Cor blimey! I only posted this as a light-hearted one, but it's gone off a bit.
2 schools of thought are either the rest of the team had to do something to keep up with him, or the whole team were doing the same thing.
My issue around never having tested positive is there are many sports where people never tested positive, like the East Germans and Russians in the 1970/80s etc or all those Chinese swimmers who appeared from nowhere in the last Olympics. Tests are only as good as the people designing them (and of course their knowledge of what they are testing for) and when there is more money at stake for those who manage to mask results than those who want to expose them then there is a problem (compare a multi-million pound endorsement deal for a tour winner vs the £20,000 annual salary of a lab technician).
There has to be stricter sentences for all involved from the sports man to the doctors, team bosses and even the sponsors. The idea of charging people with fraud is a nice one as is life bans in professional sport to avoid people profiting from wrong doing.
Too much emphasis is put on Lance as an individual in all this. The fairytale would be that Lance never did, but in my eyes cycling, and especially the Tour, is a team sport and if every member of the team (except Lance) was doping then does that make his wins fair even if he was in ignorance of the facts? Would he have been in place for those key sprints or breakaways? Would he have been dragged up those hills if his team wasn't pumped full of all sorts? How would he have fared in those all important team time trials with a 'straight' team. A leader is only as strong as his team.
I used to work for the company that gave Lance his second chance at life by providing his Cancer drugs, he was our pin up boy used in countless adverts and motivational speeches. I followed every year with a special interest and every time I see one of his team mates caught I just hope that the worse will never happen as I would feel a cheat as well as I sold the virtues of my company on his victories and so it would cut deep.
Good point well made.
Maybe I am being naive still being optimistic - perhaps I should get out more. However as mentioned before don't recall any of the USPS riders ever getting caught whilst riding for the team (stand to be corrected on that one).
Doping is nothing new in cycling (or many sports). After all Henri Pélissier, after abandoning the 1924 Tour was widely quoted as saying "We run on dynamite." However with the possible exception of track athletics cycling does seem to have a unique fascination with doping - cycling has the itch, and it's scratching. Does cycling really have more of a problem than other sports? Should we judge Rasmussen more harshly than Rio Ferdinand? Is it fair the endless suspicion over Armstrong's cleanliness means his doping is a fait accompli in many peoples eyes whereas half the world cheered Nadal to a Wimbledon victory the other week? Are Abdu or Delgado bigger cheats than Jaap Stam or Davids?
Seems to me however emotive the subject is we should move forward, not look back. I almost don't care, I don't want to find out what all my cycling heros over the years did or took.