[Preamble- Let's get to the truth. Let's figure out who's credible and who may not be. If Lance Armstrong is the biggest fraud in sports history, let the case be made so solidly that all the PR spin in the world can't dig him out. But let's not support shoddy journalism that's based on delivering a story that people want to read and gets sloppy with the details. You could be the biggest Lance fan, or the biggest Lance hater. You could believe that Greg LeMond was the last non-doping winner of the Tour de France. I'm fine with any of that. But emotionally bonding to one view or the other and refusing to look at each piece of information critically, choosing instead of believe something because it fits in with something else they already believe in.
What I've written below shows how the media has hyped up the Tour de Suisse "positive" test from 2002 and what Tyler said about it, without even the slightest fact checking. --Mike--]
Good reading here- So here’s what we know-
#1: There was never a “positive” test to cover up in the first place. It was a “suspicious” test with a reading of between 70-80% (percent of what I’m not sure). To be “positive” it would have had to have been 85%. At that time, the EPO testing was not solid enough to rule out natural means of producing a positive result, thus the high threshold.
#2: There was no “special” meeting, according to Saugy, the person involved who now happens to be the head of the lab in Lausanne. “And it also wasn’t about discussing a particular result or to cover up anything. I explained how the EPO test worked and why there were suspect samples as well as positive ones. This information was part of a lecture that I had been giving in various locations.”
Saugy apparently had many meetings with many teams/riders letting people know what the process was, how the testing worked, etc. Yes, we can ascribe evil motivations to that, but seriously, if your career was on the line based upon some new test, wouldn’t you want to know something about it, especially since there would be some concern regarding false positives? Within this context, it is entirely reasonable that Lance was not concerned about the tests, whether he was doping or not. He had no reason to be concerned. He had a suspicious test that was below the level of a positive, and the process had been explained not just to Lance but other people as well.
It’s entirely possible that Lance was in fact doping at the time, but the test wasn’t conclusive enough to be considered positive. It was still within a range that could have come from someone innocent. Lance, or anybody else in that same situation, clean or not, had nothing to worry about.
Of course, the 60 minutes interview put huge weight on Tyler’s inference that Lance made a positive test go away, and his lack of concern about it showed just how powerful he had become. If you accept that Saugy is telling the truth, you come away not with the idea that Tyler is lying, but that he completely misunderstood. He made assumptions that were reasonable within his own framework, but that’s all. Assumptions that turn out to be false.