I’m confused. Levi Leipheimer admitted to being a drug cheat and all over the internet I’m reading articles that defend him. I admit to know almost nothing about cycling. But here’s what I wonder.

Lance Armstrong made a lot of money cheating and so did Leipheimer.

So, why is Leipheimer a better guy?

Leipheimer ratted out Armstrong but Armstrong didn’t rat out Leipheimer.

Why does this make Leipheimer a better guy?

Please, would someone better informed than I explain these inconsistencies to me.

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  1. lameduck

    I wrote a long response but after my circular argument, the being a better guy argument doesn’t hold. I know Levi is a good person, similar to what I read about Matt Halliday. I don’t know anywhere near as much about Lance except that he used his sickness to dupe us as well. Levi merely duped us by his performance.

    Mistakes can be corrected and I hope each person moves on and continues to help the community.

    October 17th, 2012 10:16 am

  2. Stan

    Levi repented. Lance is defiant. And Lance is defiant about cheating.

    October 17th, 2012 10:50 am

  3. Tiburon Dave

    It’s like our old neighborhood Lowell…

    The Don {Armstrong}…He gets the cover of Time Magazine while getting arrested and acquitted 75 times…until he doesn’t get aquitted and he spends his dotage at Club Fed…

    The Capo {Landis}…He gets whacked…

    The Street Muscle {Leipheimer}… he’s just an ignorant schlemiel who had no choice but to Mob Up…think Henry Hill in Goodfellows…he gets our sympathy even though in most cases he was one of the button guys…

    Same as it ever was…

    October 17th, 2012 10:55 am

  4. Stan

    Whats interesting to me is..I get flack about Vernon Davis and what I see as obvious enhancers..and the reason I’m told not to knock Vernon is that Vernon does charity’s. Yep,you know where I’m going…Lance raised 10 mill for fighting cancer.
    Too much irony here to list. But one is,they risk long term health taking enhancers at high doses for years…then raise money to fight illnesses…then see young people imitate them..wow-what a circle.

    October 17th, 2012 10:56 am

  5. kafantaris

    Only Armstrong, his wife, his teammates and his sponsors can break the anti-doping rules — for almost a decade — and also leave us feeling bad for finally imposing them.
    Collective hypocrisy and acquiescence had never reached such heights.

    October 17th, 2012 11:03 am

  6. Tiburon Dave

    I forgot one guy…

    The Consiglieri/Bodyguard {Hincapie}…he cuts a deal with the Feds and lives the rest of his life in a nice secluded home outside of Yakima, Washington…

    Federally financed and under an assumed name of course…

    October 17th, 2012 11:07 am

  7. Michael

    Lowell – You hit the nail on the head and I’m confused why few have come to your conclusion. Also – people tend to forget Levi admits to doping up until 2007. Yet, he was racing on a rival team of Lance Armstrong’s from 2002-2007 (Rabobank and Gerolsteiner). Hmmm.

    October 17th, 2012 11:20 am

  8. Stan

    I have to think Lance gets a twinge in his stomach when he reads of another sports “slam dunk guilty” case and the offender denies all and says -like Lance- a conspiracy. He’s Jerry Sandusky.

    October 17th, 2012 11:40 am

  9. Brady

    And lost in it all is the >$450 million that Armstrong raised for cancer research.

    Our society is so pathetically wrapped up in petty definitions of “success” that we care one hundred times more about what he has done in a game than what he has done in real life.

    I would hope, Lowell, that if you ever started a foundation that raised half a billion dollars to save lives, and then admitted to using Adderall to write your articles, that I would remember you more for the former than for the latter.

    Our society is sometimes a sad one.

    October 17th, 2012 11:53 am

  10. B-Rad

    What makes Armstrong the worst drug offender of all time is not
    the apparent certainty that he not only used EPO, testosterone, and
    blood transfusions, but encouraged and may have actually ordered his
    teammates to do so also so that they could ride near his level to
    protect him. 11 former teammates including Leipheimer, Hamilton,
    Hincapie, and Landis and at least 15 others have testified against him.

    The USADA says this is the strongest case they had in their history.

    As of now Armstrong has declined to contest the charges and
    is foregoing arbitration.

    October 17th, 2012 11:58 am

  11. CohnZohn

    B-Rad, What do you mean Armstrong “ordered” his teammates to do drugs? Let’s take Leipheimer as a test case. Did he have no choice in the matter? Is he absolved because bad Lance ordered him? In our society we take responsibility for what we do. You are absolving Leipheimer of any responsibility. Why? Because he may be a nice man. Because he lives in Santa Rosa

    October 17th, 2012 12:01 pm

  12. Michael

    B-Rad – Levi was on different teams than Lance from 2002-2007 and was doping the entire time. I’m confused by your thinking….

    October 17th, 2012 12:06 pm

  13. Tiburon Dave

    Just read the transcript of Padecky & Leipheimer…Padecky is clearly trying to give the homeboy a platform to come clean…to me he comes across as a pathetic co conspiritor to massive fraud all the while whining about pressure and lost innocence…

    Most pathetic is on page three when he talks about being deserving of sympathy…

    If this guy was a stock broker he would have gone to work for Bernie Madoff…

    October 17th, 2012 12:23 pm

  14. Stan

    One other line of thinking that ties many together..Lance,Barry,Roger,Ben(Armstrong) Flo Jo if she were alive to think..”I cheated,yes,but so DID EVERYBODY ELSE”..”And I still beat all the rest”
    I know that’s how they get by the day…and rationalize the past.

    October 17th, 2012 12:38 pm

  15. Stan

    Heck,its what 90% of the NFL thinks NOW!.

    October 17th, 2012 12:39 pm

  16. B-Rad


    According to the USADA report:

    “His goal led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions
    but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates
    would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own.”

    “It was not enough that his (Armstrong’s) teammates give maximum effort
    on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping program
    outlined for them or be replaced…… He was not just a part of the doping
    culture on his team, he enforced and reinforced it.”

    According to the N.Y. Times paraphrasing the USADA report:

    ……..”Eventually, Armstrong confronted Vande Velde for not closely
    following (Dr.) Ferrari’s training (drug) program. Armstrong said his
    good standing on the team would be jeopardized, Vande Velde said.
    Feeling threatened, Vande Velde stepped up his drug use,”

    My point is that Armstrong, because of his position and use of power
    in this manner, is the most vile of drug cheats.
    Of course, any of the riders could have refused and likely been
    fired from the team.

    October 17th, 2012 1:16 pm

  17. B-Rad


    The USADA report listed at least 11 former teammates who testified
    against Armstrong:

    Leipheimer, Hamilton, Hincapie, Andrew, Barry, Danielson, Landis,
    Stewart, Vande Velde, Vaughters, and Zabriskie.

    I know nothing about years.

    My point is the USADA report seems well-documented and that
    Armstrong went way beyond his own personal drug use.

    I have no respect for drug cheats and I am not trying to vindicate
    any of them.

    October 17th, 2012 1:27 pm

  18. MJ

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but has Lance ever been found guilty, in a lab/study way, of using some form of performance enhancing drugs? Is not all the claim of guilt, the persecution, off of conjecture, accusations by proven users, and those who almost all have some form of a grudge against him.

    I dont know for a fact whether he used or not but everyone else who used has been caught, and were caught in short order. Lance, if he cheated, cheated for almost a decade, took hundreds of tests and not a hint of a positive test?

    I guess it is really true, in America, its Guilty til proven innocent.

    If there is a test that comes out saying he was caught, everything changes.

    And Stan…really, Sandusky in the same sentence as Armstrong. I think you need to do what people should with twitter, write something down, step away for 5 mins, come back and read it again. Sandusky is a vile criminal, Lance is a cancer survivor whose helped raise millions for cancer research. You might be changing your tune if ever your family has to deal with the horror of a family member dying of that disease.

    And wth is the vernon drop for? Cause he’s all muscled up? That proves nothing. If anything the eye test is no longer a valid form of slander.

    October 17th, 2012 1:29 pm

  19. KauaiRobert

    Symantics perhaps…but, to me, it would be more appropriate to phrase your question this way: Why is Armstrong a worse guy?
    Answer: 7 Tour de France Titles.

    October 17th, 2012 1:40 pm

  20. gary

    Padecky’s interview with Leipeimer was weak.
    Supposedly he started a vareity of doping
    in 1999, and stopped in 2007? And some
    of his biggest victories were after he
    “was clean”? Right, that makes perfect sense.

    The “sport” of cycling has been a complete farce for years, based mostly on what team
    had the best chemist.

    October 17th, 2012 2:00 pm

  21. Johan K.

    Cause Lance is one of the most sanctimonious athletes ever and the athlete who got longest FREE PASS by the sports media for over a decade.

    October 17th, 2012 8:35 pm

  22. non-pro bike dork

    Levi is a fraud who ratted out his former boss. Levi doped before Lance, and even before he was professional (1996 amateur criterium championship failed drug control). It is unfathomable to me that he did not continue to cheat after 2007. He just can’t afford to give back his winnings and so needs to stay in denial.

    Lance didn’t start USPS doping practices. It was fairly common knowledge among Santa Rosa bike racers in 1993 that Darren Baker came home from Europe with the USPS because he would not stick a needle in his ass. Lance later became the team leader in 1997 because he was committed to winning (as all the sponsors demanded anyway). How much more can you prove your dedication to winning than to get cancer from doping and stay mum about it and then continue to dope after cancer goes into remission?

    October 19th, 2012 12:42 am

  23. hacksaw

    I actually feel sorry for the young men who entered the sport of cycling wanting to compete and found it riddled with drugs. Your only choice was to play along or do something else. Face it, Lance beat other dopers. He didn’t cheat anyone in the field. I bet he would have preferred to race clean amongst a field of all clean riders.

    October 19th, 2012 10:12 pm

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