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01-15-2013, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
As a cycling cynic, this has basically been my view all along. Anyone who believed Armstrong was clean throughout his entire career was being exceptionally naive. But at the same time, the bigger issue here is not whether any particular riders doped, but rather the doping culture of the sport that the UCI (most specifically Verbruggen and McQuaid) has allowed to fester (throughout the 2000s, tops teams were being managed by guys like Bryneel, Riis, Saiz, etc. all linked to doping in the 1990s). And as far as who was the best and who wasn't, it's pretty telling that most of the guys who competed directly against Armstrong are not in favor of awarding titles retroactively to other riders. They all know what they were all doing, and who won.
I think the best that could be said of him is that he was clearly the best cheater, that he took doping to levels of sophistication that surpassed his peers, so I don't think anybody could ever convincingly claim that it was all even and that therefore he would've been the best if they'd all been clean.

The other stuff about him is more important to me: that he didn't just do it himself, he was actively increasing the amount of doping in the sport by requiring it of his teammates. And that he was so ruthless in destroying careers and lives of people who got in his way.

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