Friday, August 26, 2005

Lance Armstrong: I Aint No Dope

Well, the backlash was inevitable. Just as Lance Armstrong is about to walk into the sunset of his retirement (at 33!!!!), squeaky-voiced, Q-tip skinny, rockstar moll by his side, just barely missing a collision with overexposure....the French biking authorities are accusing him of doping it up. Specifically, they are saying that they found traces of "Erythropoietin" in a 1999 blood sample.

Did he or didn't he? Only his oncologist knows for sure.

For those who don't know, "Erythropoetin" is a growth hormone produced in the human body which helps to stimulate the growth of oxygen-rich red blood cells. For athletes, "EPO", as it is commonly known now, can be a powerful doping agent, one which improves performance by increasing oxygen uptake and respiratory capacity.

For cancer patients, the synthetic version, known as "Procrit" helps to battle chemotherapy-induced anemia. I used to inject myself with it weekly during the six months I was on chemo. It's powerful stuff - although not powerful enough to have prevented me from needing a transfusion at one point - but powerful nonetheless. You may have seen the ads on TV for "Procrit". That's what we're talking about.

This Lance Armstrong story confuses me because there seems to be very little talk about when Lance last took Procrit and how long the half-life of the drug is in the body. Perhaps this is a non-issue...perhaps Procrit doesn't stay in the system long enough for this to be a possible defense? Or perhaps having traces of Procrit in the blood from past treatments for cancer is nevertheless verboten in the bike racing arena? I do know that I saw Lance on ESPN early this morning, and boy did he seem angry, and all I could think was, "Methinks the Lancey doth protest too much."

But that's just speculation.

I honestly don't particulary have any special place in my heart for Lance Armstrong (I don't like people JUST because they have or have had cancer; in fact, I have met plenty of mean-spirited, petty, and all-around rotten people who have survived cancer - who were probably just as mean-spirited, petty and all-around rotten before they were diagnosed - and I don't feel any warmer towards them just because we share the same diagnosis). I especially don't like his relationship with Ms. Crow, mainly because they flaunt it all over the media, and it makes me feel sad for Lance's ex-wife and kids (okay, that's my stuff talking, but still). But I'm not looking to disprove his accomplishments either.

I mean, dope or no dope, the man can pedal. And he looks pretty "fly" in yellow...teeeeeeeeeheeeeeee....

I guess I just would like to know the deal...and then again, maybe I don', that is.



idoru said...

I agree with everything you said in this post. Well, except for the "fly" bit :)

But seriously, it really bugged me how OLN completely overplayed his relationship with Sheryl C.

yoga chickie said...

The fly thing is a joke...honestly. The Sheryl C thing, sadly, is not...Lauren

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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