Thoughts About Cheating

05.27.2010 | 8:56 am

There’ve been a couple of stories going around about cheating and cycling. The highest-profile one, of course, is about Floyd Landis and his admissions and accusations.

The other story hits closer to home: a woman who used another woman’s registration to race the Leadville 100 last year, and then — having placed second in her friend’s age group — got caught and prosecuted with a felony (plead down to a misdemeanor) charge.

I’ve been thinking about both of these events and have a few random and unresolved things to say about them.

201005251328.jpg The Problem With Floyd

I am not the best person in the world to detail what the progression of events was in the case of Floyd Landis and his four-plus-year-long doping scandal epic. Here are the facts (at least I think they’re facts) that seem relevant to me right now:

  1. Floyd was accused of doping.
  2. Floyd spent a lot of his money and time — and a lot of other people’s money and time — defending himself against this accusation.
  3. I believed Floyd, just like I believed Tyler. (I like to believe people.)
  4. Floyd admitted he was lying.
  5. Floyd also accused a bunch of other people of doping and helping people dope.

So as far as I can tell, here are my choices with regards to believing Floyd:

  1. I can believe that he was lying before, but telling the truth now about himself and others.
  2. I can believe that he was lying before, is now telling the truth now about himself, but is making up a new batch of lies about others.
  3. I can believe that he lied before, is lying about himself now, and is also making lies up about others.

Which is the most likely scenario? Well, probably not the third one, although it’s only a third more ridiculous than the other two options. But seriously, I have no compelling reason to believe scenario 1 or 2 is more likely.

Why can’t I make a good guess? Well, I have already proven that I judge his motivations and degree of honesty poorly; it’d be stupid for me to think that I’m any better at it now than I was then.

But one thing’s certain: no matter how much truth he’s choosing to tell now, he took a long time to choose to tell it. And I really doubt that this is a conscience-clearing decision; I have a very difficult time imagining that Floyd would be making these confessions and accusations if he had never been popped for doping.

Everyone makes mistakes. No, that’s weak; we’re not talking about mistakes here. Everyone does bad things.

But not everyone gets so twisted up in their errors that they can’t ever be taken seriously again, even when they make very serious allegations.

The Problem With Wendy

Last year, Wendy Lyall (36) took Katie Brezelton’s Leadville 100 spot. Then she finished second in the women’s 40-49 category.

Those of you who are good at math will have noticed that most women who are 36 years old are usually not between the ages of 40 and 49. It’s incredibly rare, in fact.

Most people, when talking about this story, focus on the — admittedly ridiculous — aspect of Mark Hulbert’s pursuit of felony charges against Wendy and Katie (now plead down to misdemeanor).

As far as I can tell, nobody at all has mentioned Jacqui Wood, who was the person Wendy knocked off the podium by cheating.

And of course nobody at all considers that a certain woman known here as The Runner might have found the legs and heart to push herself to be a mere 26 seconds faster if she had known that’s what it would have taken for her to be on the podium herself.

If other people hadn’t cheated.

So here’s the thing: The right time to have made that apology would have been before the awards ceremony. Wendy and Katie apologized, but they did it only after being caught. Which makes the apology feel a lot more like “I’m sorry you caught me” than “I’m sorry I stole a spot on the podium.”

The Problem With Fatty

I should point out, though, that I’m at fault as well. I’ve cheated before; the difference is I haven’t had to admit it because I never got caught (do you think Floyd would be saying anything at all right now if he had never been popped for doping?)

I’ll give you an example.

I was racing the Brian Head 100 one year — I forget what year, honestly, because I did the race several times — and found myself in a surprising position early in the race: very far ahead of where I ought to be, relative to the field. I was surprised, yet pleased.

It was only later that I realized that I had made a wrong turn, cutting a couple miles and a big climb off the course.

I finished with a fast — though not winning or even podium-ing among my age group — time. So I didn’t say anything to the organizers.

But who knows? Maybe I knocked someone out of the age group top-10 spot they were hoping for, or something like that.

Until now, it never occurred to me that my not speaking up might have affected someone else’s race results. Now, however, I know: I should have told the organizers that I should be DQ’d, and now I really wish I would have.

And maybe that’s the lesson here. When you race, the main thing your entry fee buys you is the right to compare yourself to other people. And if you cheat, you’re screwing up the yardstick for everyone.

So here’s the giant epiphany, the big payoff for this big ol’ navel gazing session: cheating is bad. And as a sub-epiphany: you don’t know who you’re damaging by cheating, nor how much. And as a tertiary minor epiphany, if you’ve been caught cheating — as opposed to openly confessing it, you can forget about moral high ground.

It’s almost enough to make me consider cutting back on the EPO.

After the season ends, I mean.

PS: The last real day of school for the kids is today; we’re going on a little vacation. I’ll be back Tuesday.

PPS: All profits from the Johan Bruyneel collection continue — through the rest of this month — to go to Team Fatty’s LiveStrong Challenge. Read details here, then go get yourself something Johanesque to wear here.


  1. Comment by FliesOnly | 05.27.2010 | 9:14 am

    Nailed it…again.

  2. Comment by Billy AKA Action Geek | 05.27.2010 | 9:16 am

    Hey Fatty, yeah I think pretty much everyone knows and believes that cheating is bad, and even if you don’t get caught you still pay a price (guilt!) but don’t beat yourself up over the Brian Head thing – the difference is intent – if you had takena short cut on purpose that is defo 100% cheating, but it was an honest mistake and you didn’t make the podium anyway. Sure, there’s a chance you knocked someone off their rightful spot but I expect most people would do just what you did in that situation and said nothing – but hey, but of course the best thing to do would be to let the organisers know!

    Very cool blog BTW – only found you recently!

  3. Comment by Gil Middlebrooks | 05.27.2010 | 9:17 am

    This is one of those f*** my life moments. I just realized that I have no friends who would come close to grasping just how funny those last couple of sentences are.

  4. Comment by Paul Guyot | 05.27.2010 | 9:27 am

    Great post. The Jacqui Wood’s are the forgotten ones in all the lies and deception.

    I was one who donated to Floyd’s defense fund. Is he going to pay me back now? I doubt it. And now, the things others were pointing out to me (about him) back then – things I chose to ignore – are such blinding red beacons of “Danger!” that I feel like a maroon.

    And with all due respect to other commenters (or is it commenties?), I just shake my head at the “Eh, most anyone else woulda done it, so it’s cool” argument. What an entitled society we are becoming.

    You can cheat and win. But what is so wonderfully ironic about it, is that YOU are the only person that KNOWS you didn’t really win – and guilt or not, it haunts even the most callous and self-loathing folks.

    But enough about this stuff. Let’s talk about Livestrong and kicking cancer’s ass, and winning cool swag from Fatty, and riding with pro teams, and getting dropped by pro teams, and doing triathlons and swearing never to do another, and then thinking of doing another, and how truly hot The Runner looks in squishy, shiny, stretchy tight clothes, and, and, and…

    I better sit down.

  5. Comment by Dan | 05.27.2010 | 9:27 am

    Fatty, you definitely nailed it. One’s actions affect not only themselves, but others around them.

    On another note, I’m saddened. I wanted to purchase some cool gear for someone of my size (XXXL) but neither yours nor John’s come large enough. I am working to reduce, but I would love to have some team FC gear in larger sizes!

  6. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 05.27.2010 | 9:32 am

    One easy solution to the Leadville issue: allow registration transfers.

    Floyd: He’s certainly being motivated by something external. And while he may not have any moral high ground (I’m not sure he is claiming any) what he is saying is very interesting.

  7. Comment by Ferd Berfle | 05.27.2010 | 9:32 am

    Well said.

  8. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.27.2010 | 9:34 am

    Good thoughts–thanks for sharing. As to epiphanies, though, I’d be interested in minor quaternary, quinary or even senary ephinanies as well.

    Have a good vaca con los ninos.

    [I just noted that by mixing truncated English and Spanish that I just wished you a "good cow with the kids"--I'm leavin' it!]

  9. Comment by MattC | 05.27.2010 | 9:50 am

    Great topic Fatty…it’s surely in my mind! I am also a ‘donater’ to the FFF, and I also drove many HOURS to buy his book, get it signed and briefly meet him. I am also in the ‘macaroon’ category. It will be discussed and debated for years to come. As to the ‘cheating’ aspect…if for a moment I believe him and assume EVERYBODY who is anybody is cheating, then it’s actually a level playing field. IF that is (was) true. We have no idea of course becasue the only people who know this aren’t talking. I will continue to wear my blinders to this aspect and enjoy the sport.

    But the part that really gets my knickers in a twist about Floyd’s admission is that he LIED…to EVERYBODY! It’s one thing to do something wrong, but to consciously make the decision to lie when confronted is where things change for me. And to do it for FOUR FREAKIN YEARS, all the while taking our money cuz we believed. No matter his motives, that’s where he loses me, and I won’t ever forgive him for that. Not that he cares…I’m an unknown guy who tossed a few bucks his way.

    And I’m not sure how I feel about a ‘rat’…sure things can’t get fixed till the good guys know how the bad guys are beating the system…but nobody likes a rat. It’s a razors edge between whistleblower and rat. Good luck with that Floyd.

    And enjoy your vacation Fatty…I look forward to your getting back into Team Fatty/LIVESTRONG with a vengence!

  10. Comment by plum | 05.27.2010 | 9:53 am

    Something ain’t right Fatty, and we all know it. You can only pretend for so long.

    Cycling as we all know it; the cycling we spent the past I don’t know how many years revering and emotionally investing in – it’s fake. All of it. None of it is real. Something terrible has been going on, and there’s no denying it. The stuff coming out now wasn’t invented in Floyd’s mind. It couldn’t have been.

    And the sooner we all realize that the only heroes in cycling are the guys in our own backyards, busting their asses and earning it the right way, getting pretty far, but not quite far enough, the better off we’ll all be.

    Because the only thing separating those guys from the guys who do make it far enough is one thing, and that – let there be no question from here on in – is cheating.

    I’m not sorry to be raining on your parade. Rubbing elbows with these guys – it’s not right. In spite of what of whatever they might be trying to do for society, all of the charity – all of it is compensating for a dirty secret that all of them have taken an oath to protect.

    That’s how it is. Someone prove me wrong.

  11. Comment by NancyP | 05.27.2010 | 9:55 am

    Yes. Well said and something to keep in mind across the board in life.

  12. Comment by Lord Adamantine Sedgepig | 05.27.2010 | 9:56 am

    Your post brings to mind Mrs Fat Cyclist’s account of the Ironman. By her own admission she was gobbling drugs throughout and even organising mules to go and purchase more for her on her way round. Perhaps she should now come clean to the UCI about her entire doping history.

  13. Comment by MattC | 05.27.2010 | 10:01 am

    Oh…and as to taking EPO, I’d do it in a HEARTBEAT! But only IF I could do it safely and legally (my hemacrit is hovering around 39, just barely above anemic..has been that way my whole life, so I am at a huge disadvantage w/ almost everybody I ride with). I’d just like a level playing field myself. Maybe FLoyd can help me out. He does OWE me….hmmmmm.

  14. Comment by centurion | 05.27.2010 | 10:01 am

    I’m reminded of an old saying;
    The true measure of a man’s character, is what he does when no one else is looking.

  15. Comment by Lisa | 05.27.2010 | 10:03 am

    I think mistakes (like yours) are easy to make and not malicious. I think when it’s malicious–it’s wrong.

  16. Comment by @jonofTeamWILL | 05.27.2010 | 10:07 am

    Fatty, obviously you are close to the parties that have been weighted by these allegations so I imagine it is tough to have these allegations launched at ment that you know to be good and charitable.

    What seems to be the case is that Floyd was not the instigator of this leak of information and the timing was not of his doing. It seems that there is a lot of confusion in this area, as if Floyd was waiting for the perfect moment to pull the pin and launch the velogrenade. What does seem to be the case… (1) Floyd is torqued about the environment of cycling and the UCI’s apparent moves to keep him from returning to the ProTour by subtly threatening to neutralize a ProTour team’s race calendar if Floyd is on their rooster. It seems consistent with what Tyler Hamilton experienced. The double standard, if you’re European and get caught doping, a ProTour contract surely awaits as soon as your suspension is completed. However, if you’re American, banishment to the continental ranks of pro cycling. Pretty certain he’s feeling little allegiance at this point to any of procycling’s elite. (2) Floyd’s emails seems to be an aggressive maneuver to get an inner-circle together for an honesty pow wow. That is paradoxical beyond belief, even though it seems to be case by those who actually broke the story initially.

    My biggest concern is if this goes south for the parties that Floyd mentioned, that LIVESTRONG as an org can remain strong and influential and that the LS masses will remain diligent that cancer is the enemy, not Floyd or Lance as determined by the facts that will come in the days and months to follow. If what Floyd states is true and that truth becomes common knowledge through diligent investigative work and the process of the legal system, a very important fact remains consistent, we still need to stand behind LIVESTRONG as an incredible voice and resource in the fight against cancer.

  17. Comment by Jim | 05.27.2010 | 10:12 am

    The Floyd/Lance/LeMond thing leaves me feeling a bit sad, but ultimately a bit ambivalent. LeMond is crazy as a coot, but he’s a great racer and maybe has a lot to offer in the way of wisdom. Floyd is an outright fraud, but having hit rock bottom I think maybe he’s telling the truth, and the fact that it’s not in his self interest to admit publicly to fraud, makes me think this time he’s being honest, and probably the whole pro peloton is, or was at that time, on drugs. And Lance was probably among them, and although it doesn’t bug me that much that he might have been doping – faster doped rider among 180 doped riders is still the fastest – the fact that so many people in the real world are going to be hurt if this goes down like Balco bugs the crap out of me. Lance is a flawed human like all of us, with some real greatness in him, and to the extent I dislike him it’s because some of his flaws tend to overshadow an amazing philanthropic record. I couldn’t hazard a guess how this will shake out but it won’t be good; some crockery is going to get broken here pretty soon.

    But what about us normal cyclists who ride around, hang with friends, race and raise money for charity? What’s the effect on us? I think we have to remember cycling is about us, not a few relatively rich guys who race for a living. They’re sleek and cool looking, but as Joe Parkin wrote, a lot of them are also dumb, living in dismal hotel rooms, in horrible health and jacked up on all sorts of drugs mortals shouldn’t mess with. Bond’s comment that he’s not a role model is true in spades here. Who is a role model? Well…

    I don’t ordinarily believe in quoting myself or link-whoring, but I’m going to drop what I wrote last week on my blog. By way of mitigation I’ll zap the link to my site from my signature…

    “Floyd’s dope revelations have me down, not because I’m surprised but because of the way so many people try to systematically destroy everything good we love and believe in. The real crime of sin, or of “sin” if you’re not particularly religious, is that it covers you and your friends and everyone you know in sh1t. The reason we have all this moral approbation and all these rules is not to make you unhappy, but because corruption has a stench that will ultimately make the eyes of everybody in the room start watering as if somebody blasted out some red onions through a salad shooter. You can get away with a little moral rot and it may not destroy your character but when you start to have a lot of it, you harm more than yourself. Everybody walks away from you, their faith in you and in the possibility of others being good and trustworthy and admirable, somewhat shaken.

    One of the things I like about being a pretty ordinary guy with pretty ordinary friends is I don’t worry about all of you turning out to be major league @55hole doping liars who build a career and make millions on a lie. Hey, we’re among friends here, and I know a few of you have ****ed up here and there. That’s fine, it happens. This being a mostly local blog I get to know most of you who read it and you’re kind and decent people; I can only think of a handful of real @55holes in this area who I think are bad people and wouldn’t want to ride with. Most of you I’ve met, and many hundreds of people I’ve raced with who don’t read this, have been solid in all my dealings with them. Maybe we’re not great buddies, but y’all are alright and I know that.

    But most of us are pretty normal. Why is it we’re cool, but so many athletes / celebs / politicians are so frigging evil? Maybe fame does something to screw people up; maybe you have to be screwed up to achieve it. Either way, I’m not real interested in fame and fortune. I’d rather be just makin’ the mortgage payment, but out there in the woods or on the road every week riding with you guys, than to be a lying rich ass doper pro with a bunch of lying rich ass doper friends and crooked bosses.

    We ordinary folks have it good and should appreciate it. Ride safe on the way into work today and I hope to see you on the trails Saturday.”

    That’s what I wrote then, an hour after hearing about Floyd. I’m a little down about it but what pros do, the corruption of UCI and ASO… it doesn’t bug me so much in the end. They are a speck of dust in the cycling world, and what all of you do on a regular basis, whether it’s the local Weekly Worlds, a daily commute, a charity ride or just a bike trip to the store to get some milk, is what cycling is really about. My role models in cycling, in short, are the people I ride with, and decent folks like Fatty or a lot of the commenters here who have done exceptional things with their lives and their bikes. We ride and do stuff, and there are millions and millions of us around the world.

    All of you guys – you are my heroes and role models. You’re where it’s at. The pros, whether doping or not? Not so much any more. And maybe that’s a good thing.

  18. Comment by iammykl | 05.27.2010 | 10:16 am

    Fatty, your article brings to my attention an event where I got confused during a poorly marked trail race. Anyway, I truncated the course unintentionally and went from 4th to 2nd. Realizing my mistake, I promptly reported my error to the officials when I crossed the finish line. To this day, I am happy I did the right thing.

    Cheating hurts the sport and everyone involved. Don’t cheat. If you make a mistake, admit it. Live with integrity.

  19. Comment by Mike | 05.27.2010 | 10:17 am

    As a daily reader of your blog, I’ve been waiting on this subject to come up, especially with Floyd attempting to throw Lance Armstrong under the bus. More odd, to me, is the number of people now using Floyd’s accusations about Lance as further proof that Lance is doping. Never mind that he’s tested constantly, and nothing has come up. How anyone can give any credence to anything Floyd says is beyond me. If he said “My name is Floyd” today, I’d find myself questioning even that.

    Your story of cheating reminds me of my very first ever MTB race. I’d signed up with the goal of finishing the thing, figuring round two would be to not finish DFL. I had no idea how long the course was, but had my computer anyway. I finished the course which turned out to be 13 miles, after watching everyone else pass me, sometimes twice. After the race, I looked for my torturer… I mean friend… who talked me into racing, but couldn’t find him. About 10 minutes later, he crossed the finish line, and congratulated me on beating him. I realized then there was something wrong because I hadn’t passed ANYONE, much less him. So I asked him “how long was the course?” “16.3 miles.” “huh… really?” “yeah.” “I didn’t finish.” Then I explained how I’d not finished the full course, and went to tell the race organizer I should be marked as DNF. When I got back, my friend was actually mad at me because in his mind, he could say that he “technically” beat me because I didn’t finish the full course. However, by reporting it myself, I took that caveat away from him, and now everyone knew he was the last person to finish. Odd logic, I thought, but at least I came clean. :)

  20. Comment by Lars Larson | 05.27.2010 | 10:20 am

    The thing about Floyd’s admissions which bothers me the most of all:

    IF his team HAD been allowed into the Tour of California this year HE WOULD NOT HAVE SAID ANYTHING!


    And now he wants us to take him seriously. We have all been the victims of liars who lied AFTER they didn’t get what they wanted. This is most likely just another example.

  21. Comment by skippy | 05.27.2010 | 10:22 am

    If you cheat to win to impress your friends then you need a kick in the derriere!
    If you cheat to win money and in a professional/senior amateur status event then you deserve “criminal action”!

    A Professional who cheats deserves to be locked up in his home with his/her family for 4 years reduced to 2 years on a “public Admission of guilt”, tagged also so there is no question of working in their sport in a sideline whilst awaiting to return “fresh to the fray”!

    Who is the next to own up to what everyone used to think was acceptable?

  22. Comment by mark | 05.27.2010 | 10:24 am

    The problem with Wendy and Katie admitting their error before they got caught is that Ken Chlouber is such a douchebag, he would have banned them both from the race permanently.

    Their choices were to speak up and risk a lifetime ban or keep quiet and hope they didn’t get caught. The lifetime ban is a bit more consequential than not being on the podium. Winning is a big deal, but second through fifth aren’t that different from one another.

  23. Comment by MrsTeamPhillips | 05.27.2010 | 10:25 am

    Very thought provoking stuff here, indeed. My reaction is to find your own heroes, not those created by media, celebrity, or athletic prowess. Look around you, and emulate good character, kindness, and true charity.

    If you’re reading this blog, you shouldn’t have to look very far.

  24. Comment by Allan | 05.27.2010 | 10:28 am

    Doping is something that science invented, competition fosters and fans look the other way about (think MLB and the NFL). How many cycling fans believed Floyd over the french doping lab? How many continue to believe in LA? We like our superheroes.

  25. Comment by bikemike | 05.27.2010 | 10:29 am

    My comments to Floyd would be “cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater”. That would put him in his place. It’s cruel and heartless but thtat’s how i feel.

  26. Comment by Grayduncs | 05.27.2010 | 10:36 am

    Presumably you are missing a “not” from this sentence…

    Those of you who are good at math will have noticed that most women who are 36 years old are between the ages of 40 and 49. It’s incredibly rare, in fact.

    As for the likes of Landis, he has spent so long lying that any claims that he makes now have to treated with extreme caution. If he can not support them with evidence then I think that they have to be ignored. Some people will argue otherwise because the accusations are in keeping with other rumours, or because it suits their view of the people involved. Fundamentally Landis has forfeited our trust and what he says now has to be dismissed because of it.

    Is cycling any worse for drugs than other sports and on what measure? Yes, having whole teams thrown off the TdFrance is quite an achievement but then other sports have had tournaments and games rigged for betting purposes. Are we any worse?

    Do not get me wrong, I am not being complacent about the effect of drugs -they produce a perfidious sport that I want no part of. I just wonder if we beat ourselves up more than we should, rather than recognising the efforts that go in to testing riders and those who are striving to improve the sport.

  27. Comment by Accident Prone | 05.27.2010 | 10:40 am

    Oh no! Not the EPO!

    Put down the pill (syringe, whatever) and back away slowly…

  28. Comment by CJ :) | 05.27.2010 | 10:43 am

    Unfortunately, the only thing that comes to mind is Jose Canseco. He ratted out Major League Baseball, but he wasn’t wrong in who he named.

    This is a long way from over, methinks.

  29. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 05.27.2010 | 10:44 am

    Mike, being tested a hole bunch doesn’t mean much when the tests are a joke. Which is why Floyd’s allegations are so interesting. He’s claiming the whole system of control is broken and easy to circumvent and manipulate. Lance is at the cutting edge of everything. So it’s easy to think that IF he is doping, he’d be at the cutting edge of that as well. Behind the yellow wristbands and charity work is either the greatest, or the most fraudulent athlete in history. I’d like to know which…

  30. Comment by Dave | 05.27.2010 | 10:53 am

    Fatty a quick fix (I think)

    Those of you who are good at math will have noticed that most women who are 36 years old are (NOT)between the ages of 40 and 49.

  31. Comment by roan | 05.27.2010 | 11:00 am

    Fatty, great post. I too, like to believe in people. F.L. agghhh ! I believed his book about lab errors (I work in a research lab and have seen false data published for funding). I was biased due to media & French lab leaks. As to other top level riders, do they cheat…probably…some in little ways some in outrageous ways. BUT I still hope that somewhere there is someone at that level competing clean, a dream perhaps. What really hurts is the effect on the public view of me a non racing, fit, century & long distance cycling addict, perhaps the only ‘clean cycling’ remaining. I do it for myself.
    C’on you cutting back on EPO…fat chance !
    Have a great vacation with the family.
    See you in Seattle.

  32. Comment by MrTeamPhillips | 05.27.2010 | 11:01 am

    1st my Floyd comments – Something never really rang true about the whole case. For that reason I didn’t contribute to his defense fund even though I wanted him to be clean. Four years later I am glad about that decision. It is bad enough that he betrayed the public trust, it is reprehensible that he actively sought out financial contributions. I find his credibility non-existent at this point. I hope to find out someday that his accusations are false. Being somthing of a realist I fully expect that some of the accusations will be borne out to be true.

    2. Cheating in general. I don’t condone it but find as the stakes get higher the propensity to do the right thing decline.

    Examples:In 1940 that football powerhouse known as Cornell University was mistakenly granted a 5th down. The susbsequent play allowed Cornell to win the game and ultimately finish the season undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation. Subsequent records of the game showed Cornell getting the 5th down and the game was eventually forfeited denying the #1 ranking.

    1990 University of Colorado has essentially the same scenario vs Missouri. They are caught after the fact. Colorado does not forfeit the game, nor do they lose their National Championship of that year. The difference? It is all about the money that has changed college sports over the 50 year time period.

    The pressures placed on people to perform can be extreme in any profession. In business we try to leverage information, speed, experience etc into advantages over our competition. Sometimes corporate espionage is used. Athletes are no difference. I have no respect for anyone who resorts to unfair/illegal tactics to gain advantage.

    I think this is a life lesson as well as a sporting lesson that we all can benefit from.

    PS I am a graduate of Cornell and take pride in their history of sportsmanship, however grudgingly it was offered.

  33. Comment by Alyson | 05.27.2010 | 11:04 am

    I have to agree with Lars ~ if they had let the RAT in to the race, he would have kept all this supposed “true” information to himself. PLEASE PEOPLE GET A GRIP ON REALITY HERE! If he truly felt so strongly that things were wrong & that he needed to come “CLEAN”..he would have done it legit. Not try to bribe his way in to an event by threatening to spread lies! He is a prick of the smallest kind.

    As for Lance ~ he has been tested every which way of friggin Sunday for the last 12 years. They have sometimes tested him 4 times in one day! Hell, they even test him in the off season. He has given them blood, urine, sweat, and of late, they are probably testing his bionic sperm too.:-) And they have tested him EVERY year, a million times a year…even when he retired, he was tested. The man works his ass off, and is committed.

    And one last note ~ You don’t beat friggin testicular, lung and brain cancer to go and put chemical crap in your system, to win a bike race.Even the most famous bike race in the world!
    Not when you have fought for your life against 80% odds, and fight for it every single day. You think he doesn’t live in fear of that cancer coming back? You think he is going to risk getting it again by putting crap in his system.

    If you think that, then you have never read his books, or listened to him talk, and you have never talked to a Cancer Survivor. We treat our bodies like temples ~ Cancer is a wake-up call….not a “let me fluff up my body with dope and hope cancer doesn’t come back” call. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Ok, hopping off my soapbox now. apologies for the bad language & spelling.
    Fatty, am waiting for “modelling photos” I believe were promised a wee while back. Enjoy the vacation!:-)

  34. Comment by judi | 05.27.2010 | 11:12 am

    you can tell the runner she has inspired me to go SS.

  35. Comment by dug | 05.27.2010 | 11:14 am

    wendy and katie weren’t cheating to win, they were cheating to ride. the podium thing happened by accident.

    what they were engaged in was more like civil disobedience than cheating.

  36. Comment by mark | 05.27.2010 | 11:17 am

    Alison, your naivete is laughable.

  37. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.27.2010 | 11:20 am

    Whether you believe Floyd or not, ESPN’s Bonnie D. Ford has written a very interesting piece detailing how, according to Floyd, Pro Tour cyclists have foiled the testing programs, and the reactions of Michael Ashenden, a Australian exercise physiologist and blood doping researcher who sits on the nine-man independent panel that reviews biological passport data for UCI…

    I am reasonably sure that whether we select door # 1, 2, or 3 of the things Fatty has listed about what we choose to believe about Floyd’s revelations, we have not heard the end of this.

    I still support the work of LiveSTRONG, and hope it can go on.

  38. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 05.27.2010 | 11:21 am

    What dug said.

  39. Comment by runningwalker | 05.27.2010 | 11:36 am

    Was completely distracted by the New Belgium logo on the awning and didn’t notice Floyd… mmm Fat Tire (apparently Floyd like it too, a lot!)

  40. Comment by Barbara | 05.27.2010 | 11:38 am

    Floyd has been very careful NOT to admit to the testosterone that he was busted for. Oh, sure, I doped for years, but I didn’t do THAT one, and therefore I was telling the truth in the lawsuit and in my book and I took everyone’s money in good faith. Now that has the ring of truth to it, don’t you think? I still want my money back and I don’t know what to do with my autographed copy of the book. If it didn’t cost money, I’d send it back to him.

    As for “Floyd didn’t leak it” c’mon, it’s 2010. Does anyone seriously expect he can send e-mails and start a firestorm and it won’t get into the press?

  41. Comment by Alyson | 05.27.2010 | 11:44 am

    “Alison, your naivete is laughable”

    Mark, I have lost a father, mother and son to cancer. I am a survivor of colon cancer. Very few know more about cancer, cancer victims, or cancer survivors than I do.

    Laugh as much & as loud as you hope for you is that you never have my “naivete” about cancer.

  42. Comment by Double U | 05.27.2010 | 11:49 am

    Lance is innocent until proven guilty.

    Floyd points the finger at Lance, the guy who “taught him how to dope” So let me get this right…. Lance dopes for 7 years and never gets caught and is under the microscope the entire time. Floyd goes out the first year and gets caught!?!?

    I guess the grasshopper didn’t study hard enough or take enough notes under the guidance of the master.

    Floyd is flinging poop and hoping it hits someone in the process.

  43. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 05.27.2010 | 11:50 am

    Really good points, Fatty! I appreciate you reminding us that our actions do affect other people – sometimes even when we don’t see those effects first hand.

    A similar situation happened to me last year. Except in this case, the party in question was honest about the error instead of cheating. I appreciated that.

    I was doing my first duathlon last fall. It was a small race, and everyone lined up together to begin the run. Before the race started, the organizers announced that they needed the age of one of the female participants. She jokingly shouted “29!” and her friends all laughed. Then she said, “No, really, I’m 40.” But the organizers didn’t hear the correction.

    So we all ran the race, and then at the awards ceremony, I was surprised and delighted to receive a trophy for 3rd place in my age group (25-29). The 40-year old woman was announced as 2nd in the age group. She immediately spoke up and said that it was a mistake. So I really got second place. However, I had to take the 3rd place trophy home and color a “2″ over the “3″ with permanent marker.

    In the end, it all worked out in the official results, thanks to the woman’s honesty.

  44. Comment by Bob B. | 05.27.2010 | 11:52 am

    For years, I’ve been musing about which rider in the Tour de France is the strongest clean rider. For awhile, I thought it was a top 10 rider like Christophe Moreau, but he was busted with a bunch of other Festina guys, so we probably need to go further down the list for someone like Thomas Voeckler.

    Or maybe every rider in the tour was dirty and you have to go down to one of the Cat level riders. How would I know? But it sounds like Phillipe Gilbert might be clean:

    Go Phillipe!

  45. Comment by Mike Roadie | 05.27.2010 | 12:03 pm

    Tertiary…….I love it!

    Cancer cheats, too…..hate that!

    Enjoy the vacay and don’t be so hard on yourself. You are spot on when you say that the only thing these cheaters are sorry for is thatthey got caught. Done and done!

  46. Comment by Haven (KT) | 05.27.2010 | 12:05 pm

    Ah, the Great Floyd Debacle of 2010.

    It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

    From what I’ve seen, he wanted a spot on Team Radio Shack, so he harassed Lance and Johan for a spot. Then he wanted his Team Ouch (bad name for a team) to get a spot in the Tour of Cali, so he sent threatening emails to the organizers.

    The timing is all wacky. He wants something, he threatens people, and when he doesn’t get what he wants he gives the press some very juicy information. has transcripts of a swath of emails– it makes for very interesting reading.

    Bottom line for me: Floyd protested his innocence for years, both in court and under oath, and to the press, and in a book. He took people’s money, people who believed his lies. People bought his book, bought his lies (literally). What credibility does he have? None. I believed him, but did not give him money– none to give, glad I didn’t waste any of my hard-earned cash on him.

    I find his allegations to be less than believable. I find that if he came up to me and said, “the sun sets in the West!” I’d have to watch to make sure it’s true.

    If he has no evidence of doping by the people he’s accused, then he has nothing. Just like the rest of us.

  47. Comment by AmyBeti | 05.27.2010 | 12:06 pm

    There is the possibility too that if Ken Chlouber allowed race entry transfers, Wendy could have just raced as Wendy. That wasn’t allowed so they did what they did to not lose $250 in a bad recession. She still raced a solid 9:56 and beat all those women who are upset with the cheating. the real story is why the whole story hasn’t been told….

    Two wrongs don’t make a right but they also don’t make a felony.

  48. Comment by Steve | 05.27.2010 | 12:11 pm


    I think a lot of us were duped by Landis. I know I was, but at least I didn’t give him any money or buy his stupid book. I am more of a “wait-and-see,” and “innocent-until-proven-guilty” type. Yet, I was dearly hoping he was clean.

    When he was finally and officially 86′d, I had to go with the experts and legal minds who were on top of the case and all the evidence against him. Then when he started going off the deep end hacking computers and other insane stuff, I knew he’d also lost it mentally. His actions since then have simply added to the already proven fact he was and probably still is dirty.

    You’ve got to feel sorry for his parents and anyone who really loved the guy. This guy truly needs professional help.

    Anyone who believes anything he says now is most likely putting themselves in line for another I-told-you-so. So, for those who are in the Lance Armstrong-is-a-doper camp being promoted by Landis–and only Landis (well maybe still a few Frog journalists and their “patrons”)–the odds are seriously in favor of their looking as stupid as their cheerleader, Floyd Landis.

    By the way, I know you were trying to be cute with the EPO quip, but this stuff just ain’t funny anymore–if it ever was.

    Keep up your outstanding work fighting cancer, Fatty! Shortcut or no, you are still one of my heroes.

    Best regards,


  49. Comment by SactoDave | 05.27.2010 | 12:15 pm

    F.L is a chump; plain and simple!

    Come race with me F.L. Honestly F.L., I don’t know how that bottle wound up in your spokes!

    You’re right Fatty; cheating is bad. F.L. needs to take the sandpaper out of his kid’s baseball glove before the next Little League game!

    Yup, he’s a CHUMP!

  50. Comment by MattC | 05.27.2010 | 12:16 pm


    Certainly no disrespect to your personal fight with cancer, but what you lump together as “that chemical crap” is a wide variety of things. One of the most predominant ‘cheat’ chemicals is EPO (and now CERA) which was created to HELP cancer victims. Used correctly it’s QUITE safe. And then there are blood transfusions (putting in more red blood cells…ala Operation Puerto). Putting extra RBC’s into your body to augment your hemacrit level is not going to hurt you in any way unless you get extreme. But it WILL most certainly help your performance. I have no idea whether or not Lance (and his entire team, and the rest of the pro peleton) was/is actually doing this, but I am also under no illusions that if they thought they could do it without getting caught, the vast majority probably would.

    And even though it is looked upon as cheating by most everybody that is NOT racing, if everybody is doing it then the field is still level. If MOST everybody is doing it, then those few who are not are at a disadvantage. And face it: in pro sports, winning IS everything, like it or not. We idolize our winners…our Superheros (as has been said). Just go to a bike race and look at the crowds around the team busses. It’s like Hollywood for athletes. I just don’t see how that will ever change. As to whether to believe ANY of what FL says..thats a tough one. He has now admited he is a liar and a cheat. Does that make everything he says suspect? Sure. But does it make it false? You got me. Think I’ll go for a ride. I’ll race myself. Then I’ll know for sure the winner is on the up and up. Thats about all I really know.

  51. Comment by Linfin | 05.27.2010 | 12:23 pm

    I didn’t believe Floyd then, and I think he’s bitter and angry that he got caught. The optimist in me wants to not believe his claims about others, but who knows. I wonder if, even with all that Lance Armstrong has access to, could he really avoid getting caught year after year after year, when everybody and their dog is out to get him, and run every test they can think of on him? Now that Floyd has confirmed that he is a self-serving liar, he really seems to be like a whiny child that tries to deflect his wrong-doing by pointing at someone else.

  52. Comment by hambone | 05.27.2010 | 12:23 pm

    what grizzly adam said about what dug said about what you said.

  53. Comment by VT_Rob | 05.27.2010 | 12:30 pm

    Nice post Elden, and a great ending.

    Regarding Floyd, I don’t believe he’s admitting to taking testosterone after stage whatever of the 2006 TdF. As I understand his position…”I cheated, and so did everyone else, BUT I didn’t cheat the time the “vast French conspiracy” says I did.

  54. Comment by brian | 05.27.2010 | 12:33 pm

    I always figure you might as well approach life like everybody’s your friend or nobody is; don’t make much difference.

    – Paden, Silverado

  55. Comment by Dopey | 05.27.2010 | 12:40 pm

    Drugs are risky. If you really want to go faster without training, just install this in your bike:

    Actually, I’ve thought of getting one for my wife so she can keep up with me — or leave me in the dust, whatever the case may be.

  56. Comment by MTB W | 05.27.2010 | 12:45 pm

    Agree with dug re Leadville. They weren’t cheating to win. Yes, what they did was wrong but being charged with a felony? Give me a break. Wendy paid a lot of money but wasn’t allowed to transfer or get a refund so she gave her registration to a friend. One of the women lost her teaching job because of the felony charge (regardless that it was plead down) and probably paid $5K for attorney fees and court costs. The rumor mill has it that the race organizers (Ken Chlouber) allowed other riders to transfer/have some else ride if they know that person (but if they don’t know the person, they get charged with a felony). Ken could (and should) have taken care of this matter without pursuing criminal charges. Should the women have punished – yes (lifetime ban, etc). But did Ken and the DA take this way out of proportion – a big YES. Particularly since Ken made the rules and bends them whenever he wants to for his own purpose (such as allowing riders to bypass the lottery – by paying mucho dinero or being famous, allowing other riders to transfer their registration – at least according to the rumor mill, and the race organizers keep the lottery process a secret so no one knows how fair it is). I was surprised that Jeff Kerkove, a top 20 rider from 2 years ago, who is on the same team as Dave Weins, was denied entry last year. But anybody Lance wanted on his team was automatically entered (at the last minute, too). What was up with that?

    With respect to Floyd, the ESPN article is very interesting. Floyed detailed how the pros pass drug tests, given that they can use 3-4 times the “normal” level of EPO. Regardless of what one thinks about Floyd personally, I am glad is he trying to expose the procedures on dope-beating tests. Hopefully, this will make a difference on how tests are done and exposure more dopers. But I am a realist – I know dopers will just work other angles with their teams of professionals to beat drug testing.

  57. Comment by graisseux | 05.27.2010 | 12:51 pm

    Landis is a weasel. Ok, got that out of the way. However, he’s not saying that he didn’t cheat when he won the 2006 Tour, he’s just saying that he didn’t cheat doing what he tested positive for–probably why he tried beating the rap. Not sure if he has physical evidence but he supposedly has years of training diaries that corroborate his stories.

    Lance cheated too. If the Landis allegations were isolated, then they could be dismissed. There’s just too much out there against the guy. With the body of evidence (circumstantial or not) against him, anyone else in his position would be labeled a doper. He just gets the cancer/philanthropy pass.

    Not sure if the pass he gets is deserved. I seriously doubt 100% of the pros have been doping and as such he is screwing over at least one honest rider.

  58. Comment by jc | 05.27.2010 | 1:06 pm

    Good article. Well thought out. The one thing that bothers me about Floyd however is that to this day, the science does not back crime. Lets say Floyd DID dope (ignoring the current state of the case. Just bear with me here), why is it that he only tripped the ‘alarm’ on the one day? Subsequent days in which he wore yellow, he tested below the limits.

    This raises suspicion in my tiny reptilian brain. Doping products DO NOT flush out of ones body overnight. They have an effective ‘half-life’ within the body for X-number of days. At the same time, taking a PED would not allow the ‘user’ to perform out-of-this world in the same fashion that Floyd did. One must be on a consistent regimen of drugs in order to reap any benefits.

    Think of it this way: If you are taking a anti-biotic or some other medication for some illness/disease, you are required to take a course of medication that lasts for multiple days. This allows the medication to build up within the body in order to effectively combat the illness/disease/condition. For Floyd to go from sucking rancid eggs to a super-human effort is to me, more likely a result from pulling out a fantastic ride (remember, he was considered one of the best riders at that time and capable of blowing up riders on long climbs).

    Having said this, he was tested (as being the winner of the stage) again and again and again (having donned the Maillot Jaune and retaining it through to Paris. As far as I know, he did not test positive during any of the other days that he was tested. From a chemical point of view, that is impossible.

    Now I am not saying that there inst cheating that takes place. Virenque, Riss, and Ulrich all got cuaght and admitted their role. But this Affair de Landis simply fails to pass the smell test. I have no idea what is on with Floyd. I dont know if there some some skullduggery going on that we are not privvy to or what. I simply have my doubts about this entire rancid affair, the conduct and operations of WADA (neigh Dick Pound) and whether or not they were looking for Zebras when the only thing they found were horses and thus ‘painted a jackass’ with stripes.

    If Floyd cheated, he got what he deserved. I just think the evidence as given to us s doesnt add up. If there is more information out there that indeed says how/what he did to cheat, then I am all for hearing it.

  59. Comment by mark | 05.27.2010 | 1:07 pm

    Alyson, your experience with cancer does nothing to diminish your naivete regarding doping.

    You assume that because Lance survived cancer by dumping chemicals in his body that he would never want to do so again. But you fail to consider the corollary: because he came so close to not surviving, perhaps he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win.

    A clean Lance at 160 pounds does not beat pure climbers that weigh 130-140 pounds up a hill in the Tour de France, nor does he beat a doped Jan Ulrich in a time trial. Your worship of the man doesn’t make him clean no matter how bad you want it to.

  60. Comment by ExPat ExLawyer | 05.27.2010 | 1:10 pm

    Hi: Thanks for linking to my blog post. I’ve been covering this from the beginning mainly because I follow DA Hurlbert and our local media just prints what he wants. Fatty made some excellent points.

    The felony prosecution was the main story nationally because it represents a danger to all of society to have DAs abusing their tremendous power in new and creative ways. I will be doing a follow up story with Ken; he did an extensive recorded interview – all on the record. He clearly is undisputedly on the record as wanting all criminal charges dismissed. And the one thing he did want – the inside scoop on how the race’s ID security checks were breached, was not secured by Hurlbert.

    Hurlbert was apparently doing this in a misguided attempt at publicity in his failed Colo. state Senate bid. Hurlbert lost 71-29 at the State Assembly. He blew Ken off when they saw each other there (probably because Ken talked to me and went public).

    Now, Hurlbert is engaged in some race cheating of his own-doing a behind the scenes campaign to petition on the ballot with a signature collection drive – one where he was using his second-in-command DA to help while on the taxpayer time and dime.

    That story, and other stories on the mountain biker prosecutions are all on the front page of the site.

    You outspoken mountain bike racers are responsible for Wendy at least getting the most lenient possible plea bargain. She probably would have gone to jail but for the public outcry that backfired on this complete moron. Besides Kobe Bryant, he prosecuted a snowball thrower. But he lets off violent criminals with misdemeanors and little if any jail.

    A thoughtful blog post, Fatty.

  61. Comment by deepbrook | 05.27.2010 | 1:19 pm

    My first ever (and only to-date) race was the 2008 Mount Evans Hill Climb in CO. I rode in the 40-49 age group.

    Scanning the results sheet, I couldn’t find my name. I eventually located it an hour earlier than expected–they’d put down 2:50:27 instead of 3:50:27. The only way that I could get it changed was to protest myself.

    I “won” the protest, in the process dropping my finish from middle of the pack to 96th out of 118 starters.

    As much as I’d like to say that it was pure morality that drove my protest, a fair amount of what was going through my head at the time was not wanting to have an unbeatable personal best to beat the next time around. But, maybe that little bit of selfishness was just lack of oxygen and the scary-as-hell descent talking.

  62. Comment by axel in texas | 05.27.2010 | 1:24 pm

    the catch22 with the doping confessions is, if a rider is not down and out and has lost a lot (including credibility), he/she will not speak out. Those who speak out are those with nothing left to loose. Obviously those are not the most credible and upstanding people, but they are the only ones who dare.
    Jesus Manzano was also a guy that was down and out, but in the end, he helped bust open the Operation Puerto case.
    Wait and see if people will come out and confirm – if not it will blow over. Don’t expect those who are still part of pro-cycling to do it, though, just those who left or got kicked out.

  63. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 05.27.2010 | 1:24 pm

    Fatty, a case could be made for your cheating even without your, I presume humorous, admission of EPO use, that you mentioned above.

    Didn’t you recently complete an Ironman without training? And you were bragging about not training?

    Isn’t there a picture of you with your arm around Floyd, an admitted cheater?

    All you would need is Floyd to be desperate enough, and motivated enough, to have another press conference and your reputation could be tarnished.

    Once it’s out there, you’ll never convince everyone that you’re clean.

    I believed in Floyd for 4 years. That comeback stage in the TdF used to be one of my favorites.

    I just can’t believe him any more.

  64. Comment by Kovas Palubinskas | 05.27.2010 | 1:47 pm

    I’ll tell you, for all its goofiness, poor fashion sense, and general destruction of the environment, it always amazes me when a pro golfer calls a penalty on himself/herself, sometimes forgoing 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars in prize money. Now that’s cool.

  65. Comment by Clancy | 05.27.2010 | 2:08 pm

    Floyd is bat-sh*t crazy, so option 3 is just as likely as 1 & 2.

    The real lesson learned here is this – if you are ever in an arbitration hearing, then remember that ‘under oath’ is meaningless since Floyd has shown us that you can’t later be prosecuted for perjury when you admit you were lying under oath.

  66. Comment by Clancy | 05.27.2010 | 2:10 pm

    btw – I’m with Dr. Lammler

    Stage 17 of the 2006 TdF was truly magical. To know now it was a sham is heart-breaking.

  67. Comment by Jon | 05.27.2010 | 2:26 pm

    I’m surprised only one commenter mentioned the parallels between Floyd and Jose Canseco.

  68. Comment by geraldatwork | 05.27.2010 | 2:27 pm

    Great piece. I feel like a fool because for the most part I believed Landis. Even read his book. Once someone is caught lying one never knows going forward if that person is telling the truth or not.

  69. Comment by Tim D | 05.27.2010 | 2:30 pm

    A few years ago (ok 25 years or so ago (OK I lied!)) my sister was a scorer on the European Open golf. Seve Baliasteros (sp?) was playing and had bunkered. He played a beautiful shot to get out, massive applause and a great score. Until he came to my sister and said to add two shots because he had accidentally grounded his club. No-one saw it, no-one would have known if he’d kept quiet, but he admitted it and never hesitated or tried to hide it.

    That is the standard of honesty I expect.

  70. Comment by Alyson | 05.27.2010 | 2:37 pm

    MattC & Mark

    Sorry guys, I respect your opinions but to me the facts speak really loud ~ TDF wins & millions of negative drug tests.
    With all the people that are out to get him, especially the French, [even going thru his trash], if there was anything, anything they could nail him, they would have. And man, did they try hard.:-)

    Also I truly do not believe having had cancer is some kind of “pass” card.
    And I truly do not believe that anyone who has gone thru the pain of having chemo and radiation, would willingly put chemicals back in their system.

    But thats just little naive me!:-):-)Thx for the lively discussion.:-)

  71. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 05.27.2010 | 3:26 pm

    Alyson, what exactly are the facts?

  72. Comment by roan | 05.27.2010 | 3:34 pm

    jc, i agree with you, one con not test positive on a single day and negative immediately before & after. The testosterone test is a ratio of epi-testosterone (precurser) and testosterone. the 1st form is less stable than the final form (testosterone) and will break down with time. The French lab tested 4 times before the ratio was over the limit. Each test probably takes 2 days. Was the initial sample split into smaller samples for storage ? Or stored at 4 degrees C or even frozen between tests. Either way the weaker form of the protein will be subject to breakdown thus increasing the ratio until the test comes out positive (a false positive test).
    Was Floyd cheating…maybe, but probably not for what they say they got him on.

  73. Comment by brian | 05.27.2010 | 3:40 pm

    Alyson – do you drink caffeine? If not, do you know any cancer survivors that do?

  74. Comment by JM | 05.27.2010 | 3:46 pm

    “Everyone makes mistakes. No, that’s weak; we’re not talking about mistakes here. Everyone does bad things.”

  75. Comment by Di | 05.27.2010 | 4:08 pm

    I hate to say it, but I think the biggest reason why Jacqui Wood hasn’t been mentioned is because she is a woman. Here is a fact: women’s sports are not that respected, especially in cycling.

  76. Comment by Philly Jen | 05.27.2010 | 4:34 pm

    Like all of you, I have my own beliefs about whether Landis and Armstrong (and Hincapie and Leipheimer and Zabriskie and so on) ever juiced. We could go back and forth about this, and it’ll probably be the fastest 100 Miles of Nowhere anybody’s ever seen.

    But for Livestrong, and for Team Fatty, does it really matter? I didn’t take this up for any of the guys mentioned above, and their names are nowhere on my team jersey.

    Last I checked, mine says “Fight like Susan.”

    That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.

  77. Comment by Sansauto | 05.27.2010 | 4:40 pm

    I cheated on a Jr. High home ec test. My neighbor left the parts of the sewing machine worksheet exposed and I looked during the test. Thanks for letting me confess. I feel much better now.

  78. Comment by Sansauto | 05.27.2010 | 4:43 pm

    “You can’t win the Tour de France on water alone” -Bernard Hinault… I think

  79. Comment by m burdge | 05.27.2010 | 4:59 pm

    Jacques Anquetil said it.

  80. Comment by Paulscarlett | 05.27.2010 | 5:14 pm

    I am a big fan of LA, and hope and pray he is clean and was sure that FL (a.k.a. THE RAT) was a doper, however two things standout for me 1) none of us KNOW the facts, we have suspicions and feelings and unless you were there handing LA, or anyone else a loaded syringe, then you need to tone down the arguments, and 2) IF LA pops positive, in MY opinion his whole life, organisation etc is on the black list. There are lots of other groups fighting cancer, helping victims, survivors and families, I will never intentionally assist a cheater of that magnitude in anything, even if it is for a worthwhile cause. Fatty, we all know you are a fund raising machine, BUT if his Lanceship ever pops positive, and is proven, I would encourage you and others to direct fundraising elsewhere

  81. Comment by chrisdelmonte | 05.27.2010 | 7:51 pm

    Screw EPO and test. Heard fasted cycling is the new big thing.

    Sorry for the hijack but Im curious if anyone has something to say about that article or at least the quoted study in it.

    As for Landis I recall Berardi saying about the test rumours

    “But, based on what I know right now, I think that either Floyd is getting royally screwed here — OR — he’s working with a doping dope – a drug advisor who’s likely made one of the worst drug recommendations in cycling history. ”

    Didnt make much sense back then. Not that it matters much now that hes confessed.

  82. Comment by Jenni | 05.27.2010 | 8:37 pm

    I want a refund on my stupid Floyd Landis book.
    I met him, I looked him in the eyes as he lied to me and I believed him.

    However, i’m glad I erred on the side of believing a goodness instead of jumping to negativity. I’d do it all over again tomorrow.

  83. Comment by wabz | 05.27.2010 | 9:04 pm

    Fatty wrote:
    > I can believe that he lied before, is lying about himself now, and is also making lies up about others.”

    I’m not sure it’s logically possible to believe this. How could he have both lied before (“I didn’t cheat”), and be lying about himself now (“I did cheat”)? Or am I reading/thinking wrong?

    You may have meant “He was telling the truth before, is lying about himself now, and is also making lies up about others.”

    Or, there’s another option – he told the truth before, he is lying about himself now, but he is telling the truth about others. eh.

  84. Comment by Dean | 05.27.2010 | 9:16 pm

    1st of all shame on you fatty for disgracing the franchise/brand by allowing Landis to be photographed next to you.

    A few words: You make some very well thought out arguments about doping not being a victimless crime. However, these things need to be judged inside their cultural context and by the standards in place at the time. European cycling demanded the athletes train a certain way in order to win. Lets not take the position that anyone who participated in the sport at that time and wasn’t snow white clean is the equivalent of Al Capone. Lets not forget doping doesn’t mean you don’t have to train. You just get more bang for your effort.

    If our government uses tax dollars to go after Lance, it will be the greatest misuse of such funds since the recent bankster bailouts.

    And finally one last word to anyone ready to declare LA a cheater and write him off as a zero if he doped. A man is judged by the totality of his contributions to our world. Even truly great people (think of any of our idols outside the realm of sports) were imperfect, and nevertheless the world is a better place because of them.

    Should LA be proven human, he still deserves a pass. However, I for one hope the hyenas after him (and after cycling as well) choke on their own bile and generally eat sh*t. Again.

  85. Comment by Debamundo | 05.27.2010 | 9:19 pm

    Great post Fatty. I’ve been struggling with what to think about the whole Floyd fiasco, myself. You summed it up nicely.

  86. Comment by CleanCyclist_looking_for_EPO | 05.27.2010 | 9:29 pm

    Hey, enough with the name calling and personal attacks against Alyson. If you have a point to make, just make the point. There are plenty of blogs and forums on the internet where you can indulge in flame wars to your hearts’ content, please don’t turn Fat Cyclist into that as well.

    Fatty, if you’re not gonna use that EPO, I’d hate for it to go to waste. Just box it up with a Madone, okay? Thx.

  87. Comment by Jim B | 05.27.2010 | 10:19 pm

    CleanCyclist — I don’t think anyone was attacking Alyson, just disagreeing with her.

    To those of you saying, hey, so and so has been tested hundreds of time and none have ever come up positive. Just know that others have been caught and later admitted they had been cheating for years, also passing hundreds of tests.

    The most damning thing I have read is the IM transcript between Vaughters and Andreu back in 2005 where they openly (and, at the time, privately) dished the dirt on the dirty practices of the USPS team and its star rider.

  88. Comment by Dan O | 05.27.2010 | 11:31 pm

    Man, this Floyd deal is just plain wacky. Though nothing that comes out of the pro ranks surprises me anymore, I thougth that maybe – just maybe – Floyd didn’t dope and really did get burned. I believed him, or wanted to believe him anyway.

    HIs interesting background, the book and resulting book tour, the public defense fund – a hell of sham. Wow. For me, the wheels fell off the credibility wagon with the LeMond incident at the time. Having one of his “people” call LeMond like that. Man, that’s off the charts wrong.

    Still, in a lot of ways, even with Floyd’s awkward way of dragging all this out – for whatever reason – I think he just carried the sham out a little farther then most pros did – or continue to do so.

    If half of what Floyd is now saying is true, or can proven – could be the final push to collapse the house of pro level racing cards that currently stands. In a lot of ways, that would be a great thing. Then again, if so – probably not such a big deal. How many big name pros have already been caught doping? It’s insane and the racing beat goes on.

    Of course, if Lance did indeed dope and Floyd or anyone else can prove it – Holy Crap Batman. That would be like taking down Santa on Christmas Eve.

    The cancer connection, huge endorsements, 7 Tour wins, all of it now tarnished. Lance is the face of cycling in the U.S. and of course is a household name – even to millions of non-cyclists. Yikes. I’m not saying I want that to happen – nobody does. Well, most of us don’t.

    I’ve read that Floyd personally apologized to LeMond recently for what occurred a few years ago. A good move and better late then never. Outside of cycling, I hope Floyd finds peace in whatever he’s going through. Besides potentially blowing the doors off the doping scene in maybe a not so subtle way – he’s appears to have done nothing all that different then many other pros have done to earn a paycheck on two wheels. I’m not saying doping was correct – it still sucks – just seems to be a fact of life in the pro peloton.

    All this also seems prove that LeMond has been correct all this years.

  89. Comment by Mike M | 05.28.2010 | 2:54 am

    Floyd is the 2nd rider (Frankie Andreu) who supported Lance in a TDF win and admitted drug use. this taints the wins and ultimately the winner. I will definitely be reasessing my support of livestrong this year.

  90. Comment by Ian | 05.28.2010 | 3:55 am

    To follow up on Wabz’s post above, how about this scenario:

    Let’s say Floyd really was innocent. He’s spent four years of his life doing everything that he can think of to clear his name. All this time he has to watch everyone else continue doing the only thing that he’s ever really loved to do and the only thing that he’s ever really been good at. He feels himself getting older and knows that his peak years are slowly slipping by.

    This eats at him and he gets more and more bitter and jealous over time. Despite everything that he’s done he still can’t get the cycling establishment to believe him.

    Finally, after working and struggling for months to put together a third rate team he applies for the Tour of California. His application is denied.

    At this point he just can’t take it anymore and he snaps. He says to himself “f— it, everyone thinks I’m on drugs anyway. There’s obviously no justice in the world. If these guys are going to treat me like crap I’m going to hit them where it hurts.”

    Pretty sad story any way you look at it.

  91. Comment by Ian | 05.28.2010 | 4:03 am

    P.S. I’m not saying that Floyd is in any way justified if he really is making up lies about others. I’m just saying that I can see how he could end up in a state of mind where he’d do that kind of thing, even if he used to be a decent guy.

  92. Comment by bikesgonewild | 05.28.2010 | 4:39 am

    jc…your comments were not lost on me…i agree that there may be more than meets the eye regarding that situation…

    …dunno what but it involves more than one guy on a bike doing illegal “stuff”, from my perspective but at this point it’s nicely clouded because everyone is polarized by the floyd vs lance (& n’ george n’ dave & whoever else) show…

    …i don’t find floyd’s admissions after the original denials to be that outrageous…he played the game on the bike like all the others & initially he followed the “code of silence”, their omerta, again like all the others when he was popped…

    …but distinct factors may have been at work…his cultural (religious) background as a mennonite being one…his father had championed floyd’s innocence & perhaps his death created a different realization as regards guilt for landis…

    …he admitted one of the hardest things he’d ever done was reveal the truth to his mother after his father had passed…

    …& besides losing money & his marriage, people seem to forget that his brother-in-law, landis’s assistant & friend took his own life when this all came about after the stripping of the ‘tour’ win……

    …cheating for 4 years & lying about it for 4 more, because “that’s how it’s done” is one thing but i cannot imagine how the end of his marriage & that suicide weighed on the man…

    …i’ll always be a fan of both lance & floyd…i might be a bigger fan of lance’s if he offered what i think would be honest clarity…

    …i could be wrong but…

  93. Comment by Cardiac Kid | 05.28.2010 | 6:03 am

    Heres the thing….Even if Landis was innocent why didnt he just take one in the arm do his two years and then come back? Millar did it, Basso did it and is having a decent Giro, did they miss out on anything?

    Instead he alienated himself from those that were juding him and as a result he is where he is.

    Also, wasnt it during the Landis trial that someone on his team took Greg Lamonds childhood abuse public or sometihing like that? I can’t remember all the details but I recall thinking it was a really a character building moment for Floyd. Now he’s started this stuff against LA….shouldn’t someone pull him aside and just tell him that enough is enough and sour grapes really arn’t that good?

    Finally, Its so true that its hard to find someone that appreciates a good EOP joke. That being said….EPO is awesome…I highly recommend it and if I could buy it by the case from the Beer Store I would buy two. Chicks dig winning atheletes (and scars) so do what you have to do. Fatty want to split a case?

  94. Comment by Doug (WAY upstate NY) | 05.28.2010 | 6:38 am

    The whole thing just makes me sad. Either way.

  95. Comment by ChefJT | 05.28.2010 | 8:17 am

    It was said best by Philly Jen! Fight like Susan, Give like Fatty.

    Not really sure who to believe anymore. Never raced, wouldn’t mind moving up to the “B” ride, but I can do that by dropping 40 or 50 lbs. I enjoy watching racing, which my friends don’t understand, but hey, I don’t understand they’re watching golf!

    I, like many, want to believe Lance is clean. I believe Landis dropped dime this time because his team was excluded from the ToC.

    The thoughts that disturbs me are these:

    A) Everyone laughed at Jose Canseco when he wrote “Juiced.” Now it seems he was pretty much on point. (Doesn’t mean he still isn’t a scumbag). Could Landis be cycling’s Canseco?

    B) Heard this comment from Brian Kenny of ESPN, and it is something to consider (I’m paraphrasing): We’re at the tail end of the “steroid era” in cycling and Lance dominated if not obliterated the competition for 7 years….If they were all juiced, how could he have possibly been so dominant without help?

    Finally, even if Lance turns out to be dirty (which I still don’t want to believe), he gets a pass from me. As the spouse of a cancer survivor, the work Lance has done on behalf of the cancer community, for me, far outweighs any liberties he may have taken while entertaining us as a professional athlete.

  96. Comment by MattC | 05.28.2010 | 8:33 am

    Looking back with the hindsight goggles, if anybody recalls Floyd mentioned WAY BACK when this whole thing started that he was initially offered a ‘deal’…come clean (and give us the scoop on LA)and we can get you a 6 month suspension instead of the 2 years…you’ll be back on your bike next year. I have to wonder if he’s been kicking himself these last 4 years.

    Instead he decides to FIGHT the findings (whether they were ‘fabricated’ or actual, either way he was cheating by his own admission with other stuff so it’s just a detail). Gets convicted and upheld by the CAS anyway, and due to his fight he gets himself blackballed from Pro cycling seemingly forever for his efforts that exposed the inside cheese on WADA and how shoddy their testing is (even though nothing good seems to have come from it amazingly enough). It’s all just too crazy to behold.

    As to whether ‘everybody’ is (or was) doing it, if I take a deep breath and take OFF My rose colored glasses…most likely. And honestly, they probably still are. Doesn’t mean I won’t watch in awe and amazement. They are still superhuman! No matter how much of whatever drug concoctions I could ever possibly take, I’d never be a fraction of the cyclist they are on my best day. Every single one of them was already at the top percetile of all athletes on the planet before they ‘artificially optomized’ their fitness (IF that is true). Whats the diff between hyperbaric chamber/tent and EPO/CERA? Both accomplish the same thing, yet one is legal (and more dangerous) and one is not legal but safer. Or if you are rich enough to actually ‘train high, sleep low’ you can do the same thing. It comes down to IF the playing field is level…if it is, then the best person on that particular day wins…and that’s what sport is all about.

    I’m still a fan!

  97. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 05.28.2010 | 9:13 am

    Good points Fatty – I’ll have to be sure I start in the right wave for my next race. Though truth be told I’m so darn slow I won’t be knocking anyone off any podium.

  98. Comment by KK | 05.28.2010 | 9:40 am

    I’m with Jim and Philly Jen — it’s fun to watch the pros, but what they’re doing isn’t what I’m doing. That’s the case whether we’re talking about cycling, baseball or stock trading. So, the pros are cheating to get ahead at work at that level really doesn’t change how I enjoy cycling (or anything) with my family and friends. When a Roger Clements or Barry Bonds gets caught, I doubt that hordes of after-work softball players stop enjoying the game.

    Riding my bicycle and fighting cancer, to me, have nothing to do with what the big names in either area are up to. I have my own reasons for doing each, and I’m going to press on.

    Hope you all get the chance to get out and ride during the long weekend.

  99. Comment by RubyBlue | 05.28.2010 | 11:44 am

    I have no comments on doping but wanted to make Fatty and his readers aware of a ride that is being done this year as a fundraiser for Huntsman Cancer Institute. Its the HC140 on June 12th. A cancer survivor who received treatment at Huntsman rides from his home town in Reno to the cancer institute every year. This year they are doing a fund raising ride and joining him in Delta for the final ride to the Cancer Institute.

    You can read about and register to participate here

    Hope to see some of the fatty readers there!

  100. Pingback by May 28th 2010- Roller & Inline Speed Skating News – Speed Skate World- By Peter Doucet- Online Since 1999 | 05.28.2010 | 12:14 pm

    [...] Fat Cyclist: Thoughts About Cheating [...]

  101. Comment by Jill2 | 05.28.2010 | 12:46 pm

    Proffessional sport (cycling included) is really about money and entertainment. And you gotta admit, Landis’ bonk followed by the Stage 17 comeback was great entertainment.

  102. Comment by Jill2 | 05.28.2010 | 12:48 pm

    Cheating is cheating, no matter if you “are cheating to win” or “cheating to ride.” If you aren’t willing to pay the price of getting caught – be that being banned from the race for life or being prosecuted for felony – then you shouldn’t cheat.

  103. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 05.28.2010 | 12:49 pm

    I also agree with PhillyJen – the last time I looked at my jersey, it didn’t have LA’s or other pros’ names on it. I’ll continue to “Fight like Susan” and support those organizations that are making a difference.

  104. Comment by bikemike | 05.28.2010 | 1:11 pm

    I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like. it’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things that make it look good. Syd Barrett.

    We’re not of their world.

    This probably made no sense…sorry. I don’t know enough words to write long paragraphs and i’m not even sure if i spelled paragraph correctly.

  105. Comment by Jill2 | 05.28.2010 | 1:35 pm

    OK, my last comment for the day:

    Armstrong consistently says “I have never tested positive.” He doesn’t consistently say “I’ve never used EPO” – always “I have never tested positive.” This is a true statement in terms of how laboratories report analytical results and in terms of what the governing body considers a positive result. A negative result does not mean that EPO was not present, only that EPO was not detected above the limit for what is considered an accurate, reliable, reportable, and positive result. So “I have never tested positive” is a true statement and a good story; if I were Armstrong, I’d be sticking with it too.

    Do I think Armstrong has never ever doped? No, probably not. Is Landis telling the some version of the truth? Yes, probably so. Are his motives questionable? Perhaps. But I do have to believe that Armstrong is not doping now and wasn’t at last years TdF. With all the scrutiny, all testing, all the people that are trying to catch him, with LiveStrong and his reputation, with all that is at stake if he were caught doping now – maybe I am being naïve – but I just can’t believe he’d be stupid enough to risk it. A podium finish at 38 years old after a 3 year hiatus done within the limits of what is considered legal and clean (and what everyone else is doing) – that is pretty darn good racing.

  106. Comment by Tim D | 05.28.2010 | 1:45 pm

    Philly Jen, you are my hero. I would rather identify you than any pro cyclist.

  107. Comment by AngieG | 05.28.2010 | 2:44 pm

    I agree with others… Philly Jen is the bomb!!!

  108. Comment by Robert | 05.28.2010 | 4:03 pm

    I’d not be surprised if Floyd spoke the truth – even though he used it to get entry to the Tour of California. But this is how people think about him:


    And this is how we all think about winning:


    (Well, at least if it would represent at least 500K+ year-salary and a Tour de France victory…)

    So it wouldn’t surprise me if LA and the rest of professional cyclist are also cheating…

  109. Comment by Jeremy | 05.29.2010 | 12:47 am

    Someone once said to me: A man is never as great as his greatest feat and never as bad as his worst.

    What does is say about us to spend so much time and energy on the feats and sins of others? We do this with so many of our public figures in this country. Oddly, they’re all human, just like us. They all screw up, just like us.

    Ultimately, it’s not about Floyd, Lance or anyone else. It’s about us. It’s about what we gain for having gone through the experience. I learned a incredible amount about doping and physiology because of the Floyd case. I use that in my teaching. I’ve met new friends and great people through Team Fatty, which probably would not exist in its current form without Lance. Just because one or both have done something heinous and wrong does not take away any of that.

    Perhaps I am a bit philosophical today, but after all is stripped away, we have nothing but our experiences and what experiences we provide others. What is our legacy?

  110. Comment by CleanCyclist_looking_for_EPO | 05.29.2010 | 7:17 am

    Previously, I joined in Fatty’s joke about EPO. Now, I have a serious question: am I in danger of cheating?

    You see, I’m a mid-40s guy who loves cycling and doesn’t have enough time to do much of it. Although to be honest, I could, but am frequently too tired to get out of bed early, or too tired after work, etc. So recently I went to a doctor to see what I could do to regain some youthful energy. He did a bunch of bloodwork, and found out that I have a testosterone level far below that where it usually has diminished in the average mid-40s guys. So now, I take a daily small dose of testosterone creme, as well as lots and lots of more normal supplements (vitamins, fish oil, minerals, etc.). All done to 1) feel more normal, like a person again, and 2) to have the energy to ride and exercise again, with the hope of eventually being a participant in various rides n races.

    So: am I a doper? Should I never enter such events? Have I essentially shot myself in the foot for life? I would really like to hear people’s thoughts.

  111. Comment by Greg @ Greg Rides Trails | 05.29.2010 | 8:00 am

    Good post Fatty. Totally agree with everything you said… would be futile to try to add anything to it!

  112. Comment by Another fat guy | 05.29.2010 | 9:33 am

    I have a question for all those who believe or feel Lance has cheated… and I don’t mean to be argumentative at all. I’m a newbie to cycling and am asking because I truly don’t understand.

    Can you please explain to me how you think the one guy who has been tested more than any other cyclist, more than any other athlete in history, has never been caught, while guys being testing 1/10th and 1/20th as much are busted all the time?

    LA had an entire national government trying to prove he cheated. He has had a target on his back greater and longer than any rider ever.

    And yet, with all these others getting caught – dozens and dozens and dozens – he is the ONLY one that they can’t catch? Seriously?

    I just need to hear a rational explanation for how that can be possible.


  113. Comment by DP | 05.29.2010 | 5:22 pm

    Like most cycling fans I’m pretty much sick of all the doping allegations but to those who think Greg Lemond is “crazy as a coot” as quoted above please have a look at the ~1 hour cycling discussion ( he gives on his past experiences riding in a peloton that was obviously doping on a grand scale once EPO was discovered globally by the cycling community. A great champion goes from tour winner to off the back in 1 or 2 years – tell me that is fair!

    Lemond sounds like the only one who has a clue about what really needs to be done to clean this thing up once and for all. Floyd may be a quack and has gone about alot of things in his life the wrong way but you have to be an extremely naive person to think Armstrong has done it clean. And no, it’s not fair to say it’s been an even playing field b/c everyone is doing it b/c obviously some teams have more resources which equals access to better drugs or better doping systems.

  114. Comment by bob | 05.29.2010 | 6:16 pm

    @dug & mtb w,

    Sorry but this wasn’t “civil disobedience”, it was straight up simple fraud and just plain cheating.

    Paying your money makes it a contract, swapping numbers then swapping age groups and riding with a license makes this fraud plain and simple and I’m surprised you don’t see it that way. Would you actually tell your kids that’s not cheating?

  115. Comment by blair | 05.30.2010 | 12:06 pm

    when you cheat, you cheat everyone of something. if it isn’t a podium position or an age-group spot one better than they got, it’s money or fame or the knowledge of what is and isn’t true

    and the only thing you win is the material prize for coming in the finishing position you cheated to attain, an improved opportunity to cheat again, and guilt, whether it’s felt or merely factual

    you certainly didn’t win the competition, because you weren’t competing in the same race everyone else was

    people put themselves through hell training to be good enough to get into these competitions. having the mental toughness to tolerate that suffering has got to be about a need to prove their worth as human beings, whether to show they have some or to show they have more than everyone else. so i totally don’t understand someone who would then grind down his human worth by cheating to get a couple of spots up the finish list. it’s psychotic to accept false acclaim after years or decades of grueling effort seeking real acclaim.

    so when you cheat, you definitely cheat yourself right off your personal podium.

  116. Comment by Kara Kaufman | 05.30.2010 | 12:26 pm

    I also agree with Philly Jen! You sum it up best!!

    I am also of the folk that hope LA is one of the “elite” of the world…An elite athlete (animal OR human) is rare and amazing all at the same time (I am thinking of Secretariat the great race horse, as I am an avid equestrian)…

    What amazes me is the people that are suggesting LiveStrong should not be supported IF it were to come out LA has cheated. LiveStrong is about SO much more than ONE MAN! I will always support LiveStrong and am proud to, and will continue to support my husband (BikeCopVT) in his fund raising for such an organization.

    I also like to live from a “trusting” standpoint… believing people at face value until proven otherwise. It is just too bad that some people in the harsh competitive world feel they “must” cheat in order to win, because winning is so much more important to them than being an honest, upstanding member of society.

  117. Comment by Paulscarlett | 05.30.2010 | 5:02 pm

    Regarding supporting Livestrong IF LA was ever proved to be a doper, surely it is about integrity. In a nightmare world where LA does pop positive, after lying vehemently for so many years, how can we trust his group is doing the right things, and why should we continue to hold him up as a beacon in the community when he shows nothing but contempt for those that look up to him. I go back to my original point, there are lots of other organisations that can be trusted. Livestrong is one that we like to support because we can identify with its leader, and with its ethos. What does it all stand for if he is proven to be a liar? – p.s. I will continue to dig as deep in to my pockets as I can until suspicions and rumours are proven

  118. Comment by SteveB | 05.30.2010 | 8:59 pm

    About Floyd’s motives…the idea that he could be attempting to whistleblow under the false claim act(2005 Deficit Reduction Act) makes sense. All the money that was payed by the federal government (United Postal Service) to the team at the time (USPS)would qualify if the feds could prove that the claims for payment were fraudulent, or even inappropriate. I believe the allegations have the attention of the Office of Inspector General (OIG). This would allow for penalties x3 of the claim, plus a 30% payment to Floyd.

    I think the timing and motives of the allegations at this late date continue to tickle my jaded side.

  119. Comment by Tommy | 06.4.2010 | 3:26 pm

    Hang on a second…”Floyd (Rat) Landis”. If he’s “the rat” of the bunch, what does that say about the rest? In reality that sign speaks more about cycling’s omerta – the culture that Floyd was forced into at Postal – than it does as an insult to Floyd!

    Anyone here seen Goodfellas?


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