined if illegal performance-enhancing drugs were partof the equation.Would Mr. Armstrong jeopardize his standing in the community for whichhe has done so much? Would he be able to look his family and teammatesin the eye if he had cheated to win? The man is a father, a team leader,a cancer survivor. His personal integrity–not to mention his drug tests–indicatethat the doping allegations are unfounded and certainly unjust. I trustthat Mr. Armstrong relies on his unparalleled work ethic, his teammates,and his own good sense in his training and racing. I wish him and his teamand all the other racers who race clean the best of luck in this year’sTdF.Melissa Edeburn
Washington, DCThe kid from Plano
Does anybody remember that kid from Plano? Yeah the poor kid with nomoney for dope. The one who’s mom drove him to races. The one who couldn’tafford enough proper riding clothes at times. Yeah that teenager, the onethat was kicking the pros butts. It’s the same kid that has all the yellowjerseys now. The cancer survivor. No dope necessary.WEAR YELLOW :: LIVE STRONGJerry & Angie Kelly
Lance Armstrong Foundation South Regional Mentor
Birmingham, AlabamaA matter of trust
Hi there,
It’s very simple, after having read both of Lance’s books, I trusthim even more than before. The timing of the book release says it all –three weeks before Tour.
Some people simply cannot live with the fact Lance has a good chanceto win for the sixth time. And of course, they want to earn some good moneytoo. They make me sick.
Ivan Lukavsky,
Czech RepublicDon’t let cynicism prevail
I’m dismayed by the cynicism expressed in many of the letters surroundingthe new Lance book.It strikes me as strange that the same folks who brush Armstrong’s achievementsoff as “obviously” dope-aided raise no eyebrows over, say, Jan Ullrich’scareer.Five second-places in the TdF, two world TT championships, Olympic goldand silver…and what about other consistent performers, like Bettini?Or Simoni? Or Hamilton? Hell, why not Indurain, Merckx, Hinault or LeMond?It seems not only cynical and illogical but frankly paranoid to laythe performances of these great riders at the feet of drugs, given thatevery test against every one of them* has come back negative. And it seemsmore than circumstantial that the one surprise GC result in recent TdFhistory, that of Raimondas Rumsas, is, to put it mildly, suspicious. I,for one, am content to believe that the top riders in today’s peloton arethere by the grace of extraordinary natural abilities and equally extraordinarydevotion to hard work. It is the relatively weak — mentally and physically– who keep showing up on race day with tainted blood.Tim Heffernan
Brooklyn, New YorkHe asked for the scrutiny
Does anyone think Lance Armstrong is immune to being put under a microscope?He has put himself under one. If anything is going to be his downfall itwill be that pathetic show on OLN. While George Hincapie is trying to getanother classic win, Armstrong is parading about in his home showing offall his crap. What would impress me is Armstrong stringing out the fieldto help Georgie win one.It’s about time Armstrong ate crow.Joe McNamara
St. Andrews West, OntarioTime for a real riders’ union?
If American pro athletes were subjected to the same drug tests runon cycling pros there wouldn’t be enough players to field a team.The only reason that professional football, baseball and basketballplayers are not sitting on the sidelines with suspensions and permanentbans is due to the fact they all have strong unions to protect them. I’mnot advocating that cycling pro should form a union to protect the performancedrug users still in the peloton, rather the same testing the UCI has shouldbe applied to all professional sports. Can you picture Allen Iverson, KenGriffey Jr. or Tom Brady taking urine and blood test after winning a game?I can hear the screams already!As for Lance, He’s been tested for how long and has come up clean everytime.Sue them Lance! For every Penny, Franc, Pound and Euro! And that goesfor Emma too!
Don Varley Jr.
Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaTesting, schmesting
It is very hard for me to understand why anyone would conclude thatLance Armstrong never used performance-enhancing drugs because he has nevertested positive.The wonderful thing about EPO is that it could not, until recently,be tested for, just like the “clear” steroidal that recently surfaced inthe BALCO case.Emma O’Reilly was an insider in a position to observe what she alleges.As to her motivations we can only speculate. As to Lance’s motivation,there are million$ and million$ and million$ of them.My advise to Lance:”Never say never.”Lawrence Szabo
Oakland, CaliforniaDon’t like it, don’t buy it!
Tell everyone you know to boycott purchase of “LA Confidential: TheSecrets of Lance Armstrong”! There is no better way to put the hurt tothese libelous journalists than to see 500,000 copies of their book stackedup in a warehouse with no interested buyers!I believe Lance when he says he’s never taken performance-enhancingdrugs. The history of his athletic prowess is enough for me to believehe is truly the best cyclist of our time. It is very feasible to me thateven a drugged up veteran pro still isn’t good enough to stay with himwhen he decides it’s hammer time.Doug Dolan
Hollis, MaineQuote of the day
This past weekend during a stage race in the Cat. 4 group a rider washeard while trying to chase a break up a hill “hey you guys, slow down,you’re breaking up the group.”Greg Parker
Boise Idaho

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on, write to Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.