TSR in the News


It’s been a busy week around here for my book that came out last month, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France – Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs, co-authored with former Postal rider Tyler Hamilton.

It’s basically the inside story of what some are now calling the biggest fraud in the history of American sports. The world they lived in was half James Bond, half Sopranos, and half All the President’s Men. Okay, that’s three halves. But you get the idea.

The big news is that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency just released its 1,000-page report detailing its case against Armstrong. Twenty-six people gave testimony, including eleven former Armstrong teammates (including Tyler, of course.)

You might think the USADA report would by dry-dust reading, but it’s precisely the opposite. It’s kind of amazing. It’s filled with telling details, stranger-than-fiction anecdotes (like when Armstrong wanted an illegal cortisone pill and two teammates, rather than disappoint their demanding boss, shaved down an asprin and gave it to him as a placebo), and an irrefutable stack of hard scientific and financial evidence. Reading the report, you can’t help but feel a mix of horror and deep empathy for the riders — and you can’t help but wonder what you would have done in their place.

If you’re interested in a taste, here’s a Cliff’s Notes version from Outside magazine.  And, for the more ambitious among you, here’s the whole report: including a 200-page summary and the supporting materials (the affadavits are a good place to start).

I know it’s a sad story. But it’s also an important one — for the riders who are standing up and speaking out, for their families, and for their sport, which now has the chance to move forward. Like Tyler says, the truth will set you free. It sounds corny, I know. But man oh man, is it ever true.

PS – Tyler is going to be on Anderson Cooper 360 tonight (Friday) at 8:00 Eastern — tune in, or check TSR’s facebook page for more information.

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8 Responses to “TSR in the News”

  1. Robert says:

    I am a cynic, wont be much difference due to the sport and money involved. 10% increase in performance makes all the difference there.

    I love him talk about how he won all those titles, sure basically everyone used drugs but good call being a cheater and assume you did win fair and square.

  2. WalterStemberg says:

    I hate ranting about these kind of subjects especially when i haven’t read the reports however…………. Lance is what Ben Johnson was in my country (Canada). Ben was made an example of because he did something that every single runner who lined up with him in the finals of that 100 meter race in Seoul did and that was use drugs however the others who ran against him had somehow did not test positive. Ive always thought of Lance as a fraud, just because i am not convinced nor will i ever be that anyone doing the Tour de Farce is able to do what that race asks you to do without drugs!! Lance is not the only one they are ALL taking something or they would never be able to hang with the others. It’s sad for sure, but for someone like myself who never believed Lance or the other riders it’s a huge cover up and a lot of money that is going to be spent trying to figure out the truth and at the end of the day we will only know about 50% of it anyways.

  3. djcoyle says:

    I hear you, Walter. In our culture, here’s always an overreaction, a scapegoating.
    But if you dig into the evidence, I think you’ll see a few important differences. 1) LA was unquestionably the ringleader, who actively organized and pushed team members into doping; 2) he tried to destroy and intimidate anyone who questioned the myth. As Bicycling columnist Joe Lindsay wrote today, http://bicycling.com/blogs/boulderreport/ — it’s more like he was the head of a crime family than an athlete.
    Thought experiment: what if Ben Johnson had won in Seoul and not been caught, and gone on for ten more years keeping his secret by any means necessary and earning $100 million in the process. That’s the picture that’s emerging about LA. Not pretty. But it’s true.

  4. Robert says:

    Make enough money and people tend to do anything to get away with it.

  5. Jakub says:

    It is true that Armstrong, one of the most drug-tested athletes ever, has passed every other test. How is it possible? Does the report answer that question? All those years and so many tests?

  6. djcoyle says:

    Yep. That’s the big question, and the report tells the answer: 1) the tests were easy to beat (the riders used to say that they were more like an IQ test than a drug test); 2) Armstrong’s connections allowed him to receive warnings when he was going to be tested, and to meet with the lab when he did have a suspicious test so it wouldn’t happen again.

  7. Joanne Deutschenbourg says:

    In some articles you have written, you have said that Lance’s teammates came forward to rat on him. Did you forget that they were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury? I watched Hamilton on 60 Minutes and he was terrified. He didn’t choose to tell the truth, he was forced to tell the truth or face the consequences of lying.

  8. djcoyle says:

    Hi Joanne,
    Thanks for your note. What articles are you referring to? That doesn’t ring a bell for me, and of course I’m more than well aware of how Tyler’s testimony and 60 Minutes appearance happened, as I write in the book. Confusedly yours, Dan

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