Stephen Swart: Lance Armstrong Was Ringleader in Encouraging Blood Doping
It’s one thing for Floyd Landis to accuse Lance Armstrong of PED use. Armstrong’s defense against allegations from Landis are simple: attack Floyd’s character and question his credibility given the man’s reputation as a self-admitted liar. But what happens when another cyclist makes the same accusations? Then you have to contemplate the truth of the matter, if you haven’t already.
SI has done some reporting regarding a federal grand jury inquiry about Armstrong. One of the strongest pieces of information they acquired came from New Zealand cyclist Stephen Swart, who rode with Armstrong on the Motorola team in 1995.
According to SI, Swart “describes the Texan as the driving force behind some of the team members deciding to use the banned blood booster EPO. “He was the instigator,” Swart tells SI. “It was his words that pushed us toward doing it.” This fits with what Landis had already said, that Armstrong encouraged the PED use on his teams.
Given what we know about cycling and the way so many of the champions and contenders get busted for PED use, it’s very similar to track and field. So many people are breaking the rules by using illegal substances that it’s almost impossible to compete without cheating. I’m in no way condoning cheating in cycling but merely pointing out the likelihood that most athletes competing in the sport have used PEDs. In Armstrong’s case, the evidence is mounting against his public reputation as a clean athlete.