This archived article was written by: Nathan Davis
Lance Armstrong is having a rough couple of weeks. First he breaks his collarbone during a race in Spain. Now he’s once again being harassed by the French.
The seven-time winner of the Tour De France is in his words “the most drug-tested athlete in the world.” The French hate him, possibly because he’s an American, who dominates their race, or possibly because, well they’re French. Armstrong is looking at possibly missing the Tour De France, not because of his broken collarbone, not because he failed a drug test, but because he took a shower. In the words of my father “well, the French do hate showering.”
It is no secret that the French despise Lance Armstrong. For years they’ve tried to discredit him. He has been subjected to probably more drug tests then any other athlete. But this is the most asinine of attempts, and it just might work.
On March 17, 2009, France’s anti-doping authorities showed up at Armstrong’s house for a surprise drug test, where the collected hair, blood and urine samples from him.
According to Armstrong, he asked the tester for permission to go take a shower during a 20-minute period where the testers credentials were being verified. Permission was granted, so Armstrong entered his house, and returned 20 minutes later. All tests came back clean. But according to the French anti-doping agency, he “did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation.” According to Armstrong, after he was tested, the tester marked nothing unusual happened during the test.
I can understand, why it is needed that the person being tested remains under observation before the test, with some types of steroids, it’s possible to quickly flush the substance from your urine, but remember they tested Armstrong’s blood and hair, not just his urine. According to the online reference site Wikipedia, drugs can be traced in the hair follicles up to 90 days after use. Even if he flushed the drugs from his system, they’d still be traceable in his hair follicles. All of the tests were clean.
Armstrong hating, is practically a national pastime in France. As long as he’s been riding, the French have been trying to get him in trouble. They’ve subjected him to countless drug tests, they’ve even gone as far as tampering with tests.
Now the doping agency is trying to prevent Armstrong from competing in the 2009 Tour De France, all because of a 20-minute shower. Normally, I am all for strict steroid testing, I’m all for following the rules, but when someone is tested 24 times in a year, and doesn’t fail a single test … it appears the French are grasping at straws.
There is no way that someone as oft tested as Armstrong could pass every drug test if he was using. Face it France, he’s clean. France should be thanking Armstrong, because honestly, aside from him, name me three other professional cyclists … two … its hard isn’t it … how bout one … I couldn’t do it either.